Cool Mist Humidifiers Vs Warm Mist Humidifier: Which One Should You Go For?

Buying a quality humidifier brings about significant changes in the air quality within your premises. As such, humidifiers benefit your health and improves the quality of life.

If you or any of your loved ones suffer from allergies, asthma or any other respiratory conditions, a humidifier goes a long way in providing relief. A humidifier works by raising the humidity levels if they are below the desired levels.

Humid air is generally warmer than dry air. For this reason, a humidifier comes in handy by increasing comfort during the winter season. This device is good for babies as it helps them stay comfortable at all times including during sleep.

Using a humidifier to maintain the right humidity also helps in preventing nose bleeding, easing up breathing, loosening congestion and increasing rate of recovery from a cold.

There are two main types of humidifiers – cool mist humidifiers, and warm mist humidifiers. In the following section, we are going to look at what each of these types offers and which would be the best option for you.

Cool Mist Humidifier Vs Warm Mist Humidifier Comparison

Let us compare features between these two types of humidifiers.

Cool Mist Humidifier: Features

In such an appliance, the water in the tank remains at room temperature. Since heating up is not necessary, a cool mist humidifier reduces the risk of burning and scalding. As much as it does well in increasing air moisture, it does not deliver mist that is free of contaminants.

Therefore, it is essential that you maintain high levels of cleanliness with this unit to reduce the risk of spreading contaminants. If neglected, mold and bacteria may grow and become a health hazard.

There are two types of cool mist humidifiers – ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers. Even though the two models operate differently, they deliver similar results. Evaporative humidifiers rely on a wick filter to do their job.

The wick draws water from the tank and a fan blows over it to disperse moisture into the air. Operation is a bit noisy with this model. An ultrasonic humidifier operates quietly by using ultrasonic vibrations to split water into small droplets, which it then disperses as mist.

Some of these units also come with a warm mist option. The only letdown with this model is that it releases fine white dust over time if you are using hard water.

Warm Mist Humidifier: Features

As the name suggests, a warm mist humidifier heats up water to produce steam, which it releases as steam. This feature comes with the risk of burning and scalding, so it would not be ideal in areas with children or pets.

Despite this risk, a warm mist humidifier reduces the chances of contamination since heating up water sterilizes it and discourages growth of mold and bacteria.

Operation is generally quiet with occasional simmering or gurgling. A warm mist humidifier is ideal for cold season as it also adds some warmth in the air. On the downside, warm mist humidifiers also suffer from mineral build up if not maintained regularly.

Some models come with decriminalization cartridges that trap minerals but need replacement over time adding onto operational costs.

Winner: Warm mist humidifiers

Operational Cost

Cool Mist Humidifier: Cool mist humidifiers only require powering up of a fan thus translating to low cost of operation. The only exception is for the ultrasonic humidifiers that feature a warm mist option.

These have heating elements, which take up more energy besides the mist dissipation mechanism.

Warm Mist Humidifier: Any appliance that requires boiling or heating up of water consumer significant amounts energy. Heating elements add to the cost of electricity and since they run for long hours, they may push up your bill.

Winner: Cool mist humidifier


Cool Mist Humidifier: These models are generally safe since the only risk that comes with them is contamination. This risk is easily avoidable by cleaning the humidifier unit on a daily basis. Unlike the warm mist models, there is no risk of burning or scalding since they are cold.

Warm Mist Humidifier: Anything that heats up is a potential hazard for burn and scald injuries. If you have pets or children, you should opt for the cool mist version or take extra caution to ensure they are not exposed to the appliance. The upside of heating is that bacteria and mold have minimal chance of survival resulting in reduced risk of contamination of the mist.

Winner: Cool mist humidifier

Cool Mist Humidifier Pros

  • Low operational cost
  • Safe for children and pets
  • Easy to clean
  • Ideal for summer

Cool Mist Humidifier Cons

  • Noisy
  • High risk of contamination

Warm Mist Humidifier Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Effective in large rooms
  • Kills bacteria and mold through heating
  • Ideal for winter

Warm Mist Humidifier Cons

  • May cause scalding and burning
  • High operational cost

Which type of humidifier should you go for?

You may go for either of the two since they both have their seasons. Purchasing one of each type would not be a bad idea either. There is also the option of getting an ultrasonic humidifier that features a warm mist option. If you have children, the cool mist humidifier would be the best option due to the safety concerns of warm mist humidifiers.


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply