Warm or Cool Mist Humidifier for Baby?

Humidifiers are an essential item in the upbringing of a baby. Most parents might not be aware of this and hence they would be forgiven if they did not prioritize the purchase of this special device when shopping for the rest of their baby gear. They have a lot of functions and benefits that they present both the parent and mostly the baby which is why they should features proficiently in any nursery space.

The greatest gift that humidifiers have to offer is the fact that they present the baby with an environment that is comfortable for them and one that allows them to thrive and grow. They also help to open up the nasal openings and make it easier for the baby to breath which is why they are a must have.

The benefits of a humidifier go far and beyond comfort. They also have far reaching benefits for the baby that include preventing the baby’s skin from drying up as well as easing symptoms that are associated with cough and flu. Research has also shows that they help in reducing the viral load and bacteria thriving in any room. The end result is, you’re able to get a healthier and happier baby that falls ill less often. Needless to mention, these benefits trickle down to you as the parent and present you with more peace of mind, reduced medical expenses and more quality time with your baby.

Seeing how important having a humidifier is, most parents have embraced the devices and more so for children. Which is a great idea but they have to ensure that they make a well informed purchase which is where the headache starts. Usually, there are plenty of designs and makes and this can be confusing. While a pediatrician can easily tell you which is the best make and model to buy, there is one area where they have faltered greatly and in most instances contradicted themselves making it impossible for parents to get a clear headway on the best avenue to take.

When in the market for a humidifier, you will notice that it specifies that certain models are cool mist humidifiers and others are warm mist humidifier. Before jumping on the technicalities and ripping the topic apart to find out which would be better for your baby, you first have to understand the two terms

 What is the difference?

The meaning of each of the names is straightforward as the name suggest. For the cool mist humidifiers, they spray a mist of cold water into the atmosphere from time to time. Their warm counter parts have a heating element that allows them to heat the water into a vapor that is then released into the room. It is that simple. The difference is one uses cold water, the other boils it up before release.

Which is best?

Each of the humidifiers have their own benefits and downsides and choosing the best for your baby might come down to what you think is best. However, it is critical that you consider both sides of the coin before you go ahead and settle on either of the two.

Cool mist humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers are perhaps the most common for the obvious reason that they are more affordable. They do not have any complex mechanisms and as a result, they tend to be more affordable. This is the first benefit of cool mist humidifiers as well.

The fact that they do not have any heating elements means that they do not expose the baby to any eminent dangers that would be caused by them getting too close to the steam which could cause scalding or the heating element that usually does not have any safety features that would prevent the baby from being burnt. There is no doubt that the heating element is the greatest concern that any parent has over their child when considering a warm mist humidifier.

If you live in an area that tends to have more than average temperatures, a cool mist humidifier would be a great way to bring down the temperatures without involving the air conditioner. Because they pump cold water into the atmosphere, they also tend to cool the surrounding and make it more comfortable for the baby if the temperatures prove to be too hot.

If the humidifier is in proximity to the crib or the babies sleeping area (which is not advised) a cool mist humidifier should be more preferred, they are less noisy and present the child with a better chance at getting some rest without being woken up by the rattling of boiling water. This is more so the case if you opt for the cool mist ultrasonic humidifiers.

There is no heating of water and hence, there is little energy that is required to run a cool mist humidifier. They are much easier to maintain and clean and hence offer parents that work on a tight budget the comfort and luxury at a fraction of the price.

However, cool mist humidifiers are not as efficient in eliminating virus and bacteria and in cold areas, they could cause more harm than damage.

Warm Mist humidifiers

On the other hand, there are the warm mist humidifiers. These are a great option for a number of reasons. For the fact that they release warm air into the atmosphere, they help the baby regulate their body temperature easily and prevent loss of water.

The warm moisture has also been found to be more effective in helping reduce nasal congestions and opening up the airways making it easier for the child to breathe even when they are suffering from a cold and cough.

There is also the fact that warm mist humidifiers are more efficient at providing a more sterile environment since they are more efficient in killing bacteria and virus that might harm the baby. Hence, the baby is less likely to fall ill.

However, not only is this range of humidifiers noisier, it also presents the risk of burning or scalding the child and, they typically consume more power.


Each of the humidifiers have their ups and downs and before you settle on any particular purchase, it is critical to makes sure you consider your situation and figure which would work best for you. However, if you would find a way of using the warm humidifiers safely out of the reach of the baby, I would recommend those since they have a better effect but if not, the added advantages are not really worth the well being of your baby.