So what’s actually the difference in the ever-debated humidifier vs vaporizer conversation? Which should you opt to purchase for yourself, and what are the big differences between the two?
Humidity is incredibly important, all homes should be between 30 and 60% humidity all year round. Humidity levels of 30% and lower can cause many problems, like dry skin, dry/brittle hair, irritated nasal passages, increased static electricity, and nosebleeds.
In order to get your home to stay above 30% (or higher), you may need to purchase a humidifier or vaporizer.
How They Work
Both humidifiers and vaporizers are made to add moisture into the air. The key difference is how they add that moisture.
- A humidifier or cool-mist humidifier adds moisture into the air by using a fan or disc that rapidly turns inside the machine, breaking up the water into tiny molecules. There is no heating element, but the fan makes the humidity that it gives off seem cool instead of room temperature. However, there are many different types of humidifiers and many use different systems, so it really depends on which one you purchase.
- A vaporizer or warm-mist humidifier uses electricity and a heating element in order to cause the water to turn into steam. The water cools down some before it exits the machine, enters the air, and is inhaled by the body. Warm-mist humidifiers are great because you can add other elements into the water, like Vicks Soothing Vapors or essential oils.
How They’re Cleaned
The cleaning methods are pretty similar for both machines, but cool-mist humidifiers are much more likely to have mineral buildup and mold. Because warm-mist humidifiers use a heating element, there isn’t much leftover water that can cause this buildup.
In general, you should clean your humidifier or vaporizer daily, weekly, and before storing it away for future use.
- Daily cleaning is quick and should be done whenever you refill the container or turn off the machine. Empty the tank and clean all surfaces before refilling it.
- Weekly cleaning should involve scrubbing all surfaces with mild dish soap and then rinsing and making the unit is dry before using it again. For a vaporizer, use a white vinegar solution to clean your unit.
- Before storing away, make sure that all parts are clean and dry. If there’s a filter, removing the filer and throw it away.
How Much They Cost
A cool-mist humidifier will likely cost you about 20-50 dollars depending on where you purchase it from. There are much more expensive options, especially if you’re looking to humidify your entire house.
There are also a lot of different features such as timers, LED lights, and noise control that may make your humidifier more expensive.
On the flip side, steam vaporizers are much less expensive. Top-rated models only cost between 15 and 30 dollars.
If your budget plays a part in your decision, you should go with a steam vaporizer, as you can get a much higher quality unit for a much lower price.
Which One Should I Get?
The humidifier that you get depends on your personal preferences, along with what you’re going to use it for. If you’re looking to take care of symptoms associated with a cold, like a dry and congested nose or a sinus infection, you should go with a steam vaporizer.
If you’re looking to add humidity to a large space, or you want to increase the humidity in order to heal dry/cracked skin, brittle hair, and your inability to sleep well at night, a cool-mist humidifier is the right choice.
Both offer great benefits at a cheap price, so you can’t go wrong with either.