Should I buy a Humidifier or a Vaporizer?
I get asked this question a lot, especially during Cough & Cold Season.
You fill both machines with water, and they ultimately do the same thing, which is put moisture in the air. A humidifier sprays a cool mist into the air. A vaporizer heats the water and releases warm vapor into the air. The added moisture in the air helps loosen nasal and chest congestion and other cold or respiratory symptoms.
My recommendation is to buy a humidifier, especially if you have young children in the house. Some vaporizers allow you to add medicine that claim to help with congestion. Although the idea of warm vapors and medicated water appeals to us as Moms trying to take care of our little ones, studies have shown that warm vapors do not actually help loosen congestion any more than a cool mist.
I recommend filling your humidifier with distilled water to prevent unwanted minerals and particles to be dispersed into the air. Make sure you regularly clean your humidifier and replace the filter, following the manufacturers instructions.
The main benefit from either a humidifier or vaporizer is from the moisture they add to the air, not the heat or vaporized medicine. There is no significant advantage of having warm vapor vs. cool mist – but there is the added danger that the vaporizer’s heating element might burn curious young children.