More threads by momof5


Anyone have a clue which is better?

IMO the humidifier puts humidity into the air, which causes breathign problems for me.

Reason I ask is hubbie had a bloody nose, and up to er twice this week, it has been a very long week for me.

Now he has the humidifier which is runing constantly and my breathing isn't doing well.

What to do???


Re: cool mist humidifier vs cool mist vaporizers

I've never tried either.

I'm not sure whether its the same idea, but when I was a child, I had a vaporiser with a candle and some oil I think going in my room every night because of my chronic sinus problems. It didn't help much. Sorry I can't be of help.



Does this help mmof5?

You ask an excellent question which has a relatively simple answer. Cool-mist humidifiers and steam vaporizers are equally effective in humidifying the air and supplying the symptomatic relief humidified air can give to the child who has significant nasal congestion. However, there are certain drawbacks to each of these methods which need to be considered before investing in any particular humidifier.

Cool-Mist Humidifier

These machines work by making water vapor through a rapidly turning disk within the water of the humidifier. Because the vapor from the machine is not heated, there is no risk of burning the child should the water spill or she places her face close to where the vapor escapes. The biggest drawback to cool-mist humidifiers is that the cool water can be an excellent breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Therefore, it is very important (and somewhat bothersome) to follow the manufacturer's instructions concerning cleaning which usually includes cleansing the tank on a daily basis with soap and water. In addition, these machines are quite efficient at dispersing the minerals within tap water which can cause health problems themselves. So, distilled water should be used in cool-mist humidifiers.

Steam Vaporizer

These devices are less likely to have a lot of mold and bacterial growth, but the risk of burn can be significant. Vapor is made in these machines by using a heating element to cause steam. This method does not cause minerals to be dispersed in the air. So, tap water can often be used with these devices making them much less expensive to operate. However, because of the very high temperature of the water, these should not be used for younger children.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

These machines cause vapor by creating ultrasonic vibrations within the water. These were originally thought to be better because it was felt the risk of dispersing bacteria, molds, and minerals was minimal. However, this has not always been found to be the case. The safety of these devices is certainly better than the steam vaporizers, and they do tend to disperse much less bacteria and mold than the cool-mist humidifiers. However, they are quite efficient at sending minerals into the air, so distilled water must be used with these as well.

With the burn risk to your younger child, I would absolutely steer clear of the steam humidifiers. And your decision about whether to purchase an ultrasonic or regular cool-mist humidifier ought to be based on cost and how difficult cleaning is going to be since they will need this maintenance daily. Finally, a word of caution about humidifiers in general. While these appliances can often give nice relief to a child who is stopped up from a cold, the humidity in the air can allow for mold growth within the carpeting or other areas of the house. For children with asthma, this increased exposure to mold can often actually make matters worse. So, if your child has asthma or other chronic respiratory difficulties, I would consult your pediatrician before spending the money on a humidifier.

Daniel E.
Related note/update:

Ideally, humidity in your home should be between 30% and 50%. Humidity that's too low or too high can cause problems.
  • Low humidity can cause dry skin, irritate your nasal passages and throat, and make your eyes itchy.

  • High humidity can make your home feel stuffy and can cause condensation on walls, floors and other surfaces. Condensation can trigger the growth of harmful bacteria, dust mites and molds. These allergens can cause respiratory problems and trigger allergy and asthma flare-ups.
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Daniel E.

Common indoor allergens include dust mites, mold, and pet dander, and they can prompt a host of symptoms, from a runny nose and sneezing to a sore throat and itchy eyes. While these indoor allergens are present year-round, allergies can flare up in the winter because you're cooped up in the house with the windows closed. Your home's furnace may also be circulating these substances through the air once the heat kicks on.

There are some things you can do to cut down on allergy triggers. First, change the filter on your home's furnace regularly. A properly functioning filter can trap allergens, reducing your exposure. Also try to keep your house clean. Vacuum often, preferably with a device that has a HEPA filter, to contain the allergens as you clear them away. Wall-to-wall carpeting can harbor allergy-inducing debris, so if it's in the budget, change to hard-surface flooring. In addition, try to reduce humidity and moisture inside the house, because they can foster mold growth. Ensure that bathroom fans are working to clear steam, and set up dehumidifiers in damp areas of your home, like the basement. Improve bedroom air quality by investing in dust-reducing covers for pillows and mattresses, and launder bedding often, preferably at least once a week.
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