Humidifiers and vaporizers are both helpful for adding moisture into the air. This can be especially useful during colder seasons when the air is drier, so you can protect your nasal passages from the indoor air. The difference between the two devices is the way they provide moisture into the dry air.
Both types of devices are good for helping with the common cold or sinus congestion. However, if you struggle with allergies, you might be wondering which product will benefit you more.
In this article, we’ll talk about what separates a vaporizer from a humidifier and the benefits of each. That way you can decide for yourself which one is best for your needs.
What Does A Humidifier Do?
When you cool or heat your home, it can reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Air conditioners and heaters can make the air a lot drier than usual. This means that for a large portion of the year, depending on where you live, the air will be uncomfortably dry.
Humidifiers create water vapor or steam and put it out into the air to raise the level of humidity. The ideal amount of humidity in the air is between 30-50%. When there is too much humidity, it can cause just as many problems as not enough humidity.
There are many types of humidifiers, but the main purpose of each one is to emit water vapor into a space. This humidifying has a variety of benefits for your body and breathing, which we’ll get into later on.
What Does A Vaporizer Do?
Vaporizers do the same thing as humidifiers but in a different way. They usually use electric power and a heating element to heat the water inside of them to create steam. Steam vaporizers tend to be more hygienic than humidifiers because the water becomes sanitized at such a high temperature, as it's usually boiling water. This means fewer bacteria will reach you and your family when inhaled.
However, if you’re regularly cleaning your humidifier, this won’t really be an issue.
Benefits Of A Humidifier
There are many benefits to having a humidifier in your home. One of them is reducing the number of airborne bacteria. Humidification also works excellently to improve asthma and other breathing problems. like nasal congestion and sore throat. They can also help with dry skin and sinus problems during a cold or flu.
Humidifiers can also be great for symptoms of indoor allergies.
Humidifiers can help hydrate your nasal and throat passages, reducing the discomfort you feel due to different types of allergies. They can also help your lungs to feel unrestricted and breathe easier.
Another benefit of humidifiers is helping with nosebleeds. Oftentimes, nosebleeds are caused by the air being too dry. The membranes in your nose are extremely sensitive to relative humidity levels.
Humidifiers can also help decrease snoring due to dryness in the air. Adding more moist air can reduce the irritation in your throat and mouth, making it easier to breathe quietly while you sleep.
Running a humidifier can decrease your chances of getting airborne illnesses. Viruses have a difficult time surviving in humidity above 40%.
Benefits Of A Vaporizer
The benefits of a vaporizer are very similar to those of a humidifier. The main difference is how each device delivers these benefits to you and your loved ones.
A vaporizer may be a better option for you if you have indoor allergens. The water vapor created by vaporizers tends to have fewer contaminants than a humidifier.
Vaporizers can be helpful in baby nurseries to help prevent infants from getting sick.
Vaporizers are also useful for allergies and asthma because they can open up your airways. They help to reduce congestion in your nose and throat, making it easier to breathe.
You should always be careful when using a vaporizer or warm mist humidifier because they use such hot steam. If one were to spill, it could be dangerous for children or pets.
Types of Humidifiers
There are a few different types of humidifiers that you can buy.
- A central humidifier is a kind that would be installed into your home’s air system. These kinds are usually pretty expensive and call for a lot of upkeep.
- An evaporative humidifier uses a wick and a fan to produce mist into the air. This can help capture pollutants and minerals that are in the air.
- An ultrasonic humidifier uses cool mist to add moisture to the air. The Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier is ultrasonic and is extremely quiet. It has a capacity of six liters and can work up to 500 square feet away.
- An impeller humidifier uses a spinning disc for adding mist to the air. The disc is propelled in the water using a diffuser.
If you are looking for a humidifier to help with a specific need like allergies, consult with your doctor to find out which type is best for you to use.
Types of Vaporizers
Unlike humidifiers, vaporizers can have additives in them to enhance the effects of the device.
For example, you can add essential oils or inhalants to a vaporizer because of the way that they work.
The heat allows the additives to safely be incorporated in the mist that is created. Vaporizers are also often quieter than humidifiers and do not require a filter to be changed.
The Cleaning Process
It is important to keep both a vaporizer and a humidifier clean. You don’t want either one to develop bacteria buildup of mineral deposits.
You should use treated water to clean these devices. This will ensure the least amount of contaminants enter into the product. You can use purified or distilled water to clean the system as well. For a humidifier, you should clean it every day by emptying the tank and refilling with fresh, clean water.
You’ll want to clean the humidifier every three to four days with mild dish soap. Make sure you also follow the manufacturer guide to ensure proper care. You’ll also have to replace the filters that go inside of the humidifiers.
For vaporizers, you should also care for them daily by emptying the water. You can clean a vaporizer weekly with white vinegar. You can also use a mild detergent to clean off any residue.
Every humidifier and vaporizer is built slightly different, so you should make sure that you read the manual so that you can clean it properly.
Humidifiers have a few more safety concerns to worry about because of the chances of mold or minerals that can grow inside of them. Since the water is not boiled before entering the air, it is not as clean. This is why you should clean a humidifier more often than a vaporizer.
Humidity In Your Body
Moisture in the body is very important to keep you healthy and at your best. Your mucus membranes need moisture so that they can properly trap bacteria from getting inside your body. If this bacteria does get inside you, it increases your risk of infection and disease. This means you are more likely to contract pneumonia, coronavirus, and other illnesses.
Your hair and skin also need moisture to stay healthy. Without moisture, your hair can break more easily, and your skin can crack.
Another part of the body that requires moisture is your eyes. Especially if you wear contacts, the humidity of the air is very important. When your eyes become overly dry, it can cause corneal abrasions and other vision-impairing infections.
It has also been shown that low humidity can affect your focus. When your body does not have enough moisture, it can strain your body, which can distract you from performing everyday tasks.
So Which One Is Better For Allergies?
As mentioned before, if you have indoor-born allergies, humidity can increase that and may not be as helpful to you. If you want a device for allergies, make sure you talk to your doctor first.
However, you should consider measuring the humidity in your house before adding extra moisture to the air. Since vaporizers do not carry as many contaminants in them, this may be the better option for relieving allergy symptoms.
If you want a specific type of humidifier or vaporizer, talk to an allergist or immunologist. The last thing you want to do is make your allergies even worse unintentionally.
If you are mostly looking to help relieve cold and flu symptoms, both of these devices help an equal amount typically. The process may be different, but the results are very similar.
Both a humidifier and a vaporizer can add moisture to any space that needs it. Which one you decide on getting should depend on the needs of your family and your home environment. Consider the benefits of each that we mentioned and then make a final decision.
Make sure you properly clean each product to make sure that no bacteria or mold growth inside the devices. Vaporizers and humidifiers are a great and cost-effective way to relieve nasal dryness and congestion.