What Does a Cool Mist Humidifier Do: Complete Guide

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Air humidifiers are helpful for keeping your home clean and pure, and for keeping your family healthy. Cool mist humidifiers have different benefits compared to warm mist humidifiers, so it’s important to know which one is right for you. What does a cool mist humidifier do?

What Does a Cool Mist Humidifier Do?

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So, what’s the difference between cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers? While both types help with keeping your home free of bacteria, they each have their different uses. Cool mist humidifiers emit chilly, soothing mists throughout your home to keep the air clean. Purifying the air with humidity can help with health issues that come along with dry air, such as sinus problems, asthma, bloody noses, sore throats, cracked skin, and colds. They’re great for using during warmer months to keep your home cool and comfortable.

Though warm mist humidifiers have their uses, cool mist humidifiers are safer to keep around the house. With a cool mist humidifier, you don’t have to worry about your kids or pets (or you!) dealing with any burn accidents from a warm mist humidifier’s boiling water. Cool mist humidifiers have many other bonuses. Let’s go over how humidifiers work, the differences between cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers, and the full benefits cool mist humidifiers offer.

How Do Humidifiers Work?

When researching “what does a cool mist humidifier do,” you will find that invisible mists add more moisture into the air, boosting the humidity levels. The device filters its internal water into the air as those mists. Ultrasonic humidifiers use a vibrating diaphragm to create and release water droplets into the air. Evaporative humidifiers take warm air already in a room, evaporating the water inside of the device. Cold mist humidifiers can either be ultrasonic or evaporative.

Warm mist humidifiers release mists of boiled water into the air through their internal heating devices. Cold mist humidifiers release room-temperature mists into the air instead, helping to drop the overall temperature by a few degrees. Whichever type of humidifier you choose, you are adding much-needed humidity into the air to combat the effects of dry air.


When researching “what does a cool mist humidifier do,” you will find that you need to refill your humidifier’s water over time. How often you need to refill it depends on how long you keep your humidifier on for. Also, depending on the model, you may not have to refill the water even if you keep the device on all throughout the day and night. Before you make an investment into a humidifier, be sure to check the device’s features and capabilities. These will vary depending on the price, size, and type of humidifier.

If you plan on using hard water with your device, make sure that your humidifier comes packaged with a mineral filter. Should your humidifier release these minerals into the air, they will harden as white dust. This white dust can cause respiratory problems or make your existing respiratory issues worse. If your humidifier does not have a filter, then use distilled water instead, which is mineral-free.

Cleaning and Upkeep

Whether using a warm mist humidifier or a cold mist humidifier, it’s important to keep your device clean. Use a soft cleanser or brush to keep your humidifier’s water tank free of minerals and bacteria. Rinsing and wiping down the rest of the components down will help the rest of your humidifier stay clean. It’s good practice to do this every few days, especially if you keep your humidifier on often. You don’t want to breathe in any unwanted items from a poorly maintained humidifier, including white dust.

Power and Electricity

Energy usage with humidifiers will vary depending on several factors. Warm mist humidifiers will use more electricity than cold mist humidifiers, for example. With cold mist humidifiers, you can save even more electricity by keeping them on infrequently. You can also invest in a humidifier with a timer. This way, you can specify how long the humidifier will stay on, and set the humidifier to turn off automatically after the set time. This can help a lot if you’re forgetful and go long periods without turning your humidifier off.

Warm Mist Humidifiers vs Cold Mist Humidifiers

When considering the question “what does a cool mist humidifier do” you will certainly come across both warm and cold mist humidifiers. What are the differences between the two? Why would you choose a cold mist humidifier over a warm mist humidifier? Both options have their own strengths and weaknesses.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Because of their heating process, warm mist humidifiers are effective at killing bacteria and mold within the humidifier’s water, which prevents the bacteria from releasing into the air. The mist is also more effective at keeping smaller areas and rooms heated, as it can be difficult for the heat to spread out across larger locations. Warm mist humidifiers are quieter than cold mist humidifiers, as they lack the internal fans that cold mist humidifiers have.

However, warm mist humidifiers are more expensive than cold mist humidifiers. Cleaning them can be troublesome, as the boiling process leaves behind minerals that must you must remove. Having boiling water sitting around in a room is risky.

Cold Mist Humidifiers

These release chilled mists instead, created from internal devices that absorb water from the air. The internal fan releases the mist into the environment. Cold mist humidifiers use less electricity than their warm mist counterparts, as a warm mist humidifier needs the electricity to keep the water heated.

You can get away with using a cold mist humidifier for larger rooms, as their effects will reach across bigger areas. These are safer and more popular than warm mist humidifiers, since they are cheaper, and there’s no risk of any accidents with boiling water. You also need not clean cold mist humidifiers as much as warm mist humidifiers, as these don’t have unwanted minerals building within the water.

However, because cold mist humidifiers use fans, they are usually louder than warm mist humidifiers. Just how loud they are depends on the specific humidifier. If the humidifier makes your home feel too cold, you will need to adjust the humidifier or turn it off. Unfortunately, the cold mist might create mold on the walls. Be sure to make occasional checks around your home for any mold that may appear.

Health, Sleep, and Comfort Benefits of Cold Mist Humidifiers

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Once winter rolls around, the cold and flu season can make for a terrible time for your family. If even one of your children comes home sick from school, everyone else will end up catching what they have. Cool mist humidifier can help with coughs, sneezing, sore throats, bloody noses, cracked lips, and more. Dry air makes these health problems worse. Keeping a humidifier handy is an excellent way to fight off those pesky asthma and sinus issues.


When researching “what does a cool mist humidifier do,” you will find that having a humidifier on, especially a cold mist humidifier, can help you sleep better, too. The cool mist will keep your body temperature low, helping you to stay asleep for longer periods throughout the night. Also, some people sleep better with white noise in the background. If you keep a fan on while sleeping, you can replace your fan with a cold mist humidifier instead. If you’re willing to stay on top of a humidifier’s upkeep, this can be a solid alternative to having a fan on.

Cold mist humidifiers are great for preventing snoring. If your partner has a snoring problem, consider getting a cold mist humidifier to help with the problem. Just as the cold mist helps with respiratory illnesses, the humidifier will assist with their breathing during sleep. Make sure you point the humidifier’s nozzle in your partner’s direction, as this helps to funnel most of the cold mist directly to them.

You can find some humidifiers with night lights on them. If your children are afraid to sleep in the dark, consider getting a cold mist humidifier that lights up. Some have dedicated night lights on them, while others have tanks that can light up when the humidifier is powered on. These can be fun, two-in-one packages to help your children sleep better while keeping them healthy.


When asking “what does a cool mist humidifier do,” you will certainly find that cold mist humidifiers are also invaluable during warmer months. If you don’t have the space for an air conditioner, or if your electric bills are too costly with the air on, a cold mist humidifier is an amazing investment. You can keep the humidifier going to cool the house down. Many humidifiers are portable, so if the whole family is in the living room for a movie night, bring the cold mist humidifier with you for maximum comfort.

Home Benefits of Cold Mist Humidifiers

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Finally, cold mist humidifiers are great for your home’s health, too. Dry air works against your plants, your walls, and your belongings. Use a cold mist humidifier to keep your wooden furniture in shape. Dry air can cause the wood to crack or lose its luster. The cold mist can help keep your plants happy and healthy, as they enjoy the added water and humidity in the air. Just about every single one of your prized possessions at home will be better off, too.

When researching “what does a cool mist humidifier do,” you will find that the bonuses from having a cold mist humidifier are nearly endless. Your home and your health will be better off with the added humidity and cold mist keeping unwanted dry air to a minimum.


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