Warm vs Cool Mist Humidifier According to Reddit

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Humidifiers whether cool or warm are designed to increase the humidity levels in a room or house. Both humidifiers are effective in adding moisture to a room. So if you live in a dry place and you have a cool or warm humidifier, the humidifier will perform its primary role of moisture addition perfectly.

The main difference between a warm and cool humidifier is that warm humidifiers release warm-mist or moisture into the air while cool-mist humidifiers release cool or room-temperature mist. Warm-mist humidifiers have a heating element that heats the water in the humidifiers, which then turns to vaporized water before being released into the air. On the other hand, cool-mist humidifiers do not have a heating element and as such, the temperature of the mist released is similar to that of the room temperature.

If you are looking for a humidifier that you can use every season, a dual-mist or a cool-mist humidifier would be a great option for you because a cool-mist humidifier releases room temperature mist while a dual-mist or combined cool and warm-mist humidifier offers you the option of selecting cool or warm-mist.

Common questions that arise regarding cool-mist and warm-mist humidifiers relate to their effectiveness, when to use either the cool or warm-mist humidifier, possible risks of injuries or cold-related flu, and cases where using a warm-mist or cold-mist humidifier is not recommended.

Cool-mist and warm-mist humidifiers work differently. If you are wondering whether to use a cool or warm-mist humidifier, continue reading to learn about their differences.

In this post we will discuss:

Differences Between A Warm vs Cool Mist Humidifier According to Reddit

Warm-Mist HumidifierCool-Mist Humidifier
Has a heating elementLacks a heating element
Lacks an internal fanHas an internal fan
Releases evaporated water or steamReleases room-temperature mist
High risk of injury to children or petsLow risk of injury to children or pets
Consumes more electricityConsumes less electricity

Warm-Mist Humidifier


Warm-mist humidifiers release warm moisture. When using a warm-mist humidifier, you start by pouring cold water into the water tank of the humidifier and then turning on the humidifier. Warm-mist humidifiers have a heating element, which will heat the water until the water evaporates.

A simple way of thinking about a warm-mist humidifier is imagining placing a pot of water on your stove. If you heat the water for a long time, eventually you will end up with an empty pot. As the water heats, it also evaporates.

When boiling water on your stove, the evaporated water is released into the air and makes the air in the kitchen humid. Similarly, a warm-mist humidifier works by releasing evaporated water into the air around the humidifier.

When using a warm-mist humidifier, the mist released by the humidifier might make the air in your room slightly water, especially if you are using the humidifier in a small room or if you are using a large humidifier in a small space.

If you are using a small portable warm-mist humidifier in a large room, you will not notice the difference in the room temperature unless you place the humidifier close to your face or near you.

The main reason why warm-mist humidifiers do not have a major effect on your room temperature is based on the rate at which the warm-mist humidifier is released.

Since most portable humidifiers are way smaller compared to the size of the room where they are used, the mist released will not significantly impact the room temperature. As such, you can use a warm-mist humidifier during cold or warm weather seasons without worrying about major room temperature changes.


Although warm-mist humidifiers do not significantly impact on your room temperature, they are commonly used during the cold season to prevent or manage the flu. If you have a cold or flu, placing the humidifier near you will humidify and increase the room temperature near you.

However, placing the humidifier far from where you are when you have a cold will only increase the humidifier in the air but not necessarily provide you with the benefits of the warm-mist that you might be craving to fight the chills and symptoms of the cold.

Advantages of Warm-Mist Humidifiers

  • Since the humidifiers have a heating element, the water is heated to kill bacteria and all the microorganisms that might have been present in the water, thereby reducing the risks of releasing unwanted pathogens into the air.
  • They can be used with medicated products to relieve symptoms of coughs or the cold.
  • Since they do not have an internal fan, these humidifiers are quieter than the cool-mist ones.
  • A great option for cold seasons because of the warm-mist released.

Disadvantages of Warm-Mist Humidifiers

  • Warm-mist humidifiers consume electricity more than cold-mist humidifiers because of the heating component in the humidifier
  • They are not suitable for households with children or pets because of the risks of injuries.
  • Excessive use of warm-mist humidifiers near your face can aggravate symptoms of eczema because hot air can make the skin dry

Recommended Warm-Mist Humidifier

There are many portable warm-mist humidifiers on the market. These humidifiers are designed to be used in small spaces or rooms. While they can still be used in large rooms, the effects of the warm-mist released will be more pronounced if a person is sitting close to the humidifier.

An example of an excellent warm-mist humidifier that you can use for small to medium spaces is the Vicks warm-mist humidifier. This humidifier has a capacity of 1 gallon and can be used for 24 hours continuously.

It is a suitable option for cough, cold, or congestion relief, which makes it a suitable humidifier for cold seasons. You can add the VicksVapoSteam that contains camphor to suppress cough and relieve other cold-related symptoms.

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier: Buy Now on Amazon


  • Operation mode: vaporizer
  • Operation time: 24 hours
  • Capacity: 1 gallon
  • You can add Vicks VapoSteam to relieve cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion
  • It is quiet

Cool-Mist Humidifier

Cool-mist humidifiers are designed to release cold or room-temperature water in the form of a mist but they will not lower the temperature of your room. However, you will feel the coolness of the mist released if you place the humidifier close to your skin.

Unlike warm-mist humidifiers, these humidifiers do not rely on a heating element to heat and vaporize the water.

Most cool-mist humidifiers have a filter to filter dirt. The filter prevents the release of dirt particles into the air. They also use less electricity because the water in the humidifier is not heated.

Advantages of Cool-Mist Humidifier

  • Release cool-mist that can help you feel refreshed during warm seasons
  • Child and pet friendly because of low risks of injury
  • Great for moisturizing your skin
  • Low likelihood of skin irritation
  • Easy to clean as most of them have a filter
  • Can relieve cough and congestion symptoms

Disadvantages of Cool-Mist Humidifier

  • Since the water is not heated, it can accumulate bacteria easily if not cleaned
  • Not a great option if you want to enjoy both cool and warm mist

Recommended Cool-Mist Humidifier

An example of a reliable cool-mist humidifier recommended by our experts is the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool-mist Humidifier. This humidifier is a great option for both small and large rooms as it has a capacity of 6 liters.

Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier: Buy on Amazon


  • Operation time: 50 hours
  • Capacity 6 liters (1.6 gallons)
  • Comes with an essential oil diffuser tray
  • Does not have a filter
  • It is quiet
  • Relies on ultrasonic technology to limit noise production
  • Area coverage: 500 square feet
  • Comes with a 2-year replacement warranty
  • Easy to assemble and use

Combined Warm and Cool-Mist Humidifiers

These humidifiers are also referred to as dual mist or combined mist humidifiers. You can choose to rely on the cool or warm-mist setting depending on your needs.

If you are looking for a humidifier that you can use any time regardless of the season, then a cool and warm-mist humidifier might be the best option for you. A cool and warm-mist humidifier releases either cool or warm-mist depending on its settings.

Recommended Dual-Mist Humidifier

The LEVOIT humidifier is a great option if you are looking for a cool and warm-mist humidifier. The humidifier can be used in both small and large rooms and is a great option for someone who wants to reap the benefits of both a cool and warm-mist humidifier.

LEVOIT smart humidifier: Buy on Amazon


  • Capacity: 6 liters
  • Can release either cool or warm-mist
  • A good option for plants
  • Has a timer
  • Modes of operation: sleep mode
  • Can be used with essential oils
  • It is relatively quiet
  • Area coverage: 753 square feet
  • Easy maintenance
  • Smart controls (Amazon Alexa, VeSync App, Google Assistant)
  • Comes with a cleaning brush
  • BPA free

Tip: After turning the warm-mist setting on, ensure that the humidifier is not placed close to children or pets because of the risk of injury.


Regardless of the type of humidifier that you use in your home, ensure that you keep your humidifier clean to avoid the build-up of dirt and minerals in the humidifier. If you have dry skin or eczema, a cool-mist would be a better option for you as warm-mist can cause skin irritation.


Warm VS Cool Mist Humidifier for Asthma

Whether you use a warm or cool-mist humidifier in your home, the temperature of the humidified air will be the same by the time it reaches your lower airway.

However, a warm-mist humidifier is a better option for asthma because the water is heated before being released into the air, which ensures that harmful microbes in the water are destroyed.

If you have asthma and you opt to use a cool-mist humidifier, ensure that you clean the humidifier carefully and frequently to avoid the build-up of harmful microorganisms that could aggravate your symptoms

Warm or Cool Mist Humidifier for Cough

Both warm and cool-mist humidifiers can help to relieve cough because they will hydrate your throat and respiratory system, which will reduce the dryness and irritation associated with cough.

Cool or Warm Humidifier for Allergies

If you have allergies, a cool-mist humidifier could be a better option for you as long as you use distilled water in the humidifier. Using tap water can expose you to microbes that might worsen your allergies.

Similarly using a warm-mist humidifier can worsen skin irritation, especially if you place the humidifier very close to yourself.

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The author is a blogger, interior design and home improvement enthusiast, and researcher, with a passion for helping people improve their homes by creating a calming and beautiful environment. Check out the about author page to learn more about her work