Monday, September 15, 2014

Baby Safety Month - Humidifier or Vaporizer?

It's baby safety month and I've joined in with some awesome bloggers to share some some baby safety tips.

I've decided to write and share about the choices, pros and cons of using humidifiers and/or vaporizers.

If you were to Google which to use cool mist humidifier or warm mist vaporizer a ton of results would turn up.  Their are so many opinions on this that it can be mind boggling for parents of babies and young children. I am hoping I can shed some light on this topic by sharing what I have learned through my research and also through my personal experience.

Cool Mist Humidifer - adds moisture to the air but does not use a heating element.  It is simply cool air that is released that helps when a child has a cough and congestion.

Vaporizier - also adds moisture but uses a heating element that boils the water as it releases steam into the air.  Also helps a child with a cough or congestion.

Difference between the 2 - One releases cool air while the other releases steam but ultimately they both do the same job which is to help relieve a child's discomfort from a cold/cough.

Some parents might wonder which is safer for their child?  For me personally, I use a cool mist humidifier.  My main reason for not using a warm mist vaporizer is due to the heat involved.  My concern is that my children who are 8 and 4 could wander over to the vaporizer in the night, get curious about it and have the potential of getting burned.  Now, if you have a baby who is still in a crib and cannot walk or get to the vaporizer than a vaporizer could be an option for you.

Their are many more questions like how much humidity should their be in your child's room or which is better distilled water or tap and how to properly clean the unit.  This is what I meant when I said it can be mind boggling to decide which kind of humidifier to use.

I want others to walk away from this post with a better understanding of these 2 units but I don't want you to walk away more confused either.  So in a nutshell here's my final thoughts:

Both a cool mist humidifier and warm mist vaporizer both do the same job.  They release moisture into the air to help with cough and congestion.  So, do you prefer warm air vs cool?

Maintenance should be considered also.  Both units need to be cleaned thoroughly and daily.  In my opinion, neither is easier to clean they both need proper attention to cleaning so that what is released will not put bacteria and other bad particles into the air.

Where will the unit  live?  Will you put it on a dresser or the floor?  If your child(ren) absolutely cannot get to it maybe you could use a warm mist vaporizer but if you have to put it in a place where your child can access it you may opt for the cool mist humidifier.  I use a small child's table to put our humidifier on which makes it accessible to them, hence one of the reasons we use the cool mist.

As with most decisions, this is a personal choice depending on the needs of your child, where you will be putting it and cost is also a factor.  Vaporizers seem to cost more due to the heating element so if you are looking to save a few dollars a cool mist humidifier might save you a few dollars.

I hope this post will help parents when deciding on which unit to use for their children.

Links that might be helpful:
Baby Center
Dr. Sears

Please visit these other bloggers to read more about baby safety:

True Agape

Munchkins and The Military

Ramblings of a Marine Wife

This Ole Mom

Krafts & Kiddos


  1. Thanks for teaming up with us today to bring safety tips! I have actually wondered about the difference! I was once told depending on the weather depended which you would use.

    1. Thanks for asking me to join in! I hope it has helped you and others in some way....

  2. Replies
    1. it's also nice when the child has a fever to help cool things down a bit and make them more comfortable.

  3. I currently use the cool mist one. We use to use a heated one but after talking to our doctor who informed us of mildew and mold from them being heated we changed. Never seen the stuff grow but just didn't want to risk it.

    1. We use cool too for the kids. Hubby and I use the steam but it's only on rare occasion for us. The kids use them more frequently.

  4. We use the cool mist too. Thanks for sharing this with us at the Teach Me Tuesday Linky Party!