Is warm or cool mist humidifier better for sinuses? We answer

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Experts generally concur that humidifiers can ease nasal congestion because they elevate the level of moisture in the air you breathe which helps thin the mucus making it flow out of the nasal passages more easily.

But many folks suffering from sinus problems are unable to choose between warm and cool mist humidifiers and sometimes end up spending money on the wrong type of humidifier.

That is where this educational guide comes in.

In short, we’re answering the increasingly common question is warm or cool mist humidifier better for sinuses?

Read on to discover what type of humidifier is best for sinus problems, according to research.


Is warm or cool mist humidifier better for sinuses?

Just a quick recap first on how each type of humidifier functions for the benefit of beginners…

  1. Cold-mist humidifier- these disperse a cool stream of mist throughout your space, enhancing the environment’s humidity but not the temperature. The room even feels a tad cooler.
  2. Warm-mist humidifier- Warm-mist humidifiers release noticeably warm vapor into the air. Just like their cool mist counterparts, the mist being emitted lifts the room’s humidity. The difference is, this time, the room temperature will also crank up, though not extremely.

The thing is, while both types help a lot with humidity and keep most pesky cold-weather problems such as dry skin, nose bleeds, increased static electricity, etc. away, they don’t have the same effect on your sinuses.

So, why is this?

Let’s look at how each works to get a clear idea of the differences in performance when it comes to easing your sinuses.

Facts about warm-mist humidifier

To produce warm mist, water is boiled in the humidifier tank using a heating element and released to the environment.

You may come across some models that are fitted with filters to sieve any minerals that are in the water, preventing them from being emitted with the steam.

This mode of operation is good in some ways.

For example, if you live in a place where the cold weather is typically very harsh, the extra warmth will make your life easier.

Additionally, warm mist humidifiers are better at eliminating bacteria and germs because they kill most of them with steam.

But are they helpful for acute sinusitis and congestion?

You’ll get the answer below.

Does warm-mist humidifier solve your sinus issues?

A disadvantage of warm-mist humidifiers is that there is no evidence, so far, that the warm mist can relax chronic sinus pain.

Some research has actually found that these humidifiers haven’t been helpful for serious cold symptoms either.

But all is not lost: You may opt to buy a warm-mist humidifier that has a reservoir where you can put essential oils such as peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemon among others.

These essential oils could help you breathe better and decongest your sinuses.

Some models also feature medicine cups where you add sinus medicine.

More research is, however, still needed in this area.

Tip: You need to take extra care since the hot water in the warm mist humidifier tank can cause serious burns in case the humidifier falls over or leaks.

Time now to see how cool mist humidifiers work and if they’re the perfect antidote to the issue of sinus pain….

Facts about cool-mist humidifier

Cool mist humidifiers add moisture to the air in various ways.

It all boils down to the type.

Here are the three dominant types of cool-mist humidifiers and how each brings the much-needed moisturization to the air.

  1. Ultrasonic humidifiers – they use high-frequency vibrations to produce mist.
  2. Evaporative humidifiers – they use a filter and a fan to emit water vapor into the air.
  3. Impeller humidifier- uses high speed rotating disks to expel water droplets into your space.


Does cool mist humidifier help sinuses?

Here is the most important thing to note:

Generally speaking, cold mist humidifiers seem to be much more effective for congested sinuses and cold symptoms and may relieve that stuffed-up feeling.

Some medical professionals also endorse them for stubborn colds and other respiratory infections.

Again, you can add inhalants to a couple of cool mist humidifier models to further alleviate your condition.

The other thing you cannot overlook is that cool-mist humidifiers are safe to use even for babies since there is no boiling water to scald them.

On the downside, these humidifiers- especially those equipped with rotating fans – are known to produce some noise that might disrupt your sleep.

The good thing is that ultrasonic models are, on the whole, quieter and could be a solution.


The best humidifier for sinus congestion – what else you should know

Sure, we have already agreed that the answer to the question is warm or cool mist humidifier better for sinuses is cool mist humidifier.

However, there are a few things you must keep in mind even as you consider investing in a humidifier to combat your persistent sinusitis.

· Consult first

If you suffer conditions such as allergies and asthma, speak to your doctor prior to using a humidifier.

You don’t want to worsen your symptoms by making a hasty decision.

· Be wary of too much moisture in the air

Excessive moisture may breed some mold and fungi inside your house, which may further worsen your sinus issues.

For this reason, try to maintain optimum relative humidity levels (about 30-50%) even as you battle your sinusitis symptoms.

A hygrometer to measure room temperature and the relative humidity (RH) could be handy here.


· Clean your humidifier

Also, follow the manufacturer’s instructions about cleaning your humidifier.

Neglect this task, and you’ll have tons of harmful microorganisms growing in there and making you sicker.

·  Some humidifiers come with both cool and warm mist capabilities

If you are looking at the bigger picture, it would be wise to select one of the humidifiers featuring both cool and warm mist capabilities.

That way, you can always shift to the necessary mist setting, based on your personal situation.



So, is warm or cool mist humidifier better for sinuses?

The short answer is cool mist type of humidifiers have been seen to be more effective in fighting dry sinuses and most cold symptoms.

Just have in mind that the correct humidity levels will keep your sinuses in good health.

Lastly, be sure to see your doctor if you’ve chronic sinus infection or congestion.

He/she will do further evaluation and advice on the best way forward.


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