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Doctors Say These Warm-Mist Humidifiers Can Keep You Healthier During Cold and Flu Season

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Humidifiers are that one small home appliance we tend to forget about until we really need it. This is especially true in the winter when the humidity drops and the climate feels dry and uncomfortable, or when the inevitable cold and flu season wreaks havoc on our bodies. Whether out of precaution or necessity, if you’re looking for a humidifier, you’ll definitely want to consider one with warm mist for these concerns.

“Warm-mist humidifiers are considered better for the skin [compared to cool mist humidifiers] because they promote higher moisture levels within a space,” Sony Sherpa, MD, a holistic physician at Nature's Rise. This can be particularly useful in dry climates, whether that be year round (we’re looking at you, Los Angeles) or seasonal. Additionally, warm mist humidifiers are also superior in cold and flu season, since, “they help kill bacteria and viruses in the air, which may help reduce the risk of bacterial and viral infections.” This makes them the ultimate defense against congestion and the seemingly never-ending cycle of sickness during the winter months.

Keep reading for more benefits, plus the best warm-mist humidifiers your money can buy.

The best warm-mist humidifiers, at a glance:

The benefits of warm mist humidifiers

Humidifiers might be the hero in a cold and flu season story, but remedying the latest bug isn’t the only reason to add one to your arsenal. From keeping you well to hydrating your hair and skin, to even keeping your houseplants happy (yes, really), there are several reasons to invest in a high-quality humidifier.

Relieve congestion:

One of the most common reasons to use a humidifier is to help relieve congestion when you feel under the weather. “If you suffer from congestion or sinus problems, humidifiers can help to thin mucus and make it easier to breath,” says Dr. Sherpa. “The added moisture in the air also helps to lubricate your nasal passages and reduce irritation.”

Create a comfortable home environment:

Humidifiers also do a fantastic job of creating a more comfortable environment, whether you use one at home or at the office. According to Dr. Sherpa, a humidifier reduces the amount of dust in the air, which can ultimately address allergy concerns. “Dust mites are small creatures that thrive in dry conditions and can cause allergies and respiratory problems,” she explains. With regular use of a humidifier, you can target the dust and breath a bit easier.

Moisturize skin, hair, and nails:

Another key benefit of humidifiers is their ability to ward off dry skin and lips. “Humidifiers can help retain your skin’s natural barrier, keep your skin hydrated, and help prepare the skin to receive at-home topical treatments,” says board-certified dermatologist, Ryan Turner. According to Dr. Turner, warm-mist humidifiers are also preferred over cool-mist humidifiers because they can open the pores, which helps sebum and debris escape on acne-prone skin. “This can be useful prior to cleansing or the application of topical treatments,” he explains.

Prevent static electricity:

Static electricity might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about humidifiers, but the ability to prevent static electricity is a major benefit. “Static electricity is often more prevalent in dry conditions, so adding moisture to the air with a humidifier can help reduce static electricity in your home,” says Dr. Sherpa. As a result, humidifiers can help prevent shocks from electrical appliances and ensure a safer home environment.

Make your houseplants happy:

For all the plant parents out there who are struggling to keep their tropical foliage alive in dry climates, a humidifier is a must-have. Since humidifiers add humidity to the room (hence the name), they can help create a more pleasant environment for a variety of plants, including fiddle leaf fig trees, pothos plants, ferns, and monstera plants.

The 5 best warm-mist humidifiers

Carepod, Cube X50 Warm + Cool Mist Humidifier — $330.00

Originally $350, now $330

The Carepod Cube X50 is the best warm mist humidifier for those looking for something that won’t distract from the integrity of your home decor. But it’s not just a pretty design—it’s also highly functional. This stainless steel humidifier can provide a hydrating boost to up to 700 sq. ft., making it a top pick for living rooms and other large areas in the home. With the tank capacity that runs for up to 32 hours, the large humidifier is a must-have for around-the-clock climate control. On top of that, it comes with both warm and cool settings and is designed to use less energy (when compared to other warm mist humidifiers), making it a fantastic eco-friendly pick.

Pros:

  • Warm and cool mist settings
  • Hydrates up to 700 sq. ft. of air space
  • 32-hour run time
  • Easy-to-clean and sterilizable

Cons:

  • Expensive

Levoit, OasisMist Smart Cool + Mist Humidifier — $75.00

Originally $90, now $75

If you’re in a pinch and need a warm mist humidifier ASAP, you can find one of the best options on Amazon (hooray for that one-day Prime shipping!) The Levoit OasisMist Smart Cool and Warm Mist Humidifier is a multi-functional appliance that has both warm and cool mist options, depending on your climate preferences and the season. With the ability to cover up to 430 square feet of space, this humidifier runs for up to 45 hours and improves overall humidity by 10 percent. On top of that, it’s ultra-easy to use with voice control capabilities, as well as an app that allows you to control it remotely to customize the settings and schedule. The app also has a plant feature that allows you to customize plant care settings, making it the best humidifier for your houseplants.

Pros:

  • Warm and cool mist settings
  • Extra-long run time (45 hours)
  • App-compatible

Cons:

  • Hydrates less air space (430 sq. ft.)

Ledonti, WiFi Control Humidifier — $80.00

With 4.8 stars from over 10,000 customers, the Ledonti WiFi Control Humidifier is another one of the best warm mist humidifiers on Amazon. This smart humidifier has WiFi capabilities and connects to an app so you can completely customize your home’s climate with a few taps on your smartphone. Ideal for bedrooms, offices, and other small rooms, the humidifier covers up to 300 sq. ft. of space and has a tank capacity of 20 hours, so you don’t have to worry about refilling it often. While all of this is amazing, our favorite feature is the built-in diffuser, which allows you to add a fresh essential oil-based aroma to your home without the use of multiple devices.

Pros:

  • Warm and cool mist settings
  • Easy-to-clean
  • Aromatherapy settings
  • App-compatible

Cons:

  • Hydrates less air space (300 sq. ft.)
  • Shorter 20-hour run time

Vicks, Warm Moisture Humidifier — $45.00

The best humidifier on a budget is this warm moisture humidifier from Vicks. It’s the OG for managing congestion and other pesky cold symptoms (which Vicks happens to know a lot about.) Its compact size makes it ideal for creating a comfortable environment in bedrooms and storing when not in use. While it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing humidifier, it is one of the most practical and affordable, making it a great choice for those looking to buy their first humidifier, or multiple humidifiers for kids’ bedrooms. Its 1-gallon tank has a 24-hour capacity, too, so you don’t need to worry about refilling it every few hours.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy-to-clean and user-friendly
  • 24-hour run time

Cons:

  • Limited capacity best for hydrating small spaces
  • No cool air or aromatherapy settings

Elecameier, Warm + Cool Mist Humidifier. — $85.00

If you’re looking for a sleek humidifier that won’t take up a lot of space, consider the Elecameier Warm And Cool Mist Humidifier. This option comes with both cool and warm mist features that can easily be controlled by the included remote control. Its vase-like design also blends beautifully into virtually any space, whether you set it on the ground or tabletop. In addition to its looks, the humidifier comes with three different mist levels, a timer, and an auto-shut off feature as a safety precaution. It’s also one of the most quiet options on our list, making it great for nurseries and bedrooms.

Pros:

  • Cool and warm mist settings
  • Aromatherapy settings
  • App-compatible
  • Ultra-quiet

Cons:

  • Shortest run time (12 hours)

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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