Baby Health Skin Care – Understanding Humidifiers

baby-care Whether it is to help with a cold that’s causing nasal congestion, or to help with a rash or dry skin, or even for chapped lips, sooner or later, you’ll end up needing a humidifier to help with the health of your baby.  Getting the right humidifier is easy if you understand some basic concepts and information.

Which is better, warm humidifiers or cold humidifiers?

As you do research on humidifiers, you’ll come across conflicting information and recommendations.  Part of that is because a lot of that information is old news, based on humidifier models that are not made anymore.  The other part is because both main types of humidifiers have both pros and cons, but it is easy to break them down.

Warm Humidifiers Versus Cold Humidifiers

The main decision is warm humidifiers vs.. cold humidifiers .  Here is where you’ll find a lot of info that is grossly out of date or only applies to very specific models.  For example, no one makes warm humidifiers anymore that expose the heating element even if the unit is knocked over.  Instead, the heating element is safely tucked away inside and cannot be accessed without deliberately opening it up using tabs, dials or other features that will not be workable by even the smartest toddler, let alone a baby.

Basically, the two arguments come down to safety versus bacteria.  Warm humidifiers, as their name implies, use warm steam to produce humidity.  Heat equals the potential for burns. 

Cold humidifiers use either ultrasonic waves or air blown across wicks to send humidity into the air.  Bacteria grows best in moist environments like on a humidifiers wick, or in the water tank itself.  Turn on the humidifier and it blows not just humidity into the air, but that bacteria as well.  Ultrasonic humidifiers also end up sending a white dust into the air.

Choosing the Right Humidifier For Baby

If you keep a warm humidifier out of baby’s reach, then there is no need to worry about burns or bacteria.  If you clean a cold humidifier properly every week, then there is no need to worry about burns or bacteria.

See what is going on here?  Either choice is fine IF you use it responsibly.  The problem, of course, is that people aren’t always responsible.  So, the choice comes down to you.  Are you more likely to not clean the humidifier every week?  Or are you more likely to not keep the humidifier up on a shelf or table?

For us, there is no contest.  Our lives are busy enough without worrying about constantly cleaning a humidifier.  So, we use a modern warm humidifier with the heating element tucked away and protected, and we keep it up on a shelf with the cord behind the furniture.  There is no way for our 2 year old to even touch it, let alone knock it over.  No bacteria, no danger.  Problem solved.

You might be the other way.  If you can’t think of good places to put your humidifier other than the floor, then you are probably better off with the cold variety and making sure it gets frequent cleanings.

Best Humidifier Deals Online

If you are going to shop online, shop via the Health & Beauty categories, not the Baby categories.


Most reputable retailers put their products in the Health & Beauty because that is primarily where they belong.  Shifty retailers make sure to put theirs in Baby knowing that uninformed parents might come looking there instead.  You’ll find the same products but at a higher price.

If you want some starting points, here are some good ones from Amazon.


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