Should You Use a Warm Mist or Cool Mist Humidifier for Cough?

There are cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers on the market today. Both work, but there are pros and cons to each. And one may be better for cough than the other.

Cold and flu season ramp up when the air is drier in the colder months. This may also mean an increase in coughing in your house. We need to cough, for it helps pull up mucus and bad stuff and eliminate it from our bodies. However, as you know, coughing is unpleasant, and sometimes it downright hurts! A humidifier is one of the many ways you can soothe cough symptoms.

Humidifiers work by taking water and vaporizing it into the surrounding air. They make dry environments a little more humid and can help ease congestion and coughing by adding much-needed moisture to the air. Humidifiers also ease dry skin and can help prevent dry and cracked lips. If the relative humidity in your immediate environment dips below 30%, you probably need a humidifier. You can move it from room to room throughout the day, or you or your loved one may want to sleep with a humidifier by your bedside at night.

However, there are cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers on the market today. Both work, but there are pros and cons to each. And one may be better for cough than the other. So, let’s deep dive into the wonderful world of humidifiers, shall we?

Benefits of Warm Mist Humidifier

A warm mist humidifier comes in handy during the winter by warming cool winter air. Since it uses heat, warm mist humidifiers reduce bacteria and germs better than their cool mist counterparts. If you and your family are looking for more ways to cut costs, warm mist humidifiers tend to be sold cheaper than cool mist humidifiers.

Cons of Warm Mist Humidifier

However, warm mist humidifiers can actually trigger nasal passage swelling, making it not the best choice for a cold. The hot steam from the humidifier poses a safety risk to nearby children and pets. And we know most humidifiers emit steam, which is bound to trigger curiosity in your little ones. Of course, you can always place the humidifier on a stable surface out of reach from little hands and wandering pet noses. Finally, the energy it takes the warm mist humidifier to heat properly may cost more than a cool mist humidifier.

Benefits of Cool Mist Humidifier

A cool mist humidifier is safer to use around kids and pets since it poses no high temperature or burns risk. Cool mist humidifiers are beneficial for easing the symptoms of colds and coughs because they help shrink nasal passages. If your family is looking to cut energy costs in the home, a cool mist humidifier can do just that. Additionally, it can be used all year round, no matter the season.

There are three types of cool mist humidifiers:

  • Ultrasonic – a cool mist humidifier that creates a mist using ultrasonic vibrations.
  • Impeller – uses a high-speed rotating disk to release water droplets into the air.
  • Evaporative— relies on a fan that blows through absorbent material while adding moisture into the air.

Cons of Cool Mist Humidifier

The pros just may outweigh the cons when it comes to a cool mist humidifier. These all-weather humidifiers may cost more to purchase than warm mist humidifiers. Additionally, they tend to be louder, which isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but it comes down to personal preference. Some people enjoy the white noise effect of the cool mist humidifier. Finally, a cool mist humidifier might attract more bacteria since there is no boiling water to help kill bacteria during use, so you’ll need to clean often.

Cool Mist Humidifier vs. Warm Mist Humidifier for Cough

Any humidifier is better than none; however, a cool mist humidifier is the better option when treating cough symptoms. Just be sure to clean it thoroughly after each use to prevent bacteria buildup over time. You wouldn’t want to emit cool but germ-laden air back into your environment. Use distilled water for the cleanest humidity.

You also need to maintain the output of your humidifier. If it is too high, you could cause too much moisture to accumulate and pave the way for mold growth. Yuck! No one wants that!

Beyond the Humidifier: Caring for Your Cough

If you or a loved one is fighting a cough right now, you may be looking for more ideas to add to your arsenal. I’ve got you, crunchy mama! Let’s make an inexpensive and convenient onion poultice for chest and cough.

“Poultice” means a wet, warm application to ease congestion, soothe inflammation, and reduce pain. Onions are jam-packed with vitamins, nutrients, and elements your body needs to fight a cough. They contain high levels of folate, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium, as well as the antioxidant quercetin, a natural congestion remedy.

To make the poultice, you only need two red, yellow, or white onions, two tablespoons of water, a saucepan, a cutting board, a knife, a tea cloth, a cheesecloth, or a clean cloth diaper, and a rubber band. You can follow the full recipe, but essentially you’re going to steam the onions, wrap them in the cloth, and apply them to your chest (after using a carrier oil such as coconut oil, so the onion isn’t harsh on your bare skin).

Salt therapy is another practice I like to try. Also known as Halotherapy, dry salt, and wet salt therapy are safe ways to clean and nourish your sinuses and lungs. Dry salt therapy (or halotherapy) involves spending time in an active salt room, inhaling pharmaceutical-grade dry salt in a comfortable environment. Wet salt therapy occurs when you use a Neti Pot or salt inhaler to cleanse your nasal passages.

Salt therapy has tons of benefits beyond just easing cough! It can do wonders for the skin and even help stabilize your mood. You should definitely check it out. But first, get a humidifier! Some humidifiers are available that work as warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers, so you have a 2-in-1 device that allows you to choose what setting you prefer. Just keep your humidifier clean for maximum results. Cool mist humidifiers are best for coughs, but both warm and cool humidifiers offer health benefits.

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