Trans4mind Home Page
Home Article Library Home, Garden & Building

The Different Types of Humidifiers Explained

Humidifiers Explained

The air humidifier market size is estimated to grow at 4% CAGR from 2020 to 2026. The demand comes from the fact that many Americans are exposed to dry air constantly which increases health and respiratory problems.

Those with asthma and allergies can benefit the most from owning a humidifier, but anyone will notice advantages. If you are tired of the dry air in your home, buying a humidifier is a great solution.

Not sure what types of humidifiers are out there? Read on to find out.

Types of Humidifiers

Humidifiers work as therapy by adding moisture to the air when you use them correctly. However, this is a home remedy and not a medical treatment although it can alleviate certain symptoms.

The types of humidifiers differ in price, size, and individual preferences. The five main types of humidifiers are as follows:

Central Humidifiers

One of the main humidifier types is a central humidifier that is built into the home's A/C or heating unit. This is the most expensive when it comes to humidifier options, but it will add humidity throughout the whole house.

Compared to a traditional humidifier, central humidifiers are the safer option. Traditional humidifiers pose a burn risk because of the steam they emit. Central humidifiers don't emit any steam.


An evaporator blows moisture through a filter. Fans are used to power the unit and release humidity into the air from one system.

This is a more affordable option especially if you shop for discount filters. These kinds of humidifiers cannot be used for the entire house as they only work in one room at a time.

For people with asthma, this may not be the safest option as they may release too much moisture into the air. It also can cause mold growth in some cases.

Impeller Humidifiers

Impeller humidifiers are powered by high-speed rotating disks. These are more affordable options and great for those with children. There is no burn risk and they release a cool mist.

Similar to evaporators, they only work in one room at a time. If overused, those with asthma and allergies may experience breathing issues.

Steam Vaporizers

Powered by electricity, steam vaporizers heat water and cool it down before releasing it into the air. You can get these humidifiers at a common drugstore as a portable option. They are also less expensive than every other type of humidifier.

We wouldn't recommend having this humidifier with kids around because it can cause burns.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Hence the name, this humidifier produces a cool mist using ultrasonic vibration. You can buy a cool mist or warm mist version.

These can be affordable or expensive depending on the size you need for your home. A cool mist version is a great option for those who have children.

Humidifier Sizes

The size of a humidifier will depend on if it is portable or a console. Console units are going to be the best humidifiers for a home as they add moisture to an entire house.

However, these are the larger and most expensive options. Some units will come with wheels so you can move them around easily.

In contrast, portable units will only add moisture to the room it is in. If you want to add moisture to the whole house with a console unit, you'll need more than one.

A personal and portable humidifier is great for on-the-go use.

Humidifier Benefits

Along with bringing natural moisture into the home to relieve dryness, owning a humidifier has other benefits. For example, a humidifier can help with the following:

  • Dry skin
  • Headaches
  • Sinus congestion
  • Irritation in the nose
  • Bloody noses
  • Dry cough
  • Cracked/dry lips

You'll often experience these discomforts if the air in your home is too dry. It will happen most commonly during the winter season and when the air conditioner is on during the summer months.

The Risks

Along with major benefits, there are some risks to owning certain types of humidifiers. As stated above, some types can cause burns if you aren't careful.

Children are the most at risk because they may not understand the dangers of a humidifier. For this reason, you should never let them handle these machines on their own.

It is also not recommended to place a warm mist humidifier solely in a child's room. Cool mist humidifiers are generally safe.

Be wary of the amount of moisture you are releasing from your humidifier. If too much is used, condensation can grow on the walls and cause mold growth. Mold can then easily spread throughout the home.

These risks are all manageable if you take care of your humidifier with proper maintenance. Be sure to clean your machine regularly to avoid bacterial growth.

When a humidifier is not clean, you may experience coughs and colds. A steam vaporizer can get dirty faster than the other types, but they are easier to clean.

Every time you use water in a portable humidifier, clean the water out. For more specific cleaning requirements, refer to the manufacturer's instructions.

You may want to use distilled water if you have asthma. Humidifiers may release microorganisms and minerals that can bother people with asthma although it is not harmful.

Buying a Humidifier for Your Needs

When buying a humidifier for your home or travels, consider your personal needs. Different types of humidifiers range in price, size, and moisture emission.

Before buying a humidifier, revisit this guide to find the perfect type for your situation. Don't forget to understand the risks and cleaning mechanisms necessary to keep up with the machines.

Looking for other articles about the home and more? Check out our blog

Read more Home, Garden & Building articles
You'll find good info on many topics using our site search: