How to Distinguish All Types Of Humidifiers?

A humidifier is a vital appliance in every household. It has numerous benefits for your family’s general health, such as reducing the spread of bacteria, preventing dry skin, relieving allergies, loosening congestion, etc.

There are many types of humidifiers out there that serve these functions. They are:

  1. Cool Mist Humidifiers Or Invisible Mist Humidifiers
  2. Warm Mist Humidifiers
  3. Evaporative Humidifiers
  4. Vaporizer Humidifiers
  5. Ultrasonic Humidifiers
  6. Central Air Humidifiers

Our goal is to give you general knowledge to distinguish all humidifier types in those aspects like distinct functions, specific cleaning methods, pros and cons.

After reading this article, you will have better insight into this appliance and select the suitable one for your family.

What Does A Humidifier Do?

It adds moisture to the air and especially benefits people with respiratory or skin issues. You will reap more humidifier benefits when using the appliance in cold weather as cold air can dry out your nose, skin, lips, and lungs.

Following are some common benefits we see from using this appliance:

  • Treat dry skin, keeping it moisturized
  • Prevent bacteria or germs
  • Reduce snoring
  • Benefits for your house: prevent cracked walled paper or peeled furniture

Why you need a humidifier and what it does:

Different Types Of Humidifiers

Cool Mist Humidifiers Or Invisible Mist Humidifiers

This appliance is a household favourite as it is cost-effective. It is not only affordable but also works well.

It works best in warmer climates – a perfect condition for germs or bacteria to reproduce; thus, you are likely to catch a cold. Besides, the dry air in such climates is the main culprit that causes congestion.

This type emits a cool vaporized mist into the air. Before being diffused from the device, the unpurified water will travel through a filter to eliminate impurities.

Cool mist humidifiers are suitable for all family members, thanks to the said impurity filter. It adds moisture to the dry air, helps soothe your cough, and relieves chest congestion if you have a cold or asthma without raising the temperature.

How to Distinguish All Types Of Humidifiers?
“Programmable Cool Mist Humidifier 4.0G” by gracobaby is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As this appliance is low-maintenance, you can clean it daily to evade contamination and block bacterial build-up with a quick rinse. If not, these bacteria can be expelled along with the vapours and cause dire health consequences.

However, when running, the operating noise can be loud and bothersome to some people. On the other hand, many think the white noise can have a soothing effect, making it easier for them to fall asleep.

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  • Safe for every family member, especially children
  • Easy to clean and little maintenance needed
  • Filter waterborne germs and bacteria
  • Conductive for avoiding cold and relieving respiratory diseases


  • Can cause bacteria contamination if routine cleaning is not done
  • Operating noise can be bothersome.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

This appliance is especially suitable for cold weather in those winter months when the air gets extremely dry and cold. Your family members can easily catch a cold or suffer asthma when the temperature gets too low.

This appliance will heat the water inside to create vapours. Then the water vapour is cooled down before it’s dispersed into the air to humidify the space. The heating process dwindles the stake of contamination and enhances purity quality.

This type is also effective in treating cold and flu symptoms. It is praised for supreme moisture saturation and minimizing germs and bacterial build-up.

Due to the complex internal fan system, this appliance is a bit hard to clean. However, you can still do it by carefully reading the user’s instructions or watching some tutorial videos.

When using this air humidifier, one noticeable warning is to keep it away from children due to its heating process that potentially causes burn risk. So remember this rule to keep your children safe.


  • Work well to reduce heat and bacteria
  • Quite sound when operating
  • Less dust accumulation


  • Risky for children
  • Not energy efficient and hard to clean due to complex fan system

Evaporative Humidifiers

Like cool mist humidifiers, this appliance is also suitable for warmer weather and works best in a single room or smaller space.

The operation mechanism is the same as cool mist humidifiers; evaporative humidifiers don’t heat the water to create vapour.

Instead, a fan will spread the humidity through a moist wick filter at the bottom of the device, expelling the water as mist or spray to humidify the air.

What differentiates this type is its ability to automatically regulate and adjust the humidity level to increase a room’s moisture quickly and efficiently. You can place it on any surface without damaging your furniture.

It is safe for children and pets as it doesn’t generate heat. Instead, it emits clean, invisible mist without creating white mineral deposits like mineral dust.

That’s why you can place it in your children’s bedrooms to better protect their health from harmful agents like germs.

Because the water is not heated, there are more risks of bacteria built-up or contamination. Thankfully, it is easy to clean; daily cleaning (you can use distilled water) can help reduce these problems.

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  • Safe for children and pets
  • Low maintenance and easy to clean
  • Automatic Temperature Regulating
  • Ideal for supporting asthma treatment or decimating seasonal allergies


  • Operation noise
  • Mineral dust accumulation

Vaporizer Humidifiers

Vaporized humidifiers’ features enable them to release either warm or cool mist. They can perform many functions and advantages but are at a very affordable cost.

This appliance can serve the functions of both cool mist and warm mist types. Most vaporizers heat the liquid content, then emit visible steam into the air on the warm setting and a mist on the colder setting. The mist or steam will create humidity for the room.

You can also add inhalants to this vaporizer (something the humidifier is not ideal for), making it a common option for treating cold and flu symptoms.

Vaporizers are usually quieter than humidifiers, so you can use them as personal devices and create minimal dust accumulation.

However, remember to keep it away from your children’s reach as it can have potential risks of burning when the heating process is occurring.

This multi-use vaporizer is a bit hard to clean as the intricate systems. However still, you can clean it every day to remove dust mites and white mineral dust, enabling it to operate better without consuming much energy.


  • Quiet operation
  • Less bacterial accumulation or germ contamination
  • Can use inhalants treat cold and other respiratory diseases
  • Multi-functional (both cold and warm mist)


  • Not safe for children due to heating process
  • Hard to clean

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

You can use this on warm or cold mist; it is portable, compact, simple, and unmatched for single-room installation, making this type an ideal personal humidifier.

Its structure is simple; it includes a water container and a metal diaphragm or other vibrating elements.

The vibrating diaphragm activates at a high ultrasonic frequency, so high that it exceeds the range of human hearing ability – that is why it is ultrasonic.

The vibration helps force microscopic water droplets into the air. Then the droplets will evaporate and disperse, adding humidity to the entire space. There is no heating process; this feature bears a resemblance to the cool mist type mentioned above.

The appliance doesn’t heat the water inside, making it safe for your children. In addition, it is small and quiet when operating, ensuring your beloved ones’ sleep quality.

You want to clean the unit every third day since the mineral dust can accumulate inside, causing contamination after consecutive days of use. Luckily, as it is a simple device, the cleaning is easy too.

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Just empty the water reservoir and use a brush or scrubber to clean it. Remove deposits inside the tank to hamper mold, bacteria, etc., which can be circulated when running.


  • Compact and portable
  • Emit both cold and warm mist types
  • Energy efficient
  • No water heating process, eliminate burn risks
  • Easy to clean and maintain


  • More expensive than other options
  • Bacterial contamination or mineral dust accumulation can happen if not cleaning often.

Here are some reasons every house needs a humidifier:

Central Air Humidifiers

A central humidifier is directly installed in your home’s air conditioning or heating system units. It is the most expensive of all types, but they come with a huge advantage as this humidifier can add humidity to your entire house.

This large-scaled unit is integrated into the home’s heating system, humidifying air when vapour (called the heating element). The household water system will automatically pump water into the device, and you don’t have to supply water for this.

The appliance’s mechanism will turn liquid water into vapour; then, the vapour is vented into the entire building at an adjusted rate.

The central humidifier has many advantages when used in cold weather as the air gets significantly dry. It adds humidity to the entire house; moisture will help eliminate many airborne germs which can cause respiratory diseases like flu, asthma.

It also helps restore your household furniture, keeping them from cracking or peeling. Your house electricity system also reaps benefits from humidifiers as moist air prevents static electricity, protects electrical tools or equipment.

However, if you install this model, you should also watch for any risks. Risks usually come when you don’t clean this appliance often.

Accumulation of white dust, bacteria built-in, and mold inside the device can spread into the air, causing health problems like bacterial contamination.

There are also risks of the growth of mold inside your house where the humid vapour is deposited. Therefore, remember to clean the internal part every week and clean your house’s nooks to protect everyone’s health better.


  • Wide space of humidification
  • Protect household’s furniture from dry air’s effect
  • Help humidify the air to prevent dry skin
  • Support allergy sufferers, asthma treatment, etc.


  • High cost
  • Bacteria and mold accumulation can occur.


Purchasing humidifiers for your tiny house has never been a bad idea as they have various benefits for your family’s health, as mentioned above.

After reading this article, we hope you know how to distinguish all types of humidifiers and select the most suitable one for your family.

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Jill Sandy

I am a sustainable focus gardener. I love decorating my home backyard with beautiful landscape design and creative garden care techniques I develop myself.