Cool Mist vs. Warm Mist Humidifier: Which One Should You Use?

Cool Mist vs. Warm Mist Humidifier: Which One Should You Use?

When you start looking for humidifiers, it can be tough to decide which type you need.

During any season of the year, a humidifier can help to create a comfortable and healthy indoor environment. Maintaining proper humidity levels in your home can provide a number of health benefits, such as relief for seasonal allergies, common cold symptoms, dry skin, and more. 

We've previously discussed how there are four types of humidifiers: ultrasonic humidifiers, evaporative humidifiers, steam vaporizers, and central (or whole-house) humidifiers.

However, did you know that humidifiers can also be categorized into "cool mist" or "warm mist" varieties? 

In this article, we'll explore how both cool mist and warm mist humidifiers work. So let's discuss the pros and cons of each and help determine which one is the best for you!

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool mist models, as their name suggests, disperse room-temperature water vapor into the surroundings. Evaporative humidifiers and ultrasonic humidifiers are the two types of humidifiers that produce cool mist. 

Evaporative humidifiers work by blowing air over a moist wick filter, and the mist gets emitted into your environment. Meanwhile, ultrasonic humidifiers use a high-frequency vibration system to create microscopic water droplets that are emitted into the air as vapor.  


Cool mist humidifiers are typically safer to use around the house. They do not function by boiling water, so they do not pose a burn risk. If you live in a household with young children or pets who could run into accidents, a cool mist humidifier may provide more safety and peace of mind. 

(Tip: Use distilled or filtered water instead of tap water in your cool mist humidifier to produce cleaner water vapor.)

While most cool mist humidifiers do pose the risk of germs and mold growth and are difficult to clean, there are some exceptions.

For instance, Carepod One is a cool mist ultrasonic device, known as the world's most hygienic humidifier. In fact, all Carepod stainless steel models feature an industry-leading 99.9% sterilizability. Plus, they are made of three-piece design that's easy to disassemble and thoroughly wash.


Ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers are perfect for providing a refreshing breeze during the warm summer months. They can even serve as a gentle alternative to AC. So if you live in a hot environment year-round, cool mist might be your best option for comfortable living. 

Energy Efficiency

Both types of cool mist humidifiers tend to be more energy efficient than their warm mist counterparts, since they don't require a heating element. So over time, they consume less electricity.


Different types of cool mist humidifiers produce different levels of noise. Evaporative humidifiers operate using an internal fan that blows air, which creates a moderate level of background noise. Ultrasonic humidifiers, on the other hand, are typically quieter and better suited for bedrooms or other peaceful spaces.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Steam vaporizers boil water and release the resulting steam into the air. This is the only type of warm mist humidifier. 


Your typical warm mist humidifier requires an internal heating element to produce boiling water, so this could present a safety risk if not used carefully. For instance, it's probably not the best idea to store a device loaded with heated water in a room with children or pets, who could accidentally hurt themselves. 


Humidifiers that use a boiling process are naturally better at killing off bacteria, mold, and other water impurities, so the mist released into the air is typically very clean and safe to breathe.

So for people with weakened immune systems and respiratory issues, a steam vaporizer could be the better option. Additionally, warm moisture is very effective at soothing nasal congestion and respiratory conditions in general, so this type of humidifier is a better option for those who may deal with allergy symptoms or other illnesses.


Steam humidifiers provide comfort by adding warmth to your environment. So if you live in a cold climate or care about warming up your home in the cold winter months, it may be best to opt for a warm mist model. 

Energy Efficiency

Warm mist humidifiers use up more energy than cool mist humidifiers. That's because in order to boil the water, the device must use a significant amount of electricity to generate heat. So if you're looking to save on the energy bill, cool mist would be a better option. 


The process of boiling water typically generates a relatively low but noticeable noise. However, this is a bit of a generalization, as different brands and models will of course produce varying sound levels. 

The Best of Both Worlds?

When picking between cool mist and warm mist humidifiers, there's always a trade-off you have to make for certain pros and cons. However, what if you could have the best of both worlds?

The good news is that there are many advanced humidifiers models on the market that can produce both cool and warm mist at your choosing.

One such example we'd like to highlight is the Carepod Cube.

This sleek, ultrasonic device has the technology to switch between a cool mist or warm mist setting. It's great for large indoor spaces, with the ability to hydrate up to 700 square feet of area. And as with all Carepod humidifiers, the Cube boasts 99.9% sterilizability against bacteria, higher than that of any leading brand. 

And for anyone concerned about safety, the Carepod Cube is equipped with an innovative ultrasonic oscillator, creating mist by heating water at a low temperature. This will put your mind at ease compared to other conventionally-heated humidifiers out there. 

Lastly, with its eco-friendly warm mist mode, the Carepod Cube only uses a third of the energy consumption compared to existing heated humidifiers.  


To sum it up, let's take a look at how cool mist and warm mist humidifiers stack up in each category:

Safety Advantage: Cool Mist

Cool mist humidifiers are safer for the family, as they do not pose the risk of hot water accidents. 

Health Advantage: Warm Mist

Warm steam humidifiers present less of a health risk, as boiling water effectively kills harmful bacteria and mold. Additionally, warm mist is great for soothing dry nasal passages.

Comfort Advantage: Tie

This one depends on your personal needs and preferences. Are you looking for a cool refreshing breeze to combat the heat, or a warm, cozy atmosphere during the winter season?

Energy Efficiency Advantage: Cool Mist

Boiling water requires lots of energy, so cool mist humidifiers are naturally more efficient and could save you a good amount on the energy bill over time.  

Noise Advantage: Tie

Noise levels largely vary based on the specific brand and model of humidifier that you choose. In general, evaporative humidifiers are the loudest, while ultrasonic cool mist and warm mist humidifiers should make the least noise. 

At the end of the day, cool mist and warm mist humidifiers both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. So the right choice for you of course depends on personal preferences.

And if you're seeking to embrace the best of both worlds? There's the Carepod Cube

Either way, we applaud your decision to consider investing in a humidifier and taking an important step to improving the health and comfort of your home!