Informational Guide

Does a Humidifier Help With Allergies?

If you suffer from seasonal or pet-related allergy issues then help is often needed. We explore if a humidifier helps with allergies & to buy one.

by Josh M

There’s no doubt about the fact that humidifiers are great for bringing moisture back into a dry home. If you live in a dry climate or you’re suffering from wintertime dryness, then investing in a humidifier is the way to go.

But did you know that a humidifier can be used for more than just general dryness? Some of the best humidifiers are used for allergy relief, and many sources claim that a humidifier can remedy several different types of allergies.

In this guide, we’ll explore the question we all want to know the answers to: does a humidifier help with allergies?

Humidifier for Good Sleep

Before understanding how a humidifier helps with allergies, it’s important to know what type of allergy you’re actually suffering from. This is because a humidifier can help with some types of allergies, but not all.

For instance, if you’re suffering from a food allergy or insect allergy, then a humidifier won’t do much for you. But if your allergies are triggered by seasonal dryness or dust mites, then yes, a humidifier could potentially help your case.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the 5 most common types of allergies in the home that can be affected by humidity levels:

Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are triggered by a change of seasons. Many people assume that seasonal allergies are only common in the spring when pollen in the air increases, but this isn’t the case.

Wintertime is another major trigger because humidity levels drop, causing dryness and itching, and a humidifier can help with seasonal allergies.

Young Woman Covered with Blanket Blowing Nose
Cat & Dog Allergies

If you’re suffering from allergies triggered by pet dander, you’re probably looking for answers to questions like “can a humidifier help with cat allergies?” and “do humidifiers help with dog allergies?”

If you’re suffering from allergies triggered by pet dander, you’re probably looking for answers to questions like “can a humidifier help with cat allergies?” and “do humidifiers help with dog allergies?”

Depending on the type of humidifier you choose, the answer is yes. Some models come with air filtration functions that can help filter out pet dander from the air. These are also safe and reliable around pets.

Pug Covered with Blanket on Bed
Skin Allergies

Skin allergies can be triggered by many things, and overly dry air is one of them. Dryness can lead to itchy skin and chapped lips. Luckily, adding moisture back into the air to bring the humidity back to the right level can alleviate these issues.

Disease Medicine Health
Humidity & Dust Mite Allergies

Dust mites thrive in certain environments, and moisture plays a significant role in this.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “dust mites thrive in temperatures of 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 25 degrees Celsius). They also like humidity levels of 70 to 80 percent.”

Humidity levels of 70-80% are quite high, so if you’re suffering from a dust mite allergy and have lots of moisture in your home, you might be better off getting an energy-efficient dehumidifier.

Will A Humidifier Help Relieve Your Allergies?

From the list of common household allergies above, one thing is obvious; a humidifier CAN help with allergies and bring you relief. But how?

Here are 3 of the biggest ways a humidifier can help with allergies:

Keeps the Nose and Throat from Drying Out

If your allergies are centered on your nose and throat, then a humidifier for sinus problems could be your ticket to relief. Many sinus issues are triggered by dryness, so adding a humidifier into the mix can reduce dryness and keep your sinuses healthy.

Helps to Maintain the Body’s Defense System

The human body thrives in a specific environment, and humidity is a big part of that. If the humidity in your home is too high or too low, then your immune system will be put at risk, and you won’t be as able to fight off common allergens.

For that reason, try to keep the humidity somewhere between 30 and 50%.

Reduces the Number of Particles in the Air

What many people don’t realize is that humidifiers can actually improve indoor air quality. By adding moisture to your home, you’re also reducing the number of airborne particles (as long as the humidity doesn’t get too high).

Humidifier Types & How They Keep Your Allergies Away

Another important factor to consider when answering the question “how do humidifiers help with allergies?” is the humidifier type. There are several different types of humidifiers to choose from, including warm mist, cool mist, evaporative, ultrasonic, and whole house.

Blue Diffuser or Humidifier

While each of these humidifier types can help with allergies, they all work in different ways to do that.

Warm Vs Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool and warm mist humidifiers both pump moisture into the air, but this moisture is released at different temperatures. Because both increase humidity levels, you can’t go wrong with either.

However, steer away from warm mist or steam humidifiers if you have kids or pets in the home; these could be potentially dangerous.

Evaporative Vs Ultrasonic Humidifier

Evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers use different methods for releasing humidity. Evaporative models turn water into vapor either by using a fan and wick system or turning the water molecules into steam.

Ultrasonic machines use high-frequency vibrations to release water droplets into the air. Both types have pros and cons, but since they both increase humidity, each type can be used for allergy relief.

Whole House Humidifier

If your entire home suffers from low humidity levels, a whole house humidifier could be the answer. Rather than pumping moisture into a single room, these models are powerful enough to handle large square footage. That means you can alleviate your allergies in every room of your home.

How To Use Humidifiers For Allergy Relief? (Precautions To Take)

Before you start using a humidifier to alleviate your allergies, there are a few things you should know for setting up and using the device. Here are some helpful tips and precautions for using your humidifier for allergy relief:

Lavender Bouquet Placed on Bedroom

Manage the humidity and do your best to keep it between 30 and 50%. If your humidifier does not have a built-in moisture level reading, purchase a separate hygrometer to measure the moisture and make sure it’s within the suggested range.

Use distilled or filtered water when filling up the device’s water tank. This will prevent unhealthy mineral particles from being released into the air you breathe.

Always keep the humidifier clean. Failing to do so can cause a build-up of mold, mildew, and bacteria that can actually make your allergies worse. Follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions found in your device’s user manual.

If your humidifier is built with a filter, make sure to replace it frequently. Some devices allow you to clean the filter, which is a lot more cost-effective than having to purchase filter replacements.

Take extra precautions if you’re using a humidifier in a nursery or child’s room. Make sure to find the safest option, keep it out of reach of young ones, and avoid using a warm-mist model.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What is better for allergies: humidifier or air purifier?

It depends on the cause of the allergies. If you’re experiencing an allergy to air impurities like dust mites or pet dander, then an air purifier will probably serve you better. However, if your allergies are triggered by dryness, then a humidifier is an excellent solution.

That being said, adding moisture to your home with a humidifier can help with air impurities by reducing the number of particles in the air. There are even some humidifiers that double as air purifiers, so you get the best of both worlds. These models, however, only provide a certain amount of relief.

What kind of humidifier is good for dry cough?

According to Good Housekeeping on cool mist vs warm mist humidifiers, “both warm and cool mist humidifiers are effective at adding moisture to the air in your home, so they both are helpful in easing respiratory and sinus discomfort associated with colds, coughs, and other illnesses.

Women with Cough Sitting on Couch

Do cool mist humidifiers make the room cold?

While cool mist humidifiers might make you feel slightly cooler by 1 or 2 degrees, they won’t bring the temperature of the room down significantly.

Do humidifiers make the room warmer?

Yes, in most scenarios, a humidifier will slightly raise the temperature of your home. This is very convenient, so most people use their humidifiers during the winter months when air moisture goes down.

Conclusion

So can a humidifier help with allergies? The answer is YES!

Humidifiers are an amazing solution for allergy relief, especially if your allergies result from dry air. Even if your allergies are a result of particles in the air, a humidifier can reduce the number of airborne particles, therefore bringing you relief.

Josh M

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with the HVAC industry. I created this website to help HVAC techs of all levels get the best out of their heating & cooling systems. I have spent thousands of hours studying air conditioners, heaters and home air products so you can learn & buy with confidence. Learn more about the team here.

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