Informational Guide

Does a Humidifier Help With Sinus?

If you suffer from headaches and bad sinuses then help is often needed. We explore if a humidifier helps with sinus relief & if buying one is right for you.

by Josh M

Are you someone who loves having a stuffy nose or dry, inflamed nasal passageways? We’re willing to bet that’s a big “no”! If you want to make sure you never have to deal with sinus issues, then you’re in the right place!

This guide will show you exactly how to use humidifiers to help relieve sinus issues all from the comfort of your own home.


Dust is pretty much unavoidable, but what you can do is minimize it from accumulating in your home. The easiest way to go about this is by cleaning and vacuuming every day, ensuring you pay special attention to getting those tight corners and under furniture.

While vacuum attachments are really effective for this, make sure the vacuum filters are clean. If not, it’ll basically just push even more dust into the air.


Mold is scarily common and can pop up in humid bathrooms, under the sink and carpets, leaky ceilings and walls, and much more. Even if you can’t see or visually notice it, mold can still severely affect the lungs, nose, and more.


If your pet sheds, then there’s a possibility it’s contributing to your sinus problems. If they lay on your bed with you, then their fur can stick, which can be even more irritating to the sinuses.

To resolve this, you can simply try to keep them off of beds and other furniture, regularly vacuum your house and groom your pets often. Also, make sure that their litter boxes, beds, dog houses, etc. are properly cleaned to reduce bacteria and potential allergens.

Cleaning Products

Sure, cleaning products are great at cleaning our homes, but they can wreak havoc on our sinuses! Some of us are much more sensitive to strong detergents and scents, but this can often be fixed by switching them out with milder brands or even all-natural alternatives.

Houseplants & Flowers

Plants and flowers instantly add life to any space, but they can also add the sniffles. There are certain flowers, like daisies, sunflowers, baby’s breath, and others that have a higher pollen count.

These, in particular, can really spark up allergies as their sap holds on to dust particles in the air. Some humidifier models are specifically suited to having plants in the home.

Woman Lying on Bed While Sick

Will a Humidifier Help Relieve Sinusitis & Its Symptoms?

They sure will! Let’s go through the main sinus issues you could be dealing with and how a humidifier can help.

Sinus Infection

The mist produced by a humidifier will help add moisture to the air, which can help make drainage thinner inside your nose and sinuses. If the air is dry, the mucus isn’t going to drain well, which can lead to a lot of other sinus issues.

Sinus Pain

If you live in a dry climate, then you may be suffering from sinus pain. However, a humidifier can seriously help combat this. Try to make sure your home has a humidity level between 30-50% for ideal relief.

Sinus Congestion/Headaches

Humidifiers are great at minimizing congestion, offering a healthier level of humidity. As previously mentioned, the added moisture can help loosen up mucus, rapidly relieving pressure in the sinuses and nose.

Sinus Drainage

Sinus drainage can be annoying and uncomfortable. One of the best ways of fixing it is by elevating the head and using a humidifier while you sleep.

There are many people who recommend using essential oils in your humidifier, but it’s not a great idea. Humidifiers are not designed to evaporate oils, and there are plenty of other reasons here as well.

Dry Sinuses

Before humidifiers became so popular, people often resorted to taking a hot shower. While that’s certainly effective as well, humidifiers are simply much more effective.

You get all the benefits of a hot shower on the sinuses without having to get out of bed! Humidifiers will help moisten the air in your room to keep your nasal passages from becoming congested or uncomfortable. This can be beneficial when sleeping and especially for people who snore regularly.

Sinus Pressure

Sinus pressure is most often due to blocked nasal passages or when your sinuses cannot properly drain. This can lead to painful inflammation in the head, nose, and face. Keeping sinuses hydrated by using a humidifier can significantly help loosen and drain blockages.

Humidifier for Good Sleep

Humidifier Types & How They Help Your Sinuses

There are various types of humidifiers, so let’s go ahead and talk about which one is best for which situation.

  • Ultrasonic
    Ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasonic vibration at very high speeds to turn water into a cool mist. As “ultrasonic” means “above the limit of hearing,” they’re great for relieving sinus pain and pressure without the annoying noise.
  • Evaporative
    Evaporative humidifiers feature a wick that takes water from the tank, where an electric fan will push air over the wick, evaporating water. This moist air is then pushed out, producing cool and moist air.
  • Impeller
    These humidifiers send a cool mist out by means of a disc spinning at very high speeds. The downside to these is that the mist does contain any minerals the water has, which can leave a white residue on furniture, walls, and the floor of the area it’s placed in.
  • Vaporizers
    These can cover a few different types but typically refers to the models which utilize heat to boil water. This hot water then produces steam, vaporizing into the air around the unit. This warm steam can quickly relieve congestion and soothe dry sinuses and pressure.

How to Use Humidifiers for Sinus Relief? (Precautions to Take)

To maximize benefits and make sure you aren’t putting yourself or anyone in your home at greater risk, there are some steps we need to take.

  1. .Make sure you’re choosing the right humidifier for your needs.
  2. .Vaporizers producing steam are not ideal for young children, as they can cause burns if the child gets too close.
  3. .Elevating the humidity level in your home above 50% can increase the risk of growing mold in your home, as well as the amount of dust mites (also allergy-causing). Do this by using your humidifier only when you need it.
  4. .For portable humidifiers, completely empty the water tank and dry everything, refilling the water tank daily. If you just leave surfaces wet or water sitting in the tank, bacteria and mold are more likely to develop. Inhaling bacteria/mold can put you and others in your home at a serious risk of greater illness.
  5. Place them in the appropriate spot in the home.

Not only does a humidifier help with sinus congestion, but also with cracked lips, dry skin, or even with flu/common cold symptoms!

Young Man Suffering from Headache in Morning

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What can I put in my humidifier for sinus?

We don’t recommend putting anything but water in your humidifier.

Can you put Vicks in a humidifier?

Nope, not even Vicks. While Vicks works great as a topical treatment, it’s not meant to be inhaled and can cause respiratory issues.

What type of climate influences sinus problems?

Very dry and/or very cold climates can trigger sinus problems. This is one of the reasons why humidifiers are so great in these conditions.

Do cool mist humidifiers help with congestion?

They definitely can. Some people like warmer humidifiers, but when it’s hot outside, they aren’t ideal. Cool mist humidifiers can help relieve congestion well.

What is the difference between a vaporizer and a humidifier?

Both increase humidity levels in the air, but humidifiers create mist from cold water, and vaporizers heat water to make steam.


So, will a humidifier help with a sinus infection? Will it help with dry sinuses? Yes, they can help with all that and more! Now you know all about how to use them and which type to use to ensure you and everyone else in your home are breathing easy and feeling great.

Last Updated on July 20, 2021

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.