Should Humidifiers Run All Night? (Safety for Sleeping)

For someone living in harsh winters and dry climates, a humidifier is an essential tool to staying healthy and comfortable in your home. However, can a humidifier be left on all night?

Please read our guide to discover the ins and outs of running a home humidifier long-term safely and efficiently.

Girl Sleeping on Bed

Factors to Consider Before Constantly Running a Humidifier

  1. .Operational Capability
    Each model has its own recommended run times, often ranging from 8 to 24 hours. Check what modes it has and whether they are suitable for leaving the humidifier on all night. Even if you do not want to go for 24-hour modes, shorter modes that may fit your sleep pattern better are available.
  2. .Portability and Automation
    Humidifiers with various modes and timers can help you automate and manage your air quality without babysitting the humidifier. Most modern humidifiers are built for individual rooms. They are relatively lightweight and compact, making them easy to take with you to another room or place if necessary.
  3. .Reliability
    Each humidifier is built to support a specific-sized room. Any larger than that, and you will not get the air quality level that you desire despite your humidifier working harder. Please note what size room the humidifier is made for and ensure it suits your chosen room. Different types of humidifiers fit different lifestyles – find one that suits your individual needs.

Benefits of Running a Humidifier All Night

Better Sleep

Humidifying your air throughout the night can help reduce snoring and sinus issues. For snorers and their long-suffering loved ones, having a humidifier on during the night could spell a better night’s sleep for everyone. If this is you, you can breathe easier knowing a humidifier helps maintain your bedroom’s relaxing atmosphere.

Skin Protection

Dry cold air can spell disaster for our skin. The combination of the cold and dry air dries out our skin, especially the skin on our face and hands. This can lead to aggravated skin conditions or exacerbated preexisting skin conditions like eczema.

Humidified air in your home means that you can spend less on moisturizers and hand creams and focus on living your daily routine.

Stop Morning Sinus and Nose Bleeds

For some, morning sinus issues and nosebleeds are a regular, if inconvenient, occurrence. It can interrupt your routine to have to take care of chronic sinusitis and inflamed nasal passages. Having a humidifier on all night can minimize dry nose issues and decrease the chance of inflamed nasal passages triggering nosebleeds.

Decrease the Risk of Infections

Exposure to dry air can cause all kinds of airborne germs and viruses that can damage our health and wellbeing. Colds, flu, and respiratory infections are just some of the health hazards that dry air can bring.

By properly humidifying a room and taking care of your health, you can render these bacteria dormant and minimize the chance of getting ill.

Fast Recovery from Sickness

When a room is adequately humidified, the oxygenized and moist air helps thin mucus and ease sinus symptoms. The more mucus that is expelled, the faster you can recover from the winter sicknesses that often plague the colder months. The moist air can also reduce skin irritation and make you more comfortable overall.

Less Static Electricity

Damp air can reduce the static electricity in a room, making it less likely that you will receive a nasty surprise while going about your business. While static shocks can be funny at times, it is good to keep them to a minimum.

Purple Mist from Humidifier

Risk Factors of Humidifiers Running at Night

  • Excess Moisture
    There is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Excessively damp air can lead to poor air quality overall, creating a clammy feeling in your home. Too much damp air over time can lead to mold or damp patches in your home, which can damage your property and your health.
  • Dry Tank
    Using a humidifier over time, while helpful, does mean that it needs more maintenance over time. Because water is being evaporated into the air, you will need to refill the tank more regularly than those who only run it for part of the day.
  • Increased Electricity Bills (Slightly)
    Running any appliance 24/7 will increase your energy bills – the same is true for a humidifier. Individual ones will not generate much-added electricity, but whole-home ones may significantly increase your electricity bill. However, you may find that you use heating appliances less while running your humidifier, so it may even out overall.

Safety Precautions When Sleeping with a Humidifier

1. Regular Cleaning

Humidifiers are a naturally damp environment that can be home to all kinds of bacteria if not cleaned regularly. Ensure to unplug your humidifier and clean it thoroughly according to manual instruction at least once a week.

Doing this will ensure that you are not adding nasty bacteria to your environment and decreasing the chance of getting ill or replacing your humidifier.

2. Choose the Correct Spot

Where you place your humidifier can have a significant impact on its effectiveness as well as your safety. We recommend doing the following to ensure that it is safe to leave humidifiers on all night:

  • Keeping it away from electronics
  • Away from windows and open doorways
  • In the suitable size space
  • Away from corners
  • Out of reach of pets and children
3. Monitoring Your Home Humidity Levels

Both too little and too much humidity can cause problems for you and your home. Investing in a hygrometer means that you can easily monitor your home’s humidity levels, making knowing when to turn your humidifier on or off a breeze.

4. Use the Recommended Water

While it is easy to think that any water will do, you will need to put the right kind of water into your humidifier for maximum effectiveness. Most manufacturers recommend using distilled or demineralized water rather than tap water as tap water has pollutants and debris that can clog your air and machine.

5. Do Not Use Essential Oils

While essential oils can help make your home smell fresh, they are not the best option for standard humidifiers. The oil can clog or erode the internal parts of your humidifier over time. If you want to use essential oils, either purchase a diffuser or a humidifier with a specialized diffuser feature.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

When shouldn’t you sleep with a humidifier?

Suppose your air is already highly humid, or you have mold issues. In that case, we do not recommend sleeping with a humidifier on while asleep. The added moisture can be uncomfortable at best and add more mold to your home at worst.

Should a fan be on with a humidifier?

A fan can be a big help to those who need to humidify large spaces and homes. This is because the fan helps disperse the moisture evenly throughout your house.

How long does it take for a humidifier to start working?

That depends on the size of the humidifier and the size of your space. Check the product description for details on how long your desired model will take to humidify a room.


Humidifiers are an excellent investment for any home with dry air issues. Should you run a humidifier on all night? If you buy one with a 24-hour mode and a lengthy warranty and take care of it properly, we recommend letting it work while you sleep.

Last Updated on February 15, 2023

Josh M