Baby Accessories

Our Guide to The Best Humidifier for Baby Congestion

Congestion thanks to colds and allergies will, unfortunately, be part of most of our lives at some point. It’s something we deal with by blowing our nose or taking tablets – and maybe bundling up in bed for a day or two. If you’re a baby, however, tablets and tissues aren’t generally an option. Humidifiers, however, are and should be part of a parent’s toolkits when it comes to dealing with blocked noses and stuffy heads.

In our guide to the best humidifier for baby congestion, we’ll cover some of the basics such as what humidifiers do, the different types available on the market, when to use one, and then cover our top 5 picks on the market today and review each in detail. Hopefully, by the end of this guide, you’ll be able to make an informed decision as to which humidifier is best for your baby.

What do humidifiers do?

Firstly, let’s cover off the basics. What do humidifiers do? Humidifiers are electrical devices that release water vapor or steam into the air, increasing levels of moisture and reducing the symptoms of common colds, asthma and allergies as well as dry air in general (including cracked lips, nose bleeds, and sore throats). They are ideal for regulating the humidity levels in your home, which – according to the Mayoclinic – should be between 30 and 50%.

How to check humidity levels

The best, and easiest way to check the humidity levels in a room is to use a hygrometer, which are widely available and pretty affordable (such as the ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer, which is available on Amazon).  You can also find instructions on how to calculate the humidity manually online.

Different types of humidifiers

humidifier

In general, there are five different types of humidifiers you can choose from.  The first, a central humidifier, you may already have as it’s integrated into a lot of modern heating and air conditioning systems.  These work throughout your entire house, which means you can maintain a consistent level of humidity throughout. However, it also means that if you need to increase the moisture in your baby’s room because they’re congested, you’ll struggle to do this.

The other four types of humidifiers are all portable but produce moisture in different ways:

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use (as the name suggests) ultrasonic vibrations to create a fine mist.
  • Impeller humidifiers also produce a fine mist, though this time by using a rotating disk.
  • Evaporators blow air through a wet filter or wick.
  • Steam vaporizers create steam by heating water.

All four of these will work well in the home.  Steam vaporizers used to be considered the best for congestion. However, this view has changed over the years, especially because many now see steam vaporizers as a risk because the water inside them becomes very hot and could scald your baby if it fell on them.

When to use a humidifier

You can use a humidifier any time your baby is congested to reduce any discomfort they might be feeling from a blocked nose.  They can also be used to relieve the symptoms of allergies or asthma. If you find you are using them for an extended period of time, however, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor. Ongoing congestion can be the sign of something more than a cold and, as you’re no doubt aware, one of the best ways to decide if you might need to see a doctor is looking at the type of mucus your child has.

What to look for in a humidifier

When it comes to picking a humidifier, your decision will be based – in part – on what you need it for and where in your home you’re going to use it.  However, if it’s to help your baby feel better when they’re congested, you’ll need to consider safety, size, ease of use, durability, noise levels, and affordability. We’ve looked at all these when selecting our five favorite humidifiers for babies who are congested (if you want to look at humidifiers for asthma and allergies, look at our recent overall guide to humidifiers for babies).

The best humidifiers for baby congestion – Our top 5 picks

1. VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier

General specifications:

Size

10.8 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches

Weight

2.45 pounds

Input

100v-240v, 50-60 hz

Water tank capacity

2.0L

Maximum mist output

>180ml/h

Model number

USAS4-VTVTHM161AWUS-VD

Rating

4.3 out of 5

Price

$42.99

One of, if not the top-rated humidifier on Amazon, the VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier is an affordable option that works for up to 10 hours, meaning it will produce mist throughout the night. Ideally suited for smaller to mid-sized bedrooms, it’s incredibly quiet, meaning it won’t disturb your baby’s sleep, and incredibly easy to use, with a mist control knob that allows you to set the exact level of mist you need.

Notable features:

  • Quieter than a computer (it has a 32dB noise level)
  • One dial control, meaning you can change the humidity levels with one hand, while still holding your baby with the other
  • Automatic shut-off if it runs out of water
  • An anti-slip feature that makes it easy to fill
  • LED indicator to let you know the humidifier is working correctly

Pros and cons:

Pros

Cons

  • Simple and easy to use with one dial to control all the functions.
  • Quiet and unobtrusive.
  • Automatically shuts off if there is no water in the machine, making it safe to use.
  • Limited features because there is only one dial to control the on/off function and humidity levels.
  • May not have enough power for larger bedrooms.

2. Crane USA Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifiers for Kids

General specifications:

Size

9 x 9 x 10.8 inches

Weight

5.25 pounds

Input

100v-240v, 50-60 hz

Water tank capacity

1 Gallon

Model number

EE-8250

Rating

3.4 out of 5

Price

$44.99

While this mist humidifier from Crane doesn’t rate as highly as the VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier, it does have a number of features that make it worth considering for your baby’s room. The first is the look which, while possibly not the most important element when you think about safety, ease of use, etc., is its most distinctive feature. This humidifier has been designed with children in mind, meaning you can choose from one of 18 looks to match your child’s room including cows, elephants, and pink monsters.

Crane’s humidifier is also easy to use and easy to clean: it doesn’t require a filter but does come with a clean control that promises to kill 99.96% of germs and mold (something that can be an issue when it comes to any humidifier). Finally, it’s quiet.  Like the VicTsing model, it operates at 32dB so is no louder than a standard computer.

Notable features:

  • The range of kid-friendly designs
  • Quieter than a computer
  • One dial control, freeing you up to hold your baby while you turn the humidifier on
  • 1 gallon (3.78 L) capacity, which means it can run for 24 hours on the low setting
  • Automatic shut-off if it runs out of water
  • 360o lid that lets you direct the mist where you need it to go

Pros and cons:

Pros

Cons

  • Will delight your baby as it gets older with its bright and bold design
  • Easy to use
  • Holds enough water to run for 24 hours
  • Automatically shuts off when it runs out of water, making it safe to use
  • Ability to direct the mist, so it has the most significant effect on your baby’s congestion
  • Limited features because there is only one dial to control the on/off function and humidity levels.
  • Better for small to mid-sized bedrooms; not powerful enough for larger rooms.
  • Can be awkward to fill.

3. MADETEC Ultrasonic Cool Air Mist Humidifier Diffuser

General specifications:

Size

11.5 x 8.5 x 4.3 inches

Weight

2.03 pounds

Input

100v-240v, 50-60 hz

Water tank capacity

1L

Model number

Cool Mist Humidifier

Rating

4 out of 5

Price

$33.99

As one of the cheaper humidifiers on the market, the MADETEC ultrasonic cool air mist humidifier offers excellent value for money, especially when you consider what it offers in return. This includes a rotating nozzle that allows you to direct the mist where you need it to go, three different mist modes, the ability to add essential oils (eucalyptus would be ideal for a baby with congestion) and remote control, meaning you can change the settings at the touch of a button.

One of the nicest things about this humidifier is its looks.  Unlike most other humidifiers on the market, it isn’t bulky or boxy.  Instead, it is more of a disk shape, sitting low and much more unobtrusively on the table or shelf.  Plus, it has seven different color options with this humidifier, meaning you can use it as a night light too.

Notable features:

  • A rotating nozzle so you can direct the mist where you need it to go
  • Automatic shut-off when the machine runs out of water
  • Three mist modes (low, medium and high)
  • Ability to add essential oils
  • Touch controls on the humidifier itself plus a remote control
  • Multi-colored night light
  • Timer function so you can set it to turn off after a certain period

Pros and cons:

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Ability to add essential oils (which can help your baby’s congestion – eucalyptus for example – or help them sleep, e.g., lavender).
  • A multi-colored night light, which most children will love
  • Multiple mist modes so you can set the level you need
  • Ability to direct the mist where you need it.
  • Long-running time on the low mist level (20 hours)
  • Only really suited for smaller rooms
  • Doesn’t run as long if you have it on high mist mode

4. Tekjoy Cool Mist Humidifiers, Premium Ultrasonic Air Humidifier

General specifications:

Size

11.5 x 8.5 x 4.3 inches

Weight

3.25 pounds

Input

100v-240v, 50-60 hz

Water tank capacity

2.5L

Model number

B07F6R3KQM

Rating

4.3 out of 5

Price

$49.95

The Tekjoy Premium Cool Mist Humidifier shares many of the characters of the MADETEC ultrasonic cool air mist humidifier, although it is more expensive (it also has a slightly higher rating, though not by much). Like the MADETEC version, it comes with a night light option with nine different colors plus the ability to choose the level of mist you need at the touch of the button and set a timer for how long you want the mist to run for.  Unlike the MADETEC model, it’s ideal for larger bedrooms.

All of these things make it a flexible piece of equipment that will fit well into the lives of busy parents who want to set things and then not worry too much about them.  Parents who worry about keeping their humidifiers clean will also appreciate the kit that comes with the Tekjoy humidifier, which includes tank and disk brushes.

Notable features:

  • 360o rotating nozzle so you can direct the mist where you need it to go
  • Automatic shut-off when the machine runs out of water
  • Three mist modes
  • Timer for 4, 8 and 12 hours
  • Easy lift handle
  • Multi-colored night light

Pros and cons:

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use, including a comfortable carry handle
  • A multi-colored night light offering nine colors
  • Three mist modes so you can set the level you need
  • Ability to direct the mist where you need it.
  • A timer that allows you to set the humidifier for up to 12 hours of running
  • Ideal for any sized bedroom.
  • Incredibly quiet (with reviewers on Amazon saying there is no noise at all!)
  • Can be awkward to fill and clean due to its size and design
  • The mist on the low setting isn’t as strong as it might be.

5. Bionaire Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier

General specifications:

Size

13 x 13.2 x 12.5 inches

Weight

6 pounds

Input

100v-240v, 50-60 hz

Water tank capacity

2 Gallon

Model number

BUL9500B-SHP

Rating

3.9 out of 5

Price

$82.81

Most of the models we’ve looked at today are cool mist humidifiers as they are generally considered safer for children’s bedrooms.  If you are looking for a warm air humidifier, however, you can’t go far wrong than with the Bionaire ultrasonic warm and cool mist humidifier which gives you the best of both worlds.

This humidifier is a bit of a beast of a machine and is much heavier and bulkier than the other models we’ve featured, something reflected in the price.  However, it also offers a range of options that the other models don’t, most notably the ability to produce warm air, which can be good if your baby is congested, as well one of the larger tanks we’ve found for the home market.

Notable features:

  • Automatic shut-off when the machine runs out of water
  • Three mist modes
  • Timer for 4, 8 and 12 hours
  • Push button controls, making it easy to use
  • A refill light that lets you know when it’s almost empty

Pros and cons:

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use controls
  • A timer so you can set and forget it
  • Automatic shut off for safety
  • Night light (though only one color and more so you can find it in the dark)
  • Multiple mist modes
  • Large and bulky, meaning it won’t fit nicely into every room
  • Expensive compared to similar models

Final thoughts on the best humidifiers for babies with congestion

Humidifiers are great things to have if your baby is congested or your child suffers from allergies or asthma.  Just what you need a humidifier for and how often you are likely to use it will go a long way to informing your decision when it comes to choosing the right one for you.  However, of the ones we’ve featured here today, there should be something for everyone.

When you make your decision, it’s important to think about the size of the room your baby sleeps in because not all humidifiers are suitable for larger rooms (the MADETEC model, for example, only really works for smaller bedrooms).  You also need to consider just where in the room it will go. It needs to be close enough to your baby to have an affect but not placed somewhere where it will get in the way or might be a hazard (think health and safety!).

While the MADETEC model, for example, isn’t great for larger rooms, for example, it is good for storing neatly on a shelf or table because of its design.  The Crane version is similar, small and neat enough to sit on a bedside table for example. You won’t be able to do that with the Bionaire humidifier, which is big and bulky, though it is probably the best for larger rooms (meaning you can probably put it out of the way in a corner and it will still work).

Once you know where you’re going to put it, think about what else matters to you.  Do you want something that is quick and easy to use, in which case the VicTsing and Crane models are ideal because they have a one dial control which turns the humidifiers on and off as well as controls the level of mist. Alternatively, do you want something that offers you a few more options, letting you control the direction and degree of mist or giving the ability to set it and forget it through the use of a timer?

The answers to these questions will, along with your budget, ultimately inform your decision.  Whichever you choose, however, we are confident that they all have the ability to work in a way that will help your baby if they are suffering from congestion and – hopefully – help them get a good nights sleep.

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