29 answers

Cool Mist or Warm Mist Humidifier

My 4-month old has developed a cold - cough, sneezing and congestion. Should I get him a warm mist or cool mist humidifier?

2 moms found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone! I went with the cool mist.

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My son is 6 yrs old. Since he was born I have always been told to use a cool mist. Just depends on all the symptoms. Warm mist is for nasal congestion, but along w/ the indoor heater, can cause too much dryness. So we have always used cool mist. It keeps the bronchial passages moist, and cuts way down on the coughing. Hope this helps.

I dont understand what some of the moms are talking about. The cool mist does promote mold and bacteria. I had one and it also produced "white dust" on EVERYTHING in the room! When I bought one that said it wouldnt do that, the air smelled like dead fish! Also the cool mist makes the room real cold. I switched to the warm mist. It works great. No white dust and also keeps his room warm and cozy. My son is going to be 17 months. Just keep it out of reach. I dont bring it out until he is in his crib ready to go to sleep. Good luck!

I bought and have both. But I always gravitate toward the warm mist. When my daughter is congested, the doctor also says to put her in a small bathroom with the shower running to steam her. Isn't that also warm mist? :)

I think you'll find 50/50...half of what you read says one or the other. And the bacteria thing, I've read for both cold and warm. I'd say get one that is the easiest to clean and just keep it clean. We have the Vicks warm mist, and it IS hard to clean.

More Answers

Vicks or Eucalyptus oil can help open breathing passages & can be added to steam vaporizers.
The one concern is to be sure that you clean either one of them frequently preferably with vinegar/water & let them run for at least 2-4 hours. I have actually taken care of children in the hospital who were being infected again from bacteria growing in their vaporizers as well as humidifiers.

Hi Cara,

With babies, I'd keep the warm mist while you are running the heater. My parents told me that & let me borrow one that's about 30 years old. It seems to do the job. They have only been sick once & they're 9 month old twin boys. I hope this helps you! Have a great week.

S. J

cool mist humidifier b/c it doesn't promote mold and bacteria growth.

Cool Mist is better due to the dryer air that some heating units put out. I don't think warm or cool are any better than the other but usually this time of year is you have a gas furnance cool will be better. The difference between one or the other is the warm you can add medication to the water. Not only that a saline mist is good to spray up the nose to flush out any germs that may be in the air, and suck out any snot that maybe in the nose. My son is 14 monhs old and I just took him in for what I thought was a cold but turns out it was a virus and allergies and the doctor told me to give hm half a teaspoon and Zertec for children and let me tell you it knocked it right out. He was coughing and runny nose and sneezing. Good luck.

T.

The best advice would come from your pediatrician in which case you could just give them a call or call your local pharmacist...either could give you the right advice, which is very important. There has been much discussion about this since my daughter was very little. She is 26 now!! Best to check with the experts.
KAM

Pediatricians would like you to use a cool mist humidifier. I have one and it is great. Cool mist is definitely what is recommended by doctors and hospitals.

I don't know the reasoning for it but my pediatrician told us at that age to always use the cool mist.

Cool mist is best. We use one with my 7 week old and it is what was recommended from our doctor and many friends. From the research I have done on my own they seem much safer as well.

My son is 6 yrs old. Since he was born I have always been told to use a cool mist. Just depends on all the symptoms. Warm mist is for nasal congestion, but along w/ the indoor heater, can cause too much dryness. So we have always used cool mist. It keeps the bronchial passages moist, and cuts way down on the coughing. Hope this helps.

They both work the same...but most doctors recommend using the cool mist because a child can burn themselves on the warm mist (it heats up to make the mist warm). Good luck!

I bought and have both. But I always gravitate toward the warm mist. When my daughter is congested, the doctor also says to put her in a small bathroom with the shower running to steam her. Isn't that also warm mist? :)

I think you'll find 50/50...half of what you read says one or the other. And the bacteria thing, I've read for both cold and warm. I'd say get one that is the easiest to clean and just keep it clean. We have the Vicks warm mist, and it IS hard to clean.

My boys always responded better to the Vicks Vaporizer (warm mist) when they are congested. Try saline solution with a bulb syringe to draw out nasal discharge too periodically. Keeping the sinuses as clear as possible will help with the coughing anyway. The cool mist humidifier made the room feel downright chilly! I felt better humidity and warmth with the warm mist too. good luck!

We had both, and the cool mist worked the best for our daughter.

We have a cool-mist humidifier and seems to work great for my little one. Since we put him in daycare it has been one cold after another and this is what our doctor suggested. Hope this helps.

Good morning K.,
go into
www.yourbestair.com/garrett
then put in US40359B and check this humidifier out. I understand it purifiers the air as well as puts humidity in it.
good luck
J. G

Cool mist!!! I have heard of children being seriously burned when they pull warm mist humidifiers over on themselves once they are mobile.

I prefer a standard vicks vaperizor they work the best IMO.

also LOVE the vicks baby rub really works great!

hth
A. J

We just spent last week at Children's Hospital with my 15 mo. old for a severe case of croup. The respiratory therapists told us to use a cool mist humidifier with her. So that is what I would suggest.

I hope your baby gets to feeling better soon!!

Cool mist. The warm mist brews bacteria into air (says my pedi) and can be a burn danger w/ children.

I've used both and find warm mist to be more effective.

One of the primary reasons doctors recommend cool mist is because of the injury factor to young children of the hot steam and heating coil.

And it is untrue that molds/bacteria are avoided with cool mist humidifiers. Bacteria, especially, is more common with the cool mist option.

With Texas being so humid, a cool mist humidifier is best to own. I got my info from a pharmacist.

I've been using the Cool mist all along and that's what our Dr. always recommended.

If his cough is dry and hacking, the air in his room is too dry and a warm mist humidifier will dampen the air. If the cough is wet and productive already, there is no need for either a warm or cool mist humidifier. If your home as gas heat, the air in your home is too dry.

Be careful with cool mist humidifiers - they make the air in the room very chilly!

Get a cool mist vaporizor. They are safer when the babies become toddlers and they are mobile. No chance of burning their curious little hands!

Cool mist---that way when he is older you don't have to worry about him burning his hand when he sticks it in the steam. I just bought one---it's a Crane. Comes in all sorts of animal shapes. It works very well and I love it. It has helped us all sleep better and wake up less congested. I bought it at Babies R Us for 39.99.
I found that using distilled/filtered water helps a lot.

I dont understand what some of the moms are talking about. The cool mist does promote mold and bacteria. I had one and it also produced "white dust" on EVERYTHING in the room! When I bought one that said it wouldnt do that, the air smelled like dead fish! Also the cool mist makes the room real cold. I switched to the warm mist. It works great. No white dust and also keeps his room warm and cozy. My son is going to be 17 months. Just keep it out of reach. I dont bring it out until he is in his crib ready to go to sleep. Good luck!

Things I've read all say cool. Warm is more likely to breed mold and such. Eww. We've always had the cool ones and they seem to do the trick.

edited to add:
I saw that you already purchased a humidifier, but in case someone looks up this thread in the future, I thought I'd add my 2 cents...

IMHO, most dr.s will suggest cool mist due to the liability factor of a heat source in a child's reach. However, based on both what I've read & experienced with my own family, warm mist is more effective for relieving symptoms associated with colds and allergies and has less chance for spreading bacteria and spores that can grow more readily in a cool mist humidifier.
(And we use the plain-jane Vick's humidifier we found at Wal-Mart & it doesn't emit a mist hot enough to burn -- hot enough to cause you to draw your hand away, but not hot enough to burn. Pulling it over is a concern for absent-minded babysitters maybe, but really, if you're going to leave your baby in a room alone with a humidifier (or its cord) within reach, then that child has bigger problems to worry about...)

HTH!

the cool mist ones have less probability of mold growth

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