Winter is on our doorstep and along with it, so is the dry, cold air and incessant drone of artificial indoor heat. Just like clockwork, you may start to notice your lips start to crack, your throat become hoarse, your nose start to drip and patches of dry, flaky skin emerge like an unwelcome guest. Luckily, humidifiers, those inventive devices that emit moisture to replenish humidity levels in your home, bedroom or office, help with your dry air woes. And we’re found several that have the expert stamp of approval.
Jen Haley is a board-certified dermatologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, and medical advisor for Editor’s Pick. Haley explained to HuffPost that “When there is more moisture in the air, the water that is already in our skin may be less likely to evaporate. Humidifiers add that extra moisture we need to keep that healthy glow. Especially if you already experience dry skin, a humidifier is a must to add to your bedroom. You’ll find that you not only breathe easier, you may look better, too.”
It’s not just skin that can be compromised from the lack of humidity. Mucous membranes in the throat, nasal passageways and even the eyes can become affected.
“In the winter our mucous membranes also tend to dry out more and get thicker, making it more difficult to filter out what enters through our airways,” said Shawn Nasseri, a Mayo Clinic-trained ear, nose and throat doctor and specialist in Los Angeles. “Running a humidifier can help to keep your nose moist, clean and clear. Remember, thicker secretions means less lubrication, more difficult to clear passageways and are frequently associated with post-nasal drip.”
So what makes a good humidifier? Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York, told HuffPost that “it’s important to look for a humidifier that is appropriate for the size and space of the room. The goal is to achieve a humidity level of 30 to 50%. Too low, and your skin and airways will dry out; too high, and this can promote the growth of bacteria, dust mites and mold.”
Shop these humidifiers that not only meet experts’ qualifications, but are sure to alleviate your dry air symptoms and make your winter a little more bearable.
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Miro washable modular humidifier
King said, "When choosing a humidifier, keep in mind that the tank can become a breeding ground for bacteria or mold, so it's important to look for a humidifier with parts that are easy to disassemble and clean."
The Miro humidifier takes a reassuringly sanitary approach with its easy-to-clean modular design that can be disassembled in one motion so you can reach every area that water has touched. The BPA-free, food-grade plastic adds to the safety of this fourth-generation model. The aerodynamic patented technology powerfully emits enough atomized mist to fill a 600-square-foot room and features an automatic shut off feature. Get it from Amazon for $139.
Pure Guardian ultra sonic warm and cool mist humidifier
The Pure Guardian offers both warm and cool mist in a multidirectional output, and can run for 100 hours on each of its speed settings. "Warm mist humidifiers work by boiling the water in the tank, and this process kills germs before releasing them into the room, which can be a great added safety feature. But this also presents a risk of scalding so this may not be a good choice if children or pets are in the room," King said.
Nasseri also said to "look for humidifiers with a UV light or sterilizer to kill bacteria and common viruses." This Pure Guardian model is silver clean protection treated and also contains a UV-C light to reduce germs and fight the growth of bacteria and mold within the basin. It can cover roughly 380 square feet, so this would be a good option for smaller rooms or personal use. Get it from Amazon for $113.75.
Pure Enrichment ultrasonic cool mist humidifier
is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon in Washington, D.C. who specializes in facial and nasal functions. "A good humidifier is one that meets your preferences and the size of the area you wish to add moisture to," he said.
Somenek also suggested the Pure Enrichment ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. "It has ultrasonic cool mist technology that moisturizes dry air for up to 25 hours," he said. "It also has a 360-degree nozzle that helps keep a consistent balance and regulates the humidity in your home to help relieve cold-like symptoms such as sinus issues. This product is BPA-free, which makes it safe for the entire family."Get it from Amazon for $39.99.
Milin cool mist germ-free humidifier
"If you're thinking of trying a more energy-efficient option, cool mist humidifiers use less power to run, and will still add moisture to your bedroom," Haley explained. The Milan produces cool mist while also providing EPA-approved air sterilization technology that uses micro-electrolysis to destroy harmful germs and bacteria in the air, as well as in the water that it is atomizing. The large-capacity tank means longer run times and three different mist modes give customized level of air moisture, each equipped with the sterilization function. Get it from Amazon for $119.99.
Afloia air purifier and humidifier combo
Nasseri suggested getting a humidifier and air purifier combo because they often have HEPA filters and can be more effective in trapping allergens and bacteria in the air while creating a comfortable level of humidity.
The Afloria purifier and humidifier combo contains a HEPA 13 filter, which can catch everything from pollen to pet dander to dust and odor. It also uses unique humidifying technology that adds moisture to the air without emitting large quantities of mist. Get it from Amazon for $139.99.
Dyson pure humidify + cool
This Dyson is a smart and multifunctional approach to significantly improved air quality that you can use year-round. Enjoy both the purify and humidify setting that circulates and projects better air into even the largest of spaces. The cooling oscillating fan feature can also be programed to vary airflow, closely mimicking the feel of real breeze.
HEPA filters and an UV cleanser technology remove 99.9% of bacteria, allergens and gasses from the air and intelligently detects airborne particles, temperature and humidity levels while providing you air quality data in real time. Get it from Dyson for $719.99.