How to Use a Humidifier to Fight Cold and Flu Symptoms

Dealing with nasal congestion - How To Cure A Cold With A Humidifier

A cold is among the worst conditions you could get. It is so awful that it can keep you awake all night and away from your regular tasks.

So, how are you battling such an intense illness like this? Since the primary cause for cough is low humidity, set up the best cough humidifier in your home or office. Increasing interior humidity can prevent or ease your illness, be it bronchitis, asthma, or a cold.

Table Of Contents

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In A Hurry?

If you require a humidifier and do not want to read the entire article, below are the recommended items from the article.  (Low, Medium and High Price)

Which Is the best Humidifier for A Cold

When dealing with A Cold, the best humidifier is the Keecoon 8L Diffusers for Essential Oils 2.11 Gal Ultrasonic Cool Mist

However, this will depend on several things, like if you want it to do several tasks – like Dorm Room, or Cold and Flu symptoms.

There will also be costs for the humidifier - like Mist Type, Water Tank Capacity, Coverage Area and Noise Level. So as you can see, there is a lot in picking the right humidifier!

As multiple kinds of humidifiers are now on sale, it may be a challenging task to purchase the specific one for soothing cough, particularly if you're unfamiliar with the humidifiers.

Because of this, you need to know that there are three types of humidifiers: Evaporative, Warm-Mist, and Ultrasonic. The one that will benefit you in calming the cold is a warm mist humidifier.

Typically, when you are fighting a cough, your nose and throat get dry. This is because the humidity needed is higher than the humidity levels in your room, resulting in a cough. Here are the ways the humidifier for cough can minimize your cold symptoms.

  • It raises the humidity in the air, making it simpler to breathe.
  • It moisturizes dry, sore throat.
  • It minimizes inflammation in the nasal passages.
  • It eases the inflammation caused by the sinuses.

Let's take a quick look at how it works and what to consider when buying a humidifier strictly for a cold.

Features To Be Considered When Buying A Humidifier

Not all humidifiers are the same, which implies that you must look at various features when ordering individual humidifiers. If you want to buy the right humidifier for cough, the most important considerations to remember are as follows.

Mist Type

Humidifiers can produce either a warm or cold mist. Warm mist is refreshing and pleasant in the winter, but the cold mist is incredibly soothing in the summer. Humidifiers are most often found in warmer months during influenza and cold season, but a device with a warm mist is usually perfect.

Remember that if you use a humidifier in a comparatively large space, office or condo, air particles are likely to be at room temperature when they reach you. Warm humidifiers provide a heating device, so it is not recommended leaving them to function, especially if there are kids or pets in the house with no adults around.

Water Tank Capacity

The water tank capacity of the machine decides two or more things. First, remember that the bigger the reservoir's size, the more mist will be expelled into the environment. If your device has a higher capacity, it can moisturize a wider area for a more extended period.

A greater tank size often ensures that you need not refill the reservoir, as with a smaller tank. A bigger tank capacity will increase the unit's efficiency since it is not so often refilled as a smaller tank.

Mist Time 

Mist time is the duration at which a humidifier can spray until the tank dries out. A humidifier typically has various modifications such that a device has a mist time of up to 20 hours as is marketed, and this may be at the lowest possible level.

The tank could dry up in just 12 hours while you were using it in a high environment. Ensure you pick an alternative model with a ten-hour mist time, at least when you plan to be using your device at night. This means that it stays active until you wake up.

Coverage Area 

Each humidifier can cover an extensive area. Whereas the smallest units are for desktop use, the largest will humidify an entire house. Bedroom humidifiers fall somewhere in between. Remember that over humidifying your home could lead to mold growth, so avoid this by selecting an ideal model for where you want to use it.

Noise Level

Every humidifier makes some noise, regardless of how quiet they advertise it to be. If you have a bedroom model, it needs to be very quiet to disturb your sleep. Typically, the bigger the device, the louder it is. Models with warm mist and evaporation operate quietly. If you are an extremely sound-sensitive person, look for models that work quietly.

Essential Oils Diffuser

Essential oils are highly valued. They even relieve and settle feelings after a hard day besides their wonderful scent. Purchase a model with the required oil diffusion option if you have experience in essential oils. This helps you save money and energy, as two large appliances would not be necessary for your home.

Look at if the device comes with an auto shut-off, which ensures that it is safe to leave it, operating all night long, even with your kids sleeping by, without fearing the unit overheating.

A Timer

You can control the unit more efficiently with a timer along with the intensity levels.

Filter / Auto-cleaner

Filterless devices are easy to manage because they don't involve extra costs, whereas humidifiers with filters make the water pure and extend the device's longevity. However, remember that adding these outstanding features could require you to pay more for the device.

Extra Features

An excellent extended warranty is also a must since humidifiers, like any other electronic device, tend to break from time to time, so some sort of guarantee is always good to have. Consider the timer and a filter as well.

How To Help With a Blocked Nose

If you have nasal congestion due to your cold or flu, using a humidifier is an excellent way to help clear out any mucus that has built up in your airways. A humidifier can also work wonders for relief of other symptoms like coughing and chest tightness, as the added moisture helps loosen the mucus that’s making breathing tough.

1) Daytime Humidity Therapy for Cold or Flu

If you have a cold or flu and want to use a humidifier, always start out with a low setting. You may not even notice anything until the moisture is right near you, which is why it’s important to not overdo it. Once you get used to the humidity feel, adjust the humidity higher.

2) Nighttime Humidity Therapy for Coughing or Chest Congestion

Some people like to set up their humidifier next to their bed at night time if they are coughing or have chest congestion and need relief from these symptoms. Set the humidifier’s mist output to a low level, especially if you are trying to sleep. By increasing the level of moisture gradually and very gently throughout the night, you will notice how much more comfortable it is to breathe in your congested areas.

3) Added Motivation to Get Well

If you are suffering from a cold or the flu, turn on your humidifier and put it in the same room where you spend most of your time. Do this especially if you have a lot of mucus hanging around the back of your throat or nasal passages. The misty moisture will flow like a gentle wave into your mouth and nose, which helps loosen those bothersome little gobs of congestion lingering there, making it easier for you to cough them up.

4) Exhaustion

Humidity therapy is a great way to get some comfortable relief from nasal congestion, especially if you have been experiencing this for days on end. As your airways become less stuffy and more clear, you’ll feel much better, which will make it easier to rest. You will be able to sleep better because your breathing process is not obstructed by mucus build-up in your airways.

5) Chest Congestion as an Indication of a Deeper Problem

If you wake up in the morning with congestion deep in the back of your throat, it could mean that you are developing sinusitis or some other type of infection. If this is the case, you should take some of your nasal congestion relief medication and then follow it up with some humidity therapy to help clear out your air passages more quickly.

6) Humidifier Safety Tips

Some humidifiers have safety features that prevent them from being used at night because, if you accidentally fall asleep with the humidifier on, you could possibly fall into a deep sleep and not hear it making noise. In addition to that, there are mist outputs that automatically shut off in the middle of the night so that no water overflows onto furniture or wooden flooring. You also don’t want your humidifier to get too hot, so be sure to keep it covered.

7) The Right Humidifier

It’s important to use the right humidifier for your particular issue. If you just have a cold, you don’t necessarily need to buy a fancy humidifier with all kinds of bells and whistles. Your best option is to start with something inexpensive. If a cheap little table top model works, then that’s perfect. Later on you can invest in one of those fancy ultrasonic types if you find that this works well enough for your needs.

8) The Morning Dilemma

In some cases, when your nasal congestion is really bad all night long, it can make it difficult for you to breathe in the morning and get going. This is because you may have a lot of mucus build up in the back of your throat, which makes breathing through it difficult. The remedy for this is to start out with a very low setting and work your way up to higher levels as you start getting closer to the morning.

9) Be Careful With Air Purifiers

If you are already suffering from a cold or the flu and then you have a really bad case of congestion, that is probably going to end up being worse the more you breathe. This is because your airway is already congested with mucus, and now another layer of mucus has accumulated on top of that. It’s best to use elbow grease to loosen up this congestion instead of using an expensive air purifier.

10) Using A Humidifier With A Vaporizer or Essential Oil Diffuser

Sometimes getting enough circulation into the airways when using a humidifier can be difficult. If you have an essential oil diffuser, you can add your essential oil drops directly to the diffuser itself or to the water in the humidifier. This will have a gentle warming effect that will help loosen up congestion and improve nasal breathing.

11) Set The Humidifier at Night While You Sleep

One of the best uses for a humidifier is at night time, especially if you are suffering from congestion in your airway. Set your humidifier output to one that is low enough so that it doesn’t bother you while you sleep. Add several drops of essential oils to it if that feels good for you, but keep this regimen short-term only as far as possible. You don’t want to be coming to the end of the day and find that your congestion is still bad.

12) Natural Sinusitis Remedies

If you have sinusitis, there are natural remedies you can try. Many people have reported success with using a mixture of honey, olive oil and a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a small glass container overnight. This mixture is heated on the stove and held around the front of the head while resting with a towel over your face.

If you are having an allergy-like reaction to drugs or medications, this can be an excellent natural alternative for sinus relief that is not only safe, but works quickly as well.

Summing Up

Do you need a cheaper alternative in winter to treat the cold and flu? Warm mist humidifiers may be your safest choice. They heat the water through their inner heating source before applying it to the air. This kills bacteria or all other molds and decreases the risk of cold or influenza.

However, the downside of warm mist humidifiers is that they use more energy to heat the water before spraying it in the air. The possibility of burns is also a disadvantage. Otherwise, bacterial infection can be reduced with warm mist humidifiers. They work silently, minimize the risk of mineral particles' buildup, and enable inhalants that treat the flu and the cold.

Please Note: Just because a humidifier is marked, for example “Baby Room”, it will still work for other things, for example “Living Room” or “Plant Humidifier”

Items To Buy

Again, the humidifiers below are probably the ones that you will need to buy!

The prices of these are low, medium and high. This will give you the best range. The lower prices will not have all the bells-and-whistles, and the higher price one's will.

  • VICKS FILTER-FREE COOL MIST HUMIDIFIER: This cool mist humidifier won't need replacement filters, and it's 1.2 gallon tank can give up to 30 hours of soothing mist. Vicks cool mist humidifier is quiet, making it great for your bedroom or baby's nursery
  • VICKS HUMIDIFIERS FOR BABIES, KIDS, ADULTS: Humidifiers diffuse moisture into the air, and many women and men find that a humidifier for the bedroom becomes an essential part of a good nights sleep when the air is dry, in allergy season, or when sick
  • COUGH AND CONGESTION RELIEF: When you or your kid has a cold, it can be difficult to sleep through the night. Humidifiers, vaporizers, and steam inhalers provide temporary relief from coughing and congestion, so your rest won't be as disturbed by coughing fits
  • VICKS VAPORIZERS, HUMIDIFIERS AND STEAM INHALERS: Moisture and humidity offer temporary relief from cough and congestion due to colds or allergies. Vicks line of humidifiers and steam inhalers, help you breathe easier wherever you are, from the bedroom to the office
  • HUMIDIFIERS FOR BEDROOMS, DESKS, TABLES: Our humidifiers and vaporizers help you breathe better wherever you are.
  • [Humidifiers for Room & Bedroom] The 2.11-gallon ultrasonic humidifier is designed for large rooms up to 500 sq ft & long lasts for 24 hours humidification between refill. Best whole house humidifiers for home, bedroom, dorm and living room!
  • [Top Fill Design Humidifiers with Essential Oils Tray] Features a 2.1 Gallons detachable water tank, you can easily open the lid to add water from top without bending over! Add your favorite essential oils to the tray on the back of the humidifier to relax and enjoy your undisturbed time.
  • [Customized Humidity & 3 Speed Options] It has an adjustable humidistat, with 3 levels of humidification, and a maximum of 300mL/h fine mist output. You can easily customize your humidity at home.
  • [Whisper Quiet & Water Shortage Protection] This large capacity humidifier runs below 35dB, which promotes a good night’s sleep for the family, especially the baby!
  • [30 Days Free Replacement & 1 Year Warranty] We firmly stand behind our products. Please feel free to contact us for any product assistance, and the best after-sales service team is always with you.

Other Questions


Can a humidifier make a cough worse?

Yes, in some cases. Before you use your humidifier, you want to make sure that the air in your house isn't too dry. A general rule of thumb is to fill a small cup with water and put it on the mantelpiece overnight. If it evaporates before morning, you know that the air in your house is too dry and you want to increase the humidity before turning on your humidifier for relief from cold or flu symptoms.

A humidifier can help fight against nasal congestion because it increases moisture in the air which helps keep nasal passages moist and healthy-looking.

How to use a humidifier as a decongestant

A good way to have some relief from a stuffy nose is by using your humidifier. The humidifier can help keep the nasal passages moist, and this can have a decongestant effect. It works best when you turn it on for no more than 20 or 30 minutes at a time, however. If you use it for too long, you might end up with more congestion than before.

Although it's not a perfect solution, humidifiers can give you some relief from the symptoms of the common cold or flu. It does help to keep nasal passages moist and can also help ease congestion.

Is humidifier good for the lungs?

Does a humidifier help lung health? The short answer to this is "yes." There have been studies that show that a lack of humidity in the air is associated with respiratory distress. This means that by adding moisture to the air, there can be improvement in lung function.

The other benefit of using a humidifier is to help ease coughing. When you have cold or flu symptoms, you usually get coughing fits and a humidifier can help make these less severe.

Can a humidifier help relieve a dry throat?

If you have a dry throat, using a humidifier can keep moisture in the air so that your throat doesn't get any drier. It also allows you to breathe easier, but you do need to make sure that humidity levels aren't too high because this can also cause problems when it's too high.

The best way to use a humidifier if you're suffering from cold or flu symptoms is to turn it on for 30 minutes at a time, and then turn it off for an hour or two before turning it back on again. This way, you'll benefit from added moisture in the air without making your symptoms worse.


If you require more information, please check these references

Extrinsic allergic alveolitis caused by a cold water humidifier , article, "", retrieved on, Fri 16-October-2020

Discussion on the common cold. , article, "", retrieved on, Fri 16-October-2020


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Nick Le Page

 An air purifier is a device designed to remove dust, pollen, smoke, soot, mold spores, smog, and other airborne pollutants from the air.

If you want to keep your home clean and free of contaminants—and save money on heating and air conditioning bills—quality air purifiers are a powerful first step.

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