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The Benefits of Sleeping with a Humidifier

The Benefits of Sleeping with a Humidifier

According to the CDC, an average adult between the ages of 18 and 60-years-old needs 7 hours per night. 

While some may function at full capacity with 5 hours of sleep per night and others need closer to 10 hours, the quality of your sleep is a crucial factor. A good, restful night’s sleep provides ample benefits to your overall health and well-being. 

Humidity levels play a noticeable role in the quality of your sleep. Optimal home humidity levels sit between 40% and 60% based on personal preference. When humidity levels drop below 40%, the quality of your sleep can be affected. 

Humidity levels below 40% can cause dry or itchy skin, trigger allergy or asthma symptoms, itchy eyes, scratchy or dry throat, congestion, and more. Placing a humidifier in your bedroom can help you avoid the negative symptoms of low humidity and improve your nightly snooze.   

What Are the Benefits of Sleeping with a Humidifier?

Sleeping with a humidifier in your room can provide a multitude of benefits for the overall quality of your sleep. In particular, raising RH to the optimal levels while you sleep can improve snoring and increase comfort for those who suffer from sleep apnea.  

Benefits of Humidifier for Snoring

Upwards of 45% of adults experience occasional snoring. That is nearly half of the adult population! Snoring is a very common problem ranging in severity from light vibrations to loud, disruptive sounds. 

Snoring is often caused by a restriction of the airways, which results from the relaxation of facial and throat muscles while you sleep. Increasing the humidity levels in your bedroom while you sleep can help to reduce inflammation in the throat and nasal passage and soothe irritated airways.  

Benefits of Humidifier for Sleep Apnea

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, the most common complaints from sleep apnea sufferers using a CPAP machine are:

  • That the CPAP machine leads to dry mouth
  • That the CPAP machine causes a stuffy nose, which impairs breathing
  • That the CPAP machine causes a burning in the nasal passage that interferes with the quality of sleep

A CPAP machine works by drawing in air from the environment and delivering that air directly into the nasal passages (and the mouth if you use a full face mask). If your home humidity levels are lower than 40%, the air drawn into your CPAP machine has low moisture content. Low moisture content can cause dry mouth, stuffy nose and congestion, and a burning in your nasal passage as listed above.

These complaints are easily mitigated by the use of a humidifier. Increase relative humidity (RH) in your home, and you can improve the moisture content of the air delivered through your CPAP machine. 

What Are the Risks of Sleeping with a Humidifier?

The health benefits of sleeping with a humidifier far outweigh the potential risks. There are two completely preventable risks of sleeping with a humidifier. 

The first risk is the potential development of “white dust” by using tap water in a humidifier device that requires distilled water. The second risk is the potential for excess humidity in your home, which can occur if RH levels are not properly monitored. 

White Dust

“White dust” is a build-up of microscopic minerals that can build up in your humidifier from the use of tap or unfiltered water. When mist is emitted from your humidifier device, the mineral deposits left behind on surfaces create a thin, white layer that looks like a white dust. 

Most humidifiers require the use of distilled or filtered water to operate efficiently. Be sure to read your device manual before adding water to the water tank to avoid any issues. 

Canopy humidifiers have two layers of protection against the build-up of minerals or bacteria in the water tank. UV lights embedded in the device tank kill 99.9% of bacteria in the water while the wood pulp paper filter kills any remaining bacteria. The result: you can use tap, distilled, or filtered water in your Canopy device! Less fuss, more results. 

Excess Humidity

Running your humidifier every night can provide exceptional benefits for your body while you sleep. 

It is imperative to monitor the humidity levels in your home, however, to ensure that humidity levels remain within the optimal levels. If the RH of your home exceeds 60%, you may start to feel physically uncomfortable. With excess humidity in your home, you also run the risk of developing mold or bacteria on your walls, curtains, or any item in the direct line of the humidifier mist. 

You can measure humidity levels of your home by using a hygrometer. If the hygrometer reads 50% or higher, it is best to avoid using your humidifier. If humidity levels get too high, you may need to use a dehumidifier to reduce moisture in the air. 

How Close Should a Humidifier Be to Your Bed?

An ultrasonic (or misting) humidifier should be placed no closer than 3 feet from your bed. Placing an ultrasonic humidifier too close to your bed can cause the mist from your humidifier to dampen your sheets, pillows, or comforter. Over time, this may cause mold or mildew to develop, which can be harmful to your health. 

Depending on your preferences, the gentle white noise from a humidifier can help with sleep. 

Canopy humidifiers are designed to be placed in any room, as close to your bed as you so desire. Due to Canopy’s no-mist technology, you can place your humidifier merely inches from your bed without fear of water damage. Canopy’s fan generates a gentle white when on the high setting. 

Additional Health Benefits

Adding a humidifier to your home appliance arsenal is a great move for your health and wellness. In addition to improving the overall quality of your sleep, regularly using a humidifier in your home can provide the following benefits: 

  • Improve dry, itchy or flaky skin
  • Improve dry and flaky scalp
  • Heal severely dry or cracked lips 
  • Restore the skin barrier
  • Reduce the signs of aging including fine lines, crows feet, and wrinkles
  • Clear congestion
  • Improve sinuses 
  • Reduce irritation suffered from dry and itchy throat
  • Improve common cold symptoms
  • Reduce the survival rate of airborne viruses
  • Improve breathing in babies
  • Improve dry, itchy skin in babies
  • Help indoor plants to thrive 

What Does a Humidifier Do?

What Does a Humidifier Do?

The Internet can seem like a cosmic black hole of information. There are so many robust, detailed resources available at our fingertips that we often know detailed facts, stats, or results while lacking an actual foundation. 

Think of this blog as “Humidifiers 101,” a brief course with all the information you need to make your first humidifier purchase. 

We will answer the following questions:

  • What is a Humidifier?
  • What Does a Humidifier Do?
  • How Does a Humidifier Work?
  • Are There Any Risks?
  • If you are well-versed in the language of humidifiers, send this crash-course to friends, family, or loved ones contemplating a humidifier purchase or test your knowledge in the sections, below.

    Attention: class is in session.

    What is a Humidifier?

    A humidifier is a home appliance that increases the moisture content of the air otherwise known as “humidity.” A humidifier increases humidity by increasing the volume of moisture in a particular space.

    There are two categories of humidifiers: cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers. While both cool mist and warm mist humidifiers increase moisture content in your home, they have slight differences worth noting.

    Cool Mist Humidifiers

    Cool mist humidifiers release – you guessed it – cool hydrated air into your space. Ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers are categorized as cool mist humidifiers. We will discuss exactly how these humidifier types operate in the section “How Does a Humidifier Work?” below.

    Warm Mist Humidifiers

    Warm mist humidifiers, otherwise known as “vaporizers,” release warmed mist into your space. Vaporizers can slightly elevate the temperature of a room making them a common winter staple. You can learn more about vaporizers in our blog Humidifiers vs. Vaporizers

    What Does a Humidifier Do?

    A humidifier increases the Relative Humidity of an isolated space. Relative Humidity (RH) is the actual amount of moisture in the air vs. the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at a specific temperature. Higher temperatures can hold more moisture than lower temperatures. 

    Why is some humidity a good thing? Simply put: water is the essence of life. While consuming water is a surefire way of maintaining adequate bodily hydration, atmospheric moisture levels can help further hydrate the body in ways that may not immediately come to mind. 

    The Benefits of Using a Humidifier

    Regular use of a humidifier can have a myriad of benefits for your overall health and wellness. 

    The benefits of humidifier use include (but are certainly not limited to): 

    • Rehydrating dry, dehydrated skin
    • Rehydrating dry or cracked lips
    • Improving the appearance of skin aging including fine lines and wrinkles
    • Improving nasal congestion and sinus congestion
    • Easing throat irritation
    • Improving common cold symptoms
    • Reducing the rate of survival for airborne viruses
    • Reducing congestion and breathing impairments in babies
    • Rehydrating dry, dehydrated skin in babies
    • Improving dry, flaky and often itchy scalp

    How Does a Humidifier Work?

    As we mentioned earlier in this blog, a humidifier works by raising humidity levels in your environment. Before we delve into exactly how a humidifier device operates, you first need to measure the humidity levels in your home. 

    First: Measuring Humidity Levels

    Dry skin? Stuffy nose? Itchy eyes? You may have a humidity problem. 

    To effectively determine whether your health “symptoms” are related to low levels of humidity, you need to first measure the humidity levels in your home. A hygrometer is a very useful tool that measures humidity levels in any given location; you will need one of these tools to ensure safe use of your humidifier. 

    Before you head to Amazon to purchase a hygrometer, however, check your home thermostat. Most smart thermostats have a functional humidity reader, which can save you time and money. 

    The optimal humidity range for your home falls between 40% and 60%, depending on your personal preference. Use your thermostat or new hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in either your home or a particular room (like your bedroom) where you tend to spend most of your time. 

    How Does an Ultrasonic Humidifier Work?

    An ultrasonic humidifier vibrates a metal diaphragm at sonic speed (hence “ultrasonic”) to create water droplets. These water droplets are then blown out into the room with the device fan in the form of cool mist.

    How Does an Evaporative Humidifier Work?

    An evaporative humidifier draws in air from the room into the device and fans the air through a moistened wick. The air is then fanned back into the room with newly contained water droplets. 

    How Does a Vaporizer Work?

    Steam humidifiers or “vaporizers” release warm mist into the room. This warm mist is created by boiling water from the water tank, which produces a fine vapor. The resulting vapor is fanned into the room, and as mentioned above, slightly elevates the temperature of the room. 

    Are There any Risks?

    As with most household appliances, humidifiers are safe if properly cared for in accordance with the user manual. 

    If not properly used and cleaned regularly, a humidifier tank can develop mold and bacteria that is subsequently released into the air. In addition, if your humidifier calls for filtered or distilled water and you use unfiltered water, your device may release “white dust” into the air that can trigger allergies or asthma attacks. 

    Mold & Bacteria

    Cleaning your humidifier is a crucial step to ensure proper function and safety of your device. 

    Sitting water in any capacity, whether in your bathtub, sink, or flower vase, can develop mold and bacteria if not properly cleaned. The same goes with your humidifier water tank. 

    To learn exactly how to clean your humidifier, you can read our blog “How to Clean a Humidifier.” You should always refer to your user manual for precise directions for cleaning your humidifier. As a general rule of thumb, you should: 

    • Wipe down your humidifier after each use
    • Deep clean your humidifier tank and water reservoir regularly depending on which model you have and frequency of use

    White Dust

    “White dust” is the result of minerals (like magnesium or calcium) in unfiltered water that are released into the air. If you identify small white specks or a thin layer of white residue on the counter beneath or next to your humidifier, your humidifier may be releasing white dust.  

    While nothing more than a nuisance on cleaning day for most people, white dust can affect asthmatics, those who suffer from severe allergies, or individuals with lung or sinus problems. 

    Most humidifiers require the use of filtered or distilled water to avoid polluting your home air with minerals that are harmful to inhale. With Canopy humidifiers, you need not worry about using filtered water in the tank since UV lights kill 99.9% of bacteria, mold, and viruses in the water and our paper filters stop any remaining contaminants from entering the air. 

    Humidifier vs. Vaporizer

    Bedside Humidifier

    Humidifier vs. Vaporizer

    What is the difference between a humidifier and a vaporizer? Which one is best for my lifestyle? What are the health benefits? 

    We get to these questions and more in this blog post. For brevity’s sake, here’s the gist: a vaporizer is a type of humidifier, but it differs slightly from ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers in that it boils water to create water vapor, slightly elevating the temperature of a room.

    Before you decide what type of humidifier is best for you, let’s talk about the details.  

    Water Particles

    What is a Humidifier?

    A humidifier is a device that expels moisture into the air to increase relative humidity (RH). The type of humidifier you choose dictates how moisture is released from the device; there are three types of humidifiers: ultrasonic humidifiers, evaporative humidifiers, and steam vaporizers.

    Ultrasonic Humidifiers

    An ultrasonic humidifier is the most common type of humidifier on the market. An ultrasonic humidifier works by vibrating a metal diaphragm at sonic speed to create water droplets that are then fanned into the room to increase humidity levels.

    Evaporative Humidifiers

    An evaporative humidifier works similarly to a bedroom fan: this type of humidifier draws air into the device from the surrounding room. The air is passed through a moistened wick, which binds water droplets with air molecules, and fanned back into the room. 

    Personal Humidifier

    What is a Steam Vaporizer?

    A steam vaporizer is technically a humidifier, though it operates quite differently than ultrasonic humidifiers and evaporative humidifiers. A steam vaporizer, also known as a warm-mist humidifier, functions by boiling water to create water vapor, which is then fanned into the room. 

    The steam immediately released from a vaporizer can be very hot, as can any water condensation from the device tank. While the steam from a vaporizer cools to a comfortable level when it touches the room, steam vaporizers are not recommended in households with babies, small children, or pets. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages the use of cool or cold mist humidifiers for baby nurseries to avoid a burning hazard. 


    The Similarities & Differences

    Since a steam vaporizer is a humidifier, the end result of using an ultrasonic humidifier, an evaporative humidifier or a steam vaporizer is the same: increased humidity levels in your home. But, not all humidifiers are created equally! 

    Here are a few notable differences between the ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers and steam vaporizers. 

    Warm Mist vs. Cool Mist

    Both ultrasonic and evaporative humidifier models are “cool mist” or “cold mist.” This means that the moisture released from the device is below average temperature. Cool mist humidifiers are useful all year long. 

    Vaporizers, on the other hand, are considered a “warm mist” humidifier, which means that they release moisture into the surrounding environment that is slightly elevated in temperature. This feature makes vaporizers a coveted winter tool since they can slightly, but noticeably, warm up a room. 

    Mold & Bacteria

    If you have ever watched an episode of Naked and Afraid (or any survival show for that matter), you know that boiled water kills potential bacteria found in sitting water. This concept applies to humidifiers, as well. 

    Since steam vaporizers boil water into water vapor to increase RH, they kill bacteria, mold, or any other contaminants that form in the water tank. Cool mist humidifiers can develop bacteria if not emptied and wiped down after each use and disinfected weekly. 

    Unlike other humidifiers, Canopy take ample precaution to kill bacteria in all stages of the humidifying process:

    • Embedded UV lights kill 99.9% of bacteria, mold, and viruses that may form in your water tank
    • Wood pulp paper filters trap contaminants from the water tank before releasing moisture into the air
    • No-mist technology prevents the development of mold on curtains, bedding, and any other pieces of furniture affected by a direct line of mist
    • All parts that touch water are dishwasher safe

    Electricity Usage

    Steam vaporizers tend to use more electricity than cool mist humidifiers since more energy is needed to boil the water from the tank. If your goal is to reduce electricity usage or lower your monthly bill, a steam vaporizer may not be the best choice.

    The Health Benefits

    All humidifiers, whether ultrasonic, evaporative or steam-based, have a myriad of health benefits for you and your loved ones. These wellness benefits range from reducing allergy symptoms to improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

    Here are a few key benefits of regular humidifier use:

    • Rehydrate dry, dull skin
    • Hydrate dry, cracked lips
    • Improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
    • Improve congestion and sinuses
    • Ease irritation from a dry, itchy throat  
    • Improve symptoms of the common cold
    • Reduce the survival rate of airborne viruses
    • Help to reduce congestion and improve breathing in babies 
    • Improve dry, itchy, and flaky scalp
    • When paired with essential oils, humidifiers can have a therapeutic effect

    An additional perk of using a humidifier in your home is the wonderful effect it has on house plants! Most plants thrive when exposed to healthy home humidity levels between 30 and 50%.  

    A humidifier is a great tool to keep in the most commonly used rooms of your home. 

    Humidifier Benefits for Babies