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The Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months

Top side of a Canopy Humidifier

Winter bites. The cold, dry winter air can feel like it is actually biting your nose, cracking your skin, and generally making life harder than it should be. 

While you can’t change the weather, you can control your home environment and make living conditions more comfortable. Using a humidifier in your home during the winter months brings a bevy of benefits that may have you saying “hey! I wouldn’t mind a few more months of winter.” 

Who would have thought?

What are the Benefits of a Humidifier in the Winter Months?

Placing a humidifier in the most commonly used rooms of your home during the winter months can help to improve dry throat and cough, reduce static electricity, rehydrate dry or flaky skin, and kill common winter viruses. 

Let’s get into the details. 

Benefit #1: improve dry throat and cough from dry, winter air.

Ever wondered why you experience a dry throat or chronic cough during the winter months? The cold air that accompanies winter reduces the moisture content in the nasal passage and throat, leading to congestion, a dry or itchy throat, or an uncomfortable cough.  

Increasing the relative humidity (RH) levels in your home can help to lubricate your nasal passage and throat, helping to reduce inflammation and improve your breathing. 

Benefit #2: reduce static electricity build-up.

The dry, cold air of the winter months increases the build-up of static electricity. Why is this the case? Dry air binds electrons to surfaces with a strong force. Over time, electrons build-up until they reach a critical maximum, in which case they discharge. This discharge causes a shock upon contact that is, for lack of better words: super annoying. 

Increasing the moisture level of the air in your home helps to reduce the strength of the bond between electrons and the surfaces on which they build. The result is an almost unnoticeable discharge meaning no shocks and less static electricity.

Benefit #3: rehydrate dry or flaky winter skin. 

Dry, cold air causes an acceleration of water loss from the skin into the atmosphere. When your skin loses water more rapidly than it can be replaced by natural moisturizers (sweat and sebum), you will experience dry skin. When you experience dry skin for an extended period of time, this can lead to cracking, bleeding, or trigger a flareup of common skin conditions like psoriasis or eczema. 

Humidifiers are exceptionally effective for dry, flaky skin during the winter months and can help you to maintain healthy, hydrated skin all year long. 

Benefit #4: kill common viruses prominent in the winter months.

Air with less than 40% RH can increase your chances of viral infection by interfering with the body’s immune function, increasing the amount of time a virus can “float” in the air, and increasing the survival rate of the virus in your home. 

Regular use of a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels can help to reduce the survival rate of viruses in your home and decrease the chances of illness during the winter months. 

Which is the Best Humidifier During Winter?

Choosing the best humidifier during winter months is crucial to keep you and your family comfortable despite the cold, dry weather. 

You should consider output, tank size, and maintenance requirements when choosing the best humidifier for your home. 

Sufficient Output 

One of the most important features when choosing a humidifier for your home during the winter months is output. A larger-sized room requires a humidifier with more output than a smaller-sized room. 

Let’s say that you plan to place your humidifier in your bedroom since this is the room in which you spend the most time. If your room is 400 square feet, then you need a humidifier with at least a 400 square foot output to sufficiently raise RH levels in your bedroom. For reference, Canopy humidifiers have a 500 square foot output, which will effectively humidify an average-sized room.

Larger Tank = Longer Run Time

When choosing the best humidifier for a healthy winter season, you need a device with a moderate to large-sized tank. The larger the water tank, the longer your humidifier can run, uninterrupted. Bonus: the longer the run time, the less often you have to refill the water tank. Win, win.

Make sure to check the tank size and run time before making your purchase. For example, our Canopy humidifier has a 2.5 liter tank with up to 36 hours of run time. This equates to almost 5 nights with no tank refill at an average of 8 hours of sleep per night.  

Low Maintenance

During the dry, winter months, you are likely to run your humidifier more often than during the summer months. More frequent usage means more frequent maintenance for most humidifiers, including daily wipe-down, weekly deep cleaning, and scheduled filter replacement. 

You want to invest in a high quality, low maintenance humidifier for your winter needs. The less arduous the cleaning process, the more likely you are to avoid cleaning fatigue. Our Canopy humidifier is as low maintenance as it gets. Our proprietary SPA (Smart Persistent Airflow) technology prevents mold from growing inside the unit. All Canopy humidifier parts that touch water (apart from the paper filter) are dishwasher safe, reducing manual cleaning time. We also offer a filter subscription service, which delivers a new filter to your home every 45 days - no Google Calendar reminders necessary.

Additional Benefits of Using a Humidifier

Regular use of a humidifier during the winter months is guaranteed to increase your overall health and comfortability despite environmental conditions. 

You now know that humidifiers will improve dry, itchy throat and cough, reduce static electricity in your home, hydrate dry or flaky skin on your face and body, and reduce the spread of common winter viruses. But, did you know that there are even more benefits unrelated to regular humidifier use during the winter months? 

Maintaining RH (relative humidity) levels between 40% and 60% throughout the year can improve skin conditions and common breathing problems in babies and children, and can improve the overall health and vibrancy of your house plants. 

For Babies and Children…

Babies and young children can hugely benefit from a humidifier in their nursery. Humidifiers can help to relieve cold symptoms, ease uncomfortable congestion, and improve dry, sensitive skin in babies and young children. 

It is important to note that the AAP recommends the use of a cool mist humidifier in your child’s nursery as opposed to a vaporizer or steam-based humidifier. Vaporizers are considered a burn hazard, and should not be placed within the reach of a child or a pet for safety.

Baby's Wicker Crib

For Houseplants…

Controlled humidity levels in your home will help your plants thrive. 

If you frequently question why you can’t manage to keep houseplants alive, it may not have anything to do with you, per say. Many houseplants including ferns, orchids, fiddle leaf, and more, require higher levels of humidity to thrive. Placing your plants near or in the same room as your humidifier will help to provide them with the perfect amount of moisture for a long, healthy life.

What Type of Humidifier is Best for Plants?

Bedside Table with Canopy Humidifier

For those of us with a knowledge deficit on the topic of gardening and plant “parenting,” it may be utterly shocking to discover that many types of houseplants require moderate to high levels of humidity.  

Simply placing a beautiful shrub on the window sill and praying that memory serves an accurate date of the shrub’s last watering session is just not enough TLC for most plant types. Parenting is hard, and plant parenting is no exception. 

Luckily, providing your little green children with the appropriate levels of humidity for healthy growth and prosperity is nearly effortless with the proper tools. Humidifiers, though traditionally intended for human use, equally benefit plants. Regular use of a plant humidifier in your home prevents plant dehydration from evapotranspiration keeping your plants happy and vibrant.   

Which Plants Require Humidity?

The untimely death of your beautiful birthday orchid or the now sallow fronds of the luscious Boston Fern you picked up from Home Depot on a whim can likely be attributed to a lack of humidity.

The majority of plants, aside from cacti and succulents, require a humidity level of around 60% on the low end and 80% on the high end. Any tropical or semi-tropical plant will require a high level of humidity in order to thrive. 

Plants that belong to the phylum Bryophyta, Pteridophyta and some Gymnosperm tend to require high levels of humidity as a result of their tropical origin. The most popular high humidity plants are:

Boston Fern

Boston Fern

The Boston Fern requires moderate humidity to flourish. In a bone-dry home, Boston Ferns will turn a shade of yellow and break off from their fronds.

English Ivy

English Ivy

English Ivy is a bit tricky to maintain, but the result is worth it. This plant has a beautiful, rich green color if humidity levels are moderate to high and watering is moderated properly. 



It is a common misconception that Orchids need only a few ice cubes once per week to survive. While ice cubes are a great solution for a slow-drip watering system, Orchids need humidity to maintain their beautiful buds. 

Majesty Palm

Majesty Palm

The Majesty Palm is deserving of such a regal name. These palms are beautiful if maintained in a humid environment. Majesty Palms love humidity and require occasional misting to thrive.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

Fiddle Leaf Fig

This fig plant has become extremely popular in home decor over the past few years though many Fiddle Leaf Fig owners struggle with maintenance. The solution is simple: humidity! These plants flourish in a warm, wet environment. 

How Does a Humidifier for Plants Help?

All plants go through a process of evapotranspiration, which is a fancy word for the loss of water from both the soil and the leaves of a plant. 

The most common explanation for wilted or droopy leaves is either a lack of water or a lack of sufficient light. Unfortunately, this bifurcation is too simplistic. Your plants may actually be lacking in the necessary humidity to survive in your home.

Think about a tropical climate like in Costa Rica, Hawaii or the Florida Keys: temperatures range from 75-90 degrees with a humidity level of around 80%. Tropical plants, in turn, require an environment as close to tropical conditions as possible or they will perish. 

A humidifier, which is a device that increases the relative humidity of the air, helps to replenish plants with the water lost from evapotranspiration. Humidifiers for plants prevent dehydration by increasing the concentration of water content in the air, which is ultimately absorbed by the plants and converted into energy. 

Humidity = happy plants. Happy plants = happy plant parent. Everyone leaves with a smile on their face. 

Which Type of Humidifier is Best for Plants?

While a basic humidifier would suffice for plant use, there are a few key features that can make your life easier when caring for your plants.  

Auto Shut-Off Feature

For optimal plant health, the goal is to achieve 60% humidity in the room where your plants live. Any higher than 60% may get mildly uncomfortable for your personal living conditions. 

Choosing a humidifier with an auto shut-off feature that either shuts off when humidity levels reach a pre-set percentage or a humidifier that shuts off after a set time is the most convenient option. 

The best way to care for your high humidity plants is to turn on your plant humidifier in the morning when you wake up and let it run until around noon. 

Warm Mist Option

A humidifier with a warm mist option provides your plants with an environment as close to a tropical paradise as possible (without the rain and mosquitoes, of course). 

Warm mist humidifiers work by heating water to a boiling point and dispersing warmed water into the air. The boiling process is beneficial to eliminating bacteria from the water and reducing or preventing the build-up of mold in the water tank over time. 

Filter System

Humidifiers with a built-in filtration system are beneficial to controlling the quality of mist released into the air. 

Humidifier filters prevent microorganisms and minerals from entering the mist, which can be potentially harmful in large amounts both to humans and plants.