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What Type of Humidifier is Best for a Cough?

As temperatures dip in the late fall and winter weather takes center stage, you may experience congestion, a sore throat, or a dry, itchy cough that just won’t quit. These are all common symptoms that accompany cold, windy temperatures. 

How Does a Humidifier Help with a Cough?

The moisture content of the air that surrounds you has a significant impact on your overall health and comfortability. Too much moisture (think: tropical vacation) and you feel supremely warm, sluggish, and maybe even dizzy. Too little moisture (think: a cold, windy day) and your skin is dry, your lips crack, you get a stuffy nose, and you cough up a storm. 

Cold, dry air accelerates transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is a fancy word for the body’s process of releasing water into the atmosphere through the epidermal layer of skin. Cold air also deprives the nose and throat of crucial moisture, which often leads to congestion, a dry throat, or a cough. 

A humidifier increases the relative humidity (RH) of a particular space by releasing moisture into the air. This increase in moisture helps to lubricate the nose and throat relieving dryness, reducing inflammation, and improving your breathing. 

What Type of Humidifier is Best for a Cough?

You may be wondering: how do you choose the best humidifier for your chronic cough? 

There are a few features you should examine before making your final humidifier purchase. To treat your dry, sore throat or cough, you want to choose a device with sufficient square footage output, ample run time, and essential oil compatibility.  


The first step when choosing the best type of humidifier for your irritating cough is to determine in which room you will place your humidifier. It is best to set your humidifier in a room that is most occupied; this tends to be the bedroom since we spend between 7-9 hours sleeping in this room each night. 

Depending on the square footage of your bedroom, you need a humidifier with a comparable output. For example, if you have a 400 square foot bedroom, you need a humidifier with at least a 400 square foot output to sufficiently raise humidity levels in your space. Information about device output can be found in the product description either online or on the humidifier box.  

Run Time

Run time is another important feature to consider when choosing the best humidifier for your dry throat or cough. There are two factors that will help you to determine the optimal run time for your humidifier selection: how long you sleep per night on average and how frequently you are willing to fill your device water tank. 

Most humidifier devices will run from 12 hours to 24 hours, which will ensure elevated humidity levels throughout the night. If you plan to run your humidifier throughout the day, you will need a device that can run for at least 24 hours.

If your to-do list is far too long, and you prefer a humidifier that requires infrequent refills, you may want to choose a device with a larger water tank. Our Canopy humidifiers have a 2.5-liter tank for up to 36 hours of hydrated bliss, which means you spend less time refilling your humidifier and more time chipping away at that task list. 


If you suffer from a dry or sore throat accompanied by a relentless cough, you want to choose a humidifier that is compatible with essential oils. Adding oils like camphor, eucalyptus, or lavender to your humidifier can provide additional therapeutic value. 

It is important to note that not all humidifiers are compatible with essential oils. Make sure to check your device manual or choose a device with explicit oil compatibility before adding essential oils to your water tank. 

Canopy humidifiers have a built in aroma diffusion feature that uses the simple and clean process of evaporation to infuse your hydrated air with aromas. 

Refilling Essential Oil in Humidifier

Additional Health Benefits

Incorporating a humidifier into your bevy of home wellness tools will not only help with a dry, sore throat during the chilly winter months; humidifiers benefits are quite numerous. 

Some of the key benefits of regular humidifier use include: help with allergies, asthma, improved sleep, reduced cold and flu symptoms (stopping some viruses dead in their tracks), and re-hydrating dry, flaky skin


More than 50 million people suffer from allergies year around making it a very common ailment in the United States. If you are one of these 50 million people, you are in luck! 

Humidifiers can help to combat allergies and alleviate allergy symptoms including: sore throat, severe congestion, inflammation, sinus pain, and watery eyes. To learn more about how a humidifier helps with allergies, you can read our blog What Does A Humidifier Do For Allergies?


A good night’s sleep can be fleeting when you have a stuffy or runny nose, congestion, dry eyes, or a sore throat. The right humidifier can ensure a restful night of shut-eye by eliminating these symptoms. 

When choosing the best humidifier for a peaceful sleep, you want to look for devices that have sufficient square footage output to reach every corner of your bedroom and a run time of at least 7-10 hours. 

Cold & Flu

A recent study conducted by the Yale University research team found that low levels of humidity affected immune response in three ways: 

  1. Low humidity prevented cilia (fine, hair-like structures in the nasal passage) from removing virus and mucus properly.
  2. Low humidity prevented airway cells from efficiently repairing the damage caused from viruses in the lungs.
  3. Low humidity impacted the body’s immune response by failing to “warn” healthy neighboring cells of a viral threat. 

When humidity levels fall below the optimal range of 40-60%, cold and flu viruses thrive. Adding a humidifier to your home, especially in commonly occupied rooms, can raise humidity levels and improve your body’s immune response to the common cold or more serious viruses. 

Dry Skin

Xerosis, as we commonly refer to as “dry skin” is uncomfortable and irritating to say the least. Xerosis is commonly triggered by cold or dry weather, harsh skincare ingredients, hot water from your shower or bath, central heating, or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. 

Humidifiers work wonders on dry skin. The moisture emitted from your humidifier elevates relative humidity, which reduces TEWL and increases skin hydration.