What exactly is congestion?
The technical term for nasal congestion is rhinitis. Medics use the term rhinitis to describe a condition marked by inflammation of the air passages’ inner linings. The inside of your nose has very delicate tissues. The tissues are perfectly designed to let the air move in and out with ease.
There are also tiny hairs called cilia. The cilia catch all the dirt and other unwanted particles that may be in the air you breathe. Therefore, the cilia protect your lungs from such impurities.
If the inner linings of your nose get irritated, you will have rhinitis. The irritation makes you feel that the inside of your nose passages is completely stuffed. This feeling makes it difficult for one to breathe well. You may also feel that your head is heavy because of the inability to breathe well.
In some cases, the swelling of the inner linings of your nasal cavity may be accompanied by mucus. As the mucus builds up inside the passage, you will feel the urge to blow your nose endlessly.
The irritation of the inner linings of your nasal cavity and accumulation of mucus causes a headache. The headache is because of pressure inside small spaces behind your nose called sinuses.
What Causes Congestion?
There are as many causes of nasal congestion as you can imagine. The following is a brief outline of a few things that can cause nasal congestion.
- If the air in the room is full of contaminants, some people may easily experience nasal congestion. Pollutants may range from dust to even perfumes.
- Common cold. Common cold is a major cause of nasal congestion. Nasal congestion occurs when one has a common cold because of the accumulation of mucus in the nasal cavity. Also, the need to keep blowing one’s nose contributes to the irritation of the nasal cavity’s inner linings. Thus, when you have a common cold, the chances are that you will also have nasal congestion.
- Allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can also cause nasal congestion. If you are allergic to pollen and get into a room where the air has pollen, you will experience difficulties breathing because of nasal congestion.
- Dry air. Very dry air may also cause nasal congestion. When the air indoors is very dry and cold during winter days and nights, one can easily experience nasal congestion. Dry air irritates the inside of your noses to cause inflammation.
What are the symptoms of congestion?
The symptoms of nasal congestion are clear that you can hardly mistake them for anything else. Although many people experience nasal congestion when they have a common cold, this is not always the case.
Besides, there are many other causes of nasal congestion apart from the common cold. Here are key symptoms that you can use to tell if one has nasal congestion.
swollen inner linings of the nasal passages
The soft tissue that is in the inner linings of your nose swells because of the irritation. The swelling is a natural response by the body to fight irritation.
However, the swelling makes you feel that your nasal cavities have suddenly narrowed. This feeling explains who one experiences difficulties in breathing when they have nasal congestion.
Head pains occur when one has congestion because of changes in air pressure inside the sinuses. The air pressure inside the sinuses must be maintained for you to feel well. When you have congestion, this balance gets disrupted. You will feel a sinus headache in the form of pain deep inside your head.
Stuffy and or running nose
When you have nasal congestion, you will experience a stuffy nose at one time and a running nose at the other. The stuffiness feels like mucus that is clogging the deep parts of your nasal cavity. You will also have a running nose when you have congestion.
However, blowing the nose does not help much because you will keep on feeling the urge to do it endlessly. The blowing does not clear the stuffy nose. It makes the headache worse because of the way you strain your tissues when blowing the nose.
Does humidifier help with congestion – Pros and cons of using a humidifier for congestion
A humidifier can help with nasal congestion. Here are some of how using a humidifier can be helpful if you have congestion.
- It helps you to sleep well. If you have a common cold or flu, sleeping will be a problem. The nasal congestion that arises from the common cold or flu will prevent you from sleeping well. A humidifier can make things easy for you. It will increase the amount of moisture in the air, which, in turn, will help you breathe better and sleep well.
- It helps to break the mucus. If you have accumulated mucus in the upper respiratory system and nasal congestion, using a humidifier is a good idea. As the level of humidity in the air increases, your clogged mucus will start to break. It will then be easy to clear the air passages.
- Soothing the passages. A humidifier can help during congestion by soothing your air passages. If you breathe in very dry air, the linings of the wall will get irritated. You can deal with this problem by breathing air that is humid enough. A humidifier can help you achieve this goal because it can maintain the recommended range’s humidity level.
Apart from the benefits of using a humidifier to clear nasal congestion, there are a few risks that you should watch out for.
If the air in your room becomes over humidified, you will feel very uncomfortable. Overhumidification can also exacerbate the symptoms of the common cold.
Luckily, modern humidifiers automatically adjust their misting performance according to the needs of the atmosphere. This mode of action prevents the humidifier from dissipating excess moisture than what is needed at any given time.
Is cool mist or warm mist better for congestion?
Both cool-mist and warm-mist humidifiers can help fight congestion. The choice of which specific type of humidifier that you need to use depends on the weather conditions.
It is cold and dry; then it would be wise to use a warm-mist humidifier. The warm mist from the humidifier will make you feel comfortable.
Go for a cool-mist humidifier when the weather is hot and dry. A cool-mist humidifier will create a slight chill in the room. This will help you feel better when it is very hot and dry outside and you have nasal congestion.
What is better for congestion – a humidifier or vaporizer?
Both a humidifier and a vaporizer can help you overcome congestion. Although these two devices look different, they help you achieve a common objective, which is to increase the amount of moisture in the air.
A vaporizer directly adds steam to the atmosphere in your house. A humidify first turns the water into a fine mist before diffusing it in the air.
If you have nasal congestion triggered by dry air in the house, you can use either a humidifier or a vaporizer. Both devices will help you feel better because they improve the quality of air in your indoor environment.
If you have a common cold and your nasal spaces are clogged, you can also use either a humidifier or a vaporizer. Any of these devices will help you feel better and overcome nasal congestion.
Humidifier or Dehumidifier for Congestion
Both a humidifier and dehumidifier can help you if you have congestion. However, it depends on several factors, including the cause of the congestion, allergic reactions, and the season.
A humidifier increases the amount of moisture in the air. You may want to use one of the air in your room is dry. A dehumidifier improves the quality of air in the house by removing excess moisture. Excessively humid air is as bad as dry air.
If the congestion is caused by an allergic reaction related to dry and cold air, you can use a humidifier to help ease the congestion. The humidifier will increase the amount of moisture in the air in the house.
As a result of the increase in moisture, you will be able to breathe better than when you are exposed to dry air. In the end, the congestion in your nasal cavity will ease.
If the congestion results from one being allergic to excessively humid air, a dehumidifier will be the right device to use. The dehumidifier will reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Once the air in the house becomes less humid, the allergic reaction will stop. In the end, the congestion in the nasal spaces will clear.
Other Remedies for Congestion
There are many other remedies for congestion apart from using either a humidifier or a dehumidifier. Most of these remedies help you to cope with the effects of congestion better before you eventually overcome it. Some help you by reducing the irritation in the inner walls of your nose, which causes congestion.
- Taking a decongestant. Over the counter, decongestants are quite effective in helping you overcome nasal congestion. They work by reducing the flow of blood to the inner linings of your nasal cavity. With reduced blood flow, the irritation and swelling eventually die off.
- Using a nasal spray. Nasal sprays work by directly helping to relieve the irritation in the inside of your nasal cavity. Just as decongestants, nasal sprays are readily available.
- Sleeping with your head raised. If you use pillows to raise your head’s position, there will be less accumulation of mucus in your upper respiratory system. Doing this will help you sleep well and eventually overcome the nasal congestion.
- Taking antihistamines. Antihistamines help to relieve the symptoms of nasal congestion if an allergic reaction causes the congestion. Antihistamines help your body stop overreacting to small pollutants or anything else you may be allergic to. Therefore, taking them is a good way of fighting nasal congestion.
Best Humidifier For Congestion
1. Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier
Thanks to its exciting features, the Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier can be the right choice for your house. This humidifier comes with an essential oils tray.
If someone has the flu or common cold, you can help them cope by including any appropriate essential oil in this humidifier. Alternatively, you can add aromatic oils to scent the entire house.
In addition to the essential oils tray, this humidifier has a large water tank and long run times. The water tank takes six liters of water when full. If you set the humidifier to run on the low mode, it can operate for 50 hours. Thus, you do not have to worry about refilling the water tank often.
It is easy to maintain this humidifier because it does not have a filter. One must take additional time to clean filters. Moreover, maintaining humidifiers with filters often means replacing these small components, which get damaged very often.
- Easy to maintain because of its filter-less design
- It has a sizeable six-liter water tank and a long run time of up to 50 hours
- The humidifier has advanced inbuilt safety features, including auto shut off
- The humidifier disperses cool mist only
2. LEVOIT Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier
The LEVOIT Humidifier has several features that make it the right choice if you are keen on having a humidifier that delivers both cool and warm mist. When it is hot and dry, you can switch to the cool mist mode.
The warm mist mode is ideal for cold and dry days or nights. However, remember that when the humidifier dissipates warm mist, it consumes a lot of power. The heating element draws a considerable amount of electricity to boil the water.
Using this humidifier is a breeze. It comes with a remote control that you can use to operate it from the comfort of your bed or seat. It also has a timer that you can use to preset the hours when the humidifier should run. The timer has an allowance of up to 12 hours.
The inbuilt humidity sensor is a great addition. Thanks to the sensor, the humidifier automatically adjusts its misting performance according to the air’s needs in the indoor environment.
Sadly, moving this humidifier from one place to another is difficult. It is large and heavy. Therefore, you must struggle to carry it whenever you need to humidify the air in a different room.
- The humidifier dissipates both warm and cool mist
- Excellent performance capability: it can disperse 500 ml of mist per hour
- It has an inbuilt humidity sensor for your ultimate comfort
- Moving the humidifier is problematic because it is very bulky
3. Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
You do not have to worry about the risk of over humidification when you use the Honeywell HCM350W. This humidifier has a unique evaporative technology.
The water passes over special wicking before being turned into mist and getting dissipated. The humidifier adds the exact amount of moisture that the air in your room can hold.
One can comfortably use this humidifier even in the bedroom at night. Although it is not an ultrasonic humidifier, its noise level is about 26dB.
Ultrasonic humidifiers operate more silently than both warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers. The soft humming sound of the Honeywell HCM350W humidifier even helps kids fall asleep fast.
The only significant drawback of using this humidifier is that you must refill its water tank quite often. The reservoir can hold up to about 3 liters of water at any given time.
Considering that there are humidifiers with large water tanks that can hold even 6 liters, the Honeywell HCM350W has a relatively small reservoir.
- The evaporative technology helps the humidifier to maintain humidity levels within the ideal range
- One can quickly refill the water reservoir
- Ultra-silent operation: about 26dB
- The three-liter water reservoir is relatively small
4. Aprilaire 400M Humidifier
If you are looking for a powerful whole-house humidifier instead of the standard room humidifiers, consider using the Aprilaire 400M. This device is built for small homes that have a total surface area of 4,000 square feet.
It consumes bout 64 liters of water in a day and can move 250 cubic feet of air per minute. Additionally, it has a water efficiency rate of 100%. All the water that passes over the water board gets converted into the mist.
Because of these technical details, the Aprilaire 400M quickly creates a comfortable indoor environment by instantly adding moisture to the air. Everyone in your house’s rooms will immediately feel a change in the atmosphere when you switch on this humidifier.
However, you must set aside enough time to conduct routine maintenance and cleaning of this humidifier. Its large size will force you to be very meticulous.
Besides, it is easy to tamper with the technical components of this humidifier when deep cleaning it. Nevertheless, if you understand what needs to be done, you can complete the procedure quickly.
- Ideal for use in small homes with a total area of 4,000 square feet
- Easy to operate using the standard control monitor
- Efficiently turns 100% of all the water that passes through the water panel into the mist
- Requires heavy maintenance procedures
5. Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier
Several features make the Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier one of the best humidifiers for your small to the medium-sized bedroom.
First, it performs its primary function of increasing moisture in the air well. The nozzle is quite effective in diffusing the moisture evenly. This creates a comfortable indoor environment immediately after you switch on the humidifier.
Second, it has an inbuilt diffuser. One can use the diffuser for aromatherapy or simply scenting the air in the room. You can add any of the essential oils that contain menthol or any other substance to relieve the common cold or flu symptoms.
Alternatively, you can add nice-smelling essential oils to create the desired mood and ambiance in your bedroom.
Third, it has a very low noise level in addition to the night light mode. At night, the humidifier emits a soft light that is soothing to children. Also, the low humming sound that the humidifier produces at night can act as white noise to help you sleep soundly.
- Convenient for use at night because of the nightlight and low noise level
- It has a built-in diffuser for aromatherapy or scenting
- Advanced safety features, including auto shut off
- The humidifier has a limited capacity: 300 square feet only
- It dissipates cool mist only
6. Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier
The filter-less design of the Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier is a big plus. You do not have to budget for replacing the filter often, as it would be the case if you had a humidifier that has a filter. Moreover, cleaning a humidifier that does not have a filter is much easier than one that has this component.
Refilling the water reservoir of your Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier is a quick exercise. You only need to unlatch the top lid and take the humidifier either to a tap or simply pour distilled water inside.
You should avoid using hard water from the tap in your humidifier. Hard water has minerals that ultimately find their way to the atmosphere in your house if you put the water in a humidifier.
However, if you have large rooms, the Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier may not provide adequate humidification. You will have to either keep it running for long periods and keep changing its position or getting a more robust alternative.
- Convenient for use because it does not have a filter
- Quick refilling by merely opening the top part of the water tank
- It has one large knob only for adjusting its misting performance
- Limited capacity for humidifying the air in large indoor spaces
7. Pure Guardian H940 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
The Pure Guardian H940 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is a small but amazingly useful humidifier that you can place in your bedroom or kids’ rooms. It has a very low noise level that sounds like a low humming.
This white noise is ideal for helping you sleep. More so, the night light that this humidifier produces soothes and lulls people at night.
Although this humidifier is small in terms of capacity, it provides even humidification rapidly. Its directional nozzle enables the humidifier to dissipate large amounts of mist in all areas of a small room uniformly and quickly. This feature can be quite beneficial when you need the atmosphere to be humidified as fast as possible.
It is relatively safe to use the Pure Guardian H940 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. When the water level in the reservoir goes down, a small red light alerts you to refill the tank.
Also, if the water tank suddenly runs empty, the humidifier automatically switches off. This safety feature prevents the humidifier from overheating.
- The directional nozzle provides rapid and even humidification
- It has impressive safety features, including a low water indicator and auto shut off
- Convenient for use in bedrooms because of the low noise level and night light
- Limited to small rooms because its coverage does not go beyond 350 square feet
8. Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
The Pure Enrichment MistAire is a small, highly portable, and effective humidifier perfect for bedrooms. Ultrasound humidifiers are generally less noisy than either cool-mist or warm-mist humidifiers. When you place this humidifier in your bedroom, you will sleep without the distraction that may be caused by a noisy humidifier.
Its night light feature has three options: red, blue, and green. When set on any of these options, the humidifier produces a soft and soothing light ideal for the bedroom. You can choose the color of the night light that suits your mood at any time.
Moving this humidifier from one room to another is effortless. It is lightweight and has a compact design. Besides, its nicely designed broad base provides stability so that the humidifier does not fall when knocked accidentally.
Although the four-liter water tank can sustain this humidifier for 24 hours if you turn its misting settings to a low level, it is still relatively small.
Some humidifiers have large water tanks and longer runtimes of even 50 hours. Nevertheless, this humidifier can help keep the air in your small to mid-sized room perfectly humidified.
- It has three night light options: red, blue, and green
- Silent operation makes the humidifier perfect for use in the bedroom
- Highly portable because of its compact design
- The 4-liter water tank is small
9. TTLIFE 6L Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
One of the TTLIFE 6L Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier hallmarks is the ease of operating it. The humidifier comes with a remote control that you can use to change every aspect of its misting performance from your bed or seat.
In addition to the remote control, this humidifier has a large LED display on its surface. You can also touch the icons to change the way the humidifier operates.
The top-fill design of the water reservoir is a significant advantage. Whenever you need to refill the water tank, you can simply unlatch the lid and add distilled or demineralized water.
Also, the water tank design makes things easy when you need to clean every component of your humidifier. You can reach every part of the humidifier with your soft-bristled brush once you open the top.
Although this humidifier can be of great use whenever you need warm or cool mist in the house, it may increase your power bills. The heating element that boils the water before it is turned into warm mist consumes a lot of electric power.
However, this is not a big issue, considering that many other devices in your house consume more power than a humidifier.
- It comes with remote control for your convenience
- The humidifier can be used for aromatherapy and scenting
- Quick refilling of the water reservoir
- It uses more power than a strictly cool-mist humidifier
10. TaoTronics Humidifier
If you are looking for a large and powerful humidifier for your equally expansive bedroom, the TaoTronics Humidifier may be the right choice. This humidifier has all the performance features that you would like to find in a powerful humidifier. Notably, it can dissipate 550 ml of mist every hour.
Besides, one can adjust the misting across three levels. You can take advantage of the powerful capabilities and variable misting settings to personalize this humidifier’s performance.
It has a tray where you can add your essential oils. The inclusion of the tray lets you use this humidifier as a diffuser. You can add sweet-smelling oils for scenting the room or use special ones for treating conditions such as congestion, sore throat, and even the common cold.
However, like any other device, the TaoTronics Humidifier is not without faults. Its most prominent problem is that it is large and heavy. This humidifier’s bulky nature makes it difficult for anyone to carry it from one room to another.
- Excellent misting capacity of up to 550 ml per hour
- It has an essential oil diffuser
- Large water tank and long runtime of more than 24 hours
- It is bulky
Things to consider when choosing a humidifier for congestion
Choosing the right humidifier for congestion can be difficult if you are not particular about what you are looking for. Humidifiers vary in terms of their missing capacity, general design, runtimes, and control features. Here are a few things that you should look out for when buying a humidifier for congestion.
The capacity of a humidifier refers to its ability to diffuse mist. A high-capacity humidifier can dissipate large amounts of mist within short periods. Such humidifiers are ideal for large rooms. Low-capacity humidifiers disperse small amounts of mist within a short time. Such humidifiers are suitable for small rooms. Any humidifier that can dissipate an average of 500 ml in an hour is perfect.
Humidifiers, like any other electrical device, pose a small level of danger. The most common type of accident related to the humidifier is overheating. The devices can easily get damaged if they overheat. Luckily, modern brands of humidifiers have several inbuilt safety features to prevent this type of accident.
Go for humidifiers with advanced inbuilt safety features, including auto shut off and low water level warning. The auto shut off feature prevents overheating because it triggers the humidifier to automatically go off when the water tank is empty or removed.
The low water level warning feature comprises a sensor and a small red light. When the water level in the reservoir goes down, the sensor triggers the red light to switch on. When this happens, you can always replenish the water tank when the red-light indicator goes on.
It is easier to operate a humidifier that has few controls than one which has several. The best humidifiers in terms of ease of control have one knob that you can use to adjust their misting performance. The knob should be placed at a visible place, and that one can reach effortlessly.
Some humidifiers have advanced control features, including a remote control and a LED display. It is very convenient to use a remote control to adjust the misting performance of your humidifier. The touch functionality is also entirely accurate and convenient to use.
If you are going for a room humidifier, it is good to choose one that you can carry effortlessly. Room humidifiers need to be moved from one place to another. Whole-house humidifiers can effectively humidify the air in all the rooms of a small house. Choose humidifiers that are lightweight and with a compact design. It will be easy to move such humidifiers around the house.
The size of the water tank
Humidifiers that have large water tanks are better than those with small water reservoirs. Refilling the reservoir of a water tank takes some minutes. It would be cumbersome to keep on refilling the water tank when using your humidifier. To avoid this problem, go for humidifiers with large water tanks that can hold six or more liters at ago.
Modern humidifiers come with a range of additional features. The most common other features in humidifiers are the essential oil tray and night mode. Companies that add these features on their humidifiers market the devices as 3-in-1. It is because you can use the device as a humidifier, diffuser, and source of special light at night.
The essential oil tray allows you to use the humidifier for scenting or aromatherapy. The essential oils get dissipated with the mist into the air in the room. The night mode feature entails bulbs that release a soothing light at night. For some humidifiers, one can adjust the light’s color and effects to suit their mood at night.
Choose humidifiers that have such additional features for your ultimate comfort. The night mode is critical if you intend to use the humidifier in bedrooms. It helps to soothe you and make you sleep quickly and soundly.
If you intend to use the kids’ bedroom humidifier, choose one with enhanced night lights. Some humidifiers can create the impression of a starry-filled night in the room. This and many other features may be particularly exciting to the kids at night.