Hot Steam Vaporizer vs. Humidifier: What Is The Difference?

Vaporizer vs Humidifier

When you are in a store to buy a humidifier or a vaporizer (recommended by your doctor), you may get confused about which one to purchase.

Since both of them look similar, your action may be familiar with what people do most of the time – check on the package and walk back home with a device that is available at a reasonable price.

Well, you can find both humidifiers and vaporizers in all sizes, shapes, and prices.

But for getting the maximum benefits, you should only get the one which is best suited and recommended for easing your health issues.

Below you will find the details about both of these devices and tips on how to choose the one that is most suitable for you and your family.

Check the basic difference between them before you pick one for your use…

Difference Between Vaporizers and Humidifiers

The Use and Mist TypeAdd COOL mist of moisture into the atmosphere and relieves problems like allergies, cold and dry skinAdd WARM Vapors (using a heated element) into the atmosphere to relieve winter cold and dry skin
To Whom It Benefits?Beneficial for people suffering from dry air problems like dry skin, skin irritation, irritated respiratory tracts, etc. Beneficial for people suffering from winter cold, flu, congestion, allergies, etc.
Most Common TypesUltrasonic, Evaporative, Central, Impeller, Warm MistSteam or Warm-Mist, Waterless
Recommended for BabyYes: Due to Best Safety OfferedNo: Due to Risk of Getting Burns and Accident
Kills Bacteria/ Virus?No: As water is not boiledYes: Due to water getting boiled
Water UsageDistilled water recommendedCan use Tap water
Usage of MedicationNo medication allowedCan add medications or inhalants for faster relief
CostExpensive Comparatively Cheaper

The most important factor you should keep in mind while choosing a vaporizer or a humidifier is that humidifiers and vaporizers have a difference in their working principles.

Although both of these may look the same and are designed to provide similar benefits, the functional side is different for each of them.

How does Vaporizer Work?

The vaporizer produces a mist of warm steam by boiling the water using a built-in heating element.

Some of these devices are waterless and include pre-moistened pads (infused with essential oils or aromatic oils) to provide therapeutic benefits.

Since the medicinal oils or inhalants are produced from the extracts of plants or other sources, it is suitable for inhalation purposes and overall health.

But as the vaporizer produces hot vapors and imposes the risk of burning the skin, it is not an ideal device for children, infants, and pets at home.

When it comes to noise level, vaporizer produces lesser noise than humidifiers.

How does a Humidifier Work?

An ultrasonic humidifier works by breaking up the water particles, thereby producing a cool refreshing mist in the air.

The device produces the mist ultrasonically with the rotation of a disk that is submerged in water.

As the appliance emits cold vapors, it does not cause any harm to children or pets in your home.

However, since it does not boil the water to produce cold mist vapors, it promotes the growth and spreading of molds or bacteria.

You, therefore, need to clean the device more often, which is one of the essential demerits of the humidifier.

What does the Doctor Says and Recommend?

There is no doubt that every one of us likes to get advice from our doctor before deciding which particular treatment to get for better health.

Regarding symptoms such as cough, congestion, sinus, asthma, bronchitis, etc., most doctors suggest buying a good quality humidifier (rather than a vaporizer) to get maximum relief.

These devices help get rid of bacteria and viruses present in dry air by humidifying it, thus providing relief to people suffering from chronic dry cough and bronchial congestion.

Choosing between a vaporizer or humidifier for baby cough and congestion is also a state of dilemma for people when they need to get a good humidifying device for the nursery.

Most pediatricians recommend using a humidifier (and not a vaporizer) due to the latest features and extra safety it provides to the users.

Installing a good humidifier can take care of your baby’s health in all seasons as it can help relieve problems such as cold, congestion, stuffy nose, croup, etc.

Also Read: What’s the Difference Between Aromatherapy Diffuser and Humidifier?

Which One is Better for Your Family and Why?

Whatever your doctor or friends suggest, the final decision is up to you.

Before selecting the product, you must keep an eye on your real needs and home architecture.

If you do not have kids at home, you can go for a vaporizer. This can provide greater relief in winters as compared to cool mist humidifiers.

However, if you are sensitive to heat and have kids in your home, it is better to go for a branded cool humidifier.

What about The Cost, Cleaning and Maintenance?

The cost and maintenance of the device is the factor that helps you make the final decision.

A humidifier is obviously more expensive than vaporizers. This can be due to the filters that need to change often.

But the features you get with the best humidifiers are worth your investment.

Anyhow if you are running short of budget, then it is better to select a vaporizer. The only factor is that you must take care of your children and pets in your home.

When it’s time to clean, if you use your device (humidifier or vaporizer) regularly, you should give supreme importance to the instructions properly regarding the regular maintenance of the device.

But since a humidifier produces humidity without boiling the water, the risks of building bacteria in the sitting water are higher in these units.

And if you fail to clean your cool misting humidifier, it may spread the bacteria to open air, causing you greater trouble.

Overall, both humidifiers and vaporizers provide similar benefits and environmental effects.

It’s time to select the best one that better suits your needs and budget. Go for the one that can help all your family members for a long.