So, as a future parent, you want to provide the best possible conditions for your newborn, right? And, you read somewhere or someone told you that humidifiers are great for a proper development of your child’s health. Yet, you still have some reserves. You don’t know how to pick the best humidifier for baby nursery. And, if a humidifier actually brings more harm than benefits, right?
Well, for starters, your friends that recommended a humidifier or the article you read, are both absolutely right. This useful home gadget goes a long way when both your child’s and your health is concerned. But, why would actually want to buy a humidifier for the baby nursery room or for your home in general?
Here are the reasons.
Why do You Actually Need a Humidifier?
You will agree that getting inside in the warm home after spending some time out in the freezing, feels amazing. But, that warm feeling comes with a price – Dry air.
And, in case you didn’t know what dry air leads to, here it is:
Speaking of respiratory issues, since humidifiers add moisture to the dry air in your home. And, both your child’s and your breathing passages will benefit.
For example, a humidifier will significantly reduce the symptoms associated with sinus infections, colds, allergies, congestion issues, asthma flare-up, and more. Your child will drain the mucus much easier and breathe and sleep much better.
Some humidifiers also allow using medication for respiratory issues, and they mix them with the water mist.
Another downside of dry air is that it negatively affects the interior of your home. As an example, dry conditions will destroy your wallpapers by pealing the edges.
Also, wood furniture (baby's nursery beds) and floors can lose their moisture and contract. This contraction will cause them to separate, crack, and even warp.
Furthermore, due to the lack of moisture in the air, your home can build up static electricity. This electricity can damage your electronics. Not to mention release accidental painful discharges for your kids who are running around.
However, with a humidifier in your home, the moisture boost will help you prevent such problems.
how to pick the best humidifier for baby? IS IT THAT HARD?
Now, as we already said, you need the right model. And, buying the first one you see can cause more damage than good.
I know how complicated the search becomes. Especially while browsing the models, manufacturers, types, sizes, and god knows what more.
But, don’t worry, this post will help you make a perfect choice!
And, before you type Amazon and then humidifier, there are a few things you need to know.
4-step blueprint to buy a perfect humidifier for your babies & kids!
I will walk you through all this 4-step buying guide blueprint that is necessary so that the humidifier you choose, is exactly the one you need.
Determining the Levels of Humidity in Your Home or the Baby Nursery Room
An extremely important factor when it comes to having a healthy and comfortable environment for your child and your entire family, is the ability to maintain balanced humidity levels in your home, the entire year.
The doctors at the Mayo Clinic, say that the home’s ideal humidity levels are between 30% and 50%.
For example, if your home has humidity levels that are below 30%, the air is too dry.
On the other hand, if the air humidity in your home is over 50%, you will have problems with symptom-aggravating allergens. These allergens are dust mites, bacteria, mold, and more.
As your kids are still at the developing their immune system, this might actually make them fall sick easily.
Also, such a muggy and damp conditions will cause the house to have an unpleasant, musty odor. And, again, your wood furniture will rot, while the walls will have mold stains.
In order to have well-balanced humidity levels in your home, you first need to know the actual humidity values.
I live in Nevada where the area is super dry. So, usually, I prefer a humidifier that enables produce large mist output together with high tank volume.
This will enable my humidifier to last longer and reduce the frequency of refilling.
A Life Saver - Hygrometer
Fortunately, this is easy to determine and the tool you need is inexpensive and called a digital hygrometer.
This useful gadget displays the current temperature in your home, as well as the level of air humidity.
Depending on the model, it can be mounted on a wall and display the temperature values in both Celsius and Fahrenheit, and it can have a backlight so that you can read it in the dark.
Also, some models, have the possibility of alerting you if the pre-set optimum humidity levels are not met.
As a recommendation for those who want to know their humidity level at a very precise accuracy, buying hygrometer is the way to go.
But of course, there are humidifier models can come with an inbuilt hygrometer that works together with a humidistat, a system that uses sensors for humidity control.
This system allows you to know the exact humidity level in your home at any given moment, and if needed, adjust it to your preference.
I will talk more about the humidistat in detail later.
Cool DIY Hygrometer Tricks
Check out this guide to how to make a DIY hygrometer with these hacks!
Determining the size of humidifier to closely fit to your kid's or nursery room
It’s time to deal with choosing the right humidifier size. And, this also includes the overall mist output.
There are three main factors that should be taken into consideration.
All of these values should be listed in the specifications of the humidifier you are considering to buy.
Here is how you will understand all the factors and make sure you are choosing the right humidifier with the right specs.
Gallons per day, or GPR, are values that vary because they mostly depend on the type of steam production, meaning, if the humidifier is based on steam or uses a wetted-media.
Gallons per day, or GPR, are values that are based on the amount of water that is used up by heating and evaporation during a 24-hour period, over an area volume that is also specified by the manufacturer.
This is the information that tells you how many times will you have to refill it if you keep it running the entire day at maximum setting.
For example, if a certain model has a 2 GPD rating and a 1 gallon tank, and the manufacturer says it can cover a 300 sq ft area, it means that if you use it in a room that has 300 square feet , you will have to fully refill it at least once during a 24-hour period of continuous running.
As for the Load, this is a rating that needs to be deducted from the full amount of needed water for the humidifier, as it represents the amount of home-produced humidity. The volume of water you can deduct from the volume the humidifier will spend, for example, if the ratings are 1.5 GPD on a 300 sq ft area, and your home has a load of 0.2 gallons, your humidifier will spend 1.3 gallons in 24 hours, on maximum humidity settingThis includes steam that comes from showering, cooking and other steam-producing activities.
Of course, if your home has a big load value, then the humidifier will need to use less water, meaning you can use it on lower settings, and refill it fewer times. I always cook often at home so it produces a substantial amount of steam! That would mean that my load will usually be high and that will allow my humidifier to produce lesser mist to contribute the remaining humidity percentage.
But most of the time, your baby's nursery room would have less load. So, usually, you will have to crank out more mist output depending on the current humidity level.
In an average 4-member household, the Load value is around 2 gallons of evaporated water in 24 hours.
In an everyday life of an average 4-member household, the Load value is around 2 gallons of water that evaporated in 24 hours.
Size of the room that is humidified
A given unit’s, manufacturer room size coverage rating, is not a definite indication that it will raise the humidity level of the room you plan on using it in.
As I already explained, the values that the manufacturer lists are gallons per day. And, they are there only as guidelines as they come from tests that were conducted in ideal indoor conditions. This means a brand new and unused humidifier, maximum mist output, and without counting the Load value.
The actual output will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and from my experience, you should choose GPD value bigger than you actually need, as you can always set it lower if it’s too much.
But, you can’t set it higher than the maximum if the humidifier doesn’t provide enough humidity.
Your best humidifier for baby nursery room choice is a Tabletop humidifier.
You can also find it classified as a single room humidifier, and it is quite enough to raise the levels of humidity in your baby’s room.
Furthermore, tabletop humidifiers are small, lightweight and portable, and you can easily move them to the living room when you want to play with your child there.
Also, they usually come with a water container that is removable, which makes the cleaning and filling process significantly easier.
how do i do it?
For me, usually during the summer, I usually put my baby child outside of the nursery room (at the living room).
Humidity spreads throughout the room with the help of air conditioner (or sometimes fan) which allows my baby to sleep comfortably during the hot summer.
For winter, I usually put back my baby inside of her nursery room because she can sleep comfortable with the warm mist room humidifier.
Since high humidity can capture heat easily, I do not need to worry about her having dry skin while sleeping.
Volume of your room
Another thing to consider, besides the square footage of the floor of the nursery room or the entire home, what you also need to take into consideration is the height of the ceiling.
Just think of your room volume as the typical aquarium tank volume.
Usually, when manufacturers do the gallon per day calculations, the height of the ceiling is 8 feet. So, if your ceiling is higher, you will need a bigger tank and higher output.
On the other hand, if your ceiling is lower than 8 feet, you might want to consider less mist power. Or, be ready to use the humidifier on low settings.
How tight is your home?
When it comes to picking the right size and power of the humidifier, another very important consideration is the actual tightness of your home’s construction.
This is important because the amount of mist that a humidifier needs to pump out is greatly affected by the volume of air that your house exchanges during one hour.
The more humidity, your house “leaks”, the more will the humidifier need to compensate.
Do you want to humidify the entire home?
Now that you know which group your home belongs to, and know how powerful your humidifier needs to be, for entire home humidifying, you have two choices:
what about size?
Now, when it comes to the size, making the choice between the types I explained above, comes down to personal preference.
My advice is to think about how many times are you willing to refill the humidifier. Or, are you willing to mess with refilling at all.
For example, if you don’t mind refilling it each day, you could go with the tabletop model. Or, choose a console if you want to humidify the entire home and refill it after a few days of use.(since they have smaller volume).
On the other hand, if you prefer not to have anything with refilling and leave that to the humidifier, the logical choice is the whole-home model.
For me, as I mentioned before, I usually leave my baby outside of nursery room (usually living room). I refill it every 2-3 days but in hotter days (90°F or more), I will refill it every single day.
For winter wise, I can afford to change it every week for nursery room. Since, a console humidifier is pretty powerful for small nursery room. In addition to that, I always put it on medium setting to accomodate with the winter humidity.
Maintaining the Desired Humidity Levels
As I already explained above, too high levels of humidity in your home are the last thing you want.
Therefore, to be able to maintain a constant humidity level that suits your baby, and your home, is to know how and when to use the humidifier.
If, for example, you plan on using the humidifier during daytime, you can get a hygrometer and keep an eye on the humidity levels and adjust the humidifier accordingly.
On the other hand, if your kids are like me, and wish to have a nicely humid air while you sleep, you have a few choices.
budget-friendly or high-end?
The most budget-friendly option is a small, tabletop humidifier.
From my experience, most of such models are simply unable to over-humidify the air in most average sized bedrooms or baby nursery rooms.
However, just to be on the safe side, start with the lowest mist setting. And, if needed, work your way up later.
In general, even on the highest mist setting, these small humidifiers will not cause problems when it comes to condensation.
But, with such small humidifiers, you may encounter another problem, and that is low humidity levels.
And, if you are determined to have a well-balanced humidity in your baby nursery room, there are two options.
The first option is an ultrasonic humidifier with an inbuilt humidistat that can regulate the humidity levels by itself.
I will get to the second option after explaining what a humidistat is.
This is a device that saves you from headaches caused by not being sure if your baby nursery room humidity levels are too high or too low. For babies, the ideal levels are between 45% and 50%.
Therefore, if you buy a humidifier with an automatic humidistat, you will keep your baby healthy. And, save on electricity bills because once the optimum humidity level is reached, the humidifier will automatically shut down.
The second choice fo keeping a well-balanced humidity level in your baby’s nursery room is an evaporative humidifier.
With such a model, you don’t have to worry about over-humidification. This humidifier provides natural evaporation and air humidification.
However, such humidifiers come with one downside. And, that is wick replacement after a while (a more detailed explanation below). This adds complication when it comes to maintenance and adds more to the overall cost of the humidifier.
Deciding Which Type Suits Your home and Your Baby the Best
We have finally reached to the part that you probably most anticipated, the choice of the humidifier type for your baby nursery room.
There are different ways of how humidifiers boost the moisture levels in your home’s air. Every type comes with both pros and cons.
The first type, that I want to talk about is a cool mist humidifier. From my experience, it is capable of humidifying larger areas, and “eats” less electricity.
However, these humidifiers come with more moving parts and they tend to be noisier ones. So, keep this in mind as well.
When it comes to cool mist humidifier classification, you will come across the following:
The next type uses a different approach and produces a warm mist, hence the name, Warm Mist Humidifier.
Warm mist is more beneficial for your baby’s health. However, since these humidifiers pre-heat the water, they do “eat” a bit more electricity than the other models. And, your bill might feel it a little.
But, as I just said, they are more health beneficial. The boiling water kills mold and waterborne bacteria and protects your child from allergens. Therefore, the slightly higher electricity bill is definitely worth it.
a word of advice
One advice. If you choose a warm mist humidifier, make sure your child can’t reach it because it tends to get rather hot.
And, keep in mind that you will need to place it closer to the baby’s crib. It covers a smaller area than cool mist models, but is pretty much noiseless, so it won’t disturb your child’s sleep. Even if it is right next to it.
I have covered all the important things when it comes to knowing why a humidifier is a valuable addition to your home, how to choose the right one for your baby’s health, and how to make sure it matches your home’s structure in order to get the best out of the humidifier.
But, there are a few more things that you should know. An, even though these things are not that wide-known, they are quite important.
A FEW MORE THINGS YOU SHOULD TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION
With certain humidifier models you can notice that a layer of white dust settles on your furniture.
This is called the Mineral Dust and it can influence health negatively.
Some humidifiers have this problem if the water used is too hard. Therefore, the manufacturer’s advice on the type of water to be used should always be followed.
In most cases, if you switch from tap water to distilled, you will get rid of this problem.
Most modern humidifiers come with an inbuilt automatic shutdown switch.
However, you still need to check and see if the humidifier you plan on buying includes this feature. If it doesn’t,the humidifier can be dangerous.
I must emphasize that having this feature is extremely important!
Humidifiers without such a switch will keep working even if the water tank is empty. That can, furthermore, lead to overheating of the motors. And, that can lead to a fire, which is a problem nobody wants on their hands.
Once, one of my neighbors had her kid's bedroom caught on fire due to the empty humidifier being overheated. And, it burned the whole bed drawer!
cleaning & maintainence
When it comes to maintenance, it is the least favorite part of every humidifier user.
For example, some humidifiers need to be refilled every day. This also includes washing the water tank and that is the job everyone hates.
So, opting for a humidifier with a larger tank can save you from cleaning and refilling it each day. As a matter of fact, some models can last a few days with one refill.
any more issues?
Another issue with humidifiers is that filter cleaning is also included in the process of maintenance. Also, you will need to change the filters for new ones regularly. And, this just adds up to the humidifier’s total cost.
Therefore, when choosing a humidifier, keep an eye on how easy it is to refill and clean. And, how often you need to do it.
You need to choose a model that fits your daily schedule. This way, you can make sure it lasts long and doesn’t break down after a month or two because you simply don’t have time to keep it in proper shape.
Personally, I would recommend humidifiers that come with filters that need changing. It will save you time, as well as cut down on the total cost of your humidifier.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED AS PROPER CLEANING AND MAINTENANCE?
The best answer to this question would be just following the manufacturer’s recommendation.
Most humidifiers come with straightforward instructions, which includes recommendations for how and how often to clean the humidifier.
If you plan on using it daily, I would recommend cleaning it at least a few times weekly. Also, when you don’t plan to use the humidifier for a couple of days, make sure that it is completely empty and dry.
size & design of water tank
The shape and size of the water tank, is something that many tend to overlook when choosing a humidifier.
Okay, you will need to clean it and refill it, but have you considered how accessible the tank is?
Or can it fit your sink?
These are also factors that you need to consider if you want a humidifier that will humidify your home and be user friendly.
Filtered Water or Tap Water?
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) claims that using tap water for Impeller or Ultrasonic humidifiers is not considered as a serious health risk.
However, they do state that minerals found in tap water will create deposits in the water tank. This can lead to a growth of bacteria, and the occurrence of the white dust. And, all this could find its way to your lungs, and that is definitely not healthy.
Therefore, again, proper cleaning and maintenance is a MUST. And, to be on the safe side, use distilled water. Or, opt for a humidifier model that uses a wick to catch these minerals.
The final choice of a humidifier is, when all things considered, a matter of personal taste.
But, what we all have in common, is the fact that the best humidifier is the one that fits your budget. And, that this humidifier offers the best features for the money.
In my case, I found that the tabletop Ultrasonic humidifiers did the trick for the baby nursery room. Also, this type helped me with my sinus congestion.
For example, when my first child was born, she was 2 months old when her first winter started. And, I noticed how her skin started being dry when the heating kicked in.
The crèmes helped slightly, but the skin simply needed more moisture.
An Ultrasonic humidifier with a one-gallon tank made a huge difference.
Running while she slept during the night, some 8 hours, on medium mist setting, her skin stopped being dry. And, I started being able to breathe normally again.
I have two kids. I have a 4-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old son, and we regularly use the humidifier during the winter.
I know that cleaning the tank is a bit annoying. But, it will soon become your daily routine and you will get used to cleaning. And, it will help you and your family function normally during the winter months.
Therefore, keep in mind all that you learned here. Do all the calculations and math, and see which type, sub-type, fits your personal needs.
The most important thing is that the model you choose gives your baby, as well as your whole family, a chance to be healthy. And, you will all sleep better.
That's all I have covered for the buying guide! Hope you are able to make a better purchasing decision for your kids by following this BLUEPRINT!