Full-size humidifiers are clunky and notorious wallet-burners, soaring well above $200 for the big-name brands (i.e., Honeywell).
But their 800 square feet of misty coverage doesn’t mesh with tighter quarters, like an office cubicle, a truck cabin, or a Sahara-dry bedroom.
Personal humidifiers are miniature versions that add natural moisture and steam to the air (at a much more appealing price point). Convenience aside, here are seven ways a personal humidifier helps along a healthy living journey.
Treat Nose & Throat Dryness
When winter makes its long-awaited comeback, the plummeting outdoor temperature and biting 20 mph wind gusts aren’t the only big changes. Humidity falls below that cozy 30-50% range, as well.
While less steamy and sweaty than an 80-degree summer afternoon, this unusually dry air teeters toward the opposite extreme.
The dryness is a living nightmare if you’re a chronic dry throat, sinusitis, asthma, or even springtime allergy sufferer.
It pulls natural moisture from your nose and throat, which leads to cracking, soreness, and even sudden bleeding. It also turns your mucus into a dry, goopy mess, causing uncomfortable congestion that never seems to clear.
A humidifier on your bedside table can return water droplets to the air you breathe for the 8-10 hours you spend in the sack.
Now, you can breathe easy and painlessly!
Repair Otherwise Dry Skin
Dry, flaky, and cracked skin are all wintertime menaces, leading you to second-guess your skiing, shoveling, or snowman-building plans.
The dry weather robs your skin’s outer layer — which is about 30% water — of its natural moisturizing oils.
That raw and sensitive skin shifts even further into overdrive, thanks to:
- Harsh winds
- Excess hand washing
- Hot water when bathing
You can’t lather your body with lotion ten times daily or avoid hand-washing forever. But, with a personal humidifier set to 50%, you can replenish your skin’s lost moisture and slowly return your skin to that glowing, “touchable” status.
Run it in your office, bedroom, or wherever you spend the most time!
Slash Airborne Virus Spread
If we spent as much time washing our hands, covering our sneezes, and wiping surfaces down with Lysol as we do talking about cold and flu prevention, we wouldn’t blow through 5.2 sick days a year.
Cranking the indoor humidity up some 10-20% can help to stop the spread of viruses, too.
The reason is two-fold:
First, mucus usually traps sneaky pathogens before they have the opportunity to invade your airways. Second, germs typically have trouble surviving in more humid climates.
A personal humidifier in your truck cabin or home office might be the final line of defense in a ravaging cold and flu season!
The research on snoring is startling, with Johns Hopkins’ School of Medicine suggesting that 45% of us are occasional snorers (plus, one in four of us make noisy bedfellows).
But while a steaming hot bedroom in mid-August can leave you gasping for air or feeling like there’s a 20-pound weight plopped on your chest, the main snoring culprit is actually dry air!
However, it’s more of a snowball effect since dry air also causes:
- Increased airborne allergens, dust, and mites
- Throat and nasal dryness
- Inflamed airways (causing restricted airflow)
Siphoning some extra moisture into the air takes these side effects and turns them on their head.
Now, placing a personal humidifier on your bedroom bookshelf won’t cure snoring-related conditions like sleep apnea. But if those rumbling roars only intensify when December and January roll around, it can be a surefire silencer.
Potential Headache Prevention
Whether your headaches are throbbing, vice-life, an ice-pick sensation, or an all-around burn, headaches can put a damper on any exciting get-together.
But did you know that a nifty, portable humidifier can get sinus headaches under control?
The explanation lies in healthier mucus flow deep within your airways. When the mucus drains from your sinuses and these cavities develop rawness, you can breathe freely and avoid that nagging pressure in your face.
Migraine sufferers also hail humidifiers as a godsend, especially when dry air is their #1 trigger. With a portable humidifier in tow, you can avoid these headaches, whether you’re binge-watching TV or penning a report.
Faster Healing Times
Skin oils and moisture are things that never cross our minds until they’re noticeably absent. When the eczema, cracked lips, and open wounds strike, normal humidity — with the help of a humidifier — can fast-track healing time.
That’s because the added moisture encourages skin cell growth and repair while also erecting an infection-free barrier.
However, exposing your injuries to the open-air won’t trigger a miraculous recovery. You’ll also need to monitor wound progression, treat it with anti-bacterial solutions, and visit the doctor for severe injuries.
Improved Sleep Quality
Don’t expect to fill your humidifier with distilled water and wake up the next morning feeling decades younger. The improved sleep quality comes from the 40-50% bedroom humidity perks (reviewed above).
After all, imagine sleeping sound when:
- Every breath burns your already-irritated nostrils and throat.
- Your dry skin leaves you tossing and turning.
- That cold left you congested and gasping for air.
- You can’t snooze without a foot to the shin (code for “stop snoring”).
- A nagging headache won’t give you three hours of throb-free peace.
If you really want that humidifier to change your life, a portable one should be at the top of your birthday wishlist. That way, you can tote it from the bedroom to the living room to the home office — and back again!
Whatever you call them — personal, portable, or mini humidifiers — every bedroom alcove or thin-aired cubicle needs one.
Our top choices include:
- Hammacher Schlemmer’s Antimicrobial Cool Mist Humidifier
- Comfort Zone’s 0.15 Gal. Cool Mist Ultrasonic Tabletop Humidifier
- Bell + Howell’s Sonic Breathe Personal Humidifier
A word to the wise: Avoid refilling your humidifier with tap water, which has a reputation for clogging these appliances with mineral deposits and bacteria.
Always use distilled water, and replace it with fresh H2O daily!
Keep visiting the site regularly to stay updated with the latest health and home improvement-related posts.
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove Stephenville to help them with their online marketing.