When it comes to using a humidifier or vaporizer to relieve cold symptoms, it all depends on personal preference. However, a vaporizer has the additional benefit of allowing the user to add medications for inhalation to relieve nasal and chest congestion. A cool mist humidifier or steam vaporizer can help with cold and flu congestion alike. Why? The benefit comes from moisture reaching the nostrils and irritated lungs.
Humidifiers use cold water to create a fine mist or spray that is released into the air. The vaporizers first boil the water and then release the steam. While both are effective in adding moisture to the air, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends the use of a cool mist humidifier. Vaporizers can cause burns if your child gets too close to the steam or if they accidentally hit a device filled with hot water.
When children have a bad cold, parents often put humidifiers or vaporizers in their rooms to try to relieve congestion. But, sadly, this practice can provide comfort, but in reality it is not effective. Most studies indicate that both cool mist humidifiers and steam vaporizers alike help combat congestion caused by colds and the flu. A major advantage vaporizers have over humidifiers is the fact that boiled water from a vaporizer is purified, meaning that the vapor it emits is clean to breathe.
That said, the steam produced by steam vaporizers can be more hygienic, since the water is boiled before leaving the machine. Even more compact, the Vicks Soothing Vapors plug-in waterless vaporizer can also be used with Vicks VapoPads. If you are looking for relief from dry skin and nose, chest congestion, and coughing through a natural solution that is relatively inexpensive, both cold steam vaporizers and steam vaporizers are a good choice during the dry months of the coming winter.