Ultrasonic Humidifier Vs Cool Mist: Which Is Better?

There are different types of home humidifiers in the market. If you're confused between an ultrasonic and a cool mist, this article will help you know the difference between the two so you can choose which one is right for you. We've researched the pros and cons of each one, and here are the things we found out.

A cool mist humidifier increases the room's relative humidity by adding cool air to your indoor air. An ultrasonic humidifier is a type of cool mist humidifier. It uses high-frequency vibration to produce water vapor to moisten the room.

Another kind of cool mist humidifier is the evaporative humidifier that uses a fan so that water can evaporate in the air. Choosing between the two is a matter of personal preference and requires a commitment to regular maintenance.

Keep reading to learn more about cool mist humidifiers and their particular subtype, the cool mist humidifier. We'll tell you the advantages and disadvantages of using these devices to help you come up with an informed choice. Let's get started!

Ultrasonic Humidifier Vs. Cool Mist Humidifier: Which Is Best For Your Home

A comparison between ultrasonic humidifier and cool mist humidifier, Ultrasonic Humidifier Vs Cool Mist: Which Is Better?

Humidifiers have become a home essential, especially if you or your family members usually experience allergies and respiratory issues when the air gets dry.

By adding moisture to the air, these home appliances make you feel more comfortable at home. They also make the quality of your indoor air better and healthier. They can ease your cough, prevent flu, help you sleep better, and avoid chapped lips, dry skin, and hair.

Humidifiers can also help your indoor plants thrive and prevent the shrinking of your wooden fixtures at home. With all these benefits, it's no wonder then that a lot of families are using these appliances in their homes.

But the thing is, there are different types of humidifiers in the market. We understand that it can be confusing to choose which one suits your home. Today, you'll learn more about cool mist humidifiers and one of their sub-types, the ultrasonic humidifier.

What is a cool mist humidifier?

A cool mist humidifier takes in air from the room, then passes through a filter or wet wick, adding moisture to the air. It is then blown out of the device with the use of a fan to increase the humidity level in the room.

White humidifier cool mist

There are two types of cool mist humidifiers - the ultrasonic [which we will discuss in detail later on] and the evaporative. The main difference between the two is the technology that they use.

Whereas evaporative humidifiers rely on a wick filter and a built-in fan to diffuse moistened air, ultrasonic ones vibrate their metal diaphragm at a very high frequency to add moisture to the air.

Check out this evaporative cool mist humidifier on Amazon.

Also, cool mist humidifiers are often compared to warm mist humidifiers. Unlike the latter, a cool mist humidifier doesn't boil water to add steam or water vapor to the indoor air. Instead, it uses a fan or vibration to make water evaporate so that it'll make the surrounding air cooler. 

Advantages of Cool Mist Humidifier

Safe To Use

A cool mist humidifier is safe to use, especially around children and pets, since their surfaces don't get too hot to the touch. This way, you can avoid burns should these inquisitive minds happen to go near this device.

Energy Efficient

Since they don't require heating water, unlike warm mist humidifiers, they don't consume too much energy. This means they don't need too much power to operate and won't significantly affect your electric bills.

More Comfortable

This device helps make you feel more comfortable, especially in the summer. As it increases the humidity level in the room, it lessens the heat you're feeling.

It adds humidity without heating the air or adding warm air to the surroundings so that you have a more comfortable room temperature. Since it doesn't use heat, this type of humidifier is perfect for warm and dry climates because who wants the added heat on a hot summer day, right?

Other Health Benefits

This type of humidifier reduces swelling of nasal passages, which helps you breathe easier if you have a cold. On the other hand, experts say that warm mist humidifiers don't help ease cold symptoms and can make you feel more congested.

Size Availability

You can find cool mist humidifiers in different sizes, from small portable ones to large consoles, that can effectively humidify a room as big as 1,000 sq ft. You won't find warm mist humidifiers in smaller sizes.

Disadvantages of Cool Mist Humidifier

Bacterial Growth

We all know that bacteria, mold, and mildew thrive in moist spaces. Since humidifiers have a water reservoir and many of their components are always damp, they are prone to bacterial growth if not maintained properly, unlike warm mist humidifiers that can get warm enough to kill off the unwanted organisms that plan to settle on their surfaces.

Frequent Maintenance

You need to deep clean your cool mist humidifier regularly to remove any dirt and bacteria buildup. Change the water regularly.

If you're using the evaporative type, the filter or wick needs to be replaced frequently. This will help ensure that your humidifier isn't dispersing contaminants into the air.

Find this wicking replacement filter on Amazon.


Cool mist humidifiers use a fan of different sizes and speeds to moisten the indoor air. And we all know that when fans are involved, they produce noise while in use.

In a nutshell, cool mist humidifiers are safe to use, energy efficient, have more options when it comes to sizes, make you feel more comfortable, and can help ease your cough and colds. Their drawbacks include a high risk for bacterial growth, noise, and the need for frequent maintenance.

What is an ultrasonic humidifier?

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifier for home on a small table in living room

As mentioned earlier, ultrasonic humidifiers are a type of cool mist humidifier. These devices use high-frequency vibrations to produce very fine droplets of water that are then fanned to be sent out into the room to moisten the indoor air and make you feel cooler.

Click this link to find this ultrasonic humidifier on Amazon.

As also stated above, there are two types of cool mist humidifiers - ultrasonic and evaporative. We'll compare the two to highlight the pros and cons of using an ultrasonic humidifier.

Advantages of Ultrasonic Humidifier

Ultrasonic air humidifier

Quieter Operation

Ultrasonic humidifiers don't have a loud irritating sound while they are running. Their quieter operation makes them suitable for night use.

The evaporative cool mist humidifier makes loud sounds since they use a fan to disperse moist air, although some models come with variable fan speeds that can also help lessen the noise they make.

Disadvantages of Ultrasonic Humidifier

White Dust

Airborne dust particles and allergy concept

The operation of this device produces white dust particles that will settle outside the humidifier itself, on the floor, and in other places within its area of reach.

This is due to the mineral content of the water used. The dust comes from mineral deposits or residue. 

Experts advise that you use distilled water so there would be no more mineral residue. Or you can also get yourself a hard water filter to achieve the same effect.

Other Health Concerns
These devices can also send bacteria into the air if they aren't maintained properly. This can cause allergies and respiratory issues when contaminated air is inhaled. Deep cleaning is recommended at least once a week to prevent bacteria buildup.
When you use an ultrasonic humidifier, you also get to enjoy all the benefits of a cool mist humidifier since it is one. But it comes with the added benefit of having a quieter operation since it doesn't rely on a fan to disperse moistened air. 

Should you choose an ultrasonic humidifier for your home?

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifier for home

Since an ultrasonic humidifier is a type of cool mist humidifier, you'll be getting the same benefits. The only difference is the technology behind the device, which affects the noise it makes and the maintenance required.

If you're the type of person who doesn't like the noise that fans make when they're running, then the ultrasonic humidifier is for you.

It's best to use distilled water so that you don't have to deal with mineral buildup and white dust particles settling all around you.

But if you don't mind the noise [some people sleep better with white noise in the background] and you want to be sure that there are fewer health risks involved, then it's best to settle for the other type of cool mist humidifier, which is evaporative. It is the safer choice between the two since they won't release minerals and bacteria into the air.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it's entirely up to you. It is a matter of personal preference and commitment to the maintenance required, whichever option you choose. 

If you want to know more about humidifiers, feel free to visit the following posts:

Impeller Humidifier Vs. Ultrasonic – Which To Choose?

Can You Use Tap Water In A Humidifier?

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