We are trying to decide whether or not to get a cool mist or warm mist humdifier. The reasearch I am doing - I am getting conflicting information. I thought I would ask "experienced parents" this question instead. So, what do you use?
I should add.... especially when baby has a cold.
I researched too, and here is what helped my decision.
The cool water ones make your room wet, literally, and they can grow mold, not good. The warm water ones evaporate instantly so there is no wetness on things and they actually get so hot, that mold can't live in them.
Also, I got a whole house humidifier installed in my furnace, and there it's heated too. Like if it's done there, then that must be a good pholosiphy(?), huh?
And I know you can add vapor medicines to the warm water ones, I don't think you can with the cold water ones, this can be kinda a plus to your child, they can get the effects of an opening air way medicine without actually having to ingest it.
I haven't done any research, but I have had some of each. Right now, we have a cool mist humidifier in our bedroom - and it does NOT make my room wet, and nothing is growing mold. The warm mist ones we've had DID make the room wet - and while I never saw any mold growing, I'm sure the risk was higher with them, because of the extra moisture.
The big difference is that our current humidifier (the cold mist one) has an ADJUSTABLE HUMIDISTAT built into it. I can program it to 55% humidity (or whatever level I choose), and leave it there - it comes on when it needs to, then shuts off when it reaches the appropriate humidity level.
Both of the warm mist humidifiers we had were not adjustable - so we'd turn them on at night, and wake up in the morning to damp sheets and windowsills drenched in water. If there was a risk of mold, it was because of TOO MUCH humidity in the air with those things!
Anyway - point is, whatever you get, get one that can automatically adjust to maintain a healthy level of humidity. Too much humidity in your air will create mold problems, regardless of the temperature of that humidity.
We have a cool mist humidifier. It sounds a lot like Liltingbelle's, in that you set the humidity level and it automatically turns itself on and off as needed. I had heard the opposite of River, as far as mold and such. Our pediatrician said just like in warm moist spots in your house, mold will grow much faster and easier than in a cool moist spot. We have not had a problem with DD's room being damp or anything. Also, the warm mist ones can burn a child if they decide to mess with it during the night. It is not an issue when they are babies, but once they are not in a crib, they could get to it. A cool mist one cannot burn them. The one we have is by Holmes, and was around $60 at Target. The mist runs through a nice filter that takes out any allergans and then produces a "mist". The mist is not really a mist though. It evaporates instantly. I also bought a bottle of this antibacteria stuff that you add like a capfull or two to the water. It helps keep the whole unit cleaner in between cleanings.
I just checked ours, in case you are interested, the model number is HM1855. I forgot to mention, ours also has a cool feature called "filter check". It has an indicator gauge that lets you know when you need to change the filter.
Kayla had a cold for about 6 weeks of her life. I was told by everyone to get a cool mist humidifier. After going back to work (pharmaceutical industry), I was told by numerous collegues to get a "warm mist vaporizer" for headcolds. The warming unit kills the "virus/bug" that causes the illness. Humidifiers do not. Actually, the bug gets sucked into the unit and can keep generating it.
We purchased an inexpensive vaporizer and she was fine within 2 days. What a huge difference.
For daily dryness, I would plug in the humidifier.
WARM no debate.
Have YOU ever tried to sleep in a cold wet room?
Think about it.