Should Humidifiers Run All Night While Sleeping?

If you just got a humidifier at home, one of the most pressing questions you may have is, “can I leave a humidifier on all night?” The short answer is yes. However, you need to get the right humidifier for your space first.

Humidifiers work by converting liquid water into a mist released in your room to increase its level of humidity. If your room is dry, especially during the winter season, a humidifier can help you in so many ways.

This article will answer all your concerns about running your humidifier while sleeping.

Is It Okay To Use a Humidifier Every Night?

Absolutely. Humidifiers are more than just a luxury. They’re a necessity. Sleeping with a humidifier every night is extremely helpful, especially if your house is dry. 

However, there are certain things you need to bear in mind before running your humidifier throughout the night. One factor is the size of your room compared to the capacity of your humidifier.

Not all humidifiers are the same. Some humidifiers are only great for single rooms, while humidifiers can humidify the entire house.

Things To Keep in Mind 

If you’re buying a new humidifier, you need to make sure that the humidifier’s capacity matches perfectly with your space. A humidifier with a small capacity might not be able to humidify the air in the room very quickly. Meanwhile, a humidifier with a large capacity might make the room too humid and wet.

If you’re using a humidifier for the first time, you need to keep an eye out for the humidity level in the room. If you want to be sure that the humidity level in your room is safe, get a hygrometer.

If your room is too humid and the air is wet due to your humidifier, try opening the windows for short periods to allow the extra moisture to escape outside.

Aside from that, you also need to pay attention to the water you put in your humidifier. Manufacturers often recommend using distilled water rather than tap water. Tap water can lead to the growth of mold and mildew because of minerals and other contaminants.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend using distilled water when running your humidifier.

Another thing you have to keep in mind is to clean your humidifier before you run it all night, especially if the humidifier has been gathering dust and dirt. If you do not clean your humidifier regularly, mold can grow in it, and you will be breathing in its spores and bacteria during the night.

Benefits of Running a Humidifier at Night

benefits of running humidifier all night

Sleeping with a humidifier every night is not only completely safe but provides a wide array of benefits. We’ve rounded up some advantages of running a humidifier at night below, including:

  • Improved sleep and reduced snoring
  • Less morning sinus issues
  • Improved recovery
  • No morning voice
  • Allergy relief
  • Moisturized skin 

Improved Sleep and Reduced Snoring

If you have trouble falling asleep, it could be due to dryness. Sleep is all about getting comfortable. Because your respiratory system is not parched, you will have better circulation and can breathe more easily while you sleep.

Aside from that, you will also notice reduced snoring. This lack of snoring is because your nasal passages and throat will be clearer.  

Lessen Morning Sinus Issues

Having a humidifier in the room, especially at night, helps loosen up mucus to make it easier for you to breathe. Therefore, you won’t have to deal with annoying sinusitis, and you’ll also wake up feeling less groggy. 

Improved Recovery

If you’re sick, running your humidifier as you sleep will help you recover faster. The water vapor will give your body extra moisture to improve your immune system.

Also, humid air aids in thinning layers of mucus packed with germs. When you expel mucus, it quickens your recovery. 

No Morning Voice

Is your throat always dry when you wake up? If you’re using your humidifier every night, you can avoid that. Humidifier use can also reduce morning sore throat and a dry nose. 

Allergy Relief

Since most allergies revolve around dryness, you can significantly reduce the chances of suffering from allergies by running your humidifier at night. If you run the humidifier all night, that would constantly rehydrate your airways and provide relief from dryness. 

Moisturized Skin

You may have heard the saying, “you are what you eat.” You are also what you breathe, and dry air is bad for your health.

If the air in your house is not humid enough, your skin will become dry. Eventually, it will crack. You will also experience dry lips, which can be painful.

If you want glowing and healthy skin, using a humidifier at night is a good choice. Dry skin is prevalent during certain times of the year, so you need all the help you can get to make sure your skin remains moisturized and supple.

Keep in mind that preventing dry air is a much better solution than fixing the damage with expensive lotions. 

Protect Houseplants and Wood Furniture

If you have houseplants and wooden furniture, it is better to humidify your room to prevent them from getting dry constantly.

If your house is too dry, wood furniture can crack–especially hardwood furniture. Wood that is too dry shrinks, so if you want to protect your wood, you should invest in a humidifier and use it every night.

Humidifiers are beneficial for plants in your room. In the wintertime, you will notice your plants wilting. If you have a humidifier, you can force your plants to absorb water through the air, making them healthier.

While this is not the primary function of humidifiers, it is a nice byproduct of running a humidifier at night.

Risks or Side Effects of Running a Humidifier at Night

side effects of sleeping with humidifier

There are very few risks of running a humidifier all night.  

Possible Damage to Your Humidifier

It would be wise to keep a close eye on your humidifier at night, especially if you purchased an off-brand humidifier. Most off-brand humidifiers use cheap plastics that cannot operate for extended periods. If you find your humidifier breaking down, it is best to replace it with a more durable and safer model.

Too Much Humidity

Too much humidity can be just as bad as dry air. If you get a humidifier too big for your room, the air will become saturated with water vapor. Too much humidity will ultimately make it difficult for your nose and throat to function correctly. 

Dirty Humidifier

Humidifier maintenance is key to running your device successfully. You need to make sure your device stays clean and free of mold. If you run your humidifier at night, it means the stagnant water will stay in the water tank for longer. You must wash your humidifier every three days.

The Best Humidity for Sleeping

The recommended indoor humidity levels by the United States Environmental Protection Agency should always be between 30% to 50%.

How Far Away Should You Sleep From a Humidifier?

If you plan on sleeping with a humidifier every night, the general rule of thumb is to keep it at least 3 feet away from your bed. Ideally, your humidifier should also be 2 feet from the floor. 

You can place it on a sturdy table, but make sure to use a protective tray or fabric in case of the water spills when you refill the tank.

But people with various health issues can benefit from keeping a warm mist humidifier near their bed. These health complications include

  • Severe sinus problems
  • Congestion
  • Other cold and flu symptoms 

These benefits come to fruition because warm air mist can greatly relieve clogged nasal passages, similar to hot showers. 

Don’t put it on the floor or nightstand. It would be dangerous.

Is It Fine To Close the Door With a Humidifier Running All Night?

Should humidifier run all night while you leave the door open? The answer depends on the size of your room compared to your humidifier’s capacity. 

For example, if you buy a humidifier too large for your room and close the door, you’ll end up with too much humidity. In this case, opening your door is recommended to let the excess humidity escape.

But if you find the right humidifier for your room size, opening the door is not recommended. If you make this mistake, you may not achieve the recommended humidity level for your room.

Final Thoughts

Running your humidifier at night is a great idea. It is an inexpensive way to provide comfort to your family, but it also provides a wide array of health benefits. Now that you know sleeping with a humidifier every night is safe, you can finally enjoy your humidifier’s advantages as you sleep. 


About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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