Is Humidifier or Dehumidifier Better for Stuffy Nose?

Do I need a humidifier or dehumidifier for a stuffy nose?

If you ask this question, I can completely understand where you are coming from. The onset of any cold season spells a bit of trouble for many people. This is in the form of blocked nasal passages.

In another article, we asked what you should get between a humidifier and dehumidifier.

We agreed that if you live in a place like Florida that has too much humidity almost throughout the year, you should get a dehumidifier.

But in places that get regular seasons, you should get both appliances. You should also get an air purifier if the air in your city is polluted.

You might also need to get an air conditioner to lower the temperature.

Back to our day’s topic…

If you experience a blocked nose anytime you come across allergens such as dust, smoke, pollen, mold spores, and others, you might want to know what appliance can help you.

Does a humidifier help with a stuffy nose?

Does a humidifier help with a stuffy nose

A humidifier can help with stuffy noses. However, this is not the equivalent of medical advice. If you need to see a doctor, see one soon.

When you have dry air in the house, you are going to experience some irritating symptoms. These include:

  • Dry and sore throat
  • Mild headaches
  • Runny eyes and nose
  • Dry skin
  • Irritated airways

Try inhaling steam coming from boiling water, and experiencing the feeling of pureness and freshness. You would get the same thing from inhaling the warm mist from a humidifier.

A humidifier releases moisture into the indoor space. When you inhale moist air, it might help to dislodge some of the dry mucus in the nose.

It might also help to reduce the inflammation in the airways.

If you experience irritation in the throat and feel as if the air is hurting your nostrils when you inhale, the air is too dry.

How long does it take to help with congestion?

When you have congestion, you want help as soon as possible. Of course, it will take some time for the humidifier to inject mist into the air.

Image of humidifier or dehumidifier for sinus problems

If it is a warm mist humidifier, it will take slightly longer because it has to boil the water first to make steam.

Since the moist air helps to add more moisture inside the nose, in 10 to 20 minutes, you should start experiencing relief.

Can a dehumidifier help with a stuffy nose? No

It is only fair that we answer this question directly. A dehumidifier does not help with a stuffy nose. Once you start running it and it makes the air drier, the stuffiness is going to get worse!

A dehumidifier works by removing moisture from the air. However, when you have a stuffy nose, what you need is smoother, damper air. Only a humidifier can increase humidity in your indoor air.

The most important thing is to increase the humidity only slightly above the recommended relative humidity level.

If the humidity is too high, say above 55%, it can cause coughing and shortness of breath. Thus, the idea is to always maintain the relative humidity level, which is between 30 and 50%.

When the air is extra dry, and you experience a stuffy nose, you could increase the humidity level just so slightly, say to 55%.

Too high humidity can lead to the proliferation of indoor allergens such as dust mites and mold. You can check for symptoms of mold in your humidifier so that you can clean it.

The best humidifier type for a stuffy nose

There are many types of humidifiers. Here is a brief look at a few of the popular ones:

Ultrasonic humidifiers: These are not the best unless you intend to use distilled water because they cause humidifier pale dust.

Whole house humidifiers: Also called central furnace humidifiers, they require professional installation. They humidify the entire house, so you do not need to buy a portable unit for every room.

Evaporators: These evaporate water to release a cool mist into the room. You can read about ultrasonic vs evaporative units.

Warm mist units: These boil water to produce a warm mist. They can be quite unsafe to have in a toddler’s room because the hot water can be hazardous if it pours on your baby.

What’s best for stuffy nose: warm mist and cool mist units?

Both work great. The idea is to increase dampness inside the nose to reduce the stuffy feeling. In another article on warm or cool mist humidifiers for sinuses, we saw how helpful both can be.

Cool mist units are best because they do not pose any scalding threats. However, a warm mist unit can also help, but you have to know the best position for a humidifier.

Which is better for sinus: Humidifier or dehumidifier?

Both appliances can help with sinuses and other respiratory problems. If you experience inflamed sinuses, and you live in a place with extremely dry air, a humidifier is good for sinuses.

The dry air is known for causing inflammation of the airways and the sinuses. Therefore, try running a humidifier to increase the air moisture content to 50% and see what that does for you.

If you are afraid that the electricity consumption of the humidifier could be too high, try the natural ways to humidify the air in your home.

If you live in a place like Seattle with high humidity, you could try lowering the humidity in your house. In the same way that dry air can cause sinus congestion, even humid air can cause the same problem. In this case, just lower the humidity to somewhere between 30 and 50%.

High humidity can cause allergens such as dust mites to increase. It can also cause mold infestations in your home. If you inhale mold spores, they could irritate your airways and sinuses and cause them to become inflamed.

Also, exposure to the spores can cause mold toxicity signs, so you want to be extra careful about it. This is where a dehumidifier comes in to help lower the indoor humidity.

If you would rather not use a dehumidifier, you can try the natural ways of raising humidity in your home.

Also, remember that the air quality of your home is not dependent on the humidity levels alone; it also depends on how contaminated the air is. Thus, you might also want to use an air purifier to remove impurities.

Also, check out these posts:

Best humidifiers for 3 by 3 grow tent

Best dehumidifiers for a 4 x 4 grow tent

Will leaving vinegar on mold overnight kill it

Wrapping it up

Just get the humidifier if you are experiencing a stuffy nose. Get one with a humidistat such as the Geniani top-fill unit that you can buy on

Once the right humidity level is attained, it will just stop adding more humidity. Too much humidity in the air can give you a runny nose and lead to mold and other indoor allergens.

Most homeowners have these two appliances. You also need a hygrometer to know when to switch on what appliance.