Ultrasonic vs. Evaporative Humidifier for Baby: What’s Best?

What kind of humidifier is good for baby or for you—ultrasonic vs. evaporative humidifier for baby?

If you are a parent, you know that you ask this question a lot. And you ask it regarding every product that you buy to use with your baby.

So, what is the best choice between an ultrasonic and an evaporative humidifier for the nursery? The best kind of humidifier for a baby is the safest kind. Make no mistake about it. Before you think about volume, before you think about cool mist humidifiers or warm mist humidifiers for baby’s room, you will think about safety.

You see when you are out there in the kitchen or in the garden doing your chores, you want peace of mind.

You do not want to worry too much that your baby will cause him or herself harm with the evaporative humidifier.

Thankfully, baby safety is something that manufacturers have put into mind. Thus, as a parent, you can be assured of the safety of your baby if you do the following:

  • Choose the best type of humidifier for baby’s room
  • Play your part in enforcing safety in the baby’s room. This means placing the humidifier in the best place possible
  • Buy a humidifier that is specifically made to be used in baby’s room

Choosing the best humidifier for a baby’s room does not just come down to picking either a cool mist, warm mist evaporative, or ultrasonic humidifier.

There is much more involved.

But first, here are some brief explanations about ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers:

What is an ultrasonic humidifier?

It is a type of cool mist humidifier that is designed with a ceramic diaphragm that vibrates at a very high frequency to turn water into tiny droplets.

These droplets are blown into your room as a mist using a small fan inside the appliance.

Many parents choose an ultrasonic humidifier for the reason that it is quiet when in operation. But so are others, and this one is quieter.

When you buy it, you can be sure that it is not going to wake your baby up.

How do ultrasonic humidifiers work?

However, silence is not the only benefit that you get with an ultrasonic humidifier. To touch a bit on how it works, the ultra-high-frequency sound is passed on to the cold water in the tank, which causes a fine, cool mist to form.

This cool mist is then dispelled into the room by a small fan. This makes the dry air more breathable for your baby.

What’s the difference between an ultrasonic and a cool mist humidifier?

Not really! However, most cool mist units are non-ultrasonic humidifiers.

The biggest benefit of using an ultrasonic humidifier in your baby’s room is that it is cool. Therefore, there is no danger of having hot water in the same room as your baby.

Image of ultrasonic humidifiers

Is there any downside to this humidifier? There is! For example, it does not have a filter in its design.

OK, that is a double-edged sword right there. On the one hand, you do not have bugging filters to clean or replace. That means low running costs, which is a benefit.

On the other hand, the lack of filters in the ultrasonic humidifiers means that the mineral deposits found in our water are dispersed into the room along with the fine, cool mist.

There, you have it. Your baby could be breathing in some minerals with the cool mist.

However, to counter the above disadvantage, just make sure you use demineralized water in the tank.

You may also look for ultrasonic humidifiers with a special cartridge that captures all the minerals. That way, only clean and unadulterated mist is dispersed into the baby’s room.

Remember, minerals in the water also cause the formation of humidifier white dust. However, you can always find the best humidifier without white dust.

If you would like one of these filters, you can buy your ultrasonic filters from Amazon.com.

What is an evaporative humidifier?

In the search for the best humidifying unit, you will definitely come across an evaporative humidifier vs a cool mist. But first, what is an evaporative humidifier?

Check out the Vornado Evap40 4-gallon evaporative humidifier that you can order on Amazon.com.

Image of non ultrasonic humidifiers


In evaporative humidifiers, an integrated fan pulls the dry air in your room into the humidifier. This air passes off a wick filter or humidifier pad that is saturated with water and absorbs a lot of it.

The now-wet air is then blown into the room, thus increasing the humidity level in the room.

Would I recommend an evaporative humidifier for the baby’s room? I definitely would. However, I will explain briefly how an evaporative humidifier works.

One of the homemade humidification methods that you can use is to place a bowl of water in your room. As the water evaporates, it saturates the room with moisture. And the air becomes smoother and more breathable.

However, a bowl of water in the room would be a bit too slow. Sometimes, we want to humidify our rooms immediately, and therefore, this simple method would not work.

Besides, you would not know how big a bowl should be. You will not be able to set the level of humidity that you want.

How evaporative humidifier works

The modern evaporative humidifier is very effective. It is also referred to as a cold evaporation humidifier. This is designed with a wick and a fan.

As you know, a wick is absorbent, so its work is to absorb and draw water upwards to the fan. The fan then whips (for lack of a better word) the water around fast to produce a fine, cool mist. This is then dispelled into the room.

Evaporative humidifiers that come with filters are good for the baby’s room. The reason is that the filter captures all the mineral deposits found in the water.

We say humidifiers that come with them because some do not have filters. The latter may be cheaper to run, but you do not want your baby breathing in all that mineral dust.

You can buy your evaporative humidifier for baby’s room on Amazon.com. The main benefit of buying here, or indeed any other online marketplace, is that you get more variety and better prices. You may also read reviews left by other users before spending your money.

Is a warm mist humidifier good for a baby?

In the above two sections, you have realized that I was practically waxing lyrical about ultrasonic vs. cool mist humidifiers for babies. However, it does not mean that warm mist humidifiers are bad for a baby’s room.

There are times when it is recommended that you use a warm mist humidifier for your baby. Congested nose, sinus issues, and sore throats are just some of the reasons to use a warm mist humidifier in a baby’s room.

The main issue with a warm mist humidifier for babies is safety. You have to be careful where you place it because hot water is quite a hazard. You do not want a pet knocking the humidifier over and scalding your baby.

If you can place the warm mist humidifier away from the reach of pets and babies, you can go ahead and buy one. You will need it.

Ultrasonic and evaporative humidifier? Buying guide

One of the things that most people ask is: Are ultrasonic humidifiers safe? But again, this question is also asked of other types of humidifiers.

Now that the issue of ultrasonic vs. evaporative humidifiers has been dealt with, what other factors should we consider when buying one?

After all, knowing the best humidifier for a baby requires us to know many things regarding size, price, features, and much more.

1. The size of the humidifier

Humidifiers are rated according to the size of the room that they should humidify. Thus, when buying one for your baby’s room, you should consider the size of the room itself. Big rooms need big humidifiers, and vice versa.

If the baby’s nursery is small, well, perhaps a small desktop humidifier is going to be right. Usually, room humidifiers are small.

A wickless humidifier like the PureGuardian H920BL Ultrasonic Cool mist that you can buy on Amazon.com can be used to humidify a baby nursery, a bedroom, and even a small office.

Usually, this kind of information will be contained in the description of the product, so be sure to read that first before placing your order for this ultrasonic cool mist humidifier.

You do not want the humidifier to be too large. You want it to fit in the place where it is used without taking up too much space. Thus, a small tabletop model is going to suit your baby’s needs just fine.

2. The humidifier runtime

Between the two humidifier types, which can run longer? It depends on the size of the humidifier and the space that you are humidifying.

The runtime is the time that a humidifier tank can last. The longer, the better! Usually, we say that if it can run for ten hours without needing to be refilled, that is a good runtime.

Many ultrasonic humidifiers and cool mist types come with two settings, so depending on which you choose, the tank can last longer or a shorter time.

Bigger humidifiers can run for days on end without requiring you to fill the tank. However, what you want for a baby’s room is something small, one that can save space.

If your place has really dry air, you may want to try a humidifier that can last longer so that you do not have to awake in the middle of the night to add water.

However, in case it runs out of water before you are home or before morning, the thermostat enables the appliance to turn itself off.

3. Humidifier filters prevent white or gray dust

Between the evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers, the latter causes more humidifier white dust.

Although this sounds like some fancy thing, it is not.

It is the result of the mineral deposits found in most of the municipal water finding their way into the cool mist from the dispenser.

This means that the air that your baby is breathing could have these mineral deposits.

Well, most other humidifier resources will tell you that these minerals land on the furniture and turn into white dust. However, they may not tell you that the same minerals will be present in the air that your baby breathes.

If your humidifier lacks filters, you will be facing white dust trouble. For the baby’s room, you should always look for a humidifier that has filters or a cartridge that captures these mineral deposits.

Most importantly though, find out what type of water is available in your area. Hard water is the most notorious for the formation of white dust.

Ultrasonic humidifiers don’t have filters

Most of the ultrasonic humidifiers lack filters. Before you buy one, read the description. However, it is not every time that you will need a humidifier with filters.

If you have soft water or if you intend to use demineralized water, do not worry about filters.

Evaporative humidifiers are a good choice because most of them have filters. However, still, some of them do not. So, look around carefully before buying one if you have cold water at home.

One important thing to note is that non-ultrasonic humidifiers with filters do a good job. However, they cost more to run.

The filters will need to be cleaned and eventually, to be replaced. Humidifiers without filters are just required to be cleaned, that is all.

4. Ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier noise

Humidifier noise is one of the biggest considerations for a baby’s room. Your baby should be able to sleep through the night even when the cool mist ultrasonic humidifier is running.

When considering silence during operation, the ultrasonic humidifier comes to the forefront again. When discussing why ultrasonic humidifiers are a good choice for a baby’s room, we said that they do not use fans.

That is why they are quiet.

One thing that you should note, though, is that all humidifiers produce a certain amount of noise, especially when they are in high settings. What you should look for is one that produces minimal noise as compared to others.

If a humidifier produces a gentle hum that is referred to as white noise, experts say that such noise lures babies to sleep.

5. Price of ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers

When all is said and done, knowing what kind of humidifier is best for the baby and getting it comes down to the price. Ultrasonic humidifiers are cheap and they come in many sizes and styles.

This does not mean that evaporative humidifiers are costly. On the contrary, you can find very affordable models.

Expensive does not always guarantee high quality, but dirt-cheap certainly guarantees poor quality. Thus, you want to find a balance between price and quality so that you get a good humidifier.

Thankfully, you can buy the best humidifier for baby on Amazon.com where you will find more variety and hence better prices.

Without a doubt, evaporative humidifiers are much cheaper as compared to their ultrasonic counterparts. However, on the flip side, they come with filters that need to be cleaned and replaced from time to time.

They may also generate more noise than the ultrasonic humidifiers.

6. Why do you need a humidifier for your baby’s room?

This should have come first. Now, many people buy ultrasonic or non-ultrasonic humidifiers for their baby’s room because there is low humidity. Or because it is winter when the air is generally drier than in the warm seasons.

Consider what humidity level you need in your baby’s room. If the air is not too dry, maybe a small and inexpensive cool mist or warm mist humidifier will do just fine.

That you are considering what to get between different humidifiers shows you are in need. Thankfully, there is something for everyone on the market.

image of ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier for baby

However, if your baby has been showing dry lips and skin or has some problem in breathing because of the dry air, you need a humidifier that can run full-time.

Thankfully, there is the best evaporative or ultrasonic humidifier for every kind of need in the market.

Also note one more thing … just because you feel the air is comfortable enough for you, it does not mean that it is as good for your baby.

Babies have more sensitive airways and lungs. Thus, you might want to ask your doctor how much humidity you need in your baby’s room.

The bottom line is this: if you need to run a humidifier for a long time, then you need a high-quality one. It will cost you more, but nothing is more valuable than your baby.

Wrapping Up

Eventually, you will buy the wick humidifier or ultrasonic (wickless one) that is best for you and your baby. Thus, apart from the price, you will also consider the convenience.

The solution is to do your research until you find something that fits your budget and will help your baby.

Hopefully, this information will help you know what kind of humidifier is best for baby, between ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers.