Why I bought a humidifier -- and you should too

I bought two humidifiers this winter. First, the $40 Holmes Warm Mist Humidifier. Second, the $200 Avalon Ultrasonic Warm/Cool Mist Digital Humidifier.

Why buy a humidifier? I got the first because my apartment was cold and dry. I got the second to see what a high-end model is like.

Humidifiers, it turns out, get pretty complicated. My Avalon has an ultrasonic high-frequency oscillator that breaks up water into tiny particles and a ceramic filter made of silver ions. What does all that mean? I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

The thing is, humidifiers are pretty great. I’ve discovered this — Avalon blasting in one room and Holmes in the other — and I’ve learned about many supposed benefits too.

CV Skinlabs founder Britta Aragon names ten of them at Be Well. Among them:

-Reduced risk of infections (viruses and bacteria can’t travel as well in moist air).

-Softer, more vibrant skin (cold, dry air draws out moisture).

-Comfortable sinuses.

-Faster healing times (because better sinus health).

-Improved sleep.

From what I can tell, it just feels nice to have them on.

The Holmes Warm Mist Humidifier seems decent: a version on Amazon has 4 stars and 130 reviews. It certainly gets the job done. My only complaint, aside from a faint and occasionally annoying trickling sound, is the somewhat arduous cleaning process you’re meant to do daily and weekly. (Aragon says you can get away with cleaning once a week if you use distilled or demineralized water; also using a filtered humidifier and changing the filters regularly helps.)

The Avalon Digital Humidifier is no doubt sleeker, a black and white device that lights up neon blue and sprays a fine mist into the air, and it’s also apparently pretty good. It has 5 stars and 5 reviews on Amazon, at least some of them convincing. Reviewer Fuzzy Wuzzy, in a post on December 28, 2016, announced that the manufacturer had listened to their past concerns and responded to all of them in its 2016 model. “The machine is the best cool/warm mist humidifier I have used,” Fuzzy Wuzzy writes. “It’s very similar to the ones we see on Asian drama shows and wish we always had …” Top 500 Reviewer Jonny_Amazon, in a post on December 29, offered his own praise: “This humidifier has premium and luxury written all over it …”

Personally, I’m still unsure what makes a good humidifier. Confusingly, Avalon also sells a different $200 humidifier: that one, which has 4.5 stars and 67 reviews on Amazon, has a different technological approach, making use of replaceable filters instead of a ceramic filter among other differences. Again, I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

Regardless, humidifiers seem like a good thing to have in the winter. I’m glad to have two going right now.

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