Warm mist vs cool mist humidifier

Certain humidifiers are only able to produce cool mists while others only warm. In this blog post, we uncover the benefits of each kind, the technology behind them and more to help you choose the right humidifier for your home.

Warm mist vs cool mist humidifier

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Humidifiers have become common household appliances that are known to provide your living space with improved indoor air quality by adding moisture into the air, preventing dry skin and symptoms associated with dryness.

Humidifiers are commonly used during dry seasons or in spaces with dry air to help soothe breathing and provide users with a plethora of benefits. Humidifiers are able to improve sleep quality and help you wake the next morning feeling more well-rested.

More about humidifiers can be found on our Humidifier FAQs page.

In this blog post, we’ll be uncovering what cool and warm mist humidifiers are, their respective benefits, and more to help you choose the right unit for your living space to ensure optimal comfort around the clock.

Cool mist humidifiers

Cool mist humidifier from Ionmax

Cool mist humidifiers are, as the name suggests, humidifiers that release cool mist into the air to increase humidity levels. They are the more popular units and can be a feature in both evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers.

Evaporative models use a fan to draw air which flows through a wet wick or wick filter and then releases the vapour into the air, while ultrasonic models use a high-speed vibrating plate to turn water inside the tank into fine mist.

Pros of cool mist humidifiers

  • Safety: With the absence of a heating element, the risk of a burn from hot water or steam is eliminated. This makes it safer to use, especially in the presence of children or pets.
  • Energy efficiency: Since cool mist models do not require heating, they become more energy efficient compared to their warm mist counterparts.
  • Suitable for warm climates: Adding cool moisture into the air can provide relief from symptoms caused by dry heat.
  • A multitude of choices: Cool mist models are the most popular units in Australia. This allows for a wide selection of choices potential buyers can choose from.

Cons of cool mist humidifiers

  • White dust: Most ultrasonic cool mist units may release white dust into the air if the water in the tank is rich in minerals. The Ionmax ION90, however, has a nano-silver antibacterial demineralising filter to prevent this.
  • Cleaning and maintenance: Evaporative humidifiers will require regular changing of the wet wick or wick filter to continue working optimally. Water tanks also need to be cleaned to prevent bacterial build-up. This is true for all kinds of humidifiers.

Warm mist humidifiers

Unlike their cool mist counterparts, warm mist models utilise a heating element to emit warm moisture into the air and are also known as vaporisers. The mechanics of these units are simple: a heating element will heat up the water and turn it into steam which is then released into the ambient air.

The high temperature will also prevent the accumulation and cultivation of bacteria and mould.


  • Less bacteria and germs: The heating process kills bacteria and mould in the water tank that may have accumulated. This means that warm mist models usually release cleaner mist into the air.
  • Warms cooler winter air: The cool winter air can sometimes be piercing cold, but with warm mist being released, the air is likely to feel more comfortable.
  • Increased humidity: warm mist models can raise the temperature in the room slightly, which can be comforting in the cool weather.


  • Safety concerns: The heating element poses a burn hazard, especially for children and pets.
  • Higher energy use: These humidifier models consume more energy because they need to heat the water. This results in higher operating costs.

Which humidifier is right for you?

Choosing the right unit for your living space depends on a number of factors, with the most important being the size of the space that requires air treatment as well as the climate of your area.

Generally, cool mist humidifiers are ideal for warmer climates, whereas their warm mist counterparts are better for cooler climates. However, this, of course, also depends on personal preference.

It’s also worth considering the tank capacity of the unit as a larger capacity will have the humidifier running for longer periods of time.

READ MORE: What to consider when buying a humidifier

Units like the Ionmax ION90 ultrasonic UV humidifier are able to release both warm and cool mists to provide users with added comfort options. This unit uses ultrasonic technology to create the mists and is also equipped with UV bio-photocatalyst sterilisation technology to for deodorisation purposes, and a large 6.5-litre tank capacity for prolonged humidification.

Learn more about the Ionmax ION90 humidifier and add comfort and quality to your indoor air today!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.

Ionmax Australia

Ionmax Australia

Founded in 2003, Ionmax Australia has received numerous awards and accolades for its innovative products and commitment to customer satisfaction. Ionmax dehumidifiers and air purifiers have been recognised for their effectiveness in reducing indoor air pollutants and improving air quality. The company is committed to researching and developing new and improved products that meet the needs and expectations of its customers, making it a trusted name in households across Australia and beyond.

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