How Close Should A Humidifier Be To Your Bed?

how close should a humidifier be to your bed

Known for its benefits of controlling the moisture level within a four-wall space, a humidifier is not only limited to providing neat air circulation throughout.

Rather it is effects like calming down allergies, reducing skin dryness, elevating sleeping comfort, etc. are what make the device a healthy lifestyle gadget choice.

However, as with all gadgets owning them is only half the story. You also need to know how to use them properly to obtain the maximum advantage.

Therefore, it would be fair to ask, what would be the ideal spot to set a humidifier considering different room setups. Or, more significantly, how close should a humidifier be to your bed?

Interested in finding out? Just read along.

Where to Place Humidifier?

There is no golden ratio or Feng Shui to help one determine what would be the best place to set their humidifiers.  However, that being said, the general, as well as the expert understanding, is, the device should be placed in a spot where most of the inhabitants of the house could enjoy its benefits to the fullest.

Going along with this logic, one of the most plausible places to put one is the living room where families are most likely to gather.

Nevertheless, if your household doesn't have too many members or doesn't quite leave the confines of their room (a phenomenon more common these days), then it's best to place the humidifiers in the bedrooms.

But that doesn’t mean only recluses put humidifiers in their bedrooms. The important point here is to understand what humidifiers are really for?

The answer is to disperse an even balance of moisture in the room that helps people to breathe in fresh and clean air all day long. Wouldn’t it be the most rational to place it in a space that is used to the max?

Hence there is no harm in choosing one room over the other. Master bedroom, living room, family room, guestroom,bathroom ,Kitchen room all are fine choices as long as you and the family members are the ones using it.

Where to Place Humidifier in Bedroom?

Where to Place Humidifier in Bedroom

So, you have decided to place your newly acquired humidifier in the bedroom. But where to put it exactly? Is it okay to place it near the bed? But how close? Do I place it near to the head or at the feet of the bed?

Or is there some need for space to allow the air to evenly circulate throughout?

Questions such as these and many more are just lying around to ambush you when thinking about the best place for humidifier.  Unfortunately, there is no instruction manual to guide you through this process.

But does that mean any spot in the bedroom is a good spot for putting down the device? Absolutely not! For there are aspects that you need to be careful about starting with –

The Room Size

The size of your bedroom is an important aspect when it comes to using humidifiers. A large humidifier in a small room runs the risk of over-moisturizing the room, thereby encouraging the growth of mold, damaging furniture, books, paintings, or other wall decors.

On the other hand, if the humidifier is smaller compared to the room size, then it would end up not being helpful to your cause of obtaining fine dust-free clean air at all!

So, you see, with humidifiers, a balance between the size of the room and the device in itself is essential in maintaining the humidity control.

In this regard, larger humidifiers are bound to provide more humidity per square area compared to smaller ones. Hence with larger devices, it is wise to place them at a distance from the bed to evenly distribute the moisture throughout the room.

Whereas for smaller humidifiers, placing them near the bed is a suitable choice. That is because it will help to concentrate the moisture in the precise area that you require.

The Type of Humidifier

Usually, there are five types of humidifiers available, namely:

Humidifier in Bedroom

Cool Ultrasonic Humidifier – This type of humidifier creates a layer of cool mist using ultrasonic vibrations.

Warm Ultrasonic Humidifier – Basically, another version of the previous humidifier, this device uses the same principle of ultrasonic vibration but produces warm mists instead.

Impeller Humidifiers – Impellers use the technique of rotating disks at high speed to create a spray of cool mist.

Steam Vaporizers – Electrically powered in structure, this kind of humidifier heats the water inside and then allows it to suitably cool off before dispersing it back into the air.

Evaporators – Fan powered in design, this category of humidifiers uses a moisture filter to blow a layer of mist back into the air.

The type of humidifier you are using determines where exactly to place it within a bedroom and its proximity to the bed.

Although there are five types of humidifiers, leaving the technique dynamics apart, when it comes to producing mists, there are only two options, i.e., warm mist or cool mist.

Here a good decision is to place cool mist humidifiers close to the bed or sitting arrangements to get a comfortably clean breathing space.

As for warm mist humidifiers, they should be placed further from the bed to avoid getting accidental burns from the hot mist.

How Close Should a Humidifier Be to Your Bed : Guidelines For Bedroom

Now that you know the basics of the humidifier placement logistics, here are some of the guidelines you can to follow to get the most of this technology

  • With humidifiers, it is advisable to place them at a 3 feet distance from the bed.

This is to ensure that the moisture is evenly distributed and not concentrated at a single place (i.e., your face or body). Also, humidifiers are prone to making noises, and some come with bright displays — both factors bound to create sleep disruptions when place closer.

  • Depending on health conditions, the distance of a humidifier can be varied accordingly.

For example, if you are suffering from cold congestion or sinus problems, then you can place a warm mist humidifier closer than the 3 feet jurisdiction.

This is because concentrated hot mist will help to elevate your symptoms of the clogged nose or sore throat dynamically. But while placing it close, make sure to keep it in a stable surface that is out of reach to avoid accidents.

  • Place your humidifier at least 2 feet off the ground and 1 foot away from walls, fabrics, electronics, and furniture.

The reason for this boundary setting is to, of course, minimize the plausible mist-water related damage, and electrical mishaps as much as possible. Also, humidifiers placed at a height ensures that the mist is well ventilated throughout the room.

  • Never place your humidifier close to the window, in the path of direct sunlight (or any heat source), and room thermostat.

With room thermostat, the reason is obvious. That is, it will then cause your humidity reader to give incorrect readings. As for heat sources, it runs the risk of weakening your humidifier's efficiency and might even cause it to malfunction.

Also, sunlight can encourage bacterial or algae growth in the water tank. This can spoil the air quality and also give rise to odors if not checked and cleaned thoroughly at times.
  • Always try to place your humidifier on a level surface, making sure that it is not metallic, wooden, or clothed.

Water is bound to pool at the bottom of a humidifier. Hence rust, mold, and watermark damages can permanently ruin the fixture on top of which you have put the device.

To avoid this outcome, you can use a heat resistant plastic tray under your humidifier. Water-resistant furniture cover is another way of taking care of the issue.

Where to Place a Humidifier in a Baby’s Room?

A baby’s room is no different than a fully fleshed adult’s bedroom except the decorations. So, the rules that are applicable in placing the humidifier in the bedroom of an adult stand true for that of a baby.

However, parents of energetic children would know that no matter how safe a place is for a child, there will always remain some more "baby-proofing" angle to think over.

Hence considering safety, one of the most important characteristics of placing a humidifier in a child’s room is to make sure that “it is placed way out of their reach.”

And when I say way out, I do mean WAY OUT. Baby's do sometimes get adventurous and crawl out of their cribs or playpens. Hence, the humidifier should never be placed in a spot where they can touch them if they "tried" a little bit.

Forget the 3 feet rule! If need be, suspend the humidifier from the ceiling above (just kidding), but make sure they can't touch them whatsoever.

.Last but not least. Don’t put humidifiers with bright displays in their room. Go for dim or neutral colors if you must. But not bright, as it may disturb your child’s sleep or motivate them to “reach out” for the source of the shine!

Guidelines for Baby’s Room

As mentioned previously, there is not much difference in placing a humidifier in your child's room when compared to your bedroom. But just for the sake of safety, allow me to remind the points once more.

  • The humidifier should be placed 3 feet away from the bed and 2 feet above the ground. However, depending on your child's mobility progress, feel free to put more distance.
  • Considering babies are more susceptible to cold or illness, it is more reasonable to put a warm mist humidifier in their room. But because such humidifiers run higher risks for mishaps, make sure that when placed, they are under the maximum supervision.
  • Never place the humidifier under direct sunlight as it will spoil the water inside through bacterial growth.
  • Place the humidifier on top of a water-resistant stable surface to discourage mold growth.
  • If you’re planning to keep the humidifier running all night long, make sure to keep the door or window slightly open. It will prevent too much moisture from accumulating within the room.
  • Try to put quieter and not very brightly-lit humidifiers in the child's room as it may interrupt with their sleeping patterns.

Should a Humidifier Be on the Floor or a Nightstand?

I believe the answer to this question has already been provided in the guidelines segment.  But let me tell you the reason behind the 2 feet above ground rule that experts highly recommend.

  1. Placing the humidifier on the floor increases the possibility of accidentally bumping against it.
  2. Not only children or pets, but this issue will also concern adults if they don't strictly pay attention while walking, especially in the dark.
  3. Not to forget, bumping against objects doesn't always end with a stumped toe. Sometimes big accidents might follow.
  4. Humidifiers placed on floors are less likely to evenly distribute moisture in the room as they cannot get hold of the air above.
  5. On the other hand, a humidifier placed on an elevated platform or nightstand can easily well ventilate the room throughout.
  6. Warm mist humidifiers on the floor are nothing but a "burn accident" lying in wait to occur.
  7. Floors are more susceptible to dust build-up. This means your humidifier is likely to get dirty faster if placed on the ground and thus require more frequent cleaning regimes.
  8. Humidifiers can cause moisture/water to pool beneath. Therefore, if it’s placed on the floor, the risk of people slipping-up rises.
  9. Then again, if your floor is carpeted, a moisture build-up can easily encourage mold and bacteria to thrive.

All of these factors point that it is better to place the humidifier on a nightstand than the floor. But even when using nightstands, you must remember to follow a certain guideline that is –

  1. Don't put anything besides the humidifier on the nightstand. That is no book, speakers, stationary, spectacle, etc. as they might get damaged.
  2. Don’t Place anything on top of the humidifier. Additional weight may interfere with the efficiency or cause damage to the device.
  3. Always put a tray or heat/water-resistant cover on top of the nightstand under the humidifier. This will help prevent material damage as well as discourage mold or bacteria build-up.

Is It Safe to Sleep with a Humidifier in Your Bedroom?

There is nothing unsafe about sleeping with a humidifier in the bedroom. However, the choice to put one depends on whether you require it in the first place or not.

For example, if you are someone who can't tolerate dry skin or parched lips first thing in the morning, then a humidifier in the bedroom would be a great addition.

Consequently, if you have breathing problems or snore at night, once again, placing a humidifier in the bedroom would be a safer and wiser outcome. That is because it helps to balance moisture in the room, therefore, treating the root of the issue.

And this is not something I am making up on the go. You can also check out Dr. Benjamin Smarr’s (National Health Institute, Member of Reverie Sleep Advisory Board) thoughts on the subject for a more detailed understanding.

Frequently Asked Question

1. Should humidifier run all night?

The answer to this question is a bit tricky.

That is yes, "you can" run a humidifier all night long under the absolute condition that all the precautionary measures are vouched for. As to whether "you should" that is something entirely dependent on you and your lifestyle choices.

The Precautions Being Spoken Are –

  • Make sure that the humidifier's tank is well filled to last throughout the night. Low water levels can overheat the device and cause uncalled-for incidents.
  • Use humidifiers that come with mineral filters to prevent white dust build-ups in the room.
  • Measure the moisture of the room in advance to calculate whether you need to run the humidifier all night long or not.
  • Even if you decide to leave it on, make sure to keep your door or windows slightly ajar to discourage excessive moisture gathering.

    2.  When should you use a humidifier in your home?

    Depending on the weather conditions and its related impact on the humidity levels in the air, a humidifier can be used all year round in your home.

    However, the general idea is to use humidifiers around winter when the air is relatively dry. Maintaining the humidity balance in some cities of the US, such as Houston, can prove just as challenging in the summer.

    3. Why should you clean your humidifier?

    You should clean your humidifier for the same reasons that you clean your water filter for. That is to maintain personal sanitation/hygiene.

    The warm and moist settings that a humidifier provides is the ideal breeding ground for bacteria and mold to thrive around. Hence, if not regularly cleaned, instead of providing refreshing air to breathe in, the humidifier will facilitate the spread of bacteria throughout your home, thereby developing the risk of incurring diseases.

    Final Words

    Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine a house without a humidifier. In America, approximately 10 million humidifiers are bought each year alone!

    A number that only goes on to ascertain how much people are becoming conscious of their health and the surrounding environment.

    However, as I said before, owning a product is only half the job. Knowing how to best use it is the actual trick.

    This is where I am more than positive that my article on how close should a humidifier be to your bed will come 100% handy to you!


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