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Your Baby's Nursery Needs a Humidifier This Winter — Here's Why

Breathing in dry air isn't pleasant for anyone, so just imagine how it would feel for your baby while they're sleeping. Using a humidifier is an easy way to add moisture back into the air, especially during the winter (FYI: air conditioners in the summer have the same drying effect). Some symptoms of dry air are noticeable in your home, like cracking paint and static electricity. If the air is too moist (think: mold and mildew), then you should opt for a dehumidifier instead.

What humidifiers are best for babies?

Some of the best humidifiers for babies are also the best humidifiers for adults, too. However, some baby-specific humidifiers might have extra features to make them even more kid-friendly, like cool animal designs and the ability to work as a projector. When shopping for baby humidifiers, you’ll want to make sure it’s easy to clean by looking at the size of the tank opening. Our experts recommend cleaning your humidifier weekly so it doesn't get moldy and gross.

For young kids, experts and pediatricians often recommend sticking to models with cool mist settings in order to avoid any burn hazards. Additionally, you'll want to make sure you place humidifiers out of reach from your baby or toddler for safety reasons. "You just want to make sure a child can’t reach the cord or machine and accidentally pull it down on top of them," says Tanya Altmann, MD, a California-based pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Are humidifiers good for babies with colds?

Yes, using a humidifier and adding moisture to the air can help relieve cold symptoms in kids and adults alike. Since babies breathe primarily through their nose, sinus congestion can be extra frustrating. "To help relieve the congestion, you can run a cool mist humidifier in the room during sleep to keep the skin on inside of the nose moist," says Dr. Altmann. But if you find that the congestion is interrupting your child's sleeping or feeding time, she says it's best to consult your pediatrician.

How we test humidifiers

Here at the Good Housekeeping Institute, our team of experts evaluated the most promising humidifiers on the market, looking for things like ease of use and water tank capacity. We even tested humidifiers for how long they took to reach certain humidity levels. From there, we evaluated the top performers in order to find which models are best for babies. That said, these are the best baby humidifiers to buy in 2019: