If you have eczema, you know how much you crave relief every time you experience a flare up. While topical creams and steroids are often needed to manage the condition, there are other tricks you can use to soothe flareups and stave them off. One option? Using the best humidifier for eczema.
All eczema sufferers know that moisture is the key to battling the skin condition, but not everyone knows the role humidity plays in keeping skin moisturized. It actually works in two ways. First, it prevents dry air from pulling moisture out of your skin. Second, once the air is properly humidified, it actually gives moisture back to you.
Of course, not every humidifier is created equal. To help you make the right purchase, let’s look at what you need to know when purchasing a good humidifier for eczema.
Overall, there are not many features you need to look for that are exclusive to treating eczema. This is a big plus as it means you can focus on the quality of the machine more than on how it impacts your condition. All in all, there are four features you should consider above all others when using a humidifier for eczema.
Look for Cool Mist Humidifiers
Some humidifiers create steam instead of vapor. While there are certain conditions that benefit from this heated moisture, eczema is not one of them. As such, you should select a cool mist model, or a model that offers both cool and Warm Mist if you think you might have a reason to use the Warm Mist from time to time or for other members of the household. Cool mist humidifiers come in a variety of sub-types with ultrasonic and evaporative models being the most common.
Opt for Models that Are Easy to Clean
Eczema isn’t just irritated by a lack of moisture; bacteria, mold, and allergens can also contribute to flare ups. If your humidifier isn’t perfectly clean, you can end up finding yourself treating one aspect of the condition—the lack of moisture—while worsening another—reactions to airborne irritants. Look for models that are filterless when possible, or those that have permanent filters, and always check for basins and tanks that are easy to clean.
Consider Germ-Fighting and Mold-Fighting Options
While keeping your humidifier clean will make a major difference, it will not take care of everything. To give yourself another boost against eczema, consider purchasing a humidifier that fights germs and mold. Some humidifiers do this with plastics that naturally kill germs and mold, and others do this with UV cleanse technology. Finally, there are options that boil the water but release a cooled mist, making them safe for those with eczema.
Make Sure it Covers Your Space
You want your humidifier to be able to make your entire room—or even your entire home—healthier for you. However, every humidifier has different abilities. Some can humidify spaces that are over 1,000 square feet while others can only handle about 100 square feet. Each humidifier listing should specify how many square feet they can humidify. If the room you want to use it in has ceilings with a height greater than 9 feet, look for coverage that exceeds your square footage.
Top 4 Best Humidifier for Eczema
Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Coming in at number one is the Honeywell HCM350W. We made this humidifier our top choice because it is great at doing it all. The cool mist is ideal for eczema and its germ-fighting features kill 99% of bacteria, molds, and viruses. The machine is designed specifically to be easy to clean and easy to carry when filled, so you can feel confident in using it.
While we think this humidifier is a good choice for anyone, we really like it as a humidifier for eczema in babies. This is because it runs quieter than most humidifiers, producing just enough white noise to sooth baby but not prevent baby from sleeping. One a single fill, you can get up to 24 hours of run time, so it is convenient to use, and its design makes it easy to fit into whatever space is convenient. It also offers a choice of three speeds so you can control the output. You can use tap water in this machine without issue, keeping down the costs. It is covered by a 3-year limited warranty.
BONECO/Air-O-Swiss Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 7147
With eczema, you need relief in more than just one space. However, most humidifiers can only handle 500 square feet or less. However, this BONECO model can humidify spaces up to 600 square feet—enough for the average great room. As such, it is one of the best humidifiers for dry skin.
The most stand-out feature of this machine is its dual nozzle design. While most humidifiers only allow you to direct vapor in one direction, this humidifier can disperse it in two directions at once. This gives the room more even coverage and allows you to better target specific areas. It comes with an easy to read display that is intuitive to use. It will even remind you when the water level is low and when the filter needs to be changed. You can use it in normal mode or sleep mode as well as set a timer so it only works during specific hours. The product is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.
Levoit Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
One of the biggest pains in owning a humidifier is refilling it daily, or even several times a day. However, this option from Levoit helps to lessen the burden. With a single fill, you can get up to 36 hours of continuous runtime. It has a whisper-quiet design that makes it great for anywhere sound is a concern, including bedrooms, offices, and music rooms.
Due to its large capacity—holding 6 liters of water at a time—it is a bit bulky. However, the simple shape of the unit makes it easy to place. And since you can operate it by remote, you do not need to worry about selecting a spot that is easy to access throughout the day. While you can fully customize the way it runs, you can also set it to auto mode, allowing it to detect the humidity levels and keep them in a comfortable range. It comes protected by a 2-year warranty.
PureGuardian 7.2L Output per Day Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
If refilling the humidifier is a big concern for you and 36 hours of runtime isn’t enough, consider this option from PureGuardian. Offering 100 hours of runtime on a single fill, there are very few humidifiers on the market that even come close to offering that kind of stamina. It is also another option that helps to battle eczema in two ways: by moisturizing the air and by killing germs.Unlike other options on the list, it can be used with essential oils. This is great for those looking into natural ways to soothe their flare ups and manage their condition. It also gives you the choice of cool or Warm Mist. While cool mist is best for eczema, warm-mist humidification has its applications as well.
MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Premium Humidifying Unit
Finally, we have this selection from MistAire. Out of all the humidifiers on this list, this one is the most bare-bones. While that does mean you get fewer features to play with, it also means that the unit is easier to use. It comes with an automatic shutoff so it does not run on an empty tank and has a nightlight option. Beyond that, there are no bells and whistles.
Using a Humidifier to Manage Eczema
Using a humidifier to manage eczema is a pretty simple task. Since you are not doing anything special with the humidifier, you really just need to operate it as directed in the user manual. With that said, we do have some tips that might be useful to you when using a humidifier to treat your eczema.
Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels. Depending on the model you buy, this may be part of the machine. With eczema, too much and too little humidity are both problematic. The goal for anyone suffering from eczema is to keep the relative humidity level in the 30 to 50 percent range, with 40 being the ideal level. To be really careful of your environment, consider an indoor air quality monitor as well.
Make sure you get enough time around the humidifier. While you do not need to be near the humidifier 24/7, you do need enough time in the room with it for it to have an effect on your skin. If you are wanting to humidify only one room, we recommend the bedroom so you can use it while sleeping. This also comes with other health benefits you might enjoy. If you are particularly mobile around your house, consider a furnace humidifier to meet the ideal humidity in your whole home.
Use distilled water for an extra-mild mist. While this is not needed with some humidifier models, it never hurts to use distilled water. By opting for distilled water, you are ensuring that the water being used to moisturize your skin is clean, healthy, and free of irritants.
Change your filters as often as needed. Some models do not have filters, while others have permanent filters that need to be cleaned but not changed. However, if the machine has a filter, you need to complete regular maintenance on it. If your machine has a filter than must be changed out, always have extras on hand so you never run out.
Clean the machine every day. This does not need to be an overly involved process. Your daily cleaning can be nice and simple. First, empty the water and then run clean water through the tank, swishing it a bit. Then, wipe down the water basin so it is completely dry. Then fill the tank and use the machine again. If your model is designed to go longer than a day on a single fill, consult the user manual to be certain how long you can go between cleanings.
Do a deeper clean once a week. For this, use vinegar to clean and then a disinfectant to follow up. Be certain to fully wash away the disinfectant and allow the unit to fully dry before using it again. You should also complete this more detailed cleaning any time you decide to store the unit away.
Tips for Managing Eczema During the Winter
While eczema flare ups can happen at any time of year, winter is when they tend to be the worst. Cold air is dry air, and furnaces further dry out the air inside. This means that anyone with eczema needs to be extra cautious during the winter months. Below are a few tips to help you manage your skin condition.
- Cover up when you are outside, taking extra care to cover the areas you tend to experience flare ups. Wear gloves, a scarf, and long pants and sleeves whenever you are out in the cold.
- Moisturize twice a day, especially after bathing or showering as hot water takes moisture out of your skin. At the very least, moisturize once in the morning and once before bed to soothe your skin.
- When you take baths or showers, keep it short. Because hot water steals moisture from your skin, you never want to be in hot water for too long.
- If you do want to take a longer shower or bath, then try to use colder water. While lukewarm is the goal in this case—not freezing-cold water.
- Purchase soaps that are gentle on the skin. Moisturizing options are best. If you are uncertain what to use, consult your dermatologist.
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Hydrated skin starts from the inside, so the more water you drink, the better your skin will feel.
- Finally, purchase a humidifier for treating eczema.
If you have eczema, there are many ways you can manage the condition, one of the best of which is using a humidifier. Now that you have read our buying guide, you no doubt know which is the best humidifier for eczema for you. So happy shopping, and enjoy the winter weather that lies ahead.
Mike Nikko is a blogger with over 15 years of experience. I will bring you the best product reviews and other useful life experiences, tips to increase height, tips to improve health… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Mike Nikko!