Humidifiers and vaporizers add moisture to the air, making it less drying to your mouth, throat, and nose. A humidifier produces a cool mist, and a vaporizer puts out hot steam.

Cool mist from a humidifier may be more comfortable to breathe than hot steam. However, humidifiers are noisy, produce particles that may be irritating to some people, and need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. This is especially important for people who have mold allergies.

A vaporizer's hot steam does not contain any irritating particles, and you can add medications such as Vicks “VapoRub” to ease breathing. Steam may feel good when you have a cold, but the hot water can burn anyone who overturns or gets too close to the vaporizer.

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