Three hands turn the knobs on humidifiers to let out puffs of water vapor.

How Many Humidifiers Is Too Many?

Ideally, I’d have a large cool mist humidifier in every room of my house during the winter – maybe even 2 in the larger spaces – plus a warm mist one for when someone is sick, and a couple of portable ones for good measure. If you have chronic dry eye, is it possible to have too many humidifiers?

As I’ve debated this question with my not-particularly-fond-of-humidifiers husband, we’ve decided that quality is more important than quantity.

Qualities I look for in a humidifier

My chronic dry eye stems from my lupus and Sjögren's syndrome; these diseases also cause the joints in my hands to hurt. This makes it difficult to lift heavy things, such as the bucket-like water reservoirs in many humidifiers. So I’ve become a big fan of the top fill humidifiers. I use a mini pitcher to fill them up, which typically takes 2-3 refills but has the advantage of being relatively lightweight.

Between my busy life, brain fog, and fatigue, it’s hard for me to refill my humidifiers. So I prefer ones with large reservoirs that need less frequent tending; my current favorite holds 4 liters and can run for up to 18 hours.

It’s also important that they are easy to clean. They are supposed to be cleaned every few days to prevent harmful stuff from growing in them. If only there were self-cleaning ones!

Lastly, most people want ultra-quiet humidifiers. While I don’t mind a bit of sound – in fact, I find it to be rather soothing – I do agree that quieter is generally preferable.

I have 99 problems but a humidifier isn't one

I’m kidding. I have had all sorts of problems with humidifiers. The biggest one: where do I put it?

I used to keep one in a central spot on the floor of my living room until my oldest son started crawling. He was fascinated by the mist – incapable of staying away – and inevitably knocked it over. My second son recently did the same thing despite my supposedly more concealed placement. Both times my kids were soaked and we had a great laugh, and then wondered where in the world we should move the humidifier to.

The counter? Cluttered. A shelf? Can’t hold the weight. Media console? Too many electronics. My dresser? Well, it’s too far from a water source. A humidifier won’t help me if there are too many obstacles to refilling it. Plus, I have to make sure the lights won't bother me at night. I still haven't found the perfect spot. Where do you keep your humidifier?

Why humidifiers are great

If you have chronic dry eye, humidifiers are likely an essential part of your winter eye care strategy. Between the drier air and heating systems in many homes, our eyes take a hit this time of year. We need the humidity to be at a high enough level to keep our eye moisture from depleting even more quickly.

However, everyone benefits from having proper humidity. Studies have suggested that viruses, like the flu, may not be transmitted as easily if your humidity level is above 40%. The sweet spot for humidity is between 40-60%, as highly humid environments can bring new problems and can also be a bit uncomfortable.1

So perhaps you could have too many humidifiers, but I’ve found it relatively easy to gauge humidity levels by comfort – and my eyes can certainly tell when it’s too dry!

Do you have an awesome humidifier? Tell us about it in the comments!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The ChronicDryEye.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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