Can a Humidifier Help with Snoring?

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Raj Dasgupta, MD

Did you know that 40% of men and 24% of women snore? If your partner complains about your snoring affecting their sleep, consider changing your bedtime routine.

Snoring isn’t just annoying; it can cause impatience, fatigue, a weak immune system, slow metabolism, low leptin levels, and even depression. Dry air, allergies, or a cold can contribute to snoring. The good news is a humidifier can help with chronic snoring and improve sleep quality.

This article explains how a humidifier works and its potential benefits in addressing snoring.

What Causes People to Snore?

Snoring happens for different reasons, like the shape of your mouth, drinking alcohol, allergies, colds, and your weight.

When you go from light to deep sleep, the muscles in your mouth, tongue, and throat relax. This relaxation can partly block your airway, making the nearby tissues vibrate and create the snoring sound.

If your airway is narrow, the airflow becomes stronger, making the snoring louder. Various conditions can make the airway narrow, including:

  1. Mouth anatomy: A low, thick soft palate or excess throat tissues from being overweight can narrow the airway. An elongated uvula can also obstruct airflow and increase vibration.

  2. Alcohol consumption: Having a nightcap may relax throat muscles, making you more susceptible to airway obstruction and snoring.

  3. Nasal problems: Chronic congestion or a deviated nasal septum can play a role in snoring by limiting airflow.

  4. Sleep deprivation: Not getting enough sleep can lead to increased throat relaxation, contributing to snoring.

  5. Sleep position: Snoring is often loudest when sleeping on your back, as gravity narrows the airway. Changing sleep positions may impact the frequency and intensity of snoring.

How Do Humidity Levels Affect Snoring?

When the air is super dry, it can dry out your nasal passages, making them inflamed and potentially causing snoring.

To see if your room’s air is contributing to your snoring, use a hygrometer to check moisture levels. Aim for 30% to 50% humidity at home. If it drops below 30%, it could be a factor in your snoring.

Can a Humidifier Really Help With Snoring?

Yes, a humidifier can help with snoring, but it’s not a universal fix. It works best if your snoring is not due to serious issues like sleep apnea or obesity.

Humidifiers boost moisture in a room’s air. Portable humidifiers are usually the most convenient and effective. Here’s how they can reduce snoring:

Dry Air Environments

Humidifiers are great if your snoring is caused by breathing in dry air. Dry air can lead to issues like nasal congestion and throat irritation, making a humidifier a helpful solution.

Dry air isn’t friendly to your throat and nose. It dries out tissues, making it tough for air to flow smoothly. This irritation not only worsens snoring but can also cause a sore throat and narrow airways, making breathing difficult.

Using a humidifier adds moisture to the air, relieving dryness and its effects. It increases humidity levels, creating a more comfortable environment.

Cleaning Air

Snoring can be triggered by allergens and dust in the air. Fortunately, a humidifier can help clean things up. While it operates, a humidifier filters the air, releasing fresher, cleaner air.

This effective process eliminates annoying dust particles and allergens that contribute to snoring.

Additionally, by adding moisture to the air, a humidifier prevents these irritants from returning to your space and disturbing your airways while you sleep.

You may also want to check out some anti-snoring devices or anti-snoring mouthpieces.

4 Best Humidifiers for Snoring

Here are the top 4 humidifiers for snoring relief:

1. Honeywell HCM3B Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier, Medium Room, 1.1 Gallon Tank, Black – Invisible Moisture Humidifier for Baby, Kids, Adult Bedrooms – Quiet and Easy to Clean with UV Technology for Everyday Comfort

The Honeywell HCM3B is an evaporative humidifier designed for small to medium-sized rooms. It features Quiet Care Technology, a Humidity Monitor, a Germ-Killing Chamber, and a Whisper Quiet operation.

With a 1-gallon tank, it runs for 24 hours on the low setting.

The UV technology kills 99.9% of bacteria, making it tap water friendly.

It’s easy to clean but doesn’t support essential oils and falls on the higher end of the budget spectrum.

2. Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Quiet Air Humidifier for Bedroom, Nursery, Office, & Indoor Plants - Lasts Up To 25 Hours

A budget-friendly option, the Pure Enrichment humidifier is small, portable, and stylish. The 1.5L tank offers 16 hours of runtime on the low setting, and the auto-off feature ensures worry-free overnight use. With a 360° mist nozzle, easy tank filling, and optional night light, it suits medium-sized rooms and offices.

However, it lacks essential oil compatibility and is not ideal for larger spaces.

3. Urpower Diffuser Aromatherapy Humidifier

URPOWER 700ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffusers Humidifier Large Capacity Modern Ultrasonic Aroma Diffusers Running 20+ Hours 7 Color Changing for Home Baby Bedroom Office Study Yoga Spa

If you desire a humidifier with aromatherapy capabilities, the Urpower diffuser is an excellent choice. Its unique square design and seven-color lights add style, while a 700ml tank runs for 20+ hours.

However, it’s more suitable for small rooms, lacks a large tank, and isn’t the quietest option.

4. Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers for Bedroom, Baby Nursery, Kids Room, Plants, or Office Large 1 Gallon Tank, Filter Optional, White

The Crane humidifier has a stylish design, is moderately priced, and doesn’t require air filters. Weighing 4.5 pounds, it’s portable and efficient for larger spaces. The 1-gallon tank runs for 24 hours, and the 360° lid allows mist direction control. It’s whisper quiet and features an auto-off function for safety.

However, it lacks essential oil compatibility and requires frequent refilling due to a smaller tank.

Learn more: How to Stop Snoring: 15 Best Remedies

How to Choose the Right Humidifier?

When shopping for a humidifier, consider multiple factors to ensure you pick the right one for your needs.

1. Room Size

Think about the size of the room where you’ll use the humidifier.

Small humidifiers are portable and save space, while larger ones may run longer between refills.

2. Safety Features

If you have kids or immunocompromised people at home, think about the humidifier’s safety features. Choose models that are easy to clean to avoid bacteria and fungi growth.

Note that warm mist humidifiers, although safer regarding microbes, can carry a burn risk.

3. Climate and Mist Type

Decide if you need a cool mist or warm mist humidifier based on your climate and the season. Warm mist is good for colder months, while cool mist works well at other times.

4. Noise Level

If using the humidifier in your bedroom or at night, check its noise level.

Models with fans might be noisier, so opt for quieter options for uninterrupted sleep.

5. Replacement Parts and Maintenance

Look into the humidifier’s maintenance needs, particularly concerning filter replacements.

For larger humidifiers, some parts may require replacement every few years. Ensure that replacement parts are easy to find and reasonably priced.

Need professional help to diagnose and address your sleep problems? Schedule an online consultation with sleep specialist Dr. Owen Napleton.

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