How Close Should A Humidifier Be To My Baby?

This article recommends how close a humidifier should be to your baby’s crib. 

Putting a humidifier too close can cause various health and safety concerns for adults. These problems are all the more concerning when it’s your little one who might have to deal with them!

Humidifiers can be great for helping babies and young children sleep soundly at night. However, it is important to remember that their requirements differ from ours, which is why we also recommend some important settings for the humidifier in your baby’s room. 

As a rule of thumb, you should place the humidifier in your baby’s room further away from them than you would for yourself. This ensures they get all the benefits without any of the drawbacks. 

Keep reading for more information on how close a humidifier should be to your baby. 

How Close Should A Humidifier Be To My Baby?

We always recommend putting humidifiers at least 3 feet away from you, especially when you are sleeping. This is the perfect distance for the humidifier to work effectively without causing any problems. 

But babies and young children aren’t as resilient as adults. That means you need to put the humidifier a bit further away from their crib or bed, especially if you have an infant. 

We recommend putting humidifiers at least 5 feet away from a baby’s crib. This should help the mist diffuse throughout the room more effectively, and prevent excessive humidity in any one spot. 

Additionally, the humidifier shouldn’t be pointed directly at the baby’s crib or bed. Instead, consider changing the direction of the mist so that it goes in the general direction of the crib but not directly at your baby. 

Many people opt to put the humidifier up on a shelf to make sure that the baby can’t get to it. This might not be a good idea. While we recommend elevating a humidifier between 2-4 feet off the ground, any higher than that could result in it being too close to the ceiling. 

With the nozzle pointed up at the ceiling, it could cause paint to start peeling. Besides the eyesore, peeling paint could also give off particles that severely affect your and your baby’s respiratory system. 

Is A Humidifier Safe For Babies

A humidifier is perfectly safe to use in a baby’s room. In fact, using a humidifier can actually help the baby get better sleep. If your baby suffers from congestion or coughing while they sleep, the higher humidity should open up their nasal passage and clear any build up. 

Here though, we would recommend taking some precautions and child-proofing the humidifier. This is essential if your rugrat is crawling or learning to walk, as they might knock the unit over and it could fall on top of them. 

A bit of adhesive or double-sided tape under the base of the unit should be enough to keep it stable. 

Otherwise, a humidifier is perfectly safe and quite beneficial for babies. 

What To Look For In A Baby Room Humidifier 

So how do you choose the perfect humidifier for your baby’s room? Here are our recommendations for the features you should look for when buying a humidifier for your baby’s room. 


Babies that get used to sleeping with a humidifier have a hard time sleeping without them. If your baby is anything like ours, they love to get up at all hours of the night, and then take multiple naps later in the day. 

This kind of segmented sleep schedule means the humidifier you choose needs to have a higher runtime. Babies tend to sleep anywhere from 15-20 hours a day, so the humidifier you choose will need the extra endurance. 

We recommend getting a unit that can manage at least 15 hours. You might have to refill it during the day but that’s by design. 

It’s easy to get lazy and leave old water in the humidifier’s tank between uses. This can cause the water to become stagnant, which is not what you want for a baby room humidifier. 

By having the runtime be just enough, you are forced to stay on your toes with the refill and cleaning of the unit. 

Coverage Rating

Your baby’s room is probably smaller than a full-size bedroom. That means you don’t actually need a humidifier with the highest coverage rating. In fact, you should be good with around 200 sq-ft of coverage, if not even less. 

Mist Volume and Speed

Similarly, mist volume doesn’t need to be very high in order to effectively humidify a smaller baby’s room. Still, we would recommend getting a unit that has adjustable mist volume and speed.

This will allow you to humidify the baby’s room faster, which is great for when you need to put them to sleep in a hurry. 


A humidifier with a timer function proves really useful for parents. It allows you to set how long you want the humidifier to run and then it automatically turns off after that time has elapsed. It’s not a must, but nice to have on a humidifier for baby rooms. 


It cannot be overstated how important this feature is. If you use a humidifier in your bedroom or your baby’s room, it needs to be able to turn off automatically when the water runs out. 

This prevents the motors that make the diffuser, fan, or nozzle work from staying on with no water in the tank. Besides safeguarding the internal components of the humidifier, this also prevents a potential fire hazard. 

App Control

The ability to pair with your phone via an app is another feature that can be quite useful for baby room humidifiers. 

By having an app paired to your humidifier, you can control various features and settings such as the timer, the mist volume, and more, without even having to get out of bed. 

Why You Shouldn’t Put A Humidifier Too Close To Your Baby

There are a lot of concerns associated with putting a humidifier too close to your baby. 

Doing so could result in excess humidity around the baby, which can cause breathlessness. Younger children often find it difficult to breathe properly while sleeping, and this could exacerbate the problem. 

Another concern is the higher ambient temperature that comes with high humidity. It can cause excess sweating, which, in extreme cases, could cause dehydration. 

Humidifiers are usually used to deal with chronic coughing. However, excess humidity can actually cause irritation in the throat, which could result in even more coughing. 

Lastly, putting a humidifier too close to your baby is not recommended as it could pose a serious burn risk. Lots of humidifiers boil water to create warm mist, which can cause irritation, rashes, sweating, and even burn babys’ sensitive skin. 

Best Humidifier Settings For Your Baby’s Room

If you’re a parent and just swore off putting humidifiers in your baby’s room after reading that last bit, let us put you at ease. 

It is safe to put a humidifier in your baby’s room, and actually helps them sleep better. That said, we would recommend certain settings that might help make your baby more comfortable. 

Mist Volume

How high or low you set the mist volume will depend on the size of the room and how quickly you want to increase the humidity. 

Setting the humidifier to maximum mist volume will result in higher humidity and it’ll get there faster, but we would advise against it. At the same time, set it too low, and it might not work as effectively. 

Opt for a medium mist volume setting, and you should be good. 

Cool/Warm Mist Modes

Both cool and warm mist modes on humidifiers have their benefits. Warm mist is great for clearing up congestion, and also makes for a more soothing experience. Cool mist also helps bring the temperature down a bit, which is great for when you’re sleeping. 

Ultimately though, we wouldn’t recommend using either in your baby’s room. The warm mist mode might require boiling of water, which could be a fire hazard/burn risk. 

Cool mist doesn’t have that noticeable of an effect on the temperature, but still contributes a little. The cool mist might be pleasant for us adults, but could cause your baby to catch a cold. 


Many humidifiers these days come with an aromatherapy function that uses your favorite essential oil, or other fragrance to diffuse the scent around the room with the mist. 

Whether you use this feature or not will depend on your baby. Some children find the aromatherapy soothing, while others find the strong scent irritating. 

Night Light

If your humidifier has a night light, we highly recommend turning it on for your baby at night. Young children often develop a fear of the dark, and a night light is a great way to help them get a night’s sleep. 

Opt for a humidifier with a softer, diffused night light. Having a night light that is too bright would be counterintuitive as it could keep your baby awake. 


Humidifiers are great for helping babies and young children count sheep (or would it be lambs in this case?) in peace. However, you need to make sure that the humidifier is a safe distance away from the baby while they sleep.

It is crucial that you are aware of the risks of putting a humidifier too close to your baby’s crib or bed. And when you do get a humidifier for the baby’s room, there are some essential features to look out for that will make the humidifying experience that much better. 

Once you’ve decided on a suitable unit, there are also specific settings that need to be implemented in order to make the humidifier safe to use while your baby is asleep.


Shawn Willis is all about humidifiers. After working for some of the biggest names in the industry, he started HumidifierGuys with Scott Dawson. Now, the dynamic duo helps others figure out what they need in their next humidifier.

Shawn is an avid sports fan, motorcycle enthusiast, and has two dogs named Whiskey and Boba.