Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heaters vs Standard

heater

Hydronic Electric Baseboard Heaters vs Standard

In the first part of this article we’ll go over a few differences between hydronic and standard electric baseboard heaters. After that we have an extensive list of important features to look for in a baseboard heater. Luckily these features can be found on both kinds of heaters.

Advantages of Hydronic Baseboard Heaters

The biggest advantage hydronic heaters have is higher efficiency and lower costs. They apply electricity to a liquid, causing it to heat up. Once the liquid reaches the appropriate temperature it begins heating the air in the room. The heated liquid stays warm even after the electricity shuts off. This is just like boiling water on the stove. Even after turning off the burner the water remains hot for a long time.

Advantages of Standard Baseboard Heaters

Standard electric baseboard heaters do not have the liquid heating element, so they retain heat for a much shorter period of time. This leads to more cycles of the appliance of turning on and off. Generally, the start up period is the more energy intensive time for a machine. However, standard electric heaters begin heating the room much faster than a hydronic system.

Our recommendation for the best type of Baseboard Heater

In most instances the heater will not be raising the temperature in a freezing room. Because of this, the longer warm up time of hydronic baseboard heaters is less of a disadvantage. The increased efficiency and energy cost savings offered by hydronic heaters far outweighs the few minutes longer it may take to start feeling heat. We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.

Similarities between hydronic and standard Baseboard Heaters

Regardless of the type of baseboard heater you decide to purchase, be sure to look for one that has these two standard safety features

  • Automatic overheat shut off – this will turn the heater off in case something is in the way of the heated air and causes the unit to become too hot.
  • Tip over switch – this feature will automatically turn off the power to the heater if it is knocked over. A carpet or other floor covering could easily catch fire without this safety measure.

Both types of baseboard heaters come in 120V and 240V versions.

  • 120V models can be plugged directly into an outlet in the wall. If you plan to use the heater seasonally or need to move it between rooms or buildings you need a 120V version.
  • 240V models need to be wired into the wall. A certified professional will need to install 240V units. While it is more expensive and permanent this kind of set up looks very clean and modern. The unit will also likely be secured to the wall. Tipping over a unit like this is no longer a concern.

Standard and hydronic heaters both have models with optional thermostats that come as part of the unit. They can also be used in conjunction with separately sold thermostats. Honeywell makes a great lineup of thermostats for exactly this purpose. Due to the nature of the way the thermostat functions, you do not necessarily need to purchase a Honeywell baseboard heater. We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.

Best Air Purifier for Pet Allergies and Asthma

dog with plant - two allergy triggers

Let’s consider pet allergies and asthma long term problems that need long term solutions. One of the best long term solutions is an air purifier to reduce allergens in your home.

Quick summary of this article

Your air purifier should have a washable HEPA filter and be sized appropriately for the room you plan to use it in. If the air purifier does have an ionizer make sure you can turn it off. The air purifiers recommended in this article fit all of these criteria.

A few important things

Make sure the filter is a HEPA filter – There are newer ultra-super-mega-filters on the market today. A basic HEPA filter captures allergens from the air and does so in a cost effective way. Other filter types capture the same allergens but are more expensive. HEPA filters will remove pet dander, pet hair and other things like pollen and dust mites from the air in your home.

Look for a washable filter – Some HEPA filters are washable in a literal soap and water sense. Others are only able to be vacuumed. Either option is fine. Since we already defined pet allergies and asthma as long term problems, we need to think about filters on an extended timeframe too. Being able to clean your air filter instead of needing to buy replacements will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Check the CADR – This is an easy way to compare air filters across brands. The CADR, or ‘clean air delivery rate’ is an objective measure of how much air the air purifier can process in an hour. You can always use a smaller air purifier, just understand that it will take longer for it to show the results you are expecting.

We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.

Air Purifier Red Flags

A big thing to avoid when shopping for an air purifier is any mention of ionizers. Some air purifiers have ionizers that are supposed to help clean the air even more. What they actually do is produce ozone particles, which are harmful to human lungs. An ionizer has the potential to increase allergy and asthma symptoms.

Ozone is normally found in the upper layers of Earth’s atmosphere. We should keep it up there and not in the living room. If you do find an air purifier that you absolutely love that has an ionizer in it, check to see if it is possible to turn it off. The option to turn off the ionizer is becoming increasingly popular in the air purifier market these days.

It is important to note that while products may have an EPA number on them, the EPA does not endorse or recommend the use of ionizers. For an in depth article, check out their statement here.

The last thing to avoid when shopping for a new air purifier is the marketing hype surrounding dust mites. HEPA filters do capture dust mites and remove them from the air in your home. However, air purifiers have not been shown to reduce dust mite levels low enough to prevent dust mite allergy symptoms in all people. Many times dust mite allergies can be triggered by very low levels of dust mite exposure. Check out this article here for more info on dust mites.

Other air filters for pet allergies and asthma

It may also be worth your time to invest in a furnace filter specifically designed to reduce allergens in your home. Most of the time a HEPA filter does exactly what you need at the right price. Just like with air purifiers, there are washable furnace filters on the market today. Feel free to check out this in depth article on allergen reducing furnace filters here.

Best Humidifier for Baby with Stuffy Nose

A happy baby

Best Humidifier for Baby with Stuffy Nose

When your baby is sick, no one in the house is happy. WebMD recommends using a humidifier to help soothe your baby’s discomfort when they have a stuffy nose.

The hardest time for a baby when they are sick is at night. It is difficult for them to sleep with sinus pressure and congestion. We have identified a list of ‘must-have-features’ to look for in the best humidifier for your baby. Since we have already identified night time as a difficult time for a sick baby, that is where we focused our research on humidifiers.

Must-have-features include

Silent operation – Some humidifiers make noise when they are operating. While it is usually similar to white noise, it still makes noise and could disturb your sleeping baby. We researched only silent humidifiers.

Capacity to run through the night without a refill – This keeps you from needing to go in and out of your baby’s room to check on water levels in the humidifier’s reservoir.

Cool mist operation – Warm mist humidifiers heat the water to produce humidity. This adds a slight risk for burns if the unit is tipped over.

OPTIONAL: Built in humidistat – This feature will automatically shut off the humidifier when the air in the room reaches a certain level of relative humidity. Because adding too much moisture into the air has the potential to promote the growth or dust mites and mold, we recommend considering a built in humidistat.

Crane Humidifiers

While researching the best humidifiers available to help with stuffy noses we came across a clear winner. Crane makes some of the best humidifiers designed specifically for nurseries. They come in a variety of different animal shapes that can match perfectly with the décor in your baby’s room. The animal shaped humidifiers meet all of the must-have-features we defined earlier in the article. However, they do not come equipped with a built in humidistat.

Crane makes a humidifier called the White Smart Drop Wifi Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier with a more subdued appearance that includes a built in humidistat. It has all the features of the animal shaped humidifiers except the fun shape. To be honest, the built in humidistat is such a valuable feature that it is probably the better choice in all circumstances.

Too much humidity and dust mites

Once the relative humidity in a room gets over 70%, dust mites begin to reproduce at incredible rates. If you have a humidifier running all night with the door closed there is a real risk of this happening. If you keep the baby room door open all the time during the day it will probably dry out enough and minimize the risk. On the other hand, a built in humidistat will keep the air from ever becoming that humid in the first place.

Sore throats and other symptoms

Because babies cannot use decongestants the best relief for them is using a humidifier. This is just like an adult taking a hot shower to help relieve their own sinus pressure. The moist air helps loosen mucus and make it easier to breathe. Properly humidified air can also help soothe sore throats that develop from nasal drip and coughing. These symptoms are common at the end of a cold when sinus pressure is decreasing and mucous is loosened.

Hopefully you are able to make a choice on the best humidifier to help with your baby’s stuffy nose. This relief will help you and your baby have comfortable, restful nights when you need it the most. If you are looking for other choices parents make in humidifiers for their babies, check out this article here. We compare the three most popular choices in humidifiers on the market today.

Air Purifier vs Humidifier for Baby

A happy baby

Does your baby need an air purifier or a humidifier? We put together a short guide to help you answer this question. First, we list out some common situations where either a humidifier or air purifier would be useful. Then at the end of this article are a few easy steps to help keep your home a comfortable and safe place for your baby. We also include a link to an article that focuses on how to choose an appropriate humidifier for your baby’s nursery.

Humidifiers and their uses

Here are the most common uses for humidifiers

  • Sinus pressure or stuffy nose from a cold – since babies cannot use the same decongestants adults use, a humidifier is one of the best solutions to sinus congestion
  • Sore throats – same thing here, babies cannot use lozenges to soothe sore throats caused by dry air in the winter
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Dry skin, eyes or hair
  • Excessive snoring

Humidifiers, Bacteria and Viruses

The EPA regularly conducts a Community Water System Survey. In the last survey took place in 2006 and it indicates not all community water systems treat their water.

It is reasonable to assume there are unwanted contaminants in your drinking water. (Remember Flint, Michigan?) If you use a humidifier in your baby’s room be sure to take steps to clean the water.

There are humidifiers that comes equipped with ultraviolet lights designed to destroy bacteria, viruses and molds that may be present in water. The two top models are the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier and the Vicks V3900 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier.

Check out this article that provides an in-depth review of the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. Alternatively, check out either of these products on Amazon by clicking the links below.

Reasons people use air purifiers

Most of the common reasons for using an air purifier do not apply to nurseries, however every situation is different.

  • The room has smells or is stuffycuddly cat
  • Allergy flare-ups are becoming more intense or frequent
  • You have recently painted, varnished or disinfected the room with strong chemicals
  • If someone in your home smokes indoors
  • You need to get rid of cooking smells in a hurry and it is too cold to open the windows
  • There is a dust mite problem (Please note: It is unlikely that an air purifier can remove enough dust mites to reduce dust mite allergy symptoms in all cases.)
  • Pet hair floats in the air

A few simple steps

Step 1 – Check your furnace filter

It is entirely possible that your baby has a cold and you have pets in your home. This does not mean you need to use both a humidifier and air purifier in the nursery. The first recommendation we always give to pet owners is to check your furnace filter. It is one of the best air purifiers on the market and it runs every time your central air unit is working. Furnace filters are almost always a little bit dirty. Some filters can be cleaned with a vacuum while others just need to be replaced once they are too dirty.

If your furnace filter is clean and you and your baby are still having trouble breathing, consider switching to a different kind of filter. There are specialty furnace filters that are specifically designed to capture allergens.

Taking care of your furnace filter is one of the easiest ways to keep the air in your home fresh. There is still a benefit to using a separate air filter that treats a single room. The smaller air filter can run as long as you set it to run. Contrast this with the furnace filter which only filters air while the furnace is running.

Step 2 – Consider purchasing a humidifier for your baby’s room

Earlier in the article we outlined a few reasons why people use humidifiers. This is a condensed list of the most relevant reasons your baby’s room would benefit from having a humidifier:

  • Sinus pressure or stuffy nose from a cold – since babies cannot use the same decongestants adults use, a humidifier is one of the best solutions to sinus congestion
  • Sore throats – same thing here, babies cannot use lozenges to soothe sore throats caused by dry air in the winter

If you are looking for additional advice on the best humidifier for you baby’s room, check out this article that compares three of the most popular humidifiers parents choose.

Humidifier vs Essential Oil Diffuser

essential oils

This article covers information about the similarities and differences between humidifiers and essential oil diffusers. It is designed to help you make to most informed decision possible when making a purchase. Each section contains a single product review to keep things simple. If you would like to see similar products in a specific category compared to each other, there are links to product comparison articles where we go into more detail.

We begin by going over a list of similar features and functions you can find on both types of product. There are some essential oil diffusers that work quite well as humidifiers and have output capacities to add moisture to the air in an average sized room. We include a reference to an in depth article and our recommendation for the top humidifier diffuser combo.

The next section focuses on differences between humidifiers and essential oil diffusers. This is a brief overview that focuses on differences between the two product categories without getting into the details of specific products.

After that we outline a few things to look for in a well-designed single room humidifier in a convenient list. Following this list we give our favorite model on the market today and a link for more detailed reading you may find useful. We do the same research and analysis for an essential oil diffuser suitable for a large space. We specifically picked diffusers that work in large spaces since they will have a high number of similar features when compared to humidifiers.

The end of this article is a set of links comparing essential oil diffusers to a list of other appliances like nebulizers and oil burners that influence the air quality and comfort of your space.

Let’s get to it! Here is everything you need to know about the differences between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers so that you can make a clear choice.

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Features of Humidifiers and Essential Oil Diffusers

Humidifiers and essential oil diffusers are designed to positively impact air quality. Both types of appliances add humidity to the air which has a host of benefits. Properly humidified air helps keep airways moisturized and comfortable, cuts down on dry and cracked skin, and even helps protect wooden furniture and home fixtures. We dive into specific details about each of these in the ‘Humidifiers’ section of this article.

There are essential oil diffusers that do not add moisture to the air called essential oil nebulizers. This article focuses on ultrasonic essential oil diffusers that do add moisture to the air. If you are interested in a nebulizer, check out this article – Essential Oil Nebulizer vs Diffuser.

The main feature that ties humidifiers and essential oil diffusers together is their ability to add moisture to the air. The specifications to pay attention to are the capacity of the water tank, which influences continuous run time. We also consider the treatable area the appliance is designed for.

With these specifications in mind, we transition to looking at specific humidifiers and diffusers in the next section. Keep in mind that these appliances are designed to maximize the area for which they can provide aromatherapy and proper humidity levels. Reviews of more space-conscious essential oil diffusers are located under the ‘Essential Oil Diffusers’ heading further down the page.

All-in-one Humidifier and Essential Oil Diffuser

Here we provide a quick review of an appliance that adequately functions as an essential oil diffuser and a humidifier. The feature we consider the most important is a high capacity water tank (average diffusers have notoriously small water tanks). Here is a comprehensive list of features to consider:

  • Is the diffuser cool mist or warm mist?
  • What is the capacity of the water tank?
  • How long can the diffuser operate between fills?
  • What size room is the diffuser designed for?

Our research and review process pointed us to the Exqline Diffuser as the best option for people interested in a humidifier and essential oil diffuser combo. As we mentioned previously, the capacity of the water tank influences runtime. It has a 1500 mL water tank, just over 1.5 quarts. This diffuser runs up to 20 hours continuously on its lowest setting. Both the capacity and runtime are comparable to single room humidifiers like the Honeywell HUL520L Mistmate Cool Mist Humidifier.

We have included a functional search bar in the ad below. It has been prefilled with a search term to show products relevant to the content on this page. Feel free to use it to explore similar products on Amazon. Click on any of the images to be taken to the product listing.

Mobile versions of this web page will not display the search ad to improve the reader’s experience. To make up for this we made this Amazon text link just for you – 1500ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser by Exqline



The Exqline has a continuously variable output, meaning you can make very fine adjustments to how much humidity the diffuser puts out by turning a knob. The safety auto-shutoff feature powers the diffuser down if it ever runs out of water. It provides humidification coverage for up to 325 square feet. The aromatherapy benefits extend to 425 square feet.

For more details about the Exqline Diffuser and the URPOWER 1000 ml Essential Oil Diffuser check out https://www.unhumid.com/best-humidifier-diffuser-combo/. We ranked the Exqline as number one and the URPOWER model as the runner up.

Essential Oil Diffusers vs Humidifiers – the Differences

One main difference between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers is their available capacities. Diffusers are available in very small sizes, some as small as 300 mL – which is 10 fluid ounces. This is smaller than most water bottles and not very practical if your goal is to add significant amount of humidity to the air. However, the small size is adequate for a single room if you are focused on aromatherapy benefits or just want the room to have a more appealing scent. If you remember back to the Exqline coverage areas, the aromatherapy area is 30% larger than the humidification area. Because of this difference, essential oil diffusers are generally designed to be much smaller than humidifiers.

Humidifiers

Humidifiers are little appliances that turn warm water into vapor. This vapor gently fills up any room and helps to add moisture to the air. Like essential oil diffusers, humidifiers come in many different styles as well. Smaller humidifiers are great for filling up small spaces like baby rooms and bathrooms. Larger humidifiers are available on the market and they do a great job of adding moisture in the air of much larger spaces.

This link gives an informative overview of how humidity works in the home and reviews the TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier – https://www.unhumid.com/the-best-humidifier-for-winter/. The unique feature we loved about the TaoTronics humidifier is that it comes with a built in humidistat. The humidistat allows the humidifier to automatically regulate humidity levels within a user-defined range.

We have included a functional search bar in the ad below. It has been prefilled with a search term to show products relevant to the content on this page. Feel free to use it to explore similar products on Amazon. Click on any of the images to be taken to the product listing.

Mobile versions of this web page will not display the search ad to improve the reader’s experience. To make up for this we made this Amazon text link just for you – TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier


Benefits of Humidifiers

The benefits of a humidifier differ from those of an essential air diffuser because of one big reason. Humidifiers are generally not designed to be used with essential oils. So while you will still get benefits, you will not be able to customize them the same way that you would with an essential oil diffuser. Here are some benefits that you will see with a humidifier:

  • Relieve congestion – Humidifiers add water to the air that works to combat that dryness that can cause congestion. This is similar to how taking a warm shower helps with congestion. Adding much needed moisture to help loosen mucus and restore your airways.
  • Heals dry skin – Sometimes in the colder months it seems that no matter how much lotion you use, there is no cure for dry skin. The main cause of this is the very low moisture levels in the air. Cold air is not able to hold as much absolute humidity, which is different from relative humidity. The exact details of the physics go beyond the scope of this article. If you are looking for a very technical read, check out this article.
  • Prevents nosebleeds – The same dry air that cracks your skin can cause nose bleeds. Sometimes dry air gives people nosebleeds because the capillaries inside your nose are very close to the surface of the skin. Once this skin cracks it is very common for it to bleed for a short time.

Drawbacks of Humidifiers

Here we list out some of the downsides to owning and operating a humidifier. Try not to worry though, we provide the best solution to each of these problems so you can have a great experience with your humidifier.

Cons

  • Poorly made humidifiers, especially cheap ultrasonic humidifiers, can make a lot of noise
    • Solution: Look for highly recommended humidifiers. We carefully select the humidifiers we recommend. There is no reason to settle for a noisy humidifier.
  • They require regular maintenance to reduce the build up of mineral deposits.
    • Solution: If you want to avoid the regular cleaning as much as possible then use distilled or filtered water in your humidifier. These types of water have little to no mineral content.
  • The vast majority of humidifiers are not compatible with essential oils. Using oils in them can actually cause damage.
    • Solution: If using essential oils is important to you then look for a high capacity essential oil diffuser with a large water reservoir. Alternatively, check out our reviews of humidifier diffuser combos.
  • They can accumulate bacteria and viruses in thir reservoirs if not properly maintained.
    • Solution: Check out the next section!

Humidifiers, Bacteria and Viruses

The EPA regularly conducts a Community Water System Survey. In the last survey took place in 2006 and it indicates not all community water systems treat their water.

It is reasonable to assume there are unwanted contaminants in your drinking water. (Remember Flint, Michigan?) If you use a humidifier be sure you take steps to clean the water. You can use distilled or filtered water to accomplish this. Also, you can use humidifier bacteriostat or consider a humidifier that sanitizes the water on its own.

There are also humidifiers that comes equipped with ultraviolet lights designed to destroy bacteria, viruses and molds that may be present in water. The two top models are the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier and the Vicks V3900 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier.

Check out this article that provides an in-depth review of the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. Alternatively, check out either of these products on Amazon by clicking the links below.

Essential Oil Diffusers

Essential oil diffusers serve many different purposes, but mainly they are meant to distribute essential oils into the air. By using gentle heat and steam, essential oil diffusers work to slowly fill your room with natural scents. The warm air that circulates will not only be rich in fragrance, it will also help to add moisture to the air which helps to combat the dryness.
essential oils
There are a couple different styles of essential oil diffusers available on the market today. From heat sourced diffusers to evaporative diffusers, the science and benefits are still the same. The biggest feature difference is that one generates cool air stream while the other mists a warm oil steam. You can choose which works best for you based on what type of experience you want.

Benefits of Essential Oil Diffusers

The most appealing thing about an essential oil diffuser is all of the benefits you can get out of one product. Here are some of the top reasons why people prefer to use an oil diffuser in their home:

Pros

  • Better for sleep – By combining an air diffuser with calming essential oils like lavender, some people notice they fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  • Easier breathing – Using an essential oil diffuser can help reduce inflammation which can cause congestion. For treating congestion, essential oil users often turn to eucalyptus or camphor oil for their diffusers.
  • Keeps the room smelling fresh – In colder weather it may not be practical to open the windows depending on where you live. This lack of air circulation can leave certain rooms a little stuffy and stale.
  • Enhances the mood of the room – While you are waiting for the weather to warm up you can stay comfortable with the pleasant scents of your favorite essential oil.
  • They often come with LEDs that can change colors to add to the décor and vibe of the room.

Downsides of Essential Oil Diffusers

Here we list some aspects of diffusers that may be undesirable depending on what you want to use them for

Cons

  • Diffusers come with the added cost of essential oils.
  • Some models do not have the option to turn off the LED which can be too bright to use at night. We help you sort through this and recommend models that have this option.
  • Generally, they have smaller water reservoirs than regular humidifiers.
  • The wrong diffuser can be very noisy with an annoying humming noise.

Try not to be discouraged by this list of cons though! We carefully curate the essential oil diffusers we recommend to make sure you buy exactly what you are looking for.

If you decide to use an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, you will also have the added benefits of properly humidified air. Earlier we talked about the way ultrasonic diffusers dilute essential oils in their water tank before turning the mixture into a mist. This mist lets the diffuser add water to the air the same way a cool mist humidifier does.

As promised, here is a link to our in depth review of two ultrasonic essential oil diffusers suitable for large spaces https://www.unhumid.com/best-essential-oil-diffuser-large-room/. You might remember the two products we named as the best all-in-one humidifier and essential oil diffuser. These are the same products – the Exqline Essential Oil Diffuser and the URPOWER 1000ml Essential Oil Diffuser. This is makes sense because an essential oil diffuser that functions similarly to a humidifier will be able to treat a large space or entire room.

We have included a functional search bar in the ad below. It has been prefilled with a search term to show products relevant to the content on this page. Feel free to use it to explore similar products on Amazon. Click on any of the images to be taken to the product listing.

Mobile versions of this web page will not display the search ad to improve the reader’s experience. To make up for this we made this Amazon text link just for you – URPOWER 1000ml Essential Oil Diffuser


Conclusion

We covered a ton of information in this article! There were several product recommendations and a lot of advice on what to look for if you want to do some of your own research. The rest of this article is a set of links comparing essential oil diffusers to a list of other appliances like nebulizers and oil burners that influence the air quality and comfort of your space.

Further reading

Here is a list of other essential oil product comparisons we have on Unhumid.com

  • Essential Oil Diffuser vs Candle – Here we contrast the simplicity of using a scented candle with the endless variety of scents you can create with an essential oil diffuser.
  • Essential Oil Burner vs Diffuser – Dive deep into what you really want out of your essential oil experience. Click here for some insight into do’s and don’ts when it comes to scents and the potential for therapeutic benefits from your essential oils. Some of the highlights include
  • Wax Warmer vs Oil Diffuser – Another head to head match up with scented wax warmers. This time it goes up against essential oil diffusers. This is a pretty interesting read if you are looking for solutions for your  home or office.
  • Essential Oil Nebulizer vs Diffuser – This is one of the most hotly debated match ups in the essential oil world. The main reason is because both nebulizers and diffusers are great choices for your essential oil experience. Because of this, people feel strongly about each of them.


Humidifier vs Vaporizer for Babies

It can be difficult to take care of a baby that has a cold. Adults can take medicine or use home remedies to soothe aching throats or relieve sinus pressure. However, these solutions are not generally recommended for babies. There are other options to help keep your baby comfortable during the day and sleeping better at night when they have a cold. WebMD does recommend using a humidifier to help with babies that have congestion though. Other people might recommend a vaporizer for the same thing. In this article we shed some light on both of these recommendations.

Humidifier vs Vaporizer for Babies

In general, manufacturers use the word humidifier to refer to the kind of device used to restore proper levels of moisture to the air. If you are searching for this kind of product, that is the best search term to use.

On the other hand, a vaporizer can also refer to this same kind of device but it can also reference products for essential oils. If you want to most relevant results for simply adding moisture to the air, look for a humidifier.

The images below include humidifiers we review elsewhere on this site. To read those on specific humidifiers for your baby’s room check out our article here. Otherwise these links will take you to the product listing on Amazon.com. Once you are there you can explore other product listings as well.

Different Types of Humidifiers for Babies

The best kind of humidifier for use in a baby’s room or nursery is a cool mist humidifier. If you take a look at the cute, animal shaped humidifiers they are almost universally cool mist humidifiers. There are two reasons for this. A cue humidifier should put you in a good mood and help keep a smile on your face when you are in your baby’s room. Also, for safety reasons.

Cool mist humidifiers do not heat the water in order to release mist into the air. They use ultrasonic vibrations (silent, so your baby can easily sleep) to agitate the water. This agitation causes small droplets to become airborne and add humidity to the surrounding environment.


Warm mist humidifiers are less safe for a nursery. This type of humidifier heats the water to cause steam to add humidity to the air. Heated water adds the risk of burns if the humidifier somehow tips over. The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends using a cool mist humidifier for this same reason. Safety is always a priority when it comes to babies and small children. Stick with a cool mist humidifier to help your baby through their cold or cough.

Other ways a humidifier can help

An added bonus to using a humidifier to help your baby and their stuffy nose is that it works for adults too. If you need relief and do not want to deal with the hazy feeling cold medicine can bring, try a humidifier. This has some of the same benefits as taking a warm shower. Humidifiers will use a lot less water than taking a shower. You can also keep the humidifier on your nightstand if it is not already in use in your baby’s room.

Baby’s skin is also not as good at retaining moisture as adult skin. Babies frequently develop rashes and irritation if the air is too dry. This may happen before you even notice there has been a change in your own skin.

People also use humidifiers to help them manage:

  1. Baby congestion or stuffy nose
  2. Partial relief from asthma or allergies
  3. Dry or possibly bloody noses caused by cold winter air – We have an extensive article about this topic here
  4. Managing the pain and shortness of breath that comes with bronchitis

It is important to use common sense and seek medical help if you or your baby is sick. Humidifiers can help, but they are no match for the expertise of a medical professional.

Humidifiers, Bacteria and Viruses

The EPA regularly conducts a Community Water System Survey. In the last survey took place in 2006 and it indicates not all community water systems treat their water.

It is reasonable to assume there are unwanted contaminants in your drinking water. (Remember Flint, Michigan?) If you use a humidifier in  your baby’s room then be sure you take steps to clean the water.

There are also humidifiers that comes equipped with ultraviolet lights designed to destroy bacteria, viruses and molds that may be present in water. The two top models are the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier and the Vicks V3900 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier.

Check out this article that provides an in-depth review of the Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier. Alternatively, check out either of these products on Amazon by clicking the links below.

Wrapping it all up

Hopefully this article has helped answer the question of which is better for a baby, a humidifier or a vaporizer. Humidifiers are the most commonly used term for the product you are looking for to help your baby with congestion or a stuffy nose. Additionally, a cool mist humidifier is safer in the event of a spill since the water is not heated up. This distinction is important and recommended by several different agencies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics.

For reviews on specific humidifiers for your baby’s room check out our article here. We review three different humidifiers including the Crane lineup of cool mist humidifiers that come in cute animal shapes your baby is sure to love. The lineup below is a small sample of available shapes and designs.

Best Milk Frother

coffee drink with frothed milk

The Best Milk Frother for Coffee Drinks

As they say, “it’s usually the simple things in life that bring the most happiness.” That being said, waking up to a frothy cappuccino or a smooth latte is without a doubt one of those simple pleasures for many people. However, indulging that simple pleasure can get quite expensive if you’re paying out of pocket at a local café or coffeehouse chain like Starbucks. Fortunately, there are an abundance of high-quality frothers which can make that simple pleasure attainable in your own home – with the push of a button.

There are many kinds of frothers available; however, the easiest and perhaps most efficient are automatic jugs. They come with a wide range of benefits, from price and ease of use to washing and cleaning. Therefore, here are two great options that we’re going to compare: The Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother and Warmer and Philippe Taglioni Automatic Electric Milk Frother Jug.

We’re going to compare and contrast the two options by factors that are most relevant to the average customer such as price, capacity, efficiency/ease-of-use, durability, maintenance/cleaning, distinctive features, and of course, the froth!

CAPACITY:

Both machines have a capacity of 250ml or about 1 cup, which is standard and usually more than necessary for a single latte.

EFFICIENCY/EASE-OF-USE:

If you are like most people, coffee is probably one of the first things to come to mind upon waking up. You want a product that won’t upset your morning routine with complicated features. Here are statements from both sellers describing the process:

The Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother: “To make hot drinks, press the ON/OFF button once and release immediately, both heater and frother will turn on. Press and hold the ON/OFF button for 2-3 seconds, the frother will turn on, but heater won’t turn on. This makes cold drinks.”

Philippe Taglioni Automatic Electric Milk Frother Jug: “Simply add milk into the milk frothing carafe, press start and in less than 90 seconds you have deliciously thick and creamy froth. Making delicious lattes, cappuccinos, hot frothed milk and hot chocolate is a breeze with this milk frother.”

As you can see, both machines seem to be fairly straight forward and easy to use.

DURABILITY:

Everyone wants a product that will last them a long time and that won’t need repairs. Like most frothers, these two are both made with stainless steel, the ideal material for this machine. Based off of reviews both machines seem durable, repairs and maintenance will most likely not be an issue here.

DISTINCTIVE FEATURES:

At this point, you are probably thinking, “Wow, both machines seem pretty identical to me, I’ll just go with the cheaper one.” A fair assessment, but not so fast, here are some more features that will hopefully make this decision easier for you:

Secura:

Dimensions: It is about 6.5″ tall with a 4.5″ diameter. The corded stand that it sits on, is 1″ so in total it is 7.5″ tall

Warranty: This product comes with a 2-year warranty. A really great feature.

Cleaning: Easy to clean. After using it, rinse it out with water, then place a little amount of water back in it with one drop of dish soap. Then run it like you would do if you had milk in it. The water spinning with the dish soap and heating acts like a tiny dishwasher. Once it’s done, just rinse it out with water. Clean as a whistle.

Phillipe:

Dimensions: 6.3 x 5.1 x 7.7 inches

Warranty: This product comes with a 1-year warranty and a 100% money back guarantee within 60 days of your purchase.

Cleaning: The Non-Stick Interior and Detachable Base makes cleaning the frother super easy.

CONCLUSION:

So as you can see, a difficult choice lies ahead of you if you are deciding between these two products. So here is a summary of the similarities and differences between the two:

Similarities: Both machines are simple, effective, efficient, similar in size, same capacity, easy to clean, and durable.

Differences: The Secura comes with a 2-year warranty. The Phillipe comes with a 1-year warranty but has a 60-day $100 money back guarantee.

So there it is, two really great products, one really tough decision but one that you should definitely make. As we all can agree, there is no better way to set the mood for the day then with a nicely froth based drink. Best of luck to you!

For some extra reading, check out this link to an article on Serious Eats. It goes into more about frothed milk in coffee drinks than you ever though there was to know.

Best Electric Smoker

The Best Electric Smoker

Electric smokers are very easy to use because they regulate their temperature automatically. Essentially, electric smokers include various temperature control so can prepare different kinds of meat, vegetables, and fish. These devices are becoming more and more popular for barbecue cooking because they deliver the same great flavor as traditional smoking methods without requiring a high level of expertise.

The main advantage electric smokers provide is their fuel source. All you need to do is plug it into an outlet. There’s no need to buy charcoal or propane. Make sure to keep your smoker close enough to the outlet so that you do not need an extension cord. Extension cords increase electrical resistance. Using an extension cord can decrease the amount of power going to the smoker and increase cooking times.

Masterbuilt 20070411 30-inch Top controller Electric Smoker

Masterbuilt makes the best electric smokers on the market today. This specific model comes with a remote control that monitors the two main aspects of cooking, time and temperature. The remote runs off AAA batteries which is nice that you do not need to purchase unique batteries that only fit the remote.

The smoker has a temperature range of 100 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Masterbuilt smokers have a unique design feature that lets you add wood chips without opening the door. A separate, smaller door allows access to the wood chip tray while cooking. The smaller door helps keep cooking temperatures constant if you need to reload wood chips. You can also turn the cooking light on or off with the remote control to check on your food.

Masterbuilt has two significant features to help keep temperatures constant while cooking. The door to access the wood chip tray and the internal cooking light both add ease of use and enhance the quality of your cooking.

One of the best parts about cooking your own food is being up close and personal to the process. The large viewing window, internal light and cooking controls on top of the unit allow you to do exactly that.


This electric smoker has 730 square inches of available cooking space divided between four chrome plated smoking racks. The design allows for up to 100 pounds of food to be cooked at the same time.

A built in meat thermometer pairs well with the thermostat to keep temperatures exactly where you set them. If you have ever cooked with charcoal you know this is difficult to control and requires a lot of attention. The sensors monitor cooking conditions for you. Using a Masterbuilt electric smoker to prepare your food lets you focus on other important things.

A unique way to use your smoker is to prepare jerky. If you want to do this, make sure to open the air damper on top of the unit. Normally, it is kept closed to help hold moisture in and keep food tender and juicy. In the case of jerky moisture needs to leave. Just open the air damper to let this happen. Cooking fish has the same requirement to keep the damper open.

After you are done cooking you can easily clean your smoker by taking out the removable drip pan. Clean up is always the hardest part after a meal. The removable drip pan greatly simplifies everything. Depending on what you are cooking you may need to empty the grease during operation. Of course, you can do this without opening the main door.

Char-Broil Deluxe Digital Electric Smoker, 725 Square Inch

The Char-Broil Smoker delivers many of the same features that the Masterbuilt model at a generally lower price. Some of the key differences are no remote control feature and no way to add wood chips without opening the main door. You can empty the drip pan without opening the main door. There is a food thermometer that monitors temperature with the door closed.

This model does not have instructions for cooking fish or jerky. The Masterbuilt has an air damper to allow excess moisture to leave the smoker to facilitate cooking fish and jerky.

If these differences are not relevant to what you plan to use the smoker for then the lower price may be attractive. However, cooking that takes a long time and requires wood chip refills you will need to open the main door. This leads to a loss of heat and may increase cooking times.


Hopefully we have provided enough information to help you make an informed choice when you purchase a new electric smoker to simplify your outdoor cooking.

 

Best Non Stick Pan For Dosa

The Dosa Tava is made with the ideal curvature and thickness to deliver outstanding cooking results when preparing dosa (rice and gram pancakes). The flange, which securely connects the handle to the robust steel rivets that are stainless, has a rare make that ensures it doesn’t interfere with the cooking area; therefore, maximizing the cooking surface and enabling the preparation of a large dosa, or many cutlets at a go. The gauge metal is exceedingly thick and heavy thus providing a fast, and even conduction of heat and its heat preservation is excellent.

Hard Anodized Tava is commonly used to prepare roti, phulka (unleavened bread that is puffed) and paratha (unleavened bread that is layered) – all are vital foods for Indians. Also, Tava can perfectly cook griddle cakes, eggs, cutlets, French toasts, and pancakes and so on.

The Hard Anodized Tava’s heavy gauge and well-balanced pans are the specific features that make it desirable as they simplify cooking and provide impressive results. The handles which come in either stainless steel or plastic, are comfy and they keep cool.

Futura Non-stick Tava

We choose this Tava as it never failed to provide excellent Dosa’s throughout the testing that lasted for three months. The Tava, designed with a heavy-gauge and aluminum material, this Tava is unusually long-lasting with heat conduction that is steady for an even outcome. Its thickness is 4.88, so its consumers highly value it. However, its non-induction base makes it only operate on a typical gas unit.

We are pleased by its smooth non-stick surface for a quick removal of dosa’s, its thick bottom that keeps the heat for a long duration and the robust aluminum make with its plastic handle that never heats up. Hawkins provides a two-year warranty for this Tava.

However, bear in mind that this Tava is flat without a lip. Although it is excellent for Dosa’s, chapatis, toasts, etc., it uses up all the oil making it inappropriate for frying bacon, eggs, etc. which are sometimes runny.

Removing the dosa from the pan is easy, and most significantly, cleaning is easy as it is edgeless.

We recommend that 28cm is the best size as a smaller size than this won’t suffice.

Pros:

It is light

Handles are always cool

Maintenance and cleaning is easy

Cons:

It’s not durable enough- expect a lifespan of 2-3 years

Replacement is a requirement if it scratched or if the non-stick coating wears off

It only operates on regular burners as it is non-induction based


Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized Crepe Pan 623-24

This Cuisinart Crepe Pan has a hard anodized thick exterior that is nonporous with a significant wear and tear resistance for extended durability and exceptional performance.

Same to the Tava, it has a nonstick cooking area, and it is not induction ready. However, its interior has quantanium coating having a cooking area with titanium material reinforcement that makes it a healthy option for nonfat cooking needs, and it provides a quick clean up.

Unlike the Tava which has either plastic or a stainless steel handle, the Cuisinart Crepe Pan got designed with sturdy riveted handles made of stainless steel which delivers a secure and firm grasp. Also, the handles stay cool just as the Tava.

This pan is perfect for cooking dosa, eggs, chapatti, etc., and it is a suitable size for any burner.

Pros:

Easy cleaning

Handles keep cool

Extended durability

It features a tapered rim to prevent dripping

Only made of stainless steel

Cons:

Non-induction ready


Anolon Nouvelle Hard Anodized Nonstick

Like the Tava and the Cuisinart Crepe Pan, Anolon gets made of aluminum that is hard-anodized for quick heating high-quality griddle food preparation.

Anolon features low sides that enable a quick access when checking for browning when preparing foods hence food turning is fast, and its handles are of stainless steel makes cleaning a simple task. It is nonstick for durability with easy food removal and quick cleaning.

Anolon can be used with metal utensils as its cooking surface is safe and it is suitable for cooking griddlecakes, grilled cheese, French toast and more.

Anolon is also a non-induction base like the rest as regular gas units can only use it. Anolon offers a lifetime warranty making it a better option when compared to Tava.

Pros:

It has a lifetime warranty

Cleaning it is quick and easy to do

Its lower sides make it fast to turn food

Cons:

It is non-induction based

The cooking surface chips off, and it needs replacement from time to time


Best Detachable Shower Head

Shower head

What’s the difference between a hand held shower head and a detachable shower head?

Nothing. They are the same thing. Some manufactures use different ways to identify their products, that’s it!

Best Detachable Shower Head

Nothing wakes me up like a hot cup of coffee and shower. Maybe you hit the shower in the evening to wind down or after a good workout. Whatever your preference, why settle for a lack luster experience? If you need to renovate your shower, there are a variety of shower heads, shower systems, and showers are available. Let me walk you through some key points for selecting a new shower head.

There are two kinds of shower heads: overhead and handheld. An overhead shower head is usually a semi permanent fixing on the wall. There are popular rainfall showerheads as well. Some of these will actually come out of the ceiling. Further down we talk about a rainfall shower head that comes out of the wall so it can function with the handheld shower head that comes with it. The wall fixture accommodates the most popular shower head models on the market. Since fixed shower heads can swivel, it is suitable for the needs of all family members. Fixed showers are typically made of a single handle, two handle, or three-handle designs to control temperature and water pressure.

Hand-held showers can be attached to the wall, and they have a long, flexible hose that connects to the shower head. You can attach the hand-held shower to the wall or “set it down” using a fixed vertical bracket. They easily to move them up or down to adjust for height so they easily function as both a fixed and hand-held option. Hand-held showers are perfect for those who are less mobile as well as for bathing kids. Cleaning the bathtub or the shower is also a quick task with the use of hand-held shower heads. Many shower heads offer massaging options.

DreamSpa Ultra-Luxury 9″ Rainfall Shower Head / Handheld Combo

The DreamSpa Ultra-Luxury combines a rainfall shower head with a hand-held shower head. The rainfall shower head is quite exquisite and has a 9-inch head for full water coverage, while its many jets deliver the effect of a rainstorm. It is an enjoyable experience. You can easily adjust the height of the shower head. This feature uses a lot of water.

The DreamSpa Ultra-Luxury shower head was designed with the highest standards. The handheld shower comes with a push-button for controlling the flow. The hand-held feature offers three settings: waterfall flow, flooding flow, and for regular flow. You can easily adjust the settings with the push of a button. With one hand, you can effortlessly switch the water flow settings and position the hand-held shower. The DreamSpa Ultra-Luxury works well as either a hand-held shower or as a overhead shower.

AquaDance High Pressure 6-Setting 3.5″ Chrome Face Handheld Shower

The Aquadance provides six distinct settings: heavy rain, massage, aeration, massaging rain, aeration by rain and water conservation. This shower head can be used as either a handheld or an overhead shower.

It has a comfortable grip handle and a changeable overhead bracket, making it is easy to place the hand shower in the best position and angle for operation. Aquadance uses a 5 ft. flexible, rust-proof, steel hose, making it quite durable. It is quick to connect and excellent for cleaning.

Hydroluxe Full-Chrome 24 Function Ultra-Luxury 3-way 2 in 1 Shower-Head/Handheld-Shower Combo

Today, Hydroluxe is one of the most popular shower heads on the market. It is possible to use each shower head independently. The shower head and hand shower settings provide excellent spray options such as for massage, power rain, a warm mist, water-saving economy rain, and pause.

The shower head face is 4-inches with great cleaning jets, and it has an angle-changeable overhead bracket. It also has a lock-nut to prevent swivel. The 5-foot hose is stainless steel, quite flexible and provides a secure hand grip. Installing Hydroluxe is quite easy as it does not require tools or a plumber. It comes with plumber tape and washers for quick installation and guarantees 100% leak-free operation.

As an early morning pick-me-up or as a reward for a long day, you deserve a nice refreshing shower. This guide should provide a great foundation for your research. The three options above are some of the best options available and provide real value for money.

 

Hopefully we’ve given you enough ideas to help you make a decision on the purchase of your next shower head!