Can’t sleep without a humidifier? How to End “Humidifier Dependence”

woman thinking about humidifier in bed

When the air in your bedroom is uncomfortably dry, having a humidifier running at night is almost a necessity.

The moisture that humidifiers can bring to the air can make even the driest winter months pleasant for sleeping. In fact, this device may have become such a staple in your sleeping routine that you might find it difficult to sleep without your humidifier.

For many, this can be a big problem ESPECIALLY in the scenario where you can’t use your humidifier at night for whatever reason.

If you have just decided that you don’t want to be, dare I say, addicted to sleeping with your humidifier, you may be trying to figure out how to get used to sleeping without this device.

Fortunately, there are a handful of different ways in which you can get used to sleeping without a humidifier so that soon you can sleep comfortably humidifier free.

With these simple tricks and tips, you will be drifting off to sleep without the help of your humidifier in no time.

But first, what is it that makes humidifiers such great sleep aids?

Why people have a hard time sleeping without humidifiers

Image source: you me on

We all know that it can be difficult to sleep without a humidifier, but why is this the case?

Although there are many reasons, there are a few key benefits of sleeping with a humidifier worth bringing to the table.

Humidifiers often make breathing easier

The dry air that becomes more common in the winter months can make it quite unpleasant to breathe.

According to TA Kaiser Heating and Air1, a well-established HVAC company, the recommended range of humidity in your home is 30 to 50 percent. However, this expert resource claims that when you are running a heater in the winter “it is easy for the relative humidity in your home to drop below 20 percent”.

At these levels the lack of moisture in the air can really parch your throat and irritate your mucous membrane, making simply breathing in and out uncomfortable. You can imagine how dried up you might feel waking up the next morning after a night of breathing in dry air.

In turn, the added moisture that a humidifier provides can make the simple act of breathing more comfortable which is one of the reasons why humidifiers are so popular to use for sleep.

Humidity keeps your skin from drying out

Dry air is one of the main reasons why people get dry skin. Of course, when you are spending 7-9 hours sleeping in a room with dry air, you are even more likely to develop dry skin.

However, when using a humidifier when you sleep, you can keep your skin much more hydrated. With the added moisture in the air that a humidifier provides, you won’t need to worry as much about waking up with cracked and irritated skin.

Humidifiers can help reduce allergies

According to some studies2, unusually high or low levels of humidity may increase the risk of asthma-like symptoms and also allergies. There is a theory that the lower the amount of moisture in the air, the more easily pollen and dust can travel which can more easily irritate your allergies.

Humidifiers, however, can save you from this irritation. With the added moisture in the air that humidifiers create, you can alleviate yourself from allergy-like symptoms that can come from dry air.

For more information on how to completely allergy-proof your bedroom, check out this guide here!

Finding peace in the white noise of the humidifier

Having white noise playing in the background is one of the most soothing ways to gently drift off to sleep.

Humidifiers happen to be excellent for creating soothing background noise. There is nothing quite like listening to the soft hum and drip-drop of water within your humidifier. 

Often times people enjoy using humidifiers for sleep, not just because they prevent dry skin or a parched throat, but because the gentle hum of their humidifier is soothing to them. Humidifiers as well as fans, and other devices are often used purely for the soothing background noise they create. 

Habit. Plain and simple

Lastly, people often find it quite difficult to sleep without a humidifier simply because they are so used to sleeping with one in the first place.

Even when the summer months come around the corner and the humid air renders humidifiers unnecessary, it can be tough to break the habit drifting off to sleep with your humidifier running in your room.

Creating humidity without a humidifier: 7 humidifier alternatives for your bedroom

At this point, you might be thinking “OK, OK, I get it. A little bit of humidity in your bedroom helps with sleep. I know humidity is good for me but I don’t want to be dependent on my humidifier. So how can I sleep without one?”

Great question.

Fortunately, despite the fact that a humidifier is one of the best ways to create humidity, it certainly is not the only way to create humidity in your room. These seven humidifier alternatives will surely help you emulate the pleasant sleeping environment that a humidifier creates.

1. Houseplants

potted plants on table

House plants are an excellent way to naturally add moisture into the air.

“How?” you might ask.

The process is called transpiration. Transpiration is basically when water stored inside plants is released into the air through the leaves of the plant3.

In turn, when you have various plants placed around your room they naturally will create a somewhat more humid environment in that living space.

In order to create the most humidity by using this method, it is important that these plants are watered regularly. A dehydrated plant that isn’t watered regularly simply won’t be able to create humidity since it won’t have water stored inside to emit into the air. In addition, you should use multiple plants but make sure that they are somewhat scattered around your room so that there is enough airflow between them.

2. Glasses of water on the window sill

water evaporating from glasses next to window

One of the simplest and easiest ways to bring some moisture into the air is by simply placing glasses filled with water on your windowsill.

This method is ideal if sunlight shines through your bedroom window sill. The warmth of the sun will slowly evaporate the water in the glasses which will produce more humidity in the air as a result.

You don’t need to go overboard: two or three glasses on your window sill will do. Of course, if you have multiple windows in your bedroom, feel free to add more glasses there.

3. Keep your bathroom door open when you shower

door to the bathroom cracked open

Showering is a convenient way to bring moisture into the air especially if the shower is hot.

Ultimately, by leaving your bathroom door open and your bedroom door open as well, the humidity created from the shower will have a chance to seep into your bedroom. 

Remember to keep the bathroom window closed and the bathroom fan off in addition. This will prevent humid air from leaving the house. Furthermore, if you shower right before bed, you will be able to enjoy sleeping with plenty of newly added humidity in the air. 

4. Let clothes air dry

clothes drying on a bedroom chair

After you wash your clothes, don’t bother putting them in the drier. Instead, you can hang them up to
air dry in your bedroom.

Ideally, you want to hang them up to dry next to a closed bedroom window. This way, the sun can evaporate the water in your soaked clothes, which will bring more moisture into the air.

This method can be quite effective. After all, although you might not realize it, wet clothing can store a ton of water that can be released into the air to create a humid environment.

5. Bowls of water

water in a bowl next to a radiator

Simply by keeping shallow bowls of water in your room, you can easily increase your rooms humidity level. 

Place your bowls of water close to heating sources such as radiators and heating vents if possible. Over time, heat from these sources will slowly evaporate the water in your bowls. As long as your windows and doors are shut in your bedroom, with one or two bowls of water you can bring much more moisture in the air over the course of a few hours.

6. Spray your bedroom curtains with water

spray bottle and some curtains

Before you go about spraying your curtains, make sure that you do your own due diligence on the type of curtains that you have. You can potentially ruin your curtains if they aren’t made to get a little wet.

However, if you do have curtains that can take a little extra moisture, feel free to try this method out.

Lightly mist your curtains during the day with water and then close them shut. Over the course of the day, the heat of the sun will evaporate the water sitting on your curtains which will release moisture back into the air.

7. Indoor fountain

water flowing from fountain

An electric-powered indoor fountain is a great way to bring moisture into the air.

Some of the running water will naturally be released into the air especially if the fountain gets some sunlight.

An additional benefit of an indoor fountain is that it can perhaps bring a hint of zen ambiance to your bedroom. Although this doesn’t bring moisture into the air, the soothing nature of the indoor fountain can certainly help you sleep better!

When you crave your humidifier for sleep… but not necessarily for the humidity

humidifier next to a bed

If summer is just around the corner, and the air is already plenty humid and yet you still feel like you can only sleep with a humidifier, perhaps it’s not the humidity from the humidifier that’s helping you sleep.

There is always the possibility that the gentle background noise of the humming humidifier that you are so accustomed to is what’s really helping you doze off so easily.

If this might be the case, to stop sleeping with your humidifier running you may instead want to instead experiment with other devices that create white noise.

Fans, indoor water fountains, or even white noise machines are great alternatives that you can use to create soothing white noise so that you can fall asleep easier.

Alternatively, if you want to sleep device free altogether, you can try to go cold turkey, and simply try to tough out sleeping without any appliances at all. After the first few nights, you might just get used to it.

Final words

At the end of the day, there is no getting around the fact that using a humidifier for sleeping can be quite comforting.

However, there are many ways in which you can bring humidity to your bedroom that don’t require a humidifier. Better yet, nearly all of these methods probably won’t cost you a dime since these methods only require household items that you may already have.

Furthermore, if the white noise is what brings you peace, there are plenty of substitutes for this need as well.



  1. “Can Your Heater Decrease Humidity”,
  2. “Exploration of the effects of classroom humidity levels on teachers’ respiratory symptoms”,
  3. “Evapotranspiration and the Water Cycle”,