Contrary to popular belief, humidifiers are not just for allergy sufferers or children suffering from chest infections, there’s a new-gen of steamy inventions and salt lamps to clean the air and provide beauty benefits for us all. SL contributor, Tamara Corin, gets testing.
A heated house in the dead of winter is a comforting thing, but the dry air and dust coming from radiators do your skin and hair no favours. Instead of reaching for a second slathering of moisturiser, invest in a humidifier to add moisture back into the air. According to the MayoClinic.com, indoor humidity levels should ideally remain between 30 and 50 percent. During the winter time the moisture can drop dramatically – well below 20 and even 10%!
Humidifiers are necessary during the winter months, when atmospheric humidity levels are low and heating systems, which dry air out, are in full use. Humidifiers have several health benefits including soothing and remedying dry skin, easing asthma and treating cold, flu and allergy symptoms. They also help your home by reducing static electricity in the air, can slow the peeling of wallpaper and prevent cracks in paint and furniture. Fact! To get the best results, turn on your humidifier when you put the heat on, but make sure you replace the water in your humidifier daily so bacteria and mould can’t grow.
Unlike a humidifier, an air purifier circulates the air and removes all the nasties from it by trapping them in filters. There are lots of unwanted elements in the air around you, such as dust mites, pollen, smoke and much more. They are microscopic making them difficult to detect. Air purifiers can help prevent you getting ill by trapping the germs in the air and surrounding you with a healthy dose of fresh air instead. You can simultaneously use a humidifier and a purifier as both serve different roles and don’t interfere with each other.
The benefits of a salt lamp
Few things in life are as soothing and relaxing as the warm glow of a campfire, and a Himalayan salt lamp offers a similar ambiance in the comfort of your home. Currently enjoying a surge in popularity, this is a great alternative to using your dimmer switch and comes with additional benefits. Salt lamps or HPS (Himalayan Pink Salt) lamps are large pieces of pure Himalayan Salt with a small bulb inside. But besides looking pretty, how can they help the air? Water in the air holds allergens, pollutants and bacteria, and these substances get attracted to the lamp. The heated salt lamp supposedly dries out the water vapour, leaving the nasties attached to the salt. For this reason, it’s important to wipe down the salt lamp with a cloth a few times a week to clean it.
Here are our favourites:
Best for budget:
Bionaire Compact Air Purifier with Dual Positioning – With a five-stage filtration system and three cleaning levels, you get more than your money’s worth.
Best for luxury:
Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Purifying Fan Heater – The king of purifiers but with a hefty price tag to match.
Best for the office:
HoMedics TotalClean Desktop Air Purifier – Removes a whopping 99.97% of airborne nasties.
Best for small spaces:
Holmes HAP242-NUC Air Purifier – The size of a clock radio but with the power of a larger machine.
Best for speed:
Blueair Blue Pure 411 Air Purifier – Cleans indoor air completely, five times per hour.
Best for smell:
Anjou Ultrasonic Aroma Humidifier –Replaces unpleasant smells with the power of aromatherapy.
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