Is it Good to Sleep With a Dehumidifier? We Ask the Pros

Attempting to get a good night’s sleep is something that we all innately long for. Even more so, asleep so refreshing that we can physically and mentally feel the benefits of the night’s rest.

What about controlling our sleeping environment and altering that rested experience? All too often, we ask what changes we can make to improve our sleeping experiences. Conversely, what choices we make are actively making it worse. 

Well, that is where the dehumidifier comes in. One might ask the question if it is okay to sleep with the device on in a bedroom. 

In short, it is perfectly safe to sleep with a dehumidifier on. If you are someone who likes white noise, then it will be even more beneficial to you. 

However, there may be some circumstances that you might want to be aware of before immediately sleeping with your dehumidifier next to you. 

Today we will be addressing whether or not sleeping with your dehumidifier can be beneficial, harmful, or essentially non-impactful.

What is a Dehumidifier?

Before we dive deep into this, let’s chat about what a dehumidifier is for those who may not be too familiar with this delightful little device. 

At its most base definition, a dehumidifier is a machine that takes excess moisture from the air. It actively reduces your home’s (or any other location you have one active in) humidity level. 

A dehumidifier stabilizes it for the benefit of keeping any potential unwelcome guests like bugs and the like at bay and serves as a health benefit to boot. 

A dehumidifier can stabilize humidity within your home which actively combat mold from forming in your walls and make the area free of other potentially harmful allergens.

Now that we’ve gotten a decent grasp of what a dehumidifier is and its functions, we’ll move forward with the topic at hand. We will also delve into whether or not it is good to sleep with your unit running or if the process in itself can be more harmful than good.

Is it Good to Sleep With a Dehumidifier?

Putting your best foot forward, we will lead with the question at hand. 

The answer is based entirely on a few precise instances. You’ll want to strike the perfect medium between using your dehumidifier appropriately and not overdoing it so much so that you leave the air stagnant and dry. 

Example 1: 

If you worked with the ideology that you planned on utilizing the dehumidifier in a circumstance that allows it to do its job without removing too much moisture from the air, then yes. In that case, you can sleep with the dehumidifier on.

Example 2:

Whether or not this is beneficial to you is, as we said, an open-ended variable. If your house had an overall humidity level above 50%, you would want to sleep with it to reduce the chances of mold growing in your home. Keeping it on improves the overall air quality by association as well.

Example 3: 

On the other hand, running your unit overnight may allow the opposite to happen. Suppose your home is already at that perfect humidity level of roughly 30-40% in the cold season and 30-50% in the warmer seasons. 

In that case, it can welcome bugs that prefer lower moisture levels. The same might be said of mold and other allergens.

Can You Leave a Dehumidifier On All Night?

Technically you can leave a dehumidifier on all night. However, you want to make sure you are getting the most out of your unit and not overusing it to the point where you or the device itself are suffering from the act. 

Built-in On & Off Switch

Modern dehumidifiers come with built-in humidistats that allow you to set the level of humidity you want to achieve while it is on. Utilizing this, you can ensure you aren’t overusing your unit.

Another benefit most dehumidifiers have would be the built-in off switch that will turn your unit on when the room or house’s humidity levels have met. 

This feature is an absolute must-have when shopping for your next dehumidifier. Not only will it save you money, but it removes any of the potential adverse side effects of leaving your unit on overnight.

Noise Levels

One final thing to consider is the overall noise level emitted from your unit as it works its magic throughout your household. 

In some instances, the device itself isn’t very loud. Still, suppose you traditionally turn your lights off throughout your home and have it nearly wholly silent. 

In that case, it will make audible noise, so if you are a light sleeper, having your dehumidifier on overnight may be a rather complicated subject.

How Can a Dehumidifier Help Me Sleep Better?

Dehumidifiers can most definitely help you sleep better, especially if you suffer from any of the following:

  • Numerous reactions to harmful allergens
  • Sweat rather intensely during your slumber
  • You cannot seem to get comfortable. 

A dehumidifier can prove to be just the solution you are looking for.

People who have a hard time breathing at night would gain an increased sense of security knowing that the dehumidifier will be making the air lighter.

The dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air and, by association, makes it easier to breathe and less weighty on your lungs.

Another way a dehumidifier can help you sleep is that it will help you not to sweat. If you are a person who wakes up drenched in sweat, then you no longer need to worry about this issue. 

Their newfound friend, the dehumidifier, will help drastically. Thus, reducing the likelihood of them sweating at all and allowing their air conditioner to work more efficiently by the same token.

Where is the Best Place for the Dehumidifier?

Finding out the perfect place for your dehumidifier can be a touchy subject. Having good placement is due in no small part. Thanks to its position, having a massive impact on how well it functions and the amount of effort required from your unit to achieve the same result. 

Placement in the Corner of the Room

If you were to place your unit in the corner of a room, the unit would struggle to pull air from the furthest reaches of the house. The dehumidifier would then work twice as hard, attempting to lower the overall humidity of your home. It is especially true if you want to dehumidify your entire home. 

Placement in the Middle of the Room

On the other side, if you placed your unit directly in the middle of the house, it could easily regulate the airflow and handle the job much more quickly and efficiently. Having a dehumidifier in the middle of your home or room saves you time and money.

Make Sure Not to Cover Anything

Suppose the dehumidifier is backed into a wall. In that case, you may be covering one of the many exhaust ports or fans. Having these fans covered can disrupt the unit’s airflow and cause the same amount of struggle as if you had crammed it into the corner of your house.

Ideally, the perfect spot for you to place your dehumidifier would be in the center of your home, with roughly six inches of space on all sides of your unit. Having this will guarantee it has ample room in both directions and takes in air from all areas. 

Be sure that when you are placing your unit in the ultimate spot, you make sure it isn’t a trip hazard. Having a humid-free household means nothing if you put yourself into the hospital trying to get a drink of water during the night!

Source of Humidity

Whether we are conscious of it or not, a few constants in our lives generate quite a substantial amount of humidity in our homes. These things may be the following:

  • Showering
  • Cooking
  • Having household plants within your home
  • Drying clothes
  • Washing dishes with warm water
  • Other daily activities

Example 1: Showering

When you shower, the constant stream of steam coming from your bathroom will gradually cause the humidity level of your house to rise. 

The moisture then caps itself out when you open the bathroom door afterward and release the gust of hot, humid air throughout the house. 

You can partially mitigate this by having a fan pointed towards the door when you open it

Another option is to have the window in your bathroom slightly cracked when you are showering, assuming you have one in the first place, that is.

Example 2: Cooking

We all have to cook food to eat. The heat coming from the oven and the vapors from food cooking increase the humidity and showering. 

However, most stove/oven setups have built-in fans above them to eliminate or at the very least combat this excess heat build-up. 

Doing so will make cooking more enjoyable and better distribute the aromas throughout your home. Generally speaking, it is a benefit unless you are making something that smells pleasant.

Example 3: Household Plants

Household plants make this list primarily because they do generate a certain amount of heat among themselves. 

Keeping plants in the home may be negligible to some people. However, if you are a collector of plants, make sure to open your windows before going to bed to bed routinely make the house a bit less humid.

You will want to make sure your dehumidifier is stationed very close to any of these points of interest if they are more pertinent to you.

Above all, keeping your unit in the center of your home while appealing to these other causes will ensure your home remains humid-free for the most amount of time. Keeping your house humid-free grants you better sleep by association. 

Size of the Room

As a general rule of thumb, the larger the size of your room, the harder it is to lower its humidity. By association, you will need a dehumidifier big enough to handle the job. Not all dehumidifiers are built equal. 

They come in a large variety of sizes, with builds primarily geared at one or two different purposes in most cases. 

As such, you must take the time to measure the size of the room you are putting your unit in. You’ll also want to check to see the maximum capacity your dehumidifier can handle.

Finding out the exact size needed for your home boils down to the following:

  • The size of the room, which usually measures in square feet.
  • The average humidity of the room, which you can find out with a hygrometer.
  • The temperature of the room itself.

These three factors break down the basic knowledge required to purchase a perfect dehumidifier for you and your home. 

Keep the Airflow Going

Controlling the airflow of your home is an absolute must. That is if you want to make the most of your dehumidifier, relieve some stress on the unit, and increase its lifespan. 

Now you may be asking yourself, what can I handle, something as flippant as airflow? The answer is relatively simple, which is by using fans.

When you use a fan, you are redirecting air to a specific location, in this case being wherever the fan itself is pointed. 

Suppose you set a fan at the end of your home and tell it at a doorway leading towards where you’ve placed your dehumidifier. 

In that case, you’ve created a tight little current that will carry humid air from that room directly towards your unit and made the process much faster by that same understanding.

Considering the above, the next logical step would be strategically placing a few fans around your home, preferably at the opposite ends of your home, pointing inward. What you will accomplish is:

  • Accelerate the process entirely.
  • Save yourself some money.
  • Guarantee your dehumidifier gets the job done faster. It would have taken much longer without fans than with them, meaning you managed to work towards your goal more quickly!

Where is the Best Placement for a Dehumidifier in a Bedroom?

Traditionally speaking, you wouldn’t want to put a dehumidifier directly in your bedroom because bedrooms aren’t particularly prone to being excessively humid. 

Still, one key factor can rearrange that entire structure. Suppose you happen to have cracks around your window or damaged windows themselves.

The humidity from outside can waltz directly into your bedroom and dramatically change the overall moisture levels in your home. 

To combat this, you would want to purchase a dehumidifier that can not only control this issue but do so in a manner that isn’t drying out the entire house by association. For that, you’d want to purchase a unit that is relatively smaller and would only indeed affect your bedroom. 

As discussed above, a few variables to keep in mind with this setup would be that your dehumidifier needs room to get proper airflow. The tank of your dehumidifier will eventually fill with water and need to be emptied at some point. 

This in itself is inevitable, so don’t make the chore itself more taxing than it has to be. Position your dehumidifier so that it can be handle with relative ease.

However, take time to ensure the unit itself isn’t near any electronics that the dehumidifier can damage in the event of a spill or leak.

Pros & Cons

Advantages & Disadvantages of a Dehumidifier

Undeniably there is a wide array of pros and cons to anything we can do in life, and making use of a dehumidifier is in no way an exception to this rule. Below you can see a graph of the pros and cons of using one in your home and whether or not it is beneficial to sleep with one knowing these possibilities.

PROSCONS
Creates healthy environmentsYou have to stay hydrated
May help control asthmaIt makes the air dryer
Reduces allergy signsSome health conditions may worsen, like pneumonia or dry coughs.

PROS:

1. Creates Healthy Environments

Controlling the tide of unwanted allergens, lightening moisture levels in the air, and fighting off mold infestations mean your home will be a more healthy place to level in. 

It makes sure you are more comfortable with the effort involved in setting it up, leading to a much more pleasant sleeping experience.

2. May Control Asthma

A higher quality of air in itself can potentially reduce the amount of effort required for your lungs to supply air to your body. It helps control asthma and prevent potential attacks from occurring. 

Dehumidifiers helping to control asthma has not been scientifically proven yet, but it is worth mentioning. 

3. Reduces Allergy Signs

Dehumidifiers function as make-shift air purifiers, drastically reducing allergic signs and reactions. 

Because they are running air in your home through a series of filters, dehumidifiers remove dust and other unwanted particles and allergens from the air. 

CONS:

1. You Need to Drink Water

Since dehumidifiers remove humidity from the air, it stands to reason that the newfound lack of moisture can make the air we breathe drier. 

Dehumidifiers require us to personally be more active in consuming water to remain hydrated throughout the night. If you aren’t a clumsy person, you can keep a glass of water on your nightstand. Otherwise, you can use a cup that contains a lid on it. 

Make sure to have one ready before bed each night in your refrigerator so you can get your nightly sip of water and go back to a peaceful slumber.

2. The Air Gets Drier

As we mentioned above, dehumidifiers do indeed make the air drier and require you to combat that appropriately. 

This may mean extra effort to hydrate yourself. Some examples being using different conditioners to keep your hair from fraying too much or even utilizing skin lotions to keep your skin from drying out and flaking.

3. Some Health Issues May Worsen

You may suffer from having a dehumidifier overnight, to the extent that you may want to consider leaving it off or not having one in the first place. 

Of course, this depends entirely on what you have going on in your personal life and your overall health condition. 

If you are unsure if it is safe to have one on in your home, it’s always wise to consult with your doctor and see if your condition or medication can have complications with arid air.

Final Word

Utilizing dehumidifiers when you are sleeping is safe. It can be highly beneficial, assuming you don’t have pre-existing medical conditions that can be harmful to you in the long run. 

If you want to sleep with your unit on, be sure that it has the built-in off switch so that your team turns itself off when the desired humidity level has been hit. Having an off switch ensures nothing terrible can befall you in your slumber.

Sources

Photo of author

Hubert Miles

I've been conducting home inspections for 17 years. I'm a licensed Home Inspector, Certified Master Inspector (CMI), and FHA 203k Consultant. I started HomeInspectionInsider.com to help people better understand the home inspection process and answer questions about homeownership and home maintenance.
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