Best Humidity Level for Sleeping in Winter

Have you ever wondered why you might toss and turn on some winter nights, finding it near impossible to get that much-needed rest? Ever woken up with a dry mouth and a sore throat, chapped lips, or a stuffy nose during the cold season, leaving you puzzled and irritated? It could very well be that the humidity level in your room is not optimized for a good night’s sleep.

In this article, I’m going to walk you through the Best Humidity Level for Sleeping in Winter. So, let’s find out what the ideal humidity level for a restful winter sleep is, and how we can make sure it’s just right.

What is a Humidity Level

Humidity is all about water vapor – an invisible gas that’s mixed in with the air we breathe. It’s important to understand that air isn’t just ’empty’ – it’s a mixture of different gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and yes, water vapor.

The humidity level is a way of expressing how much of that water vapor is present in the air at any given moment. It can be measured in several ways, but the most common is relative humidity, expressed as a percentage.

Relative humidity tells us how close the air is to being fully ‘saturated’ with water vapor. If the relative humidity is 100%, the air is holding as much water vapor as it possibly can at its current temperature. This doesn’t mean the air is ‘made of water’ – but it does mean there’s no room left for more vapor. On the flip side, if the relative humidity is 0%, the air is completely dry, with no water vapor at all.

But here’s where it gets interesting. As the air gets warmer, it can hold more water vapor. That’s why on a hot day, even a small increase in water vapor can lead to a big drop in relative humidity. Similarly, when the air cools down, it can’t hold as much water vapor, so the relative humidity can increase, even if the amount of water vapor stays the same.

Best Humidity Level for Sleeping in Winter

Best Humidity Level for Sleeping in Winter

When winter comes, we often imagine a blanket of white snow, the cozy warmth of a heated room, and perhaps the holiday cheer. There’s another element of winter that we don’t often consider – the dryness of the air.

But how does this affect our sleep, and what is the ideal humidity level for catching some z’s during this time?

Winter Air

To comprehend the relationship between humidity and sleep in winter, it’s crucial first to grasp the unique characteristics of winter air. As temperatures drop, the air’s capacity to hold moisture decreases. Simply put, cold air is inherently drier than warm air. This dryness is often further amplified indoors, where heating systems may reduce humidity levels even more.

Humidity Range

Now that we understand why winter air can be so dry, let’s talk numbers. What is the ideal humidity level for a comfortable, restful winter sleep? In my opinion, 30% and 50% are the Best Humidity Level for Sleeping in Winter. This range is often recommended for a few key reasons:

  1. Comfort: This humidity range helps to keep our bodies comfortable throughout the night. Too low humidity can leave you feeling cold, as the dry air can accelerate the evaporation of moisture from your skin, making you feel cooler. On the other hand, too high humidity can make the air feel stuffy or overly heavy, which can be uncomfortable and disrupt sleep.
  2. Health: Maintaining an optimal humidity level is not only beneficial for comfort but for health as well. When the humidity is too low, it can dry out our skin, eyes, and respiratory passages, leading to discomfort or even health issues. Itchy skin, chapped lips, a dry throat, or a stuffy nose are common complaints in low-humidity conditions.
  3. Preventing Illness: Believe it or not, keeping your humidity in the 30% to 50% range can also help prevent the spread of some viruses and bacteria. Many germs struggle to survive in this humidity range, making it harder for winter bugs to spread.

Balancing Humidity for Better Sleep

So, how do you ensure that your sleeping environment stays within this ideal humidity range during winter? There are a few strategies you can use:

  • Use a Humidifier: This device adds moisture to the air, increasing the humidity in the room. It can be particularly useful in winter when indoor air tends to be very dry.
  • Monitor Humidity Levels: Use a hygrometer, a tool that measures the amount of humidity in the air. With this, you can check if the humidity in your sleeping area is within the ideal range.
  • Ventilate: Proper ventilation can help maintain the right balance of humidity in your home. Regularly opening windows for a short period can refresh the indoor air and balance its moisture levels.
  • Indoor Plants: Certain indoor plants can naturally increase the moisture content in the air through a process called transpiration. They can be a great natural solution to maintain the right humidity levels.

How to Reduce Humidity in Your Bedroom

Best Humidity Level for Sleeping in Winter

Ever felt that your room is just too damp? Maybe you’ve noticed condensation on your windows or a musty smell in the air. These are signs that you might have too much moisture in your room. But don’t fret, there are various ways to bring down that humidity level and make your room more comfortable.

Using a Dehumidifier

The first tool in your arsenal is a dehumidifier.

If you’re not familiar with these devices, they work in a somewhat similar way to air conditioners. A dehumidifier sucks in air from your room, removes the excess moisture, and then blows the drier air back out. Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works:

  1. The dehumidifier’s fan pulls in humid air from the room.
  2. This air passes over a cooling coil inside the dehumidifier. As the air cools, the moisture in the air condenses into water droplets.
  3. This water is collected into a container, which you’ll need to empty periodically. Some dehumidifiers even let you connect a hose to drain the water directly into a sink or out a window.
  4. The dehumidifier reheats the now-dry air and pushes it back out into the room.

Dehumidifiers come in various sizes, so you can choose one that’s suitable for the size of your room and the level of humidity you need to tackle.

Ventilating Your Room

Another simple yet effective way to reduce humidity is to ventilate your room. It’s as easy as opening a window. Doing this lets the moist air out and brings in fresh, drier air from outside. This can be particularly effective if the humidity outside is lower than it is inside your room.

Keep in mind, though, that this method is weather-dependent. On a rainy or particularly humid day, opening your window might actually increase the moisture level in your room. So, it’s best to use this strategy when the weather is dry.

Avoiding Indoor Drying of Clothes

Believe it or not, the way you dry your clothes can significantly affect the humidity level in your home. Wet clothes release a substantial amount of moisture into the air as they dry. So, if you’re used to drying your clothes indoors, particularly in your bedroom, you might want to reconsider. Excessively dry air can wreak havoc on your ability to sleep well.

How Can I Dehumidify My Room Naturally?

While gadgets like dehumidifiers are often effective, they may not always be the most desirable or accessible solution for everyone. Whether you’re looking for more eco-friendly methods or simply prefer natural solutions, there are indeed ways to reduce humidity naturally in your room.

Plants that Dehumidify your Room

It’s no secret that plants play a vital role in our ecosystem by producing oxygen, but did you know they can also help dehumidify your space? Some indoor plants are particularly skilled at absorbing moisture from the air through a process known as transpiration. Here are two plants known for their humidity-lowering abilities:

  1. Boston Ferns: These beautiful, feathery plants thrive in more humid environments and are great at sucking up moisture. Plus, they can be an attractive addition to your room décor.
  2. English Ivy: English ivy is another plant that can help manage humidity levels. It’s a fast-growing vine that can be trained onto a trellis or allowed to spill from a hanging basket, making it a versatile choice for many spaces.

Caring for these plants can also be a calming and rewarding hobby. Just remember that while these plants help absorb moisture, they also need to be watered and cared for to thrive.

Salt – A Humidity Absorber

Salt isn’t just a kitchen staple but a natural dehumidifier too. Thanks to its hygroscopic properties, salt can absorb moisture from the air. Here’s a simple way to use it:

  1. Fill a bowl or open container with rock salt or any other kind available.
  2. Place the bowl in the area where you want to reduce humidity.
  3. Over time, the salt will absorb moisture from the air and begin to dissolve. Once it’s fully dissolved, discard the salty water and refill the bowl with fresh salt.
Note - This method is low-cost, low-maintenance, and can be surprisingly effective, especially in smaller spaces like closets or bathrooms.

Fans – For Air Circulation

While fans don’t directly reduce humidity, they can help circulate the air in your room, which can make the air feel less damp and promote evaporation of any excess moisture. Whether it’s a ceiling fan, a portable fan, or a window fan, the added airflow can help you feel more comfortable. Fans can make the room feel cooler, so this may not be the best option during colder months.

Is It OK to Sleep with a Humidifier Every Night?

Now you might be wondering, “Can I sleep with a humidifier on all night?” The short answer is yes, you can. But, remember the golden range we talked about? Your humidity level should stay between 30% and 50%. If a humidifier helps maintain this without making the room too damp, it’s a good choice for those dry winter nights.

Does Humidity Make a House Colder in Winter?

Humidity can be a bit tricky. While high humidity can make a hot day feel hotter, it doesn’t quite work the same way in winter. When it’s cold, high humidity can make your house feel colder.

Water, including the moisture in the air, conducts heat away from the body faster than air does. When there’s high humidity inside your home during winter, the moisture in the air can accelerate the loss of heat from your body. This happens because the moisture on your skin and in your breath evaporates, a process that uses heat and hence makes you feel cooler.


I’ve really enjoyed our deep dive into the world of humidity and how it can impact our sleep, particularly when the winter cold sets in. It’s quite surprising, isn’t it? How something as common as air moisture can significantly affect whether we have a peaceful slumber or wake up feeling like we’ve been in a desert all night.

I’ve found that the golden zone for a good night’s rest sits between 30% and 50% humidity. Stray too far on either side, and our bodies start whispering (or sometimes shouting) that something isn’t right. We’ve also explored a variety of tricks to adjust that moisture balance in our favor, from techy devices like dehumidifiers to nature’s own solutions like particular plants, a simple bowl of salt, or just letting in some fresh air.

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Easy Sleep Guide

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