My Sinuses Have Never Been Happier Thanks To This Chic Humidifier

Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa
When I reached the end of my twenties, a funny thing happened. I not only got better at using an eye cream, but I also woke up one day and decided I needed a humidifier for my apartment. New York winters are notoriously cold and dry, and I would constantly wake up with my throat feeling tight and parched. I'd constantly wonder if I had come down with a cold. (This was especially fun during the height of the pandemic.) 
I own a Dyson humidifier that, due to the larger size and the fact that I couldn’t afford a second one, I kept in my living room. That still left me looking for a humidifier for my bedroom, and after dalliances with relatively inexpensive ones sourced on Amazon, I think I’ve found the one.  
World, meet Carepod. Founded in 2021 by dentist Dr. Hyung Joo Kim, DDS Carepod is on a mission to simplify and elevate the experience of using a humidifier at home. “Through my medical expertise, I’ve always known that dry, indoor air can lead to infections, sore throats, dehydrated skin, and other ailments,” he shares on the brand’s origin story page. Sound familiar?
The brand generously offered to send me a Carepod One (its signature model) to try, and I was instantly a fan of the minimal, easily recyclable packaging. The instruction booklet was super easy to follow (no IKEA stick figures here!), and after maybe five minutes, it was up and running. I filled the stainless steel tank with filtered water from my fridge and popped it right into the base. Including the tank, the Carepod only has a total of three pieces to take apart, making it super easy to clean and — here’s the kicker — sanitize. Because the inner part of the lid and the bowl are metal, you can actually boil them to get them good as new. The same can't be said for plastic.
Photo: Courtesy of Karina Hoshikawa
While I love a high-tech home buy as much as the next gal, Carepod’s simple interface features a three-button console that makes it super easy to change the intensity of the mist and automatic timer. This is a standard function with most, if not all, humidifiers, but usually, there are also a lot of bells and whistles, too. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be overwhelming to have a lot of features when your primary goal is to simply hydrate your nasal passages.
The product description says that the Carepod is ideal for rooms up to 500 square feet (which is bigger than my bedroom, but good to know), and while I probably could've put it anywhere, I set it up towards the foot of my bed to ensure adequate coverage while I snooze. Aside from a relaxing hum of cool mist, the Carepod is super quiet and aesthetically gorgeous. There’s no filter inside, which is great if you, like me, tend to forget to purchase replacement filters. 
After getting it set up, I turned it on a four-hour timer while I worked during the day. I refilled the tank before bed to make sure it would be full enough to run while I slept, put a T-shirt over the top to block out the light on the control panel, and hopped into bed. Now, a rock concert couldn't wake me up once I'm conked out, but even a light sleeper (like my fiancé) was able to get a good night's sleep as the Carepod ran overnight. When I woke up the next morning, I did feel like my throat and sinuses felt normal (i.e. not begging for water), but my skin felt more or less the same. (Perhaps with extended use, I'd notice a difference in that department?)
At $250 (or currently on sale for $222), it’s not inexpensive by any means, but is more affordable than many other upscale home humidifiers. However, what makes Carepod a game-changer in my book is that it's resistant to mold and bacteria due to its stainless steel components. (By contrast, I've had to scrub lily pads off plastic tanks too many times to count.) All in all, this tiny-but-mighty humidifier has become the total apartment upgrade I needed in my life — and one that I hope to have for many years to come.
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