Peng Shui

We’re going to talk consumer home products today, because I have a story to tell, and a recommendation to make.

Slate had an interesting article today where they reviewed a number of warm mist, cool mist, and ultrasonic humidifiers.

This topic is of interest to me because I bite my lips. And so, every winter, when the heaters kick on, the air dries out, and then my lips dry out, and then I have to walk around for a month with dry, cracked lips. I recently did the same analysis of humidifiers as did Slate, and came to a different conclusion as to the best possible product.

Most of the humidifiers Slate looked at were fairly high-end, like this Honeywell 3-gallon model. The idea, I suppose, is as follows: you have some friends over for a wine and cheese party after the Obama fundraiser at The Bedding Works, an avant-garde gallery located in an up-and-coming, if still a bit rough, neighborhood. After serving the last of the macchiatos and bidding farewell to most of the guests, it’s just you and that one special person you’ve been hoping to spend some time alone with. The one with the chunky glasses, and the half-cynical, half-naive bowl haircut that looks boyish, yet somehow feminine. Their day job is in graphic design, but their real passion is for community outreach. God. How I hate both of you.

Well, anyway, you and your new friend have a few drinks, and one thing leads to another, and the next thing you know you’ve stumbled into the bedroom, where your new hipster paramour takes one look at your distinctly downmarket humidifier and realizes that, well, maybe you’re just not a very good match. Slate’s plan for avoiding this problem is to drop $100 or more on a humidifier with good “feng shui.” That’s one way to do it, I guess.

My solution to this problem is to buy a penguin-shaped humidifier. The ad copy calls it “adorable”, and I am here to tell you it does not lie. It’s ultrasonic, quite quiet, dirt cheap, and easy to clean. Most importantly, every time I walk into the room and see it, I involuntarily get a smile on my face. Call it peng shui.

It doesn’t come with a filter, but I’ve been using filtered water and am very happy with the results as-is. My lips are no longer dry.

I suppose it’s possible there are people who would be annoyed by this humidifier’s level of kitsch, but I think its modern lines and clever industrial design obviate that. Besides, you don’t really want to be friends with people who don’t like penguins, anyway.

Personal to bbum: For just a little extra cash, you can get a Hello Kitty humidifier instead. But I think the penguin is cuter.