how to test humidity without hygrometer

Hygrometer can help you check humidity levels, but learning how to test humidity without hygrometer is an important skill to learn.

Humidity is basically the amount of moisture in the air and it has a big impact on our everyday lives and how comfortable we feel in our surroundings.

Not maintaining a balance can lead to health issues and other problems, but how to check humidity levels without hygrometer.

Well, turns out, you have many options to consider.

Various methods can be used to test humidity without a Hygrometer. This includes the wet bulb/dry bulb method, the ice cube method, using a hair hygrometer, and observing natural indicators.

How to Test Humidity without Hygrometer?

testing humidity without hygrometer

Sure, before we get into how to measure humidity without a device, let us first talk about what humidity is and how we usually measure it.

Humidity is basically how much water vapor is in the air. It is measured as a percentage.

Although professional humidity measuring devices, such as hygrometers, offer the most precise measurements, you can try alternative approaches as well.

Fact: Relative Humidity (RH) is a really common way to measure how much moisture is in the air compared to how much it can hold at a certain temperature. 

Simple Ways to Check Humidity Without Hygrometer

simple ways to check humidity without hygrometer

You can try different techniques to measure humidity, but the effectiveness of these techniques may vary a lot.

It is based on the observation and analysis of the reactions of different objects or phenomena to fluctuations in moisture levels.

Below are a few popular strategies that you can employ: 

Try The Ice Cube Method

try the ice cube method

By following this straightforward technique, you can obtain a fundamental understanding of the humidity levels within your indoor environment.

 Just a glass of water and a couple of ice cubes are all that you will require.

Here is what to do:

  • Begin by placing a couple of ice cubes into the glass of water.
  • Leave it there and wait patiently.
  • Check the glass after five minutes.
  • Notice how the moisture develops on the glass.
  • Humidity levels are high if moisture accumulates or trickles down the glass.
  • Humidity levels are low if no condensation takes place.
Important Consideration

It is advisable to exit the room once you have set the glass with ice cubes, as the outcomes can also be influenced by air currents caused by your motion.

Fact: Avoid conducting the experiment in the kitchen, as the presence of cooking fumes may affect the accuracy of the outcomes. 

Make a Hair Hygrometer

make a hair hygrometer

Using a hair hygrometer is a time-honored technique for estimating humidity levels. It works just fine in the absence of a real hygrometer.

The utilization of human or animal hair as a natural hygrometer is a part of this process.

The length of hair can change due to its ability to absorb and release moisture in accordance with variations in humidity.

Before going ahead, you should get a single strand of either human or animal hair, a small object with weight (such as a paperclip), and a secure spot to fasten the hair.

Here is how to proceed: 

Select an Appropriate Place

Select a specific area within the room or surrounding environment where you would like to assess the level of humidity.

One possible location where you might anticipate fluctuations in humidity is in areas like adjacent to a window or within a bathroom

Use the Hair Strand Properly
use the hair strand properly

Securely fasten one end of the hair strand to a designated spot in the selected area.

While doing so, you need to ensure that the hair is firmly pulled taut and devoid of any bends or turns

Secure the Weight

Next up, you should fasten a lightweight object, like a paperclip, to the loose part of the hair.

It is essential because it helps keep the hair straight, which is of immense importance.  

Notice the Length of the Hair
notice the length of the hair

Allow the hair to remain untouched for a considerable duration, ideally a few hours or throughout the night.

Throughout this period, the hair will soak up or emit moisture, resulting in its expansion or contraction

Assess the Change in Length

Once the specified duration has elapsed, meticulously gauge the hair’s length. Assess it against the original length.

When the hair becomes longer, it signifies increased humidity levels, whereas a shorter length implies decreased humidity. 

An Important Consideration
method hair hygrometer

The hair hygrometer offers a comparative assessment of humidity, rather than providing an exact numerical reading.

Utilize the alterations in length as a general gauge of moisture levels, acknowledging that the precision might differ.

Fact: You need to be ready to perform the hair hygrometer measurement a few times to get a more precise reading.   

Try the Salt and Thermometer Method

try the salt and thermometer method

Yet another straightforward method entails crafting a basic moisture gauge utilizing readily available items found within your household.

Here is how to use the salt and thermometer method when you do not have any hygrometer with you:

  • Take a large bowl.
  • Combine several tablespoons of salt and a modest quantity of water.
  • Mix well until a slushy texture forms.
  • Position this blend in a specific corner within a chamber.
  • Now, place a temperature measuring device adjacent to it.
  • Consider the temperature difference to check the humidity levels.

Salt functions as a desiccant by absorbing moisture from the atmosphere. As it happens, the temperature surrounding the mixture decreases.

By conducting a comparison between the temperature in the vicinity of the salt mixture and the existing ambient temperature, you can learn about the level of humidity.   

Use The Dew Point Method

use the dew point method

The temperature at which the air becomes saturated, resulting in the condensation of moisture into dew or frost, is known as the dew point.

By examining the development of dew or frost on various objects, such as windows or blades of grass, you can get a better idea about the humidity levels.

It is important to consider that this technique is most effective when the temperature is near the dew point.

Here is what to do: 

Pick an Observation Spot

Opt for a specific location where you can conveniently observe various surfaces, such as windows, grass, or other objects that are openly exposed to the atmosphere. 

Track Temperature
track temperature

Verify the weather forecast or employ a thermometer to ascertain the present temperature.

Conducting the observation near the dew point temperature holds significant importance. 

Look for Signs of Condensation

Throughout the designated observation period, thoroughly inspect the selected surfaces. Look for any noticeable signs of dew or frost formation.

Dew is visible as minuscule water droplets on various surfaces, whereas frost manifests as a coating of icy crystals. 

Analyze the Findings
analyze the findings

By observing the presence or absence of condensation, you can determine whether the humidity levels are relatively elevated or diminished.   

Important Factors to Consider

When using this method, keep a record of the temperature during the observation and also note if there is any condensation and its degree.

Increased levels of condensation are indicative of elevated levels of humidity.

Also, keep in mind that the occurrence of dew or frost can also be affected by elements like breeze, shadow, and nearby microenvironments.

Consider these factors when analyzing the observations.

Fact: It is important to conduct the observation on distinct days and in diverse locations within the identical environment to get accurate readings.   

Use the Wet Bulb and Dry Bulb Method

wet bulb and dry bulb method

The wet bulb/dry bulb method is a traditional approach utilized for approximating humidity, commonly utilized in the field of meteorology.

You require two thermometers for this task: one with a dry bulb and another with a wet bulb. Begin by encasing the wet bulb thermometer in a moist fabric or sock.

Now, expose it to the surrounding atmosphere. Take the measurement.

The process of moisture evaporation from the damp fabric results in the cooling of the wet bulb thermometer, leading to a decrease in its temperature.

Using either a psychrometric chart or an online calculator, you can determine the relative humidity by analyzing the temperature discrepancy between the dry bulb and wet bulb thermometers. 

Observe the Nature

observe the nature

The natural world frequently offers visual indicators that can provide a general idea of humidity levels.

For instance, specific flora or moss tend to flourish in moist surroundings, thus their existence and state can suggest elevated levels of humidity.

Similarly, the behavior of creatures and bugs can offer valuable perspectives.

For instance, ants typically exhibit increased activity levels in environments with elevated humidity.


How to test humidity without hygrometer? It is true that accurate humidity measurement necessitates specialized devices.

But, there exist several approaches to approximate humidity levels in the absence of such equipment.

However, it is crucial to acknowledge that these techniques offer comparative assessments only.

So, consider purchasing a specialized humidity measuring device if you need accurate humidity data for specific purposes.