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Living in a home with air that’s too dry can exacerbate health conditions, such as eczema, sinusitis, and GERD. It can also cause your skin to become overly dry.
Air that’s too dry is just plain uncomfortable when it comes to sleeping, too. A humidifier can be a simple fix for making your home healthier and more comfortable.
There are many different types of humidifiers available. If you buy a humidifier that’s too large for your space, you may create too much moisture and an environment where mold or bacteria can grow more easily. Too small and you may not get the humidity level you need.
We’ve chosen some of the best warm and cool mist humidifiers you can buy at a wide range of price points.
We looked at the following features:
- noise level
- how easy each unit is to clean
- vapor output settings
- safety features
We also checked out user reviews, manufacturer’s warranties, and manufacturing practices.
Humidifiers have a very large price range. Some cost as little as $5 for some portable models, while whole-house models can be $800 or more.
The units on this list are reasonably priced and within the middle range of what’s on the market. We’ve indicated the price range for each unit as follows:
- $ (between $25 and $49)
- $$ (between $50 and $100)
- $$$ (between $101 and $300)
For a moderately priced humidifier, the Levoit has a ton of bells and whistles. It has a large capacity tank that’s able to hold 1.5 gallons of water. This makes it a good choice for a larger room that’s around 750 square feet.
Here are some other benefits:
Warm or cool mist. It can produce both cool and warm mist, making it a viable option for year-round use.
Easy controls. An easy-to-read touch control panel with remote control capability lets you monitor and change your environment’s humidity level. There’s also an automatic option that chooses for you.
Easy cleanup. This humidifier is quiet and super easy to clean.
Ready for essential oils. If you love the scent of essential oils, you’ll enjoy the attached essential oil diffuser.
If you have a small room, there are better options out there, but if you have a large space, this humidifier will give you a significant bang for your buck.
Aprilaire’s 700 Model is built domestically. It can disperse up to 18 gallons of water daily, humidifying a tightly built home of up to 4,200 square feet. A built-in fan pulls heated air directly from your furnace and adds moisture to it before disbursement. This unit doesn’t require a drain to operate.
You can choose between a manual or automatic control type. An outdoor temperature sensor is included. Many users find that this unit can bring their home up to around 35 percent humidity. Some people found it easy to install, while others indicated they wanted to call in the pros.
Considerations: This humidifier installs directly into your home’s HVAC system. You may opt to install it yourself or hire a professional. An HVAC or ducted humidifier may mean additional time or money on top of the price of the unit. If you want to raise overall humidity in your whole home, you may want to talk with an HVAC contractor to discuss options.
For a medium-sized, compactly designed unit, this humidifier has a significant amount of staying power. It’s ideal for small rooms.
It has a 3/4 gallon tank and can keep going for 12 to 24 hours depending on the setting. Users like the adjustable mist output function and the 360-degree rotating nozzle. A no-slip handle makes it easy to lift and transport from room to room.
It’s also super easy to clean, thanks to a very large opening on top. Other features include an automatic shutoff and a red LED light that lets you know when the unit is close to empty.
Considerations: The water tank will likely need to be refilled daily. Some users found it wasn’t as quiet as they would have liked, while others said it made noise after a few months of use.
If you want something simple, you might love this easy-to-use, one-button, cool mist humidifier. It has a 1.5-liter tank, making it perfect for small to medium-sized rooms. It has a small, compact design, plus it’s ultra quiet.
Since it has an automatic shutoff feature when the tank gets low and a nightlight, it’s perfect for children’s rooms, office spaces, and bedrooms.
Considerations: One drawback is the small tank opening, which makes it hard to clean. However, it does come with a long-handled scrubbing brush that’ll make it easier for most users.
In addition to a large 1-gallon tank and a 24-hour low-mist output, this unit uses ultraviolet technology to eliminate spores, bacteria, and fungi.
This humidifier is really quiet and reported to be very easy to clean. An automatic output control feature helps you determine the best humidity level for your room. It’s perfect for large bedrooms, living rooms, and office spaces.
Considerations: A replaceable filter that traps hard water minerals also helps keep the water clean and reduce the chances of microbial growth.
As its name implies, this unit can be used with Vicks VapoSteam, which may provide the feeling of respiratory relief when you’re congested.
This humidifier kills 95 percent of all forms of water-borne bacteria on either of the two mist settings. A 1-gallon tank lets you humidify large rooms for up to 24 hours.
Considerations: It’s filter-free for easier cleaning, but it should be cleaned regularly to avoid mineral crusts and buildup.
Also find VapoSteam online.
Apart from the Levoit, this TaoTronics model is another option if you want a humidifier that can create both warm and cool mist.
One of the best things about this smartly designed humidifier is its large top filler. It also has a detachable tank and an easy-grip, built-in handle to make filling it a lot easier.
A large capacity tank of 5.5 liters lets you run it for the better part of a weekend — up to 45 hours — plus a large digital readout tells you at a glance what humidity level you’ve set the unit to. A special sleep mode setting disables all sounds and lights.
Considerations: A mineral absorption pad is also included for easier cleaning, though it needs to be replaced regularly to make use of that feature.
We narrowed down our picks to two personal humidifiers:
- One is marketed for keeping your face dewy and moisturized.
- The other, our best budget pick, is sold as an essential oil diffuser.
Both of them add moisture into the air of a small area.
Hey Dewy’s portable humidifier is compact and quiet enough to use on airplanes, trains, and other public spaces.
It’s powered by a USB cable that you can plug into a computer, car, or other USB ports for added humidity on the go. Designed for close use, it’s perfect for personal space and can run for about 10 hours.
Considerations: Note that the Hey Dewey diffuser isn’t meant for essential oils.
Best budget pick
URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser
Perfect for traveling or for humidifying your tiny office, this URPOWER diffuser is compact, portable, and effective as a humidifier. It holds 100 mL of water and can run for about 6 hours straight, plus it has an automatic shutoff.
Considerations: It’s designed to diffuse essential oils, though it’s easy to use without them.
- Price: Less than $20
- Find it online.
Humidifiers vary significantly in price, but their cost is often associated with added features and size rather than efficiency. Don’t let cost be the only factor you consider.
- Look for a warranty and be comfortable with the brand. Only purchase a humidifier from a trusted manufacturer, and look for a warranty of at least 1 year.
- Pick a cool mist humidifier. If you’re planning on using your humidifier in a nursery or children’s room, avoid getting a warm mist unit, as these can pose a burning hazard if they tip or leak.
- Check room and humidifier size. Make sure to take the size of your room into account. If you get a unit that’s too large, you might make your living environment overly humid. This can increase the growth of allergens such as mold and dust mites, which can trigger asthma or allergies. A too-small unit may not be able to adequately humidify your air.
- Turn it on and listen. Some units are noisy, while others are close to completely silent. If you currently use a white-noise machine, a noisier unit may be beneficial for you. If you need silence, test the unit’s noise level on all settings before you buy.
- Get a humidifier that you can easily maintain. Units that are hard to clean should be nonstarters.
A couple of things to consider when it comes to cleaning:
- How many parts does the unit have?
- What size is the opening for the water tank?
- Does it have accessories or consumables that’ll need to be replaced, such as a filter, wick, or absorbent pad?
Consider cool mist around kids
Warm mist humidifiers may be more comfortable for some people to use in cold weather. Even so, warm mist humidifiers aren’t recommended for nurseries or use around small children, as they might tip over and cause a burning risk.
Use distilled water
Humidifiers stay cleaner for longer if you use distilled water rather than tap water, especially if you have hard water. That’s because tap water contains minerals that can form crusts in your unit.
Clean it often
No matter what type of water you use, maintaining your humidifier is important. Humidifiers can grow mold, spores, and bacteria if they’re not cleaned regularly. Since units vary, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your unit.
Try a timer
Humidifiers are safe to run while you’re asleep. However, many come with automatic timers, so you can set them to shut off during the night.
Humidifiers can make your home’s air more comfortable. They’re available in a wide range of prices. Before you buy, decide if you want a cool or warm mist humidifier.
Also, make sure to purchase a unit that has the features you want and is easy to clean.