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Best Home Humidifiers Updated November 2018
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This evaporative home humidifier works well in large rooms and open floor plans. It’s the best home humidifier on the market for a whole-house treatment.
The 3-gallon tank runs 24 hours on low, but you can choose between 3 speed settings. It has automatic shut-off, an adjustable humidistat, and a wicking filter with evaporative technology.
It weighs 20 pounds but has wheels. Customers warn it’s not as quiet as promised and the rounded tops of the tanks are inconvenient to fill.
Cool Mist Humidifier
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This might be the most adjustable ultrasonic humidifier on our list.
An easy-to-read LED display with a built-in humidistat. Set it to the desired humidity level, choose from 3 mist levels, or set the 24-hour timer. It has a night-light, sleep mode, and auto shut-off feature.
Capacity is just a drop over 1 gallon. The microporous filter has to be replaced every 4 to 6 months.
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An evaporative humidifier with UV technology and a Protec cleaning ball for a healthy home.
Runs 24 hours on low without any visible mist. UV tech kills bacteria in water and a Protec cleaning ball keeps the tank clean. The reservoir has handles so you can carry it to the sink and fill it easily.
A 1-gallon tank with a somewhat noisy fan that’s difficult to clean. It’s not super energy-efficient either.
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This ultrasonic humidifier is best for bedrooms.
Use this silent humidifier overnight. It automatically shuts off and has a 360-degree nozzle to humidify the whole room. It even has an optional night light.
It has only 2 settings—high and low— and a 1.5-liter (0.3-gallon) tank.
Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 7146
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An ultrasonic travel humidifier for hotels or the office.
Pack this 1.3-pound humidifier in your carry-on. A travel bag is included as well as an adapter for water bottles from 0.5 liters to 17 ounces. One liter should last a full night’s sleep or an 8-hour shift at work.
Its unusual design isn’t for everyone. The indicator lights are also bright and might disturb you while you’re sleeping.
Are you constantly waking up to a dry nose and itchy throat? Have you needed more lotion and lip balm than usual? Do you dread checking into a hotel because of the dry air? A humidifier can help. We’ve found the best home humidifiers to get your house feeling like home again.
Home Humidifier Reviews Guide
Dry air can cause scratchy throats, cracked skin, and chapped lips. The ideal humidity level for a home to feel comfortable falls around the 40% range. Anything less than 30% can cause respiratory problems, enhance allergies, and make you more susceptible to illness.
On top of health concerns, low humidity can damage your house. Increased static electricity can damage electronic equipment, extremely dry air can soak up moisture from hardwood, making it separate at the seams, wallpaper can peel off the walls, and plants can shrivel up.
Locking the windows and cranking the heat in the winter reduces humidity even more, which makes a home humidifier a great holiday investment. If you’re ready to shop, we’ve compared the best humidifiers above.
If you need more info, we don’t blame you. Finding a just-right humidifier can be difficult without the proper information. Our reviews team at House Method read through thousands of humidifier reviews and created a comprehensive guide so you know exactly what to look for and what to expect when you buy a home humidifier.
Whole-house vs. room humidifiers
A whole-house humidifier is worth considering if you live in a dry climate where low humidity is a problem all year long. These evaporative systems are installed in multiple air ducts throughout your entire home. Air flows through a pad, which is moistened by a water pipe before it’s released as vapor into each room. Whole-house humidifiers don’t need to be refilled like low-capacity portable humidifiers do, but you will have to replace the water pads once a year. Unlike room humidifiers, whole-house systems are as quiet as your HVAC system and they’re energy-efficient.
Room humidifiers are free-standing, corded appliances. You can carry them from room to room and turn them on as needed. All five of the home humidifiers we reviewed are room humidifiers. They range from travel-size humidifiers for temporary relief to one-gallon units than can humidify a single room.
A whole-house humidifier is a home utility whereas a room humidifier is considered an appliance.”
Cool mist vs. warm mist humidifiers
In our research, we learned that there’s a method behind the moisture. Warm mist humidifiers kill bacteria, prevent mold growth within the machine, and raise the room temperature slightly. Pediatricians recommend cool mist humidifiers for family homes to prevent burns from hot steam. They’re more energy-efficient than warm mist humidifiers. Note: some produce a mineral build-up that could cause a layer of white dust to cover furniture—this dust isn’t harmful to your health and can be prevented by filling the humidifier with distilled water.
Best cool mist humidifierHONEYWELL HCM-6009
The Honeywell Cool Moisture Console is our top pick for a reason. Not only can it humidify a large space, it has a three-gallon tank that’s the largest on the list, so you won’t have to refill it as often. In fact, you won’t have to do much at all to keep this cool mist humidifier running. Set it to your desired humidity level and let it run on low for a full 24 hours. It’s an evaporative humidifier, so you won’t have to worry about white dust covering your living room furniture or any excess moisture condensing around your home.
Types of home humidifiers
Vaporizers: Electrodes vaporize water and hot steam is released.
Pros—Some vaporizers are designed to be compatible with medication, like Vicks or essential oils. These are sometimes effective in treating cold symptoms.
Cons—The hot steam could burn you or your child.
Impellers: A rotating disc sends water through a diffuser, which breaks water down into a mist.
Pros—Impellers can humidify large, dry rooms with mineral-free moisture.
Cons—They can create excess moisture due to thicker, fog-like mist.
Evaporation: A fan moves air through a wick or filter where water evaporates into the room.
Pros—They’re self-regulating, so you won’t risk adding too much moisture to the air.
Cons—The fan can be loud.
Ultrasonic: A metallic device vibrates to produce water droplets, which moisten the air.
Pros—Ultrasonic humidifiers are pretty silent, so they’re great to use in a bedroom overnight.
Cons—Output can be weak.
Best home humidifier for bedroomsPURE ENRICHMENT ULTRASONIC
The Pure Enrichment humidifier is the best humidifier for bedrooms because it’s totally silent. The optional nightlight is especially great for kids rooms. We love the 360-degree nozzle, which allows your entire bedroom to be humidified, and the targeted stream of mist that won’t leave your wallpaper, furniture, or carpet overly wet.
5 Major factors to consider
A one-gallon humidifier will work wonders in a bedroom or home office with low humidity. It’ll be lightweight enough to move from room to room without breaking a sweat. However, you’ll have to refill small humidifiers more often. A larger humidifier may be a pain to lug around, but it’s useful when you need wider coverage in a living room or open floor plan. They’re also fairly low-maintenance. Here are some general guidelines regarding tank size and coverage area.
< 1 gallon
< 500 square feet
500 square feet
530–600 square feet
700–800 square feet
A humidifier with a built-in humidistat, automatic shut-off feature, and timer will make your job much easier. Simply set your machine to the desired temperature, or for a certain amount of time, and let that baby run while you do your own thing. Some humidifiers have the capacity to run for 24 hours without a second glance from the user.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are the quietest humidifiers on the market, but their output is low. If you choose an evaporative humidifier, you’ll also experience loud noise from the fan within the machine. Look for an evaporative dehumidifier with multiple fan speeds, so you can adjust speeds based on the noise level you’re comfortable with.
A humidifier like the TaoTronics humidifier filters water before it’s released into the air. This sounds great, especially to us health nuts at House Method, except these types of humidifiers often require more maintenance. Due to the moist environment, mildew and minerals can build up on filters. You’ll have to replace them every few months, which will be a recurring expense.
Combined with your body temperature, a humidifier can actually save you some money from cranking up the heat in winter. Of course, humidifiers also use energy. Fortunately, they don’t use much. A standard humidifier costs four to 10 cents to run per hour.
The small cost of running a humidifier is offset by the amount you’ll save on energy bills in the winter. More humidity means additional heat.”
Best humidifier for hotel roomsBONECO TRAVEL COOL MIST ULTRASONIC HUMIDIFIER
Hotels are notorious for dry air that makes you wake up with a dry nose and itchy throat. Before you reach for a bigger bottle of lotion, look to the BONECO humidifier for your hotel humidity fix. This travel-sized humidifier takes up but a morsel of space in your suitcase. A water bottle acts as the reservoir on this tiny machine, which has an adapter for bottles of various sizes from 0.5 liters to 17 ounces. Set this tabletop humidifier up on the hotel nightstand, desk, or dresser and rest easy throughout the night.
How to humidify your home
Here are some natural ways to increase humidity to a comfortable level in your house.
Cultivate a green thumb—Well-watered houseplants can add moisture to the air through a process called transpiration. Keep vases with fresh cut flowers full of water and in a sunny spot to increase evaporation.
Hang laundry to dry—Wet clothes will moisten their surroundings and you’ll be able to use your dryer less.
Leave the door open while you shower—The hot steam will humidify your bedroom and bathroom.
Turn down the heat—As mentioned above, turning up the thermostat will only result in high heat and low humidity levels.
Switch to stovetop cooking—Ovens and microwaves dry out the air.
Zen out next to an indoor fountain—Ambiance plus humidity. It’s a win-win.
The Mayo Clinic recommends using distilled water in your humidifier, changing the water often, and cleaning the tank every three days. If your humidifier has a filter, remember to replace it every few months.”
Frequently asked questions
What is the best humidifier for a house?
The Honeywell Cool Moisture Console is the best humidifier for a house. With a high capacity of three gallons of water and the ability to run continuously on low for 24 hours, you’ll reach a large coverage area of 700–800 square feet. This humidifier is useful in open floor plans, living areas, and large bonus rooms.
What is the best bedroom humidifier?
The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic is the best bedroom humidifier. It operates silently and has an optional nightlight and a sleep mode designed for an uninterrupted, good night’s sleep.
What is the easiest humidifier to clean?
The Honeywell Germ-Free is the easiest humidifier to clean. UV technology kills 99.9% of bacteria in water before it’s expelled to the environment. It’s an evaporative humidifier, so water moves through an antimicrobial wicking filter that reduces the chance of mildew growth. A Protec cleaning ball also helps keep the tank clean. Another bonus: the reservoir is removable and has a wide opening, so you can easily refill and clean it at the sink.
Is cool mist or warm mist better?
Warm mist humidifiers are often compatible with medications and essential oils, so they may be more effective at treating cold and flu symptoms that persist in low humidity. However, a cool mist humidifier is recommended for family homes with children, since hot steam poses a burn risk.
Do cool mist humidifiers make the room cold?
Not usually. Cool mist humidifiers release mist at room temperature. In fact, a higher humidity level at home tends to feel warmer, which is why humidifiers are great to use in the winter.
Can a humidifier make you sick?
If you, a roommate, or a family member has asthma or allergies, ask your doctor before buying a humidifier. Humidifiers can often relieve respiratory issues, like a dry nose and itchy throat, but your doctor may be able to recommend one with a special filter or UV technology to kill bacteria. A dirty humidifier can make symptoms worse. Use distilled water in your humidifier, change the water often, and clean the tank every couple of weeks.