Best Baby Humidifiers

Updated March 2020
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
127 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best baby humidifiers

Last Updated March 2020

You want the healthiest, safest, and just plain best for your little ones, from the food they eat to the detergent used to launder their clothes to the shampoo that cleans their hair. But when it comes to keeping babies happy and healthy, some new parents forget about one of the most important factors of all: the air their baby breathes. Newborn skin is far more sensitive than yours, and your baby’s eyes, lungs, and nose are more prone to uncomfortable symptoms from dry air, including irritation, congestion, flaky patches, and chapped lips and skin. The solution is a humidifier.

For maximum comfort, indoor air should have a relative humidity of around 40% to 50%. Far too often, however, particularly in the winter, the humidity inside your home (and, most importantly, inside your baby’s room) is quite a bit lower than that. And that spells discomfort for everyone in your family, but most of all for your baby or toddler. 

Because we want the best for you and your baby, we’ve written this handy buying guide, complete with recommendations, to help you choose the best humidifier for your baby’s room.

Your baby will sleep more comfortably when the nursery’s humidity level is between 30% and 50%.

Key considerations

Types of humidifiers

There are three basic types of humidifier to choose from: cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic. Each has its pros and cons.

Cool mist humidifiers: These are the simplest type. Basically, a filter that serves as a wick absorbs water out of a reservoir. A small fan in the upper portion of the humidifier blows dry air across the soaked wick and then blows that air out into the room in the form of a fine, cool mist that effectively raises the humidity throughout the room. The filtered wick absorbs minerals and impurities from the water, resulting in pure water vapor.

This is the least expensive type of humidifier. And there is no potential for scalds or burns from hot water, an important consideration when choosing a humidifier for a baby’s room

On the downside, this type tends to be noisier than others. The filtered wick must be replaced regularly, generally every few months. This unit can make the room feel chilly, and the mist can dampen nearby furniture, flooring, or fabric. 

Warm mist humidifiers: Often called vaporizers, these have a small heating element in the water reservoir that boils the water, releasing steam into the room air. These silent devices don’t require a wicking filter because boiling eliminates any potential germ issues, and the steam is free of minerals or other impurities. However, due to the potential for burns, you should never use a warm mist humidifier in the bedroom of any baby old enough to crawl.

These units are very effective at increasing room humidity, which is helpful for nasal congestion and other conditions. And, unlike the cool mist humidifier, it won’t lower the air temperature in the room

On the downside, there is the potential for burns or scalds, especially if the unit is tipped over. This humidifier uses more energy than a cool mist unit. Also, mineral buildup in the reservoir can be a problem.

Ultrasonic humidifiers: This is the most high-tech version of these devices. High-frequency sound waves, which are inaudible to the human ear, create turbulence in the water reservoir, producing a fine mist. An internal fan blows the mist into the room. Many ultrasonic humidifiers have settings for both cool and warm mist, making them quite versatile. These humidifiers are energy efficient, very quiet, and don’t require a wicking filter.

On the downside, ultrasonic humidifiers do tend to create a white, powdery buildup of minerals on nearby flooring, furniture, or fabric, so it’s important to only use distilled water in these units. They’re best used in small rooms, and they are the most expensive type of humidifier.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Warm-mist humidifiers are not safe in the bedroom of any baby who is old enough to crawl or walk.

Features

Once you’ve determined the type of humidifier that is best suited to your baby’s needs, it’s time to consider various features.

Ultraviolet light

There are several forms of ultraviolet light, which is a component of sunlight that’s invisible to the human eye. UVA and UVB are the rays responsible for sunburn when you lie out in the sun too long without sunscreen, but it’s UVC you’ll find as a feature on many humidifiers, especially ultrasonic models. UVC has a powerful effect on bacteria, viruses, and mold spores, destroying them within a few seconds. That makes a UV-equipped humidifier an excellent choice for a nursery.

Controls

Adjustable output: The simplest humidifiers produce mist at a preset level, but better models let you tailor the output to your needs and preferences.

Auto shutoff: Look for a baby humidifier that automatically shuts off when the reservoir runs dry or if the unit tips over.

Water level indicator: This handy feature warns you with light or sound when the reservoir is running low.

Humidistat: Generally only found on the priciest humidifiers, the humidistat shuts the humidifier off when the desired level of humidity is reached and then turns it back on again when air moisture decreases.

Filter indicator: Not all humidifiers have filters, but those that do require the filter to be changed regularly to keep the device operating efficiently. A filter indicator warns you with light or sound when it’s time to change the filter.

Rotating nozzle: Most humidifiers have a fixed nozzle, but some allow you to rotate the nozzle to aim the mist right where you want it to go.

Maintenance

Cleaning: Baby’s humidifier needs to be thoroughly cleaned every few days. Easy-to-clean designs make it a cinch to thoroughly scrub all portions of the reservoir.

Filling: The reservoir should be easy to fill, with a large opening, a handle or a design that’s easy to grip, and a cap that screws on without much effort.

Design

Many humidifiers marketed specifically for use in the nursery have adorable designs. You’ll find humidifiers shaped like elephants, pandas, frogs, and other cute creatures. While not a crucial feature, this is a nice touch for your baby’s room.

EXPERT TIP

Match the humidifier’s output to the size of your baby’s room.


Staff  | BestReviews

Baby humidifier prices

Inexpensive: For $20 to $30, you can get a simple cool mist humidifier or a very basic ultrasonic humidifier. Don’t expect any fancy features in this price range.

Mid-range: For $30 to $50, you’ll find a wide range of all three types of humidifier. At this price point, you’ll get some nice extra features, including UV to kill germs, adjustable output, and cute designs.

Expensive: Above $50, you’ll find humidifiers with a full range of desirable features, cute designs, high outputs, and the latest technology.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Never set a humidifier where your baby or toddler can touch it. Keep electrical cords tucked safely out of baby’s reach.

Tips

  • Match the humidifier to the size of your baby’s room. It’s important to consider the size of your baby’s room when choosing a humidifier. A device that’s too small won’t provide enough moisture to keep your baby comfortable, while a unit that’s too big might increase the indoor humidity above 60%, which can promote the growth of harmful mold and mildew.

    Typically, the humidifier packaging will state the device’s output, which is a measure of the number of gallons of water the humidifier can convert to mist within a 24-hour period. The following guidelines are helpful:

    Small rooms need at least 1 to 2 gallons of output per day.
    Medium rooms need 3 to 4 gallons of output per day.
    Large rooms need up to 6 gallons of output per day.
    Very large rooms (or more than one room) need 8 or more gallons of output per day.   
     

  • Check other factors before deciding on a humidifier. Beyond room size, there are other factors that increase the optimal humidifier output in your baby’s nursery: high ceilings, multiple windows or doors, arid climate, and frequent use of central air or heat.

Other products we considered

While we like the five baby humidifiers in our matrix above, there are certainly other good choices on the market. If you need a small humidifier for use at daycare, while traveling, or at a caregiver’s house, you’ll love the MOVTIP Mini Humidifier, which measures only 5 inches high and 4 inches wide and runs off a USB plug. It even has a built-in night-light, so you can tend to your baby at night without switching on an overhead light.

If your baby is easily awakened by noise, you’ll appreciate the super-silent operation of the Homech Ultrasonic Humidifier, which produces enough mist to keep a midsize room comfortably humidified, has an adjustable nozzle, is very easy to clean, and shuts off automatically if the reservoir runs dry.

The best spot for a humidifier is on a dresser or table at least 3 feet away from your baby’s crib.

FAQ

Q. What kind of maintenance does a humidifier need?
A. Every day, dump out any leftover water from the reservoir, let it dry, and then refill it with clean water. Every few days, clean the entire humidifier by washing the reservoir thoroughly (some models are dishwasher safe) and carefully wiping away any grunge or mineral deposits from the humidifier’s mechanisms. If your humidifier has one or more filters, replace them on the manufacturer’s schedule or whenever they start to look discolored, slimy, or worn.
 

Q. Can I put essential oils in my baby’s humidifier?
A. While some humidifiers do have diffusers for essential oils, never add oil directly into the water of any humidifier. Doing so can gum up the device’s filters or mechanisms and might promote the growth of bacteria or mold in the reservoir.
 

Q. Is it okay to use tap water in my baby’s humidifier?
A. As a general rule, it’s best to use distilled water in all humidifiers. It reduces the buildup of mineral deposits inside the humidifier’s reservoir and spout and reduces the chances of white mineral powder settling on nearby surfaces.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Erica
    Erica
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Michelle
    Michelle
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey