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Best Cool Mist Humidifiers

Updated March 2023
Bottom line
Best of the Best
Levoit Smart Classic 300S
Smart Classic 300S
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

We loved how well this amply-sized model performed during our testing thanks to the intuitive smart app.


Top-fill tank makes it easy to add water. Can automatically adjust operation to maintain detected humidity levels. Offers essential oil diffusion and optional night light. Bright LED display. Despite having more features than other options, we found it was just as easy to set up.


A few reports of water leaking from the unit.

Best Bang for the Buck
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Pure Enrichment
MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
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Best for Small Spaces
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A quiet, affordable alternative to high-end machines that we found easy to use and clean in our testing.


Optional night light adds a soothing quality. Offers high and low speed settings. Exceptionally quiet operation. Straightforward to use. Run time of 16 hours. Price falls on the lower end of the spectrum.


Diligent maintenance is needed to prevent mold. Mist generation can be inconsistent.

Crane Cool Mist Humidifier
Cool Mist Humidifier
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A top-filling tank and dishwasher-safe components make this humidifier stand out.


Fills from the top for convenient maintenance. The tank has a capacity of 1.2 gallons. Quiet ultrasonic operation. Can diffuse essential oils directly in the tank. Dishwasher-safe parts. Optional color-changing night light.


Power plug is not detachable.

Vicks Ultrasonic CoolRelief Filter Free Humidifier
Ultrasonic CoolRelief Filter Free Humidifier
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Trusted Brand
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This ultrasonic cool mist humidifier comes from a trusted brand in home health.


Filter-free for ease of use. Ultrasonic action doesn’t use heat. Offers cup for use with essential oils for scenting the mist. The 1.2-gallon capacity tank holds enough water to run for 24 hours. Offers Vicks VapoPad vaporizer function.


Doesn’t have a night light. Needs regular cleaning.

Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier
Cool Moisture Humidifier
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Simple Yet Solid
Bottom Line

This reliable, simple cool mist humidifier efficiently humidifies rooms of up to 250 square feet and can be used for rooms as large as 500 square feet.


Running so quietly it sometimes seems like it’s off, this powerful humidifier can handle most rooms, and its curving vertical design takes up little space on a table or on the floor. The large tank is easy to clean by hand. Three moisture settings offer a good range for most homes.


Requires regular filter replacements. No auto shutoff feature.

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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 all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
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After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested the Pure Enrichment  to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

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Buying guide for Best cool mist humidifier

A cool mist humidifier is a safe and simple device for supporting the health of your family, pets and plants and providing a more comfortable environment when the weather turns dry. Unlike warm mist humidifiers, these cool mist alternatives have no heating element. Instead, they distribute water droplets through either evaporation or ultrasonic vibration. Of the two types, ultrasonic humidifiers tend to be quieter than evaporative models, making them ideal for nighttime use. 

When shopping for a cool mist humidifier, it’s important to consider the water tank capacity (a 1-gallon tank should last 24 hours without a refill on a low or medium setting) and how many square feet of space you need it to cover; though we focused on room humidifiers during our research, you can find models to humidify your whole house. You’ll also want to choose a humidifier that is easy to clean and maintain (filter-free models are typically the most convenient). 

We tested in rooms of different sizes and considered setup time and ease of use when comparing models. Our top picks include the Levoit Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, which comes with some irresistible smart features, and the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, which we found to be simple and effective in our testing. 

Best cool mist humidifiers

Levoit Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier 

One of the standout features of this excellent humidifier is the built-in humidity sensor, which takes the guesswork out of achieving your desired level of humidity. Set it to your target level (anywhere from 30% to 50% is considered comfortable), and it won’t go above that, so the room never gets stuffy.  

Customers appreciate its silent fan, and the large 1.5-gallon tank allows it to run for up to 60 hours on the lowest setting. Though many ultrasonic models don’t have a filter, this one features a water filter to prevent particles from releasing with the mist. 

Able to cover 505 square feet, it’s also reasonably priced for the extras you get, including an essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy. If you plan to put this humidifier by your bedside, the night light mode is also a useful function. And if you travel often and want to keep your houseplants happy, you’ll like the Levoit’s Alexa-compatible smart functionality, which lets you control the humidifier when you’re away from home.

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Simple and functional, we found this teardrop-shaped cool mist humidifier to be efficient and easy to use in our testing. If you aren’t interested in advanced features or a range of humidity settings, it’s an inexpensive option that gets the job done well. Setup takes less than a minute: Attach the tank to the base, plug it in, fill the tank with water and press the power button. 

It runs for up to 25 hours with its 1.5-liter tank and supports rooms of up to 250 square feet. We appreciated its near-silent operation, which is ideal if you have a baby or simply prefer a quiet bedroom at night. Plus, there’s no need to clean or replace filters — the tank is easy to clean with the included brush.

Crane Diffuser and Top-Fill Ultrasonic Air Humidifier

The 1.2-gallon tank and 500-square-foot humidifying capability make this one of the more robust picks on our list. On its highest setting, it runs for more than 12 hours. On its lowest setting, it runs for 24 hours or more. 

Though the addition of an oil diffuser is a nice feature if you want it, the price is still relatively low, especially considering the size and runtime. Customers praise its silent operation and easy-to-fill, filter-free tank, which requires minimal cleaning every few weeks. 

If you have a large space to humidify, we think you should consider this product. It’s one of the best cool mist humidifiers for big areas like living rooms and workshops.

Vicks Filter-Free CoolRelief Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

If you like using a humidifier when you or someone in your family is sick, this is the one for you. The standout feature on this model is its compatibility with Vicks VapoSteam, a cough-relief camphor you can add to the medicine cup at the top of the tank — a helpful way to treat colds in the winter. It’s also compatible with Vicks VapoPads, which offer a simple way to add a pleasant scent to the mist if you have a musty room and want to freshen it up. And, as a diffuser, it works well with a variety of essential oils

This no-fuss cool mist humidifier, which is perfect for rooms between 250 and 400 square feet, has a filter-free ultrasonic design, and the removable tank is easy to clean and refill. Customers like the simple output dial for adjusting the humidity level. On a medium or low setting, you can expect the 1.2-gallon tank to last at least 24 hours. 

Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier with Evaporative Technology 

With a curving design slightly evocative of a PS5 video game console, this eye-catching room humidifier has a 1.1-gallon tank capable of lasting up to 24 hours. An easy-to-clean wicking filter captures particles that would otherwise be released alongside the mist. The water tank is easy to clean and fill and is even dishwasher-safe. 

Even though evaporative humidifiers are known for being noisier than ultrasonic ones, some customers found the operation of this model to be so quiet that it was difficult for them to tell whether it was on. As a result, you may find that this humidifier, which is intended for rooms around 350 square feet, works best in your bedroom or your child’s room, offering a soothing noise on the highest setting. 

Raydrop Cool Mist Humidifier Diffuser

While this ultrasonic humidifier’s most noticeable feature is a slim, stylish design that fits easily on a nightstand (its base is just 7.2 inches), our favorite aspect is its efficiency, getting approximately 24 hours of runtime out of its relatively small 0.66-gallon tank on the lowest setting. If you prefer a higher output, you can increase it with the simple knob. A small green light above the knob shows when it is powered on but is dim enough not to be disruptive at night. It doesn’t leave condensation on nearby objects and surfaces, and the nozzle can be rotated 360 degrees to direct mist as you like. 

To incorporate essential oils, you just add a few drops to the tank before turning the humidifier on. At 28 decibels (less on lower settings), this is a quiet cool mist humidifier that can handle most small rooms. It’s also the cheapest among our top picks.

HoMedics Humidifiers for Large Room

This eye-catching ultrasonic humidifier boasts the longest runtime in a single fill of all the models on our list at up to 70 hours per tank. Realistically, you would need to refill the tank after a day or so on a higher setting, but if the idea of checking the tank every morning and evening sounds unpleasant to you, this is a good choice. 

With a humidity level control, essential oil tray, digital screen, auto-shutoff function and night light mode, this humidifier, which can easily cover about 425 square feet, has most of the features you could hope for. Those with hardwood floors will appreciate that it doesn’t leave a slippery mess, and it’s exceptionally quiet, even for an ultrasonic model. 

The unique design (complete with tiny wood legs) isn’t as jarringly modern as most other humidifiers, and the vertical design means the almost 1.5-gallon tank with a 7-inch diameter takes up little space.

How we tested

After comparing the features and specs of a range of cool mist humidifiers, we tested the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier to compare it to the performance and functionality expected of these environment-improving appliances.

Ease of use 

  • Packaging: As with any appliance, we look for lightweight and minimalist packaging that secures the humidifier during transport without the use of excessive materials.
  • Setup: We considered the number of steps and total time required to get the humidifier running, from opening the box to turning it on.
  • Interface: Simplicity and functionality are key. We tested how to start and stop the humidifier and how easily you can set it to run for a specific period of time.


  • Efficiency: When considering the humidifier’s output, we tested it in rooms of different sizes to gauge effectiveness.
  • Noise level: Since you are likely to run a cool mist humidifier for long periods during the day and night, we considered the noise level.
  • Design: We compared the size and design in relation to its overall output.

Additional features 

  • Cleaning: Since maintenance is part of owning any cool mist humidifier, we cleaned the water tank after running it for several days to gauge how much time you would spend maintaining this humidifier. 
  • Modes and unique functions: While simplicity of operation is important, we also considered the modes offered and tested their functionality.
  • Auto shutoff and moisture detection: A humidifier that automatically turns off when it runs out of water (or when the desired humidity level is reached) lets you run it without thinking about it. We looked for these features.

What to know before you buy a cool mist humidifier

Types of cool mist humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers add moisture to the air without resorting to a heating element. They do this in one of two ways: via evaporation or ultrasonic vibration.

Evaporative: An internal fan blows air across a wick that extends from the reservoir tank. The water, which is at room temperature, evaporates after being forced through the air filter and is dispersed as mist into the room via the unit’s airflow.

Ultrasonic: Ultrasonic vibration creates smaller “atomized” water droplets that are blown into the room by a small fan. As mentioned above, ultrasonic humidifiers tend to be quieter than evaporative humidifiers.

Cool mist humidifier size

Cool mist humidifiers come in different sizes and have different output levels.

Handheld: This newer type of cool mist humidifier can be held close to the face. The user can use the appliance to apply humid air directly to their dry sinuses.

Tabletop: This small humidifier fits on an end table and delivers cool mist to its immediate surroundings. To get the full effect from a humidifier of this size, you’d need to sit within a few feet of it. This is the most popular variety for its compact size and low price.

Room: Often a freestanding unit, a room humidifier can blow cool mist through most of a room, raising the overall humidity of the space. 

House: This type of humidifier can raise the humidity of the entire house and may be attached to the air conditioning or heating system. House humidifiers are not as popular as tabletop and room humidifiers, as they require a significant financial investment.

Parts of a cool mist humidifier

Water tank: Water tanks vary in size, though most hold around 4 liters (close to a gallon) of water. If you want your humidifier to run all day on a low or medium setting without a refill, a 1-gallon reservoir is your best bet. 

Control valve: This controls the flow of water from the tank to the wick or ultrasonic vibrator. Larger humidifiers often use a combination float valve and solenoid that electronically controls the flow of water from the water tank or line. Smaller humidifiers rely solely on a float valve, which is part of the gasket assembly between the tank and humidifier base.

Air filter: In evaporative systems, an air filter screens out dust particles and allergens before the mist is blown into the room. Air filters often require frequent replacement, so be sure to factor this into your total cost when comparing models. 

Fan: Situated between the water tank and the air outlet, the fan’s job is to blow water droplets into the air. The fan is responsible for the noise output of the appliance. Many models are advertised by the manufacturer as quiet, but reading customer reviews is an even better way to find a model that won’t be noisy.

Additional cool mist humidifier features 

Aroma pad: Some cool mist humidifiers have a location near the air outlet where you can put a drop of essential oil or menthol-containing medication. This can give the room a pleasant smell or aid room occupants suffering from congestion.

Water filter: If your cool mist humidifier comes with a water filter, this is usually a charcoal-infused foam filter. Water from the tank passes through the water filter before reaching the ultrasonic vibrator or fan. This further reduces the minerals in the water and can extend the life of the humidifier.

Humidity level control: This feature allows you to raise or lower the humidity. If you plan to leave your humidifier running for long periods, it’s a helpful feature to have because you won’t need to turn the unit on and off to get the perfect level of humidity. Some models also have a humidity sensor that detects the amount of humidity in the air and turns the humidifier on or off as needed.

How to extend the life of your cool mist humidifier

  • After each use, empty the water tank. Allow the unit to dry completely to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
  • Use only distilled or purified water. This helps reduce buildup of mineral deposits in the humidifier.
  • Replace the filter regularly. Mold and bacteria tend to grow quickly on filter material.
  • Unplug it. Before filling or emptying the water tank, your cool mist humidifier must be unplugged.
  • Empty the tank periodically. Wash it with mild dishwashing soap and rinse thoroughly. Wipe down the base with a damp towel.
  • If the humidifier smells musty during use, shut it off and empty the reservoir. Put it outside in the sun. Fill the tank with a solution of 1 cup of vinegar per 1 gallon of water. Allow it to run outside for an hour. Then, run it again with a tankful of water for another hour to rinse out the vinegar.


Q. How much do cool mist humidifiers typically cost? 

A. Cool mist humidifiers range in size and, therefore, price. As mentioned, you could get a very small handheld machine, a whole-house humidifier, or something in between. 

The most affordable units, which cost from $16 to $40, are low-end handheld models, smaller tabletop evaporative humidifiers and ultrasonic options with a small reservoir. For $40 to $75, you can find larger evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers without a lot of extra bells and whistles that can handle an entire room. 

For $75 to $200, you can find ultrasonic humidifiers with greater tank capacity, humidity sensors and other features, as well as freestanding home humidifiers. If you want an integrated whole-house cool mist humidifier, expect the price tag to be in the $350 to $450 range.

Q. Do cool mist humidifiers lower the temperature of a room? 

A. No. The water vapor they distribute isn’t actually cold since there is no refrigerating element. The mist is room temperature. With the increased humidity, you may feel slightly warmer, if anything.

Q. Do cool mist humidifiers reduce cold symptoms?

A. They can soothe dry sinuses by increasing the humidity level of your space. According to the Mayo Clinic, this may help if you are experiencing nasal congestion. A humidifier can provide relief to dry skin as well.