This amply-sized model with a smart app was easy and intuitive to use in our user testing.
Top-fill feature 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. Connects to the smart app.
A few reports of water leaking from the unit.
This large-capacity cool-mist humidifier can handle a wide area and boasts an adjustable nozzle.
Can humidify areas up to 400 square feet. Tank holds 2.2 liters of water. Filter-free operation makes refilling easy. Adjustable nozzle allows the user to change misting direction. Dial offers simple control. Offers auto-off.
Lights flash when the tank is empty. Not truly silent.
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.
This versatile model is designed for large rooms and performed well in our testing.
Ability to deploy cool and warm mist helps unit transition between seasons, and it will adjust humidity automatically. The 6-liter tank is set up for long run times. Timers are easy to set and will optimize water consumption. Remote control operated.
A few reports of the motor running out quickly. Finding the right place for it in your room may take some trial and thought.
This cool-mist humidifier from Vicks works with its VapoPad line of soothing fragrances.
Fully adjustable misting settings. Filter-free for convenience. Half-gallon tank produces enough cool mist for up to 20 hours. Works with Vicks VapoPads for medicated comfort. Compact and ideal for smaller rooms.
No battery, needs to stay plugged in. Too small for some rooms.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Too much humidity can be a bad thing. Unfortunately, not enough might be even worse. Besides increased static electricity, chills, and damaged hair, drier air can create ideal breeding conditions that allow germs and viruses to thrive. To combat this undesirable condition, you need a home humidifier.
Although there are a number of different types of humidifiers on the market, the best and safest ones use ultrasonic or evaporative technology to add moisture to the air. You will need a humidifier that is large enough to handle the intended area, whether it's just the baby's room or your entire house. You will also want a humidifier that is quiet, contains a filter, is Energy-Star rated, and is easy to clean.
A home humidifier is an appliance that keeps a room at the optimum humidity level by adding moisture to the air.
Modern humidifiers use one of four methods to deliver moisture to a room: steam, impelling mist, ultrasonic vibration, or evaporation.
This article focuses on ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers only. Impeller-styled humidifiers don't perform as well as their ultrasonic and evaporative counterparts, and steam humidifiers are best suited for purposes other than room humidification.
Steam vaporizers create a cloud of hot steam that disperses moisture into the air. However, they do pose a burn hazard and can be dangerous to use around children.
An impeller smashes water into mist-sized droplets that take flight in the air, saturating it. Notably, this type of unit sometimes creates an excess of moisture and residue.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use powerful sound waves to generate a layer of fine mist that helps moisten the air. However, the output of an ultrasonic humidifier can be limited.
Evaporative humidifiers use wicking action to evaporate water into the air. A fan helps disperse the resulting vapor.
At the BestReviews testing facility, a cube out of industrial plastic was made to simulate the conditions of an average room. Lab techs used a heavy-duty dehumidifier to lower the cube's relative humidity. The products then were tested on how well they restored the humidity to a comfortable range, along with other factors such as noise and water vapor quality.
When it comes to humidification, different consumers have different needs. And, what's good for one user might be overkill for another.
For some people, dry air during the colder months aggravates respiratory conditions or makes the home uncomfortable. A small, ultrasonic humidifier might be best in this situation.
For those who live in a dry climate year-round, an evaporative model that can humidify the entire house may be more appropriate.
Humidifiers have a few natural enemies, including mold, bacteria, and fungus. Standing water in the tank can become very hazardous, and excessive humidity in a room can promote mold and fungal growth.
Many manufacturers address these issues by including anti-microbial filters and chemical water treatments.
Even so, it's up to the user to keep the humidifier clean and dry between uses.
Some home humidifiers are commercial-grade workhorses capable of delivering enough vapor to rehydrate hundreds of square feet of dry air.
Others are designed to humidify much smaller spaces, such as a child's room or office cubicle.
Some models have large-capacity tanks that deliver humidified air for hours at a time.
Others have small tanks that require frequent refilling throughout the day.
We looked closely at each contender's power consumption and average run time.
There are several factors to consider when choosing a home humidifier. To get the most out of your investment, you’ll want to find out more about any given appliance’s filter, size/capacity, and coverage area before you buy it.
Some home humidifiers are quite loud when running, whereas others are nearly silent. Ultrasonic humidifiers emit high-frequency noises that, for the most part, cannot be heard by human ears. Therefore, they're ideal for use in areas where noise is of concern, such as the bedroom.
Home humidifiers have water tanks from which they emit moisture into the room. These fine water droplets are in the air you breathe, so you want to make sure they don't contain germs and bacteria.
If you use your humidifier only occasionally, this is a particular concern, as a tankful of standing water will breed and multiply germs over time. You certainly don’t want to be inhaling those germs.
One solution is to use distilled water only. But this can become costly, not to mention inconvenient. Another solution is to buy a humidifier with a built-in water filter that removes bacteria from the water. Some home humidifiers even have UV filters that help remove additional bacteria, viruses, and mold spores.
The humidifier size and capacity you require depends on how much space you want to humidify.
Small, portable humidifiers are great for small to medium rooms. For instance, you could use one in your bedroom at night.
If you want to humidify a larger space – your whole apartment, for example – you'll need a humidifier that packs more of a punch.
The physical size of a home humidifier and the capacity of its water tank are good indicators of how powerful it is, but they're not the only factors you should consider.
If you want to discover how much space your chosen home humidifier can tackle, look at the coverage area.
Most manufacturers give you an approximate coverage area in square feet, which is the amount of space the unit can effectively humidify.
If you know the size of the room or rooms you want to humidify, the coverage area will tell you whether or not the model you're considering is up to the job.
You can find home humidifiers at a range of price points to suit budgets large and small.
Basic home humidifiers start at $15 to $30. These models are usually best-suited for smaller areas.
These cost roughly $40 to $80.
They may be suitable for larger rooms, but they’re not usually effective for whole apartments.
These should cost in the vicinity of $90 to $150.
They're usually suitable for multi-room use; some can even humidify an entire apartment or level of a house, depending on size.
A. Some people find dry air causes a range of issues for them, including irritated skin, nose bleeds, an itchy or sore throat, breathing difficulties, and flare-ups of asthma or allergies. A home humidifier can help alleviate these problems.
A. It's vital that you keep your home humidifier clean so the moisture it emits is safe to breathe. This involves daily rinsing of the water tank and a thorough weekly cleaning and disinfecting session. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for details.
A. The ideal humidity is often cited as 45%, but some people may prefer a slightly more or less humid environment. It can take a bit of trial and error to find the perfect setting for your humidifier.