What are the Best Cool Mist Humidifiers for 2020?

What is the best cool mist humidifier? Winter is around the corner and you have made your decision: a cool-mist humidifier it is.

But you still can’t figure out what’s the best cool mist humidifier out there.

You know, that which will keep dryness out of your rooms and help you get through the lackluster winter weather unscathed.

Well, we are here to help you get one that’s right for you.

We even have a comprehensive guide explaining everything you need to understand before buying a cool mist humidifier.

Here we go:

Cool mist humidifier explained

We first recap what a cool mist humidifier is, just in case you have come here for the first time.

Now, cool mist humidifiers are so called because they release a steady flow of cozy room-temperature mist into the air. 

This is contrary to warm mist humidifiers that disperse soothing warm steam throughout the room (they first boil the water before emitting the steam).

Types of Cool Mist Humidifier

If you’re looking at a cool mist humidifier, it’s important you know that there are three different kinds – evaporative, ultrasonic, and impeller.

Here are the key differences between the threesome members of this humidifier category:

Evaporative cool mist humidifier

These humidifiers comprise a few basic components: a fan, reservoir, and wick.

The fan usually blows warm air onto the wick via the filter.

Since the wick has absorbed water from the mounted reservoir, this triggers an evaporation process culminating in the water evaporating into your rooms as ultra-fine, cool mist.

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifier

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers create gentle, fine mist and pass it into the environment using ultrasonic vibration technology (not fans).

There are by far the quietest of the three types of cool mist humidifiers.

Impeller cool mist humidifier

Impeller cool mist humidifiers are a type of devices that flings water at a built-in diffuser in the process breaking the water into subtle droplets that hover in the air as moisture. 

You must keep the water source scrupulously clean as bacteria and mold can easily proliferate from the contaminated water.

These are typically louder than even evaporative units.

But what exactly are the benefits of using a cool mist humidifier?

Read on to know why investing in one could be a smart move as you prepare to outmaneuver winter blues such as super dry  skin, throat ailments, and more because of the air becoming moistureless.

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Benefits of cool mist humidifiers and why buy

While they both moisturize effectively, cool mist humidifiers outmuscle their warm mist counterparts in four major ways:

  • Kids stay safe- children (and pets) are playful and warm mist humidifiers can cause burns when they come near the steam or knock over the device (filled with hot water) by bad luck. In fact, the American academy of pediatrics recommends a cool mist humidifier for baby bedroom, nursery, or other places patronized by kids.
  • Reduced energy bills- the water doesn’t need to undergo heating before being spread. Subsequently, this type of humidifiers consumes less electricity.
  • Great for hard water areas- they’re not easily hurt by hard water mineral deposits and are a safer bet if you live in such a zone.
  • Best for warmer climates- they bring down the ambient temperature when humidifying (think ‘cool’ mist) and are better for hotter climates.

Buying Guide (What to consider when buying cool mist humidifier)

Ok, now we’ve finished going over that, time to move on to the vital features you have to look out for when selecting the best cool mist humidifier.

Budget

You get what you pay for, right?

And features are just one of those things that can make a vast difference in humidifiers.

Specifically, a budget cool mist humidifier will have a handful of functions and settings and you may find it a bit annoying.

On the other hand, humidifiers closer to the top of the line will probably have, among other things, a humidistat, safety shut off button, super-responsive controls, etc.

Covered area

Too large a humidifier for a room might create condensation which could lead to mold and bacteria to form and you should choose a unit that’s correctly sized.

Related: What is the Best Humidifier for Large Room?

Measure your room and check the indicated coverage area (square foot) when comparing to get a precisely sized device.

Beware of noisy brands

Admittedly, noises are a natural occurrence in humidifiers when it’s running, but you don’t want the types that are too noisy.

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers carry the day here and are outstanding for light sleepers, baby rooms, and areas where silence is a matter of life-and-death such as libraries.

Research about the maintenance

Okay. The skyline is gray as is the leftover slushy snow. You don’t want a model that makes your mood gray when maintenance time comes.

Reading the reviews will give you an idea about whether it’s easy to detach the tank for cleaning and refilling, and if the design makes installing a new filter easy-peasy.

Other features

Units with an aromatherapy option make sense if you’re passionate about the holistic healing treatment associated with aromatic essential oils.

Similarly, models with a bigger tank capacity are more convenient as they’re likely to last you the whole night.

Back to maintenance and indicators to remind you about filter change and reservoir refilling can be handy too.

Phew, that was pretty long but it’s for a good cause.

Thankfully, I saved the favorite part for many- the cool mist humidifier reviews- for last.

Don’t go anywhere yet..

Best cool mist humidifier reviews

Like I mentioned at the start, we are not leaving anything to chance and want to help you land the very best model.

Here we take you through our cool mist humidifier reviews.

There are dozens of competing models in the market but these are the units that blew us off our feet.

BONECO/Air-O-Swiss Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

The Boneco/Air-O-Swiss is an elite humidifier that accomplishes two missions with perfection: It functions as a warm mist humidifier when you need it and as a powerful cool mist humidifier when called upon.

This versatility makes it one of the very best humidifiers for rooms up to 600 sq. ft.

Features

Part of what makes this humidifier so appealing is that it’s automated- with the integrated hygrostat; you set your desired humidity and leave it.

The mist output will adjust itself automatically as the room humidity changes and you will savor optimal humidity steadily.

The output of 3 gallons/24 hours is one of the highest for 600 sq.ft. and means it brings results faster than rivals.

The Boneco/Air-O-Swiss includes a pre-heating function to lift room temperature when it’s bitterly cold (mist exits at a pleasurable 104 °F ) and stay warm.

It’s an outstanding invention and comes with water maintenance accessories like a demineralization cartridge (to control scale/mineral residues) and hydro cell (to keep it fresh).

Finally, the multifunction display is a pleasure as are the practical refill and cleaning reminders.

Pros

  • Low noise especially in night-time mode.
  • Functional timer.
  • High quality.

Cons

  • Pricey.

TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier, 4L Ultrasonic Humidifiers

TaoTronics cool mist humidifier’s automatic humidity levels monitoring system keeps your indoor humidity at a magical level all the time.

We were especially impressed with its 12-30 hour running time on full tank (4L capacity) and its incredible 38 dB noise level (lowest limit of ambient sound in urban areas). 

Features

The great steam output from the reliable TaoTronics cool mist humidifier is perfect for soothing irritation of the nose, throat, skin, lips, eyes, as well as issues like rashes, severe nasal congestion, and more.

We also found the LED display quite detailed, the digital controls easy to maneuver, and the three mist levels more aggressive.

All these help it earn the top spot for units designed for spaces 107-322 sq. ft. big.

We additionally like that it lets you choose between turning on the soothing nightlight or sleep mode (to turn off its LED screen) and sleep like a log.

Overall, this is the king for condos, baby room, and other environments where disturbances are unwelcome.

Pros

  • Safe- goes off automatically on low water.
  • Plentiful coverage (360° nozzle).
  • Easy tank cleaning/refilling.

Cons

  • No aromatherapy provision.

Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Good luck getting a humidifier that brings healthier moisture than what you get from this HCM350W unit from Honeywell.

The scientifically proven ultra-violet light technology kills about 99.9% of harmful organisms in the equipment’s water and your room will be filled with germ-free moisture.

Features

Another winning device (for rooms up to 360 sq. ft.), this uses Honeywell’s patented QuietCare technology and is nearly 30% quieter than the rest.

It has just 3 settings (high, low, medium) -rather than tens of controls to learn- and adjusting output and sound levels is quick and easy.

The reservoir design is another attraction- it’s easy to fill and features a superb recessed tank handle so it won’t slip out of hand when wet.

I should add that the 1.1 gallon tank runs for up to 24 hours making it another option when you’re facing dry winter nights.

Plus, it’s a lasting unit and comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Relaxing, invisible moisture.
  • Decent looking.
  • Easy setup.

Cons

  • No auto shutoff.

Related: What is the Best Furnace Humidifier?

Pure Guardian H920BL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Thanks to its slim design, the compact H920 cool mist humidifier is the perfect choice for tabletops/ bedside nightstands.

The company has added silver clean protection to the tank so mold and mildew won’t grow like it often happens with traditional humidifiers.

Features

It doesn’t have quite the oomph (packs two speed mist settings only) of larger competitors, but it still puts out decent vapor as long as your space isn’t more than 210 sq. ft.

In fact, it provides a slot (on the top) that lets you rotate the nozzle to direct the mist where you need it most.

We love so many things about it including the idea of implementing an LED night light (optional) which is great for those who suffer problematic sleep.

Like most, the low water warning alerts you when a refill is needed. 

Plus, it shuts off automatically for safety when empty.

The 0.8L tank is reasonable and can runs for about 10 hours (on low setting).

Pros

  • Whisper quiet.
  • 3 year warranty.
  • Space saving design.

Cons

  • Small tank capacity.

BONECO Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

A change of scenery during winter can give a shot of color to your life and you need a companion just in case the air turns very dry during your travel.

That friend is probably this travel cool mist ultrasonic humidifier from BONECO.

Features

There are no prizes for guessing about its design: it’s tightly packed together and fits snugly into any luggage to supply well-humidified air – wherever you go.

They even deliver it with a cute travel bag for easier storage during your trips and an AC/DC adapter to give you more flexibility if you will be spending time off-grid.

Usage is not a problem either- pop on any pet bottle (there’s a bottle adaptor to help it handle various bottle types -up to .5 liters/17 oz.), connect the device, and relax as healthy air streams into your room.

The variable output control lets you specify the humidity output you desire.

You can easily tell if it’s running- the indicator light turns blue.

Likewise, you will know when it runs out of water- this time the indicator light turns red.

Besides, it will conveniently switch off the moment it’s out of water.

Remember to place it 3 feet off the floor (at least) and pointing to an open space to enjoy the best humidifying effect.

Pros

  • Automatic switch-off.
  • Easy cleaning (comes with a cleaning brush).
  • Very well built.

Cons

  • Not great in big rooms.

Final thoughts

Best Cool Mist Humidifier Reviews and Buying Guide 2020

So there you have our guide on everything you need to learn about cool mist humidifiers.

Hopefully, the above five options will give you an idea of what’s out there and help you narrow down to a unit that will keep you healthy and happy throughout the chilly winter months.

Of course, what you settle on will ultimately come down to your needs, preferences, and budget.

Nevertheless, we hope you have found this write-up helpful!