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A humidifier for winter helps ease issues like nose bleeding, cracked skin, congestion, and allergy symptoms brought about by increased air dryness during the chilly winter months.
Of course, there are other helpful measures to raise the humidity in winter including boiling water on your stove and planting buckets of water around the house.
But as you might be aware, none of these can be as effective as humidifiers.
This article reviews some of the best humidifiers to fight dry air during the winter season and will also highlight useful tips to help you land the best.
- 1 How humidifiers work
- 2 Why invest in a humidifier
- 3 Types of humidifiers
- 4 Buying Guide
- 5 Best humidifier for winter reviews
- 6 Wrapping it up
How humidifiers work
The devices ‘make’ and release colossal amounts of moist air into the room until humidity rises to safe levels (30-50% as per the EPA guidelines).
The machine creates the moisture through methods such as heating and high-frequency sound vibrations depending on the type of humidifier in use (more on the types shortly).
Some let you add essential oils and inhaler products to help your loved ones feel better.
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Why invest in a humidifier
You see, humidity levels will always drop dramatically during the winter bringing lots of suffering for you and your dear ones.
Having a humidifier on can make all the difference in such times – they elevate humidity levels to comfortable levels making your spaces feel warmer while improving your breathing, sleeping, and soothing ailments like nasal congestion.
Remember that dry air may cause other problems like static electricity, cracked paint, and might even destroy wooden furniture.
And as you very well know, the alternative hacks like growing natural humidifying plants (and the others I mentioned above) are a bit clumsy and only moderately effective.
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Types of humidifiers
Different types of humidifiers exist- the key difference is the technology used to produce the moisture which is often released into the air as either warm or cool mist.
Here are the dominant types:
These use a fan and a wick filter to create evaporation of the water leading to the emission of moisture into the air.
They self-regulate meaning they hardly over-humidify (too much humidification can help germs thrive indoors) and are quite resilient.
But they’ll need a higher maintenance budget since the filters need to be changed every few months.
Here you have high-frequency sound vibrations (they contain a vibrating diaphragm) helping to form and expel fine mist into the room.
These units are extremely quiet but lack a mechanism to tackle mineral deposits (or “white dust”).
Steam humidifiers (Vaporizers)
These have a heating element to boil the water to produce steam that’s later passed into the air to help moisturize your room.
Steam effectively kills microorganisms and you can even add your favorite medicated inhalant but the heating process carries unique risks including the possibility of the unit overheating or starting a fire.
Rotating disc launch water at a built-in diffuser here. It will then break up the water until extra-fine water droplets emerge into the air.
These types of humidifiers also do the job but tend to escalate bacteria and mold growth if not cleaned regularly.
Their other downside is the lifted noise level.
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Keep in mind these issues when shopping for a humidifier to serve your needs:
Cool mist or warm mist?
Humidifiers spray two types of mist: warm or cool.
Now, both perform an amazing job.
However, humidifiers that release warm mist powerfully kill toxins like bacteria in the course of the heating process (they heat before evaporating the water) and could help bring healthier air.
Heating can, however, be counterproductive if you own pets or have young children- either of them can get burned when playing close to the warm mist unit.
On the other hand, cool mist humidifiers don’t apply heat during humidification – most are ultrasonic– and are subsequently preferred in rooms used by kids and pets.
But warm mist models can counter that the heating makes the rooms cozier when it’s freezing outside while the cool mist types may argue that cool air best rehydrates dry skin, nasal passages, and your respiratory system.
In short, the best mist depends on your personal needs.
Luckily, there are units that yield both cool and warm mist – this work all year round while bringing the best of both worlds.
Optimum room capacity
There are humidifiers designed for small, medium, large, and extra-large rooms.
Fortunately, the package indicates the square footage so this should be straightforward provided you have measured the room.
Maximum noise levels
Like air purifiers, humidifiers are not silent.
Needless to say, you want a winter humidifier that’s quiet enough to let you enjoy a more restful sleep.
Where do you live?
Warm mist humidifiers are more homely in colder environments since the warm vapor boosts the room temperature.
People with homes in warmer areas are better off with cool mist humidifiers- the cooling effect makes the room more relaxed and you might find it easier to sleep.
Units with bigger reservoirs last longer and you don’t need to come out of bed at midnight to refill it.
In addition, a transparent tank makes it easier for you to track water levels (opaque models with a low water-level indicator are fine too)
It’s also best for the tank to have a handle since it makes handling during refilling a breeze.
Larger tank openings are also desirable because they simplify the cleanup.
The following features contribute to convenience and ease of operation.
- Aromatherapy provision– units that accept essential oils will help you enjoy a healthy dose of aromatherapy.
- Intelligent auto-shutoff– protects the unit from destruction if water runs out.
- Sleep mode– turns off the lights to help you fall asleep.
- Humidity sensor– helps the unit automatically track and keep humidity comfortable.
- Intuitive control panel– lets you set the required mist amount without struggling.
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Best humidifier for winter reviews
You have known the key considerations so it’s time to meet the units that we feel have what it takes to combat the dreadful winter humidity.
So, which humidifier is best for winter?
New Model of Vicks 24-Hours Warm Moisture Humidifier
The Vicks 24-hours warm mist humidifier eliminates 95% of the bacteria in the moisture it releases and has a medicine cup to use with medical inhalants like Vicks VapoSteam (or Kaz Inhalent) so it ticks two important boxes.
The 1-gallon tank runs for about 12 hours (max) per filling.
Use it for large rooms (up to 400 square feet).
This has a massive mist and it will lift the moisture levels pretty quickly.
The high and low settings are straightforward to activate (the night light will let you operate the dial even when pitch dark) while its easy-assembling nature means it will be ready for deployment within moments.
Turning to noise, it’s so quiet you will forget that it’s there.
It’s also compact sized and quite lightweight meaning you can move and place it anywhere.
The tank has sturdy handles to strengthen your grip when
carrying and smart auto shut-off to give you peace of mind.
It’s very well-made hence very sturdy.
- Filter-free (no future cost).
- Easy to clean humidifier.
- Relieves cold superbly.
- You have to clean it quite frequently.
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Pure Enrichment MistAire Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
Like the Vicks 24-hours Humidifier, this has two cozy speed settings (low and the more forceful high).
Plus, you can easily adjust the mist direction to the corner you want for more efficient humidification of your bedroom, living room, baby nursery, or office.
This best serves rooms up to 250 square feet.
The Pure Enrichment MistAire humidifier includes a 1.5-Liter tank that keeps running for about 16 hours continuously.
The whisper-quiet humidification makes it great for offices that need more concentration while the night light function is helpful for light sleepers.
It’s super small and extremely portable so you can move it to the bedroom in the evening and use it in other rooms during the day.
It’s a premium-looking model and matches the interior décor perfectly.
As expected, the automatic shut-off turns it off when water runs low.
- Easy-to-refill tank.
- Lasts all night long.
- Cool nightlight function.
- Wish they could have added a longer power cord.
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Honeywell HCM350B Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier Black
This humidifier uses UV technology to get rid of 99.9% of the waterborne bacteria and similar germs.
More importantly, it quickly elevates the humidity levels during the frosty days and will alleviate coughs, sinus problems, asthma, and many other conditions.
The unit is awesome for bedrooms (not more than 360 sq.ft) as the 1-gallon tank lasts 24 hours (on the lowest setting).
This is built with your good night’s sleep in mind- the quiet care technology makes it nearly 25% quieter than some of its competitors while the light is barely noticeable at night.
Then, it will never overwhelm your rooms with moisture- the used evaporative technology is engineered to self-regulate and it cannot introduce more moisture into the environment than what’s necessary.
You can easily clear the unsightly mineral deposits – use the included pro-tech cleaning ball and even then, it doesn’t accumulate as much as debris as cheaper models.
Overall, the quality is up there with the best- you cannot expect anything less being a Honeywell!
- No white dust!
- Adds spectacular amounts of moisture.
- Easy to refill.
- Pricey filter.
LEVOIT LV600HH Humidifier for Larger Room Bedroom
If you’re looking for a humidifier for larger rooms (up to 753 sq. ft.), we suggest this LV600HH Humidifier from Levoit.
It produces vast amounts of mist and the 1.5 gal tank works continuously for up to 36 hours (at the lowest speed).
Levoit is known for its boldly designed humidifiers and this model again comes up big.
Leading the way is the wonderful built-in sensor which enables automatic humidity control– just set your preferred humidity and leave it to do the work.
Next is the display-off feature along with the incredibly quiet sound level to help you enjoy relaxing nights while it works.
Additionally, the remote control conveniently allows you to adjust all its settings at night without getting out of your bed.
There’s also a timer in case you prefer to schedule it to humidify for a given number of hours.
Also nice is the fragrance pad for those aromatherapy-obsessed.
As usual with top-notch units, the LV600HH will go off to protect your loved ones and the device on sensing reduced water levels.
This is, in a nutshell, one of the best dual function (cool and warm mist).
- Wider tank opening for easier cleaning.
- No filters to replace.
- Responsive controls.
- A little bit heavy.
Honeywell HCM350W Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier (White)
Closing our best humidifier in winter reviews is this Honeywell HCM350W, a sibling of the previously reviewed Honeywell HCM350B humidifier.
This is quite versatile and you can deploy it in the baby’s nursery or bedroom (thanks to the white noise) or your living room, office, and practically any room (up to 360 square feet).
Like its cousin, the UV light impedes bacteria growth.
Another top, top unit, this has all the essentials.
From an impressive mist production, smooth controls, a longer-lasting tank (up to 24 hours) with a well-designed recessed handle, to the included Protec cleaning ball (to keep it clean), this really impresses.
It again uses the innovative evaporative technology to self-regulate (and prevent over humidification) and still runs super quiet.
The filters are of the highest quality and also last fairly long.
We also love its sleek looks, space-saving profile, and lightweight construction.
Plus, its straightforward disassembly is fantastic for cleaning.
- Very well made.
- Wide tank opening.
- Powerful germ killer.
- Won’t accept essential oils.
Wrapping it up
Humidifiers are proven when it comes to combatting air dryness during the cold winter months.
Our guide has taught you how they precisely work, the various types, and how to shop for one so that when winter comes, it finds you well prepared.
Having said that, it’s important to thoroughly clean your humidifier and to change the filters (where applicable) to maintain optimum functioning.
In addition, be careful not to overuse it- too much humidification can worsen conditions such as asthma.