The best humidifier is a chic way to beat one of the most brutal outcomes of rock bottom winter temperatures: persistently dry air.
In this guide, we take a look at what to look for in the best room humidifiers and reveal our top five picks.
- 1 Why buying the best humidifier could be a smart decision
- 2 Types of humidifiers
- 3 Why are humidifiers said to be safe/unsafe for babies/ furry friends?
- 4 The best humidifier buying guide
- 5 Best Humidifier Reviews 2020
- 6 TaoTronics Ultrasonic Humidifiers
- 7 Wrapping it up
Why buying the best humidifier could be a smart decision
Gone are the days when people would rely exclusively on old school methods such as boiling water on stoves or placing bowls (full of water) in strategic locations to increase humidity.
And if you’ve spent some time researching online lately, you know that top-rated humidifiers are the newest trend, and for a good reason:
They discharge moisture in an instant into the air when the cold winter air becomes dryer (wintertime humidity is naturally low and the little remaining moisture is quickly ‘swallowed up’ by the air).
According to scientific tests, humidifiers have the ability to raise (and maintain) the room humidity at between 30 and 50 percent which is the EPA recommended range.
There are abundant perks to reap when you keep your environment appropriately humidified not least improved air quality and reduced exposure to dry-air triggered health issues such as respiratory ailments.
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Types of humidifiers
Humidifiers come in 5 types: Evaporative, ultrasonic, vaporizers, impeller, and central humidifiers.
Each kind has pros and cons to consider.
Take a look:
These evaporate moisture into the air from a moistened filter. Fans drive the moisturizing process.
Cons: Efficient for limited rooms, experience faster mold growth.
These moisturize via ultrasonic vibrations (sound waves with higher frequencies).
Pros: Safe for children (more on this shortly), whisper-quiet.
Cons: May intensify your asthma and related diseases.
These heat the water to form moisture which they vent as steam.
Pros: bargain prices.
Cons: can burn kids/pets (more on this in a moment).
Make moisture using disks that rotate at high speed.
Pros: Safe for children/pets (like ultrasonic).
Cons: best for small spaces.
These are physically hooked up to your home’s central heating/air conditioning system and the plumbing network.
Pros: Moisturize the whole house.
Cons: Priciest, could burn toddlers/four-legged friends.
Also note that in terms of sizes, humidifiers can be portable (carried along and placed on desks/tables) or console (larger, kept on the floor).
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Why are humidifiers said to be safe/unsafe for babies/ furry friends?
To answer you adequately, perhaps I should explain the difference between warm and cool mist first.
The thing is, humidifiers expel either warm mist (warm moisture from pre-heated water) or cool mist (cool/room temperature spray).
The former happens in humidifiers that have a water heating system incorporated such as vaporizers.
Consequently, your baby/pet is likely to get burned if they come into contact with these hot humidifiers (the tank could be holding boiling hot water).
For this reason, you’re safer with humidifiers using non-heating systems such as ultrasonic units (these engulf your rooms with cool air) if you’re a proud parent or pet owner because they will scald never them.
The best humidifier buying guide
You know the modern-day humidifiers types but what else should you worry about when you shop for a model to thwart muggy humidity and its miserable effects including chapped lips?
Below we break down the other foundational considerations to help you choose the right humidifier for your home or office:
Your room size matters
For expanded spaces, pick central systems or at least console humidifiers (these can excellently humidify spaces up to 3000 sq. ft, sometimes more)
On the other hand, personal humidifiers are ideal for small-sized offices, bedrooms, kitchens, condos etc.
Check its humidification capacity
The next pivotal consideration is the moisture output (the amount of mist it unleashes in 24 hours).
Bigger whole-home humidifiers can output even more than 9 gallons/day while portable humidifiers discharge 0.5 to 9 gallons per 24 hours.
The output tells you about its ability to humidify certain square footage/rooms optimally, which is what you want.
The tank size (and design) could be crucial too
The capacity of water the built-in tank/reservoir determines whether it will run throughout the night (without refilling) for quality sleep time.
Overall, you’re better off with models with bigger tanks.
Still on the tank, be sure that it’s super-easy to clean (you don’t want any deposits or mold and bacteria in there) and refill when necessary.
Its operational ease is also worth checking
Keep off units with substandard controls that malfunction every now and then, hard-to-read displays, and other awkward settings.
It’s also important to see to it that the product you end up is easy to move from one room to the next (think caster wheels).
Other than the above….
Look for helpful features
The following features could be advantageous…
- A humidistat- This shuts off your humidifier when humidity reaches a preset level to prevent over humidification (over-humidified air causes ills such as mold growth, respiratory issues for infants, and more).
- Cool and warm mist- Having both features could be nice if you’re torn between the two mists.
- Adjustable mist mode- This makes humidification extremely precise because you can change mist output as per your needs.
- Whisper-quiet fan – Noise can interrupt your sleep or hamper your concentration.
- Changing mood lights- Colorful lighting brings a soothing ambiance at bedtime.
- Auto shut-off protection –This shuts off your humidifier automatically if the reservoir goes out of water.
- Essential oil tool: With this provision, you can add your favorite essential oils to the unit to supply a clean, fresh-smelling aroma to your rooms.
Best Humidifier Reviews 2020
We have scoured the markets and handpicked our best 5 models.
This section is dedicated to these best humidifier reviews.
Go through them before picking the best fit for your room moisture needs.
LEVOIT Humidifiers for Large Room
A mist output of 12 gallons per 24/hrs (500 ML/hr) means that this is one of the best humidifiers for large rooms (spaces as huge as 753 sq. ft).
The 1.5 gal tank runs non-stop for 36 hours (low mist setting) meaning you won’t be waking up in the middle of the night for refilling.
This humidifier is a solid choice for those who are after a unit that gets the job done in big rooms.
There are three mist settings (high, medium, low) as well as a built-in moisture level sensor that gauges current humidity level and automatically adjusts it to bring more comfort.
This ultrasonic model comes in both cool and warm mist options and has a safety auto-off when empty, practical remote control and can be preset (has a timer).
You will also treasure its easy-to-clean tank design.
Rounding off what is one of the most loved models in our humidifier reviews is a soundless operation and a light-off option to help you sleep tight throughout the night.
- Super quiet.
- Charming looks.
- Easy to maintain.
- Higher mist settings use more water.
Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
This is the No. 1 best-selling humidifier in the category of humidifiers upgraded with germ-killing abilities (uses UV technology to wipe out organisms).
It’s not just about germ killing, though and has a robust, steady mist-output and an ultra-quiet function (thanks to the QuietCare technology).
This Energy Star appliance is a sure bet if you’re looking for the best humidifier for rooms up to 360 square feet.
It offers 3 three different powerful, steady mist-output settings to choose from, as well as a break-resistant water tank which has further been made so easy to fill and clean.
Plus, the reservoir runs for 24 uninterrupted hours (maximum) per filling.
This cool mist humidifier comes with a self-regulating evaporative system so it will never add more moisture than necessary to the air (research shows that your respiratory function may be severely hampered by excessive humidity).
It, however, doesn’t come with extras such as a timer, humidistat, or even an auto shut-off.
- Top-quality Honeywell construction.
- Convenient wide tank opening.
- Powerful Antimicrobial- kills up to 99.99% of all germs.
- Very few bells and whistles.
Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier
Do you suffer persistent respiratory discomforts because of the dry air that comes with winter?
The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier features a medicine cup where you can add Vicks VapoSteam to ease coughs, nasal congestion, and such irritations.
You can as well add Kaz Inhalent to create a medicated steam that soothes.
This gives you plenty of bang for your buck.
Most outstanding is the pleasantly glowing nightlight, 2 comfort mist settings, and an elegant, extra-large display (shows accurate temperature and humidity levels).
As a bonus, this model will, according to the company kill up to 99.9% of all the bacteria that typically live in the water held by the reservoir.
The 1-gallon tank capacity means it will work for 12 hours (low setting) without stopping and is again a breeze to fill- simply put water and replace the cap by turning it clockwise firmly.
The other thing we like is that it’s filter-free so you won’t be spending more bucks on filters.
If you have limited space, this is compact and could be a sensible solution.
It’s at its best when deployed in medium to large spaces (up to 400 square feet).
- Functional auto-shutoff (when the tank runs empty).
- Accepts VapoPads for soothing mist.
- No humidistat.
TaoTronics Ultrasonic Humidifiers
This top-class model is best for your toddler’s bedroom or other areas where noise is upsetting such as offices or a study room.
Its 27dB noise level makes it unbeatable for such spaces.
It’s a great machine that features a 360° rotatable moisture nozzle that sprays continuous mist to all directions (the maximum area is 215-430 sq. ft).
Best of all, the mist is enveloping and gentler and will help your baby experience deep, restful sleep.
Did I mention that it runs without a light at night to stimulate good sleep?
It still offers a reasonably-sized tank (1.06 gallons/4L) which manages a 12-50 hours uninterrupted humidification operation.
The auto shut-off will put it off when the water is drained.
Finally, the dial knob control makes setting up required humidity levels effortless (choose between Min and Max as per your needs).
- The Nano-coated circuit boards are protected from damage by moisture.
- Easy to handle tank.
- Dim at night.
- No major concern.
Honeywell HEV685W Top Fill Console Humidifier
This magical humidifier is a darling to many users in the console humidifier category, thanks to its adjustable humidistat (with low, high, and medium-speed settings).
It automatically comes on/off to preserve wonderful humidity levels in all your rooms and could be the best home humidifier.
Due to its unrelenting moisture output and the premium filter, the Honeywell HEV685W acts with great speed and brings healthier air than most other models.
And while others require that you remove the tank to fill, this unit’s top-fill design means you can refill the two 1.5-gallon tanks with a regular watering can!
The other very attractive feature is the antimicrobial property (restrains mold, algae, fungi, and more) in the filter – this explains why you breathe cleaner air here.
There are other cool extras including a refill light (to warn you about low water levels) and humidity reached indicator (shows if critical humidity levels have been reached/exceeded).
Its white exterior looks stunning too.
It runs for up to 24 hours for spaces 2000 sq.ft and above on full tank.
- Intuitive controls.
- Top filling tanks.
- Admirably quiet.
- Lacks a remote control.
Wrapping it up
There are plenty of methods to counteract the parched winter humidity but some ways are easier — and sounder — than others.
The best humidifier is among the trendiest and most powerful solutions to air parchedness because of plummeting wintertime temperatures.
Indeed, unlike most of the traditional methods, here you stand to gain in many other ways including having your rooms feel warmer and preventing the saturation of germs in the air (this study found that bringing humidity to 43% makes germs ineffective).
In short, no matter where you live, the best humidifier is a priceless tool to add to your space during the cold winter months.