Dry air can wreak havoc on your health. Not only can it lead to dryness of the skin and the eyes, but the irritation that it often causes for sinuses can further lead to allergy-like symptoms, such as coughing and congestion. And if you’re already sick with something, the dry air is just going to make your symptoms worse. So, what can you do?
During the dryer winter months, both health professionals and home experts turn to humidifiers. These machines make it easy to raise the humidity level in your home, creating a much more comfortable living environment. This is the opposite of what dehumidifiers do, which zap moisture from the air.
Choosing the Best Humidifier
So, as you start shopping for a new humidifier, what should you look for? And where should you look? We have answers to these questions and more down below!
Method or Type
Humidifiers typically work in one of four ways. As such, you’ll have the option of an impeller, evaporative, vaporizing or ultrasonic humidifier. Impeller humidifiers release water from a tank by way of a diffuser with the goal of hydrating the air via a fine mist.
Evaporative humidifiers use a fan to blow an extremely subtle amount of water into the air at any given time. Steam vaporizers create steam via heating mechanisms. Ultrasonic humidifiers expel water into the air using sound vibrations that are undetectable to the human ear.
But whichever of the four options you choose, your air humidifier is still going to push moisture into the air. However, that moisture can be either warm or cold, depending on the type of humidifier you purchase.
Very few humidifiers give you the option of hot and cold settings, as most shoppers prefer the cold mist option. The warm mist option can become excessively hot, putting you, your children and your pets at risk for burns. This is another reason why it’s less popular.
It’s important to remember that vaporizing humidifiers only produce a warm mist. On the other hand, both ultrasonic and impeller humidifiers are often only available in cool mist variants.
Size of Your Space
Of course, you want to measure your space when shopping for a humidifier, just as you would when shopping for a dehumidifier. This will ensure that the option you pick will appropriately treat the air. Calculate the square footing of the area you wish to treat and then pick the corresponding humidifier for you.
Ease of Use
You want a humidifier that will be easy to use. Otherwise, you’re likely not going to use it because it’s such a hassle to operate. So, look for a humidifier that’s easy to move around if you plan to move it frequently. Also, look for a humidifier that’s easy to clean, as failing to clean your humidifier can lead to mold growth.
Humidifiers come with a range of features. You can find humidifiers that will shut off after your room reaches a certain humidity level, as well as humidifiers that are made with mold-resistant materials and humidifiers that will alert you if your water tank is running low. There are even humidifiers that can diffuse essential oils into the air via a separate chamber.
Best Humidifiers for 2022
With all of this in mind, are you ready to get shopping? Here are some of the best humidifiers of the year!
This Venta humidifier is a good upgrade for someone who already knows they need a new humidifier and has experience using them in the past. You can pick from a few different sizes, and this humidifier can treat spaces up to 600 square feet. The filterless humidifier is easy to care for, seeing as it only requires a cleaning every few weeks. There are three power levels as well as an automatic shutoff option for when the unit runs out of water and an extra feature that removes indoor air pollutants. The humidifier will keep your space at a comfortable humidity level, ranging from 40% to 60% humidity.
If you’re wanting something a little more budget-friendly, try this humidifier from LEVOIT, which is available on Amazon. The compact humidifier can be moved from room to room as needed. It is perfect for small spaces, such as nurseries, bedrooms and offices.
The built-in sensor measures the room’s humidity to ensure that you don’t over-moisturize your space, but it can run up to 20 hours in total without requiring a tank refill. A quiet setting allows for easy use while you sleep, and a separate diffusing chamber makes it possible for you to add your favorite essential oil to the mist.
Another budget-friendly humidifier from Amazon is this affordable, highly-ranked humidifier. It can be in use for up to 25 hours at any given time, and the humidifier offers great features for the price, including four mist settings and an LED night light, all without any assembly required. More basic than some of the other options, this one doesn’t include a filter. Instead, it works with the press of a button. If you don’t need anything fancy, this is the way to go for a small room.
On the other hand, what if you do want something extra fancy? If so, try this Dyson humidifier, which doubles as a fan. Sure, it’s more pricey, but it comes with a lot of extra bells and whistles. A built-in water purifier means you can use tap water in this humidifier, as an ultraviolet light removes any bacteria or minerals. A sleep auto-shut-off mode, 10 fan speeds, a sleek design and a remote control are all just the icing on the cake. Plus, this is one of the few humidifiers that will allow you to raise the humidity in your space up to 70%, and the fan feature means you don’t necessarily need to hide the Dyson away in a storage closet once winter’s over. This humidifier can treat spaces up to 172 square feet.
This ultrasonic cool mist humidifier is filterless with its 1.5-liter tank. The automatic shut-off mode allows you to literally set it and forget it, meaning you can eliminate your house’s dry air with less work and monitoring. At the lowest setting, the humidifier will run for up to 16 hours. Plus, the compact size makes it easy for you to take the humidifier just about anywhere. You can find space for it in every room of your home.
This highly-rated humidifier can treat a large area, even with its small-sized nature. The 1.6-gallon tank will effectively humidify air in rooms up to 500 square feet, and it can run continuously for up to 50 hours. An essential oil tray allows you to add your favorite oils and scents to the air. Additionally, the auto shut-off feature keeps things safe, so even if you forget to turn the humidifier off yourself, it will do so on its own. The filterless humidifier runs at less than 30 DB, resulting in a quiet experience that is perfect for any bedroom.
Want a humidifier that’ll effortlessly fit with your home decor? Try this humidifier from West Elm. Sleek and stylish, it looks more like modern art than a handy device to keep your nostrils moisturized. It comes in four colors — white, matte white, black and pink — at the price point of $150 each. The humidifier can hold half of a gallon of water, and it can run for up to 18 hours at one time. An aroma tray makes it possible to add your favorite essential oils to the mix as well. The humidifier is suitable for spaces up to 350 square feet in total.
This cool mist humidifier is as easy to use as some of the basic, budget-friendly picks. Even so, with filterless operation and minimal buttons, it pulls out ahead of the pack with a larger tank size and longer run time. The 1.25-gallon tank allows you to run the humidifier for up to 24 hours on the lowest setting. A built-in diffuser is also included.
You probably trust the Vicks brand for your other wintertime cold and congestion needs, so why not trust it when it comes to picking the right humidifier? This mini humidifier is perfect for placing at the corner of your desk or on your nightstand, and reviewers report that it’s remarkably impressive for its small size. It has a small price tag, too! The half-gallon tank can run for about 20 hours in total, and reviewers love that it streams its moisture out at an angle versus straight up into the air like most humidifiers.
What if you need a humidifier that can effectively humidify large rooms or even your entire house? In those cases, go for the Airfare MA1201 humidifier. This solid hunk of equipment on wheels can humidify up to 3,600 square feet. A digital display and humidistat both allow you to check your current humidity level and then set the device to reach the humidity level you desire. After it reaches that level, the unit will automatically shut off.
Yes, it’s a little more difficult to move around and clean than some of the other options on this list, but would you rather use one large humidifier for your entire house, or purchase a lot of mini humidifiers for each room? With the average mini humidifier costing anywhere from $30 to $40, this humidifier only costs $115, meaning you’ll save money by selecting one larger variant.
If you don’t need a humidifier that can treat quite a large space, but you do want something that can treat a large-ish space, consider this incredible humidifier. This model can treat up to 1,000 square feet, and the device’s smart features allow it to constantly measure your home’s in-the-moment humidity levels and then adjust its performance accordingly.
If you’re interested in a warm mist humidifier despite the need to be a little more cautious and careful of burns, the Crane two-in-one personal humidifier is an option worth considering. You can use it as a warm mist humidifier, but it also doubles as a personal steam inhaler, which is perfect for singular use when you have a cold or you suffer from allergies. A special slot allows you to add in medicinal pods, and the device heats water up to 131 degrees Fahrenheit for safer, germ- and bacteria-free steam.
While most warm mist humidifiers pose a safety hazard to children and pets due to the high heat levels of the emitted steam, this digital steam humidifier boils water internally and then reduces the mist temperature until it’s merely warm, not scalding. This process makes it a safer, warm-mist humidifier option for family households. Extra safety precautions include a demineralization cartridge to absorb minerals from your water before use as well as a decalcification mode to clean the device as needed.
Using Your Humidifier Properly
Once you’ve chosen the perfect humidifier for your needs, be sure that you’re using your humidifier properly. As noted, you’ll want to keep it clean, washing the filter every few days. If your humidifier’s filters can’t be washed, try to look for an option with affordable filters and then stock up on them.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself spending a pretty penny on endless filters. You can also choose a filterless humidifier, though that will require you to clean the entire unit regularly.
Use distilled water in your humidifier instead of filling the water tank from the tap. The problem with tap water is that it often contains harmful minerals that you shouldn’t be breathing in, but purchasing a humidifier with a purification or demineralization system can alleviate this issue.
Be careful and monitor how humid your humidifier is making your room as well. You’ll want to keep the humidity level below 60% to avoid mold and mildew growth as well as other moisture-related problems that can impact both your home and your health.
A Healthier Home is Just One Purchase Away
According to the Mayo Clinic, humidifiers can help to minimize symptoms of asthma, colds and allergies. They can also help to prevent dry skin, irritated nasal passages and itchy eyes or throats, which many people in dry environments experience. Keep your family in peak health this season by purchasing one of our 13 favorite humidifiers!
You might also be interested in: Organized Spring Cleaning (With Tips From A Professional Organizer)
The 13 Best Humidifiers
- Venta LW25 Original Airwasher
- LEVOIT Humidifier With Built-In Smart Sensor
- Pure Enrichment Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
- Dyson 310849-02 AM10 Humidifier and Fan
- Pohl Schmitt Ultrasonic Viral Support Humidifier
- Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier
- Objecto H3 Hybrid Humidifier
- Honeywell Designer Series Cool Mist Humidifier
- Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier
- Aircare MA1201 Humidifier
- Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier
- Crane Two-In-One Personal Steam Inhaler and Warm Mist Humidifier
- BONECO Digital Steam Humidifier S450