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The 10 Best Humidifiers

results are based on 3,202 reviews scanned

Yellow first place 1 VicTsing VicTsing VicTsing Humidifier Cool Mist
79 reviews
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2 Vicks Vicks Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier with Auto Shut-Off, 1
99 reviews
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3 TaoTronics TaoTronics TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier with LED Display, Ultrasonic
70 reviews
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4 iTvanila iTvanila iTvanila Cool Mist Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser
14 reviews
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Orange best value 5 TaoTronics TaoTronics TaoTronics Humidifier, Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifiers with 2
76 reviews
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6 VicTsing VicTsing VicTsing Top Fill 3L Cool Mist Humidifier, Anti-Leakage
27 reviews
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7 LEVOIT LEVOIT LEVOIT Cool Mist Humidifier, 4.5L Ultrasonic Humidifiers
19 reviews
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8 iTvanila iTvanila Ultrasonic Humidifier,5L Humidifiers for Bedroom Large Single Room
48 reviews
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9 PurSteam World's Best Steamers PurSteam World's Best Steamers PurSteam Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Superior Humidifying
91 reviews
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10 GENIANI GENIANI Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Best Air Humidifiers
63 reviews
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A Guide to the Best Humidifiers

By Yehudah Posnick

There are times of the year when the air in your home can be excessively dry. It could be during a spell of hot, dry weather in the summer. Alternatively, it could be due to heating your house in the winter--the humidity in your house can drop to as low as 10%, while the recommended humidity is around 30%. In such cases, a humidifier can help relieve the effects of low humidity: dry skin, chapped lips, and even respiratory ailments. They may also help treat people with allergies, relieving congestion and inflammation of the nasal passages. When you breathe in moist air, it will moisten the mucous membranes, and let you breathe more easily.

So, we see that there are advantages in using a humidifier--but they work on a number of different principles. The majority of portable humidifiers for a room or small apartment are ultrasonic humidifiers, partly because they operate quietly and with very little maintenance. But there are also vaporizers, evaporating humidifiers, and impellers--it’s worthwhile getting familiar with the differences. Also, there are cool mist and warm mist humidifiers, with each recommended for different purposes.  

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting a humidifier. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of humidifier,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of humidifier,

  • Read reviews of different humidifiers, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of humidifier for your needs, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Humidifiers

Adding humidity to the air can relieve dry skin and dry mucous membranes in the mouth and nose, as well as dryness in the eyes. We can distinguish between cold mist and warm mist humidifiers.

  • Cool Mist Humidifiers: These distribute moist air through a room, either through evaporation or by breaking up water into little droplets by ultrasound. Since they don’t heat the water that is being evaporated, they will consume less electricity than a warm mist humidifier. They are also better for adding humidity to a larger area, such as an entire home.

  • Warm Mist Humidifiers: These will be referred to as vaporizers since they disperse heated vapor instead of just humidity. A number of manufacturers make warm mist vaporizers, such as Vicks, as part of their cold and flu relief products.They have a heating element that heats the water, which is then released in the form of a warm mist. A warm mist humidifier will relieve coughing and congestion, a dry nose, itchy skin and chapped lips. You can also add liquid inhalants, such as the Vicks VapoSteam--a camphor cough suppressant that you add to the vaporizer water. These are better for small areas, such as the kids’ room when they have a cold.

We can also distinguish between cool air humidifiers based on the method of adding humidity to the air:

  • Ultrasonic humidifiers: These use a metal plate that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency. That breaks up water into tiny particles, which is then distributed through the room. These don’t require a fan, so they tend to be quieter. They also are more portable.

  • Evaporative humidifiers: These have a wick that absorbs water, while a fan in the device blows air through the wick, evaporating the water. The humidifier thus emits cool, moist air.

  • Impellers: These have a rotating disk that spins water onto a diffuser, which then distributes the water droplets into the air in the form of a mist. The Sunbeam Cool Mist Impeller Humidifier uses such a design. These run for a very long time on less water.

What Reviewers Say

  • Vaporizers versus humidifiers: Since the water in a vaporizer is being heated, this might pose a danger to children, if they come in contact with the steam or heated water. On the other hand, cool mist humidifiers may have bacteria that grow in the water, if the water is not changed regularly. So, you have to be sure to change the water in the humidifier’s reservoir regularly, as well as rinse out the reservoir.

  • Night light: Since humidifiers are usually to make sleeping easier, especially when you or someone in your family has a cold or allergies, many humidifiers will have a night light function as well. This offers a soothing, blue light that has a relaxing effect as well.

Important Features

  • Filtering the water and the air: If you live in an area with calcium deposits in the water, these might cause limescale to deposit inside your humidifier. There are humidifiers with a two-stage filtration system to address this. The Levoit Ultrasonic Humidifier will filter the air with an activated carbon filter, and filter the water with a ceramic filter.

  • Aromatherapy: There are humidifiers that also function as an aroma diffuser, for aromatherapy. The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is meant to be used with Vicks’ own camphor drops. The Levoit Humidifier has an aroma box to which you add a few drops of essential oil. The cool mist will be suffused with the essential oil. On the other hand, the TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier cannot be used with any essential oils--the manufacturer suggests putting only water in the reservoir.

  • The volume of the water reservoir: You’ll see that humidifiers differ in the capacity of their water reservoir. The PurSteam Ultrasonic Humidifier has a 2.2-liter reservoir, allowing for 17 hours of continuous operation. (It also has an automatic shut off, in the event that the water level gets too low.) Some have a 4- or even 5-liter reservoir.

Top-Rated Brands

  • URPower--is located in Shenzhen, China, and are specialists in consumer electronics, health and personal care products, home improvement supplies, and more. They make diffusers and humidifiers, irons and steamers, LED lights and more.

  • Levoit--is located in Anaheim, California, and are makers of air purifiers, salt lamps, aroma diffusers, and humidifiers. They also sell yoga equipment and exercise mats. Their air filters contain a fine preliminary filter, a HEPA filter, and an activated carbon filter.

  • Vicks--is a Procter and Gamble brand, founded in 1890 by Dr. Joshua Vick. They specialize in cold relief products, to relieve symptoms of cold and flu such as congestion, coughing, fever, sore throat and more. They also make air purifiers, vaporizers, humidifiers and steam inhalers.

  • TaoTronics--is a retailer of electronic appliances, located in Rellingen, Germany. They make Bluetooth headphones, speakers, transmitters and receivers, as well as cool-mist humidifiers

  • PurSteam—are makers of powerful steamers for consumers. Their steam products are made for disinfecting and cleaning without using harsh chemicals. They are located in Buffalo, Wyoming. They make garment and travel steamers, as well as steam cleaners, steam irons, and humidifiers.

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