Humidity isn’t something we think about every day. But when the temperature outside plummets and the humidity inside your house quickly drops from pleasant to parched, that’s when you realize that your home needs a humidifier.
Buying a reliable humidifier comes with numerous advantages. It can relieve sore throat, cracked skin, and itchy eyes by increasing the moisture in dried-out air. Aside from providing relief for physical ailments, a humidifier can also play a role in preserving the beauty of your home. These gadgets prevent your wallpapers from peeling off and reduces static electricity. These advantages are the reasons why humidifiers make their way to millions of shopping lists every year.
The Types of Humidifiers
There are generally two main types of humidifiers: Cool Mist humidifiers and Warm Mist humidifiers. They share the common purpose of humidifying the surrounding air, but they differ in how they accomplish it.
Cool Mist Humidifiers
These types of humidifiers are known to be safer and more energy-efficient compared to warm mist types. They don’t heat up, which means they’re a good choice if you have children staying with you. The downside you should expect is that they also require more maintenance. Bacteria can easily thrive inside the unit if not cleaned regularly. The filter must also be replaced every year if you want the humidifier to keep performing at its best.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
For many consumers, the heated vapor produced by warm mist humidifiers is easier to breathe than cool mist types. If you have a stuffy nose, you’ll find these humidifiers especially helpful. They do tend to consume more electricity since the water must first be heated to produce steam. And if you have children, it’s best to place the unit somewhere beyond their reach to avoid accidents.
Considerations When Choosing a Home Humidifier
Type of Humidifier
We already covered the two types of humidifiers above and their pros and cons. If you have kids running around in your house, it’s wise to get a cool mist humidifier. If you frequently suffer from congested or stuffy nose, you’ll get your money’s worth with a warm mist unit.
Area to Humidify
To determine the right humidifier for your needs, get an estimate of the area you need to humidify and go from there. These gadgets come in different sizes to suit different areas. Small humidifiers are ideal for rooms up to 300 square feet. Medium-sized units can humidify an area of 300 to 499 square feet, while large humidifiers are great for rooms 500 to 1,000 square feet wide. For rooms larger than a thousand square feet, there are also extra-large humidifiers that can easily moisten the air of an entire house. Take note that the price of the product does depend on the area you need to humidify. The larger the area, the more expensive the unit you’ll need.
Perhaps one of the most useful features to be found with humidifiers from all price points are indicator lights. They tell you when it’s time to refill the water reservoir or clean/replace the filter. This eliminates any guesswork and helps to keep the product in perfect working condition. If you want a product that gives you control over how much moisture to release into the air, then look for a unit with a humidity adjustment dial. Most humidifying machines today come with a humidistat or hygrometer that tells you the moisture level in your surroundings. This gauge may be coupled with an auto-off feature that shuts down the device when the desired humidity level has been reached and turns it on again when moisture falls under the desired level. The auto-off feature may also work by turning off the device once the water in the tank runs out to prevent creating a fire hazard, especially with warm mist units.
All the products covered in this review come with at least a one-year warranty. If you want to get the most out of your money, we suggest buying from a company that offers better coverage. A solid warranty offers you reassurance that the manufacturer will take care of repairing or, even better, replacing the unit. Check if there’s a toll-free number you can call, or an email option just in case you have trouble with using or maintaining the humidifier.
Humidifiers can cost anywhere between $15 and $250. You don’t have to choose the most expensive one since your needs may be simpler than others. If you just want a unit that can make the air more pleasant to breathe in the summer, you’ll be happy with a mid-ranged product. They cost under $50 but they already come with all the basic features you could need. If you have a large home and would like your humidifier to be packed with advanced features for added convenience and versatility, then be willing to pay more than $150.
The 5 Best Home Humidifiers in 2017
Our Top Pick:
- High Output: Up to 3.5 gallons/24 hours for rooms up to 650 sq ft
- Auto Mode for fully automated operation
- Whisper-quiet in operation
- Optional warm or cool mist
- Digital display and programmable hygrostat
The design of the Boneco Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is truly one of a kind. Not only is it elegantly-shaped, but it also comes in a soothing blue color that lets it fit in with most home décor. And not only does this product look good, but it works like a charm, too! The customer reviews for this product is nothing short of impressive. With an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, there’s no doubt that the Boneco Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is a humidifier that delivers. If you’re planning to use the humidifier while you sleep, you’ll be pleased to know that this unit is super quiet and only makes a low buzzing sound. The settings can also be changed depending on your humidifying needs. If you’ve owned a cheaper humidifier in the past, you’ll notice the difference in performance between this product and your old one. Yes, the Boneco Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier might be among the most expensive units in the market today, but you are getting a quality product that’s loved by thousands of customers. Together with its pre-heater, quiet fan, and flexible controls, it’s a no-fuss unit that won’t intimidate even first-time humidifier users. The only flaw we saw with this product was that it takes a while to thoroughly clean. But if you don’t mind putting the extra effort maintaining this device, you’ll enjoy using it for a very long time.
- Cleanse anti-bacterial discs; HumidipüR cleaning discs
- Plasmawave technology
- Auto mode monitors the rooms humidity levels
- HEPA/Carbon Combination Filter
- For more details please refer user manual below
Winix is a well-known brand when it comes to humidifiers, and the Winix AW600 Triple Action Humidifier with Plasmawave is no exception. This unit may be on the expensive side, but you are guaranteed a quality unit that can stand the test of time. Take note that this product is made for larger homes and may be too bulky for some households, so it isn’t ideal if you’re living in a small apartment. If you or other family members suffer from allergies, rest assured that the Winix AW600 Triple Action Humidifier will make everyone breathe easier. It’s effective at removing any allergens in the air, and does it quietly enough that everyone can sleep through the night undisturbed. Aside from its air purification technology, this product also adds the right amount of moisture in the air so you don’t have to suffer during hot seasons. Another thing we loved with this product was its sleep-mode feature. As soon as the device detects low lighting, the display lights turn off and the fan automatically sets itself to the lowest setting. With its fantastic performance and user-friendly features, there’s no doubt that Winix created this product with the customer in mind. If you don’t mind paying $190 for a quality humidifying machine, the Winix AW600 Triple Action Humidifier is one of the best purchases you can make.
- Dual function: Warm and Cool mist
- ION exchange filter
- Ultrasonic generator
- Humidity output: 400cc/hour
- Designed for rooms up to 500 sq. ft
- Split nozzles: 360° adjustable direction
- 0L water tank capacity
- Overheat protection
- Super quiet operation
- Energy efficient
- Cleaning brush included
- Dual function: Warm and Cool mist, ION exchange filter
- Ultrasonic generator, Humidity output: 400cc/hour
- Designed for rooms up to 500 sq. ft., Split nozzles: 360 adjustable direction
- 0L water tank capacity, Overheat protection
- Super quiet operation, Energy efficient, Cleaning brush included, ETL, 1-year limited warranty
Sunpentown is one of those appliance manufacturing companies you’ve probably never heard of before, but they are slowly building a reputation as a reliable maker of humidifiers. One of their top products is the SPT SU-4010 Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Warm/Cool Humidifier, and it is prided as an eco-friendly unit that effectively moisturizes the air with minimal noise. It’s also been praised for being durable and long-lasting with proper care. In terms of design, this humidifier doesn’t take up a lot of space. Some users find it a little bulky, while others were happy with its size. It’s also not a fancy-looking device, so if aesthetics is important to you, this may not be on your wish list. But what it lacks in appearance, it compensates for in performance. It’s one of the best humidifiers in its price point. With nearly a thousand positive reviews, you can bet that this is a smart choice for anyone who wants to make the air more pleasant to breathe during warm seasons. The 4-liter water tank can guarantee up to 12 hours of operation in its highest setting. You can also switch between warm mist or cool mist mode depending on your humidifying needs. The SPT SU-4010 Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Warm/Cool Humidifier can work effectively in rooms up to 500-sq. ft. wide, and the nozzles can be adjusted to point at any direction you choose. There’s no doubt that this is a product that’s packed with great features. And at a price of under $80, we think it’s a bargain!
- Filter Free Operation
- Designed for Medium Rooms
- Runs up to 24 hours per tank filling
- Variable speed settings for optimal comfort
- Empty Tank Indicator, Rotating nozzle for directional mist
- 5 Gallon Tank Capacity, 2 Gallon per day Output
If you’re looking for a money-saving warm mist humidifier, the Holmes Ultrasonic Filter-Free Humidifier may just be the one for you. No more worrying about when to replace the humidifier’s filter because this device doesn’t need one to operate effectively. The problem most consumers have with humidifiers is that filter-replacement can be costly. Some brands’ filters may even be as expensive as $17 a piece. Aside from its filter-free operation, the Holmes Ultrasonic Filter-Free Humidifier is a large-capacity unit that can run uninterrupted for up to 24 hours. And best of all, it has a 1.5-gallon water container – a generous capacity for a humidifier under $50. If you’ve never owned a humidifier before, you won’t be intimidated using this product. It has straightforward controls and its lack of a filter means you don’t have to worry about the maintenance cost. Don’t expect this product to be perfect, though. We have noticed a couple of downsides and one is its tendency to make a LOT of noise. This isn’t the case for all users, but for some, the humidifier would make a loud rattling sound after being turned on. The noise fades away after a few minutes, but still, it can get annoying. The other drawback is that the humidifier needs to be cleaned more often than filtered ones. Yet, despite those two hitches, the Holmes Ultrasonic Filter-Free Humidifier still outshines other mid-ranged products in terms of capacity and performance.
- Ultrasonic cool mist technology safely moisturizes the air for up to 16 hours of continuous operation so you can breathe easy and get more restful sleep
- 1.5-liter tank capacity provides ideal coverage for bedrooms, offices, and other medium-sized rooms
- 360-degree mist nozzle and dual-speed control make it easy to adjust mist direction and speed to fit your comfort level
- Automatic shut-off safely turns humidifier off when water level is low or the water tank is removed
- Optional night light offers soothing glow for maximum relaxation
You can’t argue that the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is one attractive unit. It’s inexpensive, looks great, and is currently the No. 1 best seller on Amazon as of this writing. With thousands of positive reviews and ratings, there’s no question as to this product’s reliability. The tank capacity is ideal for medium-sized rooms like bathrooms, bedrooms, and offices. There’s also a 360-degree adjustable nozzle so you have control over the direction of the mist. If you have trouble sleeping, the soft glow emitted by this humidifier is helpful in inducing a feeling of calm and relaxation – perfect for a good night’s rest. And when it comes to features, this product comes with all the basic ones such as an auto-off and a dual-speed control. On its lowest setting, expect to enjoy up to 16 hours of operation before the needing to refill the water tank. The reservoir can hold up to 1.5 liters of water. A little lower than we would have liked but still enough for users to leave it running overnight while they sleep. Overall, it’s still a fantastic buy. We were more than sold on the fancy design of the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, but its performance and features have contributed to making this a bestseller for thousands of customers.