Best Humidifier For: Colds, Allergies, Bedrooms, Babies & More

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Best  Overall
Cool Mist
Honeywell logoHCM-350
Warm Mist
Vicks logo V750
Hybrid
Levoit logo Hybrid

Dry air in your home can cause all kinds of issues, from sinus and skin problems to cracked floorboards and that static shock we all loathe. Using a humidifier regularly can make a big difference. We’ll help you find the best humidifier to fit your home’s needs.

Article Overview

Warm Mist vs Cool Mist

Both warm and cool mist humidifiers do an equally good job of humidifying the air and easing problems associated with dry air, including irritated sinuses, sore throats, coughs, bloody noses, cracked lips, itchy skin, and respiratory ailments. But there are some differences you should know.

Warm Mist

Warm mist humidifiers use an internal heating element that boils water before releasing it into the air. Many consider warm mist humidifiers healthier than cool mist because the boiling process kills waterborne bacteria and mold.

Warm mist humidifiers, however, aren’t ideal for large areas, are more expensive to operate, are less energy efficient, and typically more difficult to clean because the boiling process can leave mineral deposits in the water tank. While they’re great during cold months, some may find that they warm up a room too much in the summer.

Cool Mist

Cool mist humidifiers are ideal for large areas and use less electricity so they’re cheaper to operate and more energy efficient. They’re also the best choice for parents — warm mist humidifiers can result in burns if children get too close. Cool mist humidifiers use either evaporative or ultrasonic technology.

Evaporative humidifiers use an internal wick filter that absorbs water while an internal fan blows air through the filter. Ultrasonic humidifiers use ultrasonic vibration to create and release a cool mist.

Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers are much quieter and don’t require regular wick filter replacements like evaporative units. But take note: ultrasonic humidifiers create a layer of white dust on surfaces if your tap or well water contains a lot of minerals.

Top Overall Picks

Best Cool Mist Humidifier: Honeywell HCM-350 Review

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We chose the Honeywell HCM-350 as the best all-around cool mist humidifier for its ease of use, competitive price and overall performance. It’s also our pick for the best humidifier for colds and allergies. This evaporative humidifier doesn’t leave white dust around the room as do ultrasonic humidifiers when you use hard water (tap or well water).

This Honeywell model humidifies the air quickly, is quiet and energy-efficient, has no bright lights, and its tank is extremely easy to fill and clean. It also works well for rooms up to 400 square feet and runs for up to 24 hours on low.

Pros

Cons

  • Super quiet (on low setting)
  • Internal UV technology kills germs (bacteria, mold, fungi and viruses) in untreated tap or well water you add to the tank (independently tested)
  • Easy to fill and clean with wide tank opening
  • 3-year warranty
  • Can be too noisy for some on medium and high settings
  • Requires filter replacements at $12 a pop
  • Some users say it stops working well after several months of regular use

Price

  • $79.99 for humidifier
  • $24.99 for replacement filter

Best Warm Mist Humidifier: Vicks V750 Review

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The Vicks V750 Warm Mist Humidifier is an affordably priced and compact option that can run for up to 12 hours on the high setting or 24 hours on low. It’s ideal for small to medium-sized rooms. Although all warm mist humidifiers pose a safety risk, this humidifier combines room air and hot steam in a chamber so it emits a warm, not scorching, mist.

Pros

Cons

  • Quiet
  • Easy to clean
  • No filters needed
  • Auto shut off when empty
  • 3-year warranty
  • Warm mist, so the unit gets hot, posing a safety risk for kids and pets
  • Several user complaints that it leaks after regular use

Price

Best Cool & Warm Mist Hybrid: Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Review

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Can’t decide between a cool or warm mist? Or want the option of using both? Then the Levoit LV600HH Hybrid is your best option — and it comes with some cool features to boot.

This ultrasonic humidifier has a built-in humidity sensor so you can set your desired level, super high mist output of up to 500ml/hr, a remote control, an aroma box for essential oils and a large 1.5-gallon tank that can run up to 36 hours on low. It’s also a great option for large rooms.

Pros

Cons

  • Very quiet
  • Sturdy, no-leak water tank
  • No filters needed
  • Built-in humidistat maintains your desired humidity level
  • Fully functional remote control
  • Can shut off light display
  • Aromatherapy feature
  • Some users say they find it difficult to clean
  • Ultrasonic, so it leaves a white film around the room (unless you use purfified or distilled water)
  • A few complaints that the motor gets noisy after several months of use
  • Warranty is only for 1 year

Price

Best Humidifier By Category

In addition to our overall top picks, we’ve reviewed several other humidifiers that could suit your specific needs.

Apartments & Multiple RoomsBabies | BedroomFurnace/Whole House

Apartments & Multiple Rooms: Honeywell Quietcare Console

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The Honeywell Quietcare HCM-6009 console unit is an excellent choice if you’re looking for the best humidifier for apartments or to cover multiple rooms in your home. This evaporative cool mist humidifier features a large 3-gallon tank that lasts for 24 hours on low, a humidistat and auto shut off. While it doesn’t have many bells and whistles, it gets the job done well.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent for multiple rooms & large spaces
  • Built-in humidistat
  • Auto shut off
  • Generally positive reviews about its performance
  • 3-year warranty
  • Requires regular filter replacements
  • Several reports that it’s difficult to fill and clean
  • Some user complaints that it’s noisy

Price

Baby: Levoit Review

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The Levoit 2.4L Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is an excellent budget-friendly, high-performing product that’s well-suited for a nursery or bedroom. Two huge plusses: it’s ultra-quiet and doesn’t need filter replacements.

It also has auto shut off or you can set the timer for 4, 8 or 12 hours if you don’t want it running all night. The water tank is only 2.4L (0.63 gallons), but lasts up to 10 hours on medium setting. Users say it’s easy to clean and does a fantastic job humidifying a small to medium-sized room.

Pros

Cons

  • Super quiet so it’s ideal for babies or light sleepers
  • No filters needed
  • Timer with 3 settings and auto shut off
  • Easy to clean and fill
  • Compact size with carrying handle
  • Built-in night light, which you can shut off
  • “Hassle Free” warranty
  • Small tank (lasts 6 hours on high, 10 on medium, 12+ on low)
  • Some customers complained of leaking after several months of use

Price

Bedroom: Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Review

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While the Levoit humidifier we review above is a great choice for bedrooms, some may find that it doesn’t last long enough. An excellent alternative is the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, which is also super quiet and can last up to 24 hours on low without needing to be refilled (it’s capacity is 1.6L (6 gallons).

Pros

Cons

  • Super quiet for light sleepers (< 30db)
  • No filters needed
  • Auto shut off
  • 180ml/hour mist output humidifies air faster
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Compact size
  • 2-year replacement policy
  • Some complaints that it starts leaking after regular use

Price

Best Whole House Humidifier: Aprilarie 700 Review

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If you have a forced-air heating system and want to humidify your entire house, you’re in luck. You can purchase a furnace/whole house humidifier that taps into your air ducts and attaches to your home’s water supply. These furnace (sometimes called whole house) humidifiers are pricey and usually require professional installation, but they could be worth the investment to keep your entire house humidified.

We’ve chosen the Aprilairie 700 as the best whole house furnace humidifier for an HVAC system. This humidifier covers 4,200 square feet and puts out up to 18 gallons of water per day. It works by sucking the heat from the central air system and blowing it back into a wet screen to produce evaporated water into the air duct.

It has two modes; automatic and manual, which has temperature, relative humidity and service indicators that you can adjust for your desired humidity level and energy use. Unless you’re very handy, you should probably get this humidifier professionally installed. But Amazon’s review section has excellent customer tips if you choose DIY installation.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent for large houses
  • Has an automatic or manual mode (you can set it to be more energy efficient)
  • Can sync with the NEST thermostat
  • Very positive customer feedback about its performance
  • 5-year warranty
  • May need professional installation
  • Bulky, so you need to make sure it will fit into the duct around your furnace
  • Must purchase a 24V wall outlet transformer separately

Price

Cleaning Your Humidifier

Emptying your humidifier’s tank and drying all surfaces daily is the best way to keep it clean. Standing water can quickly result in bacteria and mold growth and mineral buildup, which gets released into the air with cool mist humidifiers. The heating process in warm mist humidifiers, however, usually kills these materials.

Tip: You can cut down on mineral deposits by using bottled water that’s labeled “distilled” or “purified,” rather than tap water.

Check out the following video for some deep cleaning tips.

Add A Home Air Purifier For Cleaner Air

Home humidifiers are proven to decrease the dry air in your house and help with sinus problems, cold symptoms, and dry skin, as well as helping your home’s infrastructure from cracking from air that’s too dry.

But if you or your family members suffer from chronic allergies or asthma — or if you’re worried about the general air quality in your home — consider purchasing an air purifier in addition to a humidifier. Unlike humidifiers, air purifiers actually clean the air in your home.

Visit our healthy living guide for four simple steps you can take to a healthier lifestyle.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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