8 Best Humidifiers in 2021 (and Why They’re the Best)

If you’re struggling with static electricity, chapped lips, dry skin and a scratchy throat especially during winter, a humidifier can help.

Cold air doesn’t hold much moisture like warm air does so the colder it gets, the more the humidity levels drop and the more uncomfortable you feel.

The best way to balance it all out is by investing in a humidifier to prevent the harsh effects of low humidity from affecting you and your family.

If you’re on the prowl for a good quality humidifier, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve covered the 8 best humidifiers on the market, basing our selection on performance, features, customer experience, durability and overall quality.

The second part of this article covers everything you need to know when buying a humidifier as well as how to choose the right one for your specific needs.

Types of Humidifiers

Before we start, let’s take a quick look at what exactly a humidifier is.

A humidifier is an electrical appliance that increases humidity in a room or an entire building by putting moisture back into the air. It does this by emitting water vapor into a space, which increases the humidity levels and relieves dryness. There are five different types of humidifiers including the following:

  1. Central humidifiers: these are hardwired into the heating and air conditioning unit of your home and hooked up to your plumbing, humidifying your entire house at once.
  2. Evaporators: this type of humidifier uses a fan to circulate humidity in the room. It doesn’t generate heat and is ideal for homes with little children and pets. 
  3. Impeller humidifiers: these throw water at a diffuser by using a rotating disc. When the water hits the diffuser, it breaks into miniscule droplets that permeate the air.
  4. Steam vaporizers: these humidifiers use electricity to power their heating element, boiling water and creating steam. Before the steam leaves the machine, it cools down and then enters the air.
  5. Ultrasonic humidifiers: this type of humidifier uses a ceramic diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency, creating water droplets. These droplets silently exit the humidifier in the form of a cool fog. Some models use a fan to get the mist out whereas others are built without a fan and are mostly for personal use.

Each of the humidifiers we’ve reviewed below fit into one of these categories. The type of humidifier you select should depend on your specific needs and budget. With that said, let’s get into the reviews of our top 8 humidifiers.

8 Best Humidifier Reviews

$139.99
4 new from $139.99
as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am
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$78.49
$89.99
3 new from $78.49
4 used from $54.38
as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am
Amazon.com
$21.09
$29.99
2 new from $21.09
1 used from $16.99
as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am
Amazon.com
Last updated on October 10, 2021 2:07 am

Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

The Honeywell HCM350W Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier is one of the most popular humidifiers on the market. It’s quiet, easy to use and designed for large rooms from 500-800 square feet. It falls into the evaporative category of humidifiers.

One feature that we really liked about this is the UV light, which kills up to 99.9% of fungus, mold or bacteria in your water. Also, the device features a wicking filter, which removes hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium. This makes it safe to use with hard water, as it doesn’t allow the minerals to enter your air and leave white mineral dust, as most other humidifiers do. This means that even if your water is unfiltered, the pathogens in it will be killed and the minerals removed before the water is dispersed into the air.

What makes it stand out from the rest is how easy it is to maintain and clean. Its water tank has a wide opening that’s big enough to fit your hand inside for easy manual cleaning and both the tank water tray are dishwasher safe, provided you place them on the top rack so all the corners get cleaned as well.

The Honeywell Humidifier features a built-in fan which makes a low buzzing noise when operational. This can be distracting if you prefer total silence at bedtime.

What We Liked:

  • Kills germs
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Affordable
  • Has a cooling fan
  • Improves air circulation
  • Can be used with hard water
  • The device is energy saving

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The bottom tends to detach easily, causing spills
  • White background noise can be distracting

AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

4 new from $139.99
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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty system, the AIRCARE MA1201 offers an excellent solution. The Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier from Aircare comes with a 3.6-gallon tank with the capacity to handle a 12-gallon daily output. It also has a large coverage area of up to 3,600 sq. ft, making it a powerful option for humidifying your entire household.

The device is portable and easy to use. We were impressed by the digital humidistat this model features, which can easily be set to automatically maintain the level of humidity in your home. The system also has the safety feature of shutting off when the air has reached the desired humidity level or if the tank is empty. This means you don’t have to monitor the system once you’ve switched it on. 

The unit is easy to clean since the side-mounted water tank is removable. However, replacing the filters can be costly and the design of the unit could use some work since it’s not as attractive as most of the other products on the market. Overall, though, the Honeywell scores one over most other humidifiers due to its heavy-duty performance.  

What We Liked:

  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Humidifies large areas
  • Automatically shuts off so you don’t need to monitor it
  • Covers a large area
  • Doesn’t need frequent cleaning

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Bulky design
  • Replacing filters are quite costly

LEVOIT Humidifier

3 new from $78.49
4 used from $54.38
Free shipping
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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

The LEVOIT Humidifier boasts several impressive features which is what makes it one of our top picks. With a capacity of 5.5 liters and up to 36 hours of operation, this unit is ideal if you’re looking for large capacity.

The LEVOIT offers both cold and warm mist options. It can also diffuse essential oils when you add them to the aroma box, giving the room a fresh, pure and clean-smelling aroma. In this light, it has the capabilities of a diffuser, giving you a two-in-one system.

The LEVOIT works smart, requiring little to no monitoring. You can have the system running all night, without disturbance, due to its quiet operation. Also, the device includes a special sensor that controls the release of mist to keep your room at the optimal humidity level. Simply adjust the temperature to your desired humidity level and the device will do the rest.

With a mist output of up to 500 mL/hr, this unit can easily handle large spaces up to 753 sq. ft/70 m2. It requires almost no maintenance apart from the regular cleaning but remember not to let any water enter the air vent during cleaning or it will damage the humidifier and cause leaks.

What We Liked:

  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Easy to control with digital display
  • Allows for easy cleaning
  • Near-silent operation

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The stream tube cap isn’t secure enough
  • Needs to be refilled too often due to high mist output

Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier

2 new from $21.09
1 used from $16.99
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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

The Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reasonably priced high-performance humidifier. This model comes with a 2.5 liter tank and a modern, sleek design that makes it blend perfectly into any room in your house, without sticking out like a sore thumb.

The Magictec Humidifier includes a dial adjustment that allows you to find the right output depending on the needs of your household. However, even when used at higher settings, the motor is extremely quiet and won’t disrupt your peace of mind. You’ll need to refill the humidifier daily when used on the medium setting but it also has an emergency shut-off feature just in case the water is completely used up. 

One downside about this product is that it doesn’t include a diffuser tray so if you prefer to add essential oils to your humidifier, this may not be the product for you. Adding oils directly into the tank isn’t recommended by the manufacturer since it can cause damage to the unit.

What We Liked:

  • Stylish, modern design blends in with any décor
  • Output is adjustable
  • Budget-friendly price
  • Smaller capacity model

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Has to be refilled once a day
  • Doesn’t work as a diffuser

iTvanila C-PRO Humidifier Whisper Quiet for Baby Room

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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

A good quality humidifier for your baby room or bedroom should have a large tank for uninterrupted operation which is what makes this unit from iTvanila a great choice. It runs quieter than an air conditioner so you can have a good night’s sleep and wake up in the morning without suffering any of the effects of humidity.

This model has the impressive ability to run up to 30 hours in a room as large as 300 sq. ft. It features a separate diffuser tray in the back, into which you can add essential oils and enjoy the aroma in your room. It also features a soothing nightlight, making it just right for a baby nursery.

Designed to resist contamination and provide safe, clean mist for every day use, this product is easily one of the best baby humidifiers on the market. Following the highest safety voltage regulations and with its auto shut-off function, your baby can sleep through the night in comfort without any disturbance. And if you’re using it in your room, well, you can sleep like a baby.

What We Liked:

  • Extremely quiet operation
  • Adjustable nozzle for even distribution of mist
  • Includes separate diffuser tray for essential oils
  • Cute and compact design

What We Didn’t Like:  

  • Doesn’t include a night-light timer
  • Must be refilled daily

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

4 new from $37.00
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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

The Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is another top-quality option for a bedroom or nursery due to its excellent performance, easy use and whisper-quiet operation. The design of this model is sleek and compact, including a 360-degree adjustable lid and the capacity to hold up to 1 gallon of water. It runs continuously for up to 24 hours so you won’t have to worry about it shutting off during the night and interrupting your sleep.

Equipped with an automatic shut-off safety feature that turns it off when the water runs out, this humidifier is easy to clean and maintain. It has a detachable bottom fill tank, a removable water level sensor and cap to give you access to clean the entire base of the unit.

The manufacturer of this product doesn’t recommend using adding essential oils or medication since this could cause the tank to crack or damage so make sure you use only water in it.

What We Liked:

  • Doesn’t require a filter
  • Extremely quiet
  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Solid output

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Tends to leak
  • Insufficient capacity – needs to be refilled too often
  • Can’t be used with medication or oils

TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier

3 used from $37.49
Free shipping
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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier is a stylish product with remarkable functionality and an extra-large water tank (6 litre capacity), providing up to 60 hours of uninterrupted mist. The patented design of this model reduces noise to 26 decibels so all you’ll hear is a low hum when it’s working. It also features a 360-degree swivel nozzle that allows for equal distribution of mist.

This unit works in rooms as large as 430 sq. ft and its visual appealing design makes it a highly popular pick among many. It’s perfect for a modern, futuristic look in any stylish home. It has a wide water inlet for easy cleaning and refilling as well as an auto shut-off feature that prevents overfilling.

Providing you with temporary relief from congestion and coughing due to allergies or colds, the TaoTronics humidifier is designed to help you breathe easier and make you feel comfortable. Its cozy nightlight creates a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom but it’s important to note that the light does not and cannot be turned off so if you’re a sensitive sleeper, it might be an issue for you.

What We Liked:

  • Auto shut-off feature prevents overfilling
  • Large capacity tank
  • Runs up to 60 hours without needing to be refilled
  • Impressive design

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The night light can’t be turned off
  • Mist temperature can’t be adjusted

Crane Evaporative Humidifier

3 new from $43.96
Free shipping
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as of October 10, 2021 2:07 am

Rounding up our list is the Crane Evaporative Humidifier, the perfect choice for anyone needing a portable, convenient and effective humidifier for their home.

This product is a tabletop model with the capacity to hold up to one gallon of water and run for up to 24 hours making little to almost no noise at all. Even though this unit is small, it can effectively humidify rooms up to 250 square feet and once the water runs out, it shuts off automatically, ensuring that no energy will be wasted.

This humidifier offers three different speed settings which let you customize the water output according to your needs. Its evaporative technology filters the impurities in the water, providing 100% pure moisture to your room and the only maintenance it requires is cleaning the tank and replacing the filter.

What We Liked:

  • It’s energy efficient
  • Filters impurities in water
  • Quiet enough for light sleepers or babies
  • Extremely lightweight and portable

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Comes with a slightly higher price tag
  • Doesn’t effectively humidify larger rooms

Humidifier vs diffuser

Pros and Cons of Using a Humidifier

Humidifiers come with more benefits than disadvantages but if you’re not sure about buying one, weighing the pros and cons might help you make up your mind. Let’s take a quick look at the possible pros and cons that come with purchasing a humidifier.  

Pros:

  • Kills germs – It makes your home less conducive to germs that tend to thrive in dry air. This can reduce colds and flues, especially during winter.
  • Relieves dryness – Humidifiers add moisture to the air which relieves dryness and issues associated with dry air.
  • Nourished plants – It keeps your plants happy and hydrated as plants need more than 23% of humidity in the air to thrive.
  • Furniture – Proper humidity in your atmosphere can mean longer life for your furniture – fixtures and wooden furniture can suffer from being in an environment that’s too dry. A humidifier could help with that.
  • It provides comfort – Humidifiers help relieve symptoms associated with dryness in the air. These include irritated sinuses, eyes and skin, and other similar conditions.
  • Static electricity – Humidifiers can reduce static electricity in your home, which can prolong the life of electronics.

Cons:

  • Condensation – If the humidifier runs too long or is on the wrong setting, it can increase the humidity levels too much, resulting in condensation. Condensation can trigger the growth of bacteria, mold and dust mites in your humidifier.
  • White dust – Some humidifiers disperse a very fine, white dust which is the result of mineral deposits and other contaminants in your water.
  • Risk of burns – There is always a risk of getting burnt when using warm mist humidifiers which boil water so if there are small children in the house you can keep it out of their reach or go for another option.
  • Can cause bacterial growth – This is mainly if your humidifier isn’t cleaned out as regularly as it should be. Bacterial growth can promote colds and coughs so remember to keep your unit clean at all times.
  • Filter replacements – Humidifiers often come with filters which remove the contaminants in your water. however, replacing filters can be expensive.

Key Considerations When Buying a Humidifier

With all these benefits, buying a humidifier makes a lot of sense for any home, especially during winter conditions. Here’s what you need to consider when purchasing.

  • Type of Humidifier

We’ve discussed this at the start of the article but here’s an infographic with a quick recap:

As we mentioned in the start, there’s no right or wrong answer to which type of humidifier to get. It depends on your specific requirements and budget.

  • Size

The size of the humidifier depends on the size of the room you’re planning to use it in. if you’re looking to humidify a room up to 1000 square feet, you might want to go for a console humidifier. These are larger units that stay on the floor and have large-capacity water tanks. They require less filling than portable humidifiers.

Portable humidifiers on the other hand, have small water tanks and need to be refilled more often. They’re not that expensive and can easily be kept on your tabletop, nightstand or desk.

Whole-house humidifiers attach to the ductwork of your home, adding humidity throughout since they have the ability to handle spaces larger than 1000 square feet. These are connected to the plumbing of your home so you don’t need to refill the tank. They’re also the most expensive and will require professional work to get them into the system.

  • Humidistat

This is an important feature to have in a good-quality humidifier. The humidistat monitors the level of humidity in your room and turns off the unit automatically when the moisture level in the air hits the set target.

Although this isn’t a vital feature, it makes things a lot easier when it comes to operating a humidifier. It also helps with preventing excess moisture in the air that can lead to breeding of bacteria and fungi. Over humidifying your home is another problem and can be avoided by a humidistat.

  • The Capacity of the Water Tank

The size of the humidifier you select is closely related to the capacity of the water tank and affects how often you need to refill it. If you want the unit to run all day or all night without interruption, make sure you go for a model that comes with a large capacity.

It’s also a good idea to check whether the tank is removable since this allows for easy filling. If it’s not, you may have to bring water to the unit with a jug or a pitcher, which can be a hassle.

  • Auto-Shutoff Feature

There are lots of humidifiers available on the market with the auto-shutoff feature. This is extremely important if you plan to leave the unit on for long periods of time, since it will switch the humidifier off in case it runs out of water. This is a useful feature that can prevent the unit from burning out.

  • Demineralization Cartridge

If you live in a hard water area, you might want to consider getting a humidifier with a demineralization cartridge. The filter will trap the minerals in your hard water and prevent them from being sent out into the air as white dust which can be a nuisance and cause respiratory issues.

  • UV Filtration

Some humidifiers feature a UV light that eliminates bacteria, mold and pathogens that can breed in the humidifier’s tank. This is a convenient feature since it will keep you and your family safe from microbial related health conditions.

  • Air Filter

If you suffer from allergies, opt for a humidifier with a filter that will clean incoming air. Air filters are great for trapping dust, pollen, mites and dander that can pass into the humidifier and be sent out into the air.

  • The Mist

There are two types of mist: cold and warm which need to be taken into consideration when choosing a humidifier.

Warm mist humidifiers aren’t recommended for use if you have children in the house since they can pose a risk of getting burnt.

Cool mist humidifiers make your room feel damp or cool initially and are safe for use around children.

Both types of humidifiers are highly effective at adding moisture to the air as well as easing sinus and respiratory discomfort so in terms of comfort doesn’t exactly matter which one you choose.

The Bottom Line

Humidifiers offer many benefits, especially when you’re suffering from symptoms of dryness, but they do require a little bit of attention and ongoing maintenance. However, they come with a range of benefits that far outweigh the disadvantages.

By following a few commonsense steps, you can ensure that your humidifier performs as expected and lasts for a long time.

To learn about the difference between a humidifier and a diffuser, check our article here.

For more information on how to choose the right humidifier, go here.

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