With temperatures dropping by the minute, so is the humidity level. That means you’ll soon be on the hunt for the best humidifiers to combat dryness (if you’re not already)! These handy little devices are a great way to keep your home fresh and comfortable all season long. Read on to find out exactly what they do and how to find the right one this winter.
What does a humidifier do?
Humidifiers are devices that emit water vapor in order to increase the levels of moisture in the air inside your home. Primarily, they’re used because the moisture we breathe is tied to our health. According to the Mayo Clinic, a healthy home humidity level is somewhere between 30 to 50 percent, with adjustments for preference. When humidity levels are too low, as they tend to be in the dead of winter, it can lead to problems, such as sinus issues, dry skin, bloody noses, extended colds, and poor sleep. Alternately, when humidity levels are too high (think the dog days of summer), air can become a breeding ground for bacteria, dust mites, and mold, which in turn can aggravate symptoms such as allergies and asthma.
Air Purifier vs Humidifier
For those wondering if they actually need a humidifier if they already have an air purifier, the answer is a resounding yes. While both machines will work to improve air quality, they serve completely different functions. As we established above, humidifiers are used to maintain adequate moisture levels in the air inside our homes. Air purifiers, on the other hand, clean the air inside your home, trapping and removing harmful particles such as mold spores, dust, dust mites, pet dander, and other irritating allergens. While you may not need to use both simultaneously, having one of each on hand ensures that you’ll be taking in the healthiest H2O possible, all year long.
Best Humidifiers for Your Home
Whether you’re looking for a small, quiet model to keep your grandchild’s bloody noses at bay or a large device that will add moisture to big open spaces, FIRST has got you covered. We’ve rounded up 11 options that are perfect for areas both big and small. Keep scrolling for our picks for the best home humidifiers to breathe better this winter.
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Best Humidifier For The Home
Best Budget Humidifier — Levoit Cool Mist
Where to buy: $36.99 (Originally $39.99), Amazon
For a home humidifier that's both effective and budget-friendly, we love Levoit's Cool Mist ultrasonic humidifier. With a large water tank that supports up to 40 hours continuous use, this model ensures the air quality in your home will always be at its best. Complete with three adjustable levels, whisper-quiet technology, and an aromatherapy box for optional essential oil diffusion, it's easily a customer favorite.
One buyer wrote, "I am a firm believer in the necessity of humidifiers for health. Having owned 20+ over the years, I have to say this is my favorite. It is super quiet , the light turns completely off, [it's] easy to handle, puts out the right amount of moisture into the air, and the square shape makes it easy to place ... Highly recommended."
Best Humidiifer For Winter
Best Humidifier for Winter — VicTsing Cool Mist
Where to buy: $33.99, Amazon
With winter being the prime season for humidifiers, having one that can easily be moved from room to room, like this VicTsing Cool Mist humidifier, is vital. Ultra-quiet and compact, it features a 45 degree nozzle that's specially designed to dispense air in any direction with ease, with up to 10 hours of uninterrupted use and a bright LED indicator light that will alert you when it's time for a cleaning.
Amazon buyer Jenny calls it a "great humidifier at a great price," explaining, "I live in the Midwest, so winter is a really dry season. Having the humidifier helps make the air in my home a little less dry, which makes my skin happier and helps me sleep better at night."
Best Quiet Humidifier
Best Quiet Humidifier — OPOLAR Digital
Where to buy: $66.99, Amazon
By now, you've likely caught on to the fact that humidifiers are important for getting optimal levels of air moisture, but there's one aspect that holds many people back from making the leap — the noise. Though the humidifiers of today are much quieter than prior versions, it remains a lingering worry. With the OPOLAR digital humidifier, you won't have to, as it features quiet-operation technology and an advanced intelligent humidity balance system that renders it practically silent. It allows you to pre-set your ideal humidity level and constantly monitors your environment, shutting down once its optimum settings have been reached. Complete with a running time of 12 to 24 hours and a sleek LED screen design, it's also a great find for anyone looking for a stylish humidifier that won't take up a lot of real estate.
Best Humidifier For Large Rooms
Best Humidifier for Large Room — Pure Enrichment HumeXL
Where to buy: $79.99, Amazon
Larger rooms mean you'll need to call in the big guns — i.e. the Pure Enrichment HumeXL ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. Providing round-the-clock moisture, this humidifier boasts a running time of up to 50 hours, an easy-to-clean water tank, and an intuitive touch control panel that has dual mist and night time modes.
One plant parent was especially happy with this purchase, sharing, "I love that the low setting on this humidifier raises the humidity by a lot. ... My hygrometer has read a raising humidity at one percent increase every 10 to 15 mins. My plants and I are very happy."
Best Humidifier For Small Room Desk Office
Best Small Room Humidifier — OATSBAFS Cool Mist
Where to buy: $15.69, Amazon
Whether you want a small room humidifier to help keep your skin hydrated at the office or as a gift for your child who's away at college, the OATSBASF Cool Mist humidifier is a great bet. With an adorable elephant design, this BPA-free device provides up to 18 hours of quiet, continuous operation and is equipped with an automatic power-off function that is activated any time the water level drops beyond a certain point for safe usage.
Amazon buyer Al loves this machine, writing, "It's a very cute size, perfect on my desk in my dorm next to my bed; the LED lights are nice and you can also plug in other USB accessories into it — I charge my phone with it. It's so silent and I have already recommended this to multiple friends."
Best Humidifier For Bedroom
Best Humidifier for Bedroom — KOIOS
Where to buy: $49.99, Amazon
Getting a good night's rest is important for your health, but if you're sleeping in in a dry, uncomfortable environment, chances are, you're not. To make sure you and your loved ones are getting the sleep you deserve, pick up KOIOS' top-fill ultrasonic humidifier. It's got three adjustable mist settings and a humidifier sensor that can be adjusted based on your current environment. It will run for up to 20 hours — plenty of time to get your shut-eye.
Amazon buyer Paul called it an "awesome product" and "totally worth it," explaining, "This has been very helpful with getting a good night's rest. I bought the humidifier for my wife, because she has difficulty sleeping because of a dry nose. Since we started using it, she's been getting a full night's sleep, and not waking up with dry nose and sneezing fits!"
Best Humidifier For Baby Nursery
Best Humidifier for Nursery — Taotronics Cool Mist
Where to buy: $48.99, Amazon
Finding the right humidifier for your baby's nursery is no easy task. The ideal machine should be powerful, easy to clean, and, most importantly, quiet! Luckily, we've found one that checks all the right boxes — the TaoTronics cool mist ultrasonic humidifier. It's specially designed to ensure a peaceful sleep. It's also equipped with a 12 to 30-hour running time, an intuitive LED display, and a sleep mode that shuts off the screen for disturbance-free slumber. The best part? This humidifier also runs on a microporous cartridge that filters out any germs and bacteria from the air, keeping your baby happy and healthy.
Best Humidifier For Kids
Best Humidifier for Kids — Tekjoy Cool Mist
Where to buy: $49.99, Amazon
Any parent can attest, come cold and flu season, it's the littlest ones that get hit first. That's precisely why it's important to make sure that your child has a humidifier in his or her room. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cool-mist humidifiers are one of the best ways to help ease a child's cold symptoms. To keep sniffles at bay, we recommend this Tekjoy Cool Mist humidifier. With a running-time of 24 hours, whisper-quiet operation, and an automatic timer, it's essentially a parent's best friend.
But don't take it from us! Wrote on happy parent: "This humidifier is amazing! ... At the moment, my husband and three kids are sick. The first night we used this, my son didn't cough at all. There is an automatic shut-off, which is great (don't have to worry about waking up and having it on with no water), and several different colored lightings, which my two daughters use as a night light. ... I highly recommend."
Best Humidifier For Essential Oil
Best Essential Oil Humidifier — iTvanila
Where to buy: $49.99, Amazon
One of the biggest home trends of the last five years has come in the form of essential oil diffusers. Given their success, companies have begun to develop high-power hybrid humidifiers that combine the best of both worlds, like this iTvanila machine, which provides rapid humidification, produces less that 35 decibels of noise, and includes an essential oil diffuser tray, allowing you create the scented home environment of your dreams at the push of a button.
With an almost five star rating on Amazon, this humidifier has made scores of people happy. Wrote one shopper: "A great aesthetic update for what is typically an eyesore. The water reservoir is a good size and I love the essential oil pad. It packs a powerful punch and works well in our 15x15 room."
Best Humidifiers For Allergies
Best Humidifier for Allergies — Mooka
Where to buy: $59.99 (Originally $159.99), Amazon
Humidifiers can be life-changing for those with allergies. This Mooka top-fill Cool Mist device, in particular, comes equipped an ample (16-hour) running time, humidity sensors, and whisper-quiet technology. The thing that really sets this one apart, however, is its four-stage filtration system. Designed to remove everything form lime scale to allergens and bacteria, you can rest assured that you'll be breathing in the finest, cleanest air possible.
Allergy sufferers are big fans of this model, with one writing, "I purchased the Mooka top-fill Humidifier to get rid of the dryness and humidity in my bedroom during the fall and winter seasons. I can already feel the benefits since it is relieving my allergy symptoms, preventing dry skin, cutting down on my husband’s snoring, and... [helping] to get rid of airborne viruses. I like the fact that the humidifier is easy to maintain and clean, and has a removable reservoir with a carrying handle that fits under your faucet. ... I think I will buy a second one for the downstairs living room."
Best Humidifier For Basement
Best Dehumidifier for Basement — hOmeLabs
Where to buy: $189.99 (Originally $219.99) Amazon
While most parts of the home can benefit from a humidifier, there's one area that might do better with a dehumidifier — the basement. Basements are natural breeding grounds for moisture-fueled problems, such as bacteria and mold. To offset any issues and keep the air healthy, pick up hOmeLabs' 50-pint dehumidifier. This easy-to-use, six-gallon system eliminates everything from excess moisture to smells for only the freshest, cleanest air.
Buyers are loving how this system has transformed their basement, with one raving, "It took the dampness out of our basement within a couple of days and every crack and corner was dry. ... Within the first week of using it, we both noticed we didn't have that 'basement' smell anymore. ... This is a great product."