It’s true – the great outdoors can be a whole lot of fun. It’s also true that most of our time is spent indoors. The average person spends about 90 percent his life and 75 percent of his waking time in indoor settings. It shouldn’t be that bad. After all, isn’t it safe to stay indoors?
Well, not always. Staying indoors can be bad for your health and endanger your personal safety. These problems arise when humidity isn’t regulated. Low or high humidity will expose you to the same health hazards as staying outdoors. It could even risk everyone’s safety by damaging furniture, appliances, or the building itself.
Luckily, there’s no need to give up the comforts of a sheltered environment. What you do need is a humidifier. A humidifier keeps humidity levels within the normal range. That way, you get to stay indoors without having to worry about your health or safety. But before we give you the best humidifiers of 2023, let’s talk about the effects of humidity.
Effects of Humidity on Health and Home
Humidity refers to the amount of moisture in the air. It’s different from temperature, which measures the intensity of heat in an object or the environment. The level of humidity depends on how much water vapor is in the atmosphere. Humidity that is either below or above normal can harm your health and damage your home.
Is LOW humidity bad for you?
Low humidity occurs when there is less than 40 percent moisture in the atmosphere. Under extremely cold conditions, this can go down to 10 percent. Low humidity is more common in cold environments since cool air is less efficient at holding water vapor. However, it can also occur in warm environments where there is limited availability of water such as arid deserts.
When humidity levels are low, the air is dry and causes a series of health problems. Dry skin, nasal congestion, and irritation of the eyes, throat, and sinuses are just some of the health effects of low humidity. Once you’ve developed these symptoms you become vulnerable to infectious diseases, allergic conditions, and skin problems. Coughs, colds, flu, asthma, eczema, and “winter itch” will be commonplace in a household.
As for your home, don’t be surprised if you see cracks and warps on wooden floors and furniture, or if the repairs you’ve made with caulks and glue fall apart. Natural wood and sealing agents require adequate humidity to stay intact, and dry air renders them useless.
Is HIGH humidity bad for you?
High humidity occurs when there is more than 50 percent moisture in the atmosphere. Warm air does a better job of holding water vapor, which is why warm places tend to be more humid. Increased humidity causes the air to become moist. As a result, the environment becomes a suitable breeding ground for all sorts of nasties like molds, mildew, dust mites, and bacteria. The health effects of high humidity include an increased risk of allergies, asthma, and infection.
It’s not just health you should worry about. Excess indoor moisture will cause the wood in your home to rot from the inside out. Wallpapers may show signs of bubbling and eventually peel off. Painted ceilings and walls will develop unsightly stains. And let’s not forget the bad odor that’ll fill your entire living space – thanks to the growth of molds and mildew.
The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic
6″D x 8″W x 9″H
URPOWER 2nd Version Diffusers
3.1″D x 3.1″W x 5.5″H
Honeywell HEV685W Humidifier
13.6″D x 21.3″W x 13.7″H
LEVOIT 4L 2-in-1 Humidifier
6″D x 8″W x 14″H
Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
8.6″D x 8.6″W x 13.4″H
Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier
10.39″D x 18.58″W x 13.03″H
Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Humidifiers
12.75″D x 9″W x 9H”
Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier
12″D x 7.4″W x 14.3 “H
Air-O-Swiss 7147 DGTL Humidifier
23.6 “D x 11.5″W x 14.3 “H
Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier
10.39″D x 18.58″W x 13.03″H
Here Are our Reviews on the Best Humidifiers of 2023
Indoor humidity can be regulated with the help of humidifiers. Basically, these are devices that control air moisture within indoor settings. A standard humidifier increases humidity by adding moisture to the air. It prevents health problems and protects structures from any possible damage caused by low or high humidity.
1. Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier Humidifying Unit with Whisper-quiet Operation
The pure enrichment ultrasonic cool mist humidifier is the best-selling humidifier on Amazon right now. It’s just got the perfect mix of price, features, and performance. The 1.5-liter tank capacity is enough for 16 hours of continuous operation – enough for a good night’s sleep. It has 360-degree directional control and 2-speed settings so you can adjust it according to your desired comfort level. Another feature is the optional night light. It gives out this soft blue glow that’s kinda relaxing if you’re into that.
The ultrasonic cool mist humidifier can output moisture at 150 milliliters per hour – enough to alleviate dry air symptoms. There’s also a sensor that automatically shuts off the device when it detects when water levels are low or when the tank is removed. The two-year warranty isn’t bad too.
Overall there were no glaring issues found when testing the ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. It’s portable and compact enough to stay on top of a desk or a side table. There are no filters to change – though this can be an issue if you live in dusty areas. Thankfully included in the packaging is a cleaning brush. Clean frequently to prevent the buildup of dirt and dust. It is recommended that you switch out the water every day to prevent the buildup of mold and bacteria.
If you use hard water, there may be residue built up around the nozzle area. You can clean this with vinegar or peroxide. One important thing to note is that this humidifier is not capable of diffusing essential oils so do not and I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT place essential oils in the tank.
For those thinking about purchasing this as a gift, the packaging size is 0.9 inches tall x 9.2 inches wide x 6.9 inches deep, and weighs in at around 15 lbs.
2. URPOWER essential oil diffuser 100ml Aroma Humidifier
This is the second generation URPOWER essential oil diffuser that we have tested. They’ve managed to tweak it to produce more mist. This is one of those hybrid units. It’s more of an essential oil diffuser with a humidifier (100ml capacity) which can run for about 6 hours on intermittent mode and 3 hours on continuous mode.
If you want an essential oil diffuser, then the URPOWER is for you. It more or less works as advertised. You fill it with tap water and a few drops of the oil of your choice. It works with the majority of brands of oils. It dispenses a fine cool mist and can cover a medium-sized room.
Aesthetically, it looks good. Clean smooth lines all around. You can choose between 7 color-changing lamps with programmable on/off cycles. It’s sturdily built (pp hard plastic) but the buttons can stand to be a bit better (they felt cheap).
As standard on most humidifiers, it has an automated shutoff switch whenever the water runs low (or empty). In a few days of continuous testing, it has never missed a beat. It remained reliable and we have not recorded a single incident of it malfunctioning. That said, the packaging came with a few dings – though that may just be on the shipping side – it seemed to come out fine though.
What is this for? It’s perfect for daytime use. You can go for 6 hours in intermittent mode, it gives a warning beep when it runs out. Replacing the water would take but moments. However, if you plan on using this while you sleep, then there are humidifiers with bigger capacity tanks that can last you the night.
3. Honeywell HEV685W Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
If you live somewhere where freezing cold is the default temperature, then this is the machine for you. The Honeywell HCM-6009 is perfect for twenty-four-hour use. What’s great about the HCM-6009 is that it can humidify a large room (up to 1900 sq. ft. perfect for multi-room use) and can do it 24-7 (full tank is good for 24 hours of continuous use).
This is an evaporative-type humidifier – it’s completely different from mist-type humidifiers. Instead of atomizing water into small droplets (which eventually land on something). Evaporative units operate differently. It sucks up the water through a wick and evaporates as the fan blows dry air over it. This means that you don’t have to deal with white residue around your humidifier. It also makes this ideal for people with respiratory issues – who shouldn’t be using mist-type units as they can exacerbate their condition.
When testing it, I used a holmes s1708 bacteriostat for cool mist humidifiers (an entire cap full per container) and a protect pc-1 humidifier tank cleaning cartridge in order to ensure that there would be no hiccups. Seriously, when using evaporative-type humidifiers, additives are recommended. These types of humidifiers are prone to mold and clogged filters.
At full tilt, the HCM-6009 managed to raise humidity up to 42% (from 5%) pretty quickly. Once we got it going, we set it to low and the auto setting took care of the rest. It blows air over a 270-degree angle through the sides so there are no dead spots in the coverage area. It managed to keep humidity levels at a plus-minus 1.8% from our hygrometer which is pretty good.
Over the month we tested the device, there have been no outstanding issues. There is more maintenance involved for sure but it’s entirely manageable. The filters managed to last the winter before having to be replaced so if you’re planning to use it the whole year, then you’d save more money stocking up on wicks.
4. LEVOIT 4L 2-in-1 Humidifier & Air Purifier
The LEVOIT air washer is a cool mist-type humidifier and air purifier manufactured in Germany by LEVOIT. At first glance, it is a very compact system. At 17.5 inches wide, 11.5 inches deep, and 13 inches tall, it can humidify an 800-square-foot space. It has a 3-gallon tank which can last around 24 hours (depending on the settings). It’s also pretty light at 13 lbs dry.
Power consumption wise, we found it to be very efficient. Ranging from 3, 5, or 8 watts – depending on fan settings. It draws power from a six-foot power chord with a simple wall adapter. The adaptor itself can operate on a wide range of outputs. 50-60 Hz and 120-220 volts which means you can take it with you on international trips.
The operation could not be simpler. On the top portion of the humidifier, you can see a power button. Right beside the power button are a few indicator lights that show you which fan speed you are on. Besides the speed, the indicator cluster is the triangle-shaped fault light. To the right portion of the control, the cluster is the fan speed button.
The L45 comes in two pieces. The top part carries the control, power, and humidifier fan. The lower half has the water container and the rollers that filter the air. The great part is that the rollers aren’t actually filters. They just direct the air into the water where the water itself filters the air. That means you don’t have to spend money on replaceable filters. It’s just a series of disks that creates a large surface area that humidifies the air. That said, you still have to clean the disks and the fan. It’s a very simple process that is entirely toolless.
When using the air washer, you may have to mix in additives in order to prevent mold and other growth. The additives can last 12-14 days before you need to refill. And that’s it. Simple. Easy. One thing I did notice is that it’s not really completely silent. It’s not a jet plane engine loud mind you, but there’s a soft whirring sound – which may bother some people.
If you’re looking for precise humidity control, then the venta isn’t for you. It humidifies to a natural level. If you require more than that, then there may be other models that can satisfy you better. Also, the claims of air filtration are slightly questionable. Though it does filter out pollen and dander and other particulates, it’s not really performing any better than normal humidifiers.
The Best Humidifier for Babies
1. Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
It’s about as quiet as a ninja, barely making noise while running. The only noise it makes is a faint white noise when set to low-medium. Babies can sleep soundly through the night with this humidifier. In fact, they may even find the light sounds it makes soothing enough to fall asleep faster.
The silent and sleep-inducing benefits of Crane Ultrasonic aren’t the only reasons why we put it on our list of best humidifiers. Another noteworthy feature is its minimum runtime of 10 hours on a full tank. This leaves you plenty of time for refills after a night’s rest. Even if you forget to switch it off the following morning, this slick model has an auto-shutdown feature that causes it to turn off when it’s out of water.
Crane’s Drop Shape Humidifier doesn’t come with a filter out of a box – not that you’ll need one. The cool mist technology deters most bacteria from breeding in your baby’s nursery. You do get an option to purchase a demineralization filter though you’ll have to use hard water. Like most humidifiers, it needs some cleaning once a week. But this will only take up to 5 to 10 minutes of your time.
The Best Humidifiers for Kids
1. Honeywell Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier (HCM-350W)
Children can be tough nuts to crack sometimes, although that never made them less vulnerable to infection. Compared to teenagers and young adults, kids are more likely to get sick when exposed to bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. The Honeywell Germ-Free Humidifier is an excellent choice for your child’s bedroom. Equipped with an anti-microbial filter, it can kill up to 99% of infection-causing microbes including molds, fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
This cool mist humidifier has a large enough capacity to last through the night. Its conventional shape makes it easier to handle and fill than Crane Ultrasonic. Some parents prefer Honeywell HCM-350 over Crane Drop due to its quieter operation. However, the latter isn’t really bothersome for babies.
2. Crane Frog Cool Mist Humidifier (EE-3191)
The frog design is a nice touch, but that shouldn’t make you think twice about getting it. Crane Frog Humidifier is one of the best humidifiers out there. Kids can’t get enough of this cuteness and parents have every reason to love it too.
It’s perfectly safe to have around children since it produces a cool mist. Unlike warm mist humidifiers, there’s no risk of boo-boos with this one! The humidifier has a sturdy build, which is almost surprising, and a wide base with enough tank space to pull an overnighter.
Crane Frog has an auto-shutdown feature like the Drop in case it runs out of water. It also has a similar anti-microbial technology to Honeywell Germ-Free Humidifier that reduces bacteria and mold growth by up to 99%. By combining these two features and a cheaper price tag, you get the best value for your money. Besides, who can say no to this adorable humidifier?
The Best Humidifiers for Health
1. Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier (V750)
It’s an affordable alternative to Honeywell Quick Steam and sells for half the price. Even though it looks and feels cheap, it’s actually very sturdy and has above-average performance. Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier has an impressive running time of 24 hours and stays cool, so there’s no need to worry about its safety. When paired with Vicks products, this humidifier relieves cough, flu, nasal congestion, and sinusitis.
2. Air-O-Swiss – Boneco Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier (AOS-7135)
The ultrasonic humidifier is extremely quiet, making it the perfect choice for bedrooms, study rooms, libraries, and small offices. It can handle up to 600 square feet of space complete with automatic humidity control. Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic is equipped with an anti-bacterial system that promotes a cleaner and healthier environment. And it won’t leave you with dry skin or a stuffy nose.
The Best Warm Mist Humidifier
1. Honeywell Quick Steam Warm Moisture Humidifier (HWM705B)
The Quick Steam lives up to its name. It’s a beast really, able to produce moisture within seconds and control humidity at a faster rate than other warm mist humidifiers. Built-in controls allow you to set a preferred humidity. This model also has an automatic shut-off and a medicine cup that produces relaxing vapors.
The Best Cool Mist Humidifier
1. Honeywell Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier (HCM-350W)
Honeywell Germ-Free wins this round again, and it shouldn’t be a surprise. It shamelessly tops every cheap humidifier by combining functionality, ease of use, and a leak-proof design in an affordable package. Even though it’s built for small spaces like your kid’s bedroom, the humidifier can handle larger rooms and regulate their humidity in as little as 2 hours.
A viable alternative would be Sunpentown Digital Evaporative Humidifier (SU-9210). Only slightly pricier than Honeywell Germ-Free, it’s arguably one of the best cool mist humidifiers on the market. As an evaporative model, SU-9210 is easier to maintain. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have enough power to handle rooms larger than 350 square feet.
A Quick Guide to Choosing the Best Humidifiers
Choosing the best humidifiers seems like a daunting task, but it’s much easier than you think. Here are a few things to consider before taking your pick:
- Type of Humidifier
- Room Space
- Low Maintenance
- Silent Operation
- Health-Related Features
- Child-safe if you’re planning to use humidifiers around kids, go with child-safe models. Children are naturally curious and playful, so a humidifier should be able to take a beating – just in case they mistake it for a toy. Children are also prone to choking and electric shock. In order to prevent this, get a humidifier that doesn’t have loose parts which might break off or expose electrical parts. It is also advised that you only use cold mist humidifiers around kids, since warm mist units may cause accidental burns.
- BudgetChoose a humidifier that offers the best value for your buck. Don’t make the mistake of buying a cheap model that doesn’t meet your standards. So long as you weigh your options and be patient about it, you don’t need to have to burn your wallet just to get the humidifier you need.