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Published May. 10, 2022

Dry air in your home can lead to sinus symptoms, nosebleeds, dry skin, and exacerbation of allergy symptoms. Those living in homes with forced-air heating systems tend to experience particularly dry air throughout the colder months of the year. A humidifier can help to boost humidity to ideal levels, generally considered to be between 30 and 50 percent. Maintaining proper humidity levels can also help to prevent the spread of airborne bacteria, including the kind that transmits COVID-19. Shopping for a humidifier online, however, can easily become overwhelming since there are so many options available. 

We’ll break down what to look for when shopping for the best humidifiers for your home and discuss the key considerations to keep in mind as you shop. Keep reading for tips on choosing the best option, and explore our curated picks for the best humidifiers on the market.

How We Picked the Best Humidifiers

While it’s easy to assume that all humidifiers offer similar performance, a number of factors affect their quality and functionality. Several years of experience covering home goods and appliances as well as extensive product research went into choosing our final curated selection. We reviewed over 30 humidifiers and weighed a number of practical considerations before making our recommendations. 

Capacity: We gave preference to models with larger water tanks since they need to be refilled less frequently, allowing for longer continuous operation. 

Room Size: All our recommended humidifiers cover an area of at least 400 square feet, to ensure they’re suitable for a large bedroom.

Type: This guide focuses on console humidifiers that are designed to humidify specific areas rather than whole-house humidifiers, which require permanent installation in a duct system. 

The Best Humidifiers: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: Levoit Humidifier With Smart WiFi Control

LEVOIT

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Why It Made The Cut: The Levoit Humidifier With Smart Wi-Fi Control is a favorite of humidifier experts because of its top-notch performance, midrange price, and impressive array of high-tech features. 

Specs:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 1.58 gallons
  • Room Size: 505 square feet
  • Built-in Humidistat: Yes 

Pros:

  • Smart sensor
  • App- and voice-control options
  • Top-fill design
  • Quiet operation

Cons:

  • Not suitable for large open spaces

This smart humidifier from Levoit is a favorite of experts and users alike. It features a 1.5-gallon tank and is designed for rooms with areas of up to 505 square feet. A built-in sensor monitors humidity levels throughout the day and adjusts the output as needed to meet preset humidity levels. It pairs with the VeSync app, which allows users to adjust the humidity level, set timers, and control the machine from anywhere. By pairing the humidifier with an Alexa device, it can also be voice-operated for hands-free control. 

The noise levels of this model never exceed 30 decibels, making it suitable for bedrooms and nurseries. The water tank features a top-fill design, so it’s easy to fill from a faucet as needed. It features a large opening, which means it’s simple to clean.

Best Value: Pohl Schmitt Ultrasonic Viral Support Humidifier

POHL SCHMITT

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Why It Made The Cut: This straightforward humidifier is simple and affordable, offering efficient operation without unnecessary bells and whistles. 

Specs:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 0.4 gallons
  • Room Size: N/A
  • Built-in Humidistat: No 

Pros:

  • Simple user interface
  • Quiet operation
  • Built-in nightlight

Cons:

  • Lacks humidistat
  • Low operating time

Console-style humidifiers are often large and bulky, making them unsuitable for small spaces. This model from Pohl Schmitt, however, is compact, making it perfect for placing on a nightstand or dresser. It features a 0.4-gallon water tank, offering 16 hours of continuous operation. When the water runs out, it shuts off automatically and an indicator light comes on to alert users that it’s time to refill the tank. 

Many popular humidifiers on the market offer advanced technological features but can be overly complex for those who aren’t tech-savvy. This model has a simple user interface, with a manual dial to control the humidity output. The mist direction can be adjusted as needed, and a built-in night light makes it perfect for children’s rooms. It also operates quietly, so it won’t disturb you as you sleep. 

Best for Nurseries: Crane Adorables Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Why It Made The Cut: The multitude of cute designs available for this high-powered humidifier will help it easily blend into a child’s room. 

Specs:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Room Size: 500 square feet
  • Built-in Humidistat: No 

Pros:

  • Quiet operation
  • Cute, kid-friendly designs
  • 24-hour run time

Cons:

  • Bottom-fill tank

When shopping for a humidifier for a nursery, there are several factors to keep in mind. Perhaps the most important is the sound level, which should be quiet enough to not disturb sleeping infants. The Crane Adorables line features whisper-quiet operation and offers a variety of cute animal-shaped devices that look perfectly at home in a child’s room. Shoppers can choose from an elephant, a frog, a penguin, a monkey, an owl, and more. 

In terms of practical features, it has a one-gallon water capacity and is designed for rooms of up to 500 square feet in size. It’s capable of operating continuously for 24 hours, allowing for infrequent water refilling, especially if it’s used only at night. A simple manual dial allows users to control the water and air output. The tank is designed to be easy to clean to keep air clear of waterborne bacteria.

Best for Large Spaces: Levoit Humidifier for Large Room

LEVOIT

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Why It Made The Cut: This model from Levoit can cover an area as large as 753 square feet and includes smart functionality, dual-mist control, and a 50-hour run time. 

Specs:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 1.5 gallons
  • Room Size: 753 square feet
  • Built-in Humidistat: Yes 

Pros:

  • Top-fill design
  • App- and voice-control options
  • 50-hour run time
  • Dual-mist control

Cons:

  • High price

Most console-style humidifiers are designed for small to medium-sized rooms with areas of around 500 square feet. This model from Levoit, however, is specifically made to service larger spaces and would be suitable for an open-plan main floor or large primary suite of up to 753 square feet in area. The 1.5-gallon tank allows it to run for 50 hours non-stop before having to be refilled. 

This model features smart functionality, with a built-in humidistat and app- or voice-controlled operation. By pairing with either a dedicated app or a smart home assistant-enabled device, users can control the humidifier from anywhere. As an added feature, it includes dual-mist capabilities, offering warm mist for cooler weather and cool mist for the warmer months of the year. The top-fill design makes the water tank easy to both clean and refill. 

Best for Allergies: Dyson AM10 Humidifier

Why It Made The Cut: Dyson’s humidifier uses ultraviolet light to disinfect the water and prevent the spread of airborne bacteria, while also doubling as a powerful fan. 

Specs:

  • Water Tank Capacity: 0.94 gallons
  • Room Size: 400 square feet
  • Built-in Humidistat: Yes 

Pros:

  • Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) certified
  • Includes UVC light
  • Acts as a high-velocity air circulator

Cons:

  • High price

Perhaps the biggest downside of using a humidifier is the frequency with which it needs to be cleaned. If a humidifier isn’t cleaned regularly — approximately once per week — bacteria and mold can develop and be dispersed into the air, causing a host of health issues. This model from Dyson combats that issue with its ultraviolet cleansing technology, which exposes all the water that goes through the machine to UVC light, killing 99.9 percent of bacteria in the process. Because of this, it’s certified by the AAFA as being asthma- and allergy-friendly. This technology does, unfortunately, result in a much higher price point, making this model too expensive for many shoppers. 

On top of humidifying the air in the winter, the Dyson AM10 also acts as a high-velocity air circulator in the warmer months. It features an internal sensor that monitors both the ambient temperature and humidity and adjusts its performance accordingly. Despite its powerful performance, it operates quietly and only needs to be refilled after 18 hours of continuous use. 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Humidifier

With so many humidifiers on the market, choosing the right one for your home requires careful consideration. Keep the following factors in mind while making your purchase.

Capacity and Coverage Area

The primary factors to consider when choosing a humidifier are the size and capacity. Humidifiers can be split into three broad size categories: portable, console, and whole-house. 

  • Portable humidifiers can be small enough to fit in a backpack or suitcase to use while traveling. Their water capacities are typically under 1 quart. 
  • Console humidifiers vary in size and can sit on a tabletop or on the ground. They generally cover spaces of between 200 and 1,000 square feet. Choose a model with a water capacity of at least 1 gallon to ensure it needs to be refilled only once per day. 
  • Whole-house humidifiers connect to a home’s ductwork and are designed for spaces larger than 1,000 square feet. 

Ease of Filling and Cleaning

Depending on the size of the water reservoir, humidifiers need to be refilled either daily or every few days. Because of this, shoppers should look for models that are designed with removable tanks and wide mouths that are easy to fill. It should also be easy to carry the full reservoir back to the base of the humidifier. 

Since humidifiers must be cleaned regularly, it’s also important to choose a model that’s easy to disassemble for cleaning. 

Additional Features

While all humidifiers share basic functionality, some are equipped with useful additional features. 

  • Humidistats: Top-of-the-line humidifiers feature humidistat readers, which monitor humidity levels in the room and automatically adjust their output accordingly. 
  • Warm-mist function: Most humidifiers use room-temperature water, though some models include a feature that heats the water in order to create a warm mist. 
  • Air purifying: Some humidifiers include air filters and double as air purifiers. 

FAQs

Q: Do I need a humidifier?

Most people who experience cold winters would benefit from a humidifier. In order to check the humidity levels in your home, consider purchasing a digital hygrometer

Q: What is the ideal humidity level for a home?

The humidity level in your home should be kept between 30 and 50 percent to alleviate the symptoms associated with dry air. It’s important to keep humidity levels below 60 percent in order to prevent the development of mold and mildew. 

Q: How often should I clean my humidifier?

It’s important to clean a humidifier regularly to prevent mold and bacteria from developing. Humidifiers should generally be cleaned once a week to avoid health risks such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis. 

Final Thoughts

Our recommendations cover a variety of types and styles of humidifiers to best suit different needs. The Levoit Humidifier With Smart WiFi Control is our top pick because of its smart connectivity and built-in humidistat. Our recommended choice for those on a budget is the Pohl Schmitt Ultrasonic Viral Support Humidifier, which offers great performance and a simple user interface.

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