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Best humidifiers 2020: Keep the humidity perfect in your home

If you find that a room in your house is consistently dry and cold when it shouldn't be, then you should consider buying the best humidifier to help you control moisture levels. Just like a damp home can create mold and damage walls, a home that's much drier than its environment can come with its own problems. It could even have an effect on your family's health, so a humidifier may be a good option.

Humidifiers can also help people with sinus problems, including chronic sinusitis, as adding moisture to the air can help loosen mucus in the nasal passages. Stick to cool mist humidifiers for sinus problems as warm mist ones haven’t been proved effective.

Benefits to health and home

In addition to improving your family’s health, a humidifier can benefit your house and the objects in it. For example, it can make for healthier plants as dry air can cause them to shrivel, and humidified air helps to moisten the soil. With the additional water in the air, plants thrive and stay healthy much longer. Humidifiers can even help your home itself since wood has a tendency to shrink and split in dry air. As such, even wood floors and furniture can benefit from the moisture.

Moist air can also reduce static electricity, so you’re less likely to get an annoying little shock when you pick up a wool blanket or brush by people or pets. Humid air also creates more warmth during winter months than dry air, which can potentially save you money on utility bills.

But which humidifier is the best one for your needs? That will depend on the size of your room as well as your preferences for technology, comfort features and how hard you need your humidifier to work.

We've evaluated dozens of humidifiers from various different manufacturers to find the best one for you. With both cool and warm mist, a large room coverage and an auto mode, we think the Levoit LV600HH Ultrasonic Humidifier is the top pick.

1. Levoit LV600HH Ultrasonic Humidifier: Best for sinusitis and large rooms

Levoit LV600HH Ultrasonic Hybrid Humidifier

(Image credit: Levoit)

Levoit LV600HH Ultrasonic Humidifier

A powerful and effective machine that’s heavy on features and runs almost silently

Dimensions: (L x W x H): 11.3 x 7 x 10.5 inches | Weight: 4.92lbs | Mist: Cool and Warm | Max room size: 753 sq ft | Water tank: 1.6gal | System: Ultrasonic

Near silent
Auto mode
Auto shut off
Expensive

The Levoit LV600HH Ultrasonic Humidifier is a powerful and effective machine with plenty of features, like an auto mode to monitor humidity and adjust accordingly, that help to justify a slightly hefty price tag.

With an impressive 753 sq ft reach it’s our pick for anyone looking for a large room humidifier. The above-average tank size of 1.6 gallons means this humidifier allows for 36 hours of continuous use when set to low mist.

The LV600HH allows you to choose between cool and warm mist. Allowing you to adjust based on your needs. Warm mist humidifies the room much more quickly and also helps kill bacteria in the water, while cool mist can help prevent dry skin and keep sinuses hydrated.

A remote control allows for adjustments to settings from the other side of the room while putting the machine on auto mode means you can set it and leave it. It will monitor your room’s humidity and adjust its output for optimum effect. You can also use the 1-12 hour timer feature to set a shut-off time or allow it to turn off automatically. No more worrying about whether you’ve left the humidifier on.

An almost silent humidifier, the Levoit LV600H is perfect for bedrooms. Its LED screen can also be completely switched off at night so you don’t need to worry about irritating lights disturbing your sleep.

2. Honeywell HCM-350: Best value

Honeywell HCM-350

(Image credit: Honeywell)

Honeywell HCM-350 Humidifier

A strong budget option with a larger than average tank

Dimensions: (L x W x H): 18.6 x 10.4 x 13in | Weight: 9.5lb | Mist: Cool | Max room size: 500 sq ft | Water tank: 1.1gal | System: Evaporative

Very affordable
Three-year warranty
No auto shut-off
Wick adds to long-term costs

The Honeywell HCM-350 is an excellent value for many reasons, particularly if you don't need extra features. This cool-mist humidifier can treat rooms up to 500 square feet and has a water output of 2.3 gallons per day.

The water tank holds 1.1 gallons, which is more than other budget humidifiers that often hold a gallon or less.

Because this is an evaporative humidifier, it creates moisture by blowing air through a water-soaked wick. The wick has antibacterial properties and helps capture minerals before they get into the air. 

It also has an ultraviolet light between the water tank and the wick that can kill bacteria for an added layer of purification. However, you need to change the wick out every so often, as it becomes less-absorbent and effective over time. Replacement wicks cost around $10, so this can make the machine more expensive in the long run than some ultrasonic models.

The Honeywell HCM-350 doesn't have many convenience features like timers, humidistats or an automatic shut-off. This means you need to keep track of the machine while in use so it doesn’t run out of water, which could lead to overheating. 

This humidifier has three fan speeds, which don't produce much noise but allow you to adjust the water output. The three-year warranty on the Honeywell HCM-350 is much better than the one-year coverage you get on similar-priced humidifiers.

3. Pure Enrichment MistAire XL: Best for bedrooms

Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Humidifier

(Image credit: Pure Enrichment )

Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Humidifier

Near-silent running and adjustable night light makes this a nocturnal marvel

Dimensions: (L x W x H): 13 x 10 x 8 inches | Weight: 1.1lbs | Mist: Cool | Max room size: 500 sq ft | Water tank: 1 gal | System: Ultrasonic

Night mode
Single and dual mist output
Can be difficult to refill
No auto-mode

We’ve picked the Pure Enrichment MistAire XL as the best humidifier for bedrooms thanks to a whole host of features that allow it to work effectively throughout the night without disturbing your sleep. Its night light can be set to glow red, blue or green or switched off altogether, while its quiet operation means you’ll barely hear it running. Finally, auto shut off means you won’t need to worry about the humidifier running for too long while you sleep.

The Pure Enrichment MistAire XL doesn’t have an auto mode, but it is more affordable than most models that come with this feature and with both single and dual-mist nozzles you can still customize its output to meet your needs. It emits mist via ultrasonic technology, providing between 10 and 24 hours of continuous operation depending on your chosen mist control setting.

The build does make it somewhat difficult to refill and could be a problem for some people as it involves a bit of balancing while you screw the plug on again.

4. VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier: Best value

VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier

(Image credit: VicTsing )

VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier

A budget model that’s comparatively feature-rich

Dimensions: (L x W x H): 10.8 x 7.5 x 10.2 inches | Weight: 2.45lbs | Mist: Cool | Max room size: 270 sq ft | Water tank: 0.48 gal | System: Ultrasonic

Easy to clean
Adjustable mist output
Small tank
No auto mode

The VicTsing Cool Mist is a great value for money humidifier and a good option for anyone looking to see if a humidifier is right for them, without having to spend too much cash.

At this price range, asking for an auto-mode would be a bit much, but it does manage to squeeze in plenty of features. It’s incredibly quiet and shuts off automatically when the water tank is running low, making it a good humidifier for use around babies. 

A 360-degree rotating nozzle ensures an even distribution of humidity around the room but also means it’s best placed with a bit of space around it, not against a wall. A mist dial allows you to fine-tune the level of mist output to meet your needs.

The design of the tank makes it easy to refill and the larger tank opening makes it much easier to clean than many other humidifier tanks too. The tank size itself is on the small size, but it can still humidify for up to 24 hours on a low mist setting.

5. URPOWER Square Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier: Best aromatherapy humidifier

URPOWER Square Aromatherapy Humidifier

(Image credit: URPOWER )

URPOWER Square Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier: Best aromatherapy humidifier

Ambient light and essential oils provide relaxation along with the moisture

Dimensions: (L x W x H): 6.5 x 6.3 x 5.7 inches | Weight: 1.7lbs | Mist: Cool | Max room size: 220 sq ft | Water tank: 0.18 gal | System: Ultrasonic

Aromatherapy based
7 color options
Small tank
Mist sometimes pools into water

URPOWER Square Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier is certainly one of the boldest humidifier designs you’ll find on the market. Capable of cycling through seven different colors or sticking to just the one, the URPOWER provides soothing light that you can choose to dim or make brighter, depending how subtle you would like the effect. 

Add just a few drops of essential oil for up to 20 hours of scented, cool mist distribution in low mist mode, or 10 hours in high mist mode. Auto shut-off means you won’t need to worry about the water running out, it will simply turn off. It also has a 1, 3 or 6-hour timer if you want a limited boost in humidity.

It does sometimes produce a small amount of water on the surface it is placed upon, so you do need to be careful where you put it.

Overall, it’s an affordable humidifier than not only eradicates dry air but creates a soothing ambience at the same time.

Best humidifiers: Find the best one for your baby

The best humidifier for your baby is similar to a humidifier you would buy for yourself or older children. However, its functionality and quirks are even more important when you place it in your baby’s room. You want a humidifier that can run quietly all night. It should also be easy to use and maintain and it should work effectively.

There is a whole line of humidifiers designed to look like cows, penguins and other adorable creatures to fit the decor in a baby's room. Such humidifiers, to the degree that you keep them clean and well maintained, serve their purpose and perform adequately. 

However, most humidifiers designed specifically for babies are ultrasonic which can create too much moisture, sometimes to the point of puddling. Because of the excess moisture, ultrasonic humidifiers are also more susceptible to white dust, a powdery buildup of metal deposits on the reservoir, which can spew dangerous toxins into the air. 

One of the best humidifiers for your baby’s room is our best value pick, the Honeywell HCM-350. Customer reviews for the Honeywell humidifier are generally very positive. It comes apart easily and is easy to use and clean; in fact, all of its parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher. It is bigger and more solidly built than most of the animal-themed baby humidifiers out there. And a toddler is less likely to try to play with it and knock it off a dresser when they get big enough to reach it from their crib. 

This Honeywell model is evaporative, not ultrasonic. It uses a patented process that Honeywell claims kills 99.9 percent of all germs. Further, it is quiet and has a big water tank that can last for 12 to 16 hours, and it covers a humidification area of about 500 square feet. It also produces a cool mist that is ideal for babies and small children because there is no hot steam or hot water that could potentially scald them if the humidifier accidentally tips over.

Best humidifiers: Performance and design elements to look out for

When purchasing a humidifier, you should consider the room size it can effectively humidify and its method of mist dispersal. While a small model like the VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier is a very affordable option and works well for a small bedroom, it is not optimal for a room larger than 270 square feet. If you have a room much bigger than that, you will want a humidifier with a 1-gallon tank or bigger. This will be better equipped to provide a high output of mist for family rooms, dens and other large rooms.

Some older humidifiers, and even some more up-to-date ones, produce steam using a heating element which boils the water in a reservoir. This is not the safest design, especially if you have curious children or pets around. For this reason, we didn’t evaluate this kind of machine in our humidifier reviews and focused instead on the more modern and safer designs. We chose a selection of evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers for our side-by-side comparison. For more information about these types of humidifiers, read Evaporative vs. Ultrasonic in our What to Look For section below.

Best humidifiers: Standout features to look for

The best humidifiers on our lineup have built-in humidistats that measure the amount of moisture in the air. This helps you get the exact humidity level you want in your room instead of guessing at the unit's output. Digital displays can also help you set your air humidifier to the precise level you desire, and you can be sure the humidity levels are safe.

If your humidifier lacks a humidistat, you can still keep track of humidity levels and control them. Michele Cassalia of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America said if your doctor feels your health will be helped by a humidifier and gives you the go ahead, you should shop for one that has the features you need. The device should have a humidistat – or if not, you should buy a separate hygrometer to keep track of the moisture levels in your house. “That way you can turn off the machine if it gets past 50 percent,” she said.

Be sure to buy a humidifier that shuts off automatically when the tank runs out of water. This protects the motor from overheating and reduces the risk of electrical fire. If the unit you are looking to buy lacks an automatic shutoff feature, you should be sure that it has a transparent reservoir so you know when it needs to be filled.

The Levoit LV600HH is a humidifier that disperses both cool and warm mist and holds up to 2.6 gallons of water. The digital display makes it easy to see the current humidity levels in the room, and you can adjust the dispersal level or turn it on or off from across the room using a convenient remote control. The water tank is visible so you can easily see when it’s time to refill. 

Best humidifiers: Coverage area & tank size

The most important aspects to consider in a humidifier are the room size it can effectively humidify and its method of mist dispersal. While small models like the VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier are affordable options for a small bedroom, they are not optimal for rooms over 270 square feet. Humidifiers with 1-gallon or larger tanks are better equipped to provide a high output of mist for family rooms, dens and other large rooms.

Best humidifiers: Find the best one for your baby

The best humidifier for your baby is similar to a humidifier you would buy for yourself or older children. However, its functionality and quirks are even more important when you place it in your baby’s room. You want a humidifier that can run quietly all night. It should also be easy to use and maintain and it should work effectively.

There is a whole line of humidifiers designed to look like cows, penguins and other adorable creatures to fit the decor in a baby's room. Such humidifiers, to the degree that you keep them clean and well maintained, serve their purpose and perform adequately. 

However, most humidifiers designed specifically for babies are ultrasonic which can create too much moisture, sometimes to the point of puddling. Because of the excess moisture, ultrasonic humidifiers are also more susceptible to white dust, a powdery buildup of metal deposits on the reservoir, which can spew dangerous toxins into the air. 

One of the best humidifiers for your baby’s room is our best value pick, the Honeywell HCM-350. Customer reviews for the Honeywell humidifier are generally very positive. It comes apart easily and is easy to use and clean; in fact, all of its parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher. It is bigger and more solidly built than most of the animal-themed baby humidifiers out there. And a toddler is less likely to try to play with it and knock it off a dresser when they get big enough to reach it from their crib. 

This Honeywell model is evaporative, not ultrasonic. It uses a patented process that Honeywell claims kills 99.9 percent of all germs. Further, it is quiet and has a big water tank that can last for 12 to 16 hours, and it covers a humidification area of about 500 square feet. It also produces a cool mist that is ideal for babies and small children because there is no hot steam or hot water that could potentially scald them if the humidifier accidentally tips over.

Best humidifiers: Performance and design elements to look out for

When purchasing a humidifier, you should consider the room size it can effectively humidify and its method of mist dispersal. While a small model like the VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier is a very affordable option and works well for a small bedroom, it is not optimal for a room larger than 270 square feet. If you have a room much bigger than that, you will want a humidifier with a 1-gallon tank or bigger. This will be better equipped to provide a high output of mist for family rooms, dens and other large rooms.

Some older humidifiers, and even some more up-to-date ones, produce steam using a heating element which boils the water in a reservoir. This is not the safest design, especially if you have curious children or pets around. For this reason, we didn’t evaluate this kind of machine in our humidifier reviews and focused instead on the more modern and safer designs. We chose a selection of evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers for our side-by-side comparison. For more information about these types of humidifiers, read Evaporative vs. Ultrasonic in our What to Look For section below.

Best humidifiers: Standout features to look for

The best humidifiers on our lineup have built-in humidistats that measure the amount of moisture in the air. This helps you get the exact humidity level you want in your room instead of guessing at the unit's output. Digital displays can also help you set your air humidifier to the precise level you desire, and you can be sure the humidity levels are safe.

If your humidifier lacks a humidistat, you can still keep track of humidity levels and control them. Michele Cassalia of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America said if your doctor feels your health will be helped by a humidifier and gives you the go ahead, you should shop for one that has the features you need. The device should have a humidistat – or if not, you should buy a separate hygrometer to keep track of the moisture levels in your house. “That way you can turn off the machine if it gets past 50 percent,” she said.

Be sure to buy a humidifier that shuts off automatically when the tank runs out of water. This protects the motor from overheating and reduces the risk of electrical fire. If the unit you are looking to buy lacks an automatic shutoff feature, you should be sure that it has a transparent reservoir so you know when it needs to be filled.

The Levoit LV600HH is a humidifier that disperses both cool and warm mist and holds up to 2.6 gallons of water. The digital display makes it easy to see the current humidity levels in the room, and you can adjust the dispersal level or turn it on or off from across the room using a convenient remote control. The water tank is visible so you can easily see when it’s time to refill. 

Best humidifiers: Coverage area & tank size

The most important aspects to consider in a humidifier are the room size it can effectively humidify and its method of mist dispersal. While small models like the VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier are affordable options for a small bedroom, they are not optimal for rooms over 270 square feet. Humidifiers with 1-gallon or larger tanks are better equipped to provide a high output of mist for family rooms, dens and other large rooms.