Why on earth would I want to buy a humidifier? You might ask that question, but did you know that overly dry air in your home can be responsible for quite a few ailments, which is why you want the best room humidifier? Sinus congestion, dry throat, allergy flare ups, a bout of asthma, a runny nose and even nosebleeds can often be a result of the air being too dry.
There are plenty of other symptoms such as dry eyes and skin, coughing and a worsening of chapped lips. You might also find some of your wooden furniture begins to crack. These are extreme examples, right?
Well, yes and no, because it depends how dry the air becomes and, importantly, the climate you live in. There’s some good advice from the Environment Protection Agency in their article, Introduction to Indoor Air Quality, but room humidity between 30% and 40% is best, but certainly under 50%.
For clean air, you should look at air purifiers, but if your humidity isn’t good it’s home humidifiers all the way.
Below, you’ll find our top 10 home humidifiers, these are what we think are the best cool air humidifiers. Hopefully it will be a starter to help you decide which one is best for you.
Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
This is a silent running humidifier for the home. The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier uses a state of the art mist system which helps breathing and relaxation, which is probably why it’s one of the top rated humidifiers.
The tank holds 1.5 liters of water which makes it able to work well in a medium size room. As a room humidifier, it’s perfect to use in a bedroom, kitchen or any medium size room up to about 200 square feet you need to humidify.
The tank’s output is 150 millilitres an hour which will go a long way to help moisten the air. To give a better control, the Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier has a speed function so you can regulate how much moisture is released.
When it’s set to the low speed, it will last for up to 16 hours. The higher setting will give about 10 hours of moisture. Even at the high speed it will be enough to last through the night.
The mist nozzle is adjustable, it can be turned 360 degrees so you can change the direction of the mist. This, together with the speed control, makes it easy for you to adjust to your comfort level. The technology employed ensures the moisturizing is completely safe.
Once the water reaches the minimum amount it will stop working because of its automatic shut-off. It will also shut off if the water tank is removed. This is a safety feature which should give peace of mind.
The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier design is rather stylish and it doesn’t have a filter. This makes cleaning easier, but it does need doing regularly. Both the tank and base should be rinsed and the cleaning brush which comes with it, should be used for the hard to reach places.
Honeywell HCM350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
The Honeywell HCM350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier is a good runner for best room humidifier because it emits 99.9% germ free mist which is able to kill the likes of bacteria, mold, fungus and viruses. It’s the Protec Antimicrobial filter and patented germ killing ultraviolet technology that makes this possible.
In order to keep the unit germ free, the filter needs to be changed regularly. The manufacturer recommends doing this every two months otherwise mold and germs can build up. The filter shouldn’t be left to sit inside the unit for the same reason, it should be removed, rinsed and left to dry when not in use.
The HCM350 works by letting untreated tap water flow from the tank into the UV water. The UV light kills any microbes that are present. When the UV light has done its work, the water goes into the base where it gets absorbed into the filter.
Dry air in the room passes through the filter, absorbing the moisture and is then sent out into the room in the form of a fine mist. It has a self-regulating evaporative system which adjusts the mist output to match how much the air can handle.
There are three speed settings to regulate the output of the moisture and this also affects to noise level. It runs quietly anyway, due to the QuietCare performance it employs, which is said to be up to 25% quieter than other similar humidifiers.
The HCM350 is meant for a medium size room and is helpful to dry throats and dry skin. The humidity is also good for most houseplants. The tank holds just over a gallon of water, which makes it a little bulky, but it can dispense two gallons of mist over 24 hours on the low setting.
Anypro 3.5L Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
The Anypro 3.5L Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is another silent runner. In fact, it emits less than 30 dB so you hardly know it’s running. This is particularly good if you want to use it during the night.
The air in a heated house can become dry very quickly and when this happens during the night, you can wake up with a dry throat. A good room humidifier can help to overcome this. The Anypro can be used virtually non-stop because it has a large 3.5 liter tank which gives between 20 and 36 hours use, depending on which setting you have it on.
The unit is remarkably compact at 7.9” x 7.9” x 7.9” considering the size of its tank. It might be small but it packs a powerful punch! It will humidify a medium to large size room, up to 538 square feet.
Another good feature on the Anypro is that you’re able to adjust the output of the vapor to exactly how you want it as it has a dial knob control rather than individual settings. Many others have a low, medium and high, but with the Anypro you just turn the knob to the exact strength you want.
It also has a 360 degree adjustable mist spray Which is emitted from the top of the unit. There’s also a place for essential oils, if you want to use them. This make the whole unit very flexible to how you humidify your room.
The design is strong, it’s built to make sure there’s no leaking and it’s also tested for crush resistance. The water tank has anti-bacterial material on the inside which helps to prevent any mold forming.
Although it’s difficult for mold to form inside the tank, it does need regular cleaning. The manufacturer recommends giving it a good clean at least once a week if it’s in regular use. It doesn’t matter if you use tap or distilled water, although distilled is probably best.
Safety is an important feature. It has an auto-shutoff which triggers when the tank is empty. The power indicator also turns red when this happens.
There’s one nice feature which is fun, and that’s the built-in night light. You just have to tap the touch sensitive button on the front to turn on the light and it then slowly cycles through several different colors. The Anypro 3.5L Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier certainly has a lot going for it!
TaoTronics TT-AH001 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
When looking for the best room humidifier, the TaoTronics TT-AH001 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is right up there! It’s also a best humidifier for baby too. The air around babies shouldn’t be too dry and this unit makes sure it isn’t.
The water that goes into the tank is passed through a microporous pad which then filters out microorganisms, calcium and magnesium ions. This keeps the mist clean and is another reason why it’s a good humidifier for a baby.
There’s an LED display so you can monitor and control the amount of humidity in the room, the light can be turned off if you want to. The nozzle can turn through 360 degrees allowing you send the mist in any direction you wish.
You’re able to set the level of humidity you want in the room to low, medium or high and this pre-set won’t change so the room stays as you want it to. It can comfortably humidify a room up to 538 square feet.
A timer gives you added control and is a safety feature too. It can be programmed between 1 and 24 hours to operate when you want it to. This can be useful for using it during the night. The TT-AH001 also has a safety shut off, if the tank runs dry it switches itself off.
It’s not particularly large at 8.07” x 5.31” x 11.31” but it holds a gallon (4 liters) of water. This is enough for it to run continuously for 15 hours. Once the unit has been switched off, it’s recommended any water left in the tank should be thrown away.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are known for running quietly and the TT-AH001 is no exception. It produces a noise of less than 38 dB which is great for having it on during the night or in a baby’s room.
Not all similar models have a handle, but the TaoTronics TT-AH001 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier does, making it less fiddly and easier to refill, but you do need to be careful with it. It’s a very popular and probably one of the best room humidifiers you can get.
TaoTronics TT-AH002 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Here’s another ultrasonic humidifier from TaoTronics, the TaoTronics TT-AH002 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. It’s a low maintenance humidifier that should last a long time. It’s fairly compact at 8.74” x 8.03” x 12.20”.
The TT-AH002 is also good to use if you have a baby because of its filter which is designed to get rid of harmful bacteria and bad odor. There’s also a baby version of the filter available, this is an extra fine ceramic filter. This will be best if you want to use it in your baby’s room as the water is made pure with any harmful bacteria and bad odors being filtered out.
It’s difficult to say whether the TT-AH002 is better than the TT-AH001 because they are both slightly different, but do a similar job. One notable difference is that the TT-AH002 has two nozzles for mist distribution. They are both able to rotate 360 degrees so you can have two directions of mist at the same time.
With two rotating outlets and an output of 330ml an hour, you can see that it will easily fill a large space. It should be sufficient for a fairly large size room. The tank holds 3.5 liters of water and that’s enough to give up to 10 hours of continuous mist.
The output flow of the mist is controlled by a simple knob. You just adjust it to the exact amount of output you want. When the unit detects the water is getting low, it automatically shuts off and a red LED warning light comes on.
As you’d expect with ultrasonic technology, the noise level from the TT-AH002 is very low at less than 35 dB. Of course, this is important if it’s being used while you’re asleep.
There’s a lot of good things about the TaoTronics TT-AH002 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier and it’s a very popular model. It does a great job and is suitable for both adults and babies.
Aircare MA1201 Whole House Humidifier
If you’re looking for something more than a single room humidifier, then perhaps the Aircare MA1201 Whole House Humidifier might fit the bill. It’s a console-style evaporative humidifier.
It works by sending dry air through a saturated wick filter, thus creating moisture formed into a mist. The wick also helps to capture minerals from the water and it cuts down the amount of white dust that can sometimes be produced. This dust is often more of a problem in hard water areas, but using distilled water came also prevent it.
The MA1201 is able to humidify an area of up to 3600 square feet, which should be adequate for many homes. The tank holds 3.6 gallons of water, so the machine can run continuously for around 36 hours.
You can set the humidity level with the digital humidistat which has a digital display read out. It adjusts itself to keep to the level of humidity you’ve set. There’s also the option to run on either manual or automatic levels. The default setting is ultra quiet mode and 65% humidity
The fan is 4 speed including a quiet night time setting and auto mode. Once the humidity level you’ve set is reached, the unit will turn off. It also automatically turns off once the water tank is empty.
There’s an indicator to let you know when the water is getting low and when the filter needs changing. The manufacturer recommends replacing it at the beginning of each season.
Cleaning the MA1201 is relatively easy, there are full instructions in the user manual but it’s just a case of removing the water tank and filter. It needs to be cleaned regularly, at least every 2 weeks, to make sure all bacteria and odors are removed. Household cleaners are good for this but there’s also the manufacturer’s own cleaner available too.
Most people buy a single room humidifier, but if you want one for the whole house the Aircare MA1201 Whole House Humidifier is a good option. It does make a little bit of noise but at least it has an ultra quiet setting which is useful for during the night.
PureGarden H920BL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
The PureGarden H920BL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is designed to be used in a smaller room. It should be fine for a bedroom or an office. It’s one of the cheaper decent ultrasonic humidifiers you can buy.
It works, as you would expect, by using a metal diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency. This makes the water form into tiny droplets which spray out into the room to help keep it at the desired humidity.
There are only 2 settings to choose from – high and low, which is limited, but for a small humidifier like this, it’s enough for it to do a good job. Running at the low setting will take longer to reach the desired humidity, but it will be able to last longer. It’s probably best to start on high, then switch to low when it reaches the correct level.
The design is compact at 6.2” x 3.5” x 7.5” so it will sit in small places. It’s perfect for a desktop or a small tabletop. Don’t let the fact that it’s small put you off though. The water tank holds 0.8L (.21 gallon), so yes, it’s on the small side, but it can dispense 2.4 liters of mist a day and run continuously for 10 hours on the low setting.
Like other ultrasonic humidifiers, the H920BL runs very quietly because it doesn’t use a fan, which is great if you use it during the night. It’s a hassle free operation as well, because there’s no filter, pads or wicks to worry about and cleaning is very easy too.
Cleanliness isn’t a problem as the water tank has the patented Silver Clean Protection built into it. This fights off mold and mildew from forming on the surface and, although it does need to be cleaned, it isn’t a difficult task. There’s a brush supplied to also help make cleaning easier.
When the water tank is running low, an indicator light lets you know. There’s also an auto shut-off for safety reasons. If it does run out of water, you know it will turn itself off. There’s also a night light which can be left on or turned off.
Remember, the PureGarden H920BL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is not overly powerful and is meant for small rooms only. If you want something that’s going to add a little humidity to your room and isn’t at all expensive, then this could be it.
Aircare EP9 800 Whole House Humidifier
The Aircare EP9 800 Whole House Humidifier can cover an area up to 2400 square feet so it does cover a large area, but not as big as the Aircare MA 1201, which can handle 3600 square feet.
The difference between these two models is that although they have similar size water tanks, the EP9 800 can run continuously up to 60 hours as opposed to the MA 1201, which can only go to 36 hours.
You can set and forget the humidity level by using the humidistat which keeps the room at the level you want. Once it reaches your setting it shuts off. It has a digital readout and a remote control.
It’s able to expel up to 7.4 gallons of mist a day. The digital readout provides the information you need and you can also control the fan from this panel too.
There are 9 different fan settings so you can pick the level of humidity you want. Having this many fan speed settings may seem a little unnecessary, but at least it gives you a good choice. The lowest setting is probably best for night time use because it’s the quietest.
Although it wouldn’t be fair to describe the EP9 800 as noisy, the fan does create some noise. The lowest setting is considered very quiet, that’s why it’s best for using during the night.
The EP9 800 is an evaporative humidifier which is supplied with a wick. As the water passes through, the wick retains the minerals which could produce white dust. This makes sure the mist is clean. Cleaning and changing the wick is easy.
When the water is getting low, the auto-shutoff kicks in for safety reasons. Refilling is very easy as it has a front fill for the tank.
Although the Aircare EP9 800 Whole House Humidifier couldn’t be described as big, it is fairly large a 18” x 18” x 27.2”. It’s very portable though, as it 4 castors to easily move it around.
Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
The Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier prides itself with being able to produce cleaner moisture which is beneficial to allergy sufferers. It uses a combination of air washing technology and Protec protection.
It pulls in dry air, sending it through a pre-filter which catches dust, dirt, pollen and other particles. The air then enters the primary filter, which is treated with Protec antimicrobial to stop any mold, mildew, fungus or algae forming. Odor causing bacteria is also filtered out, so the air is kept fresh.
The HCM-6009 uses evaporative humidification technology and it is fitted with an Advanced Mist Humidistat. This automatically keeps the humidity at the level you set it to. There are 3 speeds, low, medium and fast.
Honeywell’s Quietcare technology ensures the unit runs very quietly. It’s a fan enclosure which reduces noise by up to 30% more than similar models. The low setting is recommended for night-time use as it’s the quietest and the medium setting for normal day use. The fast setting is to get things moving quickly!
You can just use the fan speed without setting the humidistat if you want. This will keep the fan running continuously until the water tank gets low. It holds 3 gallons of water but in two tanks of 1.5 gallons each. Having two smaller tanks makes handling and carrying easier.
On the low setting, it will run for around 24 hours, giving an output of around 9 gallons of mist and can cover a large area of 2300 square feet. Once the water gets low the unit automatically shut off. It’s easy to refill and each tank has a wide opening for easy cleaning.
Either a large room or more than one room isn’t a problem for the Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier. It’s very easy to use and maintain, but the filters will need regular replacement. This could almost be the best room humidifier, it certainly does a very good job and is just right if you suffer with allergies.
Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier XL
The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier XL is similar to the 1.5 liter water tank version, but with a 1 gallon water tank. This means it’s able to cover a larger area and last longer between refills.
The XL model also has a variable mist control. Having a knob which you can set to exactly where you want it, between its lowest and highest points, rather than typical high, medium and low settings, gives you more control. You’re able set the moisture output to what’s just right for you.
Obviously the lower you have the setting, the longer it will run before needing a refill. Typically, it lasts between 10 and 24 hours of continuous operation. This is quite a bit more than the smaller version which can only go for up to 16 hours.
The coverage is also larger with the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier XL being able to comfortably humidify a room of up to 500 square feet. That’s enough to cover a large room and more than double to that of the smaller version.
Another good feature to this model is that it comes with both a single and dual mist nozzle. Having the option of using which one you prefer gives even more control over the output of the mist. The flexibility of using one or two nozzles together with the variable control knob makes it adaptable to multi-situations.
It runs very quietly so is good to use at night or in an office where you don’t want noise distractions. There’s an auto-shutoff when the water is getting low or if the water tank is removed from the unit.
With the night light, you have a choice of colors – red, blue or green, but it can be turned off it you don’t want to use it. Having the capacity to hold 1 gallon of water you might think the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier XL would be large, but it isn’t really, it measures 13.5” x 13.5” x 8.5”.
Buying Guide for the Best Room Humidifier
Now don’t just go and buy any room humidifier, because there are different types and many variations to choose from. It’s not necessarily that one type is better than another, but there are a few things to consider.
Other than how much you want to spend, you need to make sure whichever model you go for, it’s able cope with the size of room you’re using it in. If it isn’t powerful enough, you could be wasting your money. On the other hand, if it’s too powerful for the room you might find you get condensation.
Warm or Cool Mist Humidifiers?
You can get both cool and warm mist humidifiers. They both do a good job, but there are some differences (apart from the obvious!). We’ve not reviewed any warm mist models in this article, mainly due to the fact they use heat and that could be a safety issue, especially if used near young children.
Boiling water is mixed with air to create the mist so it can have a beneficial effect and is better for cool, dry areas. If you are thinking about a warm mist humidifier, make sure you have somewhere safe and out of the way to place it.
Cool mist humidifiers tend to be more popular and are best for colder and drier climates. There are 2 types, ultrasonic and evaporative. Ultrasonics are usually smaller and don’t cover as larger areas as evaporative types. They’re mostly cheaper and the more popular of than evaporative humidifiers.
There isn’t usually a fan with ultrasonics, they have a small vibrating metal diaphragm. The vibration causes the water to atomize and form the mist. Because there isn’t a fan, it means these units run very quietly and are better to use in the bedroom where noise might be an issue for light sleepers. They tend to use less energy too.
The other advantage of ultrasonic humidifiers is that they don’t need a filter. This means less cost over time and it makes cleaning the unit easier. One drawback is they tend to leave a fine white dust because the minerals haven’t been filtered out.
The white dust happens more in hard water areas, but if you use distilled water it minimises the problem. It’s important to make sure you clean an ultrasonic often, after each use if you can. This is because without filtration, they can expel some bacteria into the air. Some models have antibacterial protection built into them to reduce the problem, so look out for this.
If you want something bigger, you’ll need an evaporative humidifier. They work by having dry air forced through a wet wick filter by a fan. The wick is usually made from a paper based material and the water in it turns into vapor when the air is forced through.
Having a filter, it means there’s less chance of bacteria getting into the air, but the downside is that it will need changing regularly and that’s an extra cost. It’s important to change them according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. You might find they need changing more regularly if you live in a hard water area. If you suffer with asthma, evaporative might be better.
Because this type of humidifier is normally for larger areas they’re bigger in size. The console types are for very large areas or for a whole house. Covering such areas, the fan needs power and that can mean noise. They’re less suitable for the bedroom because of this, but if you’re looking to cover the whole house, you probably wouldn’t stand it in the bedroom anyway.
Other Things to Consider
You’ll want to make sure that cleaning isn’t a problem because it’s so easy for bacteria and algae to form if you’re not careful. All areas need to be easy to get at to make sure they are clean. Even if there’s an antibacterial or microbial coating, it won’t be enough to keep all germs at bay.
With filters and wicks, they need to be cleaned or replaced regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. There’s no point in humidifying a room, then filling it with bacteria!
Consider how easy to use and move around it is. Filling some water tanks can be tricky and many don’t have handles, making them difficult to carry. If there are filters, make sure they are easy to change otherwise you might be tempted to do it less often.
Check the controls and display, if there is one to make sure you understand them. You’ll want an easy operation, most have a high, medium and low setting, but perhaps you want more than that. If so, go for one with a variable knob setting. The display should be clear and easy to understand.
Having a humidistat can have advantages because it gives you a control over the exact humidity you want. You set it to the level you want and when it reaches it, the unit shuts off. For the best room humidifier, a humidistat is something to look out for.
Most have an auto-shutoff for when the water is getting low in the tank. This is a good feature to have and a low level indicator is a good option. A timer can also come in useful.
Do your research before you buy, you want the best room humidifier you can get. Hopefully this guide and our reviews have helped you with your decision.