Best HumidifierIf in any case the Internet hasn’t given you enough information on what a humidifier is, it puts moisture back in the air.

As the weather gets cooler and the air drier, a humidifier alleviates some cold-weather ailments.

But how does it actually work and why do you need one? Read on for our guide on the Best Humidifier.

How The Heck Does It Work?

There’s more than one type of humidifier, but at the most basic level, the device emits water vapor into an area to increase the level of humidity. When used correctly, humidifiers can help to alleviate dry skin, chapped lips, nose bleeds and other pesky cold-weather conditions. It can even help to reduce snoring!

The combination of winter’s dry air, a turned-up thermostat, and closed windows can wreak havoc on your respiratory system.

The best way to combat dry air and reduce your susceptibility to infection is to invest in a humidifier. If you’ve suffered through too many colds, it might be time to see what all the hype is about.

Things to keep in mind

  • Your humidifier will do a better job if your house is well insulated and has a vapor shield (that’s an impermeable layer on the inner side of the insulation).
  • If somebody in your home is allergic to mold or dust mites or has asthma, talk to your doctor before using a humidifier.
  • Before you use your unit for the first time, clean it. Afterward, never put it away without cleaning it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • To make sure that the machine is doing a good job and not making the air too humid, buy a hygrometer, which measures moisture in the air.

Top 3 Best Humidifiers

Now on to the good stuff – here are our top picks for the best humidifiers in 3 different categories.

ImageModel NamePriceReviewsAvailability
Honeywell HCM-350Honeywell HCM-350$$5 star
Essick Air® AIRCARE® MA1201Essick Air® AIRCARE® MA1201$$4 star
 ReMEDies Cool-Mist - Ultrasonic Humidifier ReMEDies Cool-Mist - Ultrasonic Humidifier$4 star

BEST COOL MIST HUMIDIFIER: Honeywell HCM-350

Honeywell HCM-350The Honeywell’s evaporative technology (as opposed to ultrasonic or warm mist), avoids problems common to the other methods, like over humidification, pools of condensed water around the base, and white mineral dust building up on nearby surfaces.

And the HCM-350 is the only humidifier we’ve found that has a seamless, molded reservoir, which eliminates a problem common in inferior models: leaks.

Evaporative humidifiers like this are not the most powerful type, but in less than two hours, the Honeywell reaches and maintains a comfortable level of humidity in a room up to about 400 square feet.

Pros

  • It’s quiet! Yay!
  • No temperature change
  • Filter lasts a while before it needs changing
  • Incredibly easy to setup and use
  • 3-speed Setting
  • Easy to clean and operate

Cons

  • Bulky design (Depends on your sense of style but this is nonintrusive.).

BEST WHOLE HOUSE HUMIDIFIER: Essick Air® AIRCARE® MA1201

Essick Air® AIRCARE® MA1201This humidifier holds a lot of water, is reliable, doesn’t coat everything with a white dust, and simply worked to help alleviate dry winter skin and static electricity issues.

So far, this humidifier has been working perfectly to mitigate the dry winter air in an area just over 1000 sq ft.

This holds 3.9 real gallons (not just the misleading daily output figure that manufacturers use). It’s great that I don’t have to refill this thing every 2 days.

A whole week or more will go by before we have to refill it. Of course, the refill period will depend on your settings and how often it’s running.

We’ve left it running all the time (automatic setting) set to maintain 45 or 50 (somewhat high), and still only need to refill about once every 8-12 days.

As far as humidifiers go, the styling is good in that sort of  just-blends-into-your-similarly-colored-wall kind of way.

Pros

  • High Water Capacity
  • Digital Humidistat
  • Subtle Design
  • Quiet Device
  • Displays “F” when it needs refilling
  • Easy to Clean and operate.

Cons

  • Occasional instance of creating draft of cold air.

BEST HUMIDIFIER FOR BABY: ReMEDies Cool-Mist – Ultrasonic Humidifier

ReMEDies Cool-Mist - Ultrasonic HumidifierThe stone filter is a nice added touch as it keeps the water from smelling bad. The tank is big enough that I don’t have to worry about the unit shutting off at night, and if for some reason it does run out of water, it will shut off automatically.

The different LCD color light is pretty cool too and it’s not too bright so you can have it on and it will not disturb your sleep.

It has an aroma diffuser which is great for your favorite scent or even possibly a vicks type of aroma if needed. It has a large 2.8 L tank that can go up to 10hrs at max setting. If you want to add a few more hours, just use it in lower settings. It is also quiet compared to some of the others I have used.

Pros

  • Whisper Quiet
  • Separate Light and Power buttons
  • Aroma Diffuser
  • Easy to clean
  • Stone Filter that helps keep the Humidifier clean

Cons

  • Hard to slide-out aroma tray

Buying Consideration: Features to Consider

Ease of Cleaning

  • The key to maintaining a properly functioning humidifier is simple: Keep it clean. So you want one that’s easy to maintain. Drain, rinse, and dry it every day.
  • The bottom line is: regular, frequent cleaning is a must to ensure the moisture it puts out is safe to breathe.

Ease of Use

  • A tabletop or console humidifier should be easy to move and clean. The tank should fit easily beneath your bathroom faucet. With evaporative models, the wick should be easy—and economical—to replace. Look for user-friendly controls and clearly visible displays of humidity level and settings.

Humidistat

    • Some humidifiers have a humidistat that shuts off the unit when it reaches a preset humidity level. Models without a humidistat can raise the humidity so much that it causes condensation on windows. If your model doesn’t have one, consider purchasing a separate hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.

Timer

    • You can program some tabletop and console models to turn on at a set time, so that your room is at the right humidity when you get home. But this convenience might pose a problem: Water that sits in the tank for hours can breed microbes if you don’t dry the humidifier thoroughly between uses.