A Yale University study found that when cold, dry winter air is heated indoors, that air’s relative humidity drops by roughly 20%. Shockingly, that even-drier air is the perfect path for viruses to spread. Dry air is also known to diminish the ability of our cells to expel viral particles. And our immune systems aren’t as effective in drier environments. That’s all the more reason to find the best humidifier to prevent dry air, especially during those sniffly winter months.
Researchers found that there is a sweet spot in terms of indoor relative humidity. Here’s the gist: Mice living in an environment between 40–60 percent relative humidity were less capable of transmitting viruses to healthy rodents. Interestingly, this range is also more comfortable for humans. Ken Spaeth, M.D., says, “Below 40 percent air is considered dry, which can cause eyes, throats, [and] sinuses to dry out.”
Already sick? Forty-two percent of a poll’s respondents consider a humidifier as a must-have on a sick day. It’s just as much a necessity as flannel PJs! Why? According to the Mayo Clinic, humidifiers can help soothe dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips, and cool-mist humidifiers may help ease symptoms of a cold or other respiratory condition.
We’ve put together a list of the best humidifiers, according to 12 experts, with the most recommended products making our list. They determined the rankings based on different room types and conditions. They also tested countless devices for efficiency, ease of use, simplicity of maintenance, noise levels and more. After testing models in their labs and considering consumer reviews, below are the best of the best humidifiers on the market.
The List: Best Humidifiers Recommended By 12 Home Experts
Good Housekeeping ranks this as the No. 1 humidifier, writing, “The brand claims this cool mist humidifier can last up to 60 hours on one tank set to the lowest mist levels, and it’s quiet enough to run throughout the night. It also has an optional built-in nightlight. Plus, if you want to use it for aromatherapy, this humidifier also has a tray for essential oils.”
“The Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier is our top pick because it’s reasonably priced, quiet, features a sleek, modern design, and has several smart features such as Alexa voice control. A 30-second setup process consisted of pulling the humidifier out of the box,” according to The Spruce.
Better Homes & Gardens says, “Why You Should Get It: Testers gave the best humidifier an overall perfect score, noting that it was easy to use, effective, and designed well. It also arrives fully assembled and is practically silent while in use.”
Insider says it’s easy and efficient: “The Honeywell Designer Series Cool Mist Humidifier worked so quickly and efficiently on its highest setting in a smaller bedroom and office spaces that we actually worried about over-humidifying. The Honeywell is incredibly easy to use; setup took mere minutes.”
This Old House picks this one as a great choice for medium-sized rooms: “This humidifier has a water capacity of 1.25 gallons, or about 4.7 liters. It adheres to the recommended home humidity level, keeping your medium-sized room between 40% and 60% humidity at all times. After 24 hours, the tank runs out of water and notifies you with a light. Happy customers praised this humidifier for being easy to use and clean and for offering an essential oil function.”
People also recommends it for aesthetics: “If you plan to leave your humidifier out on most days during the chilly season, it’s worth getting something that’s not an eyesore. In terms of appearance, our favorite is the Honeywell Designer Series, a sleek and sophisticated device with a user-friendly design and standout features.”
The Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier is a consumer favorite, according to NBC News: “This cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier holds up to 1.6 gallons of water, can run for up to 50 hours and infuse moisture into rooms up to 500 square feet. This filterless humidifier is designed to automatically shut off when the device detects it has run out of water. Its essential oil tray lets the machine double as a diffuser to also add a pleasant scent throughout your home. The Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist has earned a 4.3-star average rating across 51,352 reviews on Amazon.”
Forbes rates this humidifier highly for essential oil users: “Another large-capacity option, the Everlasting Comfort Humidifier comes with a 1.6 gallon tank that can humidify a room for up to 50 hours before it needs to be refilled. The device is also designed to work with essential oils so it’s a great option for aromatherapy. Users were pleased with the device’s performance.”
4. Canopy Humidifier
This is a beautiful choice, per The Strategist: “Canopy has made its claim as the beauty world’s humidifier. It’s endorsed by dermatologists. And the brand heavily advertises its skin-care benefits.”
Popular Mechanics says, “The Canopy is marketed toward improving your skin health, but it’s still a serious enough humidifier to cover larger living spaces up to 500 square feet. It’s an evaporative humidifier that uses a fan to draw moisture through a paper filter that sifts out contaminants. As far as cleaning and maintenance, the Canopy mitigates some of the downsides of caring for a humidifier with its embedded UV light to kill bacteria and mold in the water. To clean the housing and tank, we were able to put them right in the dishwasher.”
Gear Patrol ranks this as the best budget air humidifier, writing, “On the operating front, it works. It’s a tiny device and will work if you don’t put it in a room above over 250 square feet. Our reviewer says he could feel the increase in humidity, and his dog’s skin did become less dry. Operating it is easy, since there’s only one button, and you only need to toggle between high and low speeds.”
CNN says, “The Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier makes virtually no noise and has a night light function that gives the cute teardrop-shaped machine a soft glow. The automatic shutoff means it’ll never be erroneously run throughout the day.”
Do you use an air humidifier? Let us know about your experience in the comments.
- Good Housekeeping
- The Spruce
- Better Homes & Gardens
- This Old House
- NBC News
- The Strategist
- Popular Mechanics
- Gear Patrol
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. Study Finds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.