Did you know, Americans buy around 10 million humidifiers each year?

This is a huge number.

You might be wondering, why do so many people need a humidifier?

Let me tell you:

We’re all concerned nowadays with our body’s health, so we monitor carefully the food that we eat, what we choose to drink and how we choose to exercise, right down to the very air that we breath. If we are out all day, then the likelihood is that we’ll be breathing in traffic, industrial and all sorts of other fumes during the day. We look forward to reaching the safe clean air havens of our homes.

Unfortunately it is not always the case that homes provide the fresh refuge we are looking for. Sometimes the air in a house can become too dry, this can cause irritation in the nose and throat and make skin and lips sore. It’s not only our bodies that can be affected by dry air, our walls, furniture and our wooden floors can also be damaged from dry air circulation in a house. Sometimes we need to give nature a bit of a boost.

A humidifier can solve both of these issues: it benefits our health as well as protecting furniture from potential damage. A humidifier will counteract the dry air in a home by releasing some very needed moisture into the atmosphere.

Our goal is to help you choose the best humidifier that suits you.

Not Much Time? Here Is The Quick Reviews:

Model Type Room Size
Honeywell HCM-350 Cool Mist / Evaporative 500
Vicks FilterFree Cool Mist / Ultrasonic 400
Safety 1st 360° Cool Mist / Ultrasonic 215
Crane Drop Cool Mist / Ultrasonic 250
Air-O-Swiss 7135 Warm & Cool Mist / Ultrasonic 650
SPT SU-4010 Warm & Cool Mist / Ultrasonic 500
Vicks Warm Warm Mist 1,000
AIRCARE MA1201 Cool Mist / Evaporative 2,500
Vornado Evap40 Cool Mist / Evaporative 1,000

Humidifiers Buyer’s Guide

If this is your first foray into the world of humidifiers, then the chances are you aren’t going to know what to look for. Not to worry, all you need to be armed with is the reason you want a humidifier, the area of space in which you want to use the humidifier, and of course this guide.

Space that you need to humidify

This is one of the most important initial decisions you’ll have to make before your humidifier purchase. Are you looking to focus humidification on a single room, such as your bedroom or your main living room, or are you looking for it to have an effect on the entire house?

Room humidifiers are generally fairly small appliances. They can be floor located but can also be tabletop versions. All will have the ability to be able to add moisture to small or medium sized rooms. This kind of humidifier should also be portable enough to carry from room to room as required.

Despite being small, some of these models can function continuously for up to 24 hours before they require a water refill, and still have the added extras seen on larger, more expensive models such as germ protection, speed selection and low water indicators.

If you’re looking to humidify your entire property, or multiple rooms within it, then a whole house humidifier is what you need for the job. Also known as console humidifiers these machines can effectively provide humidification for areas of up to 3,000 square feet. They are usually placed in a central location within the property and usually have had a lot more aesthetic thought gone into their design, ensuring that they don’t look out of place within your house.

Maintenance

This not only includes how easy it is to keep your humidifier in perfect working order, but also the effort it takes to do something as simple, but vital, as keeping them clean.

As far as household appliances go, humidifiers are relatively simple devices that need very little ongoing maintenance. The most regular activity that you will need to undertake is cleaning the water tank. This is essential to keep dangerous things such as bacteria, mildew and mould from growing inside your appliance, and ultimately preventing them from circulating out into your air. Ease of cleaning this tank should be a consideration.

Some humidifiers come with dishwasher-safe tanks that make them even easier to keep clean and germ free. All you have to do is remove the tank and put it straight into the dishwasher.

Other maintenance considerations are cleaning of the misting outlets to ensure steady flow and replacement of wick filters in some cases (ease and cost of replacement should be considered).

Noise Concerns

As a mechanical device with lots of moving parts you should expect your humidifier to make a little noise. However, some humidifiers do make a lot more noise than others, and this becomes an even more important consideration if you are planning on placing the device in a room such as your bedroom or your office, where maintaining the peace is essential.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are available and these use high frequency sound waves which are at a higher level than our ears can handle, to make it seem as though the humidifier is running at a much quieter level.

Outside of the ultrasonic humidifier technology, give careful consideration as to how much noise output a humidifier gives out.

Timers

In order to get the most out of your humidifier, you want it to be working the moment you walk through the door, you don’t want to walk into your home and suffer the detrimental effects of dry air whilst you wait for the humidifier to get started.

Similarly if the reason for your humidifier purchase is to protect your home and furnishings from dry air, you don’t want that protection to stop for two weeks whilst you are away on holiday. With that in mind, a self-timer solution may well be an added feature that’s critical to you.

If you aren’t at home for a large portion of the day then self-timers are a good idea. All you need to do is set the timer up so that the unit comes on during the day at the hours that you need it to.

Another feature that is linked into automated control is an automatic shut off option. This is a safety feature which ensures that the humidifier automatically shuts down if the water tank becomes empty. This not only prevents damage to the humidifier, it also saves you spending out on unnecessary power.

Warranty

Warranty should be an imperative consideration as it covers potential failures which might not be obvious when the humidifier is first purchased. If your unit doesn’t come with a warranty then this may signal that your humidifier has come from a cheaper, less trusted brand, or it shows that the manufacturer has little faith in their own product.

If you purchase from quality brands then it goes without saying that a warranty will be included. Generally the more well known the brand, the more expensive the humidifier, the longer the warranty.

If you aren’t convinced that your humidifier use will be a long term thing, then it might not be worth spending out huge amounts of money on an expensive item. Instead, look at cheaper brands but still ensure that they have at least a limited warranty in place, before you commit.

What Are The Types of Humidifiers?

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers pass air through a filter, removing impurities from it as well as invisible bacteria and spores, before releasing a cool invisible mist into the air, which then evaporates. These humidifiers tend to work better in warmer climates and they can cover a large area. A lot of people prefer to use cool air humidifiers as opposed to warm air ones as they find the air much easier to breathe in comparison.

While the cool mist humidifiers are easy to clean, they do require more maintenance. In addition, these humidifiers are often much more noisy than warm mist ones. You should take care to replace filters regularly to avoid potentially dangerous build-ups of mould and algae.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Whereas the mist from a cool humidifier is invisible, the vapour released by a warm air humidifier is not only visible, but you can feel it too, people often describe it as a soothing feeling. Some sufferers from cold and flu report feeling a relief when using a warm air humidifier and they also have a much quieter running than their cool air equivalents. The mist that is produced, though visible, does tend to be cleaner too.

Warm mist humidifiers usually require much more cleaning, and the process is often more difficult than with a cool air humidifier. The steam that they produce is hot and obviously presents a far greater hazard for those people with young children or pets. It makes the humidifiers less flexible as to where you can put, as for safety reasons they should be kept up high. These warm air humidifiers do have the added advantage, however, in that they don’t just help dry areas of your house, they can also provide a little bit of warmth at the same time, a potential ideal cost saver in colder months.

Whole Room Humidifiers

The main advantage of whole room humidifiers is that they can cover a large area. Though these units stand alone, they are separate from your air conditioning or warm air heating systems.

Large humidifiers are therefore not something you can easily move from room to room. For example, these appliances aren’t practical to have on in the lounge in the evening, and then to transport them upstairs to use the benefit whilst you sleep.

These humidifiers tend to come with very large tanks in comparison to others, sometimes as much as 23 liters, which means that you can sometimes go days without needing to refill them.

When it does come to refilling them however, you will have to give the tanks a thorough clean out every time, as well as to replace wicks and filters. Obviously you will have an added cost to replace about once every quarter.

Given their name, it is of course possible for these units to effectively humidify both the upstairs and downstairs of a house. If this is your intention then it should be installed in the upstairs of the house, as the warm humid air is heavier than dry air, and will fall to cover the downstairs effectively too.

Again with these humidifiers, it is recommended that filtered, bottled or distilled water is used, to avoid the ‘white dust’ effect that could be experienced in some households.

One thing to consider if purchasing a whole house humidifier is how movable is it? If they come with wheels then they may make your life much easier if you need to move them.

9 Best Humidifiers on The Market 2017

Honeywell HCM-350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Honeywell-MH350-Germ-Free-Cool-Mist-Humidifier

Honeywell HCM-350 humidifier is a particularly efficient model for bringing a clean breathing environment into your home or office. It is capable of eliminating up to 99% of all airborne germs, allergens and bacteria thanks to a patented Self Regulating Evaporative Technology.

It runs up to 25% quieter than other comparable cool mist humidifiers, which normally tend to be rather loud, but this doesn’t affect the quality of the cool moisture it releases into the air.

This is a particularly versatile humidifier coming with three speed selections, which allow you full control over the amount of moisture being released into the atmosphere, as well as the noise that the unit is making.

The cleaning and filling process of owning a humidifier can be tedious, but is made far easier in this model due to a Break Resistant water tank. You no longer have to be delicate during the cleaning process.

This humidifier is ideal for rooms that are medium sized and for your convenience it can run for 24 straight hours before it requires a refill.

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Vicks FilterFree Humidifier

Vicks FilterFree Humidifier V4600

The main selling point of this humidifier produced by Vicks is that it requires no replacement filters, ever. This makes maintenance easy and the ongoing costs cheap whilst the unit still functions perfectly to relieve coughing, congestion and other conditions which can be caused from breathing in dry air.

It boasts a large 1.2 gallons tank which keeps the unit functioning without needing filling for long periods of time and it is also very quiet running, making it an ideal choice for nighttime usage. It also features easy to use controls, which allow you to vary the humidity putting out.

This device can hold up to two Vicks VapoPads. These pads produce a soothing aroma made up of essential oils, which make breathing much easier, especially if you have a cold or are congested for any other reason.

This humidifier is ideal for those who don’t want a model that is going to take a lot of time in maintenance. The lack of filters and a tank that can last up to 33 hours before needing a refill will certainly make this an attractive choice for a medium room.

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Safety 1st 360° Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

Safety 1st 360 Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

Safety 1st 360° Cool Mist humidifier has been specifically targeted at parents looking to keep their baby or young children breathing as comfortably as possible, in all seasons. The humidifier adds needed moisture to the air, which keeps babies healthier by reducing itchy and dry skin and sore eyes. It’s able to help alleviate the symptoms of colds and flu.

Humidity levels put out by this model are easily controllable as the level of mist that is being produced. The maintenance is kept as low as possible and the water tank is large enough to keep the unit functioning for up to 24 hours before refill. The humidifier will shut down and produces a warning light to let you know when the tank needs refilling.

It is also designed to operate without filters, which is not only convenient but saves you money on replacements. In addition, it can be quiet running so is ideal to use at nighttime.

The mist is distributed via two mist outlets, these can be rotated and gives you full control over the direction the mist is being targeted at. The humidifier can effectively be put in the middle of two beds and benefit two different children at once.

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Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

If you’re searching for a particularly unusual and modern looking humidifier then this could very well be the one you’re after. It’s a combination of design and useful functionality. It’s also portable enough so that you can make use of it in any room. It runs as quiet as a whisper so it’s particularly suited for use at night in a bedroom.

When used on medium setting it can provide moisture for a room up to 250 square feet in size, for up to 24 hours of continuous use with its 1-gallon tank. It is also very energy efficient too, using ultrasound technology it operates on less power than you’d need for a traditional light bulb. You also save money thanks to the fact that it doesn’t require any additional filters.

This unit turns ordinary cold water in to mist that is easy to breath and comfortable to feel, and the mist nozzle can be turned a full 360 degrees so you have full directional control at all times.

If the water runs out then the unit will automatically shut down to prevent overheating and subsequent damage. To refill, it is pretty easy, the water tank, shaped like a water drop, can simply be carried over to the sink and filled directly from the tap.

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AIR-O-SWISS 7135 Warm/Cool Ultrasonic Humidifier

Air-O-Swiss Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

AIR-O-SWISS 7135 is a digital ultrasonic humidifier producing both warm and cool mists. It uses high frequency vibration technology and an efficient fan to produce and distribute a fine mist, which is capable of delivering comfort in any room of the house.

Using the warm mist option gives you the advantage of a pre heating function, where the mist is exhaled at a comfortable temperature of 40 degrees Celsius. This model comes with a feature that allows it to produce mist, which doesn’t contain limescale. This stops any unwanted white dust build up on furniture if you live in a hard water area. The demineralization cartridge is built in and replaceable. A Hydro Cell in the humidifier makes sure the water being used is of optimum quality too.

This is a very low noise humidifier that you can choose to have a very high level of humidification, which is easily controlled by a simple output control.

It is easy to switch between warm and cool mist and this can be done at the touch of a button. It’s important as when using cool mist the room temperature can drop as the mist evaporates, a quick switch to warm mist is often desirable.

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SPT SU-4010 Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Humidifier

SPT SU-4010 Ultrasonic Dual-Mist Warm Cool Humidifier

SPT SU-4010 humidifier brings relief to the symptoms of dry air, such as dry noses and throats, dry lips and dry and itchy skin. It is a dual mist humidifier that comes with an ION exchange filter.

This is a great humidifier for the bedroom, it will help you breathe through an unblocked nose and will ensure that your sleep is not disturbed by unnecessary noise due to its silent running.

Dual function of the unit can distribute either warm or cool mist depending on your preference and it has a split nozzle, which distributes the mist in two directions giving you optimum coverage. The humidifier enjoys an attractive but practical design, the water tank is large and comes in a smart blue color with a handy carrying handle, very useful for using after the tank has just been refilled. The control knobs are large, well labeled and easy to use too.

The ION exchange filter is a useful addition, which demineralizes water, removing substances such as calcium and magnesium, virtually eliminating the possible white dust effects mentioned above. As well as preventing the white dust being spread throughout your house, it also prolongs the overall life of the humidifier.

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Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier V745A

Vicks Warm humidifier is specifically for families who want to keep their loved ones fit and healthy throughout the winter months, as well as alleviating symptoms of typical winter illnesses such as colds and flu.

During winter months you heat up the inside of your home to counteract the dropping temperatures outside, this causes the air inside of your home to become dry. This in turn can irritate throats and noses, leaving you more likely to develop illnesses, especially in children. The humidifier aims to increase the moisture in the air, which will make it much easier to fight off common colds.

The moisture produced is 95% germ free after it is heated inside the unit. This warm air is then mixed with cold air to produce a fine mist that is expelled at a safe temperature. The tank is 3.8 liters and will last for up to nine hours, enough for a good night’s sleep, thankfully the unit is also very quiet in its operation.

This humidifier contains a scent pad heater that is compatible with Vicks VapoPads. These are pads, which have been treated with scents and essential oils, adding them to your Vicks humidifier distributes soothing vapors into the room helping people with blocked noses to breathe easier.

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AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier

AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier

AIRCARE MA1201 is a whole house, single bottle evaporative humidifier, which removes dry air from the atmosphere, drags it through a saturated wick filter and expels healthy moist air.

This humidifier is effective for even a large home of up to 3,600 square feet in size and its 3.6 gallons tank capacity ensures that it can run for 36 hours continuously, that’s a day and a half before you have to refill it.

It comes with a clear and easy to use digital display and it is easy to customize your own preferred humidity settings. There are also four fan speeds to choose from as well as an auto mode. The speeds also incorporate a quiet running nighttime setting.

There is a refill indicator and the unit will automatically shut down if it needs refilling in order to prevent damage.

Whole house humidifiers are generally difficult to move because of their larger design. In this case the MA1201 makes it much easier due to the inclusion of casters, which makes moving it into another room a much simpler process. It is also fairly lightweight in comparison to other similar models.

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Vornado Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier

Vornado Evap40 humidifier is comfortably capable of providing moisture for an entire living area, giving you a perfectly humidified space to live in.

It features deep pitched blades, which pull dry and harsh air into the unit and then powerfully circulates the humidified air into the room using the manufacturer designed Vortex Action. With this technology the humidifier can provide humidification in rooms up to 1,000 square feet in size. The Vortex action is able to distribute moisture further into a room than most other humidifiers of this size.

This model also comes with an extra large four gallon tank, which lets you humidify uninterrupted for long periods of time, without needing to refill.

There is a power button and a dial to control the fan speed. Setting it to high will enable it to humidify larger rooms much more quickly, while setting it to low will effectively humidify a small room, or is the ideal setting for quiet running if you are using the unit in your bedroom.

The second dial is the Humidistat. This allows you to set the desired humidity level, the humidifier will then operate until this level is reached, before shutting down automatically, saving you money on energy.

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Conclusion

Whether you’re an adult looking to maintain a healthy humidity level in your living area, or you’re looking to purify the air for your newborn baby or child, a humidifier is a great way to achieve this.

A humidifier not only protects the health of your family, but it also works to ensure the structural integrity of your home, something which dry air is no good for.

Choosing the right humidifier is critical. If you live in a warmer climate then the purchase of a cool mist humidifier is probably top of your list. On the other hand if you’d like your humidifier to contribute to the heating of your home then a warm mist model is likely to be the way forward. If you want to use it while you sleep then the running noise is also a consideration.

Before making your purchase it is essential you take these points and all of your other wants and needs and consider them carefully. The right humidifier for you is the one that benefits your life the most, use this guide to help you choose right first time.