Humidifier Buying Guide


Getting started

A humidifier can alleviate scratchy eyes, sore throat, and broken skin by including moisture to dried-out air. In addition to these health benefits, a humidifier can likewise lower fixed electricity, peeling wallpaper, and fractures in paint and furnishings.

Scratchy throats and itchy eyes from dry winter season air help put humidifiers on roughly 10 million wish list each year. Our top picks begin at just $30 and consist of animal shapes and other flights of fancy.

Preferably, indoor humidity needs to be 30 to HALF. However without humidification, that level can drop to 10 percent in winter season, because cold air holds less wetness and dries even more as it’s heated. But our tests reveal that some designs do little humidifying and could soak you with included expenses. Here’s exactly what you have to understand:

Put compound over style. Designs appearing like a radio, or sporting art deco or space age accents can liven the design but if their output is too low for the area you have to humidify then they aren’t right for your home. Some models with a touch of whimsy, however, also delivered on performance.

Do not assume that more expensive is much better. 2 reasonably priced models leading our list of consoles, which can humidify an average-sized home.

Keep in mind to clean. To keep germs at bay, many producers recommend washing the tank and changing the water daily, plus disinfecting the tank every week following upkeep instructions. Some makers claim that their designs help by resisting germs and mold accumulation in their tanks. A number of models in our tests proved to be efficient at slowing germs development.

Examine the functions. A humidistat if it’s precise can help you preserve relative humidity in between the ideal levels of 30 percent to 50 percent.

Factor in added expenses. Evaporative humidifiers make use of a filter that requires periodic replacing, while some ultrasonic models have a demineralization cartridge. Antimicrobial cartridges are another choice on all types. Changing those parts generally costs around $50 a year.

Inspect our hard-water scores. Minerals in difficult water can lower a humidifier’s performance by triggering scale buildup. Some models withstood it far better than others.

Think of sound. Console designs are the loudest general– about as loud as a space air conditioner. But some tabletop models come close so you wouldn’t wish to use them in a bed room.

If you’re not prepared to dedicate to regular upkeep and if your house has forced-air heat, think about an in-duct humidifier that’s plumbed into the supply of water and drain pipes. Such units do not require refilling, and their easy-change filter requires service only once or twice a year.



Picking among the three significant types of humidifiers– tabletop, console, and in duct includes trade-offs in performance, noise, and convenience. Primary factors to consider consist of the size of the space you need to humidify and how much you’re willing to invest.

Tabletop humidifiers
These portable designs cost the least and are fine for humidifying a single room, however their little tank needs frequent refills. Ultrasonic humidifiers use a vibrating nebulizer to release water. Evaporative tabletops make use of a fan to blow air over a wet wick. Warm-mist designs make use of a heating system to boil water before cooling the steam. Impeller models produce mist making use of a turning disk. Efficiency differs commonly by type.

Console humidifiers
Although console designs are bigger than tabletops, they can still be moved from space to space. Whether evaporative or ultrasonic, console humidifiers produce lots of wet air. Given that a console can humidify more than one space, it allows more choices for unobtrusive positioning any place an electric outlet is offered. A console’s bigger tank needs less regular refills, but it’s more cumbersome to handle. Evaporative models are louder than ultrasonic ones, so you might wish to run this type of console for a number of hours up until bedtime and afterwards turn it off.

In-duct humidifiers
These humidifiers are the perfect selection if you have a forced-air heating system and wish to humidify the entire residence. They use the air ducts and are plumbed into the water system. Most are evaporative-bypass devices, which blow air over a wet wick. Some emit a warm mist. Others are nebulizers, which make use of a spray technology and which might produce deposits of white dust from minerals in the water. In-duct humidifiers are peaceful and need minimal maintenance. They’re likewise the least pricey to run: about $30 approximately per year, compared with as much as $350 or more for 4 tabletop designs. However they generally require professional replacement.




Choosing a humidifier involves compromises amongst efficiency, cost, noise, and convenience. Our tests likewise show that you can’t tell how well a humidifier will work based upon claims. Right here are the humidifier showcases to think about.

Ease of use
A tabletop or console humidifier need to be simple to move and clean. The tank must fit quickly beneath your bathroom faucet. (Some consoles have no tank. You have to fill them straight.) On evaporative models, the wick needs to be easy to replace. Look for user-friendly digital controls and display screens of humidity level and settings.

Some humidifiers have a dial or digital humidistat that shuts off the system when it reaches a pre-programmed humidity level. Models without a humidistat can raise the humidity enough to trigger condensation on windows. Likewise, too much humidification can promote growth of mold, germs, and dust mites. If the humidifier doesn’t have a humidistat, we recommend you purchase a separate hygrometer that can keep an eye on humidity levels in an area. Understand that the majority of humidifiers will not let you set the humidity listed below 30 percent, a level that can trigger window condensation when outside temperatures drop below 20Ã� ° F. That suggests you may not be able to use the humidifier when the weather turns extremely cold.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are peaceful since they trade the normal fan for a vibrating nebulizer. Some warm-mist tabletop designs make little or no sound beyond moderate boiling and hissing noises. Comparably sized evaporative designs we tested released 45 to 50 decibels on their low setting and even more on their high setting. For big locations, think about buying a quiet ultrasonic console model. Alternatively, buy an evaporative model and location it away from sleeping areas. You’ll spend less than you would on several warm-mist tabletop models, and the water vapor will certainly travel quickly enough to benefit remote bed rooms if doors continue to be open.

You can configure some tabletop and console models to switch on at a set time so that your space is at the right humidity when you get house. But this convenience may position an issue: Water that sits in the tank for hours can breed microbes if you don’t dry the humidifier completely in between uses.



Brand names
Make use of these profiles to compare humidifiers by brand.

Crane has actually brought an aspect of design to humidifiers. Offered in a rainbow of colors and playful shapes, they can be discovered at infant, home goods, and mass-market merchants. Costs range from $40 to $100.

Essick concentrates on whole-house or console humidifiers. A lot of are made in the united state and are evaporative type. Designs include credenza, pedestal, and more practical looking humidifiers. Costs for the consoles range from $100 to $200.

Holmes belongs to the Jarden group. Products are available at a variety of sellers, including Walmart, Target, and Kmart, and through Holmes’ Web site. Rates range from $25 to $75.

Honeywell belongs to the Helen of Troy group. Humidifiers are offered in a variety of mass-market and home-center shops. It offers whole-house and tabletop models. Prices range from $40 to $75.

Hunter is a brand generally connected with fans. Hunter also provides a line of utilitarian humidifier models that are readily available across the country through house and hardware sellers. Costs vary from $40 to $80.

Vicks belongs to the Helen of Troy group. Vicks provides a broad variety of humidifiers, which can be found in mass-market and drug stores. Prices vary from $40 to $90.