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Credit: Dera Burreson

The 10 Best Humidifiers, According to Lab Testing

Increase your home’s moisture with the Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier.
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Whether you have seasonal allergies, are dealing with a common cold, or just want to remedy your dry skin, a humidifier is a small yet helpful appliance that can help with all of it. And while it may not seem like it, there are a variety of humidifier options available for your home, each with its own benefits.  

"Humidifiers can have benefits for several dermatologic conditions, including dry skin and eczema, and conditioning the nasal passages and throat when the air is dry," says Dr. Erum Ilyas, MBE, FAAD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group.

To find out which styles are the best, we purchased 27 humidifiers and put them to the test at our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. Over the course of two days, testers evaluated each option based on six categories: setup, effectiveness, design, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. We also consulted Dr. Erum Ilyas, MBE, FAAD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group.

Overall, we recommend the Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier. The best humidifier, which received a perfect score during testing, is easy to use, effective, and has a design you won't mind having on display in your home. 

Here are the best humidifiers for your home. 

What We Recommend

Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Overall: Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier

View at Walmart ($100)

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.  

Keep in Mind: The electric cord wasn't very long, so you'll have to make sure you plug it in close to where you want to use it. 

The Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier is the only tested pick to receive an overall perfect score, with testers praising it in every category across the board. The humidifier is easy to set up, effective, and has a nice-looking design that you won't mind leaving on your nightstand. 

Since the humidifier arrived fully assembled, it took a tester just 29 seconds to fill the 6-liter tank and have it ready for use. The tester appreciated that the tank is fillable from the top, so you won't have to worry about spilling water as you go. It was also noted that once filled with water, the tank was on the heavier side; however, the built-in handles made it easy to transport from the sink to the unit's base. 

The best humidifier has four mist settings that testers found easy to control thanks to a touchscreen power button. There's also a mist nozzle that can be adjusted to direct the unit's airflow for a more personalized experience. Plus, testers noted that the unit was practically silent while in use, a key detail to consider if you want to use it in a bedroom or office while you're working. 

Not to be missed is the humidifier's design, which was noted as both modern and minimalistic. The square style features a white base and dark gray tank and is compact enough to fit on a nightstand or desk, so you probably won't mind leaving it out in between uses. Plus, it can connect to an Amazon Alexa and Google Home as well as the Vesync app, which allows you to control the unit's settings from your phone.

A humidifier requires cleaning between uses, an aspect testers found easy to do thanks to the tank's wide, open top. Although it has a square shape, the rounded corners allowed them to towel dry all of the harder-to-reach areas as well. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 9.6 x 7.5 x 13.4 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 6 liters  
  • Max Run Time: 60 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Up to 505 square feet 
  • Certifications: ETL 
Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Budget: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

View at Amazon ($40)

Why You Should Get It: The humidifier is compact, so you'll be able to place it anywhere you want with ease. 

Keep in Mind: The tank didn't have a clear fill line to indicate when to stop adding water. Plus, the design of the tank makes it harder to thoroughly clean. 

Pure Enrichment's MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is less expensive than other options out there, making it a great option if you need a few for your home or just want to try the appliance out before committing to a pricier pick. The humidifier received a 4.3 overall score and scored highly across all tested categories. 

The unit arrived almost completely assembled with testers only having to add in the plug. To fill the humidifier, simply remove the tank from the base, unscrew the water tank's cap, fill the tank, and then re-assemble the appliance. Testers did note that they would have appreciated a clearer fill line to indicate when they should stop adding water. 

Since the unit has a shapely tank, it can be more difficult to clean as opposed to other options on the market. However, the humidifier does include a small brush that'll fit in the tank's opening to help you scrub. 

The humidifier has two mist settings—high and low—and testers said that you could clearly see the difference between each. They also noted that the design, which only dispenses cool mist, was silent and didn't emit any smells. 

If you're looking for a smaller, more compact pick, this humidifier is worth considering. Testers scored the design a 4/5, pointing out that it was lightweight and could easily sit on a shelf or table without taking up too much space. In lieu of a digital display, it's operated by one button that controls the power, mist level, and lights.

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 1.5 liters 
  • Max Run Time: 25 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Up to 250 square feet 
  • Certifications: ETL
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson
Stadler Form Oskar Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Lowe's

Best Evaporative: Stadler Form Oskar Humidifier

View at Lowe's ($160)

Why You Should Get It: It has a sleek, modern design you won't mind displaying in your home. Testers also said it starts working immediately and offers a cooling sensation. 

Keep in Mind: Testers noted that the spout to refill the tank was narrow, so it's a little difficult to add water. 

An evaporative humidifier uses a built-in fan that will send water vapor into the air, a system that'll speed up the evaporation process and increase humidity in your space. It also doesn't emit a mist cloud like traditional ultrasonic humidifiers. Evaporative humidifiers also tend to be more hygienic as there's less of a chance that it'll dispense dust into the room, making designs like the Stadler Form Oskar Humidifier a great option. 

The Stadler Form Oskar Humidifier received a 4.1 overall score during testing, and it was praised with high scores in setup, effectiveness, size, and ease of cleaning. It arrived fully assembled and was easy to fill with water, though testers felt that the square design and heaviness from the water made it a little difficult to carry securely. 

Testers gave the unit a perfect score for effectiveness, however, noting that the fan starts to run immediately and you can feel the moisture begin seeping into the air. It was essentially silent while it ran and emitted a scent, but testers described it as new and fresh. They also appreciated that you're able to adjust the unit's speed between two settings as well as choose your desired humidity range, curating your experience. 

The humidifier's design caused a bit of concern for testers, who noted that although it was sleek and modern, it's a bit unstable coming out of the box and wobbles when set on a table. It's also on the larger side and has a bulky design, with testers saying you'll most likely want to place it on the ground on a hard surface.

In regards to cleaning, testers noted that the provided instructions were clear and easy to follow. However, since the unit can be used with any type of water, you'll want to purchase the brand's water descaler to reduce the effects of hard water, like leftover residue. They also liked that the instructions noted to change the water daily as well as how often to change the filters—the filters even have a place to write the date they need to be replaced in case you forget. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Evaporative
  • Size: 9.7 x 9.7 x 11.4 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 3.5 liters 
  • Max Run Time: Not listed 
  • Room Coverage: 540 square feet
  • Certifications: None
Stadler Form Oskar Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson
Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde
Credit: Courtesy of Best Buy

Best Air Purifier & Humidifier: Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde

View at Best Buy ($920)

Why You Should Get It: It's very easy to assemble and has three different functions, so you can use it however you see fit throughout the year. 

Keep in Mind: The humidifier is significantly more expensive than other picks and may be difficult to store, depending on your available closet space. 

Whether you don't have space for multiple small appliances or you want to invest in a high-quality, all-in-one unit, testers found that the Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde was the best humidifier to get the job done. The appliance is an air purifier, humidifier, and cooling unit that'll benefit you all year long. 

The Dyson model was given a 4.3 overall score during testing, with high scores earned across almost all categories. Testers appreciated the ease of setup, noting that each piece was clearly labeled and easy to put together. They also liked that although the tank is large, it has a handle that allows you to carry it without spilling any water. 

Once in use, the unit was very quiet and didn't have any visible mist since it is an evaporative-style humidifier, yet testers felt the output. You'll be able to manually set your preferred humidity level, but there's also an auto mode you can select. When using the auto mode, the unit will continue to monitor your air quality and adjust airflow to maintain a comfortable level of humidity. It's also designed to filter formaldehyde, a harmful substance that can be found in some building materials used in homes. 

Wherever you place the unit, the included remote control is sure to come in handy. Whether you're in bed or just got comfortable on the couch, the remote control will allow you to adjust the fan's direction as well as the unit's speed and other features. 

Testers gave the model a perfect score for its design, noting that since it's heavy and large it should be placed on the floor. It's worth considering that, depending on your space, it may be difficult to store in a closet between uses, so you'll most likely always have it out on display at all times. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Evaporative
  • Size: 12.23 x 11.02 x 36.33 inches 
  • Tank Capacity: Not listed
  • Max Run Time: Not listed
  • Room Coverage: Up to 400 square feet 
  • Certifications: ETL

Related: The Top 10 Air Purifiers for a Cleaner, More Breathable Home

Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde
Credit: Dera Burreson
Levoit Ultrasonic 2-in-1 Humidifier and Diffuser
Credit: Courtesy of Bed, Bath & Beyond

Best for Bedrooms: Levoit Ultrasonic 2-in-1 Humidifier and Diffuser

View at Bed Bath and Beyond ($60)

Why You Should Get It: Testers said the unit was essentially silent and had a night mode button that turns off all lighting from the humidifier, so it won't interrupt your sleep. 

Keep in Mind: Some smaller areas were hard to clean, and it's not dishwasher safe. You'll want to purchase a small brush (or toothbrush) to thoroughly clean it.

The best humidifier for a bedroom is the quiet and compact Levoit Ultrasonic 2-in-1 Humidifier and Diffuser. The 1.8-liter unit features a night mode and can cover up to 260 square feet, so it'll be able to fill your smaller space with ease. 

Overall, the humidifier received a 4.5/5, with testers giving it high scores in setup, design, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. The humidifier arrives assembled, and testers appreciated that filling the tank was straightforward, with a clearly labeled line that indicates the maximum water level. Plus, there is also a cover for the tank, so you won't have to worry about spilling any water while you transport the humidifier from the sink to where you're placing it. 

Once in use, testers liked that you could clearly see the difference between the three mist levels. They also found it to be essentially silent, as opposed to some other options where you might hear water gurgling. There's also a sleep mode that'll turn off the unit's display lights, so it won't disturb you while you rest. And since the humidifier doubles as a diffuser, you can even add drops of calming essential oils that'll help you sleep even better. 

When it came to cleaning, the tank's round, open design made it easy to get rid of excess water and wipe it clean, a key detail given that it's not dishwasher safe. Testers felt that there were some areas on the base that were difficult to clean thoroughly, however, so you may need a small brush to finish the job. It's worth noting that this pick doesn't have a filter, which could mean you'll have to clean it more often than other designs.

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 7 x 7 x 10.6 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 1.8 liters
  • Max Run Time: 20 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Up to 260 square feet 
  • Certifications: ETL

Related: The 11 Best Humidifiers for Dry Air, According to Reviews

Levoit 1.8L Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson
Levoit 6L Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Warm Mist: Levoit 6L Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier

View at Amazon ($92)

Why You Should Get It: It features a memory function that remembers your settings, so you won't have to reset it every time you use it. 

Keep in Mind: The humidifier isn't supposed to be placed on the floor, with testers noting that you'll need significant tabletop space for it. 

Humidifiers either dispense a cool or warm mist, each of which offers its own benefits. While the Levoit Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier offers both options, the 6-liter design is the best humidifier worth considering if you're in the market for a warm-mist pick. 

The sleek and modern humidifier scored highly across all categories, earning an overall score of 4.3. Testers appreciated that setup was fairly simple, with the water tank needing to be filled from the bottom. The tank will fit in most sinks, and testers thought it was fairly lightweight, even when filled, and easy to transport. The humidifier doesn't have a fill line to indicate when the tank has enough water, though, a detail our testers would have preferred while assembling. 

While using the unit, testers liked that there were multiple humidity levels as well as two rotatable outputs that allow you to direct the dispersal of the moisture. There are also three heat levels to choose from, as opposed to some either picks that might only have one cool and one warm option. Although the instructions noted it would take about 15 minutes for the heat to be at full capacity, one tester felt it within a few minutes. 

The humidifier was nearly silent while in use and included a remote control that worked at least 20 feet away from the machine, a combination one tester felt made it a great pick for a bedroom, living room, or anywhere else you might be relaxing. Just keep in mind that it's not recommended to keep the appliance on the ground, so you'll need ample tabletop space to put it on. 

Testers scored this model a 4/5 for cleaning, taking into consideration that it was relatively simple to remove leftover water. Plus, it came with a cleaning brush that made it easier to get to hard-to-reach spots. If you've used a heat setting just be sure to let the unit cool down before cleaning, per the unit's instructions. Otherwise, the water may be hot when you're trying to clean. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 11.3 x 7.0 x 10.5 inches                  
  • Tank Capacity: 6 liters 
  • Max Run Time: 36 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Up to 753 square feet 
  • Certifications: ETL 

Related: The 13 Best Space Heaters for Every Room in Your Home

Levoit 6L Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson
Honeywell Designer Series Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Easy Cleaning: Honeywell Designer Series Cool Mist Humidifier

View at Amazon ($75)

Why You Should Get It: The tank's wide opening makes cleaning easy and thorough. Testers also liked the compact design, which wouldn't take up too much space wherever you place it. 

Keep in Mind: The vapor nozzle only points in one direction, so you can't control where the moisture is directed.

Honeywell's Designer Series Cool Mist Humidifier has an easy-to-clean design that you're sure to appreciate between uses. The humidifier, which received an overall 4.7 score during testing, has a suggested cleaning method and simple design that doesn't have any small, hard-to-reach spots. 

Overall testers gave the unit a 4/5 for ease of cleaning, noting that the humidifier's tank had a large opening that made it easy to reach your hand in and clean thoroughly. It's recommended to use a combination of vinegar and bleach to sanitize and remove hard water build up, a process testers noted is time consuming but not hard to do thanks to the design's shape. Unlike some other options out there, you can wipe the whole thing with a cloth as opposed to needing a small cleaning brush. 

During testing, the humidifier received perfect scores in setup, effectiveness, design, and overall value. Testers appreciated that the humidifier arrives fully assembled and has an adjustable wheel that allows you to control its vapor output. Keep in mind that the vapor nozzle only points in one direction, so you can't control where the moisture is directed. 

Testers liked the design of the humidifier, noting that the water tank was hidden and the honeycomb pattern on the exterior was nice to look at. They also appreciated that the humidifier doesn't take up too much space, which is ideal especially if you're planning to place it on a desk or nightstand. The humidifier also has a built-in tray where you can put essential oils, though testers found it difficult to open. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 8.8 x 8.8 x 13.2 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 4.73 liters 
  • Max Run Time: 24 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Not listed 
  • Certifications: None
Honeywell Designer Series Cool Mist Humidifier, White/Silver
Credit: Dera Burreson
Elechomes SH8830 Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Plants: Elechomes SH8830 Humidifier

View at Amazon ($94)

Why You Should Get It: You'll be able to customize the humidifier to your liking thanks to multiple timing settings, three mist levels, and rotatable nozzles. 

Keep in Mind: Once filled with water, the tank was heavy, and testers found it difficult to carry, especially since it doesn't have a handle. 

Humidifiers can benefit you in many ways, but they also have advantages for indoor plants, especially tropical greenery that can dry out in the winter months when your furnace is running nonstop. The Elechomes SH8830 Humidifier is our top choice for homes with plants, and testers gave the unit a 3.8/5 overall score, with high scores given for its effectiveness, design, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. 

When it comes to indoor plants, humidifiers are beneficial as they'll increase the humidity in the air, allowing your plants to retain more moisture. Though all humidifiers can accomplish that, the Elechomes SH8830 Humidifier has lots of settings that allow you to customize the experience, earning it a 4/5 for its design. 

To start, it has rotatable nozzles so you can point each in a different direction to target all of your plants. It also has 12 preset timing settings, including an auto-shutoff feature, and you'll be able to choose between a warm and cool mist as well as switch between low, medium, and high steam levels. Plus, there's a sleep function that ensures it'll be quiet while in use. Overall, the ability to customize the experience will ensure your plants get the amount of moisture they actually need. 

Testers found the humidifier to be on the larger side, so you'll need a sturdy tabletop to put it on. When it came to cleaning, testers noted that it may not be easy for everyone to fit their hand into the tank, making cleaning difficult for some. However, it does include a cleaning brush that allows you to reach some of the smaller nooks and crannies. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 10.2 x 8.4 x 13.3 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 6.5 liters 
  • Max Run Time: 72 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Up to 861 square feet 
  • Certifications: None 

Related: The 7 Best Humidifiers for Plants, and How to Pick the Right One

Elechomes SH8830 Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson
Lasko LA10008 UH300 Warm and Cool Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Large Rooms: Lasko LA10008 UH300 Warm and Cool Humidifier

View at Amazon ($73)

Why You Should Get It: The humidifier features a built-in handle that allows you to securely transport it from the sink to wherever you're placing it. 

Keep in Mind: Testers found that the display and night light settings were difficult to understand. 

If you're using a humidifier in a larger space, the Lasko LA10008 UH300 Warm and Cool Humidifier is worth considering. The 4.9-liter model can cover up to 600 square feet, so it's great for living rooms, bigger bedrooms, and any other spacious spots in your home. 

Testers gave the humidifier a 4.5/5 overall score, with high scores for setup, effectiveness, design, size, and overall value. The unit arrived fully assembled, and testers found the tank easy to fill thanks to a wide opening. They also appreciated the built-in handle on top of the humidifier, which offers a secure way to transport it from the sink to wherever you want to place it. The humidifier is on the larger side, however, so you'll want to ensure you have enough space. 

The humidifier has three mist flow options (low, medium, and high), as well as a 360-degree nozzle that allows you to direct the mist flow. Testers found that there was a significant range between each mist flow option, so you should be able to easily fill a larger space. They did find that it was difficult to understand the humidifier's display settings, however, noting that you had to count how many times you pressed a button to know which level you set it at. 

Although setup was easy, the humidifier received a 3/5 for ease of cleaning, its lowest score amongst the categories. Testers found that it was hard to reach the areas around and behind the mist tube and that there were two recessed corner edges of the tank that are difficult to clean by hand. The unit does, however, include a cleaning brush to help you access hard-to-reach spots as well as a built-in storage spot for it. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 9.84 x 5.71 x 14.37 inches 
  • Tank Capacity: 4.9 liters 
  • Max Run Time: Up to 100 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Up to 600 square feet
  • Certifications: ETL
Lasko LA10008 UH300 Warm and Cool Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson
Geniani Portable Small Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Portable: Geniani Portable Small Cool Mist Humidifier

View at Amazon ($23)

Why You Should Get It: The humidifier is quick and easy to clean without any special brushes, which is beneficial especially if you're traveling with it. 

Keep in Mind: The humidifier only dispenses cool mist and only releases it upwards, so you can't control the direction of it.

Whether you're living in a small space or just want a humidifier to take on the go, the Geniani Portable Small Cool Mist Humidifier is a great pick. The humidifier, which earned a 4.5 overall score, is a portable, compact design that'll dispense cool mist around you wherever you go. 

Overall, the humidifier earned high scores for its setup, effectiveness, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. It arrives fully assembled and is fairly easy to fill with water. Though it wasn't heavy when full, testers noted that since there's no lid it may easily spill, so keep that in mind as you transfer it from the faucet. 

The humidifier has two mist intensity settings to choose from—continuous or intermittent. The latter will dispense mist for about 10 seconds before pausing and then repeating the pattern again, a great option if you need a more subtle, refreshing experience. 

Testers gave their lowest category score, a 3/5, for the unit's size, noting that it was very small and doesn't take up a lot of space. Though it is certainly smaller and has a shorter power time than other picks on this list, just keep in mind that this particular unit is meant to be compact and portable, so the size will come in handy if you plan to travel with it. It even has a USB plug so you can plug it into your car or laptop while you travel for work. 

Product Details: 

  • Humidifier Type: Ultrasonic
  • Size: 3.4 x 3.4 x 6 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 250 milliliters 
  • Max Run Time: 8 hours 
  • Room Coverage: Up to 65 square feet 
  • Certifications: ETL 

Related: The 7 Best Portable Air Conditioners, According to Thousands of Reviews

Geniani Portable Small Cool Mist Humidifier
Credit: Dera Burreson

The Bottom Line

Overall, we recommend the Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier because it's easy to set up, effective, and has a design you won't mind leaving on your nightstand. Testers, who gave the unit a perfect score, appreciated the humidifier's multiple mist settings and that it was essentially silent when in use. For a less expensive option, consider the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. The humidifier has two distinct mist settings and has a compact design that's easy to display as well as store. 

Our Testing Process

Over the course of two days, five product testers went to our lab in Des Moines, Iowa, and put 27 humidifiers to the test. The testers set up each humidifier and timed themselves assembling the products based on the included instructions. From there, the testers used a predetermined methodology to score each humidifier between one and five in six categories: setup, effectiveness, design, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. The final rating was determined by averaging each pick's scores across categories. 

What to Know About Humidifiers Before Shopping

Ultrasonic Vs. Evaporative

When it comes to humidifiers, you'll need to choose between an ultrasonic or evaporative model. Though both are effective, the difference comes down to how they produce humidity. Ultrasonic humidifiers, which make up a majority of this list, produce moisture through a vibrating metal diaphragm. As the diaphragm vibrates at a high frequency, the sound propels the moisture into the air. Typically this style, which doesn't have a filter, is more likely to produce dust in your space. Ultrasonic humidifiers typically ring in at a lower price point compared to evaporative models.

"Ultrasonic humidifiers are popular as they are cool to touch and use vibration to create water droplets," says Dr. Ilyas. "Although safer from a temperature perspective, bacteria in the water may be released into the air on use."

On the other hand, an evaporative humidifier uses a fan to speed up the natural water evaporation process. They're also less likely to emit bacteria and other airborne contaminants in the air, so they're safer as far as air quality is concerned. You will, however, tend to pay more for an evaporative humidifier.

Mist Temperature 

Humidifiers will dispense either warm mist, cool mist, or both, each of which is beneficial depending on your needs. Warm mist options are said to add more moisture to the air, so it's a great pick if you have dry skin. They'll also reduce bacteria and germs in the air as well as add warmth to a space—just keep in mind they can run hot, so you'll want to be careful with small children and pets. 

A cool mist humidifier removes the risk of children and pets burning themselves by touching the unit. Like a warm mist option, it can also help with seasonal allergies or any symptoms you're experiencing from dry air. However, it'll also add a refreshing mist in warm temperatures. 

Tank Capacity 

A humidifier's tank capacity refers to how many liters (or gallons) of water the tank can hold. The amount varies by unit, with the average being anywhere from 2 to 6 liters. Those with higher tank capacities will also have longer running times, a detail to keep in mind if you want to use your humidifier for long periods of time, such as overnight. 

Certifications

Though there are a few product certifications out there, Intertek's ETL-tested is perhaps one of the most popular options you might come across. Intertek is a testing, inspection, and certification company. If a product has the company's ETL certification, that means the product is proven to be in compliance with North American safety standards.

Other Humidifiers We Tested 

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier

Overall, testers felt they would recommend the compact Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier because it has a reset light that will let you know when you need to refill the tank so you won't have to worry about monitoring it. Testers also appreciated it was very easy to set up and that the water tank is dishwasher safe, so you'll be able to clean it thoroughly, especially if you use it while you're sick. 

Boneco Hybrid Humidifier and Air Purifier

During testing, Boneco's Hybrid Humidifier and Air Purifier received high scores for both setup and effectiveness. Testers liked that even though there is no mist you could immediately feel the air movement once the unit was turned on. Plus, the model was easy to clean, with some parts even being dishwasher safe. 

Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier

The Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier earned a 4.3 overall score, with testers giving high scores for its setup, effectiveness, and design. Testers like that there were only two pieces to attach for assembly and noted that even once the water tank was full, it was still easy to carry. Once in use, testers appreciated that you could see a visible increase in mist as they changed the settings. They also liked that there was an attachment that allowed you to change the direction of the output. 

Your Questions, Answered 

What are the benefits of using a humidifier?

A humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can benefit you in many ways. Perhaps one of the most common uses is for those who are sick with a common cold, allergies, or another respiratory issue, as well as those dealing with dry nasal passages overall. As moisture gets added to the air, it'll help relieve some discomforts, like nasal congestion, which in turn may help reduce coughing and sneezing. 

"Extended windows of time in one location, as with sleeping, can dehydrate the nasal passages if there is a lack of humidity in the air. On waking, dried nasal secretions can feel uncomfortable and even lead to nosebleeds," says Dr. Ilyas. "The presence of these can indicate the need to consider a humidifier."

A humidifier can also provide some beauty benefits as well. Whether you have dry skin, cracked lips, a dry scalp, or all of the above, adding additional moisture to the air will help improve some of the effects of harsh winter weather. Plus, it can even help you have a better hair day in the winter according to Dr. Ilyas, who says lack of moisture can cause hair static.

"The friction of the clothing against your hair creates a static charge. Normally the moisture in the air can conduct this electric charge away, and you do not even notice it," she says. "However, when it's cold and dry, it will be hard not to notice. One of the secrets to trying to control this is to introduce moisture to your hair."

How do you clean a humidifier?

Since humidifiers use water, it's important to clean them often to prevent any mold or mildew from forming. According to Dr. Ilyas, it's best practice to clean out a humidifier at least once a week. When cleaning, be sure to check the unit's instructions to see what the preferred method of cleaning is. Some pieces might be dishwasher safe, while others might need a specific cleaning substance, like vinegar, to use. 

If your humidifier has small nooks and crannies, you'll want to clean them thoroughly as well. Your model might come with a cleaning brush, but if it doesn't, you can always use a toothbrush. 

"The entire device where water comes into contact should be dismantled and cleaned thoroughly," she says. "Wipe down surfaces to reduce mineral and residue buildup. Filters, if present, should be changed to avoid mold overgrowth. There are many reports of hypersensitivity pneumonitis from the use of humidifiers." 

In regards to cleaning, Dr. Ilyas also recommends using distilled water if you're able. "Tap water can have more minerals that can deposit or build up on the sides of a humidifier. These minerals can serve as breeding grounds for bacteria and mold to overgrow."

Who We Are

Jamie Weissman is a commerce editor with two years of experience covering home products. To make this list, she considered insights from product testers who rated each humidifier's setup, effectiveness, design, size, ease of cleaning, and overall value. She also consulted Dr. Erum Ilyas, MBE, FAAD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group.