The 7 Best Humidifiers to Get You Through Winter

By Corrie Pelc


While you may realize it, the colder air gets, the drier it gets. That's because cold air holds less moisture than warm air. That's also why people suffer from chapped lips and dry skin during the winter, and also why you see more respiratory illnesses during the winter season.


Air that’s too dry in your home can lead to a lot of issues, such as:

  • Cracked lips
  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Very dry skin and hair
  • Bloody noses
  • Sinus infections
  • Excessive snoring
  • Headaches


Medical professionals suggest homes keep a humidity level between 30 percent to 50 percent. Too low and you'll have some of the issues mentioned above. Too high and you risk mold growth, which no one wants.


If you need to up the humidity in your home, a humidifier is a great option for doing so. Most machines are small enough that you can inconspicuously use them in your bedroom or any other room you spend a lot of time in. Humidifiers are also available at a variety of price points, helping to ensure you’ll find one to fit your budget.

best humidifiers, Hand hovering over humidifier steam Photo via Shutterstock
Hand hovering over humidifier steam / Photo via Shutterstock

Top Picks

How to Buy a Humidifier

When considering a humidifier for your home, here are some questions to think about:


What Size Do You Need? If you're looking to just add humidity to one room — such as a bedroom or living room — then a portable humidifier is a great option as it's small and you can move it as needed. Console humidifiers are the next step up — they sit on the ground and offer a larger coverage area than a portable humidifier. And if you want coverage for multiple rooms, then you may need to consider a larger-investment whole-house humidifier.


What Type of Humidifier Should You Get? There are four main types of humidifiers on the market today.


Cool-mist humidifiers are the most common; as their name suggests, they produce a cool mist into the air. There are two main types of cool-mist humidifiers:

  • Evaporative cool-mist humidifiers use a fan to blow moisture particles into the air.
  • Ultrasonic cool-mist humidifiers use a vibrational element to create a cooling mist.


Warm-mist humidifiers have a built-in heater that boils the water in the water tank, creating a warm mist to enter the air around it.


Some humidifiers are dual-mist, meaning they offer both options.


What Additional Capabilities Do You Want? In addition to being a humidifier, quite a few products on today’s market can be more than that. Some allow you to add essential oils for a relaxing experience. Some have a nightlight option, making them a great choice for nurseries or kids’ rooms. And others even offer air purifier power.


Test Factors We Considered When Picking the Best Humidifier

Here’s a look at the test factors we developed for selecting the best humidifiers:

  • Type: What type of humidifier is this — cool-mist, warm-mist, or dual-mist? And is it evaporative or ultrasonic?
  • Size: What size humidifier is this — is it a portable humidifier that will work for one room or a whole-house humidifier that can handle multiple rooms?
  • Weight: How much does the humidifier weigh?
  • Water Tank Size: How much water the humidifier holds will help the user figure out how frequently it’ll need to be refilled.
  • Run Length: How long is the humidifier expected to run for?
  • Power: How is this humidifier turned on and off?
  • Automatic Shut Off: Does the humidifier automatically shut off when it runs out of water?
  • Filters: Does this humidifier require the purchase of replacement filters?
  • Additional Uses: Can this humidifier be used for other purposes, such as an essential oil diffuser or nightlight?
  • Warranty: How long does the manufacturer claim the product will last?


Let’s take a look now at our list of the best humidifiers on the market right now.

Best Portable Humidifier: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Type: Ultrasonic cool-mist Size: Portable Weight: 1.35 pounds Water Tank Size: 1.5 liters Run Length: Up to 25 hours Power: On/off button Automatic Shut Off: Yes Filters: No Additional Uses: Nightlight Warranty: 5-year warranty

With over 66,000 reviews and 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, there's no guessing why the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is our top pick for best portable humidifier. This ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier only weighs 1.35 pounds when there's no water in it, making it extremely easy to move to any room you need it in. It adds humidity to any room for up to 25 hours, and you can switch between low and high speed settings depending on your needs. The humidifier includes an automatic shut-off when the water level becomes too low, and it can also double as a nightlight as you sleep. All this, and the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is backed by a five-year warranty.

Pros

  • Humidifies for up to 25 hours, meaning it will last throughout the night
  • Doubles as a nightlight
  • Backed by 5-year warranty

Cons

  • No remote control

Best Humidifier for Large Rooms: LEVOIT Cool and Warm Mist 6L Humidifier

Type: Dual-mist Size: Portable/console Weight: 5.3 size Water Tank Size: 6 liters/1.5 gallons Run Length: Up to 60 hours Power: Remote control Automatic Shut Off: Yes Filters: No Additional Uses: Essential oil diffuser Warranty: 1-year warranty

If you have a large room you want to add humidity to, then your best choice is the LEVOIT Cool and Warm Mist 6L Humidifier. Another top-seller on Amazon with over 16,000 ratings and 4.5 out of 5 stars, this humidifier is dual-mist, meaning it offers both cool-mist and warm-mist humidity, depending on what you need. The humidifier is controlled through an included remote control, which also allows you to adjust mist levels and set a timer. With a six-liter water capacity, this humidifier can run continuously for up to 60 hours. When used overnight, the LED display dims and the machine runs whisper-quiet. The LEVOIT Cool and Warm Mist 6L Humidifier is filterless so there's no extra money spent on replacement filters, and it also doubles as an essential oil diffuser.

Pros

  • Offers both cool-mist and warm-mist humidity
  • Runs for up to 60 hours with its 6-liter water tank
  • Doubles as an essential oil diffuser

Cons

  • May be too heavy for tabletops

Best Budget Humidifier: URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier

Type: Ultrasonic cool-mist Size: Portable Weight: 10.55 ounces Water Tank Size: About 0.75 cup Run Length: Up to 6 hours Power: On/off switch Automatic Shut Off: Yes Filters: No Additional Uses: Nightlight, essential oil diffuser Warranty: Returnable through Amazon’s return policy

With almost 75,000 reviews and 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and costing less than $15, the URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier is a no-brainer for those seeking a personal humidifier for their home. It's also so compact, this would be an easy humidifier to tote around for use in hotel rooms or your work office. Although its water tank will obviously be on the small side, this ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier offers two mist settings and works for up to six hours. It features an auto shut-off, programmable on/off cycles, and its included LED light can be set to one of seven colors, making it a great night light option. As the name suggests, the URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier is also an essential oil diffuser — just add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the tank a whole experience.

Pros

  • Ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier for less than $15
  • So compact can be used in a hotel room or work office
  • Can be used as a night light and essential oil diffuser

Cons

  • Does not hold enough water to run continuously overnight

Best Splurge Humidifier: Dyson PH01 Pure Humidify + Cool Smart Tower Humidifier and Air Purifier

Type: Evaporative cool-mist Size: Console Weight: 18.3 pounds Water Tank Size: 1 gallon Run Length: Up to 36 hours Power: Remote control and smartphone app Automatic Shut Off: Yes Filters: Yes Additional Uses: Air purifier Warranty: 2-year warranty

If you want a humidifier that pretty much does it all, then you'll want to check out the Dyson PH01 Pure Humidify + Cool Smart Tower Humidifier and Air Purifier. This evaporative cool-mist humidifier features a one-gallon water tank and can operate continuously for up to 36 hours. Through its filtration system, the humidifier removes 99.9 percent of bacteria from the water you use in it, helping it purify the air as it adds humidity. You can also turn off the humidifier and just use this product as an air purifier. The Dyson PH01 Pure Humidify + Cool Smart Tower Humidifier and Air Purifier is operated through the included remote control or a smartphone app, and has a sleep timer that can be programmed for intervals between 30 minutes to eight hours.

Pros

  • Doubles as a cool-mist humidifier and air purifier
  • Operated by remote control or smartphone app
  • Can be programmed for intervals between 30 minutes to eight hours

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Weight makes it suitable for placement on floor

Best Whole House Humidifier: AIRCARE EP9500 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Humidifier

Type: Evaporative cool-mist Size: Whole-house Weight: 25 pounds Water Tank Size: 3.5 gallons Run Length: Up to 60 hours Power: On/off switch Automatic Shut Off: Yes Filters: Yes Additional Uses: None Warranty: 2-year limited warranty

If you wish to control the humidity levels of every room in your home, then you'll want to invest in a whole-house humidifier like the AIRCARE EP9500 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier. This evaporative cool-mist humidifier is designed to look like a table, allowing it to discreetly sit in your home as it humidifies up to 2,000 square feet. The humidifier is able to hold 3.5 gallons of water at a time and has an easy pour-in fill reservoir, making refilling a breeze. A refill indicator alerts you when the water level is getting low and it also has an automatic shut-off if you forget to refill it. The AIRCARE EP9500 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier can run for up to 60 hours and is easily controlled through the control panel on its face.

Pros

  • Humidifies up to 2,000 square feet of space
  • Runs for up to 60 hours
  • 3.5-gallon water tank has an easy-to-refill reservoir

Cons

  • Color and style of the humidifier may not go with all home decor

Best Humidifier for Babies and Kids: Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Type: Ultrasonic cool-mist Size: Portable Weight: 3.55 pounds Water Tank Size: 1 gallon Run Length: Up to 24 hours Power: Control knob Automatic Shut Off: Yes Filters: Optional Additional Uses: None Warranty: 1-year warranty

Available in eight fun colors, the Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is our top pick for the best humidifier for nurseries and kids’ rooms. This ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier boasts a one-gallon water tank, allowing it to effectively humidify a room of up to 500 square feet for a continuous 24 hours. It runs whisper-quiet, so it won't disturb little ones when used overnight. At the top of the humidifier is a 360-degree mist list so you can point the cool mist in whatever direction you prefer. Although the Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier requires no filter, it does have an optional filter for removing hard minerals from the water you use in the tank. And the humidifier is available in several fun colors to match any room and it's also backed by a one-year limited warranty.

Pros

  • Available in eight colors
  • Can humidify a room of up to 500 square feet for a continuous 24 hours
  • Runs whisper-quiet

Cons

  • Does not double as anything else

Best Warm-Mist Humidifier: Honeywell HWM-705B HWM705B Filter Free Warm Moisture Humidifier

Type: Warm-mist Size: Portable Weight: 4 pounds Water Tank Size: 1 gallon Run Length: Up to 24 hours Power: Control dial Automatic Shut Off: Yes Filters: No Additional Uses: Essential oil diffuser Warranty: 3-year limited warranty

While cool-mist humidifiers are more popular because there's no heat required to operate them (which makes them safer around kids and pets), there are times when you would want a warm-mist humidifier instead, especially in the winter. Since warm-mist humidifiers boil the water to create the mist, that kills off any water-borne bacteria or mold. Warm-mist humidifiers also tend to operate more quietly than cold-mist humidifiers. Our pick for the best warm-mist humidifier is the Honeywell HWM-705B HWM705B Filter Free Warm Moisture Humidifier. This portable machine features a 1-gallon tank and provides a warm-mist for up to 24 hours without needing to refill. It requires no filters, has an automatic shut-off, and an easy-to-use control dial. Plus the Honeywell HWM-705B HWM705B Filter Free Warm Moisture Humidifier even doubles as an essential oil diffuser.

Pros

  • 1-gallon water tank allows it to work continuously for up to 24 hours
  • Doubles as an essential oil diffuser
  • 3-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Warm-mist humidifiers boil water, which may not be safe for all households

Do you have a humidifier that keeps you comfortable during the cold season? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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