Which Humidifier To Buy
Generally speaking, we limited our search to portable humidifiers rated to cover between 200 and 700 square feet, with a minimum tank size of 1 gallon (although we have made occasional exceptions). In our experience, a 1-gallon tank is big enough to allow a humidifier to last for most or all of a day running on medium without having to refill.
which humidifier to buy
We have one other complaint. The base holds about an inch of water all the way around, much of which is hidden underneath the fan and other electronics. It also has two notches on either end that seem like convenient carrying grooves, which deceive you into thinking you can carry the base across your home without spilling water all over yourself. Spoiler alert: You cannot.
For air washers, which claim to remove particles from the air, we measured airborne-particle concentrations at the beginning of the test and after three hours of running the machines. We used a laboratory-quality benchtop optical particle counter that measured particles in the 0.5- to 20-micron range. Background particle concentrations ranged from 65 to 200 particles per cubic centimeter.
After running the Venta and the Winix air washers against our former top pick, the Honeywell HCM-350 evaporative humidifier, we saw the particle concentrations drop for the Venta and the Honeywell but actually rise for the Winix.
Regardless of which type of humidifier you have, you must clean it regularly to prevent funky stuff from growing in the reservoir and other parts of your machine. The EPA suggests (PDF) cleaning and disinfecting portable humidifiers every third day; most manufacturers recommend about once a week. A bacteriostatic treatment such as Essick Air or an antimicrobial cleaning cartridge like the fish-shaped Protec can also help to discourage nasty things from growing. But these should still be used in conjunction with a regular cleaning.
The Honeywell HCM-350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier was our top pick from 2015 to 2021, largely because of its simplicity. The base is dishwasher-safe, there are no bright lights or beeping sounds to keep you up at night, and several Wirecutter staffers have used it long enough to attest to its durability. But we started hearing more and more complaints from readers who had trouble cleaning the non-dishwasher-safe parts or who were otherwise disappointed with this model. Its availability has also become increasingly scarce. This is still a pretty great, simple evaporative humidifier if you can find it, but we think most readers will be better served with one of our ultrasonic picks or the EVDC300.
The Honeywell HEV620B Cool Moisture Tower Humidifier, an evaporative model, has a unique tower-style design, and it performed extremely well in our tests, humidifying the air quickly and holding the humidity steady, thanks to its accurate humidistat. We also like its giant, 1.7-gallon tank, which is good for more than 24 hours of operation under most circumstances. The tower style does make it visually conspicuous, however, and you can fill the tall tank only under a tub or kitchen faucet, not at most bathroom sinks.
Humidifiers are appliances that add moisture to the air by producing and releasing mist or steam. They help maintain a set humidity level in your home and prevent the air from getting too dry. There are warm- and cool-air humidifiers (some are capable of both), but how your humidifier operates depends on the type. However, all humidifiers take in air from their surroundings and add moisture to it. Typically, a fan disperses the air into the room to increase the humidity level.
In short, no. Essential oils can clog and erode cool mist humidifiers, which will cause them to malfunction and stop working. You also shouldn't use them in steam vaporizers, because the heat could change the chemical makeup of essential oils, which could counteract their scent.
However, some humidifiers are specifically designed with an aromatherapy tray. Our best with diffuser pick, the Levoit LUH-D302-WUS Humidifier for Bedroom, is compatible with essential oil drops, which can be added directly to the water tank. Be sure to consult your humidifier's owner's manual to confirm whether essential oil drops can be added.
Dry skin is just one reason that experts recommend using a humidifier, a device that emits water into the air to increase moisture levels (humidity) in your home or office. The National Institutes of Health recommends the use of humidifiers to help relieve congestion from the common cold, flu, and sinus infections. And humidifiers can also help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes, eczema, itchy skin, dry nasal passages, cracked lips, and nose bleeds due to dry air, allergies, or asthma.
Generally, humidifiers provide the greatest benefit in the cold winter months, but in dryer climates they can be used year-round. Aside from making your skin feel and look better, boosting the moisture in your indoor air can help your nasal passages, too.
Some humidifier models come with both cool mist and warm mist options. A model like this lets you keep the room cooler in summer (when running the air conditioning can dry out the air the same way the heater does) and warmer in winter.
Also, pay close attention to the moisture level of the room. Some humidifiers automatically adjust their output based on the moisture level, others let you set the level manually. It should always be between 30 percent and 50 percent or, again, you run the risk of increasing mold and bacteria growth.
There are several different kinds of humidifiers, including whole-home and portable models. For the purposes of this buying guide, we're going to focus on portable humidifiers. These are small but powerful devices that can be set up in basically any home. Most humidifiers operate simply, with a power source and tank for water. How they help to add humidity to the air depends on the type of humidifier that you purchase.
While the function of a humidifier will vary depending on the type you decide on, the majority of humidifiers operate with a similar concept. A reservoir of water is slowly dispensed into a basin, where it is absorbed by a wicking filter. A fan blows air through the filter, which evaporates the water and helps to add moisture to the air. Most humidifiers are self-regulating, so as the humidity in the room increases, the amount of vapor produced decreases.
Portable humidifiers are a common household accessory. Because of this you can find them in many places that sell common home goods. Big box stores like Target, Walmart and even stores like Home Depot and Lowe's typically stock portable humidifiers. So, too, do pharmacy stores like Walgreens and CVS. You can also purchase portable humidifiers online from places like Amazon. They range in price from less than $20 to $200 or more.
Most portable humidifiers are rather simple to set up. You will plug them in, fill the reservoir with water and allow it to disperse the moisture into the air. You'll want to read your humidifier manual to make sure that you are operating it correctly. While most humidifiers will run just fine with tap water, some require or operate better with distilled water. This also helps to prevent build up of any sort of mineral dust. If you are using a warm mist humidifier or a humidifier that gets hot during operation, make sure you keep it on a safe surface and out of the reach of animals or children who may touch it.
Cleaning a humidifier is easy and essential, as you don't want to distill bacteria or dirt into the air. Each humidifier will be a little different, but in general, the cleaning process will be similar no matter what.
Turn off your humidifier and make sure the reservoir and basin are empty. Fill the tank with undiluted white vinegar. Allow it to stand for 15 to 20 minutes, then empty it and scrub the area to remove any mineral deposits. Rinse thoroughly, let it dry, then put it back together so you can run it again.
If your humidifier suffers any damage or stops functioning, you can check the warranty and replace it. Most humidifiers come with a one-year warranty and you may be able to replace it through the retailer where you initially purchased it. Otherwise, you will have to contact the manufacturer.
Portable humidifiers are simple and effective tools for keeping the air in your home moist, even through the dry winter months. This helps to improve air quality, keep you healthy and keep heating costs down. They are easy to maintain and provide great benefits with minimal cleaning. Consider the different types of portable humidifiers available and go from there -- there's bound to be an option to suit your needs.
No matter the space, you need just the right level of humidity to provide a healthy environment in your home. Not too much and not too little. The best humidifier can help ensure you have the right relative humidity to decrease the symptoms of allergies and winter dryness. Humidifiers can also provide relief from spring allergies and sinuses, as well as dry air that accompanies summer heat and stuffy air conditioning.
The Levoit OasisMist Smart Humifidier is another stylish and well-performing device. Functioning as both a warm mist humidifier and a cool mist humidifier to improve your indoor air, you get up to 45 hours before the tank needs to be refilled. The water tank has a spacious opening that is easy to fill, and it also has a handle for easy transport. If you connect the humidifier to the VeSync app, this will allow you to remotely control the device (turning it on and off, changing the mist settings, and scheduling timers). For example, you can schedule it to turn off when you leave for work and then turn back on at 5:00 pm so it'll start misting the air before you return home. You can also add essential oils to the aroma pad to create an essential oil diffuser. The noise level is a low 26dB, and as a tester, I can verify that the noise level is nonexistent.
If you prefer a humidifier that fills from the bottom, the Elechomes UC5501 is one of the best humidifiers to choose. It has a 1.6-gallon tank capacity, and it can provide 60 hours of cool mist humidification or be used as warm mist option during winter months to moisten dry air. The ultrasonic humidifier also has a sleep noise level of less than 32dB, and the quiet operation was one of my favorite features as a tester. Also, the humidity sensor automatically makes adjustments to provide the right humidity level to create the best air quality. The 360-degree dual nozzle lets you aim the mist in the desired location, and the LED touch display controls are easy to operate. 041b061a72