Overly dry air in the house can lead to a range of issues. Some, like itchy skin and chapped lips, are merely irritating, but dry air can also worsen respiratory conditions like asthma and raise our risk of sinus troubles, the common cold, and the flu. Humidifiers can increase the moisture in the air and help guard against these problems, whether it’s in one small room or an entire home.
01 of 07
The Honeywell HCM-350 Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier is a quiet, efficient, easy-to-use humidifier for larger rooms that both experts and owners say is a good all-around pick. It has a 1.1-gallon tank and is best suited for spaces up to 500 square feet.
Experts measured the HCM-350’s daily output at about 2.3 gallons, and testers with The Sweethome note that it needs to be filled about twice a day while running continuously on high. This is an evaporative humidifier, so it won’t leave a thin film... of white dust around the room if it’s used with hard water. An ultraviolet light inside the unit aims to kill any mold, fungus, or bacteria, though experts say this feature is probably overblown.
Ease of use is the HCM-350’s strong suit. Controls are simple: There is one dial that’s used to select from three fan speeds. Owners say the tank is easy to fill thanks to its thoughtful design. The filling hole is large, minimizing the chance of water spraying everywhere, and there’s an easy-to-grip handle that makes carrying the tank a cinch. The large opening also means the tank is simple to clean, and reviewers say the lack of nooks and crannies in the base helps fight any buildup of gunk and grime. The base is top-shelf dishwasher safe. The HCM-350 also gets raves for quiet operation, making it a good pick for bedrooms.
02 of 07
The TaoTronics Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier checks all the boxes a cool mister should, but it doesn’t have the price tag to reflect it. At a low price, this humidifier emits vapor that improves the air to help you breath clearer. Bonus: It has the added effect of keeping skin healthy and hydrated. Since it operates on a super-stealthy level (re: quietly), it’s perfect for light sleepers or office use.
To use, two 360 degree nozzles are included to mist in two different directions. Once the... water tank is low, the machine auto-detects to shut-off. But rest assured, the 3.5 liter water tank will last you up to 10 hours, so frequent refills aren’t needed. Users especially appreciate this lasting quality, in addition to its easy clean design. They also claim that the small and absorbent filter helps reduce the mildew growth cool misters typically acquire. Paired with a quiet operation and the ability to control mist emissions, users are quite excited about the value behind this option.
03 of 07
For those interested in a warm mist option, the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is a great pick. Like the Honeywell HCM-350, it can cover most large rooms around 500 square feet, however, it does have a smaller tank capacity than this front running model. That said, users still give it a great rating for effectiveness during the colder months to help combat colds.
The Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier model has two settings for maximum or standard moisture, depending on the need. Its tank uses a boiling... chamber to emit a steam vapor and produce a 95% bacteria-free mist into the air for up to 12 hours. There’s even an option to program it to automatically shut-off. When you get sick, this product has you covered. Since there’s a medicinal cup available to fill with Vicks VapoSteam, you can finally get that sleep you need.
In contrast to the Honeywell product, this one has been known to produce mold or mildew as a side effect to the hot steam released. However, users say the tank is easy to clean when this occurs. Additionally, this option doesn’t release a “white fog” like most cooler misters typically do. Since it’s especially effective during cold season, experts give it the highest rating for its health and seasonal benefits.
04 of 07
With a coverage area of up to 3,600 square feet, the Essick Air Aircare MA1201 is powerful enough to moisten the air in the entire house. It has a large 3.6-gallon tank and is capable of an impressive 12-gallon daily output. Experts say it lives up to its billing, giving it high marks for both output and efficiency.
Users love that the MA1201 has a digital humidistat, meaning it can be set to automatically maintain a certain level of humidity in your home. There are also several manual fan... speeds, and reviewers say controls are simple. They also say the side-mounted water tank is easy to remove, fill, and clean. Noise, however, is the weak spot here. The MA1201 got low rankings for noise in expert tests, and users confirm the fan is loud. However, many say it’s just white noise that they quickly got used to.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Just because you’re on the go doesn’t mean you should suffer through bad air quality. From nights in hotels to hopping off a plane, the VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier is an easy travel option to take with you wherever you go. Unlike bulky humidifiers, this one is designed with a slim and sleek build to fit snugly into tight spaces. At 60 ounces, it’s your best bet for a better night’s sleep.
The VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier features an easy-to-use knob control to mist at a full 360 degrees. It operates... noise-free until the 1.8L tank is empty, automatically shutting off for safer use. Experts say it has a generous water tank given its size. Many also rave about the style, which looks great on a bedside table. They do warn that refilling the tank can be messy, but they say the stylish stature makes up for this quality.
06 of 07
If you’re looking for an item to spruce up your room and improve the air quality, users recommend going with the URPOWER 5L Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. Like the VAVA model, this one has a sleek design that's functional, while still looking pretty. With a misting volume up to 350mL per hour, and a 5L water tank, you can snooze through the night uninterrupted while it adds moisture to the air. The model also contains a sleep mode option along with a low-medium-high dial range that can... operate for 17 hours on end (can you say sweet dreams?)
Buyers of this product are a big fan of the build, which is considered “mid-sized” compared to other models. Despite this, it still has a large water tank. Throughout the reviews, the main source of conversation stems from the silent operation and lack of light or flashing features — both big advantages when it comes to securing a restful night’s sleep. But of course, the design was the biggest factor behind why people went with the URPOWER 5L Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier in the first place.
07 of 07
Reviewers say the best-selling Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is a great bedroom pick for a number of reasons: It’s quiet, compact, easy to use, and effective. The 0.4-gallon tank is quite small, but most users say they don’t have to refill it more than once a day if it’s used only while sleeping.
Reviewers like the Ultrasonic Cool Mist’s simple one-button controls. It also has an automatic shutoff and a nozzle that can be rotated 360 degrees, letting users direct moisture... where it’s most needed. The optional blue nightlight gets mixed feedback: Some users say it’s soothing, while others find it too bright. While most say this humidifier is easy enough to fill, the small opening may make scrubbing inside the tank difficult. A cleaning brush comes with the unit, but users say it’s more useful for the base.
Disclosure: At The Spruce, our expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission.