The 9 Best Humidifiers of 2022, Tested by The Spruce

Find the right fit for your household's needs

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Best Humidifiers

The Spruce / Sabrina Jiang

A humidifier essentially adds moisture to indoor air to prevent it from becoming irritatingly dry. According to Dr. Ken Spaeth, a New York-based physician specializing in occupational and environmental medicine, humans are most comfortable when indoor humidity levels are between 40 and 50 percent. "Below 40 percent air is considered dry, which can cause eyes, throats, [and] sinuses to dry out," Dr. Spaeth says. "Greater than 50 percent relative humidity can promote mold growth."

When outdoor temperatures drop or spike, your HVAC system has to warm or cool the air before releasing it into your home—a process that often dries it out. "When the relative humidity gets too low, use of humidifiers can be helpful in offsetting this," Dr. Spaeth says.

There are a few types of humidifiers to choose from, including cool mist, evaporative, ultrasonic, whole-home, and portable. So what's the best option for your humble abode? That depends on a few factors, such as the coverage area, cleaning requirements, and overall design. To help you find the right humidifier, we sent top options to our testers to evaluate on the basis of performance, design, capacity, maintenance, and overall value. We combined their insights with our independent research to bring you this list.

Without further ado, here are the best humidifiers for every space and budget.

Our Top Picks
Its sleek, modern appearance and a built-in essential oil diffuser make this humidifier a versatile and stylish addition to any room.
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With up to 24 hours of runtime and an adjustable nozzle, this affordable humidifier is a good fit for any room.
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Aside from maintaining a room’s humidity level, this luxe model keeps you comfortable with fan and air-purification functions.
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Equipped with a soft night light and a 12-hour run time (per refill), this cool mist humidifier is a great option for the nursery.
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This compact ultrasonic humidifier delivers a cool mist for about 16 hours in rooms up to 250 square feet
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This humidifier covers up to 4,000 square feet and will provide moist air throughout your entire home.
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With a cordless design, this compact humidifier is travel-friendly and offers up to 10 hours of mist when you're on the go.
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This pick combines a humidifier and air purifier into one unit to noticeably improve the overall quality of your air.
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The sleek design and unique shape of this humidifier make it an option that you'll actually want to show off.
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Best Overall: Stadler Form O-021 Oskar Evaporative Cool Mistless Humidifier

Stadler Form O-021 Oskar Evaporative Cool Mistless Humidifi
What We Like
  • Quiet operation

  • Large coverage area

  • Compact

What We Don't Like
  • Requires ongoing filter purchases

For an all-around excellent humidifier that can be placed anywhere in your home—even on a carpet—look no further than the Stadler Form Oskar. This evaporative humidifier releases moisture into the air without any visible mist—and unlike ultrasonic models, the Oskar doesn't leave mineral deposits on surfaces.

While the 10-inch cube is perfectly compact, the sizable 2.4-gallon water tank only needs to be refilled once every 24 hours. We also like that it can cover spaces up to 540 square feet, can be used as an essential oil diffuser, and is virtually silent when running. One factor to note: You'll need to buy replacement filters every few months.

Size: 9.69 x 9.7 x 11.4 inches | Water Tank Capacity: 0.8 gallons | Weight: 6.82 pounds | Room Size: 540 square feet

Best Budget: Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier

Magictec 2.5L Bedroom Essential Humidifier Diffuser
3.8

Our Ratings
  • Performance
    4/5
  • Design
    3/5
  • Size
    4/5
  • Maintenance
    3/5
  • Value
    5/5
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Quiet operation

  • Auto-shutoff feature

What We Don't Like
  • Not for large spaces

  • Tricky to clean

On a budget? Go with the Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier. It has a 0.66-gallon water tank and offers a full 24 hours of humidification in small or medium-size spaces. Boasting a 360-degree nozzle, this humidifier automatically releases moisture into the areas that need it most. At just two pounds, it's also incredibly lightweight, allowing you to move it from room to room with ease. And because it's super quiet, it's an excellent option for bedrooms or nurseries.

After using it over the course of a few weeks, our tester found the Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier to work great on small to medium-sized rooms like her bedroom, with less effectiveness on her larger living area. She gave it a 4/5 for performance but docked two points for design, as the unit has a bulkier appearance and lacks more modern features like a digital display or humidity gauge. All in all, though, it's an effective unit that comes in at a great price.

Size: 11.6 x 8 x 7.8 inches | Water Tank Capacity: 2.5 liters | Weight: 2.4 pounds | Room Size: Not listed

Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier

The Spruce / Sage McHugh

What Testers Say

"Its long runtime is very convenient, and it's the most significant selling point. Set on medium, it can run for up to 24 hours. I ran the humidifier continuously overnight several times before I had to refill the tank."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester

Best Splurge: Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool PH01

dyson-ph01
4.8

Our Ratings
  • Performance
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Size
    5/5
  • Maintenance
    5/5
  • Value
    4/5
What We Like
  • Multipurpose product

  • HEPA filter

  • Smart home capabilities

  • Large coverage area

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If you're open to splurging on a high-end model, go with the Dyson Pure. This three-in-one device not only adds moisture but also purifies and cools the air, allowing it to replace other similar machines in your home. Thanks to a HEPA filter, you can have peace of mind knowing the water is free of germs and pollutants. We also love that it has a quieter, dimmable night mode and can be synced with a smart home hub.

After using it in her bedroom for 36 hours, our tester found it both easy to use and effective. She especially appreciated the real-time air quality and humidity monitoring. Plus, the sleek look paired nicely with her decor, earning it a 5/5 for design. Just note that, in order to control more advanced features, you'll need to use the remote or smartphone app—there are only two buttons on the machine itself.

Size: 8.6 x 6.1 x 36.5 inches | Water Tank Capacity: N/A | Weight: 18.3 pounds | Room Size: 400 square feet

Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool

The Spruce / Lindsay Boyers

What Testers Say

"I really liked that the Pure Humidify + Cool can automatically assess the air and turn off the humidifying function if necessary. I’ve had other humidifiers that continuously run, and you go from having a really dry room to one that feels damp and sticky. That was not the case with this machine."—Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester

Best for Nursery: Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight

Frida Baby Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight
What We Like
  • Multipurpose product

  • Ultrasonic vibration

  • Easy to set up

What We Don't Like
  • Tricky to clean

  • Light can be finicky

Cool mist humidifiers are generally considered the best choice in a mist humidifier for nurseries because they lack a heating element and have the potential for injury due to steam. The Frida Baby 3-in-1 Humidifier is a great option if you’re looking for a quiet, safe humidifier for a baby’s room. This model stands out for its simple design and multi-functional abilities—it operates as a humidifier, nightlight, and optional diffuser. Ultrasonic condensing technology results in a quiet, steady production of cool mist. Adjust the amount of mist released with a simple turn knob. 

Designed for rooms up to 320 square feet, the 0.5-gallon water tank operates for up to 12 hours. You can choose to add essential oils or aromatherapy drops to the water for a soothing sensory experience. Unlike some larger mist humidifiers, the water tank on this model features a smaller opening that makes the necessary task of humidifier cleaning more tedious. Our tester docked one point for maintenance, noting that you'll need a bristle brush to really get the job done. However, we gave it a perfect 5/5 for performance, design, and overall value. The ability to have both a nightlight and mist humidifier all in one makes this product a popular pick for parents.

Size: 9 x 9.25 x 9.25 inches | Water Tank Capacity: 0.5 gallons | Weight: 0.01 ounces | Room Size: 320 square feet

Frida Baby Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight

The Spruce / Theresa Holland

What Testers Say

"In the end, I was not only satisfied but also impressed with this product. Whether for a baby, toddler, child, teen, or adult, the BreatheFrida 3-in-1 Humidifier is an excellent bedroom humidifier. Considering the mid-range price tag and multifaceted design, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking to add moisture to the air or diffuse essential oils while they doze."—Theresa Holland, Product Tester

Best for Small Spaces: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Auto-shutoff feature

  • Optional nightlight

What We Don't Like
  • Only comes in blue

  • Mister can get stuck

If you're looking for something for your home office, guest room, studio, or another small space, your best bet is the Pure Enrichment MistAire. With a 0.4-gallon tank, this ultrasonic humidifier releases cool mist into the air for about 16 hours in rooms up to 250 square feet. We appreciate its small, space-saving design, which is noticeably less clunky than other options on the market. Plus, it has a super-quiet operation that would work well in bedrooms and nurseries.

After using it every night for a week, our tester found it to be more than effective in her small room. Due to its size, she found it very easy to clean—something that can't be said for many other options on this list. It also has an automatic shutoff feature that powers down when the water is low, so you can rest easy knowing that the machine won't be wasting energy.

Size: 8 x 6 x 9 inches | Water Tank Capacity: 1.5 liters | Weight: 1.35 pounds | Room Size: 250 square feet

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

The Spruce / Claudia Fisher

What Testers Say

"The unit’s shape is similar to a water droplet, and it can easily be tucked into a corner or on top of a small stand or bookcase. It’s also very quiet, so you don’t have to worry about it disturbing your TV marathons."—Claudia Fisher, Product Tester

Best Whole Home: Honeywell Flow-Through Bypass Whole House Humidifier

Honeywell Flow-Through Bypass Whole House Humidifier
What We Like
  • Connects to HVAC system

  • Large coverage area

  • Water-saving technology

What We Don't Like
  • Complex installation

The best whole-house humidifier is the Honeywell Home HE280. It connects to your existing HVAC system, mounting to nearly any return air duct or warm air supply.

This humidifier can cover up to 4,000 square feet of space, distributing moisture evenly throughout each room. Thanks to Honeywell's water-saving technology, it uses 30 percent less water than most other models.

Size: 22.9 x 19.8 x 1.7 inches | Water Tank Capacity: N/A | Weight: 14.97 pounds | Room Size: 2,000 to 4,000 square feet

Best Portable: JisuLife 3600 mAh Cool Mist Air Humidifier

JisuLife 3600 mAh Cool Mist Air Humidifier
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly

  • Rechargeable

  • Auto-shutoff feature

What We Don't Like
  • Leaves surfaces wet

The best portable model is the JisuLife 3600 mAh. This pint-size ultrasonic humidifier runs on a lithium battery, which you can easily charge with a USB port. It has two nozzles and offers up to 10 hours of cool mist in your car, bedroom, or workspace. Not only that, but this portable humidifier has a nightlight and an automatic shutoff feature.

Size: 3.35 x 3.35 x 7.44 inches | Water Tank Capacity: 500 milliliters | Weight: 13.6 ounces | Room Size: Not listed

Best Hybrid: Boneco H400 Hybrid Humidifier and Air Purifier

Boneco H400 Hybrid Humidifier and Air Purifier
What We Like
  • Multipurpose product

  • Easy to clean

  • Large coverage area

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If you're in the market for both a humidifier and an air purifier, the Boneco H400 is a great option. Its humidifying function releases moisture into the air without generating a visible mist, while the air-purifying elements remove pollution, pollen, and other allergens from your space. An integrated sensor continuously measures the humidity and quality of your air, automatically adjusting the output as needed. Plus, it comes with six performance levels and presets—including Auto, Sleep, and Baby—that you can use to better customize the machine to your needs.

Size: 15.7 x 11 x 18.3 inches | Water Tank Capacity: 3.17 gallons | Weight: 14.9 pounds | Room Size: 600 square feet

Best Design: Objecto H3 Hybrid Humidifier

Objecto H3 Hybrid Humidifier
What We Like
  • Attractive appearance

  • Quiet operation

  • Multiple color options

What We Don't Like
  • Small coverage area

If you want something that not only humidifies the air but also looks nice in your home, you should definitely check out the Objecto H3. The undeniably sleek gadget is only 12 inches high and 8 inches wide, fitting effortlessly on any desk, shelf, or countertop.

With a half-gallon tank, the Objecto H3 works best in smaller spaces up to 350 square feet. However, you might be pleased to learn it runs for up to 18 hours, is notably quiet, and doesn't require any filters. It's also available in a variety of different colors, including white, black, and pink, to suit different spaces.

Size: 8 x 8 x 12 inches | Water Tank Capacity: 0.53 gallons | Weight: 2.2 pounds | Room Size: 350 square feet

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Stadler Form O-021 Oskar (view at Ezlo), an impressive evaporative humidifier boasting a large coverage area; near-silent operation; and a compact, modern appearance. However, if you're interested in a wallet-friendly model, go with the Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier, which offers up to 24 hours of moisture in small to medium-size spaces.

Best humidifiers illustration

The Spruce / Michela Buttignol

How We Tested

To find the best picks for your space, we sent some of the top humidifiers on the market to our testers to assess on the basis of performance, design, capacity, maintenance, and overall value. They used each option in their bedrooms, living spaces, and more, over the course of 2+ weeks. We combined their insights with our writer's and editors' independent research to bring you this list.

What to Look for in a Humidifier

Size

The size of the humidifier you choose will largely be based on the size of the room you’re looking to add moisture to. There are basically three sizes of humidifiers on the market: portable (also called tabletop), console, and whole house.

Portable humidifiers are small and have limited water tanks, meaning you’ll need to refill them more often. They’re also relatively inexpensive and can be easily moved from room to room. You’ll often see tabletop humidifiers on a nightstand or desk. The smallest portable humidifiers are personal or travel-size models. With similar dimensions to a water bottle, these humidifiers can be taken anywhere.

Console humidifiers are larger units that sit on the floor and have increased-capacity water tanks that require less frequent filling than portable humidifiers. Console humidifiers are the best choice for spaces up to 1,000 square feet (depending on the model).

Whole-house humidifiers attach to your home’s ductwork and can add humidity throughout your home. They’re best for adding moisture on a large scale and can handle spaces greater than 1,000 square feet. Because this type of humidifier connects to your home’s plumbing, you also won’t need to refill the tank.

Water tank capacity

Closely related to the size of the humidifier you choose is the water tank capacity. Look at the estimated run time from the manufacturer to see how often you’ll need to refill the tank. If you want to use the humidifier all day or all night—or both—make sure you pick a model with a large enough capacity.

Other considerations are whether the tank is removable to easily fill with a kitchen or bathroom faucet and how heavy it will be when you carry it back. If that’s not practical, you may have to bring the water to the humidifier with a pitcher or jug.

UV filtration

Because moist, humid conditions can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and pathogens, some humidifiers are equipped with UV light. The specialized light filtration system eliminates microbes that may be growing in the humidifier's tank and prevents them from being released into the air with the mist.

Humidistat

For an optimal level of humidity in the air, look for a model with a built-in humidistat. This feature will monitor the room’s humidity and shut off the appliance when the air's moisture level hits a set target. While this isn’t an essential feature, it does take some of the guesswork out of operating a humidifier. It can also prevent excess moisture in the air from fogging up windows or creating a musty odor in the room. If you skip a built-in humidistat, you can still monitor the humidity level in your home using a hygrometer, a small and inexpensive tool.

Warranties

Because most humidifiers are considered small home appliances, warranty coverage is generally limited. Many models include one-year limited warranties that cover defects in manufacturing or workmanship. Some more advanced models, including some ultrasonic humidifiers, increase the warranty period to three years.

Warranties for professionally installed whole-house humidifiers will vary considerably when compared to portable models. Some models offer five years of warranty coverage. Be sure to examine the manufacturer’s warranty on a whole-house model carefully to ensure that your investment is covered if a problem arises down the road.

Taotronics Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier

The Spruce / Katie Begley

FAQ
  • What does a humidifier do?

    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 both warm and cool air humidifiers (some are capable of both), but how your humidifier operates will depend on the type. However, all humidifiers take in air from their surroundings and add moisture to it. A fan typically disperses the air into the room to increase the humidity level.

  • What are the benefits of a humidifier?

    Humidifiers are often used to soothe issues caused by dry air, which include nose bleeds, dry skin, and a dry throat, among other symptoms. People in especially dry or cold climates might find humidifiers particularly helpful. If you’re dealing with specific respiratory problems, such as asthma, you should ask your doctor before purchasing a humidifier, as higher humidity levels can make asthma worse.

  • How do you clean a humidifier?

    In addition to draining and drying a humidifier’s reservoir before refilling each time, the water tank should also be cleaned regularly to ensure that harmful bacteria and microbes don’t grow. It's usually recommended that you clean and descale your humidifier with vinegar and sanitize with bleach or a specially formulated humidifier cleaning agent. Some humidifiers can actually go in the dishwasher. But different types of humidifiers have special requirements, so it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions. Using distilled water is often recommended. And models with a filter will need to get replacements every few months or as suggested by the manufacturer.

Dyson Pure Humidify + Cool

The Spruce / Lindsay Boyers

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland is a freelance writer with substantial experience covering home improvement, indoor air quality, and lifestyle. For this roundup, she interviewed a doctor specializing in occupational and environmental medicine and researched the various types, features, and styles of humidifiers. She looked at user reviews, pored over key specifications, and considered the price range and footprint of dozens of products before landing on her final picks. A big proponent of humidity in the winter, Theresa has tried a few humidifiers, including options from Frida Baby and TaoTronics.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency. A Brief Guide To Mold, Moisture And Your Home. EPA.gov. 2021.

  2. Pullerits, Kristjan et al. Impact Of UV Irradiation At Full Scale On Bacterial Communities In Drinking WaterNpj Clean Water, vol 3, no. 1, 2020. Springer Science And Business Media LLC, doi:10.1038/s41545-020-0057-7.

  3. Humidifiers: Why You Might Need Them, Mayo Clinic.

  4. American Academy of Asthma and Immunology. Humidifiers And Indoor Allergies.

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