Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 Humidifier at Amazon
"It's surprisingly effective at maintaining the desired level of humidity."
Best Budget: AirCare MA0800 Digital Humidifier at Amazon
"One of the most affordable whole-home humidifiers out there."
Best Design: AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Humidifier at Amazon
"The design of this dehumidifier is more attractive than standard units."
Best for Large Homes: Honeywell Flow-Through Humidifier at Amazon
"Designed to be used in homes up to 4,500 square feet."
Best Furnace-Mounted: Hamilton Flow Through Humidifier at Home Depot
"Can help control static electricity and even stop wood floors from drying out."
Best for Year-Round Use: Aprilaire 600M Humidifier at Amazon
"Comes with both summer and winter settings."
01 of 06
Best Overall: Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier
Perhaps one of the best whole-home humidifiers available right now is the Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier. This standalone unit may look unassuming, but it's surprisingly effective at maintaining the desired level of humidity within your home, and it comes at an unbeatable price.
This whole-home humidifier from Essick Air can be used in houses up to 3,600 square feet. It can run for up to 36 hours and has a 3.6-gallon tank capacity. The console-style humidifier uses a digital humidistat to achieve whatever humidity level you desire, and it automatically shuts off when that level is reached. The unit is easy to clean and compact enough to set up in an inconspicuous corner of your home.
Reviewers have incredibly positive things to say about the Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier. Many write that it reduces static electricity throughout the home and is lightweight, easy to assemble, and durable. Most agree that it is powerful enough to be used in medium or small homes, and you can't beat the price.
02 of 06
Best Budget: AirCare MA0800 Digital Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier
For high-quality whole-home humidifier at an unbeatable price, you need the AirCare MA0800 Digital Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier. This unit is fairly similar to the Best Overall pick, the main difference being it is designed to be used in smaller homes.
This is one of the most affordable whole-home humidifiers out there. The standalone unit is designed to be used in homes up to 2,600 square feet, and it can run for up to 36 hours at a time on its 2.5-gallon water tank. It boasts a three-speed motor, as well as a quiet nighttime setting, and it automatically shuts off when the desired level of humidity is reached.
Reviewers say this product can keep multiple levels of your home at the perfect level of humidity, helping to reduce static electricity. Several people note that it is a durable, long-lasting product that can be used for years if taken care of properly—not bad for a budget pick!
03 of 06
Best Design: AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier
Most standalone humidifiers are rather unattractive, so you might feel like you have to hide them in discrete corners of your home. If you're searching for a whole-home humidifier that's more attractive, you should definitely look into the AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier.
This reasonably priced humidifier can be used in houses up to 2,400 square feet, and it has an impressive 3.5-gallon tank capacity that can run for up to 60 hours. It includes a digital display where you can set the desired humidity level, as well as nine fan speeds. The design of this whole-home dehumidifier is more attractive than standard utilitarian units, and you can even customize it by replacing the top tile to match your decor.
The AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Pedestal-Style Evaporative Humidifier performs incredibly well, according to reviewers. Many say it keeps their entire home at a comfortable level of humidity, and it’s an added bonus that the unit is easy to integrate into your decor.
04 of 06
Best for Large Homes: Honeywell Powered Flow-Through Whole House Humidifier
If you live in a large home, a standalone humidifier might not be enough to affect the humidity level throughout the house. In these situations, you may want to consider a more advanced product such as the Honeywell Powered Flow-Through Whole House Humidifier.
This product is more expensive than most standalone units, but it's designed to be used in homes up to 4,500 square feet. The Honeywell humidifier attaches directly to your furnace, and it distributes moisture throughout your home via the central HVAC system. While you may need professional to install this unit, it will require less maintenance and cleaning then portable units in the long run, and it's designed to efficiently use water to save you money on energy.
Reviewers say that if you're handy around the house, you can probably install this unit yourself in a few hours. Once installed, people agree the Honeywell Powered Flow-Through Whole House Humidifier does a great job maintaining the humidity level in large homes. However, one complaint mentioned by several people is that the unit is not particularly long-lasting and can die after a few years.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Best Furnace-Mounted: Hamilton Whole House Furnace Mount Flow Through Humidifier
If you're specifically looking for a humidifier to mount on your furnace, one of the top-rated options is the Hamilton Whole House Furnace Mount Flow Through Humidifier. This unit is in the middle of the pack when it comes to price, but it requires professional installation—an important factor to consider before purchasing.
This unit from Hamilton can maintain the humidity in houses up to 3,000 square feet, and it uses up to 80 percent less water than comparable products, thereby saving you money. The humidifier is designed to be attached directly to a forced-air furnace, where it will distribute moisture throughout your home through the duct system. This product can help control static electricity and even stop wood floors from drying out, not to mention increasing the comfort level of your home.
Reviewers agree this unit should be installed by a professional, and many say it does a great job controlling humidity when paired with an adjustable humidistat. Overall, it is one of the best options available if you're looking for a furnace-mounted whole-home humidifier.
06 of 06
Best for Year-Round Use: Aprilaire 600M Whole-House Humidifier
Many people find humidifiers to be most helpful in the winter when the air is inevitably drier. However, they can be useful in the summer if you live in a dry climate, but you have to adjust your humidifier accordingly. To make this process easier, the Aprilaire 600M Whole-House Humidifier comes with both summer and winter settings, making it a great option to use in your home year round.
This furnace-mounted whole-home humidifier can be used in houses up to 4,000 square feet, and it claims to deliver up to 50 percent more moisture than similar products. The unit includes a built-in bypass damper, which is conveniently labeled for both summer and winter settings. This means you can set it for the whole season without any guesswork.
According to reviews, this whole-home humidifier from Aprilaire works wonderfully, eliminating dry air and static in the winter. Several note they installed the unit themselves in a few hours, and many like that this unit can be synced with smart thermostats, making it incredibly easy to control.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought a top-rated whole-home humidifier and our reviewers tested it for 96 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this humidifier, from its effectiveness to its special features. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Whole-Home Humidifier
Effectiveness Above all, you want a humidifier that can help keep your home’s humidity balanced at the level you want. Some models are so effective that they may prevent your wood floors from drying out and help control static electricity. To decide which humidifier will work best for you, consider the climate in which you live, the size of your home, and your budget—and look for a unit that fits your criteria.
Features While many humidifiers simply balance the humidity in your house, others come with extra features. For example, certain units double as diffusers for essential oils. Also, if your humidifier will be on display in a busy area of your home, you may want to pick a design-forward unit that doesn’t clash with your decor.
Ease of use Some humidifiers are more of a hassle to set up and use than others. Certain models plug into the wall, while others may require professional installation. Also, consider the size of a humidifier’s water tank and how often you’ll have to refill it.
Test Results: Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Evaporative Humidifier (Best Overall)
What We Like
Effective at humidifying large homes
Doesn’t require frequent cleaning
What We Don't Like
Replacing filters can get pricey
This unit earned top marks from our tester for its performance in big homes: “It’s effective at humidifying a large space,” he said. “It’s also easy to clean and doesn't need to be refilled often.” Its main negative, however, was its design: “It’s bulky and clinical-looking,” he noted. He also pointed out the fact that since it doesn’t have a reusable filter, buying new filters can get costly. Overall, though, he said that “if you don't care about looks, this unit gets the job done.”