People with medical conditions or sensitive respiratory systems often use humidifiers to make breathing easier and to prevent coughing, congestion, nosebleeds and other problems caused by dry air. Humidifiers help people with asthma breath more easily, and they help heal dry, cracked skin during the cold-weather months when moisture is stripped from the air. The best humidifiers remove bacteria, viruses and mold from the water, and they can raise the temperature of a room or leave it unaffected. They often provide digital controls for obtaining a precise level of humidity in a single room or throughout an entire house.
1. Honeywell Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier
When creating water vapor, the HCM-350 from Honeywell removes up to 99.99 percent of germs, including mold, bacteria, viruses and spores, so it reduces the chance of mold growing on the walls and ceilings. It lasts about 24 hours on a single filling, and its design allows it to run quietly so that you don’t notice it’s in the room. Its parts are dishwasher safe, so its large 2-gallon tank is easy to care for.
2. Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
This device is one of the most efficient and quiet humidifiers available, and it runs for 24 hours on a 1-gallon tank. It has a unique, appealing water-drop shape that lets you see the level of water left inside. It’s easy to fill by simply holding the small tank under the faucet in a kitchen sink. It humidifies rooms up to 250 square feet and has an automatic shut-off switch for increased safety.
3. Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 Humidifier
The Ultrasonic 360 from Safety 1st is designed specifically with babies’ nurseries in mind. It puts out a gentle, 360-degree mist that makes breathing easier and more comfortable for infants, and its tank runs for 12 hours on one filling. It doesn’t raise the temperature of the room, and it is small enough to be cleaned easily in a sink or with a towel. It has an automatic shut-off switch to ensure the safety of children.
4. Essick Air Whole-House Humidifier
This whole-house humidifier includes a digital control panel for precisely adjusting the level of humidity throughout a home. It’s useful for people with breathing conditions who must keep a constant level of humidity in all rooms of their houses. Its unique design includes an evaporative wick that traps mineral deposits from the water, making it easy to keep clean. It has an automatic shut-off switch so that it doesn’t keep going when it runs out of water.
5. Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier
This interesting little travel humidifier is small enough to fit in a purse or backpack and works with your own personal water bottle. It uses sonic technology to create a cool mist without heating up the room, and it includes adapter plugs for use in Europe and North America. It’s very light, small and easy to use and keep clean. It’s convenient to use on a desk at work or in a hotel room in Europe.
6. Vornado Ultra3 Whole Room Ultrasonic Humidifier
The Vornado humidifier uses a special vortex humidifying system that keeps the air moist in rooms up to 600 square feet. The built-in fan has high, medium and low settings, and you can set it to automatically adjust the fan speed for unobtrusive operation. The LED buttons are easy to see and use, even in the dark, and the 1-gallon tank lasts up to 12 hours.
7. Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic Humidifier
One of the best features about this humidifier is its surface touch buttons, which respond to light finger pressure to adjust the humidity level and timer. It has an automatic humidity level sensor that gives the air in your room the optimal level of moisture by measuring the temperature, and you can enable sleep mode to ensure that the air in your room stays comfortable as you go to sleep. The timer ranges from one to eight hours.
8. Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier
This humidifier, made by the cough medicine brand Vicks, allows you to add mentholated liquid to the water to relieve congestion, coughing and difficulty breathing. It’s wonderful to use when you have a cold or if you simply like breathing the mentholated vapor. Its tank lasts up to 12 hours, and the machine has an automatic shut-off switch that turns it off when it runs out of liquid. It has a soft nightlight and runs quietly.
9. Honeywell Cool Mist Humidifier
This mist humidifier from Honeywell puts out a visible cool mist for up to 24 hours between fillings. It has a 1-gallon tank and an automatic shut-off switch, and its small size makes it easy to fill and clean in the kitchen sink. It works well in single rooms and has a brightly illuminated power switch that makes it easy to turn on and off in the dark. The mist spout rotates for 360-degree moisture.
10. Honeywell Mistmate Cool Mist Humidifier
The Mistmate from Honeywell is a good option for desks and small rooms, and it includes a small half-gallon tank that runs for about 20 hours between fillings. It has an auto shut-off switch, and it pumps out a cool, visible mist from its top-mounted spout. Since it comes in a variety of colors, it makes a great gift or a fun, decorative item for an office. There is no separate filter required for it to work.