buying guide humidifiers

the gist about mist.

what type?

With so many different humidifiers out there, where do you begin? Consider the topics talked about on this page, like power usage, maintenance requirements and noise level to help you find the one that will get you to your ultimate comfort zone.

how big?

A small compact humidifier is portable and ideal for humidifying a smaller bedroom. A medium tower humidifier requires less frequent refills and is great for a master bedroom or medium-size living room. Want to humidify multiple rooms at once? A console is your best bet to get the job done.

how long?

The run time says how long the humidifier can go after its tank is filled—and ultimately, how long you get to enjoy your comfy air before it's refill time.

how much?

The tank size tells you how much water the refillable tank can hold in gallons. For the humidifier's power, check the output per day, the maximum amount of water the humidifier will add to the air per 24-hour period.

humidifier heroes.

ultrasonic or cool visible mist

ultrasonic or cool visible mist.

The ultrasonic humidifier is the quietest option. It uses a metal diaphragm that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies to break up water to produce a cool mist. It doesn't require much power and there's no filter to replace, but you will need to fill the water tank regularly. Look for models including demineralization cartridges to filter out water impurities.

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cool mist or cool invisible moisture

cool mist or cool invisible moisture.

A cool mist humidifier works using a wick that absorbs water from a refillable tank. A fan blows dry air through the wet wick and presto, cool purified water evaporates into the air, boosting the humidity—and your comfort level. All you have to do is fill the water tank 1–2 times a day and replace the wick every 2 months or so.

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warm, mist or warm visible mist

warm, mist or warm visible mist.

With a warm mist humidifier, a heating element boils water from a refillable tank (or the household water supply), making steam that humidifies the air. Like evaporative humidifiers, warm mist humidifiers remove impurities from the water, giving you clean saturated air. These are quieter and there's no wick to replace. You simply need to fill the water tank 1–2 times a day and give it a good cleaning now and then.

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vaporizer

vaporizer.

Sometimes a little moisture is all you need. That's when it's time to pull out a small low-output warm mist humidifier a.k.a: "the vaporizer." This type of humidifier gets its water from a built-in reservoir rather than a removable tank.

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humidifier to the rescue.

humidifier video thumbnail

Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg shares tips to help your family ease cold and flu symptoms and explains how adding moisture to the air with a humidifier can help.

watch video

feature finder.

filters.

Different humidifiers require different filters. So make sure you're buying the right one for your size and model.

digital display.

This shows you current relative humidity levels and settings.

timer.

A timer lets you program your humidifier to only run at certain times of the day.

automatic shut-off.

No need to waste energy. This standard feature shuts off the humidifier when the tank is empty.

medicine cup.

Feeling sniffly? This feature on some steam humidifiers evaporates vapor medication to help you breathe a little better.

filter sensor.

Skip the constant filter check with this system that alerts you when it's time for a filter replacement.

dishwasher safe.

A dishwasher-safe tank makes cleanup a cinch.