Choosing the humidifier for you really depends on your needs and the needs of your family so this site has been created to help you make an informed decision to purchase the best humidifier that suits you.
Read the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier with Auto Shut-Off Review, discover the best humidifier reviews listed on the sidebar, or read the humidifier buying guide below.
What Is A Humidifier?
- What Is A Humidifier?
- What Is A Humidifier Used For?
- Should I Use A Humidifier?
- What Types Of Humidifiers Are There?
- What Sizes and Capacities Of Humidifiers Are There?
- Required Humidifier Maintenance
- Common Humidifier Design Features
- How I Make The Best Humidifier Reviews
Humidifiers increase the amount of water vapor in the air. Water vapor is gaseous and invisible and can relieve symptoms such as dry skin, allergies, some respiratory illnesses, and increase your level of comfort.
As air is warmed in your home, it requires additional moisture added to it in order to maintain proper humidity levels.
If you live in a dry climate or in an environment where you artificially heat your air, there’s a high chance that you can benefit from a humidifier to make your living situation more comfortable.
What Is A Humidifier Used For?
It’s suggested that the humidity in your home be anywhere from 30 to 50 percent. Anything less and you’ll face common problems associated with dry air.
If you live in a dry climate, having a humidifier adds moisture to the air and creates a healthier living space for you and your family. It’s important to create a humid environment to help the body reduce the amount of evaporation of moisture for the skin.
If you’ve ever gotten nose bleeds, dry sinuses, cracked lips, or static electricity shocks, then your air humidity might be to blame. Owning a good humidifier will help relieve you of those symptoms.
Should I Use A Humidifier?
If you’ve noticed that your environment is too dry and have any of the symptoms that occur when your air is too dry, then a humidifier is right for you.
You can test the level of humidity in your home with a hygrometer. If you air is below the recommended 30% – 50% then a humidifier is right for you. If your moisture levels are too high, you notice condensation collecting on your windows, you clean mold from your home, or you notice that your home is humid already, then you won’t benefit from a humidifier.
There are many alternatives to humidifiers depending on the environment that you live in.
Should I Use A Humidifier, Vaporizer, or Dehumidifier?
Let’s go over the differences between humidifiers and the many alternatives you have to adjust the level of moisture in your home.
This way you can determine if a humidifier is the solution that you require, or if you’re looking for a different product altogether.
Humidifier vs Diffuser
Both humidifiers and mist diffusers increase the level of moisture in your environment.
Many of the best-selling diffusers however are not used to maintain the proper humidity levels of a room, but rather to disperse essential oils. The main function of a diffuser to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy rather than functioning as a humidifier.
Some humidifiers can also function as a diffuser and do a better job of maintaining the suggested amounts of moisture in your home.
Humidifier vs Dehumidifier
Whereas a humidifier adds moisture to the air, a dehumidifier takes away moisture from the air.
When you live in an area with too much moisture that’s over the recommended 50% level then you promote the growth of mold, dust mites, and spores in the air.
To reduce your allergies, clean the air, and increase your overall comfort in a home that’s too humid, you should purchase a dehumidifier instead of a humidifier.
Humidifier vs Vaporizer
Vaporizers are similar to humidifiers since both increase the amount of moisture in the air.
Vaporizers create steam by boiling water and can potentially warm the area that it’s in. Vaporizers are also less expensive and don’t last as long as humidifiers.
For congestion and allergies, I recommend using a humidifier that can last through the allergy season. It’s also recommended that humidifiers are used instead of vaporizers around children due to the risk of injury from hot water and steam.
Humidifier vs Boiling Water
Boiling water is one alternative to owning a humidifier, however in the long run it is expensive and not very effective at increasing the amount of moisture in a large home.
Keeping a stove on throughout the night to act as a humidifier is risky, will probably only change the humidity levels in your kitchen, and wastes energy or gas.
It’s recommended that you find an affordable humidifier instead of constantly boiling water to add moisture to the air.
Humidifier vs Air Purifier
Air purifiers reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, but don’t change the levels of humidity. Air purifiers are good for allergies and asthma, since it reduces the amounts of pet dander, pet hair, pollen, dust, and smoke from your home.
There are different types of humidifiers, some which use a filter to remove pollutants, and others that use electrostatic methods to clean air and remove odors.
What Types Of Humidifiers Are There?
The two main types of humidifiers are a warm mist humidifiers and cool moisture humidifiers.
There are also two types of cool moisture humidifiers which are ultrasonic humidifiers and evaporative humidifiers.
Both main types of humidifiers can humidify a room, the difference between warm mist and cool moisture comes down to how the water vapor is created.
Price, the level of noise, and how the humidifier controls mineral deposits are the main differences between evaporative and ultrasonic models.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers work similarly to vaporizers. A heating element warms water in the humidifier and releases steam into the air.
There are mineral pads that filter the water, reducing the amount of white or grey dust that the humidifier releases during the process which is optional for many units.
Depending on how hard your water is (the amount of minerals that is in your tap water) it may be a good idea to purchase mineral pads if you’re using a warm mist humidifier, or only fill your humidifier with distilled water.
Warm mist humidifiers use more electricity because of the heating pads that turn the water into steam, but because there are no additional parts other than the optional filter, it’s still a cost-effective way to add moisture to your home.
Cool Moisture Humidifiers
Cool mist humidifiers are broken down into evaporative and ultrasonic models.
Evaporative humidifiers are usually less expensive but have additional parts that need to be maintained or replaced, while ultrasonics are usually more expensive but don’t require any additional products to maintain the humidifier in working condition.
With evaporative humidifiers, air is pushed through a humidifier to a wick which evaporates the water in the humidifier and creates water vapor.
Evaporative humidifiers don’t generate much electricity since there is no heating unit, however the wicks have to be replaced regularly to ensure proper functioning on the humidifier.
This is a cost that has to be factored in when deciding to purchase a humidifier. The wick can also grow mold, bacteria, or fungi since it sits in the water.
There are additives that you can add to the water or antibacterial cartridges that stop the wick from growing bacteria, but you’ll still need to replace the wick about once every two months depending on use.
Evaporative humidifiers do create a noise since air moves through the wicks at high speeds, so it’s not recommended for the bedroom if you need total silence to fall asleep.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use small metal rings to move at ultrasonic frequency and turns the water into a water vapor.
Unlike evaporative models, ultrasonic humidifiers don’t require any additional supplies to stay in proper working order. Depending on how hard your water is, ultrasonic humidifiers might release what’s called white dust into the air, which are the minerals that are present in the water.
Although this dust is non-toxic, it can get over furniture. You can reduce the white dust through demineralization cartridges or by using distilled water.
Some ultrasonic models are also warm mist, and reduce the amount of bacteria in the water by heating it first.
Ultrasonic models, just like all humidifiers have to be maintained properly to stay in working order and safe for operation.
What Sizes and Capacities Of Humidifiers Are There?
There are three main sizes of humidifiers. The one that will work best for you depends on the amount of space that you are trying to cover.
All humidifiers have a rating that suggest the room type or amount of square feet that the humidifier works best for.
Output capacity from each machine is determined by the amount of gallons of moisture it can produce per day.
Usually the humidifier can store a portion of the amount it can output per day so if you’re running your humidifier 24/7 then you have to refill it whenever the water runs low.
Tabletop humidifiers are single room humidifiers that portable and can fit on a small table or surface.
Most have removable water containers that allow you to easily clean and refill the device.
This size is great if you want to humidify a bedroom or small room. It’s also lightweight which makes it a good option for someone looking for a portable humidifier.
Console humidifiers can supply humidity to a few rooms and even a whole house or floor.
Console humidifiers are portable but because of the size of each humidifier, it’s not good for travel. Console humidifiers are very strong and come in a wide range of designs to go with your home decor.
These humidifiers usually go in a central location instead of in a specific bedroom. You don’t have to refill console humidifiers everyday like you have to with tabletop humidifiers.
When you are considering a humidifier, you should also think about the water capacity that it holds and whether you’ll be able to fill your humidifier easily.
In-duct humidifiers are installed in your home’s HVAC unit and connects directly to your water line.
You don’t have to refill water whatsoever with an in-duct humidifier, and your whole home will stay humid during the process of heating or cooling your home.
Air passes through a humidifier pad and spreads it throughout your home to any room with the door open.
Required Humidifier Maintenance
It’s important that you maintain your humidifier if you want it to work properly.
If you fail to clean your humidifier and replace the components when necessary then you can bring about serious health hazards.
All humidifiers have to be properly cleaned and dried between cycles. Many have to also be cleaned daily or weekly, which is discussed in each individual review.
If your humidifier isn’t cleaned properly then bacteria, fungi, and mold can be released into the air you breath and create any number of respiratory problems.
Replacing Water Often
You should replace the water whenever it gets low. Some models shut off automatically when the water levels are low, while others continue to run and can possibly be damaged if left on without enough water.
It’s recommended that you dry out the humidifier between uses so that the water doesn’t grow any bacteria.
Using distilled water for your humidifier is also ideal if your tap water is ‘hard water’ with lots of minerals in it to reduce the amount of white or grey smoke that can form. Using distilled water also stops the humidifier from getting clogged from mineral buildup.
Cleaning Out Your Humidifier
Follow the recommended cleaning instructions of your specific humidifier model. Make sure that you at clean out your humidifier weekly, if not daily.
Rinse out your filter with cool water and allow excess water to dry before replacing it. Use vinegar in your water tank and allow a generous amount to sit in the tank for about 30 minutes.
Then scrub it with a soft bristle brush as much as needed. Rinse out the water tank throughly and allow the tank to dry completely before reattaching it.
Disinfecting Your Humidifier
To disinfect your humidifier, add one teaspoon of bleach for every gallon of water in your water tank.
Mix it around, coating evenly. Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes and rinse out the water tank throughly before refilling it with water and using it with your humidifier.
Using The Right Supplies
When you look at the models of humidifiers that are available, make sure that you’re aware of the replacement parts that you need to have to properly maintain the unit.
Consider purchasing additional filters, demineralization cartridges, or humidifier water treatment solutions as necessary. You’ll need to replace filters at least every two months, cartridges are changed every two to three months, and water should be treated every time that you use your humidifier.
Common Humidifier Design Features
There are many different desirable features to look for in a humidifier. The more features you want such as a built-in humidistat or self-cleaning capabilities, the more expensive the model usually is.
The best features help save you time, money, and keep you and your family comfortable and healthy.
Many different humidifiers allow you to put essential oils in them to add a scent to your home as well as add moisture. Usually the aromatherapy “humidifiers” are more to diffuse oil than they are to humidify a space, but many humidifiers are able to deal with essential oils as well.
Most of the products labeled as aromatherapy humidifiers are really diffusers, so if you want to properly humidify your space, make sure that the humidifier you purchase has a strong water output.
Humidistats monitor the amount of moisture in the air and automatically shut off the humidifier when the humidity reaches a certain level. This feature is nice because it stops your home from becoming too humid, saves energy, and saves water. If your model doesn’t have a humidistat then you should purchase a hygrometer to monitor the level of humidity in your home. That way you will not surpass the recommended 50% humidity limit which promotes the growth of bacteria and mold.
Some humidifiers claim to be antimicrobial. This means that small particles line the humidifier and fights the growth of bacteria, mold, and viruses.
While some antimicrobial are expensive, you gain the benefits of not having to clean the humidifier as often and the mist which fills your house is clean and hygienic.
Dual mist humidifiers can humidify the air with either a warm or cool mist. It gives you versatility on how you’d like to add moisture to your home.
Dual mist humidifiers usually come with an adjustable mist as well so you can set the rate at which water vapor is being added to the room.
How I Make The Best Humidifier Reviews
Humidifiers are reviewed on a 5 star scale based on ease of use, ease of cleaning and maintaining the humidifier, cost, quietness, special features, and how hard water is processed.
How easy is the humidifier to use?
The first thing I look at is the design details of each humidifier and review how easy the humidifier is to use. Placement of the water tank and how easy it is to refill are important features that can often be overlooked when picking out a humidifier.
I also look at the features that are or are not present, and make recommendations on similar humidifiers, better humidifiers, and any other alternatives. The easier a humidifier is to use, the better of a rating it receives.
How easy is the humidifier to clean and properly maintain?
Maintaining your humidifier on a regular basis is so important and cannot be stressed enough. If you use a humidifier daily, you have to clean it regularly and replace any parts every couple of months.
The easier a humidifier is to clean and maintain while having a low price, the better ratings that it receives.
How quiet is the humidifier?
Some people enjoy the white noise of humidifiers. Other people prefer that their humidifier is as quiet as possible or even silent.
I discuss how much noise a humidifier makes in each review so that you know if you should put it near your bed in your bedroom, or if you should keep it in another room because of the amount of noise it makes.
How well does the humidifier process hard water?
Unfortunately, not everyone has the same quality of tap water which can clog a humidifier and stop it from working properly.
No matter what area you’re in, I’ve tested humidifiers with mineral rich water to discover which models work for the type of water that you have in your home.
Some humidifiers handle hard water very well, while other models require that you use distilled water to keep the humidifier functioning properly.
Does the humidifier have any special features?
Ideally, a humidifier will have all of the best features at a low price. I look at features that are missing in each humidifier I test and give you alternatives to any product. I also test out the features that are found on each model and determine how well everything works.