Best Humidifier Review & Buyers Guide 2018

Last Updated: August 1, 2018

The best humidifier appliances help to restore a balanced amount of humidity in the air, in situations where an excess or deficit of humidity can cause uncomfortable skin and respiratory problems and create conditions that make sleeping difficult and illness inevitable. Here is our team’s verdict on the 10 best humidifier units on the market.

by AC Rated
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Humidity—the amount of water vapor in the air—is often spoken of as a negative. And in hotter climates, high humidity can be incredibly debilitating. It makes the home or office feel incredibly stuffy, and can lead to condensation, which, left unattended, is a breeding ground for bacteria, moulds & dust mites. While the best air purifier appliances can help with the latter, a degree of humidity is essential for your health, and getting the balance right is why you might need to consider shopping for the best humidifier.

Generally speaking, as indicated above, humidity levels are higher in the summer or in hot climates, and much lower during the winter months. The ideal humidity measure is somewhere between 30 and 50 percent, according to the Mayo Clinic. Air of less than 30 percent humidity is likely to cause dry skin, irritate the nasal passages and throat, and make the eyes itchy, so therefore, low humidity can be just as culpable as excess humidity in respiratory problems or the flaring up of asthma or allergies.

The best humidifier appliances tackle the low humidity problem by adding moisture to the air, thereby eliminating dryness, and helping with uncomfortable symptoms such as dry skin, chapped lips and dry sinuses, as well as tackling wrinkles, winter colds and even mildew.

Some humidifiers are made to the ‘less is more’ criteria, with a focus on technology that will maximise a customisable, adjustable flow of evaporative mist into the bedroom and other areas of the home or workspace where it is needed the most. Others double as aroma diffusers, using essential oils, such as the URPOWER Ultrasonic Aroma or the Vicks Warm V745A, while still others, like the hOmeLabs HME020005N provide a multiplicity of air purification options.

 

Best Humidifier Review 2018

Our team undertook a thorough survey of the humidifiers on the market, subjecting them to testing for energy efficiency, features, user-friendliness and other factors, and identified the following eight as the best humidifier appliances available currently.

1. Best Humidifier Review – URPOWER Ultrasonic Aroma

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The second generation URPOWER Ultrasonic Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser is of an ideal power and functionality to provide moistened, comfortable air for small rooms such as bedrooms, hotel rooms, small offices and even cubicles in workplaces. It’s also a stylishly designed cool mist humidifier appliance. And just a drop of essential oil in the water will give your space exactly the scent you want for it.

Among the user-friendly and attractive features of this oil diffuser are seven colour-changing lamps that can be configured to your choice, a night-light facility, programmable humidifying cycles, and an automatic shut-off feature that ensures the device will be protected when it runs out of water. It’s a robust unit of tough plastic, with a maximum working time of up to six hours. It can provide either a continuous or intermittent supply of mist, and its whisper-quiet operation ensures your sleep will be uninterrupted.

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2. Best Humidifier Review – MistAire Ultrasonic

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The MistAire Ultrasonic is another of the best humidifier appliances we reviewed. This is another user-friendly unit, which can moisturise the air in your apartment or bedroom for up to 16 hours continuously, helping you to breathe easier and attain a deeper and more restful sleep. With a 1.5l water tank that provides ideal coverage for small to medium spaces such as bedrooms and offices, the is a highly customisable machine with high and low speed settings and adjustable mist direction.

There is an optional nightlight, and the auto shut-off feature that deactivates the appliance when the water level is low or the tank is removed, ensures that your humidifier will not be damaged and that it will have a longer operational life. With a great two-year warranty, plus an exceptionally good customer support service network that’s reachable seven days a week, the MistAire Ultrasonic is another unit that seems designed to maximise customer peace of mind.

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3. Best Humidifier Review – Vicks Warm V745A

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Vicks is a brand that is synonymous with medicinal products designed to help you breath more easily, and the Vicks Warm V745A is a technological extension of that medicinal brief, designed as it is to kill up to 95 percent of bacteria, mould or spores in the air. This applianced can be used with Vicks Vaposteam or Kaz Inhalant for added relief from colds & coughs, ensuring that you will breath more easily for an uninterrupted slumber.

The Vicks Warm V745A is simplicity itself to use. Its 1-gallon tanks is easily removed and fits under mosts sinks for filling, to provide up to 12 hours of whisper-quiet warm mist. It’s also easier to control than most humidifiers, with knob-controlled adjustable dual-output settings, and it benefits from an automatic shut-off feature that deactivates the unit when the water tank is empty. Maintenance of this appliance is extremely hassle-free—there is not even a filter required.

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4. Best Humidifier Review – URPOWER MH501

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The URPOWER MH501 is one of the larger humidifiers that we have reviewed, with a 5l water tank that can emit a cool mist into the air for a full night. It’s a discreet and subtle appliance, with a matte black body that blends in with most surroundings. The humidifier is extremely customisable, with three mist output modes—low, middle and high—and a sleep mode (middle setting) that will run up to 17 hours. Like the other humidifiers we reviewed, there is an auto shut down when the water tank empties, to prevent over-heating or short-circuiting.

In addition, this is also one of the easiest humidifiers to operate, with just a single power button that gives you control over the appliance. You will have no worries about complexity with the URPOWER MH501.

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5. Best Humidifier Review – TaoTronics TT-AH001

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For whisper-quiet operation and ultrasonic diffusion, the TaoTronics TT-AH001 ensures that you rest easily throughout the night, unbothered by noise or by impurities in the air. The microporous cartridge will thoroughly filter the water and rid it of microorganisms prior to releasing it in odourless, pure mist. The vapor levels can be adjusted for humidity level and mist flow, for rooms of up to 50 square meters / 538 square feet, and it’s suitable for humidifying a room during the summer and purifying the air of the molecules that cause dry skin, wrinkles, winter colds and even mildew.

With its 4l water thank, the TaoTronics TT-AH001 can provide up to 15 hours of mist, meaning that the purified air will endure for well into the night. This is also a feature-rich appliance, and comes complete with a timer, an easy-to-use LED display, a sleep mode, and a 360-degree rotable nozzle for uniform distribution.

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6. Best Humidifier Review – Honeywell HUL520W

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Designed for smaller domestic rooms and office workspaces, the Honeywell HUL520W is another of the simplest and easiest to use and maintain humidifiers that we came across in our researches. The Honeywell HUL520W benefits from variable moisture output settings, and, on its lowest power setting, can operate for up to 18 hours.

Ideal for keeping a small to medium-sized bedroom fresh, cool and comfortable enough to guarantee an uninterrupted night’s sleep, the Honeywell HUL520W is ultra quiet in its operation, and there are no filters required for its operation. A very good humidifier in its price range, then.

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7. Best Humidifier Review – Honeywell HCM350W

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With QuietCare Performance technology, the Honeywell HCM350W is pitched as being up to 25 percent quieter in operation than other evaporative humidifiers on the market, a fact that will make it worthy of at least consideration by anyone in the market for a new humidifier.

The Honeywell HCM350W, which has three speed settings for adjusting moisture output and operational noise level, can run up to an incredible 24 hours on a full water tank at the low speed settings. This appliance runs best with genuine Honeywell replacement HAC504 wicking filters, which remove impurities from the water and help to reduce white dust in the air. The filters are treated with Protec antimicrobial, which inhibits up to 99.99% of mold growth.

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8. Best Humidifier Review – hOmeLabs HME020005N

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The hOme Cool Mist Humidifier is one of the most customisable machines in our humidifier review, with ultrasonic technology creating a cool mist inhalant with a light breeze throughout your room. It also has a warm steam setting that can boil water into vapor to combat colds and other respiratory symptoms, and its whisper-quiet fan is extremely discreet and non-obtrusive. The hOmeLabs HME020005N can also be used as an aromatherapy diffuser, as it has a compartment for scented oils. The top-removable 4l water tanks is easy to fill and install, and is extremely easy to use.

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Best Humidifier Review – FAQ

To help you make sense of the humidifier market today, we’ve thrown together a quick FAQs section where we run through some of the questions you may have on your mind. See below, where we explain exactly what it is that makes for a great humidifier, and to get the best results out of your appliance.

 

Why invest in a humidifier?

Humidifiers help to combat sore throats, dried sinuses, respiratory conditions, dry skin, chapped lips, and even nose bleeds.

In the winter time, the air in your home can lose a lot of moisture. This is because warm air can hold a lot more moisture than cold air. While you can turn up your thermostat to re-establish warmth, unfortunately this will not replace any moisture. This can lead to a number of health problems, such as aggravated respiratory issues, dried out skin, sinuses, and throats, chapped lips, and as mentioned above, even nose bleeds. Humidifiers are designed to raise the humidity levels of your home back up to optimal levels for your health.

On a side note, dry air can also cause damage to precious items like musical instruments, works of art, and can even damage your home’s infrastructure by causing furniture to warp, wood floors to separate, wallpaper to peel etc.

 

How do humidifiers work?

There are different types of humidifiers; an ultrasonic humidifier will use a vibrating diaphragm to create micro-fine water droplets that enter the air, alternatively, there are evaporative coolers.

As stated above, an ultrasonic humidifier utilises a vibrating diaphragm to create very fine water droplets that will enter the air. Evaporative coolers will use a fan to bring air into the device, passing it along a water-saturated wick filter which will absorb the moisture. After this air is saturated, it is then pushed out into your living space where it is then circulated.

 

Will I have to refill my humidifier often?

Most portable humidifiers will require a refill every 24hrs, however there are some that will last longer.

The majority of portable humidifiers will need to be refilled once every 24 hours if you plan on using it continuously day-and-night. However, if you plan on using your humidifier intermittently, you will not be required to refill it as often.

 

What kind of water do I refill my humidifier with?

Ideally fill your humidifier with distilled water – hard water is also suitable but only if your humidifier has a mineral cartridge.

Hard water has an elevated mineral content, which, when released into the air, can settle and dry as what is known as white dust. This solidified hard water can be harmful when breathed in for prolonged periods of time. Harmful effects include aggravated respirator issues, or even the introduction of new issues. Mineral cartridges are specifically designed to remove as much minerals as possible from hard water before mist is formed, thus lessening the risk of white dust formation.

 

How do I refill my humidifier?

Some humidifiers can be carried to the sink when their water reservoirs need to be refilled, others can be refilled with a hose or pitcher, while some also connect directly into your water supply for continuous operation.

Many portable humidifiers are light enough that you can simply pick them up and bring them over to your sink. Water can be put into the humidifier by simply popping open the reservoir lid, and filling it up with water. Other, heavier humidifiers, may require filling by hose, or pitcher. Finally, furnace humidifiers will not feature a water reservoir, but rather you simply hook the humidifier into your home’s water supply, where it will pull water out when needed.

 

Do humidifiers use a lot of energy?

Different types of humidifiers have varying energy demands, with in-duct humidifiers being the most efficient, least expensive option.

Furthermore, cool mist humidifiers tend to demand less power than a warm mist humidifier. Additionally, console humidifiers will use more power than table-top humidifiers.

 

Are humidifiers loud?

Evaporative humidifiers are slightly louder than ultrasonic humidifiers, with cool mist humidifiers being the loudest, although no humidifiers are actually loud. 

Ultrasonic humidifiers create very little noise because of the ultrasonic waves they emit being higher than a human can hear. Evaporative humidifiers will be a bit louder, due to the moving parts inside, with cool mist humidifiers being the loudest due to their built-in fan.

 

What sizes do humidifiers come in?

Humidifiers come in various sizes, ranging from table-top humidifiers, to console humidifiers that stand on the floor, to larger in-duct humidifiers.

 

What level of humidity is ideal?

Ideal humidity levels are between 30 and 50%. Ideally we would recommend a humidity level of 45%.

Before you invest in a humidifier, make sure to take note of how humid your home is to begin with, as you don’t want to put too much moisture into your air – leading to dampness.

 

How do I maintain/clean my humidifier?

Use a soft-bristled brush with a gentle cleaning product, before rinsing thoroughly and allowing to dry, before refilling with fresh water.

Cleaning your humidifier regularly is incredibly important, as these appliances can become dangerous if mold and bacteria are allowed to breed inside the water chamber. Additionally, we also recommend cleaning the outside of your humidifier with a simple cloth.

 

Are there humidifiers with built-in timers?

Yes, many modern day humidifiers have a number of added features, with timers being among them.

The timer function is incredibly useful, as it allows the user to input an operational timetable for their humidifier to follow even when they’re out of the home. This means optimal humidity levels are maintained all through the day.

 

Are humidifiers dangerous?

Warm mist can be dangerous for young children, as they may burn themselves, additionally an unclean humidifier may spread bacteria and other allergens.

Humidifiers are generally not to be considered dangerous, however we do advise keeping warm mist humidifiers out of the reach of young children, and we also advise you to be cautious with the appliance for your own sake. Additionally, a humidifier that is not properly maintained may spread mold, bacteria, and other allergens that are allowed to thrive in an unclean water tank.

 

Summary

Wrapping up our review of the best humidifiers on the market, our advice is to run through our FAQs above, then applying the information we’ve outlined to our list at the beginning of this review. This will allow you to apply newfound expertise to our carefully chosen products. By approaching the market from a new, informed, and fresh perspective you’ll be able to find the perfect product to suit your needs in no time.