When the cold spell is back, you know it not only because Christmas decorations are hung everywhere, but also because your skin starts to feel dry and vulnerable.
Whenever it’s that time of the year, I know I must get my best home humidifiers out from their storage place immediately, and start humidifying the air in my home.
If I didn’t do that, I know my family and I will suffer from chapped lips, runny noses and some horrible allergies.
This is also why I never go for second best when I’m buying a humidifier. The winter horrors are too skin-deep to be ignored.
So how do I always choose my humidifier? Read on to find my top picks, reviews and recommendations below.
Types of Humidifier
There are several types of humidifiers in the market, which are not only different in the way they operate, but also give different results and have different maintenance requirements.
- Cool mist humidifier – Popular and affordable, many choices available, look for permanent filter
- Warm mist humidifier – Better for health, but may be hot to touch.
- Evaporative humidifier – Basic and affordable, needs regular wick replacement
- Ultrasonic humidifier – Usually more expensive but with quieter operation.
- Room humidifier – Portable humidifiers that are only able to humidify one room at a time. Several capacities available for different room size.
- Whole house humidifier – Large capacity to humidify the whole house at once. Needs installation.
A humidifier can be a combination of the categories above, e.g. an ultrasonic cool mist room humidifier.
Any type of humidifier works and the selection is usually aimed at the capacity and mist type because they can lower or increase the room temperature slightly.
How to Choose the Best Humidifier
After choosing a type of air humidifier, you have to measure your room size in order to buy one that has the right capacity to work in that particular room.
If you need to humidify the whole house, get a whole house humidifier instead of several separate room humidifiers to save cost.
For a small to medium room, a humidifier with roughly 2-gallon-per-day capacity is fine.
If the room is large, you can get a console humidifier with about 9-gallon capacity.
I’ve had my fair share of bad humidifiers, which either broke down quickly, or are so badly designed that I don’t want to use them.
Anyway, here are a few features/requirements that I feel are the most important to have in a humidifier:
- Auto shut-off
- Quiet operation
- Easy controls
- Well-designed tank for easy filling
- Permanent or cheap, accessible filters
Humidifier Reviews 2017
- Best Cool Mist Humidifier
– Looks good, works great.
- Best Warm Mist Humidifier
– Easy to clean warm mist humidifier that performs.
- Best Ultrasonic Humidifier
– Very quiet humidifier for your room.
- Top 5 Best Selling Humidifiers
– These humidifiers have been popular for quite some time.
- Best Cool Mist Humidifier with Humidistat
– Regulate the humidity to your satisfaction.
- Best Portable Humidifier for Office
– A small and personal humidifier at the workplace.
- Best Ultrasonic Humidifier for Kids
– What kids love to have in their rooms.
- Best Ultrasonic Humidifier Without Filter
– Filters are too troublesome for many of us.
Top Humidifier Models
Here are the most top rated humidifiers I reviewed. Click in to read my full review for each model.
Humidifier for Baby
In low humid air, your baby is likely to be infected by bacteria and viruses in the air.
His/ her dry airway will also make feeding an unpleasant experience because it will hurt the baby when suckling. Having the best baby humidifier in the room will prevent this.
Do remember to use distilled or filtered water with a baby humidifier because it is best for your baby not to breathe in any mineral from being dispersed into the air.
Also remember to put the humidifier high and out of reach from the baby to avoid any unwanted accidents.
- Best Humidifier for Baby
– Top rated baby humidifier to get rid of baby’s nasty flu symptoms.
- Humidifiers for Baby
– Baby humidifier reviews for the top models.
Cool Mist Humidifier
I highly recommend the cool mist humidifier if you want a baby humidifier or to place one in the children’s room, because it poses less safety risks than the warm mist or steam humidifier. So how do you choose the best cool mist humidifier then?
Room size – The humidifier must have the capacity to humidify the area you want it to, so buy one with the capacity to suit your room size.
Tank size – A bigger tank means fewer refill trips, but you’ll have to compromise with a heavier load to carry.
User friendly – A flat-bottomed tank is easier to fill; get a model with two speed settings or mist regulation settings for more control; and it should have auto shut off when the tank is empty to save power.
Easy maintenance – Is it easy to clean out? Does it have filters to replace? Buying a cool mist humidifier is easy but also we must also consider the effort and costs for maintenance afterward.
Noise – Cool mist humidifiers are often noisier than the other types thanks to its fan. More models are designed to produce less noise now, so check the humidifier reviews to see what users say about it.
My picks for Cool Mist Humidifier:
- Best Cool Mist Humidifier
– The best cool mist humidifier that performs and looks good at the same time!
- Quiet Cool Mist Humidifier
– Quiet operation makes it better to place in the bedroom.
- Cool Mist Humidifier Top Picks
– My top pick cool mist humidifier reviews.
Warm Mist Humidifier
Warm mist humidifiers are also called the steam humidifier or vaporizer. A warm mist humidifier is indeed very effective for chasing away those signs of cold – blocked or runny nose and itchy throat – that make us so irritated that we cannot fall asleep at night! You will have those problems solved when you get a warm mist humidifier/steam humidifier. So how do you choose? Here is my guide on choosing the best steam humidifier.
Size of room – You can’t fit a square peg in a round hole, so similarly it is wise to choose the right size of steam humidifier according to your room size.
Safety features – A steam humidifier/warm mist humidifier puts out hot steam by boiling the water in its tank, so it simply means you have a tank of boiling water sitting in your room or house. You will definitely want a steam humidifier with a sturdy base, auto shut off and other safety features.
Easy to use – Is the tank easy to fill? Can it humidify a room for long hours? Can you move it from room to room if you want to? Are the controls simple and user friendly? These are the questions you need to ask.
Easy maintenance – The best warm mist humidifier usually does not require a filter, so maintenance is largely on cleaning the tank and unit. However, some of them contain a mineral absorption pad that you have to change once in a while.
Noise level – Check the steam humidifier reviews to see if the model makes a loud noise. A soft bubbling noise is common with steam humidifiers as they boil the water, but you don’t want to have one that sounds like a jet engine.
My Picks for Warm Mist Humidifier:
- Best Warm Mist Humidifier
– Best warm mist humidifier for bedrooms with dishwasher safe tank.
- Fastest Humidifier
– Humidifies your room within minutes.
- Warm Mist Humidifier Top Picks
– Here are my warm mist humidifier reviews for the best models.
Whole House Humidifier
You want a whole house humidifier because you got fed up with moving the humidifier from room to room?
Or maybe you are tired of replacing humidifiers every year? It is easier to maintain one humidifier for the house than one for each room.
There are three types of whole house humidifiers. Personally I think the flow-through system is the best whole house humidifier type, but each person to his own.
Each type is named according to how the whole house humidifier works, but I am not going to elaborate on that, because it only helps in confusing the buyer.
Drum system – The cheapest whole house humidifier. This type has a tank or drum to hold water, just like the small portable humidifiers, but it humidifies the whole house. Because it has a tank, you have to refill it and clean it out regularly to prevent mold growth. In short, spend less and do more work.
Flow-through system – This whole house humidifier is installed with your furnace or heating system. It doesn’t have a tank; the water flows and drains through the system, so no refills or clean outs needed. The only work you need to do is change the foam pad in due time.
Spray mist system – This is similar to the flow through system but it uses a spray mist instead of a pad. It does not have a tank to refill or a pad to change, but if your water has high mineral content the mist head will clog up. It is also recommended for oil or gas powered heating systems only.
When picking a type of whole house humidifier, consider your existing heating system and how high the mineral content of the water is, then choose the right size for your home.
Tip: If you choose a flow through whole house humidifier like me, you might want one with a bypass gate, so that you can close it off when humidity is high in the summer.
Whole House Humidifier – Installation
When I told my wife I wanted to order a whole house humidifier online (there was a nice deal on Amazon when I bought mine), she was worried that we might not install it right. Well, it is a legitimate concern, so I thought I would address it here. There are a few options regarding installation:
- Do-It-Yourself – You can get the whole house humidifier cheap and refer to online videos and guides to install it. I did this and it had been fairly easy for me (read guide).
- Buy one and find someone to install it for you – Service fees range from $50 to several hundreds.
- Buy your whole house humidifier from a contractor – They include the installation fees in the price but you don’t have to lift a finger.
My Picks for Whole House Humidifier:
- Best Whole House Humidifier
– A furnace humidifier (flow-through) designed to humidify your whole house.
- Whole House Portable Humidifier
– A big capacity humidifier for the house that you can move around.
- Whole House Humidifier Top Picks
– My top pick whole house humidifier reviews.
An ultrasonic humidifier uses high-frequency vibrations that produces water droplets so you could control your environment’s humidity levels.
I think it would be best if you could get one that has both cool and warm settings because each has its own benefits – cool mist will help your allergies to subside, while warm mist can help you breath better when you have breathing difficulties.
As a light sleeper, I have a strong preference towards ultrasonic humidifiers as they are very quiet. Here are some of my top picks after experimenting with a few.
- Best Ultrasonic Humidifier
– The quietest humidifier in the market.
- Ultrasonic Humidifier Top Picks
– Here are my ultrasonic humidifier reviews for the best models.
More about Humidifiers
Personally I think shopping for a humidifier is rather fun; that’s why I keep on checking out various models even when I’ve got a few humidifiers in my house.
I like to read articles about humidifiers too, and I’ve written some of my own including some top rated home humidifiers reviews! Don’t miss out on the best deals I’ve found for you too.
Here are some topics you might like to read before or after buying a humidifier. So happy researching and I hope you buy the right humidifier for your home!
- Why Buy a Humidifier
- Cool Mist vs Warm Mist
- How to Clean and Maintain Your Humidifier
- Safety Tips for Your Humidifier
- How Humidifiers Work
- How to Repair Your Humidifier