10 Best Humidifiers

Humidifiers can help maintain the ideal humidity level of 30%-50% for your home by emitting a fine, sometimes invisible, mist into the air. The proper humidity level protects your health from the effects of dry air like dry sinuses, itchy eyes, sore throats, and cracked skin or lips. They also can protect your home by preventing wood furnishings from warping or cracking. The ideal humidity level also helps prevent static electricity shocks.

When shopping for a new humidifier the first thing you should consider is the size of the space you want to humidify. The size of the area will help determine if you need a single-room table top unit, a console or whole-house model, or a whole house unit that attaches to your HVAC system. Secondly, you will want to consider how the humidifier adds moisture to the air – they use two main technologies that are ultrasonic and evaporative.

Ultrasonic units are quieter, however they can generate white dust from the minerals in tap water. Many buyers complain about the white dust problem on specific models, but the problem is actually with the water and not the humidifier. They will work better with distilled or soft water. Evaporative models use a wick filter and a fan to evaporate and blow the water vapor out. They are noisier, don’t have a white dust problem, but have filters that need to be replaced.

Some models output cool mist, which disperses at room temperature, while others output warm mist which boils the water before dispersing the moisture. Other things to consider include the noise level, maintenance and price of cleaning and changing filters, the size of the water tank, and advanced features like a humidstat.

We looked at many models ranging in size and cost to come up with our list of the top 10 best humidifiers which we review below.


Air Innovations MH-701B

Our selection for the best small room humidifier is the Air Innovations MH-701B. Available in 5 different colors, the price ranges from about $70 up to $90 depending on color and availability. It was recommended by the leading consumer magazine who gave it a score of 90. This ultrasonic model puts out 1.5 gallons of visible moisture per day which can handle a room size up to 178 square feet.

The MH-701B has a couple of really nice features. First it has a ceramic filter which never needs to be replaced, just cleaned occasionally. It also has a digital humistat and programmable timer which makes it easy to set and use. One negative, however, is that you can’t see the water level in the reservoir, so you can run out unexpectedly.

Overall we highly recommend the Air Innovations MH-701B if you need to use a humidifier in a room up to 178 square feet.


Aprilaire Model 700 Whole House Humidifier

Our choice for best whole house or furnace humidifier is the Aprilaire 700 with a price of around $287. Built to provide moisture in entire homes up to 4200 square feet, it attaches to your central heating and cooling system and needs a constant supply of water – preferably hot water. The advantage of this system is that your whole house gets the same desired humidity level as set on the automatic digital control panel.

Drawbacks to this unit include being more complicated to install and you will have to replace the filter at least once per year which adds to the expense.

We highly recommend the Aprilaire 700 for whole house applications with very dry air. For smaller homes and spaces without central air then there are less expensive alternatives.


Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

The $40 Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is the best selling humidifier on Amazon and the highest rated with a 4.5 star average over 2700 user reviews. With a daily output of close to one gallon, it can handle small rooms up to about 120 square feet. Other features include ultrasonic technology, 360-degree mist nozzle, dual speed controls, auto shut-off, and optional night light.

There are no filters to replace and it can be used with regular tap water, but be aware you can get some fine white dust if you have hard water. The water reservoir is also the smallest of any model on this list at just 0.4 gallons, which means you will have to refill it often.

Overall the Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier might just be the best cheap humidifier you can buy for small rooms.


Honeywell HCM-350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Our choice for the best large room humidifier under $100 is the Honeywell HCM-350 which sells for about $58. Numerous other websites rate it as the best humidifier as well. The HCM-350 puts out 2 gallons of moisture per day using evaporative technology. Another main feature is the mineral-absorbing wick filter that removes impurities and cuts down on annoying white dust. You will have to replace this filter every 4-6 months at a cost of about $10.

On the downside the HCM-350 does not have an indicator light when the tank is empty, nor does it shut off automatically. It also lacks some of the controls of other units like a humidistat and only outputs cool mist, but it does have a unique germ killing ability from UV light which gives it antimicrobial properties.

The bottom line is if you are looking for a cheap humidifier that will work well in room sizes from about 300 to 500 square feet then the Honeywell HCM-350 is the perfect choice for you.


Honeywell Mistmate HUL520

The cheapest humidifier on our list is the $25 Honeywell Mistmate HUL520. Rated as a Best Buy by the leading consumer magazine, it uses ultrasonic technology to emit up to 0.5 gallons of a fine cool mist per day. Honeywell says it will work best in room sizes up to about 150 square feet, but we feel 100 sq ft is the ideal size.

The HUL520 has a very simple control knob to adjust the output and auto shut-off when empty. It does not use filters, but it should be cleaned with vinegar, bleach, and water occasionally to de-mineralize and disinfect the unit (specific instructions are included in the manual).

Overall we would not hesitate to recommend the Honeywell Mistmate HUL520 to anyone who wants a cheap humidifier for a small bedroom.


Boneco 7135 Digital Ultrasonic Warm & Cool Mist Humidifier

Perhaps the most versatile humidifier is the $200 Boneco 7135. This ultrasonic model can emit 3.5 gallons of either cool or warm mist per day to humidify an area of up to 650 square feet. The 7135’s strength is in its variety of controls and modes to get the most out of the machine. These include automatic mode, sleep mode, hygrostat, programmable timer, and several output settings.

The Boneco 7135 also uses a hydro cell to prevent microbial growth and a de-mineralization cartridge to reduce white dust. The hydro cell needs to be replaced once a year, while the de-mineralization cartridge needs to be replaced about every two to three months.

The downside is that all these features equal more cost since it is the most expensive humidifier on our list other than the furnace option. However, if you want a super quiet, large room humidifier that can output warm or cool mist and has programmable controls then the Boneco 7135 is for you.

It is also available at Amazon.


SPT SU-4010 Ultrasonic Dual Mist Humidifier

We feel that one of the best values in large room humidifiers up to 500 square feet is the $66 SPT SU-4010. The leading consumer magazine feels the same way since they also rated it as a Best Buy. Using ultrasonic technology it puts out 2.5 gallons of moisture per day and has a storage tank of 1.06 gallons.

The SU-4010 can emit cool or warm mist and change the humidity output by using the simple dial controls. It also uses an ION exchange filter to remove minerals from the water so white dust will not be emitted into the air. The filter does need to be replaced about every 6 months at a cost of about $25.

A few users have complained about units that either leaked or quit working which makes us wonder a bit about the quality. However, when working everyone seems to love this machine.


Aircare MA1201 Whole House Console Humidifier

Our pick for the best console humidifier is the Aircare MA1201 Whole House Console Humidifier which sells for about $110. Using evaporative technology this model can output 11.4 gallons of moisture per day to humidify a space from 2000 square feet up to 3600 square feet. Simple operation comes from humidistat control and four fan speeds.

Four rolling casters help you move the MA1201 to any room effortlessly. It also uses a mineral-absorbing wicking filter that needs to be replaced every 3-6 months at a cost of about $15.

One main drawback is that it is the loudest humidifier on our list with a max noise of 77.5 dB which is quite noisy.

Simply put the Aircare MA1201 is our choice for the best whole home humidifier that does not hook into your central air.

It is also available at Amazon.


Boneco 7146 Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier - Cool Mist

Our choice for best travel humidifier is the Boneco 7146 with a price of $50. This super compact model uses ultrasonic technology to provide a cool mist in your hotel room. You supply water by using a standard water bottle placed into the compact device. We really recommend using distilled or purified water, however, since minerals can foul up the unit.

One main complaint from users is the blue light that emits when in use is too bright and can disturb your sleep. You can put tape over that or cover it up to fix that.

For your home you should consider one of the other models on our list, but for traveling the Boneco 7146 is a great option due to its compact size and water bottle option.


Vicks Warm Mist V745A

If you are sick and want a warm mist or steam humidifier then we recommend the Vicks V745A which is available for $30. Meant from rooms up to about 250 square feet, this 1 gallon model comes with automatic shutoff, soft glowing night light, 2 comfort settings, and operates quietly. You can also add Vicks Vaposteam into the provided medicine cup to create a medicated vapor.

On the downside each filling will only last about 12 hours and it only emits warm mist as it does not have a cool setting.

Overall the Vicks V745A is for those of you looking for a cheap warm mist humidifier for small rooms.

Best Humidifier Comparison Chart

Model Rating Price Style Claimed Room
Size (Sq Ft)
Realistic Room
Size (Sq Ft)
Humidistat Programmable Max Noise
Air Innovations MH-701B 9.2 $71.83 Ultrasonic 178 178 1.7 gal 1.5 gal Yes Yes < 40 dB
Aprilaire Model 700 9.1 $287.28 Evaporative 4200 2100 NA 18 gal Yes Yes 0 dB
Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier 9.0 $39.99 Ultrasonic 300 120 0.4 gal 0.96 gal No No 28 dB
Honeywell HCM-350 9.0 $57.63 Evaporative 500 360 1.1 gal 2.3 gal No No 49 dB
Honeywell Mistmate HUL520 8.9 $24.25 Ultrasonic 150 100 0.5 gal 0.5 gal No No < 30 dB
Boneco 7135 8.9 $199.99 Ultrasonic 650 650 1.75 gal 3.5 gal Yes Yes 25 dB
SPT SU-4010 8.8 $65.17 Ultrasonic 500 500 1.06 gal 2.5 gal No No < 40 dB
Aircare MA1201 8.6 $109.95 Evaporative 3600 2000 3.6 gal 11.44 gal Yes Yes 77.5 dB
Boneco 7146 8.3 $49.99 Ultrasonic 25 25 16 oz 0.8 gal No No < 40 dB
Vicks Warm Mist V745A 8.1 $29.86 Steam 250 250 1 gal 2 gal No No ~ 40dB

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