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 humidistat.

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. At the bottom of this article we also have a humidifier comparison chart so you can easily compare one humidifier versus another.


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 $80 depending on color and availability. It was recommended by the leading consumer magazine who gave it a score of 90 out of 100. 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 humidistat 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 humidifier is the Aprilaire 700 with a price of $270. 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. 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.


Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier

We selected the $75 Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier as the best large room humidifier. This thing has a large 1.5 gallon tank for up to 36 hours of use without a refill.

The LV600HH has a lot of great features as well. The one we like best is that it lets you choose between warm or cool mist which is rare for a model in this price range. Also included are an intelligent auto mode, remote control and timer, auto shut-off, and an aroma diffuser.

Since it is an ultrasonic humidifier it does make a slight humming noise, but it is very quiet. It also needs to sit on a shelf or table so the mist won’t puddle on the floor and it might create the fine mineral dust layer as well.

Overall the Levoit LV600HH is a great choice for rooms or spaces up to 600 square feet or slightly larger.


Honeywell HCM-350 Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Our choice for the best evaporative large room humidifier is the Honeywell HCM-350 which sells for about $58. Numerous other websites rate it as the best humidifier for most people as well.

The HCM-350 puts out up to 2.3 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. It also is very easy to clean.

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.


Vicks VUL520

One of the cheapest small room humidifiers is the Vicks VUL520 which sells for just $29. It was tied for the highest rating from the leading consumer magazine which also picked it as a Best Buy. This ultrasonic humidifier will work for rooms up to 250 square feet with an output of 1.4 gallons per day.

The VUL520 has a simple dial control and does not have a humidistat or any programmable settings. It only has a 0.5 gallon tank so you might need to refill it often.

Overall the Vicks VUL520 is an excellent choice for a simple to use humidifier in a bedroom or baby’s nursery of less than 250 square feet.


SPT SU-9210 Digital Evaporative Humidifier

The $60 SPT SU-9210 Digital Evaporative Humidifier is a good choice for medium sized rooms up to 450 square feet. It can output 1.9 gallons of moisture per day and has a reservoir of 1 gallon.

The SPT SU-9210 could almost be called a smart humidifier thanks to its accurate humidistat and timer. It performs very similarily to the Honeywell HCM-350 and like that model it is very easy to clean.

The SU-9210 might not be the best choice for a bedroom, however, because it has a very bright display and annoying beeping buttons.


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 $105. 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.


Hunter QLS-03 Personal Humidifier

Our choice for best travel humidifier is the Hunter QLS-03 Personal Humidifier with a price of about $23. This super compact model uses ultrasonic technology to provide a cool mist in your hotel room or at your desk at work. You supply water by using a standard water bottle up to 20 ounces placed into the compact device. We really recommend using distilled or purified water, however, since minerals can foul up the unit.

You should be aware that some users have complained about the longevity of this unit or receiving defective models that do not work properly. Having said that, plenty of people love this personal humidifier including the leading consumer magazine which gave it their highest grade in the category.

For your home you should consider one of the other models on our list, but for traveling the Hunter QLS-03 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 around$39. Meant for 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

Humidifier Rating Best Price Style Claimed Room
Size (Sq Ft)
Room Size
Water Reservoir
Daily Output
Humidistat Programable Warm
Max Noise
Air Innovations MH-701B 9.2 $70.05 Ultrasonic 178 178 1.7 1.5 Yes Yes No < 40 dB
Aprilaire Model 700 9.1 $270.00 Evaporative 4200 2100 NA 18 Yes Yes No 0 dB
Pure Ultrasonic Cool Mist 9.0 $39.99 Ultrasonic 300 120 0.4 0.96 No No No 28 dB
Levoit LV600HH 9.0 $75.52 Ultrasonic 753 600 1.6 3.17 Yes Yes Yes (Both) < 40 dB
Honeywell HCM-350 8.9 $57.82 Evaporative 500 360 1.1 2.3 No No No 49 dB
Vicks VUL520 8.9 $28.99 Ultrasonic 250 250 0.5 1.4 No No No ~ 40dB
SPT SU-9210 8.7 $59.61 Evaporative 450 450 1 1.9 Yes No No < 40 dB
Aircare MA1201 8.6 $104.75 Evaporative 3600 2000 3.6 11.44 Yes Yes No 77.5 dB
Hunter QLS-03 8.3 $23.01 Ultrasonic 25 25 up to 20 oz 0.5 No No No < 40 dB
Vicks V745A 8.1 $38.55 Steam 250 250 1 2 No No Yes ~ 40dB

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