• May 28, 2024, 5:25 pm

The best humidifiers in 2023 SoftAIT

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Update : Tuesday, December 12, 2023


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A humidifier is a savior against dry, cold winters. Turning up the heat could lead to dry skin and nasal passages, irritated eyes, and excessive static electricity. Dry air can also aggravate respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Selecting one of the best humidifiers is an affordable way to bump up humidity levels, letting you sleep and breathe better without adding complicated installation or maintenance to your to-do list. 

How we chose the best humidifiers

I based my humidifier choices on output control, cleaning ease, tank capacity, and extra features. Models with more output controls let you fine-tune the humidifier’s performance. Adjustable outputs or variable fan settings provide extra control. Cleaning ease played a major role in my choices, too.

Humidifiers, like dehumidifiers, aren’t always the easiest to clean. I looked for features that help provide access to all of the necessary parts. Tank capacities should be high enough that you only have to refill about once daily. (Of course, that depends on the setting and the humidity levels.) Finally, extra features like built-in humidistats, essential oil trays, and attractive designs factored in, too.

The best humidifiers: Reviews & Recommendations

Humidifiers come in different shapes and sizes, but they’re all fairly simple in design. They use water from a water tank to create a fine mist using one of various methods to increase humidity levels. The best humidifier for your space will be large enough for the room and easy to clean with a design that fits your style. With the right model, you can stay more comfortable when the weather causes humidity levels to drop.

Best overall: Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier

Why it made the cut: With a large-capacity water tank, adjustable mist output, auto shutoff feature, and essential oil tray, our top pick for the best humidifier ticks all the boxes and then some. 


  • Coverage: 500 square feet
  • Tank capacity: 6L (1.6 gallons)
  • Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 13 inches


  • Adjustable mist output
  • Large 1.6-gallon water tank
  • Tank provides up to 50 hours of running time
  • Quiet operation


  • Some units fail prematurely
  • Narrow opening makes cleaning difficult

Designed for use in rooms up to 500 square feet, the Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier provides a large 1.6-gallon tank lasting nearly 50 hours on the lowest setting. Users have a couple of options for fine-tuning humidity levels, thanks to the control dial and the adjustable mist output.

If aromatherapy is your thing, there’s an essential oil tray, too. This model can also act as a nightlight if you’re checking on a sick family member in the middle of the night. The light turns red if the automatic shutoff kicks in when the water levels run low, giving you a quick heads-up that it’s time for a refill.  

While we love the performance of this model, cleaning it isn’t the easiest. A narrow opening requires a long scrubber or some sort of cleaning solvent. Additionally, the internet reports that a few units fail prematurely after only a few months of use.

Best for babies: Levoit Baby Bedroom Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier

Why it made the cut: Besides its quiet operation that won’t disrupt little sleepers, the Levoit features a helpful smart sensor that automatically adjusts the humidifier’s output based on the humidity level. It’s one of the best humidifiers for baby rooms.


  • Coverage: 260 square feet
  • Tank capacity: 1.8L (.48 gallons)
  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 10.6 inches


  • Intelligent sleep mode automatically adjusts output 
  • Quiet operation
  • Easy to fill


  • Small tank size
  • Difficult to clean the inner tube

The Levoit humidifier packs a lot into a small package. It includes a built-in humidity sensor to adjust the output accordingly and features ultra-quiet operation. You can also add essential oils to it for use as a diffuser. The refill process is super easy. An automatic shutoff feature turns off the humidifier when the water runs out to prevent overheating. 

However, there are a couple of things to watch out for. First, the tank is pretty small. Second, the tank is easy to clean, but there’s an inner tube that’s not. It has grooves that require more detailed scrubbing. 

Best evaporative: Pure Enrichment MistAire Eva

The Pure Enrichment MistAire Eva is the best evaporative humidifier.

Why it made the cut: The MistAire’s adjustable automatic timer and four fan speeds provide excellent humidity control in spaces up to 500 square feet. 


  • Coverage: 500 square feet
  • Tank capacity: 2.8L (.74 gallons)
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 9.5 x 13.5 inches


  • Automatic shutoff works in 2, 4, and 8-hour increments
  • Four fan speeds
  • Multicolor night light can also shut off


  • Difficult to find replacement filters

One of the best evaporative humidifiers, the Pure Enrichment MistAire Eva has an automatic timer that offers two-, four-, or eight-hour shutoff increments. That’s perfect for nighttime or if you worry about leaving it on when you leave. You can set the timer based on how long you anticipate being home and can forget about it until you get back. The MistAire also provides four fan speeds to help keep the humidity at comfortable levels. This is especially helpful for those who live in a climate where humidity levels change throughout the year.

While the MistAire’s microbial filter works well, it’s not easy to replace. They can only be bought from the manufacturer and they’re frequently out of stock.  

Best whole-house: AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Humidifier

The AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Humidifier is the best whole house humidifier.

Why it made the cut: In addition to its sizable 3.5-gallon capacity, high output, and variety of output levels, this whole-house humidifier is also one of the easier models to clean. 


  • Coverage: 2,400 square feet
  • Tank capacity: 13.24L (3.5 gallons)
  • Dimensions: 18 x 18 x 27.25 inches


  • Built-in humidistat maintains set humidity level
  • Digital display makes it easy to check humidity
  • Easy-to-clean filter
  • 9 fan levels let you customize the output


The AIRCARE EP9 800 Digital Whole-House Humidifier has a pedestal design, so it doesn’t connect directly to the HVAC. Instead, you place it according to the manufacturer’s instructions and set the humidistat to your desired humidity level. The humidistat then controls the humidifier. 

A digital display on the front shows what the actual humidity is, letting you see how far the humidifier has to go. Another thing we liked was the easy filter access, which makes it easy to clean. 

Filling isn’t the easiest part of this model, but it’s not too bad. There’s an opening into which you pour 3.5 gallons of water. You’ll have to use a pitcher or some kind of funnel to avoid spilling. The only thing we don’t like? The noise—this big humidifier gets a bit loud at the higher fan speeds. 

Best smart: LEVOIT OasisMist 1000S (10L) Smart Humidifier

A Levoit OasisMist 1000S (10L) Smart Humidifier in sunset lighting sitting among plants.

Why it made the cut: This smart humidifier looks like a tower fan and is incredibly quiet.  


  • Coverage: 600 square feet
  • Tank capacity: 10L (2.6 gallons)
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 8.6 x 13.4 inches


  • Mist lid adjusts 360°
  • Tank separates from base for easy filling
  • Included remote and app capability
  • Large tank capacity


If refilling your humidifier is the bane of your existence, this one has a supersized tank with a 100-hour run time. The tank self-cleans, so you won’t have to worry about mold growth, and an internal water filter softens hard water so you won’t have to face limescale and mineral buildup. This humidifier produces two feet of mist height for thorough humidity in the room. Connection with the VeSync app (for iOS and Android) lets you schedule run times and customize humidity levels, and an included remote lets you control the humidifier from your couch. It’s perfect for large bedrooms or rooms that need a little more humidifying horsepower.

There are plenty of modes for versatility: Auto Mode runs seamlessly, Plant Mode gives your greenery a little TLC, Aroma Mode soothes nerves with aromatherapy, and Sleep Mode turns the LED screen off so you can sleep easily. You can control it with voice assistants, your phone, via the touch panel, or with the included remote. It’s more of a splurge compared to other models, but its included creature comforts are worth the price.

A Dyson air purifier in a living room.

Why it made the cut: This three-in-one smart device automatically adapts to changes in air quality and humidity.


  • Recommended room size: 400 square feet
  • Dimensions: 36.66 x 11.02 x 12.23 inches
  • App connectivity: Yes
  • Max decibels (dB): 59.8 dB


  • Connectivity with Siri and Alexa
  • Three products in one
  • Air quality reporting


The Dyson PH04 Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde proves yet again that Sir James Dyson really knows what he’s doing when it comes to sucking in air and pumping out innovations. This air purifier uses an intelligent sensing system and Air Multiplier technology to purify, humidify, and cool the air. You don’t even need to touch the stylish, distinctive unit—it automatically senses and reacts to changes in air quality and humidity, kicking up an enthusiastic breeze when needed. It even features a solid-state sensor to detect and destroy formaldehyde emitted by household items—a boon if you’re in a newly renovated/refurbished space, as fresh carpet and new mattresses emit odd things.

You don’t have to worry about airborne baddies getting re-released into the air since the entire purifier-humidifier is fully sealed to the HEPA H13 standard. The filters are low-maintenance and easy to replace, and the machine features a deep-clean cycle to remove mineral build-up and bacteria that may lurk in the water system well before they make it to the oscillating airflow. Although it’s almost $1,000, you’re getting three devices for the cost of one.

Best budget: Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

The Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is the best value humidifier.

Why it made the cut: The Crane’s adjustable output direction and detachable, easy-to-clean base win it a spot among the best of the best. 


  • Coverage: 500 square feet
  • Tank capacity: 3.8L (1 gallons)
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 8.6 x 13.4 inches


  • Mist lid adjusts 360°
  • Detachable cord for easier cleaning
  • Variable output control for precise humidifying
  • Eight color options


  • Can leak if mist lid isn’t properly fit

The Crane humidifier features an attractive design, cheap price, and small footprint. Yet, it still has a one-gallon water tank capacity, giving it an approximately 24-hour runtime. The mist lid can rotate a full 360 degrees to allow for directional vapor. However, you have to make sure to get that lid on correctly, or it can leak. 

Variable adjustment on the output controls provides precise control over how much humidity enters the home. Plus, we like that this model comes in eight fun colors and a great value.

What to consider before buying the best humidifiers

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping indoor air humidity between 30-50 percent. Not all humidifiers are made alike. Here’s what to know before making your choice:

Humidifier type

  • Warm-mist: Warm-mist humidifiers heat the water to create vapor before cooling it for release. They’re considered the safest type because the heating process kills microbes in the water. Warm-mist models tend to be quiet but are more costly to run because they take more power to heat the water. It is just as effective as a cool-mist humidifier in humidifying the air.
  • Cool-mist: Cool-mist humidifiers can work in different ways. Some put water from their reservoir through a wick filter to remove impurities before emitting the water droplets into the air. Others directly evaporate water (evaporative humidifiers) to raise humidity levels. These models are easier to clean than warm-mist humidifiers, but bacteria, fungus, and mineral deposits are more likely to accrue. It is just as effective as a warm-mist humidifier in humidifying the air.
  • Ultrasonic: Ultrasonic humidifiers may be warm or cold mist (or both). They have a vibrating diaphragm that creates water droplets small enough that all you see is a mist or fog coming from the machine. These models are quiet and easy to clean. 
  • Whole-house: Whole-house humidifiers come in different types, from models that connect directly to the HVAC system to pedestal models large enough to humidify the whole house from a single room. These models are efficient, relatively easy to install, and can humidify an entire house with a single device. 

Noise level

Cool-mist humidifiers tend to be the noisiest models. If you’re looking for a model that’s quiet, evaporative (a type of cool-mist humidifier) and warm-mist models cut down on decibels. However, warm-mist models may not be the best choice for homes with kids or pets because of the potential for the heated water to spill. Evaporative humidifiers cut down on noise but emit cool water that won’t scald.


Aromatherapy uses essential oils from various plants for health benefits. You can add essential oils to the water in some humidifiers, while others have a slot or tray into which you can pour a few drops of essential oils. The oils are then emitted with the water vapor.  

Cleaning ease

You should clean your humidifier regularly, as it can grow bacteria, mold, or fungus if not properly sterilized after each use. Models that are easy to take apart and either hand wash or put parts in the dishwasher are the easiest to manage. Some models have a filter, which will need to be cleaned and replaced every so often. Keep in mind that the price of filters can drive up the total lifetime cost of the humidifier.

Coverage area

Humidifiers are designed to humidify specific square footage. A large humidifier designed to work in a 500-square-foot space may put out too much humidity for a 200-square-foot room. A small humidifier may not make much difference in a large space. Estimate the area’s square footage to ensure you get a humidifier with the right coverage.


Q: Can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

You can put essential oils in a humidifier that’s designed for use as a diffuser as well as a humidifier. These models feature an essential oils tray or designs meant for additions to the water tank. Do not add essential oils to a model not designed for this purpose.

Q: Does a humidifier help with congestion?

Humidifiers can help with congestion. They can moisten the nasal passage, loosening congestion and helping expel it.

Q: Can a humidifier make you sick?

Humidifiers require regular cleaning and maintenance to prevent mold, mildew, and fungal growth. Spores and particles can be expelled with the vapor if the humidifier isn’t cleaned regularly or correctly.

Q: Can I use tap water in my humidifier?

Yes. However, tap water contains minerals that can form deposits in the humidifier water tank. Inhaling this scale can irritate your lungs—the opposite of what you’re using the humidifier for. If you’re really afraid, use distilled water.

Final thoughts on the best humidifiers

The Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier gets the top spot for the adjustable output, water tank capacity, and quiet operation. The Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is a good choice if you need something a little smaller with directional output.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.


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