Cool mist humidifiers are a great way to keep your home or office comfortable. They add moisture to the air without the use of heating components, making them safe for use around children. Because the water vapor they release is cool, they’re perfect for making hot summer days a bit less dry and a bit more bearable. Here are 10 of the best cool mist humidifiers on the market as of 2018:
Best Cool Mist Humidifiers 2018
1.MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier – Premium Humidifying Unit with Whisper-Quiet Operation, Automatic Shut-Off, and Night Light Function
Why it’s a top pick: This ultrasonic humidifier creates lots of cool mist without making a lot of noise. Automatic shutoff and a totally optional night light mean that it’s easy to set this up before you go to sleep. Despite the small tank, it can function for up to 16 hours on low power. It’s a perfect choice for smaller rooms or offices.
Downsides: While the nightlight is purely optional, the power LED on this unit is pretty bright. The small water tank and lower vapor output make it great for small rooms, but you might struggle to keep a large bedroom moist enough with this unit. Finally, there’s no “medium” power setting.
Why It’s A Top Pick: Unlike most ultrasonic humidifiers, this TaoTronics comes with a ceramic filter that helps keep germs out of the air you breathe. Two fully rotating nozzles mean you can place this unit anywhere in a room, while an adjustable power knob lets you customize the amount of moisture it creates. It’s a perfect choice for people who want a quiet humidifier that kills germs too.
Downsides: The ceramic filter is an additional part to clean with vinegar every so often, and the 3.5-liter tank isn’t exactly huge. You’ll definitely notice the lack of handles when you go to refill it. Still, you’ll get several nights worth of vapor from a single tank.
Why it’s a top pick: This powerful ultrasonic humidifier has a behemoth 5-liter tank and a great sleep mode to make your life easy. Just hold down the power button and all of the lights will turn off while you rest. Plus, it’s only got one button. This means no complicated menus or modes to fiddle with. Instead, you’ll get plenty of water vapor for up to 17 hours.
Downsides: While it’s big and beefy, the lack of fine control options make this humidifier less suitable for small rooms. Additionally, the tank is a bit awkward to refill. You may find yourself propping it up with another object while you work.
Why it’s a top pick: TaoTronics’ upgrade model offers several incredible benefits. For one, it’s got a microporous cartridge filter that helps kill germs. More importantly, however, you can simply dial in a room humidity and it’ll adjust its output to match. This thermostat-like control makes your job a lot easier — no fiddling with knobs to try to get the humidity right. A handy handle for tank refilling, built-in timer, and hefty 4-liter water capacity round out the incredible package that this unit presents.
Downsides: Honestly, this TaoTronics is pretty darn nice. The biggest downsides are the lack of compatibility with essential oils, which is hardly unique among ultrasonic humidifiers and the lack of a warranty.
Why it’s a top pick: This evaporative humidifier from Honeywell creates invisible, germ-free moisture in your home or office. It’s designed to be quieter than other evaporative humidifiers while still providing the cleaner air that they offer. A full day of run-time and easy refills help propel it above the rest of the competition. If health is a top priority, this Honeywell is a great choice.
Downsides: While it’s quieter than other evaporative humidifiers, this Honeywell will still drown out the murmur of an ultrasonic humidifier. It might be too noisy to leave right next to your bed if you’re a super sensitive sleeper. It’s also a bit on the big side, so it’s slightly awkward to fit in small areas.
Why it’s a top pic: This Anypro humidifier is simply beautiful. It’s got an optional nightlight that gently cycles through several available colors. You’ll have no problem getting compliments with this gadget sitting in your office or living room. Plus, it’s crazy functional, with up to 36 hours of near-silent operation and fully adjustable mist strength.
Downsides: The tank on this Anypro is a bit on the small end, at just under 3.5 liters. While the night-light is optional, the brightish power LED isn’t, so you might not want to set this up in your bedroom. Finally, no filter means it’s not going to kill any germs.
Why It’s a top pick: VicTsing has outdone themselves with this multi-functional unit. While this onion-shaped contraption is a fully functional ultrasonic humidifier, it’s also an essential oil diffuser and a great conversation starter. Not only can you spread wonderful scents throughout the area with this humidifier, it’s also got an optional light that can cycle through 7 vibrant colors or be adjusted to your liking.
Downsides: This isn’t the biggest or most powerful humidifier on the market. It’s got a very small water tank, with only 0.3 liters of capacity. On low, you can get up to 10 hours of operation, but that’s pushing it a little. Luckily, there’s a timer function that can be used to automatically turn the machine off after 1, 3, or 6 hours.
Why it’s a top pick: This basic ultrasonic humidifier is great for smaller rooms or apartments. It’s practically silent, with fully adjustable output and a generous tank that can last for multiple nights. Best of all, the output is deceptively powerful. You can absolutely keep a larger area at the humidity you want with this compact unit.
Downsides: Honeywell hasn’t included a lot of bells or whistles with this humidifier. It’s got a knob to adjust the vapor strength and not much else. Without auto shut off, you’ll have to be careful that you don’t accidentally run this unit until it’s totally empty.
Why it’s a top pic: Made by Crane, this simple ultrasonic humidifier is made with anti-microbial materials that help curb the growth of bacteria. It’s got all of the basic features you want, including fully adjustable power settings, auto shut off, and an incredibly quiet motor that won’t disturb you while you sleep.
Downsides: The power LED on this unit is a bit too bright for bedside placement. You can cover it with some tape or put the unit out of sight to get around this. Additionally, the tank is oddly shaped and easy to drop while you’re refilling it.
Why it’s a top pick: You might be surprised to find a warm mist humidifier made by Vicks on this list, but it’s absolutely worth considering. If you’re willing to tolerate a little extra heat and you don’t have kids, this unit offers a few big advantages. For one, it’s extremely quiet, even quieter than some ultrasonic humidifiers. It also automatically kills most microbes with the heat generated as it produces steam. Finally, it’s got a special area where you can put medicine that can fill the room and help alleviate your symptoms.
Downsides: The obvious downside is heat. If you live in Southern California, you don’t want a machine pumping out hot steam in your bedroom. You’ll also want to be extra careful using this machine around kids. There’s also an always-on night light that makes this awkward in some bedrooms.
Best Cool Mist Humidifiers – Buyer’s Guide:
Humidifiers add moisture to the air around them, increasing the humidity. While this is unnecessary in wet climates, there are a bunch of problems that come with low humidity in dry areas of the world. Low levels of moisture in the air can damage furniture, cause bloody noses or irritate your airways, dry out your eyes, or aggravate asthma and other respiratory conditions. Many consumers report that the quality of their sleep dramatically improves after purchasing a humidifier, even if they bought their humidifier to combat other issues.
Types of Humidifiers
There are three main types of humidifiers. Cool mist humidifiers include evaporative and ultrasonic models, while warm mist humidifiers create steam by simply heating water.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
Warm mist humidifiers warm the room slightly (because of the heat) and tend to have tanks of boiling water, making them less safe around unsupervised children. Because of this, people tend to prefer cool mist humidifiers in warm, dry areas. Warm mist humidifiers usually don’t have filters, but they often have medicine cups or the ability to add essential oils without worry. The heat generated by the humidifier tends to kill most germs before they leave the water tank.
Evaporative humidifiers work by blowing air across a wet filter with the fan. The filters in evaporative humidifiers tend to be paper-based, and they often include antibacterial agents to make sure that the air that leaves your humidifier is clean and healthy. This means that they’re safer to use around people who get sick easily, like young children and the elderly.
On the other, hand, evaporative humidifiers are much louder than ultrasonic humidifiers. The fan inside evaporative units creates much more noise than the quiet vibration utilized by ultrasonic models. They’re still pretty quiet (it’s a pretty small fan and there’s not a lot of noise outside of that), but if you’re using a humidifier to help you sleep, noise is a big concern.
Finally, the filters in evaporative humidifiers have to be changed regularly. These filters are responsible for ensuring that your humidifier is safe to operate, Changing them is quite important. Depending on the size, make, and model of the humidifier you choose, the filters will vary in price. Be sure to figure out how much a full season’s worth of filters will cost you before you choose an evaporative humidifier.
Ultrasonic humidifiers work by vibrating water so quickly that it begins to evaporate on its own. These vibrations happen at a frequency that’s far too high for humans to hear. As a result, ultrasonic humidifiers are extremely quiet. This makes them ideal for use at night to help you sleep.
Most ultrasonic humidifiers don’t use a filter at all. This means that any germs that are in your humidifier or your water will get puffed out with the water vapor. Because of this, it’s especially important to keep your humidifier clean and to use water that’s distilled, filtered, or at least fresh from the tap. Cleaning your humidifier only takes a few minutes each week and is important no matter what type of humidifier you choose. It’s extra important with an ultrasonic humidifier, however, because the other two types will kill some amount of germs before they emit water vapor.
Room Size And Power
All of the humidifiers on this page will work with normal sized rooms. They’ve got adjustable power settings, which means you shouldn’t be too concerned with the exact size of the room you’re putting them in. On the other hand, none of them will fully humidify your entire house.
Why is power a concern? If your humidifier is too weak, it won’t put enough moisture into the air to raise the humidity of your room. A steaming cup of coffee is putting water vapor into the air, but leaving it uncovered all day won’t do much to increase the overall humidity. On the other hand, having a humidifier that’s too powerful can be even worse. You’ll make the room feel muggy and awful, get condensation on the windows, cause a different set of health issues, and potentially even damage electronics in the room.
If you’ve got an extra large bedroom or you’d like to humidify a large open area of your home or office, be sure to get a humidifier that’s capable of handling larger areas. On the other hand, if you’ve got a small apartment and you’re only trying to moisten the bedroom, you should try to get a unit that’s set up for smaller areas. Again, you can simply use the power settings on a more averaged sized unit to achieve a similar effect. Just set it to high for a big room or low for a small one!
Capacity and Run Time
Humidifiers create water vapor from an internal reservoir of clean water. The bigger this reservoir, the longer you can run the humidifier before you have to refill it. In general, bigger tanks mean less filling.
Things get complicated when you consider that different humidifiers make more or less water vapor on different settings. In other words, you’ll get a lot more run time out of small-room humidifier on low mist with a 3-liter tank than you would a larger-room humidifier on high mist with a 5-liter tank. In general, you can expect at least 10 hours of runtime on the highest setting with most humidifiers. This gives you plenty of time to set up your humidifier, go to sleep, and then wake up again. Many people choose not to run their humidifiers during the day, meaning you’d only have to refill a 10-hour runtime humidifier once a day.
Units with big tanks that run at low capacity can operate continuously for several days or even a week. If you don’t want to refill your humidifier’s reservoir often, be sure to get the least powerful unit you can with the largest water tank.
One surprising issue that you’ll need to consider with your humidifier is the presence of lights. If you’re sticking a humidifier in your bedroom to help you sleep better, it might be counterproductive if it’s got a big, bright night-light on top of it. Be sure to thoroughly investigate the light situation with any humidifiers that will be in line of sight of your bed while you sleep.
Oil and Medicine
Unless your humidifier is specifically set up to handle essential oils or medicine, it can’t vaporize anything but water. If you want to make your house smell nice or relieve cold symptoms with a medicated vapor, you’ll want to look for a special humidifier that explicitly states that it can handle essential oils or medicine.
Auto Shut-Off and Timers
Finally, if you’re planning on running a humidifier while you’re away or asleep, make sure you know what happens to the machine if it runs out of water. Most ultrasonic humidifiers come with an auto shut-off feature that prevents the unit from damaging itself. Evaporative filters, on the other hand, tend to be pretty safe to run on empty. It’s even a good idea since it dries out the filter quicker and helps prevent mold and germ growth.
Some humidifiers have timers that turn them off automatically after a period of time. You can approximate this by simply filling the tank up less and taking advantage of auto shut-off, but it’s also nice to be able to just turn on your humidifier for 6 hours. If you don’t want to fiddle with the tank and you know you’ll want to run your humidifier for set periods of time, be sure to get a unit with a timer.
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