Humidifiers are an invaluable device for your home that can alter your quality of life for the better. Used mainly during the winter months, a humidifier adds moisture to the cold, dry air that is present during this time of year. It is this moisture that helps to alleviate allergies, colds, flu, body aches and pains, skin conditions, and various respiratory illnesses. With regular use of a humidifier you will sleep better, you won’t be incessantly coughing, and your overall stress levels will be reduced. Humidifiers come in a wide range of looks and sizes, with the higher end models having helpful bells and whistles thrown in. There are also differences in the technology that humidifiers use to moisten the air.

With so many options available, how do you know which is the best one to pick up on your next shopping trip? We try to alleviate the confusion for you, and present to you our top 10 picks when looking for a new humidifier for your home.

Why would you need a humidifier for your baby?

Few things in life change your perspective and re-arrange your priorities quite like having a child does, and once that baby is born there is little you wouldn’t do to keep it happy and safe. Most children are walking germ factories for the first few years of their life as their bodies acclimate to various bacteria and viruses. Humidifiers will help keep baby in the healthiest state possible, so they can easily fight off infections and allergens.

Our homes contain airborne particles that can be harmful to certain individuals, and the delicate constitution of a baby is no exception. The winter months, while visually stunning, bring some of the worst air quality into people’s homes. The dry air causes our skin to itch, flake, and crack. It creates an environment for the flu and cold to thrive, being passed from person to person, indiscriminately. Our nasal passages become constricted and dried out, which makes catching a cold through our mucus membranes much easier. Our bodies try to fight this off by creating an overabundance of mucus, leading to a lot of nose-blowing and more nasal irritation.

Adding moisture to the air will lessen these effects as a balanced level of humidity keeps your nasal passages lubricated and working properly. Too little humidity, you get sick. Too much, you get sick. Humidifiers with a gauge on them are excellent choices so your room is constantly monitored and stabilized.

It is safe to say that babies require an even higher level of care than the average adult when it comes to their health. Humidifiers will keep them in the proper environment to help prevent illness and promote healthy sleep, which as we all know, is hard to come by with newborns.

Things to Consider Before Buying

As with most products, there is no be-all end-all when it comes to humidifiers. There are many factors to take into consideration to make sure you are getting the proper device tailored to your specific needs. Here are a few things you should always be on the lookout for when you are making your selection.

Noise

Some people can sleep through anything. Others wake up very easily. Humidifiers can be mechanically different from each other, which can affect the amount of noise they produce.

If you are someone who needs total silence to fall asleep, go with an ultrasonic humidifier. They use high-frequency sound vibrations to produce mist. They are affordable, portable, and whisper-quiet, making them a very popular option.

A more expensive but effective humidifier to cover a larger area of your home is a central humidifier, which attaches to your hot air ducts and cold air return. It makes circulating moisture very simple, but also makes it as loud as when your central heating kicks in. If you can sleep through that noise, this might be a perfect option for you.

Impeller humidifiers are a third option. They work by using a disc to spin water at a diffuser. The diffuser breaks up the water into tiny drops that get dispersed into the air. If that sounds like it might be a bit noisy, you are correct. While they are effective humidifiers, they do have a reputation for being a bit too loud for most consumers.

Evaporative wick humidifiers are another popular option. They use a wick to soak up water, and then a fan disperses the moisture from the wick. They operate well and are very safe to use, but they do make a bit more noise than their ultrasonic counterparts.

While all the humidifiers above emit a cool mist, vaporizer humidifiers emit warm mist by heating up the water to an ungodly temperature, essentially turning the liquid to vapor. While they are a quiet option, a lot of people are put off by the high temperatures needed to create the vapor.

Safety

As with any electric device, safe operation is of the utmost importance. As humidifiers use water in conjunction with an electrical current, you should always follow the operation manual to ensure you are using your unit safely. If you are using a humidifier with a fan in it, you want to make sure that there are no obstructions preventing it from spinning, or worse, flinging something across the room. Vaporizer humidifiers seem to be the ones that you have to be extra cautious with. While extremely effective with their warm mist, the unit itself can heat up, and the water can scald if knocked over. It is for these reasons vaporizer humidifiers are recommended to be placed out of reach to minimize the risk of accident.

Maintenance/Cleaning

Cleaning your humidifier is something that should be done as often as the manufacturer recommends. Most cold mist humidifiers need cleaning after every few uses to keep bacteria from forming and being dispersed during use. This can usually be done with soap and warm water.

If you are using it frequently, evaporator wick humidifiers require changing the wick every 4-6 weeks. In the meantime, you can soak the wick once a week to remove any hard water deposits that can build up and dry it out. Soaking it in a warm water and vinegar solution for 20 minutes will remove a lot of the debris.

Warm mist vaporizers should be cleaned after every use, as the heat they generate will leave hard water deposits on the base of the unit. These deposits will not only leave stains, but will also creep into the water supply and be dispersed with the mist.

Regular maintenance of your humidifier will provide a lot more use, keep your air clean, and save you money in the long run.

Coverage

Humidifiers come in a variety of sizes depending on where you are using them. If you have a normal-sized bedroom, a small or medium unit usually does the trick, with larger rooms demanding a larger humidifier. There are even portable travel humidifiers you can fit in your luggage for your next trip. Having said that, as all our needs are different, it is usually recommended to go a size up to make sure you have more than enough coverage for the room you want to use it in.

Cost

Most humidifiers are pretty affordable, with the majority of models ranging anywhere from $40 to $100. The two main ongoing costs you need to take into account are your electricity bill, and the cost of replacing the filter if you are going with a model like a wick humidifier. As warm mist vaporizers require the water to be boiled, they use a lot more electricity than the cool mist humidifiers which more or less just need to operate a fan. From a cost perspective, cool mist humidifiers will be cheaper in the long run.

Best 10 Humidifiers for your Baby

MADETEC Cool Mist Humidifier Ultrasonic Humidifiers Aromatherapy Diffuser for Baby Review

Boasting 7 LED lights to allow for color customization, as well as a removable directional nozzle, this is a great table top option if you are looking for a ultrasonic humidifier for rooms up to 350 square feet. Packed with an abundance of features, the 1 litre tank might seem small but you can get 20 hours of continuous use on the low setting, or 11 hours on high. Two output modes allow you to alternate between a steady mist or calming diffuser, and the timer feature can run the unit in 3, 6, and 9 hour increments. No need to worry about turning it off in the middle of the night as it automatically shuts off once the tank is empty. The humidifier also comes with a remote and is safe to add any oils or cough/cold formulas to ensure a good night’s rest.

Capacity

The humidifier has a 1 liter tank with 20 hours of usage on the low setting, or 11 hours on the high setting.

Noise

This ultrasonic humidifier is virtually noiseless.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Adjustable colors
  • Light can be dimmed or turned off
  • Long-lasting operation
  • Affordable
  • Multiple output modes
  • Automatic shut-off function
  • Can add oils/formula to tank

Cons

  • For rooms up to 350 square feet
  • Oil/formula an added cost
  • Distilled water is recommended

TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifiers for Babies Review

This cool mist option from TaoTronics caters to the consumer who is looking for something that packs a punch for medium sized rooms. but doesn’t want something that takes up a lot of space. Available in black or white, this vertical designed humidifier can hold nearly 2 liters of water and comes with an adjustable knob on the front of the unit to dial in your ideal settings. BPA-free and safe for babies, the unit comes with a 360 degree rotational nozzle, hums at a low 32 db, and takes just a few minutes to clean. Depending on the setting, you can get anywhere from 5 – 20+ hours of use on a single tank, and it also includes an auto shut-off function when the tank is on empty.

Capacity

This humidifier has a 1.8 litre tank than can return 5-20+ hours of use depending on the output mode you are using.

Noise

TaoTronics rates it at 32db which is touch louder than white noise, but still extremely quiet.

Pros

  • Sleek space-saving design
  • Quiet
  • Easily fills small to medium-sized rooms
  • Auto shut off function included
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Cannot add oils/formula to unit
  • Distilled water is recommended

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier Review

Sleeping straight through the night has never been as easy as it is with the MistAire ultrasonic humidifier. Made for bedrooms, nurseries, and offices, the unit is a great size for small tables, standing at just 8 x 6 x 9 inches. The 1.5 litre tank ensures you always have enough water to keep the moisture level in your room balanced, dispensing 150ml per hour with a maximum runtime of 16 hours on the high setting. Included on the unit is an optional glowing night light function, and cleaning is quick and easy as it comes with all the necessary tools. An automatic shut-off mode comes in handy when the tank is drained, and it doubles as a safety feature when you are cleaning it. The 360 degree nozzle is a nice touch so you can localize your mist.

Capacity

This unit holds 1.5 liters of water and gives you 16 hours of use on the high setting.

Noise

Ultrasonic technology ensures noiseless operation.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Night light function
  • Automatically shuts off when empty
  • Certified ETL safe
  • 5 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Cannot add oils/formula to unit
  • Distilled water is recommended
  • Some reports of unit being easily knocked over

SUNLUNA SL-AH001, 4L Cool Mist Ultrasonic Quiet Humidifier for Baby Review

Ultrasonic, and ultra quiet for baby, this vertically-designed humidifier from SUNLUNA is a welcome addition to any dry room, giving you a massive 4 litre tank that can be continuously run for over 2 straight days. Easy to refill thanks to the the large opening on the tank, it also makes maintenance a breeze, and the auto shut-off safety feature makes sure the unit isn’t going to dry burn while you are out of the room. As it is a larger unit and can get quite heavy when full, a handle is included to make carrying and relocation easy. A dust-proof sponge acts as a filter to keep dust from entering the tank, and the 2 foot high spray makes it so rooms up to 430 square feet are fully covered.

Capacity

A larger capacity tank at 4 liters, it can be used continuously for multiple days before needing a refill.

Noise

Super quiet operation at 26 db.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Reasonably priced
  • Virtually noiseless
  • Can be used for days without refilling
  • Easy to clean
  • Carry handled on unit
  • 2 Year Warranty

Cons

  • Cannot add oils/formula to humidifier
  • Cannot rest on carpet or towels
  • Distilled water recommended

Homech Cool Mist Humidifier, Quiet Ultrasonic Humidifier

Homech’s 4 litre ultrasonic humidifier is a top performer and gives you ultra-long amounts of day and night use, with up to 60 hours of use before a refill is required. Equipped with adjustable output levels, you can be sure this unit will keep your environment fresh and healthy year-round. Designed for larger sized rooms, the nozzle is adjustable and can disperse up to 2 feet high for an even level of moisture distribution. Light sleepers can rejoice in the less than 26 db sound output, and it will also automatically shut off once the tank is out of water (preventing a potential fire hazard). The humidifier also comes with a dust sponge, has a self-draining mist guide tube to prevent mold, and includes all the pertinent cleaning tools needed.

Capacity

A 4 litre tank with 12-60 hours of use, dependent on your usage.

Noise

One of the quietest humidifiers available with a rating of under 26 decibels.

Pros

  • Top performer
  • Noiseless
  • For rooms of all sizes
  • Automatic shut off function included
  • Carrying handle on unit
  • Designed to withstand mold

Cons

  • Adding oil/formula not recommended
  • Resting on carpet or towels can block air inlet shortening mist
  • Distilled water recommended

Miroco MI-AH001 Ultrasonic Cool Humidifier with 6L Tank Review

Similar to the size of a small cat, this futuristic-looking black ultrasonic humidifier has a huge 6 litre tank, and a sleek and slim design allows it to be easily incorporated into the corner of any room. A fist-sized opening on the tank makes it easy to fill and also get in there with a sponge to keep it free of any mold and bacteria. Miroco includes some smart functions like a low water alert LED coupled with an automatic shut off sensor to prevent overheating, as well as an optional night light so you can see where you are going if you stumble out of bed in the middle of the night. Noiseless at 26 decibels with various adjustable output speeds, this is a great option for days of continuous use.

Capacity

This humidifier holds 6L of water with a range of 20 to 60 hours of use.

Noise

Rated at 26 decibels, you will be able to hear a pin drop while this unit is in operation.

Pros

  • Sleek design
  • Includes optional night light
  • Quiet operation
  • Wide opening for easy filling and cleaning
  • Smart LED warning when low on water

Cons

  • Adding oil/formula can damage unit
  • Distilled water recommended

TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier Review

This cool mist humidifier is a powerful 4 litre gem that comes with a filter that requires a bit more maintenance, but the trade-off of clean mist makes this an extremely attractive option. While it operates at noiseless levels, the LED display will keep you in the loop when it comes to your humidity levels, and will even alert you when the unit is low on water. Taotronics produces this in black or white, includes a night light which can be turned off, a timer mode, and even a sleep mode if you need to turn off the display screen for pitch black sleep. Soaking the filter is recommended weekly, with a full change-out every 4 to 6 months. This ultrasonic humidifier is perfect if you are looking for a unit that can not only moisten the air, but also act as a purifier.

Capacity

This is a 4 litre tank with 12-30 hours of continuous usage.

Noise

Operating at a 36 decibels, it falls into the category of noiseless humidifiers.

Pros

  • Includes microporous filter cartridge for healthier mist
  • Competitively priced
  • Large tank for long usage
  • LED display to monitor humidity and water levels
  • Auto shut off mode
  • Sleep mode
  • Timer mode
  • Built-in handle

Cons

  • Adding oils/formulas can damage and cause unit leakage

FridaBaby 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight by Frida Baby Review

If you are looking for a multi-functional unit, you might not need to look any further. This 3 in 1 device is a humidifier and diffuser, with a built-in night light that can be used altogether or separately. This surprisingly powerful humidifier can push out 500ml of water over a 12 hour span, replicating a tropical rainforest and ensuring you have an uninterrupted night of rest. Vapor drops or aromatherapy oil can also be added to the unit and misted into the room for easier breathing. Weekly cleaning of the humidifier is recommend using a water and vinegar solution that is easy to implement. The nightlight has multiple colors that can be customized to match your room’s interior, or shut off for those that require no light in their room.

Capacity

This humidifier holds half a litre of water and can give you up to 12 hours of continuous use.

Noise

While it is a quiet unit, there are reports of a faint buzzing noise that may not be ideal for those who need total silence.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Multi-functional
  • Reasonably priced
  • Powerful for its size
  • Optional night light
  • Can add aromatherapy oils to unit

Cons

  • Slight buzzing noise makes it not for light sleepers
  • Can only use on flat, hard surfaces
  • Distilled water recommended

HiAir Cool Mist Humidifier Humidifier for Baby Bedroom Review

A great option for your baby’s room, this cool mister from HiAir might not take up too much space with its see-through 500ml tank, but it will last through the night allowing your child the rest it needs. On the low setting you get around 30 hours of use, and due to its ultrasonic nature, a noise output of 32 decibels will have you wondering if its even on. Equipped with a timer mode in one, three, and six hour intervals, as well as an auto shut off function once the tank is emptied, this unit is both FCC and UL certified, making it one of the safest choices you can have in your home. At this price point, its a great budget model and HiAir firmly stand behind their products, offering excellent customer service should you have any problems with your purchase.

Capacity

A 500 ml tank offers 30 hours of use on the low setting.

Noise

A 32 decibel noise rating ensure minimal noise output from the unit.

Pros

Affordable
Sleek and portable design
See-through tank allows you to monitor water level
Automatic shut off function
Various timer modes
FCC and UL certified

Cons

Only for smaller rooms
Cannot add oils/formula to the humidifier
Distilled water recommended

Homasy Cool Mist Humidifiers Review

Small unit. Medium-sized tank. Maximum output. Geared toward use for baby, this ultrasonic option from Homasy has 360 degree misting capabilities with a 2.2 litre tank, giving you a full day’s worth of operation. While offering a noiseless output, the tank is transparent for monitoring water levels, and cleaning and refilling is made easy with the large opening. The adjustable regulator knob on the front of the unit allows you precise mist control, and the automatic shut off will keep the unit from overheating once the humidifier is out of juice. A simple, but effective humidifier that will improve the air quality in your baby’s room.

Capacity

This option has a 2.2 litre water tank and can output up to 24 hours of use.

Noise

At 26 decibels, this humidifier is virtually noiseless.

Pros

  • Great price
  • Excellent for small to medium sized rooms
  • Auto shut off safety function
  • Easy maintenance and filling

Cons

  • No night light
  • Cannot add oil/formula to device
  • Distilled water recommended

Conclusion

From the picks above, you can see there is no shortage of variety when it comes to humidifiers and diffusers, with some even specifically geared toward the improved health of your child. Air that has properly balanced levels of moisture will help alleviate sleep disorders, keep cough and cold away, and help you survive the winter months. With function and safety in mind, you should have no problem finding the perfect humidifier for you and your family.