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Are allergies, congestion, or chapped lips making sleep hard to come by? You may need a humidifier. During the cold winter months, moisture gets sucked out of our indoor air, creating a dry environment that’s uncomfortable to sleep in.
Humidifiers help rebalance the levels of moisture in your home, so you can sleep easier at night and breathe better during the day.
Today’s humidifiers all provide the basic functionality, but many offer additional features like a nightlight or timer. Depending on the features, brand, and model you choose, bedroom humidifiers cost between $25 to $150.
Check out our reviews and read our buyer’s guide to recognize the features you need and make the best humidifier purchase for your home.
Editor’s Pick – Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Best for Allergies – Honeywell HCM350B Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Best for Congestion – Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier, Model 745A
Best Whole-House Humidifier – AirCare MA1201 Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier
Best Nursery Humidifier – Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Best Display – TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier with LED Display
Best Diffuser/Humidifier Combo – VicTsing 300ml Essential Oil Diffuser Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
As an ultrasonic humidifier, the Pure Enrichment MistAire humidifier promises “whisper-quiet operation.” Plus, the unit has a modern design, appealing to those who want their humidifier to be more like eye candy instead of an eyesore.
The MistAire humidifier reservoir is the ideal size for humidifying most bedrooms, while still being easy to fill by hand. With two output settings, users can choose the best one for their needs. The low setting operates for a full 16 hours, which is more than sufficient for the average night’s sleep.
The automatic shut-off ensures safe use, turning the machine off whenever the water level gets too low or the reservoir is removed. The nightlight can calm nervous sleepers or children, or never be used for those who prefer total darkness while they sleep. The MistAire comes with a disk cleaning brush, and all the individual parts are easy to disassemble and clean.
The MistAire includes all the features you want in a humidifier—and more—for an affordable price. That’s why we’ve made it our top pick.
The Honeywell HCM350B’s UV technology kills 99.9% of bacteria. As you pour tap water in, it filters through a UV water tank before passing over the wick and back into the bedroom air. This extra, germ-killing step makes this humidifier a favorite among sleepers with allergies or asthma. And, since all parts are dishwasher-safe, daily cleaning is a pain-free process.
The 1-gallon tank is easy to fill in the kitchen sink, but large enough to run for a full 24 hours, making the Honeywell HCM350B a great fit for anyone who wants to maintain constant humidity levels in their bedroom.
As a cool mist humidifier, it’s safe to use in children’s rooms. The Honeywell HCM350B is available in both black and white, so you can choose a design that matches the rest of your bedroom decor.
The three-year warranty is longer than most humidifiers, boding well for the unit’s longevity. This humidifier is a bit more expensive, though, due to its UV bacteria-killing technology. Users will need to buy replacement filters every quarter or so, too. At a little over $10 each, that can add up.
While the Vicks Warm Mist humidifier can be used anytime of year, it’s a favorite during cold and flu season thanks to its comforting warm vapor. With two output settings, you can quickly adjust the mist level to your needs using a dial on the side.
This humidifier is designed to help you sleep better, even when you’re congested. Simply add Vicks VapoSteam to the included Medicine Cup to create a medicated mist that relieves congestion while humidifying your bedroom.
A fully-translucent tank makes it easy to see at a glance whether the humidifier needs a refill. The Vicks Warm Mist humidifier automatically shuts off when the reservoir is empty, preventing overheating. The humidifier also includes a nightlight.
The Vicks humidifier costs less than $40, and since it’s filter-free, you don’t have to worry about replacement costs adding up.
If you want a one-and-done setup, the AirCare MA1201 is for you. This whole-house humidifier efficiently humidifies up to 3,600 square feet. The humidifier runs for up to 36-hours, so you can set it and forget it, too.
Despite its large coverage area, the AirCare MA1201 isn’t huge. It’s less than 2 feet tall and can be rolled around easily on wheels.
With 4 fan speeds, users have a wide range to choose from. The unit also includes a humidistat, so you can monitor the humidity levels in your home without having to buy a separate humidity meter. The automatic shut-off feature turns the unit off whenever the present humidity level is reached, or if the water tank is empty.
If you have multiple bedrooms which need humidifying, the AirCare MA1201 is a much more affordable option than purchasing multiple humidifiers for each room.
As a cool mist humidifier, the Crane Ultrasonic is safe for use around children, but there are many more reasons we selected it for our top nursery pick.
The Crane Ultrasonic humidifier enables easy breathing and congestion relief for your baby. It effectively cleans the air in your baby’s room, thanks to its clean control antimicrobial base. This humidifier is also a better fit for nurseries and children’s rooms, due to its smaller coverage area of up to 500 square feet.
The Crane Ultrasonic also comes in 8 color combinations, so you’re sure to find one that fits right in with the rest of the nursery decor. The teardrop shape is also very cute.
This humidifier promises energy-efficient and quiet operation for up to 24 hours, and it automatically turns off whenever the water tank is empty. Finally, as a filter-free humidifier, you don’t have to worry about buying replacement filters.
The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier is a great choice for users who want like to geek out on technical bells and whistles.
This ultrasonic humidifier includes a LED display that monitors the indoor humidity levels and a 360-degree mist nozzle that can be rotated to angle the mist just right while you sleep. There’s also a built-in timer and sleep mode. The timer works from 1 to 24 hours, and operates on 3 mist settings.
The TaoTronics humidifier works in rooms up to 538 square feet, and produces less than 38 decibels of noise, making for whisper-quiet operation. It includes a cleaning brush and filter, and additional replacement filters are about $8 each.
Aromatherapy practitioners love the VicTsing because they can enjoy a humidifier and diffuser in one unit. The wood grain finish and 7 LED nightlight options provide a nice ambience, too.
Even if you’re not into essential oils, the small size of the VicTsing (it’s just 6 inches high) makes it a perfect travel companion for whenever you need to take your humidifier on the go. However, that small size makes it a better fit for nurseries or smaller bedrooms.
The VicTsing comes with 4 time options and two mist settings. The 10-hour operation applies to the lowest mist setting, though, so this is not a good fit for those who need high humidity over an extended period of time.
The VicTsing is a diffuser first and a humidifier second, but it’s a solid option for travelers who need a portable option, as well as anyone who uses essential oils to help them sleep.
Below we review the common design features you’ll find in humidifiers. As you read this list, consider which features are important to you.
Types: There are two types of humidifiers: warm mist and cool mist. While both add moisture to your household air, they differ by the process in which they do so.
Coverage: Humidifiers are designed to humidify a certain size area. The smallest humidifiers are intended for desktop use, while the largest ones can add moisture to an entire house. Humidifiers for bedrooms fall somewhere in the middle. You don’t want to over humidify your home, as too much moisture can lead to mold. Avoid this by choosing an appropriate-sized humidifier for your bedroom.
Noise: All humidifiers make some sort of noise, even the quietest ultrasonic options. If you’re using a humidifier for your bedroom, it’s important that it be as quiet as possible so it doesn’t interrupt your sleep. Generally, the larger the humidifier, the more noise it makes. Evaporative and warm-mist humidifiers also tend to be louder. Ideally, your humidifier serves as a sort of a white noise. If you’re very sound-sensitive, look for videos online of the humidifier you’re planning to purchase, and listen to see what kind of noise it makes.
Automatic Shut Off: Humidifiers with an automatic shut-off feature will turn the device off when there’s no water left in the reservoir. This prevents the unit from overheating or wasting your electricity, allowing you to use the device safely overnight.
Humidistat: Humidifier models with a humidistat measure the indoor humidity levels and automatically turn off the machine when it hits a level you’ve pre-set (such as 50%). This prevents the humidifier from over-humidifying the air to the point of creating indoor condensation.
Timer: Humidifiers that include a timer allow you to preset a time for the machine to turn on and start running. This way, your bedroom is properly humidified by bedtime without you having to go in beforehand and manually turn it on yourself.
Wick or Filters: Depending on the type of humidifier you buy, you may need to regularly replace the wick or filters. Before purchasing a humidifier, make sure you understand how frequently you’ll have to replace these (as you’ll have to do for a small cost), and ensure you have a place where you can easily buy them.
Display: Humidifiers may come with a digital display. At a minimum, this will let you know if the device is on, and perhaps whether you’re using a high or low mist setting. More advanced displays include a humidistat and timer information as well.
Diffuser Combos: Humidifier/diffuser combination units are designed to operate with essential oils and diffuse aroma into the air along with moisture. The calming scents may help you fall asleep.
Design: Functionality is obviously important but some people want their humidifier to look good, too. Since this may be a constant fixture in your bedroom during the winter, you’ll want to like what you’re looking at. Many humidifier manufacturers create humidifiers with design in mind to accommodate different style preferences.
Size: Beyond the look, take note of the size of the humidifier. Make sure you’ll have enough room to place it somewhere in your bedroom. Also measure your sink and the area underneath your faucet before purchasing, to ensure you’ll be able to refill the tank easily.
Do you have additional questions about humidifiers? Read below for answers to the top FAQ people have about humidifiers.
A humidifier increases the amount of moisture in your indoor air. When the indoor air is dry, your skin gets drier and your lips may chap. It can be harder to breathe if you suffer from allergies or asthma, or it can take longer for you to recover from a cold or sinus infection (and you’ll feel more miserable in the process).
By using a humidifier, you help maintain ideal humidity levels in your home, so you can breathe and sleep easier at night.
The ideal indoor humidity levels are between 40 to 60%. During the winter months, the indoor air can drop well below these levels, even down to 10%. The coverage area of a humidifier indicates the size of a room it can properly humidify to keep levels within that ideal range.
Typically, a humidifier with a 1-gallon tank will suffice for most bedrooms.
Both cool mist and warm mist humidifiers are effective at introducing moisture back into your household air. The question of which option is better for you depends on your unique situation.
Warm mist humidifiers, for instance, are recommended more for adults, as the heating element may become hot as it boils the water. If you live with pets or children, they may touch the device, or accidentally tip it over, and hurt themselves in the process.
Warm mist humidifiers can be better at killing germs, due to the boiling process, and their warm vapor may help relieve clogged sinuses. However, they are usually noisier since they need to boil the water.
Cool mist humidifiers are a better long-term option, because they can cover larger areas and use less electricity. However, they do need to be cleaned more often.
Humidifiers can range in cost from $25 to over $100. The larger the area the humidifier is intended to cover, the more expensive it will be. Additional features, such as a LED display, nightlight, or humidistat, can also increase the price.
Without proper cleaning, a humidifier has a tougher time doing its job. This means it can drain more of your electricity and be less efficient, but it also means your humidifier may become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. It’s important to regularly clean your humidifier.
Every day, drain your humidifier reservoir, rinse it, and let it dry. Every week, clean and disinfect the machine using vinegar or a bleach solution. Rinse it, and let it dry. Whenever you put your humidifier away for an extended period, clean it again before using it.
Your manufacturer will also include instructions for how to clean the humidifier. Follow these.
Humidifiers do help people with allergies sleep better, by adding moisture to the indoor air.
However, allergy and asthma sufferers may need to take special care if they buy an ultrasonic humidifier. These humidifiers are popular, but because of the way they produce the vapor, a thin white dust can accumulate in the bedroom—and become an allergen of its own.
Fortunately, addressing this issue is fairly easy. You can pour filtered water into the reservoir, as opposed to straight tap water, to avoid mineral deposits and dust from collecting. Also clean your humidifier daily. You can also invest in an air purifier to further remove allergens like this from your bedroom.
It depends. If you buy a humidifier that’s also a diffuser, the answer is usually yes.
Always check your manufacturer’s instructions before adding anything other than water to your tank. Some humidifiers are not designed to operate with essential oils, and introducing other elements may cause bacteria or mold to grow.