The 3 Best Evaporative Humidifiers
Whether you're looking to sleep better, combat cold or flu symptoms, and/or relieve dry air in the colder months, the best evaporative humidifiers work to effectively add moisture to your home's air. But, before you buy, there are a few things you should know about evaporative models.
First, evaporative humidifiers are one type of cool mist humidifiers (ultrasonic is another popular one). Evaporative humidifiers blow air over a wet wick via a fan to distribute moisture-rich air into your space. While they're not quite as popular as ultrasonic models, evaporative humidifiers often cost less up front, although they do require you to regularly replace their filters. And, because they do not require heat to operate, evaporative humidifiers are a great pick for any homes with children or small pets.
When shopping for any humidifier, keep in mind the size of the room you'll be placing it in. Knowing the square footage of your room will help you narrow your choices. Most tabletop models will be able to handle medium-sized rooms, but for very large rooms or whole houses, look to spend a little more money on a whole-house model that can handle your entire space.
But, enough talk, the very best evaporative humidifiers are gathered below. Even better, they're all under $150 on Amazon.
1. The Best Evaporative Humidifier: Holmes Cool Mist Comfort Humidifier
- Square footage: 500-700 square feet
Thanks to an array of features, this Holmes cool mist comfort humidifier is one of the best-rated evaporative humidifiers on Amazon. It has a large, 1.5-gallon tank that’s ideal for bigger rooms and is able to run for up to 48 hours before you have to refill it. Reviewers also love this humidifier's LCD digital display that allows you to select from four settings including high, medium, and low speeds as well as an “auto” mode that monitors and maintains humidity levels in the room. Plus, it contains a programmable 16-hour timer as well as an antimicrobial filter to help cut down on dust and particles. At this price point, you will likely not find a better evaporative humidifier around.
What fans say: "I love this humidifier. It has a digital gauge to tell you the humidity level in your room. Often times my room starts at 20 percent humid and then once I turn on the humidifier, it will go up to 50-62 percent which make for great sleeping. It has a fan that creates a soothing sound. It also has energy saving settings if you wish to maintain a certain low level throughout the day."
2. The Best For Under $50: AIRCARE 2-Speed Tabletop Evaporative Humidifier
- Square footage: 800 square feet
For the most cost-effective evaporative humidifier, look no further than this Aircare two-speed tabletop model. Its 1.2-gallon water tank is a bit smaller than the best overall above, but the manufacturer claims it can humidify rooms up to 800 square feet (some reviewers say this might be a bit of a stretch). But, what you sacrifice most for the money is the extra features and settings. This evaporative model is not programmable and lacks the bells and whistles of more expensive humidifiers. You can choose between two settings as opposed to the four speeds on the Holmes humidifier above. The good news? It does comes with a two-year warranty, performs quietly on its lowest setting, and has a dishwasher-safe base that's easy to clean.
What fans say: "I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really like this small humidifier. It keeps my 700 square foot apartment humidified to 50 percent when run on the low setting and set at mid level humidity. I find it's easy to refill. I also like the fact that it does have a small footprint, since I keep it on one corner of my breakfast counter. I've only need to run my unit on low and the unit is very quiet on this setting. It is very noisy if you run it on the highest level. All in all, I think it's a good value for anyone needing to humidifying a small apartment (or one large room)."
3. The Best For Whole Houses: Aprilaire 500 Whole-House Humidifier
- Square footage: 3000 square feet
If you're looking to add moisture to your entire home, it might be worth investing in this Aprilaire whole-house humidifier, rather than buying multiple tabletop-sized ones. Designed for homes up to 3,000 square feet in size, this smart evaporative humidifier contains built-in sensors that monitor your home’s humidity levels and adjust automatically. It also boasts a digital control panel that shows current humidity levels and alerts you when the humidifier needs to be serviced. Although it requires professional installation, it might be worth the hassle of installing it if you live in a dry climate or find you use a humidifier year-round.
What fans say: "This unit works perfectly with my Nest thermostat. It took some digging and a few different wiring combinations but I am here to help the rest! My house is a 2600 square foot colonial. This unit has helped my humidity levels tremendously."
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