Hard water does a number on everything from your kitchen appliances to your hair, and it makes simple purchases like a humidifier especially complicated. If you’re in the market for something that’s supposed to add moisture to the air, you must take into account hard water’s high mineral content. The best humidifier for hard water will be an evaporative cool mist model with a wick filter. Keep reading to learn why this type of humidifier wins out — and for my top product picks.
Evaporative Vs. Ultrasonic
To take a step back, there are two main types of humidifiers: ultrasonic and evaporative. While ultrasonic models are popular for being extra quiet, they aren’t good humidifiers for hard water since they are generally filterless (which means unwanted minerals can get into the air). Ultrasonic humidifiers work by using vibrations to create a microfine mist (along with the minerals in it), which creates that infamous “white dust” associated with humidifiers. An evaporative humidifier, on the other hand, draws water into a wick filter, which helps trap those minerals, and then a fan blows the water vapor through to disperse.
Warm Mist Vs. Cool Mist
Warm mist or cool mist are other humidifier terms you've probably encountered on your search for the perfect model. For hard water, cool mist humidifiers are the way to go for one simple reason: they’re easier to clean. A warm mist humidifier (sometimes called a vaporizer) has an additional heating component to deal with and leaves behind more mineral deposits in the tank. A cool mist humidifier has the additional benefits of requiring less energy to operate, since it doesn’t heat up, and is approved for safe use around kids and pets, too.