This Is The Flu Season Essential You Need Right Now

By Emily Estep

As the temperatures outside continue to plunge, so do the indoor humidity levels — or maybe you live somewhere cold and it's always like that. Either way, this can wreak havoc on your skin, sinuses, and immune system, which is where the best cool mist humidifiers come in to help.

By breathing in the dry, stale air caused by low humidity levels, you might develop dry skin, irritated eyes, and allergy or even flu-like symptoms. Humidifiers combat this by restoring the humidity a desirable level (somewhere between 30 to 50 percent), and many of them even feature filters that destroy bacteria.

There are a few other key features to keep an eye out for, too. Any good humidifier should have a humidistat and an automatic shut-off function that stops the machine from continuing to moisten the air once it's already hit a certain point. They come in various shapes and sizes, from portable ones you can put in your car to extra-large models that'll level out the air in your whole basement, so the first thing you should figure out is exactly how much space you'll need your humidifier to cover.

Below, our guide to the best cool mist humidifiers you can buy on Amazon.


Best Overall: A Whisper-Quiet Humidifier That's Ideal For Medium-Sized Rooms

Pure Enrichment MistAire Cool Mist Humidifier, $40, Amazon

Perfect for bedrooms, offices, and other medium-sized spaces, this cool mist humidifier runs whisper-quiet and has a 1.5-liter tank. A number one best-seller with over 7,000 reviews, it boasts two speed settings (high and low) and can humidify the air for a continuous 16 hours. It shuts off automatically when the water level gets low, has an optional night light, and comes with a two-year warranty.


Best For Colds: A Humidifier That Works With Vicks VapoPads To Alleviate Respiratory Issues

Vicks Cool Mist Humidifier, $36, Amazon

If the main reason you're buying a humidifier is to alleviate cold or flu-like symptoms, this is the one for you. It works with Vicks VapoPads for added relief, whose menthol vapors will feel incredibly soothing on dry throats and stuffy noses, though you can certainly choose to use it on its own. Either way, it's quiet, produces mist for up to 30 hours on a full (1.2-gallon) tank, and doesn't require a filter, saving you time and money in the long run. Ideal for medium-sized rooms, this low-maintenance cool mist humidifier comes with a three-year warranty and one sample VapoPad.


Best For Big Spaces: An Extra-Large Humidifier That Produces Both Cool And Warm Mist

Levoit 6-Liter Vaporizer Humidifier, $90, Amazon

If you're looking to add some moisture to the air in a large room like an attic or basement, this 6-liter humidifier is perfect, as it covers spaces up to 280 square feet for as long as 36 hours. With a hi-tech touch-screen display, whisper-quiet operation, and two-year warranty, it has the ability to operate as both a warm or cool-mist humidifier at three different levels. This is an advantage because, unlike other models that use only cool mist, it can increase the humidity level even quicker by up to 25 percent. It also a built-in timer, automatic shut-off, and offers a "smart" auto mode, which automatically adjusts to the surrounding area. What sets it apart even further is that it has an aroma box, where you can add in your favorite essential oils, and it also comes with a handy remote.


Best For Travel: A Portable Humidifier That Doubles As A Nightlight And Is Perfect For Kids' Rooms

Penguin Mini Cool Mist Humidifier, $23, Amazon

This cute little cool mist humidifier weighs less than half a pound, making it easy to take with you on-the-go. It comes in three colors — black, blue, and pink — and its 150-milliliter tank can produce moisture for up to three hours. Since it's incredibly quiet and features seven color-changing night lights, it's especially perfect for kids' rooms and nurseries, too.


Best For Aromatherapy: An Essential Oil Diffuser That Produces Just Enough Moisture For Small Spaces

VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier, $35, Amazon

This ultra-popular humidifier is technically more of an aromatherapy diffuser, so if you're looking to add serious moisture to the air, it's probably not for you. For extra-small spaces, however — or for keeping next to your bed to produce a soothing mist as you sleep — it's a great choice. With a 300-milliliter tank, it runs for up to ten hours and comes in five sleek wood finishes. It also doubles as a night light, with seven different color options (choose from rotating or steady), and has four time setting modes. Use with your favorite essential oils to create the aroma of your choice.

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