Three best home humidifiers
In the winter, it's not much fun when the air is so dry it cracks your furniture and aggravates your skin, eyes, and sinuses to the point of persistent headaches. And don't forget those lingering winter colds that you just can't seem to shake. That's when you realize the importance of a home humidifier.
Home humidifiers work in different ways. Some have acceptable side effects, while others are undesirable in certain situations. Finding the best humidifier for your home involves a bit of research to learn what you really need. The following guide takes a quick look at the different types of humidifiers to help you decide which one is right for you.
Considerations when choosing home humidifiers
The two broad categories of humidifier are warm and cool mist.
Warm mist: These humidifiers heat the water until it boils. The steam mixes with the air to add moisture. Since the vapor may be hot, these models are not a good choice for families with small children.
Cool mist: These humidifiers can be divided into three subcategories: evaporative, ultrasonic, and impeller. Evaporative humidifiers force dry air through a wet wick filter to pick up moisture. These units emit the least amount of bacteria into the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers have a small diaphragm that vibrates fast enough to atomize the water before misting it into the air. An ultrasonic humidifier typically produces a white film (from the minerals in the water) that settles on nearby surfaces. An impeller humidifier whirls the water into fine droplets that float into the air. This type of humidifier requires the most maintenance and is the least desirable option.
Home humidifier features
Humidifiers have a number of features that the user may find convenient. While all of these features may not be available on all models, the best ones include the following:
Easy to fill
Easy to clean
Additionally, users may find other features extremely useful:
Target humidity setting
Home humidifier prices: Home humidifiers start as low as $10, but at this price, they're only effective for small rooms. From $40 to $80, you can find humidifiers that work in midsize to larger rooms. At $80 and above, the humidifiers are typically suitable for multi-room usage and may feature larger tanks, target humidity settings, and automatic shutoff.
Q. What are some of the signs that the humidity is too low in my house?
A. Dry air causes easily recognizable conditions, such as dry or itchy skin, sore throat, irritated sinuses, itchy eyes, and a bloody nose. Additionally, you know when the air is too dry because it's perfect for creating static electricity.
Q. Are there any health risks due to living in a low-humidity environment?
A. Dry air can cause inflammation of your mucous membranes, such as the lining of your respiratory tract. This can make you more susceptible to colds, flu, and other infections. Additionally, the flu virus survives longer in low-humidity environments, which also increases the possibility of the virus spreading.
Q. Can humidity be too high?
A. Yes. In the summer, high humidity makes it harder for your body to cool itself. Year-round high humidity can cause a moisture buildup inside the home, which can lead to rotting. Additionally, humidity above 60% can create a breeding ground for dust mites and mold.
Home humidifiers we recommend
Best of the best: Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
Our take: A powerful multi-room humidifier that quickly adds moisture to the air.
What we like: This humidifier blows moisture off a wicking filter that removes impurities from the water and quickly adds a great deal of moisture to the air. The three-gallon tanks allow for 24-hour operation, and the adjustable humidity control with automatic shutoff keeps your space at the desired humidity level.
What we dislike: Unless you have a deep sink or utility sink, the tanks are tricky to fill.
Best bang for your buck: Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Our take: Affordable humidifier best suited for smaller rooms or offices.
What we like: Adjustable nozzle and 1.5-liter tank that can provide up to 16 hours of service. The tank is easy to fill, and the unit shuts off when the tank is low.
What we dislike: Because of the design, it can be hard to clean the reservoir.
Our take: Moderately priced, 4.0-liter capacity ultrasonic humidifier that, depending on settings, can run from 12 to 30 hours.
What we like: Features a convenient display that lets you know important real-time information, such as current mist level and humidity and when the water level gets low. Nighttime mode and automatic shutoff.
What we dislike: Since it's an ultrasonic humidifier, it does produce a layer of white film. Over time, the unit may grow louder as the internal parts wear down
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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