The 18 Best Humidifiers to Combat Dry Winter Air
Photo by Ulla Shinami on Unsplash

If you’ve got a hissing radiator, sinuses so dry you get nosebleeds, and angry, crispy houseplants, you need one of the best humidifiers for your space. Yes, using a humidifier is the blessing you could really benefit from during these winter months. Once you have one of these handy devices, you’ll want ’em in every room of your house.

In its purest form, a humidifier vaporizes water into the air and balances moisture levels in any given space. So whether you’re sitting at your desk draining coffee, sleeping in your bedroom, or watching Netflix in your living room, much-needed moisture is being added back into your poor, cracked skin and sinuses. In the winter your face can get so dry it hurts to blow your nose but with a humidifier running, you can balance the moisture levels. Plus, with a humidifier, the static electricity dissipates, so that you don’t shock yourself every time you touch a doorknob or pet your cat.

Which type of humidifier is best?

There are a ton of variables that go into finding the right humidifier for your needs—and there are many types of humidifiers on the market. Cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers are your basic types, but there are also ultrasonic humidifiers that vibrate to create vapor, evaporative humidifiers that use a fan to distribute humidity, humidifiers that double as aromatherapy diffusers, humidifiers that are also air purifiers, and many more.

When shopping for a humidifier, consider the square footage of the space where you want to raise humidity levels. Is it a small room like a bedroom, or a large room like a living room? Take into account how much the humidifier’s water tank holds, its run time (so you don’t have to refill it as often), noise level, and price tag. And if you plan on using the humidifier near your bed or a napping baby, it’s also useful to check that the humidifier includes a timer, automatic shut-off, a quiet mode, or a night light. So. Many. Factors.

How should you care for your new humidifier?

Once you set up your humidifier, you can fill it with tap water. You don’t need to use filtered or distilled water in it, but we do recommend cleaning your machine a bit more frequently, since the minerals from your tap water can settle and create build-up over time. When it comes to cleaning your humidifier, a good place to start is once per week to tackle any mildew and mold growth and keep bacteria away. Some tanks are dishwasher-safe, making the process a bit easier. For the smaller bits, have a sponge or brush handy, plus some white vinegar and water for rinsing. Use the vinegar to scrub, rinse it out, and your machine is ready to use again.

Below, we’ve broken down the best-selling humidifiers by category from brands like Levoit, Vicks, Taotronics, Dyson, Canopy, and more from retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart. From the best humidifiers for small rooms to humidifiers that boost air quality, we’ve got you covered with these top picks. Now, get shopping! Your sinuses and dry skin will thank you.

Best Humidifiers For Small Rooms

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

For a small space (up to 250 square feet) like your bedroom, office, or nursery, the Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is a favorite among shoppers, with over 68,000 positive reviews on Amazon. One reviewer writes: “It’s so quiet you don’t know it’s on and provides just the right amount of moisture to keep me breathing easy all through cold weather months.” The humidifier has a 25-hour run time thanks to its large 1.5-liter water tank, two mist settings, and an adjustable nozzle so that you can seamlessly direct the mist toward areas that particularly need humidity (like your face or a plant on your desk). It also works as a night light, if you like, and has auto shut-off when water runs low. Easy peasy.

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Drop Shape Humidifier

Here’s another top-selling cool mist humidifier for small spaces in the range of 300 to 500 square feet. The Crane Mist Drop has a two-gallon tank (for less frequent refilling) housed in a slim body. It offers a 360-degree mist nozzle, variable humidity control (versus two settings), and a 24-hour run time. One shopper raves that her humidifier “puts out a very fine mist and keeps the relative humidity of the room very comfortable—even when turned to a low level—without leaving the room feeling like a swamp.” Nicely, it comes in a range of bright colors, should you want to liven up a dark corner.

AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier

Here’s a best-selling cool mist humidifier for small spaces. The AquaOasis has over 38,000 4.5-star ratings on Amazon, thanks to its quiet noise level, 360-degree rotating nozzle for precise vapor flow, automatic shut-off, and no need for a filter. The water tank holds 2.2 liters and runs for over 24 hours without you needing to refill it. One shopper writes: “I wanted a humidifier that was small, easy to use, very quiet, that would not run out of water overnight. I got all of those things. And the price was amazing.”

Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier

You might associate Vicks with having a cold and rubbing Vaporub on your chest. Well, the brand makes an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier too, that has top ratings on Amazon. This petite, filter-free humidifier’s water tank holds 1.2 gallons of water, yet manages to run for up to 30 hours. Reviewers give it top marks for how powerful it is despite its small size, that they don’t need to keep buying filters, its quietness, and its automatic shut-off. There are only two main pieces for ease of cleaning, another feature that reviewers rave over.

Best Humidifiers For Large Rooms

Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier and Aroma Diffuser

Here’s a big-room beauty for you with over 41,000 top ratings on Amazon. This Everlasting Comfort option holds six liters of water—ideal for spaces up to 500 square feet—and lasts for 50 hours. The sleek humidifier circulates cool air and is filter-free (saving you money in the long run). Shoppers say they enjoy its quiet operation, large tank capacity, and the fact that you can turn off the device’s light while you sleep. Did we mention it’s an essential oil diffuser too?

Levoit Classic 300S Smart Ultrasonic Humidifier

This is one smart humidifier. The top-reviewed Levoit Classic 300S syncs with an app and can be controlled by your Alexa and Google Assistant, so you don’t need to leave the bed or the couch to control it. Its water tank holds six liters and runs up to 60 hours in large rooms up to 505 square feet in size. Its smart sensor measures humidity in the indoor air so it can automatically adjust mist levels.

Homedics Total Comfort Ultrasonic Deluxe Humidifier

Here’s a sleek option that doesn’t take up too much real estate. It has three cool mist settings, a top-fill tank, and a rotating nozzle to keep your medium to large rooms comfortable for up to 70 hours at a time. Its auto timer mode can be set for four, eight, or 12 hours—perfect for sleeping. Reviewers note that this Homedics humidifier is the very definition of “whisper quiet,” and that the water tank is large enough that you don’t have to refill it throughout the day. It also has the option to select the desired humidity level so if you have a room with a radiator or a blowing air conditioner, you’ll be able to set it a little higher.

Best Hybrid Humidifier/Essential Oil Diffusers

Canopy Humidifier Plus with Aroma

If you’re familiar with Canopy’s cult-favorite, cute humidifiers but find them too small for your needs, meet the newest member of the family: the Canopy Plus. It blasts rooms up to 1,000 square feet with moisture—without leaving the room feeling swampy. How? Instead of using mist, it relies on a fan that releases filtered, hydrated air. SELF commerce writer Sarah Madaus tested the humidifier, noting that it’s easy to assemble and disassemble for cleaning and has dishwasher-safe parts. It automatically senses the humidity level in the room and adjusts its fan speed accordingly, too. Like many on this list, it has a night mode and emits a lovely pink noise for snoozing soundly. To keep the machine from getting moldy and gross, you can opt for a filter subscription. What’s more, it comes with an aroma tile for you to drop your essential oils on instead of adding them to the water. “I’m notoriously bad at cleaning my humidifiers, so naturally, this one from Canopy is the greatest invention ever,” she says. “It’s pretty but still hardworking, and I’ve noticed that I wake up less stuffy and my skin looks less flaky. My plants are certainly happier, too.”

Geniani Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier and Diffuser

The Geniani diffuser/humidifier dynamic duo holds up to four liters of water, lasts up to 18 hours, and is best for small to medium-size spaces up to 220 square feet. It has over 26,000 positive reviews because it’s easy to wipe down, filterless, quiet, easy to refill via the top, has a night light, auto shut-off, and doesn’t “scream ‘humidifier’” in its looks, as one shopper writes. Plus, it features a smart auto mode that senses if your air needs more humidity.

Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Night Light

The 0.5-liter Fridababy humidifier/diffuser is a nice addition to a baby’s small nursery (up to 300 square feet), balancing moisture levels in the dry air for their breathing, dispensing soothing scents, and serving as a night light that gently changes colors. It requires no filter, runs quietly to add soothing white noise for nap time, and automatically shuts off when it’s run out of steam.

Levoit Classic 200 Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser

Reduce pesky sinus pressure with this four-liter capacity Levoit that can run up to 40 hours in medium- to large-sized rooms up to 376 square feet in size. “This is the best ultrasonic humidifier I have owned to date,” writes one shopper. “I love its durability, and ease of use (it only has three settings and that’s all you need), and I easily clean it with a microfiber cloth every other day before leaving for work. Oh, and it looks amazing too. It’’s sleek, but even my large hands can fit into the tank.”

Best USB-Rechargeable Humidifiers

Hey Dewy Wireless Humidifier

Hey Dewy’s cute tabletop humidifier makes an excellent companion if you’re working at home. Heck, take it to the office! SELF’s associate wellness director Cathryne Keller was original skeptical of how effective such a small, USB-chargeable device could be, but now she takes it everywhere. “I use it on my desk while I work from home all day and I’ve noticed my skin is significantly less dry. It’s also really calming; the steady flow of cool mist adds a spa-like vibe to my otherwise hectic workdays,” she says. “And because it’s so portable, I can travel with it and put it by my bedside in hotels or Airbnbs. My dry winter face is really loving it.” It can run for eight hours on a single charge and has an LED function that lets off a warm, evening light.

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Geniani Portable Small Cool Mist Humidifier

This tiny, portable humidifier solves the problem of dry air in cars, as it conveniently fits into a cup holder and charges with a USB cord. Beyond cars, it’s versatile in many environments, from bedside to nursery to desk to dining table. Though small, the Geniani dispenses 250 ml of cool mist for up to eight hours, has two speeds, a night light, and an automatic shut-off feature.

Movtip Portable Mini Humidifier

Here’s another little portable, USB-charged humidifier to consider. One owner writes on Amazon: “This is by far one of the best humidifiers I’ve had. It’s very stylish, holds a lot of water, and is super easy to assemble. It’s the perfect size for my desk, there’s no noise, and it stays filled for a full day of work.” The Movtip holds 500 ml of water (double the Geniani) and runs longer—anywhere from 12 to 18 hours, depending on whether you run it at full blast or intermittently.

Best Hybrid Humidifier/Air Purifier

Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Formaldehyde

An updated version of the SELF-Certified Dyson hybrid humidifier is the priciest of the pack but offers some of the best features: It’s a humidifier that runs for up to 36 hours, an air purifier, and a powerful fan that mimics a natural breeze (great for warmer months or too-hot radiators). The Alexa-enabled Dyson’s intense carbon filters remove gases and trap tiny allergens as small as 0.3 microns. Using UV light technology, the Humidify + Cool also kills bacteria in the water before vaporizing it, so what you inhale is always fresh. It’s app-monitored and has all the bells and whistles you could want: a highly specific sleep mode, ultraviolet technology that removes bacteria in water, a deep-clean cycle, filters that last for a year, and more. Our former senior commerce editor thoroughly reviewed this model, writing, “Where has this beautiful hybrid been my whole life??” Of note: At around three feet tall, the Dyson is sizable, but it’s great if you want an all-season device that knocks out multiple functions in one. And if you have psoriasis, this is the first humidifier/purifier combo with a seal of approval from the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Best Warming/Cooling Humidifiers

Vitruvi Cloud Cool Mist Humidifier

Let’s face it: Most humidifiers are pretty ugly. And that’s fine! But if you’re someone who has a dedicated aesthetic in your space, finding one that fits the bill hasn’t always been easy—until beloved diffuser brand Vitruvi entered the space. SELF commerce editor Malia Griggs tested the slim Cloud humidifier and was impressed by its function. “One of the most annoying aspects of winter (for me, anyway) is how dry I become. When I wake up, my throat and skin feel like husks of their former selves, and usually, I have to pull out my clunky old humidifier that’s a pain to refill and leaks,” she says. “This year, I decided to try the Vitruvi Cloud Cool Mist Humidifer, a small-room humidifier with a lightweight inner water bucket that I can easily pull out with its built-in handle and refill in my bathroom sink. The humidifier’s touch controls let me select from eight to 24 hours of mist, which I can angle with its coin-like mist spout, and there’s a nighttime setting that blacks out the control lighting while I sleep. The Vitruvi is totally silent (no weird dripping), and maybe best of all, is actually glamorous to look at.”

Vicks Warm Moisture Humidifier

If you’re fighting a bad cold, a warm mist may come as a relief. This Vicks steam vaporizer runs up to 24 hours on its one-gallon tank, and you can add Vicks VapoSteam (a cough suppressant) or VapoPods (which contain menthol) to help ease your cold symptoms. One Target shopper writes: “Love this so much because of the warm steam. Great for winter when the air is drier. I use it at night when I sleep and don’t wake up with a headache. Also can add Vicks VapoSteam when you need a little pick-me-up.”

Levoit LV600HH Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier and Aroma Diffuser

For large rooms (up to 753 square feet), this six-liter Levoit will do the job. The ultrasonic humidifier produces both cool and warm mist (great for year-round use) for up to 60 hours. And while you can fiddle with the mist level as much as you want, the Levoit has a built-in humidity sensor that detects just how much vapor your parched air needs. You can customize a timer so it runs as long or as short as you like, and it comes with a remote control so that you never have to leave your bed or couch to make changes. Lastly, this model is also an aroma diffuser. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the aroma tank and let the fragrance fill your room.

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