15 Best Humidifiers with buying guide basic features and customer reviews so you can select the best product according to your needs. Humidifiers are an excellent way to restore moisture and to help increase the humidity within your room. You probably know what I mean, especially if you live in a dry climate, are susceptible to allergies, or are suffering cold symptoms. Nothing is more frustrating than having dry sinuses or even a dry throat while trying to relax at home if you’re like me.
To be honest, it wasn’t until recently that I realized how effective it is to use a humidifier, especially at night. I was always the type of person to ignore purchasing them because we never really used a humidifier as a child growing up. Turning up, the heater always seemed to work fine in the past, so I never really bothered.
TYPES OF HUMIDIFIERS A BUYING GUIDE TO SELECT BEST CHOICE
Since moving closer to the mountains, the winters have been much drier than I’m used to and waking up almost every morning with dry sinuses wasn’t very pleasing. I decided to give one a try, and for the past four years, I’ve been an avid user.
A humidifier isn’t just for dry sinuses, allergies, or colds. It also does a really good job of treating itchy eyes, dry skin, chapped lips, breathing problems (such as asthma), and even reduce the amount of static electricity within your room. Besides a dry nose, unnecessary static electricity is also kind of frustrating, in my opinion. If you have a lot of computer equipment or electronics, this could be a small risk and could even cause damage if you’re not careful.
Before you go out and purchase a humidifier for your home, you need to understand the many different types available. Some use steam, while others are ultrasonic. Some emit warm mist, while others emit cool mist. In this article, we will break down these types so you can understand which machine will work best for your needs and your home.
Effects of temperature and humidity on the spread of COVID-19
Faced with the global pandemic of COVID-19, declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11th, 2020, and the need to better understand the seasonal behavior of the virus, our team conducted this systematic review to describe current knowledge about the emergence and replicability of the virus and its connection with different weather factors such as temperature and relative humidity. (Source) 2
The initial screening identified 517 articles. After an examination of the full texts, seventeen studies met the review’s eligibility criteria. Great homogeneity was observed in the findings regarding the effect of temperature and humidity on the seasonal viability and transmissibility of COVID-19. Cold and dry conditions were potentiating factors on the spread of the virus. After quality assessment, two studies had a high risk of bias, eleven studies were scored as the moderate risk of bias, and four studies were classified as low risk of bias. The certainty of the evidence was graded as low for both outcomes evaluated. (Source)
MIST TYPES HUMIDIFIERS
COOL MIST HUMIDIFIERS
Cool mist humidifiers emit room temperature moisture into the air. These types usually use less electricity than warm mist machines and are also safer for your children. Since there is no heat added while using this type, you can leave this in your child’s (or baby’s) room without being too concerned with their safety. Cool mist units are also said to work in larger amounts of space than warm mist units, which makes them more efficient.
WARM MIST HUMIDIFIERS
Warm mist humidifiers are pretty much the opposite. They heat the water in the tank and emit a warm mist into your room. This water is usually heated to a boiling point that turns into steam and is emitted out of your humidifier free of bacteria and other impurities. Warm mist humidifiers are known to be fairly quiet since they don’t require a fan. They do use more electricity, though, since heating is needed.
In my opinion, these are the best humidifiers to go with if you’re suffering from cold or flu-like symptoms during the winter season. Most people I know prefer to use a warm mist machine in the fall/winter and a cool-mist for the spring/summer. Although, in the end, there are really no rules, and it all comes down to preference.
TABLETOP VS. CONSOLE VS. the WHOLE HOUSE
There are generally three different sizes of humidifiers that you can purchase. Whole-house humidifiers are installed physically into your home’s water supply and air ducts to help naturally disperse humidity and mist throughout your home. If you’re looking to humidify your whole house, and I mean like every single room, this is the best option.
If you’re looking to humidify an area that’s not as big a house but still bigger a room, then you probably want to go with a Console unit. These units are able to move from room to room and are capable of humidifying anywhere between 600 and 3,000 ft.². This is a great option if you’re looking to use this for a single floor or to humidify more than one room. These units are generally a bit heavier and can sometimes be difficult to fill up.
Lastly, we have Tabletop units. These are much more suited for use in a single room up to 650 ft.². As a result, they are usually cheaper in price when compared to a console or whole house units. The benefit of tabletop units is they are easy to carry around, so you can use them in different rooms depending on the time of day.
These humidifiers work by passing water through high-frequency sound waves that create vibrations via a metal diaphragm, causing evaporation and creating a mist. If you were to stare at the diaphragm, you would notice just how fast this thing can vibrate. Ultrasonic styles can emit a warm or cool mist and are known to be fairly quiet.
Many ultrasonic styles use a demineralization cartridge to help keep your machine and water clean before it’s released into your room. This cartridge also helps to reduce any signs of white dust or calcium build up on your machine or on surfaces in your room. The great thing about ultrasonic humidifiers is that you don’t have to replace filters regularly. Some require you to purchase the demineralization cartridges, as I stated earlier, but not all require you to do this.
Ultrasonic are some of the best machines available, in my opinion. They are on the more expensive side, but it enables them to be one of the quietest styles on the market because of how they produce mist.
WICK / EVAPORATIVE
Wick/evaporative machines use a filter, wick, or cloth to draw and absorb the water into it. A fan is then used to evaporate the water and help push it up out of the machine. This type of unit adjusts its moisture output based on the humidity of your room. If your room is already very humid, then this machine will emit less moisture. Although, if the opposite is true, then it will produce more.
A lot of people consider this to be a more natural way of humidifying your room. As a result, this machine uses less power than its competitors. The biggest downfall to this type of unit, in my opinion, is the regular need to replace filters in order to keep it clean. Also, because it requires a fan, it’s a little noisier to operate as well.
This is a very interesting type of machine. I’ve only seen these available from Vick’s, but what they do is provide light from an ultraviolet source, which is supposed to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and impurities that may be found in your water. They are available in both warm and cool mist styles and are a very interesting idea for anyone looking at an alternative to the traditional units available.
WARM MIST VAPORIZERS
Some people might consider these to be a smaller version of a warm mist humidifier. You may also hear people refer to this as a steam humidifier as well. Like a warm mist, this unit boils water and pushes the warm steam up into your room. It also doesn’t require the use of filters on a regular basis.
Warm mist vaporizers are usually very basic in function and are also smaller in size. Lastly, since vaporizers use heat, you can be assured that the moisture entering your room is free of any bacteria or impurities from inside its water tank.
TOP FILL / DIRECT POUR-IN
This type of machine is exactly what it sounds like. They are special models that allow you to fill them from the top without carrying a jug to your sink. They are great for anybody suffering from any type of RSI or arthritis pain, were carrying heavy objects is a struggle. If you wanted to, you could fill up a glass and pour it into the top of your machine instead of lifting it.
These units use very low power consumption and are very easy to clean.
COOL MIST IMPELLER
An Impeller type of humidifier is kind of like a less efficient, older version of the ultrasonic style. Rather than a vibrating diaphragm, this device uses a rotating disc that spreads water onto a diffuser. Then it breaks the water down into very tiny water drops, which are then dispersed through the machine and emitted into your room.
However, this type of machine is not the cleanest or efficient compared to the other types we’ve mentioned above. Like ultrasonic humidifiers, this machine is acceptable to create white chlorine-like dust on surfaces, and it is recommended that you use distilled water over tap. Unlike the ultrasonic styles, the Impeller doesn’t work too well in large rooms and is only available in cool mist styles. The good thing, though, is that there are no filters to replace. So you can save some money if your space isn’t too big.
There you have it. After reading this article, you should be much more informed about the different types of available humidifiers. It would be best if you also had a good idea of which type will work best for you and your family this coming winter and beyond.
Before making your choice, it’s very important to evaluate your needs and the needs of your room. Some units work better and more efficiently in smaller rooms while others work better for medium to large-sized rooms. Physicians even recommend some companies for certain problems such as dry skin and breathing trouble such as asthma. Make sure you know which one is the best before you go out and spend your money.