Your home is your sanctuary, and at any moment, you want it to be the best it can possibly be. While we tend to think about things like comfy couches and supportive mattresses and pillows when it comes to improving our well-being at home, we tend to overlook the quality of our air. If this is the case for you, it is time to make a change. Improving the quality of your air at home will not only increase your comfort; it can also improve your health. And the easiest way to change the air in your home is to purchase the best cool mist humidifier for the money.
Of course, purchasing one isn’t quite so easy. If you have never purchased one before, you might be overwhelmed by all the humidifiers on the market. But you do not need to worry; we have put together everything you need to feel confident in your purchase. With that said, let’s take a look at what you need to know about humidifiers.
- What to Consider Before Purchasing
- Best Cool Mist Humidifier - Comparison Table 2018
- 1 Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier
- 2 Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
- 3 TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier
- 4 Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
- 5 Crane Child’s Humidifier
- 6 Optimus U-31001 1.5-Gallon Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
- 7 Pure enrichment - Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
- 8 Holmes Cool Mist Comfort Humidifier with Digital Control Panel
- 9 Aromacare Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier
- 10 Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier
- Health Benefits of Using a Cool Mist Humidifier
- Cool Mist Humidifier Brands
- How Do Cool Mist Humidifiers Work?
- Should You Buy a Humidifier with or without a Filter?
- Is Cool Mist Better Than Warm Mist?
What to Consider Before Purchasing
You might not expect there to be too many features to consider when purchasing a humidifier; after all, it is just meant to put moisture into the air. However, these are deceptively complex machines, and there is more variety in cool mist humidifiers on the market than ever before. So before you can purchase a humidifier, you need to know exactly what you are looking for. Let’s take a look at your options below.
Whole House, Single Room, or Portable?
Each of these are great options, but which one is right for you depends on your individual circumstances. To help you determine which is right for you, we will go over each option in depth below.
Whole house humidifiers are placed onto the HVAC system and send moisturized air throughout the entire home. However, you must have central heat and air in order for this to work. Also, if you are renting, it might not be an option.
With that said, if it is an option for you, it comes with many advantages. First of all, you do not need to think about adjusting the humidity as you move from room to room; it will be the same everywhere in your home. Second of all, they require less maintenance than single room or portable humidifiers.
Whole house humidifiers come in a few different subtypes. The cool mist options available to you are drum humidifiers, flow-through humidifiers, and ultrasonic humidifiers. Drum humidifiers and flow-through humidifiers both pass cool water over a wick, causing evaporation. The drum style holds water in the drum and must be cleaned and filled once a month; the flow-through style pulls from a water supply line so you do not need to worry about filling it or cleaning it more than once a year. Ultrasonic humidifiers pass water over a traducer that vibrates and excites the molecules to produce a mist. This is highly effective, but produces white dust, which some homeowners dislike.
Single-room humidifiers are more flexible than whole-house options, but they also humidify less space and require more maintenance. Depending on the model, they can moisturize the air in spaces as small as 300 square feet for a bedroom or as large as 4,000 square feet for a great room with high ceilings. Maintenance for smaller models may be as frequent as twice a day, while some larger models can go three days between refills. As with whole-house humidifiers, you can purchase both evaporative and ultrasonic models.
While single room humidifiers often can be moved with ease, they are not ideal for packing into a suitcase for travel or carting back and forth from work each day. Portable humidifiers are designed for these tasks and are often small enough to fit into a purse or pocket. These tend to be ultrasonic humidifiers since this allows for the most compact design and do not have water tanks, using water bottles or cups instead. These do not humidify a large amount of space, but are great for next to your bed at a hotel or on your desk at work.
Square Feet Covered
A big factor in the model you choose is the square footage you need covered. If you are looking at a whole-house humidifier, you need to look at the square footage or your whole house, or at least the parts that are hooked up to the HVAC system. With a single room humidifier, you need to think about which room or rooms you will use it in and determine their square feet. As for portable humidifiers, square feet is generally not a big concern since the idea is to just humidifier the air directly around you. Keep in mind that the higher your ceilings, the more square feet in coverage you will need.
Even high maintenance humidifiers are easy to take care of. You fill them when needed and clean them once a day or every so many days. However, some people prefer to keep their lives as simple as possible and filling up the tank once or twice a day isn’t what they are looking for. There is no right or wrong answer here; it is just a matter of personal preference.
Filter or Filterless
Some people like to have filters because it makes them feel like the air they breathe is cleaner. Others like to skip the filters so there is less to take care of and there are no additional costs from replacing the filters as time goes on. Once again, neither is better than the other, but you should go with what works best for you.
This one is all about why you are purchasing a humidifier. Are you looking for a humidifier for baby’s nursery? Or do you want a humidifier for allergies or asthma? Perhaps you want it for someone with a weakened immune system? The reason you are purchasing a humidifier will determine which humidifier you purchase as different models are best suited to different situations.
Best Cool Mist Humidifier - Comparison Table 2018
#1 Editor's Choice
Whole House Flow Through
No, but your furnace system may have one
Increasing health and comfort in the entire home
Singe Extra-Large Room Evaporative
Single Room Ultrasonic
Those with chronic health issues
Single Room Evaporative
Protecting those with compromised immune systems
Single Room Ultrasonic
Single Room Ultrasonic
Anywhere noise is a concern
Single Room Ultrasonic
Bedrooms and offices
Single Large Room Evaporative
Every other day
Rooms with high ceilings
Single Room Evaporative Aromatherapy
Humidifying the air while also reducing stress
Multiple times a day
Keeping the air comfortable at the office or while traveling
Health Benefits of Using a Cool Mist Humidifier
While you can purchase a cool mist humidifier just to add comfort to your home, the main reason people purchase humidifiers is to improve their health. Wondering just how a humidifier can improve your health? Let’s take a look at just some of the ways purchasing one can improve your wellbeing.
Boost Your Immune System
The body’s first defense against bacteria and viruses are the mucous membranes. However, for them to work, they need to stay moisturized. When the air you breathe is dry, it pulls the moisture out of the membranes, leaving them unable to fully protect you, which means your immune system is weakened. If you humidify the air, your membranes will regain the moisture they need and your immune system will be strong once more.
As your membranes and nasal passages become dry, they also tend to swell up and become irritated. As a response, the body overproduces nasal mucus to an effort to return moisture to these areas. While moisturizing them is a good thing, the end result is uncomfortable and even painful congestion. Humidifying the air for congestion allows your body to stop trying to add moisture, reducing or eliminating the congestion you are experiencing.
Help with COPD
When you have COPD, any irritation to the lungs can be devastating to your health. Unfortunately, dry air can be particularly irritating to those with COPD. As such, it is important to maintain ideal humidity levels by purchasing a humidifier for COPD. Be careful not to over humidify the air, though, as this can lead to problems as well.
Keep Baby Comfortable
For many people, the first time they buy a humidifier is for their baby. Because newborns are highly sensitive to their sudden change in environment, they are prone to skin problems, which moist air can help relieve. Also a concern is congestion and illnesses, both of which a humidifier can help fight. As an added benefit? Since baby will be comfortable and breathing well, chances are baby will sleep longer.
Lessen the Severity of Croup
For croup, both steam and cool mist can help. However, the steam is best delivered in a closed space, such as your bathroom, and in large amounts, which you can generate using the shower on strictly hot water—just be careful not to burn yourself or others. As for cool mist, this is where a humidifier helps. While the steam helps to break up anything in the throat, cool mist will help to reduce the swelling.
Provide Greater Comfort to Those with Asthma
With asthma, too much and too little humidity are both a danger. As such, when looking for a humidifier for asthma, you want to look for one with digital controls that can read the humidity level in the air and adjust accordingly. Cool mist is best for asthma since warm mist can irritate the lungs, triggering an asthma attack.
Manage the Worst of Allergies
Allergies often trigger a condition called allergic rhinitis. This condition causes nasal congestion, irritation, and inflammation. Luckily for allergy sufferers, a humidifier can treat all allergic rhinitis symptoms, helping to reduce or eliminate them and leave you feeling much better.
Relieves a Wide Variety of Skin Conditions
For dry skin and eczema, as well as other skin conditions, a major trigger is dry air. By humidifying the air, you help to moisturize your skin, reducing itchiness, tightness, cracking, and other symptoms. To help look and feel your best, use a humidifier for treating skin conditions.
Cool Mist Humidifier Brands
While there are many excellent brands manufacturing cool mist humidifiers, there are certainly some kings in the industry. When it comes to these brands, you know that you are getting high quality products backed by the kinds of warrantees only industry giants can deliver on. Below are the top four brands, all of which are represented in our choices.
Aprilaire is a company that specializes in home air solutions. While their humidifiers are big sellers, they are only a part of what they offer. In addition to humidification, the offer products for temperature control, purification, ventilation, dehumidification, and more. One of their biggest pushes as of late has been to offer smart home air solutions that are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. While it isn’t as well-known as some of the bigger names, it does have a rich history of incredible products offered since its inception in 1938.
Crane is a company that specializes in humidifiers, unlike the other giants in the industry who do not emphasize any one type of product over the others. In addition to focusing on quality, Crane places an emphasis on unique designs. While most humidifiers are less than aesthetic, Crane creates humidifiers that add to your design. Some models are sleek and minimalist while some, like our number five choice, are incredibly fun and fanciful. They back their products with 1-year warrantees and also have replacement parts for sale on their website.
Holmes offers products that make the air in your home more comfortable. In addition to humidifiers, they also offer purifiers, fans, heaters, and filters. They are currently working on offering more smart home devices so you can control the air in your home no matter where you are. All products from Holmes are backed by a warrantee, but the exact terms vary by product. With that said, they have excellent customer support and are well known for working with customers when they run into an issue.
Honeywell is the biggest and most diverse company on our list. They create more products than we can possibly list here. While you might think this would mean they are stretched too thin to offer quality products, the company has the talent and resources to ensure that all items they sell meet or exceed industry standards. Most products they offer are covered by a 3-year warrantee that includes both parts and labor, proving they are confident in their products.
How Do Cool Mist Humidifiers Work?
The exact manner in which a cool mist humidifier works will depend on what type of cool mist humidifier it is: evaporative, ultrasonic, or impeller. Each type of cool mist humidifier works in different ways. However, the result with each is the same: moisturized, breathable air.
Cool Mist Evaporative Humidifiers
With these humidifiers, there is a wick in the machine that pulls water from the tank into it and up to the top of the wick. At the top, air is blown across the wick by a fan, causing evaporation. From there, the air may be forced through a filter if the machine has one, and is then pushed out into the room.
Cool Mist Impeller Humidifier
These humidifiers are not very common, and as such, we did not have any on our list. However, you may discover that this is the best option for you, and as such, you should know how it works. With this type of humidifier, a rapidly spinning disc sprays water onto a diffuser. The diffuser breaks the molecules apart into tiny droplets. These droplets are them sent through a filter, if the machine has one, and into the air.
Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
Ultrasonic humidifiers pass water over a transducer. The transducer vibrates to excite the molecules and break them apart, resulting in a very fine mist. Once the mist is created, it may go through a filter before being dispersed into the air in the room.
Should You Buy a Humidifier with or without a Filter?
As you no doubt noticed, some of our top ten picks use filters while some do not. We noted earlier that this is a matter of personal preference, but you might be wondering why you would have a preference on this. Let’s take a look at the reasons why you might prefer one over the other.
- You know the air you breathe is as clean as it possibly can be.
- Mineral dust, also called white dust, is contained within the filter rather than ending up in the air and on your furniture.
- It can feel more secure for those with asthma, allergies, COPD, immunity problems, and young children.
- The fan used in humidifiers with filters produces white noise than some find comforting.
- Filtered humidifiers are cheaper than those without filters.
- These models tend to be more basic, and as such, easier to operate.
Without a Filter
- You can use other forms of air filtration, such as filters on your HVAC system or air purifiers, which you may need anyhow since a humidifier with a filter does not filter all the air in the home.
- You are encouraged to use distilled water, which is healthier for you than tap water.
- They are still excellent at helping those with a wide variety of health problems.
- They do not need a fan and can run so quiet they are almost silent.
- You do not need to replace filters, keeping the cost lower over time.
- They are easier to maintain since there is less to clean.
- They tend to come with fun extra features.
Is Cool Mist Better Than Warm Mist?
While this buying guide has been focused on the best cool mist humidifier on the market, warm mist humidifiers are also an option. This might leave you wondering if one is better than the other. In truth, both are excellent choices, but cool mist humidifiers are better in certain situations.
If you are looking for a humidifier for an infant or toddler, you do not want a warm mist humidifier. Because these machines boil the water to produce a mist, they can be very dangerous around curious children. We also caution against using them in spaces where pets roam freely.
If you are treating certain respiratory ailments, warm air—especially warm and moist air—can aggravate them. Both asthma and COPD can flare up when you use warm mist humidifiers. As such, if you or someone in your home suffers from these conditions, we suggest a cool mist humidifier.
However, if you are more concerned about bacteria and mold in the air, a warm mist humidifier might be the best option. These humidifiers kill mold and bacteria when boiling the water. As such, they might be the healthiest choice for your home.
There are many cool mist humidifiers on the market, and the right one for you depends on everything from the symptoms you want to treat to the space you need to use it in. However, no matter your circumstances, we believe that you will find the right one for you on our list. So breathe well and enjoy your home by purchasing the best cool mist humidifier for you.