Best Humidifier Reviews – Whole House, Single Room And Portable Humidifier Reviews 2019

When it comes to comfort and health in the home, there are certain things we tend to target.  We purchase quality mattresses for quality sleep and back health.  We use all the best cleaning products and tools to remove dirt and germs.  But what about the quality of the air you breathe?  In terms of health and comfort, this can make the biggest difference, which is why you need our humidifier reviews (Include whole house, single room and portable humidifier).   

Humidifier Reviews 2019 - Best whole house - single room - portable humidfier reviews


Best Humidifier-Whole-House---Single-Room-Portanle-reviews

Of course, any appliance purchase is bound to be difficult, especially if you have never purchased that particular appliance before.  To help, we have compiled all the information you need to feel informed and empowered in your purchase.  By the time you are done with our buying guide, you will feel like a humidifier expert.  So, why not get started?


What Do Humidifiers Do?

keeping your humidity level within the 40 to 60 percent humidity

Humidifiers, as their name implies, add humidity to the air.  How they do this will vary by humidifier type and subtype.  The goal when using a humidifier is to reach the ideal humidity level, which is considered to be between 40 and 60 percent humidity.  Air that is dryer than 40 percent humidity is ripe for the growth of certain viruses and bacteria; air with greater than 60 percent humidity is ideal for other viruses and bacteria, as well as dust mites and mold.  By keeping your humidity level within the 40 to 60 percent humidity range, humidifiers can remedy many different problems.  What problems might these be?

5 Problems Caused by Dry Air

5 Problems Caused by Dry Air
  • Air molecules do not like to stay dry, so they will take moisture from wherever they can.  One place they might take moisture from?  Your body.  Starting with your mucus membranes.  These membranes are your first line of defense against illness, so dry air can cause you to get sick. 
  • When those mucus membranes dry out, it doesn’t just lower your immune system; it also causes problems with your sinuses and nasal passages.  The dry air dries these out, causing swelling, irritation, and then the overproduction of nasal mucus in an effort to bring moisture back. 
  • Your skin is in constant contact with the air around you, which means that dry air is more than happy to pull moisture from it.  This is actually something of a symbiotic relationship as our skin also pulls moisture from the air.  This means your skin gets hit extra hard, unable to replenish its moisture and actively losing it to the air molecules.  This can cause itching, flaking, and lead to the skin feeling tight and painful.  If you have underlying skin conditions, they can become worse when the skin is dry.
  • Your body is not the only place air molecules can pull moisture from; they can take it from furniture, plants, and even your floors.  This can lead to significant damage to your furniture and home and can force you to water your plants more often to keep them alive.  While this damage takes a while to become noticeable, it still has the potential to be devastating. 
  • Dry air can even increase your energy bill.  How can this be?  As it pulls moisture from door frames and window frames, it decreases the effectiveness of the seal, meaning your air conditioning works harder in the summer and your furnace works harder in the winder.  While a humidifier requires a power source, it can ultimately reduce your energy bill. 

How Dry Air Is Created

Now that you know about the problems that can be caused by dry air, you might be wondering how dry air happens in the first place.  This will vary from home to home and climate to climate.  With that said, dry air tends to occur mostly in the winter when people rely on their heating systems to stay warm and safe.  Why is that?

As we learned back in elementary school, gas molecules expand when heated and contract when cooled.  A warm air molecule can then hold more water than a cold air molecule can.  In cold weather, your furnace will pull in cold air from the outside, which is unable to hold much moisture as it is contracted.  It is then heated by your furnace, expanding the molecule. 

Once the molecule is expanded, it has more room for moisture, and it will want it, so it will start pulling in as much moisture as possible, which might make it seem like the air should then have the right amount of moisture.  However, it gets this moisture by pulling it from whatever sources it can, drying out skin, nasal passages, furniture, and more.  Then, your HVAC system will take that newly moisturized air and push it out of the home so it can pull new air in.  That new air will repeat the process, but there will be less moisture to pull from.

As these cycles repeat, the air becomes dryer and dryer, producing more and more problems.  To prevent these problems, you must add humidity to the air. 

Keep in Mind, Too Much Humidity is Also a Problem

When it comes to moisture in the air, you really can have too much of a good thing.  We have already discussed the ideal humidity range of 40 to 60 percent and what can happen when it dips below 40 percent.  But what about when it gets above 60 percent?  Some problems you might experience as a result of too much humidity in your home include:

  • Increased heat, or at least the increased sensation of heat.  This can trigger attacks in those with asthma. 
  • Bacteria and viruses that thrive in humid environments multiply.
  • These bacteria and viruses latch onto moist air molecules, allowing them to stay airborne and make it easier to breathe them in.
  • Dust mites, fungi, and mold all need heavy moisture to thrive, so they become a problem in humid environments. 
  • Even chemicals attach themselves to moist air, which means that your air is more polluted when it is very humid. 

How to Tell if You Have Too Much Humidity or Not Enough

Because both high humidity and low humidity cause problems, you want to make certain you know which problem you need to be treating.  The best way to do this is to measure the humidity in your home using a tool called a humidistat or hygrometer.  However, there are general signs you can look for.

Signs of Too Much Humidity

Signs of Too Much Humidity

  • Mold growth, especially if found outside the bathroom and kitchen
  • Condensation or fog on windows
  • Water marks on walls
  • Musty, mildew smells
  • Soft, rotting wood
  • Allergy symptoms
Signs of Too Little Humidity

Signs of Too Little Humidity

  • Increased presence of static electricity
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dry mouth and dry throat

For too much humidity, you can purchase a dehumidifier or you can look into removing sources of humidity from your home.  For too little humidity, you can add humidity sources, including a humidifier.  But when purchasing a humidifier, there is a lot to consider.  While reading humidifier reviews is a start, you really need to understand the differences between the various options on the market. 

Which Humidifier Is Right for You?  Start with Type.

It used to be that the only humidifiers you could purchase were small, single-room units.  Now, there are many different types of humidifiers on the market.  These humidifiers can be divided into three main categories: whole-house humidifiers, single-room humidifiers, and portable humidifiers.

Whole House Humidifiers

Whole house humidifiers are humidifiers that hook up to the HVAC system in your home, adding humidity to the air before it is pushed into your ducts and dispersed throughout the building.  They are often called furnace humidifiers. These are ideal for larger spaces and for those who own their home rather than rent. Many people like these types of humidifiers because they handle the entire house and do not require daily maintenance.  Depending on the subtype of whole house humidifier you purchase, you may only need to tend to it once a year; however, some need to be tended to once a month.  The subtypes of whole-house humidifiers you can choose from are:

  • Drum
  • Flow-Through 
  • Warm Mist/Steam 
  • Ultrasonic 

Flow-through humidifiers give you more flexibility in placement as they can go on the return or the supply line.  However, they must be connected to a water supply.  This makes them harder to install, but they require less maintenance.  The mist from flow-through humidifiers is also usually created by evaporation. 

Single-Room Humidifiers

Single-room humidifiers are humidifiers that do not hook up to the HVAC system and therefore cannot guarantee whole-house coverage.  These humidifiers can be small tabletop models are large console models, covering spaces as small as 300 square feet or as large as 4,000 square feet.  Because some models can cover thousands of square feet, you might be tempted to think of them as whole-house humidifiers, but the problem with this is that they cannot humidify multiple rooms without the air being circulated by other means.  On their own, they can only humidify one large, open space—thus, they are considered single-room humidifiers.  Some subtypes of single-room humidifiers are:

  • Warm Mist/Steam
  • Evaporative
  • Ultrasonic
  • Impeller

These humidifiers are also smaller versions of the whole-house models, producing moisture by vibrating water molecules to excite them and create a mist.  However, since the single-room version will be in a high-traffic area, the white dust produced may be more problematic. These are also considered cool mist

Portable Humidifiers

Also known as travel humidifiers, these are models that are super compact and designed for maximum portability.  Nearly all portable humidifiers are ultrasonic models because they require fewer parts, allowing them to be made as compact as possible.  In most cases, the water source is simple a small bottle of water that you can pick up anywhere and throw away after each use, making it easy to travel with the unit. 

Which is Best: Whole House, Single Room, or Portable Humidifiers?

Ultimately, none is better than the other; it all comes down to your personal situation.  It is common for people to have all three: a whole-house humidifier for home, a single-room humidifier for their office, and a portable humidifier for travel.  Some things to consider when making your decision are if you have permission to install a whole-house humidifier, how much space you need to treat, and where you can place your humidifier. 

Narrow Down Your Choices by Looking at the Features

Once you know the type and subtype of humidifier you want for you home, you will have significantly reduced the options to consider.  With that said, there will still likely be thousands of models to choose from.  But don’t start to panic about that; rather than wading through all of those, you can eliminate most options by determining which features matter most to you.  So, which features should you consider?

  • Square Feet Covered: No matter what type of humidifier you purchase, you need to make sure it can handle the space you are wanting to humidify.  Portable models can handle up to 300 square feet, while single-room options can cover as much as 4,000 and whole-house humidifiers can humidify as much as 6,000—but all of this will depend on the model.  The listing should tell you how many square feet the model can cover.  If it doesn’t, look for a different model rather than chancing it.  Keep in mind that if you have high ceilings, the model will cover less square feet than advertised.   
  • Ease of Use: The goal with most appliances is to find a model that provides a good balance between features and ease of use.  Look for things like digital displays, intuitive control, and even remotes to make your humidifier easy to use.
  • Maintenance Level: Some humidifiers must be filled twice a day and cleaned once a day to work well, while others only need to be cleaned a little once a year.  Which is right for you will depend on your schedule and how much patience you have for small household tasks.
  • Other Features: While they are not as make-or-break as the features listed above, there are many smaller features that might help you decide between models.  For example, some humidifiers are also aromatherapy diffusers, and others some with LED lighting for ambiance.  Are these vital to have?  No, but they are fun, and might break a tie between two humidifiers as you consider your purchase. 

Our Picks: Best Whole-House Humidifier Reviews 2019 – Comparison Chart

/General Type
SubtypeSquare Feet CoveredEase of UseMaintenanceRanking
Aprilaire 700 Automatic HumidifierAprilaire 700 Automatic HumidifierFlow Through4,200
square feet
EasyLowOur Choice
Honeywell HE360A Whole House Powered HumidifierHoneywell HE360A
Flow Through4,200 square feetEasyLow#2
Skuttle 190-SH1 Drum HumidifierSkuttle 190-SH1 Drum Humidifier
Drum2,400 square feetDifficultModerate#3

1. Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier

Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier

The Aprilaire 700 has long been considered the best whole-house humidifier on the market.  It is made from very durable materials, is small, and runs very quietly while also getting the job done.  This model is able to humidify spaces up to 4,200 square feet, making it suitable for mid-sized homes and even some retail spaces. 

Since it is a flow-through humidifier, there is no tank to clean or fill, making it easy to maintain the unit.  It pulls water directly from your pluming system and has filters that need to be checked a few times a year and changed or cleaned about once a year.  However, since you need to connect it to both your plumbing and HVAC systems, it is best that you have a professional install it. 

2. Honeywell HE360A Whole House Powered Humidifier

Honeywell HE360A Whole House Powered Humidifier

You can take a look here:

Honeywell is one of those names we all know and trust, and with good reason: they make high-quality appliances.  While they are better known for their single-room humidifiers, they have been steadily moving into the whole-house market, and this is one of their best entries.  Once again, this is a flow-through model, which means a more difficult install but an easier time maintaining the system. 

This humidifier is designed to use as little water as possible while still delivering the humidity you need, making it an energy efficient and environmentally friendly choice.  Be sure to install it in an insulated space where the temperatures do not go below 35 degrees so the product does not damage.  Finally, you will need to purchase the installation kit separately. 

3. Skuttle 190-SH1 Drum Humidifier

Skuttle 190-SH1 Drum Humidifier

Depending on how your home is set up, your air supply and water supply lines may not be close together.  If this is the case in your home, a flow-through model like the two above will not work.  However, you can still get whole-house humidification by using a drum-style humidifier, like the Skuttle 190-SH1. 

This humidifier is able to deliver enough moisture to keep spaces up to 2,500 square feet humidified.  This unit is energy efficient, and since it only needs to be attached to your air supply lines, it is also an easy install for those looking to go DIY.  The downside, however, is that you must clean the tank often to prevent the growth of mold. 

Our Picks: Best Single-Room Humidifier Reviews 2019- Comparison Chart

/General Type
Square Feet Covered
Ease of Use
Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier
Honeywell HCM-6009
Ultrasonic Cool Mist
2,300 square feet
Our Choice
1.7 Gal. Cool Mist Digital Humidifier for Large Rooms
1.7 Gal. Cool Mist Digital Humidifier for Large Rooms

Cool Mist
600 square feet
Vicks FilterFree Humidifier
Vicks FilterFree Humidifier

High—frequent cleaning and filling the tank.
400 square feet
Lasko 1128 Evaporative Recirculating Humidifier
Lasko 1128 Evaporative Recirculating Humidifier
3,200 square feet
Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Honeywell HCM350W
400 square feet

1. Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

Honeywell HCM-6009 Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

What is the biggest downside of a single-room humidifier?  Having to refill the tank at least once a day.  But when you purchase a console-style humidifier, this is not a problem.  Console humidifiers have a large capacity and a large output, allowing them the humidify larger spaces.

This model from Honeywell is able to humidify spaces as large as 2,300 square feet, which is large enough to humidify entire houses.  However, this only works if you have your HVAC system running to circulate the air, otherwise it is only able to humidify one large space.  If you have an open floor plan with a great room, especially if it has tall ceilings, this humidifier is an excellent purchase. 

2. Cool Mist Digital Humidifier for Large Rooms

1.7 Gal. Cool Mist Digital Humidifier for Large Rooms, Up to 600 sq. ft., with Remote- Purple

If the humidifier above isn’t quite funky enough for your tastes, then this one should be.  The profile of this humidifier is more like a vase than an appliance.  Since it is compact, you do not need to worry about finding a spot for it; anywhere the outlet will reach will do.  It comes in five different colors to match your décor.

In addition to being able to humidify larger rooms, it also is antimicrobial, further improving the health and safety of your home.  It can be operated with buttons on the unit itself or via remote.  It also includes a humidistat, ensuring you can easily monitor the humidity level in your room. 

3. Vicks FilterFree Humidifier

Vicks FilterFree Humidifier

One of the most difficult aspects of using single-room humidifiers is the maintenance, but this humidifier eliminates some of the maintenance by removing the pesky filter.  Despite this, the water is disperses is still clean and safe, so do not worry.  All you need to do is change the water regularly and clean the tank.

In addition to humidifying the air, this humidifier also has a medicine cup that you can put Vicks Vaposteam medication inside to help treat symptoms of respiratory illnesses.  The controls on the unit are easy to use.  Unlike most other Vicks humidifiers, this one uses cool mist technology, which means it is safe for children, pets, and asthma sufferers. 

4. Lasko 1128 Evaporative Recirculating Humidifier

Lasko 1128 Evaporative Recirculating Humidifier, 9-Gallon

You can take a look here:

The Lasko 1128 is a console-style humidifier, which means it has a large tank and a large output capacity.  It is considered a single-room humidifier since it does not hook up to the HVAC system, but it can humidify spaces as large as 3,200 square feet.  This means it can cover one large open space or multiple small ones if there is an HVAC system helping the air circulate throughout the building. 

The unit has a humidistat to monitor the humidity level in the area where it is set up; when the desired humidity level is reached, it shuts off, and turns back on when the level dips too low.  You can operate it at three different speeds.  The biggest downside to this humidifier is its size; it will take up a decent amount of space in whatever room is it set up in, and it is very noticeable. 

5. Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier, White

Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier, White

As we noted above, a big benefit to using a humidifier is that it can help to make the air less hospitable to germs, dust mites, and more.  But if you purchase this model from Honeywell, your air will be even cleaner.  This humidifier actively kills up to 99.99% of germs in the water placed into the tank before releasing them into the air. 

But this excellent feature is not the only reason to purchase this humidifier.  It is also 25% quieter than most other evaporative humidifiers on the market, so you can use it in rooms where noise is a concern.  It also has a wide tank that is easy to fill and clean.  Finally, while most germ-free humidifiers use warm mist technology, boiling the water to kill germs, this is a cool mist model that uses UV technology to kill germs, making it safe for use in spaces with children and pets. 

Our Picks: Best Portable Humidifier Reviews 2019- Comparison Chart

/General Type
SubtypeSquare Feet CoveredEase of UseMaintenanceRanking
Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini HumidifierFancii Cool Mist Personal Mini HumidifierUltrasonic200 square feetEasyHighOur Choice
Deneve Cool Mist Travel Humidifier StickDeneve Cool Mist Travel Humidifier StickEvaporative20 square feetEasyHigh#2
BONECO Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 7146BONECO Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 7146Ultrasonic Cool Mist500 square feetEasyHigh#3

1. Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier

Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier

The goal with a portable humidifier is for it to have as few parts as possible.  This humidifier from Fancii accomplishes this by eliminating the need for a water tank, replacing it with a water bottle instead.  You can use bottles of various sizes, but for the sake of stability, about 600 ml is best. 

The features on this humidifier are minimal, but that helps to give it a small footprint—which you will be thankful for when packing it.  You can adjust the mist level, and turn it on and off, and set a timer.  It can be operated by USB or by battery, giving you a lot of flexibility.  Some users even use it on planes to fight the dry air there.  Ultimately, it is the best humidifier for travel.

2. Deneve Cool Mist Travel Humidifier Stick

Deneve Cool Mist Travel Humidifier Stick

The humidifier by Deneve is the smallest option on our list; you can easily fit it inside a coat pocket if needed.  It is whisper quiet, making it ideal for sleep or in shared spaces where noise might be a concern.  Despite its small size, it can keep the air around you comfortable for your entire work day.

Unlike most other portable humidifiers, this one does not require a plastic bottle.  Instead, you place it inside of a cup and let it do its thing.  This makes it more flexible but it does increase the risk of spills.  Also, it has the smallest coverage of any humidifier on our list at just 20 square feet, making it good for those who need better air quality but do not want to risk disturbing others.   

3. Boneco Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 7146

BONECO Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 7146

For some users, a small size isn’t as important as having a large capacity.  For these individuals, the Boneco Travel Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is a good purchase.  It will take up more space in your luggage than our other two portable options, but it can hold up to a liter and a half of water and can continuously output mist for 24 hours. 

Additionally, this portable humidifier is truly designed for travel with an interchangeable plug that allows you to use it worldwide.  It can cover larger spaces than most portable humidifiers, covering up to 500 square feet.  However, you need to be careful about placement and bottle shape since the unit can tip over. 

4 Common Mistakes When Purchasing a Humidifier

Every home appliance is an investment—both a financial one and one in the health and happiness of your family.  As such, you want to be certain you get the right humidifier for your home.  But this is a purchase that can go sideways.  So, what mistakes should you avoid when purchasing a humidifier?

Common Mistakes When Purchasing a Humidifier
  • Choosing the Wrong Coverage: You need a humidifier that can handle the size of your room or home.  While there is a little wiggle room, one that is for smaller spaces will not deliver enough humidity and one for larger spaces will deliver too much. 
  • Not Factoring in Ceiling Height: Tall ceilings are beautiful and help to make a space more open and airy.  But if you are using a humidifier, you will need to consider all that extra air.  To determine what you need, for all feet your ceilings are above standard height, convert those cubic feet to square feet and add them to your square footage. 
  • Picking One That Is High-Maintenance: If you are up for taking care of it, this isn’t a big problem, but it is easy to get lazy about cleaning and maintaining a humidifier.  However, if you do, you will be compromising the health of everyone in your home.  If this is a risk for you, look for those that need less maintenance. 
  • Not Considering Noise: White noise is expected with pretty much any appliance, but how much you can handle will vary by person.  Also, with single-room humidifiers, noise level tolerance may vary from room to room.  For example, it might be fine in the bedroom since it can help you sleep, but it isn’t ideal in the living room when you are trying to hear the television. 

10 Tips for Using a Humidifier

Ready to make your purchase?  Then it is time you learn how to use a humidifier.  While most of what you need to know will be in your user manual, there are a few general tips to keep in mind.  Below are the 10 we feel are most important. 

  • Keep an eye out for signs of too much humidity, even if the humidifier monitors them as well; you never know when it will go on the fritz. 
  • Also, keep an eye out for signs that the humidity level is too low for the same reason. 
  • Clean the humidifier as often as specified in the user manual, otherwise you are compromising the health of those in the home.
  • Check the cleanliness of your tap water before you use it in your humidifier, as it might not be safe to breathe in.
  • Even if the unit does not use all the water, change it daily to prevent mold and bacterial growth.
  • Do not add any oils or other items to the water unless you are certain it is safe. 
  • Change or clean the filters often, unless the unit is filter-free.
  • Keep warm mist humidifiers out of reach of animals and children and be certain they cannot be tipped over or fall.
  • Situate your humidifier so it does not hit anything directly with its mist, which can cause mold growth.
  • Look over the machine and the area around it at least once a week to be sure there are no signs of problems. 


What is an ideal humidity level for my home?

Should my humidifier run all year long?

How do I know if my humidifier is working?

Which types of humidifiers are the quietest?

How often should I replace the filters in my humidifier?

What is white dust?

Is it dangerous not to clean my humidifier?

What does humidifier output measure?

How often will I need to refill my humidifier?

Can I use salt water for an ocean mist?

Should I be able to see the mist?