It seems that no matter what time of the year it is, people with allergies always suffer. You know what I mean – the stuffy nose, the headaches, or the sinus pain around your eyes. Dry air indoors from heat or air conditioning is one of the worst culprits when it comes to making those symptoms so much worse. I know from experience just how bad these symptoms can be. I have suffered from allergies for most of my adult life. I think “This will get better when all the spring/summer/fall/winter allergens go away.” But they don’t. I finally figured out it was the humidity, or the lack of it inside, which was the culprit. So I set out to find the best warm mist humidifier online which would fit my needs.
I walked into the local box store and was amazed to find literally isles of products. Confusion set in then and there because there were so many different kinds. There were filterless humidifiers, mini humidifiers, bedside, dual mist, single room, and whole-house humidifiers. There were cheap humidifiers, portable, personal, large, small, kids, personal, top fill, travel, and small humidifiers. Then there were the different types: air, industrial, kids, warm steam, tower, those with a sensor and those without.
So, I engaged my team of product researchers (for my personal gain. Shame on me!) to find me the best warm mist humidifier. And since we were doing it, why not go an extra mile? So, we came up with this product review for the people who were having the same problems as I was.
Why Should You Trust Us?
It is a good question. Let me explain it to you. When I first started researching and looking for the best warm mist humidifier, I was so very confused. I stayed that way for a while because I had no clue regarding who I could trust and who I couldn’t. Just when I thought I had found the perfect site, I would get second thoughts and questioned whether I should put my hard-earned money into the facts they presented. If you’re anything like me, you probably are having similar thoughts. Let me assure you why you should trust us.
We have been running methodical product research for the past five years, so we have the experience we need to find out the facts. One of our sole purposes is to help our readers with picking the right product, which is also right for you.
We do this by having several people involved in the process, including a team of volunteers, which shows that we are not biased in any way towards a particular product or that we are trying to promote one brand over the other. Finally, we have selected our picks for all kinds of users, ranging from home users to professionals in all types of businesses. Whoever you may be or whatever you might do, this review will help you.
Why Would You Need a Humidifier?
There are certain things which can happen that may tell that you need a humidifier in your home environment. Do you have static which makes your hair stand up as if by magic? When you touch someone do you get or five a zap of electricity? Do you have a runny nose which does not change when the weather does? How about Hay fever? Asthma and allergy symptoms, bleeding from the nose, sinus pain around your eyes, or a dry throat? If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, chances are you always need a warm mist humidifier somewhere close by.
The recommended humidity level, as suggested by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is 30 to fifty percent. While they also suggest using filtered water, an indoor humidifier can improve the indoor air quality and your breathing capacity as well. The filtered water should be used to prevent micro-organisms and minerals which are present in regular tap water from getting into breathable air.
To explain it better, humidifiers work to put needed mists and moisture back into the air. This not only helps with dry sinuses, but also dry and chapped lips, dry skin, and other bothersome problems associated with lack of moisture in the air.
Are there any downsides to humidifiers? Can they cause harm? No, not really as long as they are kept clean and used properly. When they are not cleaned according to manufacturer instruction, they can harbor bacterial and mold growth; but, only if not properly maintained. Most manufacturers recommend using white vinegar to clean out the reservoir and other parts on a regular basis. There are other recommended cleaners such as tee tree oil, but whatever you choose you have to be sure to do it on a regular schedule.
Different Types of Humidifiers
After differentiating between cool vs warm mist humidifiers and deciding to choose the latter, you will notice that there are many different types of warm steam or warm water humidifiers. They range from personal humidifiers to travel humidifiers to the bedroom humidifiers and everything in between. So, where do you begin looking to decide which is the best warm mist humidifier for you.
There are several different makes and models of humidifiers, but it really boils down to five different kinds. They are categorized by their function, rather than by their mechanism of use. Following are the different kinds and how they may or may not be of value to you.
You also have to remember there are other considerations to take into account, such as your preference, the amount of money you want to spend, and the size of the area you need to add humidity too.
1. Central Humidifiers
These units are built into the home’s central air or heating systems. These are the costliest type, but if you need humidity in the entire home, this is a good choice. For more information, check our top 10 whole house central humidifier review.
The evaporative humidifier uses a fan to push air through a moistened filter. This is usually a standalone unit and rather than expelling a mist into the air, it uses the natural properties of water as it evaporates into the surrounding air. The fan is ways and means it is spread through the space.
Less pricey than the central units, they can push too much water vapor into the air. This is a potential problem if you are allergic to mold or have asthma. They are most effective for single room use.
3. Impeller Humidifiers
Working on the same principle as fan driven humidifiers, impeller humidifiers work by using high-speed discs. They use cool water, which lessens the chance of burns, and they are usually less costly than other types. These units are designed for single room use.
4. Steam Vaporizers
These units, like most of the others, are powered by electricity. They heat water, which turns into steam, then cool it slightly before letting it free into the room. These units are really cheap, when compared to other models and can be found just about anywhere.
There are a couple of things to remember about steam vaporizers. They use hot water, so they may not be kid or pet friendly. They also use electricity. Sometimes water and electricity do not mix well.
5. Ultrasonic Humidifiers
Ultrasonic humidifiers are some of the newer types of humidifiers on the market. They expel cool fog by using ultrasonic vibrations. There are two versions. One produces a warm mist while the other does cool. They vary in price depending on size, and you should consider the amount of space you need to add humidity too before purchasing.
Also, you may need a single/baby room humidifier depending on your needs. To make things even more confusing, humidifiers are classified as either a console or a personal portable unit. The former is designed to add humidity to the entire house. They can be huge but are portable due to wheels which lets you move them around as needed.
Personal/portable humidifiers are the smallest type and are a good pick if you have to have a humidifier while traveling or for a very small space. Keep in mind that adding moisture to the air can be a good thing, but too much can often cause health issues. Too much moisture can cause problems like dust mites, mold, mildew, and growth of potential harmful bacteria.
Other potential problems include burns if the humidifier uses steam, so use with caution around pets, children and the elderly. Also, too much fog can create water droplets to form on walls and other surfaces. This, in turn, can lead to mold growth which can spread throughout the home.
Remember to clean all the units to dampen the growth of bacteria and viruses which can lead to coughs and colds. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer. The use of filtered or distilled water can keep minerals and other organisms from being spread through the house.
Why Should You Use a Warm Mist Humidifier?
Your mother or grandmother probably has a remedy for the common cold or allergies. Something like chicken soup, drink plenty of liquids, or just ignore it are probably high on their lists; but according to the National Institute of Health (NIH) one of the best and most efficient means to relieve that stuffy nose is to use a home humidifier.
There is scientific reasoning behind this because all the mucous membranes inside your head can become clogged with congestion in response to allergens or germs. Take for instance a cold, strep throat or sinus infections are caused with the natural secretions your body produces traps the causative agent and it is allowed to make itself at home. Adding humidity to the surrounding air is one way to keep the secretions thin and easily expelled from the body.
While there are many makes and models of humidifiers, keep in mind that there are basically two forms: Hot steam or cool fog. Both forms do put moisture into the air, but whether you choose hot or cold is determined by the symptoms you are suffering.
A warm steam mist is most efficient to relieve nasal stuffiness because the warm mist can penetrate the mucous membranes easier. A cool mist, on the other hand, can help reduce swelling of those inflamed mucous membranes and the pain that goes along with it.
There are some formulas, when added to the steam, that help open the airways and thereby reduce breathing difficulty and coughs. Depending on the type of symptoms you are having, either one of these types would work.
Cool mist machines, as discussed earlier, come in these types: Impeller, evaporative, or ultrasonic. Warm steamers use water, which is heated to the boiling point, then dispersed through the air as steam.
We have also discussed the risks and benefits of each type, but it pays to underscore the fact that hot water humidifiers can cause burns and should be used with caution around pets, children and the elderly. Often the elderly cannot differentiate just how hot some mechanisms are due to poor.
Pros and Cons of Filterless Humidifiers
While we have so far established that a humidifier would be good for your home and health if you do not have enough moisture in the air, we must now address another issue. Do you want a humidifier with a filter or without?
You must keep in mind that both are going to require ongoing care to make sure they are working correctly and doing what they are designed to do. One of, if not the most, money eating upkeeps to having a cold or warm mist humidifier is having to address the care of the filter. You first have to make sure the filters are cleaned frequently, they have to be replaced every 3-4 months.
Think about it. You spend time cleaning the filters and then every so often you either have to order a new filter online or go out to the store to purchase a new one. Maybe a better idea would be to buy several so you don’t have to make the trip but look at the cost of that.
There is a light on the horizon, however, for the companies which makes humidifiers have come to realize the cost of both time and money for their customers and are making filterless models for their homes. This is indeed a boon for the industry since there have been some folks, I’m sure, who have not installed or purchased humidifiers because there was just too much upkeep involved.
Then there are those who did purchase one but did not do so well with the frequent cleaning and changing of filters. Their health may have suffered from the residual mold, bacteria or minerals which have accumulated over months and even years of continuous use without cleaning. So, yes, there are definite pluses to having a filterless humidifier.
How We Picked and Tested the Products
You may be wondering how we chose the products to test and to ultimately recommend to you our dear reader. This is what we did to make sure you had the most up to date, non-biased and accurate information possible. We went to great lengths by using different methodologies to gather, sort and compare the information, enlisting the assistance of experts and volunteers to give you the best information possible.
We have gone through over 10,000 verified user reviews of different products to determine the important features that the users needed and looked for in the products. We also determined the results they actually received after purchasing their desired model, and whether they were satisfied with their investment.
We invested over 72 hours of research in these items before we concluded and presented the information you see in our research. We also reviewed more than 10 different brands and over 20 products before shortlisting them down to the 11 best of them. After that, we dug even deeper and selected the top 5 from the 11 and placed them in this review.
On our shortlist of the 11 warm mist humidifiers from all the products we researched, we checked out their websites and owners’ manuals, combed through their descriptions on different store pages and reviewed individual critic reviews to determine the features that are most common in this kind of product.
Our dedicated volunteers used these models in their homes and provided feedback on their efficacy. We then analyzed our product information on more than 10 different brands and did side-by-side comparisons on these features. After comparing the final reviews of the volunteers, we then matched them against the research data that we gathered from the web. With all of this data in hand, we finally selected the best 5 products and now are ready to present them to you along with our verdict.
We hope that the information contained within this humidifier buying guide will help you to choose the best type and model for your needs, whether for your personal use, your family’s use or in the workplace. That is our intent.
Our Top 5 Product List
During our research, we considered 23 features of warm mist humidifiers which we considered important. These features gave us the analytical data that helped us shortlist the five best warm mist humidifiers. The source of this information came from the products owner’s manual or technical specification sheets.
This is where the information can be very confusing for any number of different reasons. Sometimes, the instructions can contradict itself. The care and upkeep of some models can be time-consuming and are often overlooked by the consumer. The reviews by verified users vary, so we sifted through all this information, so you wouldn’t have too. We have saved some of your time.
We also considered products lifecycle by looking at the review frequencies to determine any misinformation or misconceptions. Therefore, we are confident enough in our data to provide the following accurate review for the users of the products of 2018.
Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier-V745A
Our top choice
This humidifier is not only a great model, but it is also really good value and cheap to buy. It runs quietly, so you will always get a good nights sleep and you can add Vicks to it too.
Why is it our Top Pick?
- Before I jump into the review of this product, let me tell you that why we have chosen this as our top pick of warm mist humidifiers. We have analyzed 24 features for each product that we have selected. This product contains the second highest number of what is considered positive features. Although this is the second-best number, this product is built to humidify large rooms, unlike the product which comes in with the highest number of features. With features like a built-in night light and a low operating noise level, this product comes out on top with its quality over quantity.
- When we have products with prices as high as around $200.oo in this list, this product comes in at just around $35.00 making it a decent price. You’re getting all these amazing features for just a trio of 10-dollar bills.
- This product had over 4500 reviews on Amazon at the time our data was collected and so far this is the highest number of reviews of any warm mist humidifiers on the market. It had received it latest 10 reviews in 5 days, previous 10 reviews in 23 days and even earlier ten reviews in 16 days. A higher number of days signifies a slower selling rate and give that very few of the buyers actually take the time to answer requests for reviews, this review frequency shows that this product is selling in the 100s online, at least in a months’ time. Judging by how other products are selling 100 units in 2 or even 3 months (some even not selling one within a year, this product seems to be the most popular compared to the others on the list. Even if we didn’t trust anything else, we’d still trust the judgment of so many users.
- Finally, we found doing our research that this product is powerful, aesthetically pleasing with a night light tabletop humidifier and can be used for dispersing medical Vicks vaposteam which makes It the perfect solution for improving the air quality in any room. So, with all the features in comparison, this is our best warm mist humidifier pick.
This best seller comes with many perks that make it easy to use. It is lightweight and portable allowing you to move it from room to room if needed. It has many of the bells and whistles that a lot of the higher priced units have for much less money. It also has numerous safety features, such as a built-in night light and an auto-off function which will turn off the unit if the water tank goes dry. In short, this is the best option that can provide you all the health benefits that a humidifier is supposed to do.
- Specifications: 12″ x 7.9″ x 14.2, hold one gallon of water, recommended for a medium/ large room, runs up to 12 hours on one fill up, weight 4.28 pounds, 2 output settings so you can adjust the amount of steam output, medicine cup for liquid inhalants.
- Features: Filterless operation, auto shut off when empty, nightlight, humidistat, and runs quietly.
- Price and Warranty: Approximately $35.00 with a 3-year warranty
- Runs quietly. Won’t disturb sleep
- No filter
- Easy carry handle
- Easy see-through tank to see water height
- Auto shut off
- 1-gallon tank capacity with only 12 hours of running time.
- 3-year manufacturer warranty which is longer than most.
This is a good low-cost warm mist humidifier. It cost less than forty dollars. With this model, you have the option of using plain mist, or you can add Vicks vaposteam or other oils to help open breathing passages. It has auto shut off, so you won’t have to worry about it burning out when empty. Two output options allow you to find the right setting for the room, or for the amount of humidity you need. It also has a longer warranty than many higher cost units. If you are looking for a unit to humidify a medium to large room, this is the unit for you. That is why this model is our top pick for the best warm mist humidifier on the market.
Perfect pick for the budget conscious
This humidifier has some good features for a bargain price. Although it lacks the ability to cover a big area, it comes with a see-through tank, runs quietly and can go for 24hrs without the need to refill.
Why is it our Budget Pick?
While most of the products on this list comes with a price tag of around $40.00, this product is at least $10.00 cheaper. This is one of the cheapest products on the list by far. However, this low price does not reflect or mean that this product is low quality. This model comes with 19 positive features, the highest number on our list. However, the one drawback of this product is that it cannot humidify large rooms, bringing it down a notch on our list. If we were looking at the price per feature and the quality of those features, the product becomes our unrivaled budget pick.
On the other hand, it also has an average user rating of over 3.6 stars out of 5 on Amazon, on the date our research was compiled. Although this might not sound like much, this is the second highest average user rating among the researched products. It gathered over 1100 reviews with a good review frequency. Compared to the slow selling humidifiers on the list, this product sells frequently enough to be considered a popular choice.
This unit is good for medium-sized rooms while providing a visible warm mist in the air which makes you and your home comfortable. It does this by providing a counteractive mist to fight the dry harsh winter conditions by adding more humidity to the surrounding air. It is easy to operate, having a 1-gallon tank which runs up to one full day without having to refill it. Plus, there are not dirty filters you have to worry about cleaning or replacing.
- Specifications: 6.2 x 10.5 x 12 inches, weight 4 pounds, medium room coverage, two settings, 1-gallon see-through tank.
- Features: medicine cup for use of essential oils or other inhalants, refill light makes it easy to see when it needs more water added, auto shut off when tank is dry. Is Filterless and makes little noise. Runs up to 24 hours without refilling, lit up power switch. Knob controls.
- Price and Warranty: Price $25.99 on day data collected. Has manufacturer’s warranty.
- Quiet operation
- Runs 24 hours without refill
- Clear see-through tank to check water levels
- Auto shut off
- Medium room coverage.
This is a solid unit with many features such as clear plastic see-through tank, illuminated refill light, auto shut off and it is Filterless. The only drawback for this unit is that it does not cover a large area. However, if you have a small room, such as a nursery, baby’s bedroom, or children’s room, this Is a good option for you. In fact, it could be the best humidifier for baby, since it has so many safety features included.
Coming in second on our list qualifies this model as one of the best warm mist humidifiers in the online market today.
Humidifier of the future
BONECO U330 Warm Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
A top of the range pick
This humidifier is a truly advanced pick, and although it costs more you get lots of features for the price. This top-fill tankless humidifier provides fast humidification output.
Why is it our Advanced Pick?
This product is the most expensive one on our top five list. With a price tag of approximately $160.00, it is definitely not for the faint of heart or those with a shallow purse. However, BONECO can justify this price tag due to the quality of this product. It comes with many of the most advanced features like its top-fill tankless smooth design, quiet operation, built-in accurate humidistat which can’t be found in most humidifiers out there. Built to humidify the largest of rooms, this humidifier can cover up to 650 square feet humidifiers, only comparable to whole-house humidifiers.
Apart from that, this product comes with great safety features such as a locked boiling chamber that you or your children cannot burn themselves accidentally. It has a non-stick coating so that it is easier to clean and keep that way.
This machine can hold up to 1.32 gallons of water to make a fine hot mist to add to the air in your home. Its tankless top-fill design makes humidification more hygienic and effortless.
It is quiet and very easy to clean. It is so quiet, it won’t wake you, your children or pets. This is a very well thought out machine.
You can adjust the humidity for your needs with the adjustable knob with a lot of settings that are
- Specifications: 12.1 x 6.5 x 12.8 inches. Weight: 7.2 pounds. Has multiple settings and good for large areas.
- Features: removable medicine cups for easy cleaning. Auto shut off when empty, quiet operation. Cooling chamber to mix air from room with mist.
- Price and Warranty: $160.00. Manufacturer warranty.
- Tankless top-fill design
- Kill almost 100% of bacteria, germs, mold and mildew
- Multiple settings
- $160.00 makes it an expensive machine.
This is a top dollar machine and it gives you what you pay for. It is easy to use, easy to refill, and runs quietly. If you are looking for relief of congestion, better sleep and a dependable machine, this may be the one for you!
A List of 2 Other Humidifiers We Reviewed
Crane USA Classic Warm & Cool Mist Humidifier
Great for any house
This ultrasonic humidifier is carefully designed to add moisture. It is recommended non-medicated alternative for OTC cold and cough medicines
As we have previously discussed adding humidity to the air in your home can help to alleviate symptoms of the common and flu. This sleekly designed unit provides up to 55 hours of clean, comforting vapor into the room to do away with those dry sinuses or your congested nose.
At approximately $75.00 this beauty comes in white colors. This unit may be the best ultrasonic warm & cool mist humidifier for bedroom or baby’s room. An added plus is that by adding humidity to dry air you can keep wooden furniture from drying out, wallpaper from peeling, and those bothersome splits in paint and plaster.
This is a small well-built model manufactured with BPA-free materials. It has a removable 1.2 gallon tank which can fit almost anywhere in your house including under the sink of your bathroom. It also comes equipped with a lighted control switch, a safety switch if the unit tips over, and auto shut off if the tank runs dry.
- Specifications: 1.2 gallon capacity. Good for small to medium-sized rooms, runs up to 55 hours on one fill, multiple steam settings and weighs 4.05 pounds. 7.5 x 11 x 11.5 inches
- Features: It doesn’t need any filter to operate
- Price and Warranty: Approximately $75.00. Manufacturer’s warranty
- Runs quietly
- Runs up to 55 hours
- Fits under most sink faucets
- Does not require a filter.
- No handles seen
- Covers up to 500 square feet
This machine has a very sleek and modern look. It would fit with just about any décor. It is made with BPA-free materials and also promises to kill 99% of mold, bacteria, mildew and other germs. If you have a small space this petite unit may be right for you.
A lightweight choice
This filter-free humidifier covers a small area, but it is lightweight and within very affordable price. If you want a smart humidifier with all the basic features, this is a perfect choice
This filter-free warm moisture humidifying unit has many options which are included in the other models we have highlighted on our list of the best warm mist humidifier. It runs very quietly, does not require filter changes since it has no filter, 2 moisture settings, and a medicine tray which you can use to add essential oils to the steam. It is easy to maintain because the tank has a large opening to make cleaning a breeze.
Auto shut off is included so that when the water drops below a set minimum it turns itself off. A lit refill button lets you know when it is time to add more water. This small unit is good for small to medium rooms and can run up to twenty-four hours before having to refill.
- Specifications: dimensions 11 x 8.5 x 13 inches, capacity 1 gallon, room size small to medium room, operation time 24 hours, steam output settings 2, weight 4 pounds.
- Features: medicine tray for essential oil use, automatic shut off if empty, has a light for night use, no filter, runs quiet.
- Price and Warranty: $35 with a manufacturer warranty.
- Automatic shut off when empty
- Small to medium room coverage
- Median price range.
- 24 hour run time
- High cost for low coverage of space
This is a small unit that requires carrying the whole thing to the sink to fill it up. There is no filter so that is one less worry about cleaning.
A List of Other Products We Tested
- Optimus U-32030 3.5 Gallon Warm Mist Humidifier with Wicking Vapor System>>>11 Positive Features as seen on our research report
- Optimus U-32010 3.0 Gallon Warm Mist Humidifier with Wicking Vapor System>>>14 Positive Features as seen on our research report
- Crane USA Warm Mist Humidifiers, White>>>13 Positive Features as seen on our research report
VapoSteam- A liquid over the counter medication which is used in warm mist humidifiers to help clear congestion and calm coughs and other signs and symptoms of cough, cold or flu. It contains some essential oils and should be treated like a medication by following the label directions.
VapoPad-made by Vicks these disposable pads are made to use with either hot air humidifiers or the cool mist one. Each pad contains essential oils like lavender and rosemary. Each pad works for 8 hours.
Ultraviolet Chamber- A method to disinfect using short wavelength ultraviolet light. In humidifiers, this light will kill or inactivate germs, molds and mildew by destroying the DNA leaving them unable to live.
Antimicrobial- An antimicrobial is an agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. These agents are classified by the bugs and germs they work against. For an example, antibacterial work against bacteria, antifungals kill fungus, etc.
Care and Maintenance of Your Best Warm Mist Humidifier
It is important to keep your warm mist humidifier clean to avoid common humidifier problems and to prevent the growth of germs and other potentially infectious organisms. To do this, rinse the tank frequently to remove any built-up residue. Every week or so mix ¼ cup of white vinegar to 1 cup of water and pour into the tank. If there is scaly build up, let it set for a few minutes before cleaning with a soft cloth. Rinse well.
It is also a safety concern not to leave the unit unattended around young children, pets or the elderly. Even though most units have auto shutoffs, it is still possible to be burned when the unit is turned over due to the heating unit.
Always unplug the unit before filling it, particularly if the tank is undetachable. Always disconnect from the outlet when filling by pitcher to avoid the potential shock. Keep cords free of walkways which maybe a fall hazard. Also, keep cords out of the reach of pets.
Do not place running unit too close to children or the elderly if it is using steam for humidity. Often the elderly has decreased sensitivity to heat due to poor circulation and cannot feel if the mist is burning or damaging their skin.
Wrapping it Up
In this article, we have discussed the different types of mist humidifier. We have looked at all their features, rated them on price and effectiveness. We looked at consumer reviews and suggestions. We have done all of this for you, dear readers, so that you will not go into overload while looking for the best warm mist humidifier at the market.
I remember trying to figure it out all by myself and found it was impossible, since there are so many different kinds on the market. Little did I know there was so much to consider. One thing I did not even consider was the safety factors that should be taken into account when buying any kind of humidifier.
There are those with accessories to use essential oils to help relieve congestion, for example. Did you know that some people are allergic to some of these natural substances? I didn’t until this research pointed it out to me. So, it is always a good idea to check with a pharmacist or other health care provider before using these oils.
We sincerely hope that this article has helped you cut through the muddle of information (and sometimes misinformation) out there about warm mist humidifiers. As always, you must take several things into account, such as room size, cost, warranty and other features you desire. We hope you find the information you need in this review and buyers guide to seek out the best vaporizer humidifier to fit your needs.