Updated February 25, 2020 by Karen Bennett

The 10 Best Cool Mist Humidifiers

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This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in June of 2015. A dry environment can result in many skincare, sleeping, and breathing problems. Using a cool mist humidifier in your home or office can add moisture to the air to help alleviate congestion, soothe chapped lips, and prevent static in your hair and clothes. Our selection features both evaporative and ultrasonic models, and some even allow you to add aromatherapy oils for extra benefits. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best cool mist humidifier on Amazon.

10. PureGuardian Ultrasonic H965

9. Vicks Mini Filter Free

8. Avalon Premium

7. Dyson AM10

6. Honeywell Mistmate

5. Pure Enrichment Hume Ultrasonic

4. VicTsing 400ml

3. Honeywell QuietCare

2. Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic

1. Honeywell HCM350

Special Honors

Gear Pillow Ultrasonic Just fill this lightbulb-shaped humidifier with some water and your favorite essential oil, and sit back to enjoy the soothing effects. It’s equipped with a USB power cord and can be angled as you like to send its mist in your desired direction. It’s filled with palm trees and decorative rocks, and serves as a great nightlight, as it illuminates in vibrant shades of purple, green, and blue. gearpillow.com

Editor's Notes

February 22, 2020:

We added the Honeywell HCM350 in this update, as it hits all the marks for effectiveness, reliability, quiet operation, and ease of use. It’s equipped with a tank and a tray that can be run through the dishwasher for easy cleaning. It doesn’t beep or blink, which means it won’t disturb you throughout the night. It can handle a room as large as 400 square feet, and features an efficient evaporative design. Be aware that it does require a wick replacement every few months.

Also joining the list is the sleek and stylish Dyson AM10, which is designed to kill 99.9% of the bacteria in the surrounding air. While it’s quite an investment, it’s a high-quality device that conveniently doubles as a cooling fan, making it nice to have around during the hot summer months, as well. It’s equipped with a six-button remote control so that you can use it from across the room. It offers an adjustable sleep timer that comes in handy when you don’t feel the need to run it all night long. Once caveat is you might find this model tricky to set up and clean.

For an option that’s as attractive as it is effective at adding moisture to the air, look to the VicTsing 400ml, which sports a striking woodgrain design and a playful shape. It incorporates a vibrant LED band that can cycle among seven colors or remain on a static one to suit your mood. This light can be set to bright or dim modes. It’s made in the USA and can be purchased with confidence, thanks to its money-back satisfaction guarantee.

For more choices that are highly effective in alleviating nasal congestion and irritated sinuses, check out our list of the best humidifiers for people with allergies.

Water In The Air

The cool air humidifiers on our list specifically use an absorbent internal wick that soaks up moisture from a tank of water.

Any time you've run a hot shower, you've seen what it looks like for water vapor to move through the air. The same thing happens when you breathe outdoors on a cold winter night. When there's a big enough temperature difference, you can see what humidity looks like. In most environments, however, humidity is invisible, so knowing whether there is too little humidity in a space is impossible without instruments to measure it.

If the humidity in your living space is too low, your body will find ways to let you know, even if you don't have instruments handy. For example, you may find that you're more susceptible to nose and throat problems in the winter. These can be anything from sore throats to nose bleeds and sinus infections.

The reason for this is that in a low-humidity environment created by your heating system, your body's mucous membranes dry up in the nose and throat, leaving you more vulnerable to injury and infection. You might also notice that your skin is much drier in the winter than it is in the summer, as a low humidity environment will dry out your skin as well.

There are a lot of cosmetic and pharmaceutical products out there to help you deal with these issues, but a simple humidifier will do the trick without any risk of side effects.

That's because all a humidifier does is add moisture to the air. As it runs, it releases a fine cloud of mist into the environment, enough to raise the humidity of a bedroom or living room back up to a comfortable level. The cool air humidifiers on our list specifically use an absorbent internal wick that soaks up moisture from a tank of water. A fan then runs against that wick, forcing cool, wet air out the humidifier's vents and into the air of a space.

Looking Good Wet

One of the things people sometimes don't immediately consider when buying a humidifier often becomes the thing that can keep them from using it to its maximum efficacy. I had a cool mist humidifier in my bedroom every winter, as I battled with asthma for the bulk of my childhood. I though it looked great. It had a big translucent grey water tank and a little spout that looked like a duck's bill.

Knowing where you want to put your humidifier, and whether or not its style might break your usage pattern, is crucial.

Over the years, I'd say I actually developed a little emotional attachment to that humidifier, and even thinking about it now brings back a sense of childhood peace and freedom. I didn't realize at the time that it was also a safer option for a child than a warm air humidifier, since there was no heater in it. That said, I'd never want the thing in my current house. It was, looking back, rather hideous.

All the humidifiers on our list want you to like them. They want to look good enough that you'd be willing to place them in prominent areas of your home for hours and days on end. Depending on your tastes, not all of them achieve that. Knowing where you want to put your humidifier, and whether or not its style might break your usage pattern, is crucial.

If your child is in need of a little extra moisture, as I was from a young age, you might not be as concerned with the humidifier's aesthetic value. Still, if you want to teach your child to operate and to care for his or her humidifier, getting one that they might like and connect with would be great. I loved the duck bill spout on my humidifier because I was a fiend for Duck Tales. Humidifiers with any degree of anthropomorphism to them are excellent for kids.

Should you intend to use your humidifier in a more public space, you'll want to find a place for it where it'll either hide from view or compliment some piece of decor already present. From there, you can consider some of the other features available, like timers, tank capacity, and noise level.

A Changing Waterworld

Whatever your personal beliefs regarding climate change, certain shifts in the performance of climate patterns are undeniable. The glaciers are actually melting, the sea levels are actually rising, and Leonardo DiCaprio has actually made a movie about it.

Whatever your personal beliefs regarding climate change, certain shifts in the performance of climate patterns are undeniable.

One fascinating aspect of climate change is that the world seems to be neither getting wetter nor drier. But that doesn't mean that humidity levels aren't changing. What is happening is that the wet areas of the world are getting wetter, and the dry areas are getting drier. That means that if you live in an arid climate like much of the southwestern United States, your need for a humidifier is only going to grow from here on out.

Fortunately, back in 1975, three Japanese inventors filed for a patent on a device that could add moisture to the air in a room, raising its humidity and keeping those of us who are most at risk from turning into raisins. American inventors followed suit, making their own little adjustments to the delivery method of the mist, to its temperature, and to other specifications as the popularity of the devices soared in the 1980s, giving us the array of quality humidifiers we enjoy today.

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Karen Bennett
Last updated on February 25, 2020 by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s.degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.


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