The 9 Best Humidifiers of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier is easy to use and adjust, and it releases a cool, refreshing mist.

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Health/Dera Burreson

Waking up with nasal congestion, cracked skin, or a nosebleed is clearly not an ideal way to start your day. Investing in a good humidifier goes a long way in reducing these symptoms and getting more restful sleep. Humidifiers are also essential for those who receive supplemental oxygen or use a CPAP machine. 

As noted by Whitney Hall, MD, a Texas-based doctor who specializes in ear, nose, and throat health, humidifiers release moisture into the air to alleviate nosebleeds and nasal congestion or coughing caused by colds, sinus infections, asthma, and allergies. Humidifiers also relieve painful, cracked skin, especially in the colder months. 

Our editors tested some of the most popular humidifiers available today to see how they defended against allergies, asthma, dry skin, and nosebleeds. We used each humidifier for three months and then rated its design, overall value, and ease of use. During our testing process, it quickly became clear that humidifiers are not all created equal. Our top nine picks were quiet, effective, and easy to clean.

An emergency medicine physician on our Medical Expert Board also reviewed this article for medical and scientific accuracy surrounding what to look for in a humidifier, the different types, and the potential benefits they can provide.

Best Overall

Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier

Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier


Why We Like It: It’s easy to operate and adjust the level or mist power, and the air emitted is cool and refreshing. 

It's Worth Noting: The cord is short, so it needs to be set up close to a wall socket. 

This Levoit Classic Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier is our best overall pick due to its aesthetically pleasing design, smart features, and reasonable price point. When we tested it, this humidifier was incredibly easy to use, and the water removal process was simple, allowing for easy refills.

Of all the humidifiers we tried, this one was the easiest to clean. Since the water reservoir is wide, you can reach inside to clean and dry it, and the rounded corners allow you to get to all the nooks and crannies. Additionally, this humidifier was practically silent—we didn’t even notice a faint hum during our test.

Finding a humidifier that's high-powered, quiet, and easy to clean is a tall order. At this price, we don't think you can do better. Just remember that you’ll need an extension cord if you’re not close to an outlet since the cord is on the short side.

Price at time of publication: $80

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 9.6 x 7.5 x 13.4 inches
  • Run Time: 60 hours
  • Capacity: 6 Liters

Best For Asthma

Lasko LA10008 UH300 Warm and Cool Humidifier

Lasko Warm and Cool Humidifier


Why We Like It: It's very quiet and has a convenient dual mist adjustment option. 

It's Worth Noting: This humidifier is challenging to clean.

Warm air has been shown to alleviate asthma and allergies, and we think the Lasko Warm and Cool Humidifier is the best option out there for those who suffer from asthma symptoms. As soon as we turned it on, the mist from this humidifier was immediately visible. The warm mist temperature setting wasn't immediately noticeable, but once it kicked in, we felt allergy relief. We also love that this humidifier has three different levels, so you can easily adjust the intensity of the mist. 

Cleaning isn’t quite as breezy as it is with the Levoit Classic, however. The tank opening is large enough to accommodate a small adult hand, but it would be difficult to clean inside the tank without special tools. The areas around and behind the mist tube are especially hard to reach. But if you can overlook the annoyance of cleaning this one, this humidifier should be at the top of your list if you suffer from asthma. 

Price at time of publication: $121

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.7 x 14.4 inches
  • Run Time: 12 hours
  • Capacity: 4800 Milliliters

Best For Light Sleepers

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier


Why We Like It: The humidifier is quiet and has an automatic shut-off feature.

It's Worth Noting: It’s difficult to reach your hand into the tank to clean it, but the humidifier does come with a little brush to get down to the bottom. 

This humidifier gives off very little noise, making it a great option if you’re sensitive to noise at night. It also has auto shut-off, so you don’t need to worry about turning it off once you drift off to sleep. The display is pretty basic, without any bells and whistles. It’s also a little tricky to clean the bottom of the tank, but the disk cleaning brush comes in handy here, so be sure not to misplace it.

This humidifier has a convenient top for emptying water, and it’s easy to see the water level in the tank. It’s also a solid pick for people who live in apartments because of its small footprint. This BPA-free humidifier comes with an AC power adapter, disk cleaning brush, and a guaranteed five-year warranty. 

Price at time of publication: $50

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 6 x 8 x 9 inches
  • Run time: 25 hours
  • Capacity: 1.7 liters

Best For Allergies

LEVOIT 6L Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier



Why We Like It: It has two settings: continuous and intermittent mode, so you can pick what works for you.

It's Worth Noting: This humidifier shouldn’t be placed on the floor.

Like the Lasko Warm and Cool Humidifier, the LEVOIT 6L humidifier has a warm mist option, making it a great choice for people with allergies. During the testing period, we noticed reduced allergy symptoms and coughing. 

This humidifier has a sleek, modern design with an easy-to-read display. It's rectangular, so it's easier to store in the corner of closets or under the sink. And it has a couple of features we really love, like the timer for nighttime use. The handy remote makes it easy to turn on and off and allows you to adjust settings such as humidity level and output from a distance. 

There were a few downsides with this humidifier, though: We were excited about its essential oils feature but found it difficult to open. And this humidifier is intended for use in large rooms. So, if you live in a small space with minimal furniture, it might not be the best choice since you aren’t supposed to place it on the floor according to manufacturer instructions.

Price at time of publication: $100

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 11.3 x 7 x 10.5 inches
  • Run Time: 50 hours
  • Capacity: 6 Liters

Best For Dry Skin

Pure Guardian Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Pure Guardian Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier


Why We Like It: It’s easy to adjust the run time, level of mist, and whether or not you want the touchscreen buttons lit up. 

It's Worth Noting: The large tank is harder to fill and clean.

We noticed a significant difference in skin moisture after using this humidifier consistently. The digital design and humidifying features make the humidifier easy to use, and the touchscreen buttons are a nice touch. The lighting on the buttons turns off after a while, making it easy to get a good night’s sleep even if you forget to turn it off. 

You can also adjust the level of mist. The lightest level produces a nearly invisible mist, and the middle creates a more visible stream that is not too overpowering. With two clicks of the button, you can activate the third, most powerful mist. 

We found this humidifier a bit more difficult to fill and clean than other models, but once we got over the initial learning curve, it wasn’t too cumbersome. Just be sure to read the instruction manual before you attempt to remove the tank or clean it out since it’s not as straightforward as it looks. 

Price at time of publication: $160

Product Details

  • Dimensions: 8.82 x 8.74 x 21.93 inches
  • Run time: 100 hours
  • Capacity: 1.5 gallons

Best For Sinus Infection

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier


Why We Like It: This humidifier disperses medication into the air to help you recover when you’re sick. 

It's Worth Noting: This humidifier doesn’t have any high-tech features.

Although this was one of the more basic humidifiers we reviewed, it’s the one we would choose if we were recovering from a nasty sinus infection due to its ability to dispense medications into the air for almost immediate relief. It’s designed to be used with Vicks VapoSteam, but you can also add your preferred essential oils to the humidifier to help you breathe easier. 

It took about five minutes for the mist to appear, and the vapor stream wasn’t super strong or overpowering, but it did provide noticeable relief. After 15 minutes of use, the humidifier and counter underneath it heated up a bit, so this isn’t a humidifier you’d want to leave on all night while sleeping. 

We appreciated that the tank is quick and easy to empty, and the slim design makes it an excellent choice for small spaces. The water tank is also dishwasher safe, making it easy to sanitize after use. 

Unlike some of the other products on this list, this model doesn’t have an automatic shut-off, remote control or any other advanced features.

Price at time of publication: $40

Product Details

  • Dimensions: ‎7.88 x 12 x 14.25 inches
  • Run Time: 24 hours
  • Capacity: 1 gallon

Best For Nose Bleeds

GENIANI Portable Small Cool Mist Humidifier



Why We Like It: It’s a quiet humidifier that doesn’t take up a lot of space. 

It's Worth Noting: Its capacity is lower than other large models, and the cord is shorter.

One of our editors is prone to nose bleeds, but after using this humidifier for a few weeks, she no longer experienced them. And when she was struggling with congestion from a cold, she felt relief from using this humidifier. Besides how effective it is with moisturizing the air to prevent nose bleeds and provide common cold relief, we love that it’s small enough to keep in an apartment or office. Keep in mind that because of its small size, you may have to refill the tank more often.

The humidifier plugs in with a USB and is the perfect size for most desktops. The cord is very short and doesn’t reach well from an outlet to a desktop or table, so you might need an extension cord. There's no timer, but there is an intermittent mist feature, with 10 seconds on and 10 seconds off. 

The ultrasonic cool mist humidifier comes with two mist modes, and despite its small size, it noticeably changed the humidity level in the room within minutes. It also has an auto shut-off feature for safety and peace of mind. The humidifier also doubles as a night light, with a soft light that makes it ideal for use in a nursery.

Price at time of publication: $33

Product Details: 

  • Dimensions: 3.43 x 6 x 3.43 inches
  • Run Time: 8 hours
  • Capacity: 250 mL

Best For Sore Throat

Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Vicks Mini Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier


Why We Like It: It can be used with or without menthol pads. 

It's Worth Noting: You’ll have to buy the menthol inserts separately.

Menthol is a proven remedy for sore throats, and this humidifier emits the substance into the air for ultimate relief. The Vicks Cool Mist Humidifier doesn’t require any filters and works with Vicks VapoPads, so you can add soothing menthol vapors for added comfort. The menthol inserts don’t come with the humidifier, but they are available to purchase separately.

The mist output is controlled via a dial, and the amount coming out corresponds with the settings. We found this humidifier a bit noisier than other products, and it made a light gurgling sound on the highest setting. However, despite its small size, it has a 20-hour run time, so you could run it during the day if you find it difficult to sleep with the noise. 

The air humidifier can operate for up to 20 hours on the lowest setting, and it automatically shuts off when the tank is empty. The transparent tank has a wide opening that makes it easy to fill, use, and clean. We liked this option better than the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier since this one has an automatic shut-off, and it didn’t cause the counter underneath it to warm up. 

Price at time of publication: $40

Product Details 

  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 9.13 inches
  • Run Time: 20 hours
  • Capacity: 0.5 gallons

Best Budget

Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier

Magictec Cool Mist Humidifier


Why We Like It: The nozzle sprayer also directs the mist flow to areas that need moisture most.

It's Worth Noting: The size makes it rather hard to clean. 

This economical humidifier is less than $20, but it gets the job done. We love its compact size and impressive tank volume, which allows the mist to last up to 24 hours. The humidifier is easy to store and offers a cool mist. 

Despite its small size, we found the base of the humidifier a bit awkward to clean since it has a lot of crevices. The water tank is not dishwasher safe, but it was very easy to clean thoroughly by hand. We also used this humidifier with essential oils with great results. 

Price at time of publication: $22

Product Details 

  • Dimensions: 11.65 x 7.83 x 7.83 inches
  • Run Time: 24 hours
  • Capacity: 0.66 gallons

Our Testing Process

We tested highly rated humidifiers to determine the best products. We tested each product on its available settings and checked the tanks at the end of each day to see how much water was used. To ensure we continued to like the products, we used each humidifier consistently for three months to record long-term effects. We included evaporative, ultrasonic, and vaporizer humidifiers in our testing process and rated them based on ease of cleaning, effectiveness, design, and size.

To create our list of humidifiers to review, we consulted with the following experts: 

  • Whitney Hall, MD, a Texas-based doctor who specializes in ear, nose, and throat health. 
  • Morris Nejat, MD, Medical Director of New York Allergy and Sinus Centers
  • Sarah Allen, MD, dermatologist and founder of The Skin Clique

We also interviewed these doctors and used their expert advice to guide our research, review product specs, and make our final product selection. 

What to Know About Humidifiers

There's no single best humidifier since everyone's needs are different, but there are some common features to consider while shopping around. 

Types of Humidifiers

All humidifiers perform one essential role: They create more moisture in the air. One main difference is that some use heat to create moisture, while others utilize a cold mist, either by an ultrasonic vibrating plate or by a special fan found in the humidifier. 

Warm mist humidifiers tend to be quieter than cool mist products, and the warmth can offer some comfort for conditions like allergies and asthma. Cool mist humidifiers, on the other hand, are more energy efficient and tend to be safer to use around young children, as no heat is used. 

Some humidifiers are also intended to be used with medications or essential oils to relieve sore throats, coughs, congestion, and other symptoms.

Benefits of Humidifiers 

A humidifier adds moisture to the air, helping ease the dryness in different areas. The result provides relief to dry skin, cracked lips, dry nasal passages, sore throats, and bloody noses, explains Morris Nejat, MD, Medical Director, New York Allergy and Sinus Centers. He adds that the more humidity emitted, the more it can ease breathing issues in people with allergies or a cold.

Humidifiers can also help with dry skin. “When humidity levels are low in the ambient air, we know that the top layer of skin (the stratum corneum) does not function well,” says Sarah Allen, MD, a dermatologist and founder of the Skin Clique. “When this barrier is broken, your skin can’t hold onto as much hydration as it should. Low humidity is particularly a problem in the winter when we run heating systems.”

Maintenance and Cleaning

No matter which humidifier you use, Hall says regular cleaning is essential since it prevents potentially harmful bacteria from being expelled into the air (and no one wants that!). Always follow manufacturer cleaning instructions to determine the best maintenance practices.

More Humidifiers to Consider

We also tested the following humidifiers but ultimately decided not to include them in our list of recommendations. They fell short in our test when it came to technology and functionality, although some of their features could be a good fit for your particular needs:

  • Crane Adorables Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier: This humidifier is shaped like an elephant, which is adorable for a child’s room but may not be appropriate for use in other spaces. There are no special features, but it gets the job done.
  • Canopy Humidifier, Blue: Compared to other brands and styles, we didn’t feel this humidifier was worth its $150 value. Other products we tested had more controllable features like knobs and buttons to personalize your settings, more aesthetically pleasing designs, and much lower prices. However, if you want a touch-free humidifier without all the bells and whistles, then this could be the one for you.
  • LEVOIT 1.8L Cool Mist Humidifier: The $40 price is on point for this small tabletop humidifier. It doesn't come with all the smart features that some models do, like automatic shutoff, filters, or a digital screen, but it gets the job done, and sometimes that's all you need. 

Your Questions, Answered

What is a humidifier good for?

“If you suffer from dry skin, cracked lips, dry nasal passages, a dry or sore throat, and/or bloody nose, a properly maintained and used humidifier can help you feel better,” Nejat says. A humidifier is especially important for those who use supplemental oxygen, according to Hall, who adds that people with sleep apnea who use a CPAP or APAP machine during sleep may also benefit from humidifier use. 

Should I use a humidifier in my bedroom?

Hall says humidifiers are great for the bedroom as that's where people spend the majority of their time in their homes. However, a humidifier can be used in any area of the home that is dry or where a person spends a lot of time, such as your office or living room. If your child suffers from allergies, asthma, or other conditions related to dry air, a humidifier is a safe and effective way to keep symptoms at bay. 

Who We Are

Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, is an award-winning registered dietitian, freelance writer, and author. She earned her master’s degree from Rush University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida. She enjoys helping people understand complex health-related information in an approachable way.

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