It’s winter season again so that means the air in our homes will be extra dry courtesy of the cold that’s devoid of moisture. The dryness can cause difficulty breathing, parched skin, hair, nails, and lips, and it can worsen common winter ailments like colds and flu.
The quickest solution for that is a properly specified humidifier that can balance your environment. They don’t need a lot of power and are usually affordable, so buying one just makes sense. Humidifiers often emit cool air, which balances out the cold and heated air coming from your heater.
Humidity also helps with maintaining objects in your home, particularly those that use natural materials like leather. Static shocks are also less likely to happen in a more balanced environment. However, a moisture level of 30 and 50 percent is ideal to prevent condensation and mold or bacterial growth.
Types of Humidifiers
Humidifiers are divided into two main groups, namely console or floor-type, and tabletop-type devices. There are different subclasses, but the easiest way to group them is to simply arrange them according to floor area capacity. Most off-the-counter options you can buy from pharmacies are tabletop options that cover up to 299 sq ft.
There are also warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers that produce vapor in different ways. Warm-mist types are basically steam vaporizers that use a heating element to heat the water. Cool mist versions include both evaporative wick-type models and ultrasonic models, which are basically nebulizers.
The warm-mist types are more comfortable for winter use, but they use more power and are not recommended for cold relief. Cool-type models are more expensive but are usually more efficient and quiet.
Consumer Reports Shopping Tips
Size and Placement – Thinking about where to put your new humidifier and judging how much floor area it has to cover will ensure a proper pick. Buying the wrong size can either render it ineffective, or you may end up with too much moisture.
Convenience and Ease of Use – Getting something convenient is ideal for long-term use, so buying a model that requires periodic replacement parts might not be ideal. User-friendly models are also ideal so everyone can use them as needed, along with eliminating errors in setting the write humidity.
Humidistat – consider getting a model with a humidistat that shuts the device off. It automatically cuts off the device once the ideal humidity is reached, so it helps prevent condensation and resource waste.
The Best Humidifiers Recommended by Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports divided its recommendations into three categories to make it easier to get a good pick. The small room options cover 26 to 299 sq ft., while the medium room options handle 300 to 499 sq ft. The large room variants go up to 500 sq ft all the way up to 999 sq ft.
Small Room Humidifiers (26 to 299 sq ft.)
Babymoov Hygro+ (95) – $85
The pricey yet very effective Babymoov Hygro+ is the best pick for small room humidifiers. It’s quiet and convenient, although its humidistat isn’t dead accurate when compared with a measuring instrument.
Levoit Dual 200S Smart (93) – $55
The Levoit Dual 200S is a better-priced smart humidifier pick that performs just as good as the option above. It is efficient and quiet, but it’s also prone to slight humidistat inaccuracies.
Honeywell HUL900 (91) – $200
The Honeywell HUL900 scores perfectly in every performance metric CR threw at it. However, its main weakness is that it cannot take hard water, and it’s very expensive at $200 MSRP.
Medium Room Humidifiers (300 – 499 sq ft.)
Honeywell HUL430B (92) – $75
The Honeywell HUL430B offers fantastic performance and efficiency scores based on Consumer Reports testing in the medium room segment. It’s also affordable, but it doesn’t have a humidistat like the HUL900.
TaoTronics TT-AH001 (91) – $50
The TaoTronics TT-AH001 is a bt more difficult to use due to its complex design. However, it’s the best performer in the lot, especially in the humidistat accuracy test.
PureGuardian H3200WAR – $120
The only issue PureGuardian has, according to Consumer Reports, is its higher price that doesn’t include a humidistat feature. It costs almost twice as much as the two top options in this segment, so it should at least include a sensor for auto shut-off.
Large Room Humidifiers (500 to 999 sq ft.)
Levoit Classic 300S (83) – $80
The Levoit Classic 300S isn’t perfect, but its large capacity and worry-free performance make it the best choice for large rooms. Its humidistat isn’t the most accurate, but its price is pretty much justified by everything else.
Lasko UH300 (80) – $66
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The Lasko UH300 performs comparably with the 300S above, but it is cheaper and has a sleeker overall shape. The main downside with it is its poorer humidistat accuracy.
SPT SU-4010 (79) – $90
The SPT SU-4010 is another excellent large-capacity option for living or dining rooms. However, it’s the priciest in the bunch, even if it doesn’t have a humidistat.