Humidifiers may not be as common a household item as something like an air conditioner or heater, but there are still plenty of reasons to buy one. For starters, air that’s too dry can lead to health issues like bloody noses, cracked lips, itchy skin, and more. Not only that, but it can simply be uncomfortable to breathe dry air, just like it's awful to breathe air that’s too humid.
Of course, just because you decide you want a humidifier, that doesn’t mean that your research is over. The next thing to do is determine exactly which humidifier is for you. There are plenty of options out there, and like anything else, not all humidifiers are made equal.
Hot versus cool mist humidifiers
In fact, you may not be aware of this, but there are actually quite a few different types of humidifiers. In general, humidifiers are divided up into warm mist and cool mist humidifiers. Warm mist humidifiers release moisture into the air by boiling it. That makes it among the healthier options out there, because boiling the water kills any germs that might live in the water. Still, if there are children or animals in the house, boiling water can be dangerous — not because of the mist itself, but just because of how hot the humidifier could get.
Then there are cool mist humidifiers, and within the cool mist humidifier segment there are three types:
Ultrasonic humidifiers basically use high-frequency waves to split water drops into particles, which are then released into the room.
Evaporative humidifiers basically take the room’s air and pass that air through a filter with water in it. That mist is then blown out the other end of the humidifier, which helps humidify the room
Impeller humidifiers are similar to ultrasonic humidifiers, but instead of using ultrasonic waves, they break up water drops using a rotating disc. These humidifiers are a little noisy.
We took a look at a variety of humidifiers to find the best ones for your needs. We've included humidifiers at a variety of price points to suit different buyers.
If you're outfitting your new home or apartment, check out more of our great buying guides like the best memory foam pillows, the best mattress toppers, the best sheets, the best mattresses, the best pillows, the best bar stools, the best light bulbs, the best coffee tables, the best area rugs, the best clothes hangers, the best cordless vacuum cleaners, the best laundry baskets and hampers, and more on Insider Picks.