Some doctors warn against using these if you have children because of the risk of burns. Some humidifiers have a humidistat that senses the humidity in the room and shuts the machine off when it hits the right level. There are many different ways to raise the humidity in your home. For example, you can put a pan of water on the stove or on the radiator, or you hang wet towels near a heater duct.
Then use that solution to scrub all of the parts, including those hard-to-reach corners of the basin. If your humidifier is really gross, you can try soaking those parts in the same solution for 20 to 30 minutes. We’re also interested in checking out two new family-friendly models from Safety 1st. The Wi-Fi–enabled Safety 1st Connected Smart Humidifier has kid-focused smart-home controls as well as a night-light. And the Stay Clean Humidifier offers a simplified tank design and an LED-based antimicrobial light to help cut down on cleaning. The Venta LW25 is the most low-maintenance humidifier we’ve tested.
To discourage nasty things from growing, use a bacteriostatic treatment, such as Essick Air, or an antimicrobial cleaning cartridge, like the fish-shaped Protec, in your humidifier tank. Even doing something as simple as using distilled or demineralized water, instead of tap, will help reduce the amount of mineral deposits that get left behind, and that ultimately means less scrubbing. Compared with doing nothing, the pot method was marginally better, raising the relative humidity by about 5% when it was on the radiator. But that humidification rate was easily eclipsed by the performance of our budget pick on its lowest setting, which increased the humidification by double digits. The pot method also had the downside of working only at the whim of the radiator’s heating cycle (and in our tester’s case, the radiator didn’t really kick on until 9 or 10 p.m. each night).
Olivia (she/her) is a media and tech product reviews analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, covering tech, home, auto, health and more. She has more than five years of experience writing about tech trends and innovation and, prior to joining GH in 2021, was a writer for Android Central, Lifewire and other media outlets. Olivia is a graduate of George Washington University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, political science and French, and she holds a master’s degree in communications from Sciences Po Paris. However, there are some safety concerns regarding boiling water. If you have pets, kids, or have a tendency to knock things over, a humidifier full of boiling water might not be the best choice.
The most common kind, called pseudomonas aeruginosa, can lead to lung infections like pneumonia, per the CDC. People with Legionnaire’s disease may experience a cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches and headaches that may require antibiotics (or even more intensive hospital care). Most households can benefit from using a humidifier, but there are a few signs to look out for that may indicate it’s time to invest in a system to optimize humidity and comfort in your home. Humidifiers may not actually cover the amount of space they say they do, so buy a humidifier that is slightly larger than what you think you’ll need. Dirty humidifiers can lead to health problems, especially for those who already have asthma or allergies. Caroline is a writer and editor with almost a decade of experience. From 2015 to 2019, she held various editorial positions at Good Housekeeping, including as health editor, covering nutrition, fitness, wellness, and other lifestyle news.
Don’t fret, because I’ll go over all of that and more in this guide to help you determine if a humidifier is right for you, and if so, how to choose the best one. He has been with CR since 2016, focusing on digital privacy and covering smartwatches, wireless speakers, and headphones. He is a New York Times bestselling author, and lives in Montclair, N.J., with his wife and his dog, Rugby. Here’s a look at five top-rated humidifiers, one for each size we test. For more shopping advice, see our humidifier buying guide or the section below on what a humidifier can do for you.
And where you use your humidifier may also affect the kinds of bad bugs it breeds. “If they are placed in the kitchen, there might be more foodborne bacteria growing in the unit versus near a bathroom where there might be more fecal organisms,” Sexton says.
Preventing Humidifier Dust
If you need more fine and detailed control, you can always use the app. A smart humidifier might still seem sort of silly, especially if you have privacy concerns. The VeSync app (named for the parent company of Levoit) is designed to work with several other brands, such as Etekcity and Cosori, and it also serves as an online store and a customer service hub. While the company has somewhat simplified its sprawling privacy practices, it can still be difficult to parse, let alone verify, exactly what the app will track and collect. While this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re buying a new humidifier, it can complicate things if you’re traveling with it or looking to sell or buy a used one. A self-regulating ultrasonic with an extra-large tank and warm-mist capabilities, the Vornado UH200 is a great choice for larger spaces that need even humidification.
Do you have a wooden table and do you want an ultrasonic humidifier? Place it on a dish and your table will be protected against splattering. An ultrasonic humidifier is suitable to place near your plants.
Read more about best humidifiers here.