The ideal humidity level in a home is 30-50%, and while many of us understand the dangers of too much humidity and moisture, dry air can be just as dangerous. When you start looking, you realize that there are five different types on the market, but which one is best for you? If you do not know that there are so many choices ahead of time, this can be very overwhelming information to try to figure out on the fly.

Humidifiers are able to combat dryness in the air by increasing condensation. If you are plagued with symptoms of dry skin, a scratchy throat, a bloody nose, and cracked lips, especially as the summer months turn into a chilly fall, an environment with high humidity might help.

If you have chronic or seasonal allergies, consider whole-house humidifiers or portable humidifiers. If allergens are causing coughs, respiratory problems, asthma, or stuffed nasal passages, a humidifier might help. However, if not cleaned properly, humidifiers can develop mold and make allergies and other conditions worse. 

Luckily you are the type of person who plans and does their research to learn ahead of time about the different types of humidifiers on the market and what makes them different. This will allow you to make an educated decision on which one will benefit you the most.

The 5 Types of Air Humidifiers

Five different types of air humidifiers can be found online and in stores for sale. Each one has its own sets of pros and cons. Depending on what you want to achieve by adding the humidifier to your home will significantly affect which one of these devices you will choose.

Cool Mist Humidifier

This humidifier adds a cool mist to the air in the room without using any heat. Which means it will not increase the temperature of the room. This makes it ideal for hotter climates that consistently have very dry air. In addition, this type of humidifier is excellent for use around both children and pets because the water will not be harmful to anyone if knocked over.

The cool mist humidifier does run the mist through a filter to catch impurifications. This type is easy to clean but will need regular cleaning to ensure the vapors being released are sanitary and safe. Use distilled water as often as possible to help and assure that you are not getting build up in the humidifier.

Warm Mist Humidifier

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will find the warm mist humidifier. It creates water vapor by using heat to boil the water and then allows the steam to cool a bit before releasing it. This is great to add humidity to the air quickly and warm up your space. The only downside is that since the water gets extremely hot, it is not very safe to use around pets or children.

The filtration system is fantastic in a warm mist humidifier as it kills off all germs and bacteria in the water when it boils. It is also great at helping to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses in your home. On the other hand, they are harder to clean and tend to be more expensive to run. They do, however, run a little quieter than the cool mist humidifier.

Evaporative Humidifier

This type of humidifier is also heat-free and makes it an ideal choice for a home with a small child or a pet. It uses a fan that blows across a wick that is soaking up water, causing air vapor to be released. The fact that this design does not use heat means that you can place it on any surface without having to worry about it causing any type of damage to your entire house.

The evaporative humidifier makes very little noise when it is running. It is also able to automatically regulate the humidity in any room quickly and effectively. It is easy to clean and travel with. Since it does not heat the water, it will need to be cleaned almost daily to ensure that there is no bacterial contamination. Using only distilled water instead of tap water or hard water will help with this concern.

Vaporizer Humidifier

Vaporizer humidifiers can give you the best of both worlds. It can provide a warm mist or cool mist, whichever you prefer, with just the press of a button. It is a lot more budget-friendly than the warm mist humidifier and still gives you the warm option. You will not want to use the warm function when children or pets are around since this could present a danger to them.

The vaporizer humidifier does use a lot of energy when it is running. It is also very difficult to clean and while it will not require as much cleaning as a cool mist or an evaporative humidifier, it will need to be cleaned regularly to operate correctly.

Ultrasonic Humidifier

Finally, as we arrive at the end of our list, we arrive at the ultrasonic humidifier. It uses the vibrations of metal or ceramic diaphragm to create water vapors that are dispersed into the air. This type of humidifier offers a cool and warm option, just like the vaporizer. It is ideal for use in homes with pets and kids since there is a cool option.

The ultrasonic humidifier runs on very little energy and is extremely easy to clean. It is also the quietest of all the types of humidifiers we have discussed. This makes it ideal for the whole house, including bedrooms, especially the bedroom of anyone who can not sleep with additional noise present.

Best Humidifier Choice For Most People

When it comes to deciding which humidifier is the best, you want to consider versatility, budget, cost of use, and how easy it will be to keep clean. When it comes to versatility, we already knock several contenders out of the fight. The vaporizer and ultrasonic are the only two that offer both cool and warm options. They are about equal when it comes to price, so that is a draw, but when it comes to the cost of use of both models, the ultrasonic is the clear winner.

The Ultrasonic Humidifier Takes the Win

Now that you know that the most cost-efficient choice is the ultrasonic humidifier, you can go ahead and purchase one. This humidifier will even work as an oil diffuser, so you can add essential oils to create an even better experience. You can improve your sleep and not be plagued by dry air. 

Always make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when attempting to use a humidifier to combat low humidity.


Humidifiers: Air moisture eases skin, breathing symptoms | Mayo Clinic

Humidifier Safety | Children's Hospital Colorado

How Humidifiers Can Help Allergies | Healthline