Humidifiers are gaining popularity as a must-have home appliance thanks to the litany of health benefits they provide their users–such as reduced instances of respiratory illnesses, better sleep quality, and an effective way to keep your home humid during dry months. Unfortunately, some might put off purchasing a humidifier due to financial constraints or simply dismiss it as a luxurious, unnecessary addition to their home.

There are a lot of affordable, high-quality humidifiers available on the market today that are just as effective as others twice their price. If you’re interested in trying out humidifiers but worry about spending too much on your first purchase, then you’re in luck: we’ve searched high and low for the best humidifiers you can purchase under $50.

We’ll explore five affordable humidifiers and weigh their pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision before making your purchase.

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Top 5 Humidifiers Under $50

  • Three output levels give you greater control over a room’s humidity
  • Optional night light perfect for young children
  • Dedicated basin for optional essential oils
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

  • Two speeds give greater control over output
  • Automatic shutoff prevents over-humid rooms
  • Disk cleaning brush makes maintenance easier
  • Includes a 2-year warranty

  • Hot steam humidifier wards off any bacteria or mold buildup
  • Two-speed levels control vapor humidity
  • Medicine cup allows for liquid medicine input directly into the steam spray
  • Comes with a 3-year warranty

  • Antimicrobial protection offsets natural bacteria buildup by 99.9%
  • Low water indicator makes it easy to refill before the water runs out
  • Included cleaning brush helps to clear out debris
  • Includes a 1-year warranty

  • Three output levels make it easy to control a room’s humidity
  • Unique stone filtration wards off bacteria and mode growth
  • Ultraquiet 28 dB
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

The Levoit LV450CH is a relatively new addition to Levoit’s line of humidifiers and is a step up from the older LV400CH. With the upgrade, the LV450CH boasts a larger 1.1-gallon water tank and a higher daily mist output of up to 1.58 gal/day on the highest setting. Needless to say, the LV450CH will do an excellent job of humidifying small areas or even the whole house with that kind of power.

Aside from excellent humidifying performance, the LV450CH also picks up on the popularity of essential oils by offering an Aroma Box that allows you to add essential oils to the mist being released. Maintenance-wise, the LV450CH makes cleaning a breeze thanks to the wide water tank opening and the handy accompanying cleaning brush.

Retailing at less than $50, you can’t expect the LV450CH to have all the attributes a more expensive humidifier might have, like a humidistat and a low water indicator. While both could have proved useful, they aren’t essential to the performance of the LV450CH.

Overall, it’s a well-rounded humidifier that packs a punch without being too hard on your wallet.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • Small, lightweight
  • Large tank capacity
  • Humidifies quickly
  • Quiet
  • Wide tank opening
  • Aroma Box for essential oils

Cons

  • Bottom fill tank
  • No humidistat
  • No low water indicator

If you’ve done any research at all on cheap humidifiers, you know that we can’t leave out the Pure Enrichment MistAire on this list. With its very modest price tag and aesthetically pleasing design, it’s no surprise that the MistAire is one of the most popular humidifiers on Amazon to date.

Truth be told, the MistAire is far from perfect. First of all, everything about it is small: its 0.4-gallon water tank, its room coverage capacity, and its daily moisture output. You can already tell that it was really only made to humidify small spaces. Any space larger than 250 sq. ft. is a no-go.

The MistAire also lacks a humidistat and a low water indicator–which isn’t surprising considering its retail price. Customers have also complained about the curved design of the MistAire, postulating that it easily tips over and is prone to breakage. The tank is also difficult to clean even with the disk cleaning brush that comes with it.

Complaints aside, the MistAire does have notable merits. It is designed quite beautifully and, even without a low water indicator, you can easily check the water level through the transparent water tank. It remains silent even on the highest setting and–with the optional night light–the MistAire becomes the perfect humidifier to use at night or with children.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Small, lightweight
  • Water level is easy to check
  • Quiet
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • No low water indicator
  • Bottom fill tank
  • Easily tips over
  • Small room coverage
  • Leaves white dust

Because of issues with safety, many parents avoid warm mist humidifiers and consider them unsafe appliances to use around pets and children. Amidst all this controversy, the V745 remains a safe choice because it doesn’t get too hot while in use and the steam it produces isn’t scalding hot, which is the concern for a lot of other warm mist humidifiers.

The V745 is considered a medium room humidifier, rated to cover up to 500 sq. ft. When placed in the right room size, the V745 performs extremely well and has a higher daily humidity output than both the LV450CH and MistAire. Furthermore, the medicine cup that comes with the V745 is a stroke of genius–making it an excellent choice for combating common respiratory illnesses with the help of medicinal inhalants such as Vicks VapoSteam.

Of course, the V745 is not without flaws. An alarming number of users have reported leaking problems with the V745, which could be a potential deal breaker. This problem is common among warm mist humidifiers, however, and is not specific to the V745 alone. Regardless, the V745 remains to be one of the best affordable warm mist humidifiers out there.

Pros

  • Humidifies quickly
  • Easy to clean/maintain
  • Not too hot
  • Easy to check water level
  • Small, lightweight
  • Medicine cup
  • Durable
  • Good for treating colds and flu

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • No low water indicator
  • Leaking problems
  • Loud

If you’ve done your research, you’ll find that dual mist ultrasonic humidifiers generally cost a lot more than single mist humidifiers. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the EE-8064 from Crane is being sold for less than $50.

The EE-8064 is nothing short of powerful, too. Of all the affordable humidifiers on this list, it has the largest water tank and the highest daily humidity output, so you can be sure it’ll do its job effortlessly, even in large rooms. It’s energy efficient and quiet, with a top-fill tank that makes for easy fillings. This design is a breath of fresh air, as all the other humidifiers on this list have bottom-fill tanks which are a little harder to fill.

Some claims suggest, though, that this dual mist model still needs work. There have been several reports from users, for example, that the warm mist feature of the EE-8064 isn’t warm at all and is only slightly warmer than the cool mist. There have also been a lot of complaints about its short 1-year warranty, with a lot of people claiming that their EE-8064 mysteriously broke down after only 1 year of use.

If you’re in the market for a cheap dual mist humidifier, though, the EE-8064 is there to save the day. It’s as robust as a humidifier can get and, for such a modest price tag, it’s definitely a steal.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • Can release both warm and cool mist
  • Energy efficient
  • Top fill tank
  • Easy to maintain

Cons

  • Warm mist isn’t very warm
  • No humidistat
  • Produces white dust
  • Short warranty
  • Durability issues

Our final cheap humidifier pick is another ultrasonic option that offers a unique filtration method.

Using a filter comprised of small stones, the Homasy Ultrasonic Cool Mist promises to slow down bacterial growth–which is one of the most widely-cited issues with ultrasonic units much like this.

Likewise, the Homasy focuses on ease of use, which is precisly why you can expect three modes of mist and a sleep mode to be packed into one simple button. While this humidifier might offer less overall output and capacity than some of the others on our list, the ridiculously quiet operation and 360-degree rotation are two of some of the best features we’ve seen on a humidifier at this price point.

While others might hold out for a vaporizer or different type of humidifer, we strongly recommend the Homasy Ultrasonic Cool Mist as an option for those who need one of the best ultrasonic options under $50.

Pros

  • One-touch operation
  • Unique stone filtration
  • Ultraquiet operation
  • Sleep mode included
  • Energy efficient
  • 360 degree rotation

Cons

  • Can produce white dust
  • No humidistat
  • No listed warranty
  • Small capacity
  • Low output

Comparison Chart

FEATURESLevoit LV450CHPure Enrichment MistAire Vicks V745Crane Germ Defense EE-8064Homasy Ultrasonic Cool Mist
TypeCompactCompactCompactCompactFull-Size
Type of MistCoolCoolWarmDual MistCool
Type of HumidificationUltrasonicUltrasonicSteamUltrasonicUltrasonic
Room Coverage538 sq. ft. 250 sq. ft. 500 sq. ft. 500 sq. ft. 270 sq. ft.
Tank Capacity1.1 gal0.4 gal1 gal1.2 gal 0.5 gal
Humidification Performance1.58 gal/day0.95 gal/day1.90 gal/day2.5 gal/day1.14 gal/day
Humidistat
ControlsOne-TouchDial KnobDial KnobDial KnobOne-Touch
Low Water IndicatorNoNoNoYesNo
Automatic Shut OffYesYesYesYesYes
Weight3.8 lbs2.27 lbs4.25 lbs6.9 lbs2.9 lbs
Dimensions7.9 x 6.1 x 13.810.9 x 9.2 x 6.912 x 7.9 x 14.211.4 x 13.5 x 7.59.8 x 7.5 x 9.8
Warranty2 years2 years3 years1 year

Humidifiers Under $50 Buyers Guide


Still not entirely sure about which humidifier type is right for you? Don’t worry–because we’ve covered everything you need to know about humidifers in our Buyer’s Guide. We’ve also taken the time to answer some frequently asked questions to help you shop with confidence and feel absolutely sure that the humidifier you’ve picked up is right for you.

Humidifier Types

You’ll notice that the five humidifiers on our list range between two different types of humidifiers–specifically, between ultrasonic and steam options.

Although most affordable humidifiers are going to come in ultrasonic or impeller variants, it’s still important that you be able to recognize the four major types of humidifiers. This is especially true if you plan to utilize your humidifier’s medicine cup or need a humidifier for allergies.

Typically, all humidifiers can be categorized into the following for sub-groups:

    • Steam – Also known as “vaporizers,” these humidifiers work by boiling water and releasing that steam into the air to increase your room’s humidity. For more information on the difference between humidifiers and vaporizers as a whole, check out our article on the subject.
    • Ultrasonic – These humidifiers utilize vibrations to transfer water into cool mist, and release that mist into the air.
    • Impeller – Similar to ultrasonic humidifiers, these use diffusers to release cool mist into the air
    • Evaporative – Traditionally the rarest of the major four types, these humidifiers use a cloth or wick to release humidity

Pros & Cons

There are benefits and issues with each of the four major types of humidifiers. For example, while ultrasonic and impeller models are often the cheapest, the way they operate can make it all too easy for bacteria and mold to grow deep within the units. You’ll need to regularly clean out your humidifier and only use filtered water if opting for one of these units.

Likewise, many people appreciate the antibacterial nature of steam humidifiers. At the same time, the heat involved can make vaporizers frustrating to use in the summer–not to mention dangerous to operate around pets and small children. Evaporative models tend to last the longest but are also the loudest and most expensive of the four units.

For easy reference, we recommend consulting our table below to uncover which of the four major types of humidifiers may be right for you:

TypeProsCons
Steam Humidifiers/Vaporizers
  • Relatively affordable
  • Good for allergies and coughs
  • Helps heat in the winter months
  • Antibacterial
  • Can be a hazard to pets and small children
  • Can be a burn hazard if left unchecked
  • Energy inefficient
Ultrasonic Humidifiers
  • Can come in warm and cool mist variants
  • Affordable
  • Offer antibacterial filters
  • Safe around families
  • Can release white dust
  • Can breed bacteria
  • Requires maintenance
Impeller Humidifiers
  • Affordable
  • Offers cool mist
  • Easy to clean
  • Very quiet
  • Easily breeds bacteria
  • Needs regular changing of water
  • No warm mist option
Evaporative Humidifiers
  • Longest-lasting
  • Low-maintenance
  • Energy-efficient
  • Most powerful
  • Most expensive
  • Very loud
  • Can be difficult to change out wicks and cloth

Extra Features & Other Important Info

It’s important to remember that cheaper humidifiers aren’t going to come with the features that many are looking for. Likewise, if you have your heart set on an evaporative or steam option, you may want to hold out until you can afford a more expensive model.

Still, we think the five vaporizers on our list come with everything you need to keep your home at healthy levels of humidity. Playing to the strengths of your unit and paying close attention to the limitations will help you ensure your dollar stretches as far as possible.

FAQ

What is the normal price range for humidifiers in general?

Portable humidifiers and large room humidifiers will cost you anywhere between $20 and $400, depending on the model, features, room coverage, and performance. Of course, there are more expensive whole house humidifiers as well that could cost you upwards of a thousand dollars.

Are cheap humidifiers worth it?

Yes, there are cheap humidifiers that are worth it — like the ones on this list. You need to be cautious though when purchasing cheaper models: manufacturers will always advertise them in a way that makes them seem bigger and better than they actually are, which is why a lot of people fall victim to false advertising claims.

To determine whether a cheap humidifier is worth it, make sure to get acquainted with the different characteristics a good humidifier should have (i.e.: high humidity output, large water tank, decent room coverage, low noise level, etc.), and decide which are essential to you. A cheap humidifier can simply be a humidifier with fewer features; make sure, however, that the features that it does have are working well.

What do you have to give up when you pay for less?

As with everything else in life, there are bound to be trade-offs when you pay for less. When it comes to purchasing cheap humidifiers, you’re probably foregoing smart features like an auto or sleep mode, low water indicator, or automatic shut off feature.

Cheaper models also generally have less room coverage and lower humidity output than more expensive models. In addition, cheaper humidifiers also tend to be single mist models, which means cheap dual mist humidifiers are very difficult to find.

In a nutshell, most cheap humidifiers have the bare minimum in terms of power, performance, and features. If you’re lucky enough to have found yourself on this page, then you’ve found the few gems in the humidifier market that give you the most bang for your buck without breaking the bank!

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of humidifiers out there at different price points, all serving the same purpose: to make your home a more comfortable place to live in. If you can add this comfort and save a few dollars, then you’ve succeeded.

After much thought, we decided that the best cheap humidifier you can get for less than $50 is none other than the Levoit LV450CH. It just ticks all the right boxes: large tank capacity, large room coverage, high mist output, and a modest price tag. It’s easy on the eyes, too, and does its job quietly and efficiently without ratcheting up your electricity bill. Despite some minor flaws, you get the most bang for your buck with the LV450CH.

In the end, regardless of how much your humidifier costs, there’s no denying that having one will greatly benefit everyone at home. The range of benefits ultimately give your home a healthier, more comfortable feeling, and that sensation is priceless.