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Best Cool Mist Humidifiers

Best Cool Mist Humidifiers

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Type Compact
Type of Mist Cool
Type of Humidification Ultrasonic
Room Coverage 400 sq. ft.
Tank Capacity 1.6 gallons
Humidification Performance 1.7 gallons per 24 hours
Humidistat --
Controls Dial Knob
Low Water Indicator No
Automatic Shut Off Yes
Weight 4.4 lbs
Dimensions 14.3 x 12.4 x 7.7
Warranty 2 years

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Type Compact
Type of Mist Cool
Type of Humidification Ultrasonic
Room Coverage 500 sq. ft.
Tank Capacity 1.0 gallon
Humidification Performance 1.5 gallons per 24 hours
Humidistat --
Controls Dial Knob
Low Water Indicator No
Automatic Shut Off Yes
Weight 3.57 lbs
Dimensions 7.5 x 10 x 12.5
Warranty 5 years

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Type Console
Type of Mist Cool
Type of Humidification Evaporative
Room Coverage 500 sq. ft.
Tank Capacity 1.1 gallons
Humidification Performance 2.3 gallons per 24 hours
Humidistat --
Controls Electronic
Low Water Indicator No
Automatic Shut Off No
Weight 8.36 lbs
Dimensions 17.48 x 9.37 x 11.85
Warranty 3 years

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Type Console
Type of Mist Cool
Type of Humidification Evaporative
Room Coverage 3600 sq. ft.
Tank Capacity 3.6 gallons
Humidification Performance 10.5 gallons per 24 hours
Humidistat Digital
Controls Electronic
Low Water Indicator Yes
Automatic Shut Off Yes
Weight 13.5 lbs
Dimensions 14.5 x 21.5 x 20.5
Warranty 2 years

Humidifiers are valuable additions to your home, especially if you live in a very dry climate. Having dry air is bad news for everyone and everything: it can cause irritated sinus passages, cracked lips, itchy skin, and even damage wood floors and furniture. Humidifiers help prevent these things from happening by increasing the humidity or the moisture in the air. They also help alleviate allergies, asthma, clogged nasal passages, and make it easier to breathe.

Cool mist humidifiers, in particular, are great for people who live in warmer climates and are looking to control humidity levels at home. Cool mist humidifiers produce steam that is room-temperature. Generally, they’re safer to use near children and use less electricity than warm mist humidifiers. In this article, we’ll be discussing the 4 best cool mist humidifiers at varying price points and find out what makes them the cream of the crop.

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Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

The Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier is a compact, heavy-duty ultrasonic humidifier that uses cool mist to add moisture to spaces up to 400 sq. ft. It has a 1.6-gallon tank and can produce up to 1.7 gallons of mist within 24 hours.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • Small and lightweight
  • Automatic shut off
  • Doubles as essential oil diffuser
  • Quiet
  • Humidifies quickly

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • No low water indicator
  • Leaves white dust
  • Reports of leaking
  • Durability issues

Features

  • Ultrasonic
  • 360° Nozzle
  • Adjustable Mist Output with Knob
  • Built-In Essential Oil Diffuser
  • Automatic Shut Off
  • Optional Night Light
  • 2-Year Warranty

The Everlasting Comfort humidifier has all the features you would expect from a high quality humidifier: it has a rotating nozzle, adjustable mist output, an automatic shut off feature when water levels get too low, and an optional night light. One of the biggest selling points for this humidifier, is that it doubles as an essential oil diffuser.

Aside from these features, it also has a large 1.6-gallon tank and a daily output capacity of 1.7 gallons per day, allowing it to effectively cover large areas up to 400 sq. ft. in size. This is quite impressive, especially considering how quietly it works even on the highest setting. It is able to do its job of raising humidity to the most comfortable levels in a matter of minutes.

The Everlasting Comfort humidifier however, is not without flaws. It lacks two important features: a humidistat to monitor humidity levels and a low water indicator. Although they don’t affect the performance of a humidifier, they’re very useful and provide important information to the user. In addition, several users have complained of both durability and leaking problems with the Everlasting Comfort humidifier; it also leaves white dust everywhere if you use tap water, but you can avoid this by using distilled or demineralized water.

Overall, the Everlasting Comfort humidifier is an excellent, affordable option that’s able to humidify large areas and even has the added bonus of being an essential oil diffuser. Despite some flaws, you can’t beat out the Everlasting Comfort humidifier in terms of well-rounded performance.

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The Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Humidifier is a popular ultrasonic cool mist humidifier that’s small and lightweight. It can hold 1 gallon of water in its tank and is capable of dispersing mist in a room up to 500 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • Small, lightweight
  • Automatic Shut Off
  • Water level is easy to check
  • Quiet
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • Easily tips over/Prone to breakage
  • Difficult to clean
  • Leaves white dust

Features

  • Ultrasonic
  • Dual and single mist nozzles
  • 2 Output levels
  • Automatic Shut Off
  • Disk Cleaning Brush
  • Optional Night Light
  • 5-Year Warranty

To say that the Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Humidifier is one of the most popular cool mist humidifiers on Amazon is an understatement. Garnering thousands of reviews and earning a high rating, the MistAire is an excellent option if you’re not looking to spend too much on a humidifier. For such an affordable price, you get an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier that comes with single and dual mist nozzles, 2 operational speeds, an automatic shut off feature when the water level gets too low, and its own cleaning brush. It’s compact and lightweight, perfect for placing on bedside tables or desktops, yet this ultrasonic humidifier is still capable of covering areas up to 500 sq. ft. in size!

However, one disadvantage of  the MistAire XL is the lack of a humidistat. The tank also has a very small tank opening, making it very difficult to clean and maintain. Even the cleaning brush that comes with it isn’t sufficient to do the job. In addition, the MistAire XL leaves white dust everywhere if you use tap water, although this problem is often the case with ultrasonic humidifiers in general. Users have also complained that the MistAire XL easily tips over and will break or crack if dropped.

Still, the MistAire still has a lot of redeeming qualities. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, it’s designed in such a way that it’s easy for you to check water levels even without a low water indicator. In addition, it does its job quietly and effectively and is backed by a long, worry-free 5-year warranty. For such a modest price, the MistAire does all the things you would expect a good humidifier to do.

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The Honeywell HCM-350 is an affordable console-type cool mist humidifier that uses UV technology to eliminate water-bred germs and bacteria. It uses an evaporative system and has a 1.1 gallon tank capable of humidifying a room up to 500 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Quiet
  • Durable
  • Humidifies quickly
  • Large room coverage

Cons

  • No automatic shut off
  • No low water indicator
  • No humidistat
  • Need to replace wick filter regularly

Features

  • Self-Regulating Evaporative System
  • UV Technology
  • QuietCare Technology
  • Break-resistant water tank
  • 3 Output levels
  • 3-Year Warranty

One of the first things you’ll probably notice about the HCM-350 is that it uses UV light to eliminate germs that could potentially be in the mist being released into your home. According to Honeywell, the UV light treatment can kill up to 99% of water-bred germs and bacteria. The real power of the HCM-350, however, lies in its performance, not in its looks or its accompanying features.

The HCM-350 is able to single-handedly humidify an entire space that’s up to 500 sq. ft. in size. In addition, the HCM-350 is able to work quickly, increasing the humidity to the ideal comfort levels of around 40-60% in just a few minutes. Even with that much room coverage and power, the HCM-350 is still able to run quietly, producing only a pleasant white noise.

Of course, the HCM-350 isn’t perfect. It lacks some useful features like an automatic shut off feature, a humidistat for monitoring humidity, and a low water indicator to tell you it’s time to refill. In addition, the HCM-350’s wick filter will need to be replaced regularly in order for the humidifier to keep working well. Otherwise, mold and mineral deposits will build up in the filter, greatly impeding its efficiency.

These flaws are minor, though, and can easily be addressed. Overall, the HCM-350 remains to be a pretty solid contender: it’s affordable, durable, and does a great job of raising the humidity in large areas with its 2.3 gallon daily output capacity. While it may not have all the nice features and shiny displays that the other models have, it is able to do its job perfectly.

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The Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201 is an evaporative cool mist humidifier capable of humidifying entire homes up to 3600 sq. ft. in size. It has a 3.6 gallon tank and has a daily output of 10.5 gallons. For a whole-house humidifier, the AIRCARE MA1201 is very reasonably priced.

Pros

  • Whole house humidification
  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Accurate humidistat
  • Energy efficient
  • Humidifies quickly

Cons

  • Loud
  • Dated design
  • Large and heavy
  • Need to replace wick filter regularly

Features

  • Evaporative
  • Humidistat
  • Automatic Shut Off
  • Low Water Indicator
  • Filter Change Indicator
  • 4 Output levels
  • Auto Mode
  • Casters
  • Antibacterial wick
  • 2-Year Warranty

Finally, we arrive at our heavyweight contender: the Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201. Though it offers slightly dated looks, this MA1201 has a lot of features that make using and maintaining it easy. The MA1201 has a humidistat, automatic shut off, low water indicator, and an auto mode. In addition, it has a filter change indicator which lets you know when it’s time to change the wick filter. Speaking of filters, the wick that the MA1201 uses a special antimicrobial wick which prevents the growth of bacteria and mold. In addition, the MA1201 also has casters for easier mobility since it’s a pretty large device.

The best thing about the MA1201 is the sheer power it brings to your home: it has a large 3.6 gallon tank capable of humidifying entire homes up to 3600 sq. ft. in size. The next best thing is probably its affordability, followed by the fact that it is easy to maintain, energy efficient, and works quickly throughout your home.

Unfortunately, with great power comes great noise for the MA1201. Users complain that it works loudly even on the low setting. In addition, its bulky appearance may be obtrusive and blend poorly with home decor. Like the HCM-350, the MA1201’s wick filter also needs to be regularly replaced. Despite these issues, the MA1201 still remains to be one of the best cool mist humidifiers especially for larger homes. It does its job quickly, has all the right features, and comes with a very modest price tag considering its performance.

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Best Cool Mist Humidifiers Buyer’s Guide


What is a cool mist humidifier?

In general, a humidifier is a device that increases the moisture in an area. Because low moisture can have adverse health effects, having a humidifier in your home can be very beneficial especially during drier months. A cool mist humidifier is a type of humidifier that releases room-temperature mist and doesn’t add to the room’s ambient temperature like a warm mist humidifier does. It’s important to note that warm and cool mist humidifiers are equally effective at humidifying the air. By the time the water vapor reaches your lower airways, it will be the same temperature regardless of whether it started out warm or cool.

What are the benefits of using humidifiers?

  • Alleviates cold and flu symptoms – If you’re suffering from cold and flu symptoms, using a humidifier at night can help you recover faster. It is able to moisten your nasal passages and allow you to breathe easier. Humidifiers may also help alleviate sore throat and sinus headaches.
  • Reduces allergies and asthma attacks – People who suffer from allergies or asthma tend to have a worsening of symptoms when the air is dry. Adding moisture to the air can help reduce allergens and any pollutants that may cause asthma attacks. Using a humidifier together with a high quality air purifier will be even more effective at reducing allergens at home.
  • Reduces frequency of infections – When air is not too dry, bacteria and viruses tend to be less infectious. Research has shown that a humidity level of 40% or higher decreased the infectivity of influenza virus by 14%.
  • Prevents dry skin – When your skin is exposed to dry air, it cracks and wrinkles more easily. It may become irritated and itchy, even your scalp may be affected. To prevent this from happening, you can keep humidity levels at around 40% or higher.
  • Reduces snoring – Snoring can be caused by a throat that is too dry. Humidifiers can help moisten the respiratory tract and lessen both the noise and intensity of snoring by adding moisture to the air.
  • Protects wooden furniture – Wooden furniture, walls, and floors are more prone to cracking and shrinking when humidity levels are low. This can lead to expensive repairs and even structural damage. A humidifier can help add moisture to the air and prevent this from happening.

There are 3 types of cool mist humidifiers:

  • Evaporative

Evaporative humidifiers are the oldest and most common type of cool mist humidifiers. Similar to the old-age concept of placing a jar of water in the middle of a room to naturally add moisture to the air through evaporation, evaporative humidifiers use a wick filter which absorbs water from the tank and filters out impurities before the fan helps the water from the filter evaporate out into the room.

The best thing about evaporative humidifiers is that they use a self-regulating system. Evaporation is dependent on the relative humidity of the environment so it’s self-regulating and there’s no risk of over-humidifying unlike with ultrasonic, impeller, or warm mist humidifiers. The wick filter is also a key feature as it is able to remove impurities and prevent minerals from being spread into the room. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that the wick needs to be replaced regularly in order for the humidifier to continue working efficiently. Below are some of the pros and cons of using an evaporative humidifier:

Pros Cons
  • Generally more affordable than other types of humidifiers
  • Thanks to the filter, mineral deposits are trapped and are not released into the room
  • Consumes less energy compared to other types of humidifiers
  • Evaporative humidifiers have a self-regulating system that adds only as much moisture to a room as needed
  • No hot parts or surfaces, safe around children and pets
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid build-up of mold and bacteria
  • Wick filter needs to be replaced regularly for the humidifier to keep working effectively
  • Noisier because of the fan inside the humidifier
  • Higher risk of bacterial contamination because the water used is at room temperature

 

  • Ultrasonic

An ultrasonic humidifier uses a diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency (thus the name) to create water droplets that are released in the form of mist. These types of humidifiers can either emit cool mist only, warm mist only, or both. An ultrasonic humidifier that can emit both warm and cool mist is called a dual mist ultrasonic humidifier.

Dual mist ultrasonic humidifiers and cool mist ultrasonic humidifiers are extremely popular these days. Based on our research, though, there aren’t many warm mist ultrasonic humidifiers available in the market that are worthy of your attention.

Pros Cons
  • Much quieter because there are no fans involved
  • Consumes the least amount of energy among all the other types of humidifiers
  • No hot parts or surfaces (unless of course it is a dual mist ultrasonic humidifier)
  • More versatile because they’re able to produce both warm and cool mist
  • Tend to have more useful features compared to other types of humidifiers
  • Doesn’t use any filters that need to be replaced
  • Able to cover larger areas
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid build-up of mold and bacteria
  • Produces white dust due to minerals present in tap water (but can be avoided by using demineralized or distilled water)
  • Generally has smaller room coverage compared to other types of humidifiers
  • Slightly more expensive than evaporative and impeller humidifiers
  • Higher risk of bacterial contamination because the water used is at room temperature (unless warm mist is used)

 

  • Impeller

Impeller humidifiers use a rotating disc to throw water at a diffuser, which breaks the water into very fine droplets that float out into the air. These droplets are then seen as cool mist being released from the humidifier. The water tank of impeller humidifiers need to be kept clean to avoid the risk of spreading bacteria into the air.

In recent times, impeller humidifiers have seen a decline in popularity as more and more manufacturers lean towards the production of evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers. With their bevy of different features and more impressive humidification performance, the simpler impeller humidifiers have paled in comparison, which is why we have not included one in our recommended list.

Pros Cons
  • Consumes less energy compared to other types of humidifiers
  • No hot parts or surfaces, safe around children and pets
  • Doesn’t use any filters that need to be replaced
  • Generally more affordable than other types of humidifiers
  • Able to cover larger areas
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid the spread of mold and bacteria
  • Produces white dust due to minerals present in tap water (but can be avoided by using demineralized or distilled water)
  • Tends to be a lot noisier because of the rotating discs
  • Higher risk of bacterial contamination because the water used is at room temperature

 

What are the benefits of using cool mist humidifiers vs. warm mist humidifiers?

In terms of performance, cool mist and warm mist humidifiers are equally effective at humidifying. Cool mist humidifiers do have a few advantages, over warm mist humidifiers:

  • Energy efficient – Because cool mist humidifiers don’t need to heat water to produce steam like warm mist humidifiers do, they consume less energy even with continuous operation.
  • Safer for children – Warm mist humidifiers use high heat to produce steam, causing parts of the humidifier to become quite hot while in use. This makes them hazardous for households with children and pets. Cool mist humidifiers, on the other hand, use room-temperature water and are much safer to use in general.
  • More affordable – Cool mist humidifiers are typically more affordable both upfront and long-term compared to warm mist humidifiers because they use much simpler systems and do not require any heating elements.
  • Does not change the ambient temperature – Unlike warm mist humidifiers that cause the ambient temperature to rise, cool mist humidifiers do not affect the room’s temperature.
  • Larger room coverage – Cool mist humidifiers are able to cover larger areas compared to warm mist humidifiers which work best in smaller areas.

What are the disadvantages of using cool mist humidifiers?

  • High maintenance – Because cool mist humidifiers make use of room-temperature or ambient temperature water, there is a higher chance of bacterial and mold growth within the tank and the wick filter. Cool mist humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent this from happening. Some cool mist humidifiers need to be cleaned as often as once a week which may be problematic for some people.
  • Spread of bacteria, mold, and viruses – As previously mentioned, cool mist humidifiers are more prone to the growth of bacteria, mold, and viruses. If cool mist humidifiers are not regularly cleaned, you may run the risk of spreading these microorganisms inside your home.
  • Noisier – Evaporative and impeller humidifiers tend to be noisier compared to other types of humidifiers. However, ultrasonic humidifiers — regardless of whether it is warm or cool mist — are quieter in general.

How often do you have to change the wick filter?

Wick filters can last anywhere from 1 month to 3 months, depending on how often you use your cool mist humidifier. When left unchecked for long periods of time, wick filters can be breeding grounds for bacteria and mold as well as mineral build up, all of which will lead to clogging. A clogged wick filter will greatly impede the performance of your humidifier and cause it to work harder than it should. This, in turn, will cause the humidifier to use up more energy and burn out more quickly.

To prevent this from happening, it’s always good to check the wick filter regularly for signs of bacterial and mold growth which is characterized by a darkening of the filter. Keep an eye on the humidity output of your humidifier as well: a humidifier with a dirty wick will work more slowly even on the highest setting and will take a longer time to empty the tank than normal.

Some wick filters can easily be cleaned simply by rinsing them under running water and then allowing them to soak in a mixture of water and white vinegar for 30 minutes. If the humidifier still isn’t performing as it should even after you’ve cleaned the wick filter, then you know it’s time to replace it.

What is white dust and how can you prevent it?

White dust is caused by mineral content in water that goes into a humidifier. When a humidifier uses tap water or unfiltered water, the mist it produces often leaves dried mineral deposits or “white dust” on furniture and other surfaces. For most people, white dust isn’t a cause for concern, but it may be problematic for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory health conditions.

To prevent the spread of white dust, it’s best to use distilled or demineralized water for your humidifier. Unfortunately, this may add up to quite a hefty sum in the long run since distilled water is more expensive. Another option would be to purchase a demineralization cartridge for your humidifier which can trap minerals before they become airborne. Otherwise, you can opt for an evaporative humidifier which has a wick filter that removes minerals from water before releasing it into the room.

Final Thoughts

If you regularly suffer from allergies or clogged nasal passages, especially during the dry winter months, a cool mist humidifier is going to be your best friend. Cool mist humidifiers can help prevent several side-effects that dry climates bring about such as cracked lips, itchy skin, and more. They’re highly effective and most of them can be purchased at modest prices.

While the cool mist humidifiers on this list all have their strong points, we think the best cool mist humidifier out there is the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. It is a compact humidifier that’s capable of covering large areas with a good daily output and can double as an essential oil diffuser alongside several other useful features. As an added bonus, it is reasonably priced! If you’re looking to buy a humidifier for your home, we strongly recommend the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.