0Covers up to 400 sq. ft.

When you become a parent, your child’s health and safety automatically becomes your top priority. There’s one item, however, that could be incredibly beneficial for your little one but is often overlooked: a humidifier. When your child is suffering from a terrible hacking cough or a bad case of the flu, a humidifier can provide relief by unclogging sinuses and moisturizing airways to make for easier breathing. Humidifiers are great for parents who are looking for a more natural and holistic approach to treating common illnesses.

We researched the best humidifiers for children and babies and compiled our findings here to help you streamline your research process. Read on to find out more.

  • Cool mist, evaporative humidifier
  • Covers up to 500 sq. ft.
  • 1.1 gallon tank capacity
  • Patented UV Technology eliminates 99.9% of water-bred germs, bacteria, and mold spores in the water
  • 3 Output levels
  • 3-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 538 sq. ft.
  • 1.1 gallon tank capacity
  • Optional night light
  • Aroma Box for essential oils
  • 2-year warranty

  • Warm mist, steam humidifier
  • Covers up to 600 sq. ft.
  • 1 gallon tank capacity
  • Releases 95% bacteria-free steam
  • With medicine cup for medical inhalants to relieve nasal congestion and other flu symptoms
  • 3-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 500 sq. ft.
  • 1 gallon tank capacity
  • Clean Control prevents 99.96% of bacterial growth in tank
  • Available in different animal designs
  • 1-year warranty

  • Cool Mist, Evaporative Humidifier
  • Covers up to 360 sq. ft.
  • 1 gallon tank capacity
  • Easy to fill, clean, and use
  • 2 Output Levels
  • 3-year Warranty

  • Cool mist, evaporative humidifier
  • Covers up to 250 sq. ft.
  • 1 gallon tank capacity
  • Clean Control prevents 99.96% of bacterial growth in tank
  • Convertible to air purifier with conversion kit
  • 1-year warranty

Quick Navigation

1. Honeywell Germ Free HCM-350

When it comes to humidifiers, the HCM-350 from Honeywell always makes it to the top of these lists. Equipped with a large 1.1-gallon tank and simple controls, the HCM-350 is a robust, straightforward device that doesn’t have any unnecessary bells or whistles. What’s great about the HCM-350 is that it uses a UV light technology to eliminate 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and mold and prevent them from proliferating in the water so you can be sure that the mist is clean. Its self-regulating evaporative system also eliminates the risk of over-humidifying the room, making it very safe to use around children overnight.

Setbacks to the HCM-350, however, are that it doesn’t offer an automatic shut off or a night light, two features that really are necessities in a humidifier for your child. In fact, when looking at features, the HCM-350 pales in comparison to the other humidifiers on this list, but it makes up for it in performance, ease of use, and safety to make it an excellent humidifier for your children.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain and fill
  • Quiet
  • High daily humidity output
  • Large room coverage and tank capacity
  • Mist is free from bacteria, germs, and mold
  • No white dust
  • No risk of over humidifying

Cons

  • No humidistat/hygrometer
  • No automatic shut off
  • No low water indicator
  • No night light
  • Need to replace wick filter regularly
  • Need to replace UV light bulb

The Levoit LV450CH is relatively new addition to Levoit’s line of humidifiers and is a step up from the older LV400CH. While both models are marketed for use in baby rooms, the LV450CH boasts a larger tank capacity and higher daily humidity output. Considering how powerful it is, the LV450CH is surprisingly quiet. It produces less than 40 dB of noise and features an optional night light, so your little one can sleep uninterrupted. Furthermore, the LV450CH comes with an Aroma Box for essential oils, which have steadily gained popularity among parents for their many health benefits.

Unfortunately, for such an affordable item, you’re undoubtedly missing out on a few features like a humidistat and a low water indicator. In addition, there’s a risk of over humidifying a room with ultrasonic humidifiers like the LV450CH, especially when left running overnight. Considering all the things that make the LV450CH so great, these are all just minor flaws which can easily be addressed. If you’re looking for an affordable, high quality humidifier for your nursery, then the LV450CH is definitely one to consider.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage and tank capacity
  • Small, lightweight
  • High daily humidity output
  • Quiet
  • Easy to maintain
  • Optional night light
  • Aroma Box for essential oils

Cons

  • Bottom fill tank
  • No humidistat/hygrometer
  • No low water indicator
  • Risk of over humidifying
  • Releases white dust

Warm mist humidifiers are generally not recommended for use around babies, children, and pets for safety reasons. However, if you must have a warm mist humidifier, then the Vicks V745 is as safe as it gets. What makes the V745 great for children is that its parts don’t get too hot while in use, and the warm mist it produces isn’t scalding hot.

The V745 also boasts a medicine cup for medicinal inhalants to help relieve cough and cold symptoms when your little one is feeling under the weather. It’s affordable, easy to use, and powerful. There have been a lot of complaints, though, from users saying that the V745 gets pretty loud on the highest setting and leaks on occasion. These are important considerations if you’re planning on using it around children.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage and tank capacity
  • High daily humidity output
  • Easy to clean/maintain
  • Not too hot, safe for children
  • Medicine cup
  • Good for treating cough and colds
  • No white dust
  • No filters to replace

Cons

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

The Crane EE-0865 series will definitely catch your eye if you’re a parent looking to buy a humidifier for your kids because it offers a range of cool mist ultrasonic humidifiers that come in adorable animal designs. Behind this cute exterior is a powerful ultrasonic system that is capable of servicing rooms up to 500 sq. ft. in size and can churn out 2.1 gallons of mist daily. It even features Crane’s signature Clean Control antimicrobial coating in the water tank to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. It’s affordable, easy to maintain, and runs quietly through the night without disrupting your little one’s slumber.

Unfortunately, as previously mentioned, ultrasonic humidifiers like the EE-0865 have a tendency to over-humidify a room when left to run overnight on the high setting. In addition to this flaw, customers have also reported issues with leaking and durability, which is troubling considering the fact that the EE-0865 is only backed by a 1-year warranty. Overall, if you’re looking for a cheap, child-friendly humidifier, then the EE-0865 is a great option to consider.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage and tank capacity
  • High daily humidity output
  • Easy to clean/maintain
  • No filters to replace
  • Many animal designs to choose from
  • Quiet
  • Clean Control treatment prevents 99.9% of bacterial and mold growth in water tank

Cons

  • No humidistat/hygrometer
  • Releases white dust
  • Durability issues
  • Risk of over-humidifying
  • No optional night light
  • Short warranty

If you’re looking for an evaporative humidifier that costs a little less than the HCM-350, then the HCM-710 might be ideal. You may be sacrificing a little more room coverage and tank capacity, but its specifications are more than enough for your average nursery or kid’s bedroom.

The HCM-710 features the brand’s self-regulating evaporative system but is equipped with a wick filter that has been treated with Protec which helps prevent the growth of mold, algae, and bacteria on the filter. Despite this treatment, it’s still imperative that you replace your wick filter regularly, especially if you’re planning on using the humidifier around babies and children.

The complaints about the HCM-710 are quite minor. They tend to focus on the LED light in the water window that is supposedly too bright and cannot be turned off or the noise the humidifier makes when it’s set on high. Overall, the HCM-710 is a great option for parents looking for an affordable, high quality humidifier that is easy to use and requires minimum upkeep.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain and fill
  • Decent room coverage and tank capacity
  • No white dust
  • No risk of over humidifying
  • Wick filter is treated with Protec Antimicrobial treatment

Cons

  • No humidistat/hygrometer
  • No automatic shut off
  • LED light is very bright
  • Loud
  • Need to replace wick filter regularly

The EE-7002 from Crane is an interesting little device because it’s an evaporative humidifier which can be converted into an air purifier using a special conversion kit that can be purchased online. The kit comes with a set of air purifier filters that are able to capture airborne pollutants as well as common household odors.

Unfortunately, with the EE-7002, you’re missing out on a lot more room coverage, as it is rated to cover only 250 sq. ft. of space. It also lacks a few key features that would have made it more convenient to use. Keep in mind that the EE-7002 also uses a wick filter that needs to be replaced regularly to avoid the spread of bacteria and mold.

Some might consider the EE-7002 a little gimmicky, but you can’t deny that the air purifier feature would come in quite handy when you’re fighting off both air pollutants and dry air. Its self-regulating evaporative system is safe to use overnight and, with the Clean Control treatment in the tank, you can be rest assured that your little ones are in good hands.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large tank capacity
  • No white dust
  • No risk of over humidifying
  • Clean Control treatment prevents 99.9% of bacterial and mold growth in water tank
  • Convertible to air purifier with a conversion kit
  • Quiet

Cons

  • No humidistat/hygrometer
  • No low water indicator
  • Need to replace wick filter regularly
  • Small room coverage
  • No optional night light

Humidifier for Kids and Babies Buyer’s Guide


As you mull over these options, it is important that you keep in mind some of the key safety concerns that come with adding a humidifier to your home. These are particularly important to consider if there are young children in the home.

Cool versus Warm Mist Options

As previously mentioned, cool mist humidifiers are safer for homes with children. Experts recommend them over warm mist humidifiers because they don’t need heat to produce mist and thus are generally safer. It’s important to keep in mind that warm and cool mist humidifiers are equally effective when it comes to humidifying.

Although all cool mist humidifiers (regardless of the type) are generally safe, evaporative humidifiers are considered the safest because of their self-regulating evaporative system. This eliminates the risk of over-humidifying a room as evaporative humidifiers will only produce mist depending on the humidity level in the vicinity. This makes it safer for overnight use as well.

Child Safety Around Humidifiers

Humidifiers are generally safe to use around children, but it would be better to use them accompanied by adult supervision. It is also imperative that humidifiers are cleaned and disinfected at least once a week, especially when there are children around. This is to ensure that bacterial and mold growth are minimized. When left unchecked, these disease-causing microorganisms can be released into your home.

It is also highly recommended to use only cool mist humidifiers when there are children at home. This is because warm mist humidifiers use heating elements which could potentially be safety hazards. The mist from warm mist humidifiers can sometimes be hot enough to cause burns, and curious toddlers may get injured if curiosity gets the better of them.

Potential Risks

Truth be told, there are several risks that can be involved with using a humidifier. Here are a some examples of potential risks that come with using a humidifier regardless of whether or not you have children at home:

  1. Over-humidifying – When not properly regulated, a humidifier can potentially over-humidify a room. Humidity is too high for too long can lead to several problems such as mold growth or a proliferation of dust mites around your home. High humidity levels can also cause feelings of discomfort such as stuffiness or can contribute to condensation on walls and windows.
  2. Allergy triggers from mold and dust mites – Mold and dust mites proliferate in humid environments and can trigger allergic reactions in children who are sensitive to them.
  3. Breeding ground for bacteria and viruses – When not cleaned regularly, humidifiers become ideal places for bacteria and viruses to grow. These microorganisms can cause illnesses and infections. This is especially true for children because of their underdeveloped immune system.
  4. White dust – White dust that comes from a humidifier is caused by trace minerals present in the water that you’re using. Ultrasonic humidifiers often have this problem when hard water is being used. To avoid this, distilled or demineralized water should be used.
  5. Spilled water – It’s no secret that humidifiers are prone to leaking. Leaks can be caused by any number of things, but the most common causes include an overfilled tank, a blocked drainage tube, or a clogged filter. Uncleaned spills can be very dangerous, especially when you have a hyperactive toddler running around the house who could slip and fall.
  6. Electrocution – This is probably one of the scariest things that could happen when using humidifiers. With an electric appliance that holds so much water, electrocution is a very real risk. It’s important to check that wires and switches on the humidifier are in good condition and functioning properly. When refilling the humidifier, it’s safer to unplug the unit to prevent any accidents from happening.
  7. Burns from warm mist humidifiers – As discussed previously, warm mist humidifiers pose a safety risk due to the heating element that they use. A warm mist humidifier can get very hot while in use and could potentially burn your curious toddlers when they try to touch it. If you want to be completely safe, then you’re better off with a cool mist humidifier.

Scary as they may seem, these risks can be minimized or eliminated completely when the humidifier is well-maintained and regularly cleaned. When in use, it would be ideal to place the humidifier in a spot that small children can’t reach. In all cases, it’s best that an adult is around to supervise children, regardless of whether or not a humidifier is running.

FAQ

What are the benefits of using a humidifier for children?

Despite the aforementioned risks, a humidifier still provides several benefits for babies and young children. They are particularly beneficial during drier, colder months when cough, colds, and dry sinuses plague our children. Babies in particular are more prone to congestion, which could lead to infections.

Humidifiers can provide relief from these symptoms by adding moisture to the air and creating optimal breathing conditions. These conditions help babies sleep better and loosen the buildup of mucus. Aside from being beneficial to their respiratory system, humidifiers can also help prevent babies’ skin from getting dry and irritated and can even prevent the worsening of skin diseases like eczema. Another bonus of using a humidifier in a nursery is that it provides white noise which can help lull infants to sleep. It can also help drown out other, more distracting noises such as barking dogs or traffic.

How does an evaporative humidifier work?

Evaporative humidifiers are the oldest and most common type of cool mist humidifiers. Similar to the age-old 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 that absorbs water from the tank and filters out impurities before the fan helps the water from the filter evaporate out into the room.

How often should the wick filter be replaced?

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.

How will I know if the room is over-humidified?

If your humidity levels are too high, you might notice condensation around your home, particularly on the windows, or stained ceilings and walls. Other signs of high humidity levels include recurring allergies, rotting wood, and musty odors. Increased moisture in the air provides a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Pests like cockroaches also gravitate towards more humid environments. To know more about maintaining the right humidity levels, read our article here!

How loud can I expect a humidifier to be?

Humidifiers are usually not too loud, especially compared to other appliances like air conditioners and air purifiers. Ideally, if you’re planning to use a humidifier in the bedroom, you’d want one that doesn’t produce more than 40 decibels of noise. Read our article on the Best Quiet Humidifiers to know more!

Where should I place my humidifier?

Ideally, regardless of the type, humidifiers need to be placed above ground level, preferably somewhere a child can’t reach. Humidifiers should also be placed on surfaces that don’t get damaged by water, so wooden tables and other wooden furniture are a no-no. It’s important to note, though, that regardless of where you put it, the area surrounding humidifiers may become moist and slippery from the mist output.

Final Thoughts

A humidifier can do wonders for a dry, hacking cough or a runny nose and can provide you with an alternative to over-the-counter medications that could be expensive. When you are selecting one to comfort your small child,  you definitely want to be sure that the model you choose is the most effective and the safest to use.

Our pick among these amazing options would be the Honeywell HCM-350. While it may not look as cute as the Crane EE-0865, it is as safe and as robust as humidifiers can get. With its self-regulating evaporative system, you can be rest assured that the room gets humidified without going overboard. The added UV light further bolsters its safety, ensuring molds and bacteria are always kept at a minimum. It might not have all the features that we would have wanted, but such flaws are minor and don’t affect the otherwise exemplary performance of the HCM-350.