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Best humidifiers 2021: Relieve dry skin & allergy symptoms with these humidifiers

Best humidifiers: Person using a humidifier
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best humidifiers are a great option if you’re worried about having unclean air in your home or struggle with sinus problems or allergies. However, picking the right humidifier can be confusing when there are so many different options to choose from. 

What the expert says

“Humidifiers add moisture to indoor air and are often used in homes to relieve the physical discomforts of dry nose, throat, lips, and skin caused by drier indoor air. However, it’s important to note, excess moisture can also encourage the growth of biological organisms, including mold in the home.” - Tim Carroll, Environmental Protection Agency 

A humidifier is able to alter the humidity levels in your home in order to filter out dust, dander, and virus particles from the air. This not only keeps your air clean, but humidifiers can help with allergies too. Higher humidity can also help with other sinus problems and prevent the occurrence of cracked skin due to a lack of moisture in the air.

It’s fair to say that there’s been a particular emphasis on air quality in the home over the past couple of years. This is why the popularity of products such as the best air purifiers, dehumidifiers on sale and the best humidifiers have soared.

In addition to listing the best humidifiers, we’ve also broken down the best tips on how to maintain your humidifiers once you've got them.

Best humidifiers

Best humidifiers: Dyson AM10 Humidifier

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best humidifier for stylish homes

Smart enabled/compatibility?: No
Water tank capacity: 3.5L
Run time: 2 hours +
Dimensions: 8.7 x 9.4 x 22.8 inches
Reasons to buy
+Doubles as a fan+Very quiet
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Small water tank

The Dyson AM10 is a sleek model that features a stylish loop design and a clear water tank.

What users say

Amazon reviews give the Dyson AM10 an average score of 4.2 out of 5, however 70% of them are five star reviews. Positive reviews commented on how well the ultraviolet light worked to kill bacteria in the water, as well as how easy it was to use. Negative reviews cited that the machine is quite complicated to set up and clean, and others commented on how small the water tank was, which means that you have to fill it up more often than other humidifiers.

 It acts as both a humidifier and a fan, featuring 10 levels, and will look good in any office or living area space. With some great functions, it enables you to set it for sleeping, while an auto mode gives you a choice of your preferred humidity level. However, it’s one of the most expensive models on the market and its water tank is relatively small - only holding 3.75 quarts.

One of the best things about this Dyson Humidifier is that before the water gets vaporized it purifies the water - getting rid of bacteria and minerals with its ultraviolet light. This is one of its best qualities, especially for those who are worried about the air quality in their house. It’s easy to refill the water and it will last continuously for 12 hours before it needs to be refilled. This model is better for smaller rooms up to 172 square feet.

With only one button on the actual model, the humidifier is controlled via its remote control that enables you to change the fan and humidity levels. Humidity levels can be set to between 30 and 70 per cent. However, this humidifier also aims to regulate your desired temperature and will change according to the temperature in the room. This Dyson humidifier is a great investment piece, especially as it doubles as a fan, which means that in the summer months it won’t sit dormant. 

Best Humidifiers: Honeywll HEV685

(Image credit: Amazon)

Honeywell HEV685W

The best humidifier for performance

Smart enabled/compatibility?: No
Water tank capacity: 3 gallons
Run time: 24 hours
Dimensions: 23.23 x 15.35 x 16.38 inches
Reasons to buy
+Large water tank+Good performance   
Reasons to avoid

This humidifier is great for big rooms due to its large water tank, which holds up to three gallons of water. 

What users say

Reviews for the Honeywell HEV685W humidifier on Amazon rate the model 4.4 out of 5, with the majority giving 4 or 5 star reviews. Happy customers comment on how well it humidifies the room - taking it up to 50 percent, while others cite how easy it is to fill up and its multiple fan speeds. Negative reviews write about how hard replacement filters are to find and how noisy it can be. 

However, it’s a loud and bulky model, so it’s not ideal for an office or sleeping environment. This humidifier features a fairly basic design, with fewer features than its competitors at this price range.

This model is easy to set up and it comes with two flat paddles, which are easy to install and two water tanks. As an evaporative humidifier, the model sucks in dry air from the room via a wet filter and then pumps out warmer air in order to change the humidity of the room. If you’re looking for a high tech humidifier, then you might want to look elsewhere, as this model only has two buttons to control its humidity and fan speed. The fan speed can be either fast, medium or low, which is also its quiet setting. With no LED screens, being able to actually set the humidity level you’re after can be confusing.

This humidifier performs well, reaching up to 63% humidity on its highest level, while on the lowest level it reaches up to 53%. As its two water tanks are so large, it can also run continuously for 24 hours on its lowest setting before needing to be filled up again. 

Best humidifiers: Levoit LV600HH

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best water tank for bedrooms

Smart enabled/compatibility: No
Water tank capacity: 1.5 gallon
Run time: 36 hours
Dimensions: 24.2 x 31.4 x 34 cm
Reasons to buy
+Large water tank+Ultra-quiet 
Reasons to avoid
-Auto setting not accurate-Warm mist relatively hot  

The Levoit LV600HH humidifier has some interesting features, including three mist settings, an essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy and a dual nozzle that twists 360 degrees. 

What users say

Customers on Amazon gave the Levoit LV600HH humidifier an average score of 4.5 out of 5 and mentioned its humidity levels and remote control the most. Positive reviews cite its high output of mist and how easy it is to clean, while negative reviews mention that the warm mist can get quite hot and how the auto setting isn’t accurate.

As a smaller model, it’s ultra-quiet but is capable of holding a large amount of water, which means that it can run for up to 36 hours. 

This humidifier is great for larger rooms that measure between 430 to 753 square feet. The built-in water tank is see-through, which means that  you always know how  much water you have left in your tank. Able to sit on your worktop or tuck under a table, it’s a little tricky to fill up. However, this humidifier is ready to use as soon as you get it out of the box, with nothing to set up aside from filling the water.

With a small LCD display on the front, it also has various buttons that enable you to control the mist level, humidity and how long the humidifier will run for. The mist function has three settings going from low to high, while the humidity button enables you to change the percentage of humidity in the air. Meanwhile, the nifty remote control means that you can control the humidifier from up to 16 feet away. Usefully, this humidifier is both easy to operate and extremely quiet.

Best humidifiers: Elechomes HTJ-2119 Ultrasonic Humidifier

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best humidifier with a remote control

Smart enabled/compatibility: No
Water tank capacity: 1.2 gallons
Run time: 35 hours
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 11.5 inches
Reasons to buy
+Remote control+Performs well
Reasons to avoid
-Leaks water on highest setting-Needs weekly cleaning 

This is a small and attractive model that features touch screen buttons and a large display that shows the temperature and humidity levels. 

What users say

The Elechomes HTJ-2119 Ultrasonic Humidifier fares well on Amazon, featuring a 4.5 out of 5 rating. Many like how sleek the humidifier was, along with its very low noise. Other positive reviews loved how it could be controlled via remote control and how easy it was to set a specific humidity level. Negative reviews concentrated on how small the handle of the model was, and others said that the lights on the model distracted them at night.

The humidifier pumps out a cool mist, while the built in humidity sensor enables you to set your preferred humidity level. Other functions include a child lock, sleep mode and the option to add essential oils.

This model is sleek, but tall, so you’ll need around a foot of height if you want to tuck this into a corner or under furniture. Filling the tank is fairly easy and it performs best in a medium sized room or house – or anything that equates to 322 to 528 square feet. The buttons on the display are easy to use and very self explanatory, while the remote control can also control the humidifier as well. 

The highest mist setting can raise the humidity levels in a medium sized room up to 69% in just under an hour, while the humidity target can be adjusted so you never feel uncomfortable with the humidity levels in the room. However, be careful that the water doesn’t leak on the highest setting - our reviewer had a pool of water escape when it was tested. The aroma pad is also a nice extra, enabling you to add essential oils to the pad that the humidifier then emits with the mist, giving an extra scent to the air. 

Levoit Classic 300s review: image shows Levoit Classic 300s dehumidifier

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best humidifier for easy cleaning

Smart enabled/compatibility: Yes, via WIFI
Water tank capacity: 1.5 gallons
Run time: up to 60 hours
Dimensions: 24.5 x 19.2 x 34 cm
Reasons to buy
+Connects to app+Good humidity levels  
Reasons to avoid
-Built-in humidity sensor is sensitive-Needs to be cleaned regularly 

The only smart humidifier on our list, the Levoit Classic 300S humidifier connects to the VeSync app, which enables you to control the mist levels and notifies you when it needs cleaning. 

What users say

The Amazon reviews for the Levoit Classic 300S humidifier scores an impressive 4.6 out of 5 with many happy customers commenting on how quiet it is and how easy it is to clean, because of its wide opening at the top of the humidifier. Negative reviews focused on how the humidifier was too sensitive and that the auto mode didn’t work as well as other models.

A medium sized sleek model, the clear water tank sits on the top, giving you a clear indication of how much water is left.

Perfect for small or medium sized rooms, the humidifier will need some assembling, but it's not a complicated affair. With a large LED display, it clearly indicates the humidity level, while the buttons for mist levels, night mode and humidity levels sit around this.  The connecting app is easy to download and connects via WiFi. Once downloaded, the app enables you to switch between the manual, auto and sleep modes. You can also set a timer and change the humidity levels via the app.

This humidifier is easy to clean and its humidity levels perform well on both the high and middle mist setting, climbing to a 68% level within two hours on the highest setting. Another quiet model, it will last for 19 hours on a high setting, but 60 on a lower setting. However, the built-in humidity sensor is quite sensitive and the model does need to be cleaned regularly to avoid bacteria getting into the water. 

How to maintain your humidifier for optimum performance

The best humidifiers can be a great way to maintain air quality in your home. However, it's important that they're receiving the proper care so that they continue to run at their best. Tim Carroll, the representative from the Environmental Protection Agency, told Live Science the best ways to maintain a humidifier and keep it running smoothly. 

• Empty the tank of the humidifier, wipe all of the surfaces dry and refill the water in portable humidifiers daily. This will help to reduce any growth of microorganisms.

• Try to use water with a low mineral content in order to prevent the build-up of unwanted minerals. This will also reduce the potential dispersal of minerals into the air.

• You should aim to clean portable humidifiers every third day.

• Clean and dry the humidifier thoroughly when storing the product or when it is being used infrequently.

• Do not humidify to indoor relative humidity levels exceeding 50 percent.

• Do not permit the area around the humidifier to become damp or wet.

• Follow any specific manufacturing instructions regarding use, cleaning, and maintenance.

Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance writer - writing across titles including Woman&Home, Fit&Well, The Independent, LiveScience, and the BBC in the UK. She covers a variety of subjects, including trends in beauty, business, and wellness - but her biggest passions are health and fitness. She can normally be found trying out the trendiest fitness class or interviewing an expert about the latest health trends.