Say Good-Bye to Dry Air: 11 Top-Rated Humidifiers

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DRY-AIR RELIEF

Itchy eyes, cracked skin, breathing difficulties, static electricity, wilting plants -- all symptoms of too little moisture in the air. It's easy to remedy the problem with a budget-priced humidifier. Cheapism.com read through scores of user and expert reviews to find the best humidifiers under $60. The top picks are suitable for small to midsize rooms. They include warm mist humidifiers, which boil water to eliminate bacteria before sending vapor into the air, and ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers, which are energy-efficient and nearly silent. Also featured are models for larger rooms and baby rooms, some of which offer a choice of warm or cool mist.
Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

HONEYWELL HWM705B

Good Warm Mist Humidifier Under $60
Est. Price: $30 | Buy it from Best Buy

Pros:
- Warm mist suffuses well in small to midsize rooms.
- 1-gallon tank lasts up to 24 hours on low.
- Easy to clean.
- No filter to replace.
- Automatic shutoff when the tank is empty.
- Medicine cup for liquid inhalants.
- 2-year limited warranty.

Cons:
- Some users consider this model a bit noisy, according to online reviews.
- Some reports of disappointing durability.

Takeaway: Experts at Wirecutter aren't sold on the Honeywell HWM705B, saying it seems a bit flimsy, but dozens of user reviewers like this warm mist humidifier just fine. It's a basic, no-frills model with no filter to mess with. The price is very attractive and the two moisture settings meet the needs of a majority. In short, it serves the purpose.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

VICKS V4600

Good Humidifier Under $60 for Congestion Relief
Est. Price: $40 | Buy it from Walmart

Pros:
- Compartment for Vicks VapoPads to alleviate cold and flu symptoms.
- Cool mist quickly fills midsize rooms.
- 1.2-gallon tank lasts up to 30 hours on low.
- Near silent when running.
- Comes with a demineralization cartridge.
- Easy to clean.
- No filter to replace.
- 3-year limited warranty.

Cons:
- Some reviewers warn of limited longevity.
- Some complaints about leaks.

Takeaway: Fans of Vicks products get a twofer with the V4600: an ultrasonic Vicks humidifier with the option of adding up to two proprietary pads that release scented vapors along with cool mist. Reviewers report relief from nosebleeds, congestion, and allergy symptoms (for pets, as well), and talk up the savings of the no-filter design.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

CRANE DROP

Good Humidifier Under $60 for Design-Conscious Buyers
Est. Price: $43 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Sleek teardrop design available in more than a dozen colors.
- Ultra-fine, cool mist spreads through midsize or even large rooms.
- 1-gallon tank lasts up to 24 hours on the lowest setting.
- Super-quiet while running.
- Antimicrobial material in base.
- Lid with a nozzle at the tip rotates 360 degrees.
- Automatic shutoff when the tank is empty.

Cons:
- Some griping that the midsection of the tank is hard to clean.
- Some reported problems with mold and need for daily cleaning.

Takeaway: This Crane humidifier is a good choice for anyone who cares about aesthetics almost as much as alleviating dry air. Reviewers are generally pleased with the performance and features of this ultrasonic, cool-mist model but withhold points for cleaning struggles.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

HONEYWELL HUL520B

Best Personal Humidifier Under $60
Est. Price: $26 | Buy it from Walmart

Pros:
- Humidifies small spaces effectively.
- Half-gallon tank lasts up to 18 hours on low.
- Automatic shutoff when the tank is empty.
- Very quiet ultrasonic technology.
- Easy to fill and clean.
- No filter to replace.
- Small, compact design.
- Available in white, blue, red, and black.
- 2-year limited warranty.

Cons:
- Some reports of limited longevity.
- Some mention of leaks in online reviews.

Takeaway: The ultrasonic Honeywell HUL520B emits enough cool mist for small rooms or a user's personal space. Reviewers say it benefits from weekly cleaning with vinegar or bleach, while distilled water or demineralization cartridges help minimize white dust. They like the ease of use -- especially the absence of a filter -- and consider this personal humidifier essential for easy breathing.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

VICKS V745A

Best Warm Mist Humidifier Under $60
Est. Price: $36 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Slot for inhalants to help relieve congestion.
- Emits plenty of warm vapor for midsize or even large rooms.
- Heated water kills most germs, spores, and mold.
- Runs quietly, with soft bubbling.
- 1-gallon tank lasts up to 12 hours on low.
- Automatic shutoff.
- No filter to replace.
- Compact design.
- 3-year limited warranty.

Cons:
- Scattered reports of leaking.
- Small fill opening makes cleaning difficult.

Takeaway: This Vicks humidifier is a popular model among consumers with a preference for warm mist and a filter-free design. Many take advantage of the medicine cup to add inhalants when feeling under the weather, and are grateful for the relief. They also appreciate the bargain price. A newer model, the V750 (starting at $30), runs up to 24 hours on a 1-gallon tank and features a small compartment for Vicks VapoPads and a larger fill opening for easier cleaning.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

TAOTRONICS AH001

Best Cool Mist Humidifier Under $60
Est. Price: $59 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- 1.1-gallon tank lasts up to 15 hours on low.
- Produces enough moisture to humidify 66 to 82 square feet.
- Nozzle rotates 360 degrees.
- Ultrasonic technology runs almost silently.
- Easy-to-fill tank, with handles on top and bottom.
- Permanent filter.
- LED display, humidistat, 24-hour timer, auto shutoff, and sleep mode.

Cons:
- Some reports of malfunctions after short periods.
- Some reviews mention dripping and pooling water.

Takeaway: The feature-rich TaoTronics AH001 wins accolades from scores of users for its effectiveness and value. The humidity and mist levels can be adjusted with digital controls, and the filter never needs replacing -- just a monthly vinegar bath. This ultrasonic cool mist humidifier sits at the top of the Cheapism price range, but strong reviews and features not often found on budget models convince us it's a very good deal.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

HONEYWELL HCM-350

Worth a Little Extra
Est. Price: $68 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Easy to use and clean, with dishwasher-safe parts.
- Releases up to 2.3 gallons of invisible moisture in 24 hours on the lowest setting, enough for a midsize room.
- UV light zaps germs, mold, and fungus in water.
- Antimicrobial wicking filter reduces white dust and sifts out impurities in water.
- Wirecutter's pick for best humidifier.
- 3-year limited warranty.

Cons:
- Frequent filter replacement is an ongoing cost.
- Some users doubt value of the UV light.
- Some reports of a limited lifespan.

Takeaway: This best-selling Honeywell humidifier uses evaporative (wicking) technology to add cool, soothing moisture to the air. Filling the 1-gallon tank is easy, users say. The major gripe concerns the filter, which gets dirty and requires frequent replacement. At about $10 a pop, the cost adds up quickly. Still, this model is a winner with consumers and experts alike for its effectiveness.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

PUREGUARDIAN H920BL

Bonus: Baby Room Humidifier Under $60
Est. Price: $30 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Good humidifier for a baby room, or for travel and personal use.
- 0.21-gallon tank emits cool mist for up to 10 hours on low.
- Tank surface is treated against mold and mildew.
- Nozzle rotates 360 degrees.
- Automatic shutoff when the tank is empty.
- Low-water indicator.
- Optional night light.
- 3-year limited warranty.

Cons:
- Reports of limited durability.

Takeaway: This ultrasonic personal humidifier is suitable for a nursery, work cubicle, or nightstand. Reviewers crow about its quiet effectiveness and convenience, as well as the user-friendly features. The soft blue night light garners lots of approving comments.

Photo credit: Courtesy of homedepot.com

AIR INNOVATIONS MH-509

Bonus: Digital Humidifier for Large Rooms
Est. Price: $60 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:
- Emits enough cool mist to fill 400-square-foot room.
- Near silent operation with ultrasonic technology.
- 1.4-gallon tank lasts up to 70 hours on low.
- 4 mist levels.
- LED display, programmable humidistat, 24-hour timer, and delay start.
- Antimicrobial tank and base.
- Mist nozzle rotates 360 degrees.
- Automatic shutoff when the tank is empty.

Cons:
- The tank has a curved top that can be awkward when filling.
- Irritating beeps when changing settings.
- Some complaints about inaccurate readings.

Takeaway: This ultrasonic cool mist humidifier sits near the edge of our budget price range but gives buyers frills found on higher-end models. With power and features to spare, the Air Innovations MH-509 (HUMID16-WHT) surpassed the expectations of some user reviewers. Still, others question the accuracy of the humidistat, and some experts doubt the efficacy of the permanent ceramic filter.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

SUNPENTOWN SU-4010

Bonus: Low-Cost Dual Mist Humidifier
Est. Price: $65 | Buy it from Home Depot

Pros:
- Produces a steady stream of cool or warm mist.
- 1.1-gallon tank is sufficient for midsize rooms.
- 2 nozzles that rotate 360 degrees.
- Ion-exchange filter removes minerals from water.
- Overheat protection; low-water indicator light; auto shutoff.
- Comes with a cleaning brush.

Cons:
- Lots of surfaces and angles to clean.
- Some reports of limited longevity, leaking, and weak output.

Takeaway: The ultrasonic Sunpentown SU-4010 claims some loyal users who have bought more than one of these dual mist humidifiers over the years. Experts report that it performs on par with some of the best in class but sells for far less. Still, it fails to win over everyone, owing to cleaning challenges and the usual (for cheap humidifiers) disappointment over units that fail shortly after purchase.

Photo credit: Courtesy of amazon.com

HOMEDICS UHE-WM85

Bonus: Dual Mist Humidifier for Large Rooms
Est. Price: $119 | Buy it on Amazon

Pros:
- Choice of warm or cool mist.
- 1.4-gallon tank produces enough moisture for a large room and lasts up to 60 hours.
- Ultrasonic technology runs quietly.
- Tank surface is treated with antimicrobial technology.
- LCD display, programmable humidistat, 8-hour timer, and auto shutoff.
- Tall, modern profile with optional night light.
- Comes with a demineralization cartridge.

Cons:
- Some reports of defects and limited longevity.
- Some reviewers complain of leakage.
- Filling the tank can be challenging.

Takeaway: Flexibility is the draw with the HoMedics UHE-WM85, an ultrasonic humidifier that delivers cool or warm mist as needed. It performs admirably in rooms up to 625 square feet, and users report the air smelling fresh and feeling clean. The triple-digit price seems steep to reviewers who bemoan leaks and other malfunctions, but others value the features and relatively long stretch between refills.