What Are the Types of Humidifiers? Guide To All Humidifier Types

During the chilling winter months, the cold is just one of the many problems. You can warm yourselves up with sweaters and jumpers, a cup of hot coffee, and a good heater in the room.

What about the parched-up skin, dry throats, and bleeding noses? All this is caused by the loss of moisture from air due to the extremely low temperatures outside.

The sun only comes up a few hours a day, and the temperature remains chilling most of the hours at night. With the heater on, the air is dryer than ever. The sinus congestion that you suffer and the series of allergic reactions are also caused by drying air during colder days.

Other than that, less moisture in the environments also leads to cracked lips, irritated vocals, and exasperated skin. Worse still, people with higher sensitives may even suffer from respiratory issues as well.

In countries that are more humid due to the remarkably hot weather, the same symptoms are prevalent. It all points to dryness and the absence of moisture in the air.

A solution to all those problems is a good quality humidifier. But with all the types of humidifiers available, which one do you need?

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What Does a Humidifier Do?

A humidifier, in its simple mechanism, adds enough moisture to the air and improves the condition of the room it is kept in. The dryness in the air is significantly decreased, preventing all the issues of allergies, respiration, and generic dryness of the skin, nose, and throat.

With all the added benefits, comes a few downsides of using a humidifier. Overusing it for longer hours and at humidity levels that are too high or too low might cause mold and mildew problems. With more bacteria accumulation, you’d be left with worsened allergic reactions. It is thus recommended at humidity levels are controlled between 30 and 50%.

There are 5 different types of humidifiers to choose from. Each humidifier is designed with a unique purpose. With all the options, we admit it can be challenging to find out and decide which might be best suited for your situation.

For you to save time from all the research work, we have summarized what factors you would have to think of before buying the humidifier and which type might be best suited for you.

Types of Humidifiers

Here are the 5 types of humidifiers you can choose from. Read on to understand what each humidifier is designed to do, and what benefits or drawbacks each might encompass of.

In this section, we will also discuss the top products that we have picked for each type of humidifier.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

For people living in chilling weather conditions, a warm mist humidifier will add the correct level of moisture to the air, decreasing dryness and hence helping in cold and allergy issues.

These humidifiers heat up the water particles, instead of filtering them. For this reason, warm humidifiers are considered to be much more efficient in preventing contaminants to enter the air from the water, thanks to the preheating process. Before the vapor is emitted, it is cooled down. For this heating function, the humidifier is not energy efficient either.

If you are on the lookout for a humidifier that would help you ease up your allergy problems, but also provide a little warmth to the room, this is the option you’d want to consider.

Although warm mist humidifiers are quiet and do not require cleaning too regularly, dusting or washing can be a challenging task because of the built-in fan on the assemble. Moreover, you’d want to avoid a warm mist humidifier if you have little ones at home.


  • Pure mist is emitted
  • No bacteria or dust buildup
  • No noise
  • Warms up air


  • Not suitable for children
  • Difficult to clean
  • Low energy efficiency

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifie

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier, Small to Medium Rooms, 1 Gallon Tank - Vaporizerand Warm Mist Humidifier for Baby and Kids Rooms, Bedrooms and MoreCHECK CURRENT PRICE

If you want a humidifier that you can use in your children’s room, larger or medium rooms, or even in a house where you have many pets, the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier could be your star investment. With an incredible capacity of 1 gallon, you would not have to worry about filling the tank for the next 12 hours.

What makes the humidifier easy to use, and a feature we particularly appreciate is its dual setting system. This feature allows you to have two modes. At the high mode, the product runs for 9 hours, making is suitable to be used at night.

At the low setting, the humidifier can run up to 20 hours straight. Additionally, with an auto shut down of the system, the humidifier will turn off as soon as the water runs out. This saves a little more power in assemble which is generally big in consuming power. At least you’d not have to worry about checking an empty running machine!

Besides, the water tank is a see-through material, which would help you understand when you fill it in with more water. As a word of warning, we think it’s best to keep in mind that like all warm mist humidifiers, Vick’s also requires regular cleaning. Likewise, remember to fill it in with only filtered water.

Our choice of warm mist humidifier adds sufficient moisture to your dry air, and with additional inhalants, you can be sure to trust the humidifier to expel only contaminant free mist.

Key Features:
  • 1 gallon capacity tank
  • Continual running time 24 hours
  • Self-regulated shut down system
  • Medicated inhalant additions allowed
  • 3-year warranty
  • Dual output setting
  • Suitable to be used in nurseries, children’s room
  • Huge capacity
  • Can run for 12 hours in one filling
  • Noiseless operation
  • Easy to clean
  • Requires regular cleaning and maintenance
  • Consumes a lot of energy

Cool Mist Humidifiers

Cool Mist Humidifiers like the popular Crane Drop Shape humidifier, emit cool water vapor to your environment. Because of their ability to add moisture to the air and make the air cooler, these humidifiers are ideal for use in warmer areas, where the sun is always out and the humidity is too much to bear.

What’s so great about cool mist humidifiers is that they have an integrated filter, that sieves out impurities from the vapor, only to produce allergy free, clean mist into the air. Some add inhalants and ingredients like methanol to further help with cold, flu, and congestion.

Although the filter is what makes it serviceable for children, as well as your furry friends, this also means that the filter would hoard a lot of microbes and bacteria, and the need for washing and maintenance is binding for a hygienic mist emission.

To avoid the growth of germs inside the filter, it is commonly advised that you use filtered water for the humidifier.

Cool mist filters have drawing in some criticism for the low sound that they constantly make, although a white noise like that is welcome by some.


  • Safe for children and pets
  • Emits filtered vapor
  • Easy to clean
  • Ability to add inhalants to vapor


  • Can be slightly noisy
  • Chances of impurity accumulation

Miroco Cool Mist Humidifier

Miroco Cool Mist HumidifierCHECK CURRENT PRICE

Reviewers, as well as users, can’t rave enough about this feature rich, and intelligent cool mist humidifier, that has the ability to run for 60 hours straight without refill, owing to the enormous 6-liter tank that can hold up to 1.6 gallons of water. We couldn’t agree more, and hence it is listed as the best cool mist humidifier.

Unlike other cool mist humidifiers, this has a night light mode, that allows you to use the product even in low light. Moreover, the LED indicators are a blessing in disguise, when it comes to optimal use of the product. This also prevents the humidifier from producing too much moisture and heating the room more than required.

The large capacity of the humidifier tank is mainly designed to be used in very large rooms, up to 450 square feet. Besides, we love that the mist level can be adjusted according to the room size. The humidifiers further come with a dial knob for ease of use. Plus, the 26dB noise level means you can use it in the quietest rooms without worrying about the slight white noise.

Since the tank is larger, the humidifier mustn’t be too difficult to maintain. The makers have kept this in mind and added dimension to the water inlet. Further, they have included, cleaning brush and anti-dust sponge with the assembly.

Key Features:
  • Noiseless Whisper Technology
  • 6L Tank Volume
  • Multiple adjustable mist settings
  • (60ml/h-300ml/h) dial knob
  • 90mm Water Inlet
  • Cleaning brush and sponge included
  • Night light
  • Can run for 20 to 60 hours
  • Negligible noise system
  • Smart technology indicator
  • Low maintenance
  • Great capacity tank
  • No filter operation
  • Contamination builds up

Ultrasound Humidifiers

As the name suggests, these humidifiers use ultrasound frequency vibration to create water vapor. Inside these humidifiers is a ceramic or metallic diaphragm, which vibrates enough to create water vapor.

The fashioned cool vapor is then emitted to the environment using a fan, in form of a cool mist.

As ultrasound humidifiers do not use filters or heating functions, you may want to add only filtered water to the product. That way the emitted mist will be purified of contaminants. For the same reasons, these expensive humidifiers save far more energy and power.

Plus, the noise level is nonexistent, and they require almost no maintenance at all. In addition to all that, these filters are the best type of humidifiers when it comes to using them for children or older people.


  • Not noisy at all
  • Suitable for children
  • Can be used in bedrooms
  • Highly energy efficient
  • Minimum maintenance required


  • Pricier than other humidifiers
  • Chances of dust accumulation

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier

Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Premium Unit Lasts Up to 25 Hours with Whisper-Quiet Operation, Automatic Shut-Off, Night Light Function, and BPA-FreeCHECK CURRENT PRICE

If you want a humidifier that you can place in a children’s bedroom, or places that require quiet and peace, the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Humidifier could be a great option. With the frequency vibration technology that this humidifier operates on, making any sort of sound is out of the question, making it ideal to be used at night and in bedrooms.

The humidifier has two-speed settings, and at high, the product can operate for 16 hours straight. Although the tank capacity is smaller than a lot of other types of humidifiers, this ultrasound device uses neither heating nor filtering. That’s one reason, you’d have to remember to put only filtered water into the tank.

With a nozzle that rotates a full 360 degrees, you can point the humidifier in the direction, you’d want more moisture.

The efficient, but costly humidifier effectively removes dehydration from the air, helping in allergy seasons. Nose bleeds, dry sling, rough throats won’t be a bother anymore.

To add to the benefits, it takes mere minutes to attach and detach the assembly. You can refill, clean, and maintain the humidifier without hassle. To justify the price, the designers have contained within the assembly a various range of accessories including, an adapter, cleaning brush, and a base.

Key Features:
  • Running hours: up to 16 hours
  • Rotating mist nozzle
  • Dual speed settings
  • 5-liter water tank
  • Night light mode
  • Automated shut down
  • 5-year warranty
  • Noiseless technology
  • Can be used in children’s room, nursery
  • Easy to assemble
  • Hassle free tank filling
  • Can be pricey
  • Low capacity

Evaporative Humidifier

Evaporative humidifiers or evaporators are much similar to function to cool mist humidifiers. They use a moistened wick filter, while a fan expels and spreads the water mist throughout the air.

These humidifiers, do not need any sort of heating process to turn the water into vapor, thus, making it suitable to be used for both children and pets. Some people love to use evaporators in highly decorative rooms with costly fittings and decorations.

Just like cool mist humidifiers, evaporative ones also need cleaning from time to time, otherwise, bacterial and contaminant may collect on the filter, causing the released mist to be adulterated.

Yet, apart from the dim persistent noise, these are one of the laid-back to use, and easy to carry humidifiers, that can competently add moisture to the air, preventing throat or skin drying issues. To add, evaporative humidifiers can regulate humidity levels without human monitoring.


  • Safe to use for children and pets
  • Convenient to clean
  • Easy to move around
  • Budget friendly


  • Low continuous sound
  • Germ growth on the filter
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly

Honeywell Germ Free Humidifier

Honeywell HCM350B Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifer WhiteCHECK CURRENT PRICE

One of the most popular types of humidifiers that are used in warmer climates and colder climates is the Honeywell Cool Mist Humidifier.

Although this produces cool water vapor to regular the moisture levels in the air, we classify this assemble as an evaporative humidifier as it uses a moist wick filter, along with UV evaporative technology.

If set at low mode, the incredible 1-gallon capacity tank can run for 24 hours straight without another refill.

Maintaining the humidity at 40% to 60%, the Honeywell humidifier is what you might need to make the air more breathable and hospitable. Thanks to the same feature, this humidifier has been tested in children’s rooms and very ornamental rooms. You can be sure your costly furniture won’t have to be drenched from too much moisture.

The only major problem associated with this durable and high-performing humidifier is mold growth. It is more susceptible to bacteria accumulation and black mold build-up, as the filter is always wet. This causes the filter to be cleaned and maintained diligently consumes much of your time and energy.

To compensate for this, the tank has a huge opening and study handle, so that it can be cleaned without too much hassle. Additionally, the accessories that come with the product are as efficient and easy to use, include a cleaning ball, humidity monitor, and replacement filters.

Key Features:
  • 1 gallon capacity
  • Large tank handle and opening
  • Low setting running time: 24 hours
  • Moist Wick filter
  • Energy saving UV technology
  • Monitor, cleaning ball available
  • Easy to clean
  • No hassle filling
  • Portable
  • Suitable for children and pets
  • Energy saving
  • Black mold growth is possible
  • Needs regular maintenance

Vaporizer Humidifiers

Vaporizer humidifiers are highly multipurpose, as they can function as both warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers.

Moreover, the dual function of these humidifiers does not increase the cost either. Surprisingly vaporizer type humidifiers are one of the most affordable ones on the market.

Having the best of both features, thus humidifiers can be used for hot and cold climates, allowing the addition of medicated inhalants when you want to treat allergy or cold problems.

Although they are noiseless on the operation, they can be laborious to clean and pertains to safety issues when it comes to children or pets in the house. Also, such humidifiers consume a lot of energy and power, and can add to your household bills!


  • Less chance of impurity collection
  • Versatile function
  • Can be used in hot and cold weather
  • Affordable


  • Not for children
  • Low noise issue
  • Less energy efficient
  • Difficult to maintain

LEVOIT Vaporizing Humidifiers

LEVOIT Humidifiers for Large Room Bedroom (6L), Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Air Vaporizer for Home Whole House Babies, Customized Humidity, Remote Control, Whisper-Quiet (White)CHECK CURRENT PRICE

The Levoit Vaporizing Humidifier is perfect for large living rooms and office spaces, with an incredible ability to spread moisture in rooms that are as large as 753 ft2.

The tank capacity is large enough to emit misting at 500 ml per hour in warm mode, and 300 ml per hour in cooler mode. As you’ve guessed, the vaporizer humidifier is so versatile, you can use it all year round, on colder days and warmer.

What we like about the product is the range of smart design features It includes, that makes it both interesting and easy to use. With remote control, you’d not have to leave and walk across your room to change the settings as you wish.

You can even set timers according to your needs and schedule. The set it and forget it ability means; the product is automated and self-regulatory. Even if you do forget to vary the settings or turn the humidifier on, it adjusts itself and turns off in time.

Keep this away from a room with too much wooden furniture, but adding it to your bedroom can be a great idea, for you can sleep without disturbance, that too with a fragrant environment. The humidifier is absolutely noise free, and you can add essential oil for more relaxation.

Other than adding the appropriate moisture to your dehydrated air, this humidifier greatly helps in relieving cold related problems such as congestion and allergy. Also, it could provide your indoor plant with just the right amount of dampness.

Key Features:
  • Water Capacity: 6 liter
  • Area coverage: 753 ft2
  • Auto Mode option
  • Cool Moisture Capacity/ Warm Moisture Capacity: 300 and 500ml/h
  • 10-60 hours continuous run time
  • Aroma and Absorption pads
  • Remote control included
  • No noise operation
  • Easy cleaning
  • Ultra large capacity
  • Automated mist settings
  • Essential oil fragrance friendly
  • Good for plant hydration
  • Can damage wooden furniture
  • Bacteria build up possibility

How to Choose a Humidifier?

Apart from the different types of humidifiers, it is imperative to remember a few other factors. Consider the following before deciding on which humidifier to purchase:


“Humidifiers are always so expensive”. This is quite the saying when we begin to think about having one in our homes.

Although there is some truth in the statement, it is possible to find yourself a high functioning and long-lasting humidifier at a pretty reasonable price. This is because humidifiers can cost anywhere from $20 to a few thousand dollars for a whole house humidifier.

Most reliable ones from popular brands range from $50 to $300. Cool mist humidifiers are the most affordable options in the market. While warm mist and ultrasound versions are little on the expensive side.

Suitable for Children and Pets

While many don’t put much emphasis, we greatly prioritize the safety of the little ones, as well as our pet friends. You can of course ignore this part if you are living alone or have no children or animals at home.

Most users who buy a humidifier say it’s essentially for their children who suffer more cold related issues like congestion and allergies due to their weaker immunities. If that’s the case for you, you must surely sway away from warm mist humidifiers and vaporizing humidifiers.

Cool misting or ultrasound humidifiers are safe for children as well as animals in our homes, as they do not use any heating mechanism. Vaporizers can also be an option.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

People who are too busy and can’t find time to clean their humidifiers, often complain of the myriads of problems that have been associated with their device. Before you buy one, we must alert you that humidifiers NEED regular cleaning and maintenance.

One of the biggest issues relating to humidifiers is the accumulation of bacteria and the growth of black mold inside the filter and tanks.

Since the device uses moisture, it is only typical for such filth to gather and turn into harmful microbes. This however can readily be avoided, if the humidifier, along with all its parts is washed, and cleaned with a brush and sponge.

Keep in mind dew humidifiers are easier to clean than others. Visit the website of the product, look through customer reviews and ask your retailer if the product you wish to purchase is easy to maintain. Few humidifiers like the ultrasound version are low maintenance and require minimum cleaning.

Know Your Needs

This is more important than other factors because you’d only find a suitable humidifier if you are certain why you are purchasing one in the first place.

If you want to treat allergies and just want to go through flu season, without spending a hefty amount, a cool mist humidifier is the best option. For adding the most moisture to treat dryness of the skin, or throat, while expecting the room to keep warm? You’d need a warm mist humidifier.

Consider the area of the room you plan to cover. Plus, if you have a family member who suffers from asthma, it is best to invest in a high quality, more expensive, and self-regulated humidifier, especially an ultrasound one that prevents the accumulation of germs and bacterial.

Final Thoughts

There’s no better device to invest in than a humidifier when you are planning to get through the flu season without the annoyance of allergies and congestion. Loss of moisture in the air, especially in areas whether the humidity is tipped off can cause various problems, including dry skin, irritation, nose bleeds, and worsened asthma issues.

A humidifier helps in easing all that when used correctly. For each problem, there are specified types of humidifiers. Whether you choose a budget-friendly cool mist humidifier or a versatile ultrasound one, you may want to precisely decide which type best suits your needs. It should best be according to what you want, and what issue to plan to resolve.

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