Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve written about the dry-air essential before — including the best USB-friendly models, a germ-free humidifier, and even de-humidifiers — here, we’ve rounded up the best humidifiers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
More than 9,000 reviewers give this humidifier five stars, and many love how easy it is to use. “Just fill with water and push the button,” one says, adding, “No assembly required. It has four settings that produce high/low volumes of ‘mist’ with various states of blue LED illumination.” And though the blue light from the LED is controversial, as many think it’s hard to sleep with it on, those two levels of output are described as “useful when adjusting for different-sized rooms,” according to one customer. And nearly a third of five-star reviewers also note how quiet this machine is, with one saying it’s “so quiet you don’t know it’s on, and provides just the right amount of moisture to keep me breathing easy all through cold-weather months.” Even if you don’t think you need a humidifier, one reviewer thinks you should get it: They weren’t suffering from any sinus issues but still found themselves “sleeping much better, being more alert throughout the day, and having more energy.”
Best-rated (less expensive) humidifier
“This little humidifier is smaller than a water bottle,” reports one reviewer, and that compact footprint allows this humidifier to be functional in a variety of spaces. “I like that I can use it in my SUV or in my bathroom,” one customer writes, while another says it’s perfect for their desk at work. “This is small and unobtrusive; stays out of sight and does its job without a lot of attention drawn to itself,” they explain. “It turns off after the water has been depleted, which is important because I’m sure I’ll forget to turn it off when I leave my office, and I wouldn’t want to come back to a desk fire.” Nearly 20 percent also think it’s great for travel, too. “The small size fits into our cup holder perfectly, and the USB cord is long enough to reach the plug and operate just fine while traveling,” one reports. And even though it’s small, many agree that it’s plenty powerful. “I used it for nine hours today and never had to refill it,” says one user. “It’s easy to set up, quiet, and I like that I have the option to use with or without the changing lights.”
Best all-in-one humidifier
“FINALLY …. A humidifier that actually lives up and exceeds to what the manufacturer says it will do,” says one reviewer, who’s just one of many customers overjoyed by this do-it-all humidifier. “Whisper quiet? You can’t even hear it running when it’s sitting a foot away from you. Programmable humidity setting? Yep, anywhere from 45 percent up to 80 percent. Large capacity water tank? This could run for DAYS if you want, or only a few hours — it’s up to you. Warm or cool mist? Just push the button for the one you prefer. Aromatherapy option? It’s totally got you covered. Remote control? Ditto,” lists one reviewer. All of these features get the seal of approval from an experienced humidifier buyer, too. “We have four different humidifiers in our home, and this one is by far our favorite,” they write. “The settings are easily adjustable, no leaks, it’s stable, it’s quiet — no problems.”
Best filterless humidifier
A selling point for more than 10 percent of reviewers is that this humidifier does not require a filter, which in turn makes it easier to clean and maintain. “The filters were a bother; the cleaning was a bother, and difficult for me, with the shortness of breath to contend with as well,” one writes.
“So here comes the Vicks Filter-Free model and I could NOT be more pleased.” However, many reviewers warn that without the filter, you need to use filtered water “so you don’t have any buildup in the bottom of the device,” recommends one user. But after all the necessary precautions, reviewers are impressed by how well this works — especially in large spaces. “My wife and I live in a 2,000-square-foot apartment and have had this humidifier running full blast for 24 hours a day for almost a week and it works great,” one writes, while another says, “We run two all winter long in a 1,500-square-foot apartment and it really helps.”
Best humidifier for the bedroom
This humidifier’s efficient “sleep mode” is beloved by reviewers, because it “is almost dark with a dim indicator that shows it is powered on.” One reviewer writes, “The sleep mode is perfect and it auto shuts off with a little waterless icon indicator. Makes it easy for even the kids to know when to fill them.” It’s also very quiet, making for ideal sleeping conditions: “It was so quiet, I didn’t notice [it was on] until I saw the mist rising. Very quiet. There is a tiny gurgle every now and then as air bubbles rise, but that is a negligible sound.”
Best cool mist humidifier
“This is my first cool