Best Baby Humidifier: Buyers Guide and Reviews

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
October 25, 2018

Best Baby Humidifier

As parents, the health of our children is a top priority.  Whether you’re searching for ways to keep your little one from catching a cold or the flu, or they’re already sick and you just want to make them more comfortable, figuring out where to find the best baby humidifier can be a godsend.

In this informative buyer’s guide, we will discuss what every parent should know about the best baby humidifiers. We’ll give you information on what the device is, how it works, and review some of the best options on the market for families with different needs and budgets.

Humidifiers: An Overview

We’re all familiar with humidity.  Despite being responsible for bad hair days thanks to all that frizz, it’s also a crucial element to maintaining the moisture in your skin and sinuses. A humidifier helps you to regulate and control the moisture in the air and is especially helpful if you live in dry or cold climates and want to combat some of the health issues associated with dry air.

The device stores water that’s then converted into steam or a fine mist and pumped through your room to reach your desired humidity level.  There are two different ways this is accomplished, which we’ll discuss below when we detail the types of humidifiers.

Many parents swear by humidifiers, and use them during cold and flu season to help ward off sickness.  Models that allow you to infuse essential oils with the mist may offer additional health benefits if used correctly.

Despite the potential upsides, there are a few considerations to be aware of before you purchase a humidifier.  Some models are difficult to clean, and if you allow them to sit without disinfecting for too long, they could grow dangerous mold or bacteria and push it into the air.

Luckily, there are ways to combat those potential drawbacks that we will delve into below. Also, the best baby humidifiers have features that make them easy to clean and ensure they are always safe to use around your children.

Types of Humidifiers

There are two main types named for how they create humidity: cool mist and warm mist. Experts nearly unanimously agree that cool mist models are best for use around babies and children as there is no risk of burns or injury with this type of diffusion. Warm mist models might also be referred to as a vaporizer. Check out our post on the differences between vaporizers and humidifiers!

Cool Mist

Cool mist models simply push room-temperature moisture into the air, without any risk of curious kids touching the hot water.

PROS

  • Highly effective at humidifying
  • Absolutely no burn risk
  • Low energy costs

CONS

  • Need to be cleaned more often
  • Water must be changed daily
  • Prone to growing mold and bacteria

Warm Mist

Warm mist models do offer some benefits for children who are particularly susceptible to illness.  They are also a nice choice if you live somewhere cool and want to warm up the room while adding humidity.  However, warm mist models are also commonly called "hot mist" humidifiers, for good reason: they use a heating element to internally warm moisture to provide their misting properties, creating hot water that is potentially uncomfortable in contact with unprotected skin. Warm mist models should only be considered if you can completely guarantee that they will be placed somewhere in your baby's nursery where your child can’t reach it.

PROS

  • Warm water increases humidity
  • Kills any bacteria or mold
  • Quieter than cool mist models

CONS

  • Risk of scalds and burns
  • More expensive to operate
  • Hard water residue can be an issue

Evaporative

When it comes to cool mist humidifiers, they disperse water via two primary mechanisms. The first is as an evaporative humidifier. This is the simplest version of cool mist humidifier and is sometimes also referred to as a “wick humidifier” by manufactures on packing.

PROS

  • Easier to clean
  • Low upfront costs
  • Designs are classic and traditional

CONS

  • Expensive to run and maintain
  • Noisier than ultrasonic models
  • No additional features

This cool mist option pulls air inside the device via an internal fan that then directs it to pass over a wick filter that’s been saturated with water from the reservoir in the machine.  That air absorbs some of the moisture from the wick and is then pushed back out into the room to balance the humidity. Evaporative cool mist models are self-regulating and how much water released depends on the current moisture in the space.

The second common cool mist option is an ultrasonic humidifier.  This model comes equipped with a small metal plate that generates powerful vibrations at an ultrasonic frequency.  They move so quickly that they break apart the water particles in the device reservoir and produce a vapor that escapes into your room.

Ultrasonic

PROS

  • Most popular type on the market
  • Quieter and more efficient
  • More sophisticated

CONS

  • Can leave white dust behind
  • Expensive than evaporative models
  • Require regular cleaning

While both types will get the job done, here are some important pros and cons to know about each.

The Search for the Best Nursery Humidifiers

Narrowing down our options from the thousands of nursery humidifiers on the market to the ones we reviewed in this guide was no easy task.  We extensively researched every brand and product, paying attention to all of the details before making our choices for the best humidifiers for baby. The options featured here are from prominent manufacturers who offer product guarantees and have excellent reputations.

We scoured thousands of user reviews to determine which models delivered the best results and functionality, added moisture to enough square feet in area, and were safe for use around infants and children.  Finally, we only feature mist humidifier candidates that are easy to clean and maintain so that we’re not adding a long list of items to your already overflowing to-do list.

Read on for our top picks and an informative comparison of all the products.

The Best Humidifier for Babies

Levoit Humidifiers for Bedroom Babies

  • Ultrasonic dispersal
  • Built-in humidity reader
  • Touch-screen and remote control

PROS

  • Ultra-quiet at just 36 db
  • Equipped with a smart auto mode
  • Warm and cool options
  • Comes with cleaning brush and pads

CONS

  • Could disrupt your baby’s sleep

If you want a highly adaptable and adjustable unit, this model from Levoit fits the bills.  Its high-capacity tank can last for over a day, and the automated functionality and auto shut-off makes it easy to always keep your baby’s nursery at the right level of humidity.  In addition, unlike most cool mist humidifiers it also has a warm mist option, enabling you to control the heat of moisture emitted from the unit.

You can set a program, and the unit will constantly monitor the humidity level in the space, and create mist as needed to keep it comfortable.  It’s extremely quiet, and has a warm mist option should you ever need it during cold months or if your little one gets a cold or suffers from croup, making it an excellent choice when seeking a humidifier for baby. That unique versatility of this type of humidifier (both cool moisture and warm mist options)  makes this Levoit humidifier ideal for use in children's rooms, resulting in this being one of the top rated cool mist humidifiers for babies.

Type

Warm and Cool Ultrasonic Mist

Product weight

4.92 pounds

Product dimension

7.01 x 11.34 x 10.51 in

Water tank capacity (gallons)

6L

Humidification area (sq. ft.)

280

Anti-bacterial (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

No

Auto-shutdown (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Runtime (how long does the product run on a full tank)

20-36 hours

Warranty

2-year warranty

Extras

Smart auto mode automatically adjusts settings based on the humidity in the room.  Includes both a touch screen and remote control for operation anywhere in the home

​​​​The Budget-Friendly Baby Humidifier

Urpower Essential Oil Diffuser

 

  • Cool mist humidifier
  • 350 square feet for up to 6 hours
  • Customize your program

PROS

  • The simple design is easy to clean
  • Customizable LED light
  • No filters are required
  • Extremely quiet when it’s running

CONS

  • Only 4 sizes and 3 colors
  • The device may stop working

There is loads of research about the benefits of essential oils, and this dual action humidifier and diffuser lets you harness the best of both worlds.  This compact little device has all of the standard features you expect in an ultrasonic humidifier, along with some fun night light options.  It's also a ultrasonic cool mist humidifier, making it safer still. Although it’s one of the most inexpensive we reviewed, users report it as being both practical and durable making it a fan favorite.

Type

Ultrasonic

Product weight

10.9 ounces

Product dimension

3.1"x5.5"

Water tank capacity (gallons)

100 ML

Humidification area (sq. ft.)

Up to 350

Anti-bacterial (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

No

Auto-shutdown (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Runtime (how long does the product run on a full tank)

6 hours

Warranty

45 days with a money back guarantee, 18-month limited warranty

Extras

Lamp has seven color-changing options, a nightlight mode, and programmable cycles.  Can be used with pure essential oils.

The Runner-Ups

MistAire Ultrasonic

 

  • 16-hours of uninterrupted runtime
  • Germ and mold free
  • Built-in optional night light

PROS

  • High-tech ultrasonic design
  • Auto shut off feature
  • The mist is adjustable

CONS

  • Very bright and can’t be dimmed

This mid-priced and mid-sized model by MistAire is one of their most popular, and for a good reason. Like all ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers it is quite safe, and its large capacity water tank gives you up to 16 hours of uninterrupted coverage. Meanwhile it’s ultrasonic design is nearly silent and perfect for raising the humidity level of any nursery or child’s room.  We love the adjustable settings, as well as the 360-degree rotating nozzle that allows you to point the mist in the best direction.

Type

Ultrasonic

Product weight

2.27 pounds

Product dimension

10.9 x 9.2 x 6.9 inches

Water tank capacity (gallons)

1.5 L

Humidification area (sq. ft.)

250-400 square feet

Anti-bacterial (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

No

Auto-shutdown (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Runtime (how long does the product run on a full tank)

16 hours

Warranty

2-year warranty

Extras

360-degree mist nozzle allows you to direct the mist where you want it to go

Uni Home Ultrasonic Humidifier

 

  • 200 ml capacity ultrasonic unit
  • Seven colors and three patterns
  • Pre-programmed time settings

PROS

  • Incredibly quiet ultrasonic technology
  • Most unique and beautiful humidifiers
  • Two different brightness settings
  • Can be used with essential oils

CONS

  • Only has 5 hours of run time

In this humidifier and essential oil diffuser from Uni, you get a perfect match between function and beauty.  The cool mist humidifier unit has a natural wood appearance and features three night light patterns you can project including flowers, stars, and the moon.  Combined with seven different light modes and whisper quiet ultrasonic technology, it can easily lull your little one to sleep while keeping the air at the perfect level of humidity for sleeping.

Type

Ultrasonic

Product weight

13.8 ounces

Product dimension

4.72 x 4.72 x 4.25 inch

Water tank capacity (gallons)

200 ml

Humidification area (sq. ft.)

150-200 square feet

Anti-bacterial (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

No

Auto-shutdown (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Runtime (how long does the product run on a full tank)

Up to 5 hours

Warranty

None

Extras

Also works with essential oils.  Includes a night light with three patterns and seven colors with adjustable brightness

Aennon Cool Mist Humidifier

 

  • 2.8-liter ultrasonic humidifier
  • ETL safety approved for children
  • Built-in seven color LED nightlight

PROS

  • Large capacity with long runtime
  • Also an aromatherapy diffuser
  • Easy to control flow-knob

CONS

  • Difficult to clean for some users

This mid-sized model from Aennon delivers a lot of ultrasonic cool mist bang for your buck.  With up to 20 hours of run time per fill, you can humidify many square feet of space -- an entire room -- efficiently and quietly.  The built-in diffuser works well with essential oils and other aromatherapy, and the programmable nightlight makes it the perfect multi-tasking device for your nursery.

Type

Ultrasonic

Product weight

3.22 pounds

Product dimension

7.8"x8.3"x11.4"

Water tank capacity (gallons)

2.8 L

Humidification area (sq. ft.)

200-300 square feet

Anti-bacterial (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

No

Auto-shutdown (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Runtime (how long does the product run on a full tank)

Up to 20 hours

Warranty

None

Extras

Includes built-in aroma diffuser for essential oils

PureGuardian

 

  • Up to 14-hours of cool mist
  • Has high and low settings
  • Easy to click on or off as desired

PROS

  • Built-in anti-bacterial technology
  • Incredibly quiet
  • Two different speed setting options

CONS

  • No aromatherapy options

The PureGuardian cool mist humidifier harnesses the power of ultrasonic technology and combines it with powerful germ-fighting treatments to give you a safe and healthy option.  The most notable thing about this device is the Silver Clean Protection treatment on the water reservoir that’s designed to fight against bacteria, mold, and mildew growth. Although it will help keep these issues at bay, you’ll still want to clean it regularly like you would any cool mist humidifier to maintain a healthy home.

Type

Ultrasonic

Product weight

1 pound

Product dimension

4.3 x 6.3 x 8.4 inches

Water tank capacity (gallons)

3.5L

Humidification area (sq. ft.)

200-300 square feet

Anti-bacterial (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Auto-shutdown (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Runtime (how long does the product run on a full tank)

Up to 14 hours

Warranty

1-year limited warranty

Extras

Treated with Silver Clean Protection to help prevent mold and mildew growth

Taotronics Ultrasonic Humidifier

 

  • Up to 10 hours of mist
  • Simple to adjust the amount of mist
  • Automatic shut-off

PROS

  • Includes an extra fine ceramic filter
  • control over directions of vapor

CONS

  • No night light on this model

The ultrasonic cool mist humidifier from TaoTronics is an excellent choice for a mid-capacity cool mist humidifier with basic features and functionality.  What makes this item stand out as a top contender are the dual mist nozzles that can rotate up to 360-degrees and give you control over the direction of moisture and humidity in the room.  The 10-hours of potential run time and adjustable mist settings make this a strong contender for someone who likes versatility in their humidifier.

Type

Ultrasonic

Product weight

2.5 pounds

Product dimension

8.74x8.03x12.20 inches

Water tank capacity (gallons)

3.5L

Humidification area (sq. ft.)

200-300 square feet

Anti-bacterial (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

No

Auto-shutdown (indicate if the product has the feature or not)

Yes

Runtime (how long does the product run on a full tank)

Up to 10 hours

Warranty

1-year limited warranty

Extras

Two nozzles that each rotate up to 360-degrees allows you to disperse humidity at multiple angles

The Benefits of Using Baby Humidifiers

Keeping your baby’s room at the perfect humidity level has several benefits.  Here are just a few.

Keep Germs at Bay

Dry air is a breeding ground for many viruses and bacteria around the home.  By keeping the atmosphere moist, you can limit the growth of germs and make it more difficult for your infant to get sick from exposure.

Does A Humidifier Help Newborns With Colds?

If you weren’t successful in beating sickness completely, a humidifier could give your little one some serious relief if they have a cough or case of the sniffles.  Humid air also soothes dryness and irritation associated with allergic reactions and can make red noses, itchy skin, and itchy eyes feel better. Finally, moist air can keep mucus loose and help coughs and runny noses be more productive.

Make Breathing Easier

If your baby suffers from nosebleeds or medical conditions like asthma, talk with your doctor to determine if a humidifier might help. A fine mist of moisture in the air can offer some relief to stuffy nose symptoms caused by dry nasal passages in a baby. Some researchers have seen improved asthma symptoms in babies and children who had a controlled, humid environment.

Sleep More Soundly

Some research suggests that low-level white noise, like that which an ultrasonic humidifier emits, may help lull babies to sleep and help them sleep more soundly.

Soothe Dry Skin

If your baby has sensitive skin (what baby doesn’t?), you may find that’s it's difficult to keep it moisturized.  Scaly skin and cracked lips are a sign of dry air, and a humidifier in the nursery can help to soothe those conditions.

Safety Tips When Using Humidifiers

Although they are a great addition to your home, it’s important to use humidifiers safely for the biggest benefit.  Here are some tips for operating them the right way.

Keep Them Dry

If you’re not using your humidifier, empty the water and keep them in a dry location. Whenever possible, leave the lid off and expose them to fresh air to limit the growth of mold and bacteria in the unit.

Disinfect Regularly

Wet environments are breeding grounds for germs and mold, and it’s important to clean your humidifier per manufacturer instructions regularly to eliminate this risk.

Use the Right Water

Whenever possible, use demineralized, boiled, or distilled water in your humidifier.  Use of filtered or distilled water in humidifiers for babies can reduce the white dust caused by the "white powder effect" when water-borne minerals get evaporated and dispersed into the air as a fine white dust. Using clean water can keep any contaminants found in hard tap water from showing up in the air in your baby’s room (or in your baby's nasal passages).

Change the Filter

If your model has a filter, change it regularly per the instructions included from the manufacturer. Different types of filter will require more attention; some filters can be hand-washed, whereas other filters are disposable and must be discarded. Filter upkeep can help discourage mold or scaling build-up in the mist humidifier unit.

Use Essential Oils Wisely

Some humidifiers are compatible with essential oils and aromatherapy, and some are not. Only use oils if your machine is designed to handle them, and take care to research any potential problems or interactions extensively.  Some oils are safe for use in adults but are toxic or hazardous to children and infants.

Thing to Consider Before Buying a Baby Humidifier

Finding the best baby humidifier for your baby’s room means answering a few questions.  Ask yourself:

GETTING THE BEST BABY HUMIDIFIER

  • How often do I want to have to clean the unit?
  • Is my infant a sound sleeper?
  • Would they be able to sleep through noise or light?
  • Do I want to be able to monitor or control the mist output?
  • Does the unit have built-in safety features to prevent overheating?
  • Do I want to use a warm or cool mist unit?

Based on the answers to these questions, you can narrow down your options to find a model that fits both your needs and budget.

Final Review on the Best Baby Humidifiers

Although baby humidifiers aren’t always at the top of the list of things new parents shop for, they can go a long way towards keeping your infant healthy and comfortable in your home.  Regardless which model you choose, pay close attention to safety and cleanliness to ensure that you give your child all the benefits of using the machine.

There are options for every budget, and whether you’re looking for a basic model or one with fancy bells and whistles, you’ll find one that works for you on our list.

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