Harsh winter and summer months can create dry eyes that can be very uncomfortable to live with. It can cause redness and itchiness that can lead to headaches. A simple way to alleviate this problem is to invest in a humidifier to keep the air moist. Check out our buyer’s guide for more info.
How Humidity Affects Dry Eyes
Often the humidity drops in extreme cold or hot climates. If the humidity is low outside, then it will be even lower inside. According to the University of Alabama, this causes moisture to evaporate from our eyes more quickly, causing them to become dry. A humidifier can increase moisture in the surrounding air.
Quick Guide – Our Top Picks
Benefits of Humidifiers for People with Sore Eyes
- Increase surrounding moisture
- Can divert heat away from the face
- Rehydrates the tear ducts in your eyes
Humidifiers for Dry Eyes Compared
|Model||Type||Room Area||Tank Size||Price|
|TaoTronics AH-001||Ultrasonic||322 Sq ft||1.06 gallons||Check Amazon|
|Pure Enrichment MistAire XL||Ultrasonic||500 Sq ft||1 gallon||Check Amazon|
|AirCare MA1201||Evaporative||3600 Sq ft||3.6 gallons||Check Sylvane|
|Honeywell Cool Moisture||Evaporative||2300 Sq ft||3.25 gallons||Check Amazon|
|Air Innovations MH519A||Ultrasonic||400 Sq ft||1.37 gallons||Check Amazon|
|Epoch Making USB Car Humidifier||Ultrasonic||250 Sq ft||0.05 gallons||Check Amazon|
Choosing Humidifiers For Dry Eye Relief
You should choose either an evaporative or an ultrasonic humidifier for dry eyes. Both of these create a clean mist that won’t irritate your eyes. An evaporative humidifier uses a fan to push water vapor into the room. An ultrasonic humidifier uses high-frequency vibrations to create a fine mist.
Size and Coverage Area
Every humidifier comes with a coverage area on the spec sheet. The size of the area that you need to humidify will determine the type of humidifier you buy. If you intend to humidify a very large space, then you should look into a whole-home model. If you need one at your office, then a travel model might work best.
Some of the humidifiers on our list are filterless, while others contain a filtering media. The most common ones are demineralization cartridges, paper, metal, or ceramic. They help trap impurities from the water as it creates a vapor mist. If you want to remove contaminants from hard water, then we recommend one with a filter.
Water Tank Capacity and Runtime
If you suffer from severe dry eyes, then you should run your humidifier often. The larger the water tank capacity, the longer the runtime will be between refills. A typical travel size humidifier will have a 0.2-gallon tank. Large humidifiers can hold up to 3.6 gallons.
Ease of Setup, Use, and Maintenance
Most humidifiers are easy to set up and use. The ones on our list below come with easy to turn dials that change the fan speed. Some models come with an LCD screen. Performing maintenance on humidifiers is simple and can be done by changing the filter and washing the reservoir.
If you plan to run your humidifier at night to alleviate dry eyes, then you should look into a model that operates at low decibels. The quietest models operate at sound 30 decibels, which is the same as a whisper conversation. To compare, your air conditioner runs at around 60 decibels.
Some bonus features include a humidistat, a timer, an auto shut off function, and different fan speeds. These features are not necessary to run your humidifier, but they definitely help. Some humidifiers come with aromatherapy diffusers that may help if you are getting a cold.
Humidifiers range from about $40 to over $200. At the lower end of the price spectrum, you can expect to get a basic model with a small tank capacity. It will provide enough humidity for small rooms or offices. You can expect to get a much larger model with more features at the higher end of the spectrum.
Every humidifier that we’ve reviewed below comes with a warranty that protects against manufacturer’s defects and other damages. You should remember to register your product on the website to activate the warranty. Humidifiers should last from 2 to 5 years without replacing any of the parts.
6 Best Humidifiers For Dry Eyes Reviewed
Our Top Pick For Eye Relief
|Type||Ultrasonic cool mist|
|Room Coverage||322 Sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.06 gallons|
|Runtime||12 – 30 hours|
|Filter Change||Permanent filter; clean once a month|
If you’re looking for the best model that still comes with a reasonable price tag, then this might be the best choice for you. We chose the ToaTronics as our top pick for eye relief. It comes with bonus features that will help you get the dry eye relief that you are looking for.
This TaoTronics model comes with a 1.06-gallon tank that will last for up to 30 hours before refilling. It would be ideal for people who want to leave the humidifier running through the night to alleviate dry eyes. It comes with a night light that emits a calming color through the water reservoir. The night mode operation will shut off the LCD screen. It boasts a humidistat that allows you to set your desired humidity level and let the humidifier take care of the rest.
We liked that the humidistat feature maintained the flow of mist without user interference. The night light feature was great for kid’s rooms. We would have liked to see the possibility of adding essential oils.
As Chris noted in his review, “This is a great quality humidifier with a great price and Alexa compatible which is an added plus! This has helped me sleep well at night especially with the dry air.”
- Includes a night light
- Includes a humidistat
- LCD readout screen
- Can’t use essential oils
2. Pure Enrichment MistAire XL
Best Desk Humidifier For Dry Eyes
|Type||Ultrasonic cool mist|
|Room Coverage||500 Sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity||1 gallon|
|Runtime||10 – 24 hours|
One thing that can make your dry eyes worse during winter months is sitting in front of your computer all day. Blue light emissions can cause further irritation. We chose the Pure Enrichment MistAire XL as the best desk humidifier for dry eyes.
This model is compact enough to sit next to you on your office desk. It features a 1-gallon tank capacity that will run throughout an entire workday. The runtime is around 10 to 24 hours, depending on the mist setting. It comes with a night light function, which can be helpful if you put this humidifier in a nursery. It features an auto shut off feature that will turn the device off when the tank is empty. It covers up to 500 square feet so it’ll work in most small or large bedrooms or offices. It comes with a 5-year warranty.
We liked that this model was simple to operate. It has an easy turn dial and one button for the night light. Even your children can use it with ease. We also thought the compact size was perfect for an office desk.
As one customer noted, “I’m so happy I got this. My house is so dry all winter long and with this in my bedroom, I have gotten better sleep.”
- Perfect size for a desktop
- Night light function
- Easy operation dial
- No humidistat included
3. AirCare MA1201
Best Whole House Air Humidifier For Dry Eyes
|Type||Evaporative cool mist|
|Room Coverage||3600 Sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity||3.6 gallons|
|Filter Change||Replace seasonally|
One way to keep your whole family comfortable and free of dry eyes is to invest in a humidifier for your whole home. We chose the AirCare MA1201 as the best whole house air humidifier for dry eyes.
This model comes with a 3.6-gallon tank that covers up to 3,600 square feet. It can be moved around with the easy roll casters on the bottom. It comes with a mineral absorbing filter that will remove impurities from the water. It has a built-in humidistat that allows you to set the desired humidity level between 25% and 65%. It has a digital display panel that shows you the desired humidity, actual humidity, and the current fan speed.
We liked that this model provided dry eye relief for the whole house and family due to its large size. If you wanted to concentrate humidity in one area of the house, it was easy to move around. We liked the filter change indicator as well. One potential downside is that it’s pretty loud on the highest setting.
As Greg stated, “This humidifier does a great job in humidifying the whole house even when temperatures were below zero degrees outside.”
- Humidifies up to 3600 sq ft
- Built-in humidistat
- Four rolling casters
- Can be noisy at higher speeds
4. Honeywell Cool Moisture
Best Large Room Humidifier For Dry Eyes
|Type||Evaporative cool mist|
|Room Coverage||2300 Sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity||3.25 gallons|
|Filter Change||Every 3 months|
You might not need a whole-house humidifier like the model above. If you’re looking for a step-down, then you should check out this option. We chose the Honeywell Cool Moisture as the best large room humidifier for dry eyes.
This Honeywell model comes with evaporative cool mist technology that creates a very fine mist to alleviate dry eye symptoms. It has a 3.25-gallon tank that will run for up to 24 hours. It works best in large rooms up to 2,300 square feet. We recommend this model for large living spaces like your living room. It comes with 3 humidity output settings that are controlled by a humidistat.
You can set the humidity level and let the machine take care of the rest. It has an advanced Protec Antimicrobial Filter that will help get rid of contaminants that cause dry eyes.
We liked that this humidifier came with an antimicrobial filter. We noticed a difference in the mist quality. We thought that the humidistat worked well for controlling humidity levels in living and family rooms.
As one customer said, “We put it in the middle of the upstairs so all rooms can benefit. Our living room went from 28% humidity to 40% in a week. I plan to purchase another one for downstairs.”
- Protec Antimicrobial filter
- Ideal for living or family rooms
- Indicator for ‘Humidity Reached’
- No LCD screen
5. Air Innovations MH519A
Best Value For Money
|Type||Ultrasonic cool mist|
|Room Coverage||400 Sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.37 gallons|
|Filter Change||Permanent filter; clean every refill|
Every homeowner wants a good bargain, especially when it comes to relieving the symptoms of dry eyes. We thought that the Air Innovations MH519A was the best value for money humidifier for dry eye relief.
This model comes in a unique tower design with an attachment that allows the mist to circulate in an almost 360-degree pattern. It comes with a humidistat so that you can control the level of humidity in your home based on how bad your dry eye symptoms become.
It comes with an LCD screen that will allow you to set the timer and check the current humidity level. It comes with a permanent ceramic filter that should be rinsed out every time you refill the reservoir. It comes with an optional demineralization cartridge for users with hard water.
We liked that this unit packed so many features into a reasonably priced package. We thought that the included extension arm was helpful if you want to humidify a larger area. It keeps the cool mist above the head, so it’s easier to breathe. We thought that the ceramic filter made a big difference in the purity of the cool mist. We would have liked to see a remote come with this model.
- Comes with an extension arm
- Permanent ceramic filter
- Does not include a remote
6. Epoch Making USB Car Humidifier
Best Car Humidifier For Dry Eyes
|Type||Ultrasonic cool mist|
|Room Coverage||250 Sq ft|
|Water Tank Capacity||0.05 gallons|
Depending on where you live, you might commute for more than 2 hours every day to and from work. Trying to keep your eyes focused on the road while using the car heat can dry out your eyes. We chose the Epoch Making USB Car Humidifier as the best car humidifier for dry eyes.
This model comes with USB charging capability, making it ideal for the car or desktop since you can connect it to your computer. It fits snugly in most standard size cup holders. It comes with a night light function that has 7 different colors. It uses ultrasonic technology, so it won’t interrupt the music on your ride home. This model has a small tank capacity of just 0.05 gallons. It can run for up to 9 hours on the slow interval mist spray setting. It doesn’t require the use of a filter, so there’s nothing to change.
We liked that this humidifier was ideal for dry eye relief in the car. I’m sure you’ve experienced the run through the cold from your warm office to your car. As soon as you get to the car, you turn on the heat, which dries your eyes. This helps alleviate those symptoms.
- Small and portable
- Plugs into any standard USB port
- Ideal for traveling
- Small tank capacity
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eye syndrome is caused by a lack of fluid in the tear ducts of your eyes. The fluid from your tear ducts keeps your eyes hydrated and smooth. According to the Mayo Clinic, dry eyes can be caused by decreased tear production due to a lack of moisture in the air. Some other related causes can be:
- Blinking less often
- Blue light emissions
Aromatherapy and Your Eyes
Some humidifiers come with a special tray for using essential oils. These models act as a diffuser and a humidifier. Some essential oils can help decrease the symptoms of dry eyes. We recommend using essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, or peppermint to relieve your dry eye symptoms. These oils can also help with a cough and cold.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
What is better for dry eyes – warm or cool mist humidifiers?
Although warm mist humidifiers can work for dry eyes, we recommend cool mist humidifiers. Sometimes warm mist humidifiers can create too much heat in the atmosphere, which may be bad for your eyes. If you plan to use a warm mist humidifier, then make sure it is far enough away from your face.
What are some other ways of managing dry eyes syndrome?
We recommend avoiding smoke, wind, and high-speed fans. You can also carry around some eye drops to use throughout the day. It will help moisturize your eyes if they become dry.
How often should I change my humidifier filter?
This will depend on the model that you buy. We recommend following the instructions that come with the humidifier that you choose. For some models, you should rinse out the permanent filter every time you refill the reservoir.
How often should I change the water in my humidifier?
Most humidifiers have an auto shut off function that will turn the machine off when the tank is empty. Fill up the humidifier tank when it gets low. If your humidifier has been sitting for a while without being turned on, you should add new water. It is fine to use tap water in your humidifier, but you may see a fine white mist due to hard tap water.
Is it safe to leave a humidifier on all night?
Yes, it is safe to run them all night. All of the humidifiers that we reviewed above come with auto shut off functions that will turn off the machine when there is not enough water.
Is a humidifier safe to use around children and pets?
Yes, but we recommend placing your humidifier in a safe place to avoid any accidents. It is best to keep them off the floor or in a corner of the room away from hazards.
Where is a good place to buy these units?
We recommend shopping on Amazon for all of your humidifiers and replacement parts. Amazon also has other products to help alleviate dry eyes.
This article has provided you with a buyer’s guide of all of our top humidifiers for dry eyes. We think one of the products above takes the edge, and it goes to TaoTronics. This machine offers the best in dry eye relief by using ultrasonic technology. It also comes with an attractive LCD screen and night light.