9 Best Humidifiers Perfect For Helping Sinus Problems

Ile Kauppila

Written By

Ile Kauppila

Expert Reviewed By

Josh Mitchell

Last Updated On

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Sinusitis doesn’t just cause discomfort — it can be downright painful. I’m all too familiar with breathing problems and can vouch that a good humidifier can help a lot.

However, you must choose your unit carefully. After all, you don’t want to waste money on a humidifier that can’t ease your sinus problems or might even make them worse.

I wrote this guide to help you compare different units and find the best humidifier for sinus problems. Let’s get into it and start clearing your sinuses!

Quick Glance - My Recommendations

9 Best Humidifiers For Sinus Sufferers

1. Levoit LV600HH

4.8

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Energy Efficiency

5.0

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Humidifying Ability

4.5

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Value for Money

5.0

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Who is Levoit LV600HH best for?

This Levoit LV600HH unit is best for those who want powerful humidification and an option between cool and warm mist.

Pros
  • Produces cool and warm mist
  • Powerful humidification
  • Easy to use with auto mode
  • Essential oil and descaling pads can be used
CONS
  • Tricky to clean
  • Forgets settings when unplugged

If you need to pump a lot of humidity into the air to treat medium to severe sinus issues, the Levoit LV600HH is one of the best humidifiers you can find. It is definitely my top pick for the best humidifier for sinus problems.

It has a strong humidity output enough for even larger spaces like master bedrooms or open living rooms, squarely beating most other units except the AprilAire unit I review below.

This is a hybrid unit, which means it can function as either a warm or cool mist humidifier. Whatever kind of mist helps your sinuses the most, the LV600HH can produce it.

I like that the large display clearly displays the humidity level I've set in the humidistat. The humidistat itself could be a bit more accurate, but it does a satisfactory job.

I also appreciate auto mode, which can automatically adjust the mist level based on the humidistat reading.

In their product testing, the folks over at Live Science found that in their testing space of 234 square feet, the Levoit LV6000HH could run for 36 hours on the lowest setting, and 17 hours at the highest setting.[1]

That's not quite the 60 hours advertised by the Levoit brand, but knowing that I wouldn't need to be constantly refilling was a relief. 

Levoit LV600HH Auto mode

The remote controller is also a welcome convenience, especially when I'm lying sick in bed.

The large 1.5-gallon water tank features a descaling pad, which prevents the worst mineral buildup (though I still recommend purified water). 

Be prepared to do some work to get into the smallest nooks and crannies during cleaning, though.

As a final cherry on the humidified sundae, the LV600HH has an essential oil pad to add soothing fragrances to the water vapor. How about some eucalyptus to open your congested sinuses?

One study found that the inhalation of essential oils was good for not only sinus congestion from cold viruses and asthma, but also for those suffering from PAR (Perennial Allergic Rhinitis).[2]

I enjoy having the option of adding essential oils when my sinus issues flair up so this feature is a big plus in my book.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Warm and Cool Mist

Coverage Area

753 sq. ft.

Water Tank Capacity

6 liters

Run Time

10-60 hours

Dimensions (H x L x D)

10.50 x 7 x 11.3 inches


2. Pure Enrichment MistAire XL

4.8

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

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Humidifying Ability

4.8

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Value for Money

5.0

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Who is Pure Enrichment MistAire XL best for?

This Pure Enrichment MistAire XL cool mist unit is excellent for anyone looking for an affordable humidifier with lots of power.

Pros
  • Produces lots of humidity
  • Very simple to use
  • Reliable and durable
CONS
  • No humidistat
  • Fiddly filling

For those seeking a lot of humidity for their buck, the Pure Enrichment MistAire XL is frankly a stunningly efficient ultrasonic cool mist humidifier considering its price of around $60.

I can say from experience that MistAire XL produces a lot of humidity. In fact, the advertised 500-square-foot coverage might be a little understated. I’d say it competes with the Levoit unit above in efficiency.

I liked that the mist output has a handy twist knob and swappable single- and double-spout nozzles that allowed me to direct moisture exactly to where I need it.
Pure Enrichment MistAire XL knob

Unfortunately, this humidifier doesn't have a humidistat. I strongly recommend getting a hygrometer because the unit is so powerful. That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned, but you don't want to overdo it.

Important Note:

A humidistat is a built in device on some humidifiers that works like a thermostat but for controlling humidity levels. Hygrometer is a standalone measurement tool for humidity. It does not help control humidity, instead only helps in monitoring the levels.

The well-sized tank (one gallon) can last an entire day at a low setting. I was using it mostly while I slept at night, and was pleased that it didn't run out of water before daylight. 

If it does run dry, the fill-level sensor will automatically shut off the unit. Combined with the optional night light, the MistAire is a great option for children's rooms or large bedrooms.

It's really quiet; basically no sound at all! I'm a light sleeper and don't love white noise, and this one didn't bother me at all.

I could easily disassemble the MistAir, which made cleaning fairly easy. With regular maintenance, this humidifier can work for years.

If I have to find a complaint, the bottom-filled tank is a bit fiddly to top up because of its shape. Still, it becomes an easier task once you get used to it.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Cool Mist

Coverage Area

500 sq. ft.

Water Tank Capacity

1 gallon

Run Time

24 hours

Dimensions (H x L x D)

12.50 x 7.5 x 10 inches


3. AprilAire 400M

4.6

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

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Humidifying Ability

5.0

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Value for Money

4.2

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Who is AprilAire 400M best for?

AprilAire 400M is excellent for homeowners whose sinuses need constant humidity in every room of their large home.

Pros
  • Extreme efficiency
  • Set-it-and-forget-it usability
  • Low maintenance
  • Silent operation
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Need professional installation

People suffering from serious sinus problems can benefit significantly from having steady humidity levels throughout their whole homes. AprilAire 400M can make your dream of whole-house humidification come true.

Unlike other units on my list, the 400M is a furnace humidifier that’s installed into your existing HVAC system.

Air from your furnace blows over a wet moisture pad, generating water vapor that gets distributed into your home through the air ducts.

This makes the 400M much more powerful than any other humidifier here, even the Levoit. It can raise humidity levels even in large homes to alleviate sinus problems.

AprilAire 400M dimensions
The AprilAire brand notes that maintaining a home humidity level of 40-60% helps not only alleviate respiratory issues, but will also minimize the formation of bacteria, viruses, fungi and dust mites.[3]

One of my favorite things about furnace units is how low maintenance they are.

The 400M taps into your home’s water lines, so there’s no need to fill a water reservoir. Just change the moisture pad and clean the unit every six months.

I absolutely love that I don't have to drag it from room to room like console models in order to get the sinus relief I need.

This unit is also very simple to use.

I just set my desired humidity level on the wall-mounted humidistat and forget the humidifier is even there.

However, the AprilAire is the single most expensive humidifier I’ve listed, usually hanging out right under $250.

You may also need to hire an HVAC professional to install it. DIY installation is possible but challenging and can void the unit's warranty.

My only complaint with this whole house humidifier is that it is not fan powered, meaning that it will only run when your furnace is on.

Several AprilAire models are fan-powered, but these all come at a higher price.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Whole House

Coverage Area

5000 sq. ft.

Water Tank Capacity

17 gallons

Run Time

-

Dimensions (H x L x D)

15.75 x 15.38 x 10.25 inches


4. Pure Guardian H965AR

4.4

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.0

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Humidifying Ability

4.2

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Value for Money

5.0

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Who is Pure Guardian H965AR best for?

This Pure Guardian H965AR small unit is ideal for budget-conscious sinus patients who aren’t looking to humidify an entire house.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Surprisingly powerful
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Night light and essential oils pad
CONS
  • Empties the water tank quickly
  • Inconsistent power control
  • No humidistat

I firmly believe money shouldn’t stop you from treating your chronic sinus problems. Pure Guardian H965AR is a budget-friendly — yet still effective — tool to relieve sinus congestion.

And at only 2.4 lbs. (before water is added), I can easily keep it in my home office all day, and then move it to my bedroom in the evening.

Although it’s rated for only 320 square feet (less than half of Levoit’s coverage), the H965AR produces more humidity than its humble specifications imply.

This small humidifier can add moisture to big living rooms — although moisturizing a whole house is off the table.

This unit is comparable to the Pure Enrichment humidifier in simple usability. The H965AR has three mist output settings you cycle through with the power button.

I wish it had smooth power adjustment like the MistAire, though. The lowest setting is pretty weak, while going up even to medium blows a lot of moisture into the air.

Also, as with the MistAire, there's no humidistat. Therefore, I recommend getting an external humidistat alongside this model.

As a surprise, the H965AR has an essential oil tray, meaning it can serve double duty as an essential oil diffuser.
Pure Guardian H965AR adding essential oil

The one-gallon water tank has an anti-mold coating called Silver Clean™ Protection.

This can help reduce pollutants spewing from the unfiltered machine and reduce slimy build-up within. It sounds awesome, but I was able to find any real-world testing specifically related to the coating.

The parent company PureGuardian claims that it is tested to last for 70 hours runtime when on the lowest setting. Still, I didn't find that this setting produced enough moisture for my 250 square foot living room. [4]

On a medium setting, expect to fill the tank daily, and keep it running for a maximum or 24 hours before giving it a break. For this price, it's not meant to last forever.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Ultrasonic

Coverage Area

320 sq. ft.

Water Tank Capacity

1 gallon

Run Time

70 hours

Dimensions (H x L x D)

14.25 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches


5. Elechomes SH8820

4.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.2

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Humidifying Ability

4.2

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Value for Money

4.5

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Who is Elechomes SH8820 best for?

This Elechomes SH8820 humidifier is an excellent (and very good-looking) choice for treating dry air in large spaces.

Pros
  • Great humidification capacity ideal for large master bedroom
  • Easy to control
  • Auto shut-off feature
  • Stylish design
CONS
  • Useless essential oil pad
  • Non-transparent water tank
  • Annoying alert sound

The Elechomes SH8820 is perfect for people who want to humidify a large space to ease their sinusitis symptoms but who need a portable humidifier.

I travel a lot for work, and have actually brought this humidifier with me to a few Airbnbs, since travel really seems to aggravate my sinuses.

This unit wrestles in the same league as the Levoit when it comes to efficiency.

It has a maximum coverage area of 755 square feet, but I have used it in even larger spaces, up to 1000 sq. ft. Safe to say, this unit functions well in large rooms and I would even recommend it for small, open plan homes.

Feature-wise, the SH8820 is almost identical to the Levoit. It can work in warm and cool mist modes to provide the necessary humidity and temperature.

It has a big 1.5-gallon water tank with a very handy top-fill slot. So say goodbye to having to drag the tank to the sink with every fill!
Elechomes SH8820 adding water

I found this unit easy to use, thanks to a clear and bright digital display and remote control.

It also features a humidistat and shuts off when it reaches the desired level of moisture, which is so important for managing sinus symptoms. 

Studies have shown us that while increasing humidity can ease sinus symptoms, having TOO much humidity will increase mucus in the nose and throat, leading to (you guessed it) more sinus problems.[5]

There are some design flaws with the SH8820. I’ve found the essential oil pad useless because the water vapor can’t actually pass through it. The (admittedly stylish) blacked-out design also makes checking the water level difficult.

Finally, the loud beeping of the empty tank alert is very annoying — though you can avoid hearing it by regularly topping the unit up.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Warm & Cool Mist

Coverage Area

755 sq. ft.

Water Tank Capacity

5.5 liters

Run Time

55 hours

Dimensions (H x L x D)

12.00 x 7.2 x 10.04 inches


6. Vicks Sweet Dreams

4.0

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.0

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Humidifying Ability

4.0

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Value for Money

4.0

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Who is Vicks Sweet Dreams best for?

Being tailor-made for kids, Vicks Sweet Dreams humidifier is a great addition to your child’s bedroom when they are feeling under the weather with sinus issues.

Pros
  • Simple to navigate in the dark while your kids sleep
  • Easy to clean
  • Image projector that kids love
  • Works with Vicks VapoPads
CONS
  • Gurgles and hums
  • No humidistat

Vicks Sweet Dreams is a cool mist humidifier that the famous brand built specifically for kids.

If your child suffers from sinus pain, this unit is tailor-made to help your little one breathe easier.

The Sweet Dreams device resembles the Pure Enrichment humidifier in appearance and functionality, with a twist knob for controlling mist output. Sadly, like its doppelganger, it’s missing a humidistat.

Vicks doesn’t specify the intended coverage area for this unit, which is a bit irritating. I’d say it’s somewhere between Pure Enrichment and Pure Guardian — sufficient for medium-sized rooms.

The Sweet Dreams humidifier even features a projector that displays images from three themes (stars, sea, and safari) on the ceiling.

Sure, this feature doesn't do anything for humidity, but it can comfort an ailing child and is a beloved addition for many.

As a Vicks humidifier, this unit is compatible with the company’s VapoPads. They can supply soothing and calming vapors to the air that may relieve sinus discomfort and clear the airway.

I have found that VapoPads work better in (hot) steam vaporizers than this cool mist version, but I think the milder effect is probably better for kids, anyways.

Children are more susceptible to mildew and other impurities, so I appreciate that Vicks has made the water reservoir orifices a bit larger than usual. They make Sweet Dream easier to clean than the Pure brand devices.

Although this is an ultrasonic device, it is weirdly noisy. The unit gurgles and hums faintly, so take that into account if your child is sensitive to noise. I measured it at about 40 dB, which isn't loud, but is more than most ultrasonic humidifiers. 

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Cool Mist

Coverage Area

-

Water Tank Capacity

1 gallon

Run Time

24 hours

Dimensions (H x L x D)

12.94 x 11.56 x 11.2 inches


7. Geniani Huron 4L

4.2

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

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Humidifying Ability

4.0

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Value for Money

4.2

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Who is Geniani Huron best for?

Geniani Huron is an excellent humidifier to relieve your sinus problems while you sleep.

Pros
  • Quiet operation for peaceful sleep
  • Automatic humidity control
  • Small and compact size
  • Easy to fill
CONS
  • No manual humidistat settings
  • Weird post-cleaning issues
  • Tank is tricky to scrub clean

If Vicks Sweet Dreams is for children’s bedrooms, Geniani Huron 4L cool mist humidifier is its grown-up equivalent. It’s among the best devices to relieve sinus pressure and other sinus health issues overnight.

The unit is very compact and runs quietly, so it's easy to position it ideally without disrupting your sleep. The mist output is good for medium and smaller spaces, on par with the Pure Guardian humidifier.

Unlike that unit, Geniani has a “smart” humidistat. The device automatically maintains proper humidity levels between 40-60%.

You’d better trust the device’s smarts, though, since you can’t set the target manually — you can only choose low, medium, or high.

Huron is a top-fill unit like the Elechomes device, so filling it is straightforward. The entire top comes off, so it’s easy to reach into the tank for cleaning.

That’s a good thing, too, because there are many little gaps that can grow moldy.

Geniani Huron adding water
The Geniani company suggests that their testing has revealed that their product can increase a room's humidity faster than competitors, but they do not share who those competitors are or the testing parameters used.

One bizarre quirk that other reviewers have noted is that the unit struggles to function at full efficiency immediately after cleaning.

I have never encountered this issue myself, but figured it was worth noting.

Finally, like Levoit and Pure Guardian, Geniani features a pad for essential oils — in case you want to fall asleep with some lavender in your clear nasal passages.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Cool Mist

Coverage Area

220 sq. ft.

Water Tank Capacity

4 liters

Run Time

-

Dimensions (H x L x D)

12.20 x 9.06 x 6.69 inches


8. Vicks VIH200

4.0

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.0

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Humidifying Ability

4.0

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Value for Money

4.0

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Who is Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler best for?

Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler is a portable personal humidifier that is best for those who need quick sinus relief while on the move.

Pros
  • Targeted personal humidification
  • Easy to carry around and travel with
  • Works with VapoPads
  • Reasonable fast relief
CONS
  • Uses hot water
  • Takes a while to heat up
  • Requires thorough cleaning after each use

I'm not always around my sinus-relieving humidifier when I need it, especially when I'm driving long distances for work. Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler is a handy portable humidifier for sinus problems, allergies, and asthma relief on the go.

This compact warm mist humidifier produces a small amount of steam you inhale through the flexible mouthpiece.

The warm mist is quite effective at clearing nasal congestion stemming from a sinus infection.

Important Note:

Extra care must be taken with warm mist humidifiers since they rely on boiling water to create mist.

Understandably, the humidity output isn't massive, but it's enough to provide reasonably quick relief.

This isn't an instant machine, though. 

The humidifier takes a while to heat the water, and you may have to inhale for up to 15 minutes to clear your airway.

Vicks VIH200 how to use

Like Vicks Sweet Dreams, this humidifier is compatible with VapoPads. The right pad may boost its effectiveness and relieve sinus problems faster.

I want to give a couple of warnings about this unit. First, although it's portable, this is a tabletop humidifier. 

Do not attempt to hold it or set it on an uneven surface. Don't tilt or pick it up when using it, or you might splash your face with hot water.

In fact, studies have shown that steam inhalation can lead to serious scalding, with more cases being reported each year.[6

My second warning is that Vicks says this unit can work with tap water — but I highly recommend using only distilled water.

Tap water may carry minerals that can cake the heating element. That could result in overheating and you inhaling mineral particles.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Sinus Steam Inhaler

Coverage Area

-

Water Tank Capacity

-

Run Time

15 minutes

Dimensions (H x L x D)

8.58 x 5.16 x 5.16 inches


9. Honeywell HCM-350B

3.8

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.3

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Humidifying Ability

3.5

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Value for Money

3.8

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Who is Honeywell Cool Moisture best for?

Honeywell Cool Moisture humidifier is great for those who need a reliable unit for producing clean, filtered humidity.

Pros
  • Produces clean, filtered water vapor
  • Good single-room humidification
  • Durable and reliable
CONS
  • High maintenance
  • Noisy compared to ultrasonic units
  • Barebones functionality

Honeywell Cool Moisture is a unique machine on my list, as it's an evaporative humidifier. If your sinuses are sensitive to airborne particles, this machine may just be what you need.

The unit’s wick filter removes minerals and other impurities from the water. The water vapor it produces will be mostly contaminant-free.

It won’t spread white dust around your home as the ultrasonic humidifiers I’ve listed may do.

The unit also features a UV light that's supposed to kill bacteria in the water tank.

However, this technology is not regulated and remains up for debate. According to one study, most products featuring UV light continually fall short of providing the germ-killing skills they claim to have, when tested in a lab.[7]

Cool Moisture doesn’t match the listed ultrasonic units in humidification power, but it still produces enough moisture for medium-sized rooms.

This is also the loudest unit I’ve featured. That's simply due to evaporative humidifiers' nature — they use a fan, so they can't be completely silent.

Yet, on the low setting in particular, I found that the Cool Moisture is quiet enough that I'd happily put it in my bedroom.

Like Pure Enrichment and Pure Guardian, this unit suffers from the lack of a humidistat. It also doesn’t have an auto shut-off feature. Fortunately, the water tank — although not huge — can last through the night.

Finally, you do have to regularly change the filter, making this unit higher maintenance. Still, as long as you take care of it, it’s a durable and long-lasting humidifier.

Feature

Details

Type of Humidifier

Evaporative

Coverage Area

-

Water Tank Capacity

1 gallon

Run Time

24 hours

Dimensions (H x L x D)

13.30 x 18.58 x 10.39 inches


Humidifiers For Bad Sinus Compared

Preview

Name

Rating

Type of Humidifier

Run Time

Price

LEVOIT Humidifiers for Bedroom Large Room...

Levoit LV600HH

4.8

Warm and Cool Mist

10-60 hours

Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ XL Ultrasonic...

Pure Enrichment MistAire XL

4.8

Cool Mist

24 hours

AprilAire 400M Whole-House Humidifier, Manual...

AprilAire 400M

4.6

Whole House

-

Pure Guardian H965AR Ultrasonic Cool Mist...

Pure Guardian H965AR

4.4

Ultrasonic

70 hours

Elechomes Humidifier for Large Room Bedroom...

Elechomes SH8820

4.3

Warm & Cool Mist

55 hours

Vicks Sweet Dreams Cool Mist Humidifier,...

Vicks Sweet Dreams

4.0

Cool Mist

24 hours

GENIANI Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier for...

Geniani Huron 4L

4.2

Cool Mist

-

Vicks Personal Sinus Steam Inhaler, Fast,...

Vicks VIH200

4.0

Sinus Steam Inhaler

15 minutes

Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier, Medium...

Honeywell HCM-350B

3.8

Evaporative

24 hours

Important Consideration When Choosing Humidifier For Sinus

I’ve listed a lot of humidifiers, and I understand if you feel a bit lost with all the options. How do you pick the best humidifier for your sinus issues?

To make the choice easier, I’ve included the main factors to consider when choosing a humidifier for sinus problems below.

Identify Root Cause Of Your Sinus Issue

Perhaps the most important consideration, the root cause of your sinus issues, will determine how effectively humidifiers can provide relief for you.

If your sinus problems stem from dry air or an arid climate, a humidifier can benefit you significantly by adding moisture to your indoor air.

However, sometimes conditions such as seasonal allergies, colds, nasal polyps, or inherited physical traits may result in sinus pressure.[8] A humidifier can’t resolve these issues.

Nonetheless, properly humidified air can still make breathing easier for you. I recommend having a discussion with your doctor to determine when and how you should use a humidifier.

Humidifier Size Can Make Or Break Your Sinus Problems

It’s critical to match the size of your humidifier to the size of the space you want to humidify.

humidifier sqft coverage

Humidifiers come in an extensive size range, from the small personal Vicks humidifier to the whole-house AprilAire unit on my list.

An undersized humidifier can’t produce enough humidity to make a difference in a big room. 

As a result, you won’t see any health benefits from the unit.

Vice versa, an oversized unit can increase the humidity levels too much. This can result in dust mites and mold growth, which may make your sinus problems even worse.[9]

That’s why I mentioned watching your humidity levels closely if you get a powerful unit like the Pure Enrichment MistAire XL!

I advise checking the coverage area of each humidifier unit you’re considering. Manufacturers’ area ratings are rarely precisely accurate, but they can work as a basic indication of the unit’s power.

Ease Of Cleaning

I recommend choosing a humidifier that makes cleaning as easy as possible. It would be best if you cleaned your humidifier every two days with a water/vinegar solution to keep mold, bacteria, and minerals out of it.

Look for features such as simple construction and large tank openings that allow you to reach all parts of the humidifier.

Vicks Sweet Dreams is a good example of an easy-to-clean humidifier on my list.

Note that if you have an evaporative humidifier, like the Honeywell unit, you must also change the wicking filter at least once a month. 

These filters can't be cleaned, so I recommend finding a reliable supplier for replacement filters.

Humidistat Recommended For Maintaining Humidity Levels

Try to buy a humidifier with a built-in humidistat over a unit that doesn’t have one.

What are the Optimal Humidity Levels

The humidity sensor makes it much easier to keep your home’s humidity within the healthy 30%-50% range. [10]

If your humidifier doesn’t have a humidistat (like with the Pure Enrichment or Pure Guardian units), I strongly recommend purchasing a separate hygrometer.

I already mentioned the issues too low or high humidity can cause, so it’s vital to monitor your indoor air quality if you suffer from sinus problems.

Warm Mist Vs Cool Mist - Which Is best?

Both warm mist and cool mist humidifiers can be effective at relieving sinus congestion and pain, so the choice comes down to your preferences.

Some sinus patients find warm mist humidifiers more soothing, as the heated steam can break up mucus more effectively.

However, these units can pose a burn or fire hazard, so I strongly recommend avoiding them around children or pets.

I cover each humidifier type in closer detail later, so keep reading!

Tank Capacity And Humidifier Runtime

A humidifier’s tank capacity determines how long it can run before needing a refill.

If you need constant relief from continuous mist production, aim for the largest tank size you can find.

However, you should consider where and how often you plan to run the humidifier.

For example, if you want a bedroom humidifier that you only use for 8 hours a night, a unit with a smaller tank (like Geniani Huron) may suffice.

After all, big tanks often come with big price tags. Additionally, standing water is a paradise for bacteria, so don’t get a huge tank and leave it sitting for days on end.

Decide On Your Budget

I recommend deciding your budget before you start browsing humidifiers.

This way, you won't waste time looking at humidifiers you can't afford.

Humidifiers are available in a massive price range. The units on my list, for example, range from around $40 to more than $200.

Additionally, take the running costs into account. Evaporative units, like the Honeywell, require you to buy replacement filters, while whole-house humidifiers, such as the AprilAire, can have significant installation costs.


How Does A Humidifier Ease Sinus Issues?

A humidifier eases sinus issues by keeping your airway and nasal passages moisturized.

Important Note:

A humidifier can only help ease your sinus issues. It won't cure any underlying disease that is causing it. 

The humidifier increases your home's humidity level, and the moist air acts as a natural lubricant for your air pipes.

With higher humidity in your home, you’re likely to see the following health benefits:

  • Less irritation from inflamed sinuses
  • Relief for sinus congestion and stuffy nose as humidity breaks up mucus secretions
  • Reduced facial pain and less coughing as your sinuses can drain better
  • Eases dry eyes stemming from sinusitis
  • Reduces sore throat (dry throat) and other cold symptoms

What Type Of Humidifier Is Best For Sinus Problems?

Different humidifiers can treat your sinus problems with varying efficiency.

Types of humidifiers

Here’s my breakdown of the most popular humidifier types and their major considerations.

Whole-House Humidifiers - Attach To Your HVAC

Whole-house humidifiers (also called furnace humidifiers) are the best option for sinus patients who need steady humidity throughout their homes.

These units attach to your existing HVAC system to distribute humidity through your air ducts.

They’re very effective at raising humidity levels even in larger rooms or large homes, thus helping sinus congestion when in any room.

They’re also relatively low maintenance, needing a good cleaning and a filter change only once or twice a year.

However, whole-house units can be expensive and often require professional installation. You may also not be able to install them if you rent your home.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers - Produce Cool Mist

Cool mist humidifiers using ultrasonic technology feature an intensely vibrating plate called a diaphragm. The plate breaks water into tiny droplets, which the unit pushes into the air.

Ultrasonic humidifiers are my personal favorites for relieving sinus pressure, thanks to their whisper-quiet operation and relatively high efficiency.

They also don't consume much energy, so their running costs are minimal.

However, ultrasonic humidifiers don’t have filters, so they may spread fine mineral dust and/or bacteria into the air, which can aggravate sinus problems.

I strongly recommend using distilled water in ultrasonic humidifier and cleaning them at least every other day to avoid this issue, adding new fresh water each time.

Distilled water for humidifiers

Important Tip:

Avoid using tap water at all costs on all types of humidifiers. Not only is tap water full of minerals which can cause white dust build-up, it can also be contaminated with harmful microbes.

Impeller Humidifiers

Impeller humidifiers function largely the same as ultrasonic units. The difference is that they use spinning discs to create fine mist instead of a diaphragm.

As such, they share the same pros and cons as units using ultrasonic technology.

They’re quiet and efficient, but due to the lack of filters, they need purified water and constant cleaning. I would not recommend this type of humidifier for sinus sufferers.

Evaporative Humidifiers - Use A Fan Blower

Evaporative humidifiers are cool mist models that suck water from the tank into a wicking filter. A fan blows cool air over the wick, evaporating the water and producing a light mist.

The wicking filter absorbs minerals and impurities from the water, generally making these units more hygienic than ultrasonic ones.

I can recommend them if your sinuses are sensitive to airborne pollutants.

However, the wick filters need to be replaced at least once a month, which adds to the humidifier’s running costs. Due to the fans, evaporative units are also often pretty noisy and bulky.

Warm Mist Humidifiers - Produce Hot Steam

Warm mist humidifiers, also called steam humidifiers, work by boiling water to create steam. They disperse the steam into the air to raise humidity levels.

The warm steam may feel more soothing to irritated sinuses than cool mist, but this depends on your personal preference.

Since they boil water, warm mist units also kill bacteria in the water tank, which can make them more hygienic.

However, the steam and hot-running unit can cause burns if used carelessly. 

I would avoid these units around small children and pets who might tip the humidifier over and spill the hot water.


How We Review & Rank Our Product List

At Air Conditioner Lab, our team follows a similar process when evaluating all products reviews before formulating our final lists for readers.

We begin by gathering data sources directly from brands, e-commerce platforms, online retailers and press releases.

These are then added to a master file we use to compare features specifications from all humidifier models. You can access this Humidifier Sheet Here.

Next, we narrow down all the products on the market by evaluating user reviews, ratings and feedback from a wide variety of online and in-person sources.

Our team then discusses and co-ordinates our first hand experiences using these products, as well as gather independent opinions and feedback through Youtube and customer reviews.

Common Questions

How Do You Use a Humidifier for Sinusitis?

When using a humidifier for sinus issues, place the unit on an elevated waterproof platform at a central location and fill it with distilled or purified water. This way, you'll ensure the humidifier functions at maximum efficiency and avoid introducing contaminants to indoor air.

What’s the Difference Between Vaporizers and Humidifiers?

The difference between a vaporizer and a humidifier is their operating temperature. Vaporizers — or warm mist humidifiers — boil water to create hot steam, while cool mist humidifiers produce a cool or cold water mist.

Are Air Purifiers or Humidifers Better for Sinuses?

Air purifiers and humidifiers can both help with sinus problems, depending on the cause of your issues. If air pollutants cause your sinuses to act up, choose a purifier; if dry air is bad for your sinuses, opt for a humidifier.

So, Which Humidifier Is Right For Your Sinus?

A humidifier can provide much-needed help for sinus inflammation — as long as you use the right kind of unit for your needs.

With my guide, you’re now ready to find the best humidifier for your home and add moisture to the air.

My overall pick is the Levoit LV600HH because you can toggle between a cool mist humidifier and a warm mist humidifier.

My #1 Recommendation
Levoit LV600HH

  • Produces cool and warm mist
  • Powerful humidification
  • Easy to use with auto mode
  • Essential oil and descaling pads can be used

References: 

  1. https://www.livescience.com/levoit-lv600hh-review
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4808543/
  3. https://www.aprilaire.com/whole-house-products/humidifier/baby-humidifier
  4. https://lasko.com/products/h965ar-70-hour-1-gallon-ultrasonic-cool-mist-humidifier-by-pureguardian
  5. https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/10149971
  6. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030541792030509X?via%3Dihub
  7. https://www.bli.uci.edu/does-uv-light-actually-disinfect-and-kill-viruses/
  8. https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use/sinus-infection.html
  9. https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-course-chapter-2
  10. http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/consumer/buildings/basics/humidity.htm
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Ile Kauppila

MA Multimedia Journalism / BA English Philology

Ile Kauppila
Ile Kauppila is a globetrotting writer and editor living in Virginia. Ile holds an MA degree in Multimedia Journalism and a BA in English Philology. Ile has written for a variety of home, HVAC, and energy-related websites and publications. He has covered HVAC solutions, insulation, and energy-efficient construction, automotive AC systems for multiple auto dealerships and garages.

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