Humidifiers are becoming very popular with people who experience allergic symptoms in dry weather. This is because low humidity levels aggravate the nasal passage, and dry the skin to cause itching, irritation, and other such symptoms.
This does not mean that humidifiers work by continuously adding moisture to the environment; too much moisture can lead to the growth of common allergens like dust mites, and mold.
Then, what’s the sweet spot?
As per a study by the National Asthma Organization, adverse health effects caused by humidity, or the lack thereof, can be avoided by keeping the relative indoor humidity levels between 30 and 60%. Humidifiers help you keep the indoor humidity levels well-balanced to prevent allergy symptoms from surfacing.
If you’re looking to invest in a humidifier that helps combat allergies, read through our list of the 8 best humidifiers to choose the perfect one for your needs.
How Humidifiers Work To Limit Allergens
A good humidifier will efficiently decrease allergen growth by keeping your humidity levels at optimum levels and creating a well-balanced air moisture concentration. This will help alleviate dry skin, nose bleeds, itches, rashes, and any other symptoms of allergy.
However, some humidifiers double as air purifiers as well. These machines use filters to trap allergens as dry air passes through them, before adding moisture to it – thereby sufficiently reducing the root cause of any indoor allergies you may be suffering from.
Here’s an excellent visual guide on how humidifiers work to limit allergens in your home.
Types Of Humidifiers
As the name suggests, these humidifiers work by creating a mist which is pushed out of the machine, and into the air. The mechanism in this unit allows air to pass over a wet wick, causing the water to evaporate and create a mist.
Warm mist or steam is the moisturizing agent used by these machines to keep the humidity levels balanced. The water inside these humidifiers is heated to produce steam, which is then released into the air. Since boiling water can be dangerous, these humidifiers are not recommended for homes with minors or pets.
This humidifier breaks apart water molecules by vibrating them at an ultra-sonic speed, which makes it easier for them to be dispersed into the environment. Once this is done, a fan forces the mist out of the machine and into the room, effectively adding moisture to dry air. However, these units, while useful, are known to produce white dust which makes them relatively high maintenance.
Moisture is added to the surroundings by this unit, using the same mechanism as the one used by a cool mist humidifier. However, unlike other machines, these humidifiers use rotating disks to remove large-sized impurities from the air and push out clean and purified air.
Choosing Humidifiers For Allergy Relief
There are various factors that go into deciding the best humidifier for your home. If you want to see our all-covering, comprehensive guide on the best humidifiers for the whole house – click here!
It is essential to decide which type of humidifier to get for your house before you invest in the wrong one. If you move around a lot or live alone in a small apartment, there’s no need to invest in a large-sized humidifier whereas people with large houses or bigger families may require a larger whole-house unit.
Similarly, cool mist humidifiers are ideal for people who live in warmer climates or have children or pets in the house. People who live up north in colder regions should opt to invest in warm mist humidifiers.
It is imperative to consider the size of the humidifier before buying one, and here’s a size guide you can follow:
|Humidifier Size||Space Covered|
|Small humidifiers (portable)||Up to 250 sq.ft.|
|Medium humidifiers (small single room)||250 to 400 sq. ft.|
|Large humidifiers (large single room)||400 to 1000 sq. ft.|
|Extra-large humidifiers (whole house)||More than 1000 sq. ft.|
Water Tank Capacity
Tank size or capacity is just as important when picking a humidifier.
Before deciding on a unit, consider the size of your house, and how long you will need to run the humidifier. Do you plan on using it all day? Then you will need to choose a model that has a large enough tank.
Ease Of Use, Setup & Maintenance
You don’t want to be stuck with a machine that is difficult to understand, and complicated to use every time you want to turn it on. A good strategy when buying a humidifier is to keep the technical functions need-based; there is no need to invest in fancy features you will never use.
Another important consideration is to check how easy it is to refill the tank. Ask questions like:
- Will it be easier to fill it from a faucet?
- How heavy will it be to carry once it’s full?
- Do you need to set up plumbing?
Also, ensure that the machine is easy to maintain. Whole-house units require periodic cleaning, whereas room-sized units require daily maintenance. If you ignore this and slack on cleaning your humidifier, it can lead to the growth of allergens, which is something you’re trying to actively avoid.
Humidifier installation can be a bit tricky, here’s a nice video on how you can install a humidifier.
If you have children in the house or you plan on leaving the humidifier on when you sleep, considering the noise levels of a unit is essential.
It is important to remember that ultrasonic units are relatively quieter than evaporative models. Even the traditional warm mist humidifiers can be perceived as loud by some.
- UV Filtration
As explained before, high levels of humidity can also cause the growth of mold and dust mites. Buying humidifiers which come with an added feature of ultraviolet light filtration can help mitigate this problem by eliminating microbes that grow in the tank.
- Automatic Settings
Models with built-in humidistats monitor and regulate the amount of humidity in your house, or room, to keep it at an optimum level. The unit can turn off the appliance if the humidity levels are getting too high, and turn it on when they are low.
Some models also come with an auto-shutoff feature which turns the machine off in case it runs out of water. This is best for you if you plan on running your humidifier for extended periods, as it can prevent the device from burning out.
- Air Filter
If you are so prone to allergies that moistening up the air won’t be enough, you can buy a device with built-in pre-filters.
These air filters can give you the double benefit of having an all-in-one humidifier, and an air purifier that can trap allergens like dust mites, pollen, and dander, along with moistening the air.
Check for the type of warranty the manufacturer is offering. Warranties can include replacement of the entire unit, to repairing the machine or just replacing parts.
Ask questions like what would be the best investment for the cost, and how long will the warranty last before buying a unit. There is also an option for purchasing an extended warranty for some products, but you might want to run a little cost-benefit analysis before opting for one.
8 Best Humidifiers For Allergies Reviewed
1. AIRCARE MA0800
Best Mid-Sized Portable Humidifier
|Humidifier Size||Whole House|
|Water Tank Capacity||2.5 gallons|
|Room Coverage||2600 square feet|
Equipped with digital controls and an automatic humidistat, the AirCare MA0800 is perfectly designed to humidify large homes over 2500 square feet.
The model supports a removable tank, so there is no need for a cap – just press the spring valve, and fill it. The three-fan speed setting allows users to choose the level of humidity they deem fit, while an auto-option lets the AirCare take care of the fan speed by adjusting to the humidity levels.
Another great advantage of this particular humidifier is its extended run-time, which allows users to benefit from moisture-rich air for extended periods.
Add in the extremely affordable price point of the AirWave, and it’s clear why this is the best mid-sized portable humidifier for allergies.
While consumers are in awe of its runtime and area coverage, some people have expressed concerns about the expensive filter replacement, and the noise of the unit.
- Large capacity
- Great coverage
- Extended runtime
- Some people may object to the noise level of the unit
- The replacement of its filters may be costly for some consumers
2. Aprilaire 400
Best Large Whole House Humidifier
|Humidifier Size||Whole House|
|Water Tank Capacity||17 gallons per day|
|Room Coverage||4000 square feet|
|Warranty||5 year limited|
The Aprilaire 400 is an automatic control humidifier that consistently ranks the highest in quality and performance. It is covered extensively in our previous humidifier review as well.
Loaded with the ability to cover an expansive area in excess of 4000 square feet, this unit is rated amongst the best large whole house humidifiers for allergies.
Its unique evaporation process allows the unit to consume 100% of the water that is flowing through the panel – ensuring there is no loss of water in the unit. With a massive 17 gallon a day capacity, the tank ensures that you have enough for an entire floor.
The unit is equipped with modern dual sensors that do an efficient job of monitoring and responding to outdoor and indoor temperatures to deliver optimal humidity throughout your house.
While the overall opinion about the piece includes overwhelming positive notes about the performance and quality of the air, some consumers may find the installation to be complicated.
As one consumer noted:
“Ultimately, I picked this model for its efficient water usage, and after a lot of use, I am positive I made the right choice. Unlike other humidifiers, this one does not drain water unless there is a problem.”
- Covers a large area
- Extensive warranty
- Reliable performance
- The installation may be complicated for some users
- Some users objected to water drainage despite it showing 100% evaporation
3. Pure Enrichment MistAire
Best Small Humidifier For Allergies
|Humidifier Size||Single Room|
|Water Tank Capacity||1 Gallon|
The Pure Enrichment MistAire XL might appear to be a smaller humidifier – but don’t mistake its size to be a reflection of its performance!
With an extensive 5-year warranty and reliable humidifying performance, this unit ensures that you continue to benefit from cool mist moisture for up to 24 hours.
The moisture in the air helps minimize the number of air-borne pathogens while soothing your nose and throat to thwart allergies. This is why it is one of the best small air humidifiers for allergies.
The unit comes with a 1-gallon water tank that provides enough moisture for the MistAire to cover spaces up to 500 square feet. There’s more to this humidifier, with its optional night light control that allows users to choose between blue, red and green lights for a soothing presence in the dark.
The MistAire also features a unique ‘auto-off’ feature that turns off the humidifier in case the tank is empty, or reaches low water levels, so it doesn’t malfunction.
With single and dual mist nozzles for variable humidifying experience and a control knob to control the mist output, there is little that can wrong with Pure Enrichments MistAire.
Users will be delighted by how well the humidifier performs in small spaces, and its power efficiency. However, some people have voiced out their concerns about its consistency.
- Very cost-effective
- Auto-shutoff feature in case you forget to fill water
- Extensive warranty period
- Produces negligible noise
- Some people faced water leakage issues
4. Everlasting Comfort
Best Cool Mist Humidifier For Allergies
|Humidifier Size||Single Room|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.6 gallon|
This humidifier from Everlasting Comfort is one of the best cool mist humidifiers for allergies, mainly because of its ability to pump a super-high humidity rate of 270/ml per hour. This makes it extremely suitable for areas of up to 400 square feet area.
The unit features a large 1.6-gallon take, and despite providing optimal humidification, the water tank can last for 50 hours before needing a refill.
Its anti-allergy prowess ensures that it decreases the risk of illness, germs, and bacteria by 43%. That’s not all – the unit also features ultrasonic technology to work at maximum productivity without producing too much noise.
There are also special considerations for consumer satisfaction in the form of an oil tray, where users can add their favorite essential oils for the fan to circulate in the room’s atmosphere. This gives the room a pleasant lasting aroma, which, along with the night blue bulb, provides additional comfort.
While users have praised its effectiveness and ability to work for long hours, there are some concerns about its durability.
- Powerful performance
- Auto-shutoff feature for added safety
- Affordable filter change
- Prone to leakage
- Some users questioned its durability
5. Vicks 1-Gallon
Best Warm Mist Humidifier For Allergies
|Humidifier Size||Single Room|
|Water Tank Capacity||1 gallon|
While there is a notion that warm mist humidifiers should not be placed near kids as they risk a health hazard due to humidifying spaces through boiling water – Vicks has made sure to appease users by labeling it completely safe.
Vicks humidifier is heavily targeted towards alleviating all allergies and bacterial symptoms from the small space it humidifies, diffusing 95% bacteria free mist into the year. For nasal allergies, the Vicks humidifier allows for a medicine cup that can be used to diffuse inhalants, such as Vicks Vaposteam.
The unique warm mist, alongside its unparalleled ability to pump clean air and keep your nasal passages clean, makes the Vicks 1-gallon humidifier one of the best warm mist humidifiers for allergies.
The unit features two output settings for maximum user comfort, with a large 1-gallon tank which can ensure that the unit keeps on running for 12 hours.
Users were quite happy with the product, with one review stating:
“I purchased this humidifier during the winter months for my bedroom since I kept on catching a cold and getting very congested and wheezing in my sleep.
This Vicks humidifier was really helpful throughout the whole winter it lets out a nice amount of mist, and you can really tell the difference it’s a great feeling waking up not as congested as before.”
- Very good for allergies
- Additional support for inhalants
- Auto shut off feature
- No filter, therefore no replacements
- Requires frequent maintenance
- Some users faced leakage issues
Best Warm & Cool Mist Humidifier For Allergies
|Type||Warm and cool mist|
|Humidifier Size||Single Room|
|Water Tank Capacity||1.6 gallons|
|Room Coverage||300 square feet|
Sleekly designed and laced with modern features, this offering from Levoit features a hybrid model, making it the best warm and cold humidifier for allergies.
With a fully functional remote control and considerable 1.6-gallon tank, the unit can work for extended periods – ranging between 20-36 hours. The humidifier also features a built-in humidity sensor, so you know the humidity level in the space before tinkering with the settings.
For added user comfort, the Levoit humidifier also has an aroma box for users to spread their essential oil across the surface. With a maximum output level of 500 ml per hour, this unit can absolutely take care of a medium sized room.
With an ABS plastic body, auto mode and the ability to provide variable mist air for maximum protection against allergens, this unit deserves a spot as one of the best warm & cool mist humidifiers for allergies.
Users were ecstatic after using the humidifier. Here’s what an ‘experienced’ one had to say:
“I’ve had about 10 different humidifiers in the past several years, so I’m something of an expert, I guess. But I’ve had this for almost a month now, and I think my search is finally over… this unit has the highest output of any of the steam or cool mist units I’ve tried. It’s really very good, in all aspects, and I haven’t had any of the issues others have mentioned… it simply works, it’s quiet, and cleaning isn’t hard at all.”
- Remotely controlled
- Humidity display
- Might release white dust
- Variable mist option makes it harder to clean and harder to maintain
7. Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1
Humidifier For Cat & Dog Allergies
|Humidifier Size||Single Room|
|Water Tank Capacity||2 gallons|
|Room Coverage||400 square feet|
This powerful unit packs in a 2-gallon reservoir and operates using proprietary Cold Evaporation technology which ensures that your environment is free from dust, bacteria, pollen, etc.
Ultra clean air and optimal humidification make it one of the best humidifiers for cats and dogs allergies. The Venta Humidifier and Air Purifier does not lead to white dust, allows your pets to breathe freely without irritating dry skin, and saves you from pet dander due to a moisture-rich atmosphere in your home.
What more can you ask for?
With the Venta 2 in 1, you also have the option of adding essential oils to the mist for added relief from nasal problems caused by allergic reactions. For humidity control, this product offers consumers a choice between 3 different fan speeds.
While most consumers are in awe of its durability and performance, the weight of the unit may concern some users. Still, the overall opinion was highly positive, with one user listing down 6 benefits of using this humidifier.
- No white dust
- Additional compatibility for placement of essential oils
- No noise pollution
- The price point may be of concern for some users
- The exterior may appear bulky and outdated
8. Brondell Air Purifier O2+ Revive
Best Air Purifier & Humidifier
|Humidifier Size||Whole House|
|Water Tank Capacity||3.5 liters|
|Room Coverage||Up to 630 square feet|
The Brondel air purifier and humidifier is renowned for adding moisture to the air so that you can find relief from allergens, nasal issues, and sinus congestion.
That’s not all; it is also helpful for dry skin and asthma – making it the best air purifier and humidifier for allergies.
With a large 3.5L capacity and a dual suction system that allows the air to move faster, the unit can cool rooms of up to 630 square feet. With filters as small as 0.3 microns, the Brondell Air Purifier ensures a fresh and clean air all around.
Users love the purity and freshness of the air that this model provides, and the overall opinion reflects the powerful performance and easy maintenance of the product. This review just summarized the entire humidifier into one sentence:
“Worth every penny! I love the humidifier technology, you never see or feel the mist, also dual HEPA filters, really works well!”
- Cleans 99.97% of allergens bigger than 0.3 microns
- Fast cooling
- Covers a large area
- The weight might be an issue while transporting the unit
- The price point of this humidifier may be costly for some users
Allergies And Dry Air
‘Dry air’ is used to refer to air found inside homes that is devoid of humidity. When the cold air from outside comes inside, or heaters are used in winters, it makes the indoor air very dry.
The air inside homes can become dry during warm weather as well.
Regardless of the cause, it can lead to severe irritation of the sinuses, dry the nasal passage causing nose bleeds, and makes skin dry and itchy.
Other allergy symptoms include:
- Sore or itchy throat
- Irritated nasal membranes
- Worsened asthma
- Chapped lips
Helpful Tips For Allergy Relief
While buying a humidifier will help relieve a lot of your allergy symptoms, you can make the odds even better by taking these extra precautionary measures:
Frequently Change The Bedding
Dust mites thrive in your bedding – hence, it is essential to regularly change and launder your pillow casings, bed sheets, mattresses, carpets, and any upholstered furniture.
You can also cover your beddings in allergen-proof covers to minimize contact when your humidifier is turned off.
Keep Your House Clean
Make sure to disinfect your house with surface cleaners regularly. If you have carpeting, use a HEPA filter vacuum to clean it at least once a week.
Dust your house using materials that retain the dust particles, instead of dispersing them into the air. You should also use a mask while cleaning if you have dust allergies. It is wise to avoid wall-to-wall carpeting; carpets are relatively difficult to clean, compared to tile or hardwood floors, and can harbor allergens.
Avoid Pet’s Dander
If you have a pet, then your house has pet allergens, whether you want to admit it or not. A good way of dealing with pet allergens, commonly found in saliva and dander, is to bathe them regularly to reduce shedding.
Also, if you suffer from allergies, you’d be well advised to wash your hands with antibacterial hand soap after petting your cat, or dog.
Monitor Humidity Levels
Like we said, too much humidity is just as bad as dry air, especially when it comes to allergies. So it is imperative to monitor the humidity levels in your room. If you already have a high-end humidifier in your home, it will likely monitor humidity levels for you. If not, you can use a humidity meter for this purpose. There is more to allergy relief than you think – here’s an extensive guide on tips for lasting allergy relief.
Humidifiers And Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is the art and science of healing physical and mental afflictions by inhaling natural plant extracts.
Humidifiers with built-in diffusers can be used to dispense essential oils for aromatherapy, along with moisture. The best essential oils to use for allergies are:
- Blend of sandalwood, frankincense, and Ravensara oil
- Tea tree oil
Cool Mist vs. Warm Mist For Allergies
Warm mist humidifiers are better at soothing sinuses and reducing mucous secretions than models with cool mist humidification systems. While cool mist humidifiers are better suited for larger spaces, they require constant maintenance. They also cannot eliminate the micro-organism growth in the tank, unlike warm mist models.
However, this does not mean that cool mist humidifiers don’t help combat allergens. Many cool mist systems come with built-in purifiers that filter large sized allergens, such as pollen and dust mites. Such devices come in a variety of models that gives buyers a wide range of extra features to pick from.
Well-Balanced Humidity In The Home
As per the CDC, it is important to keep humidity levels inside homes between 30-60%, as too dry or too humid air can affect your allergies. When getting a humidifier, try to invest in one that comes with a hygrometer. Such a machine will keep track of, and display the indoor humidity levels, so you know when to turn your humidifier on and off.
There are various kinds of hygrometers that you can invest in. Here’s how it works.
Best Location To Put Humidifiers
Choosing the right spot to place your humidifier is key to its proper functioning. Here are some things to consider when deciding the correct placement:
Humidifiers should be kept off the ground on a leveled surface. Keeping it on ground level might lead to leakage and production of mildew or mold on the floor or carpet.
Placing It In the Living Room
Living rooms are perhaps the most used, and largest space inside the house. Placing your humidifier in this room could be a good option. Use a plastic table or surface to place your humidifier, since mist can destroy wood surfaces.
Humidifier In The Bedroom
When placing your humidifier in the bedroom, you need to consider the type of humidifier you have. If you have a cool mist humidifier, it can be easily placed near the bed. However, with warm mist humidifiers, keeping them too close to the bed can be a hazard. Since warm mist systems use boiling water to produce steam, the humidifier should be kept on a level platform, at a safe distance from where you sleep.
Placement In The Children’s Room
The first thing to consider when putting a humidifier in a nursery, or a children’s room, is to keep it out of reach. It would be wise to keep it on a high surface, away from the cot or bed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Humidifier Safe To Use Around Children And Pets?
Humidifiers can be useful for both children and pets and can help relieve irritation and other skin issues caused by dry air. However, remember to use cool-mist humidifiers if you have children or are a pet owner, as warm mist humidifiers can be risky, and have been known to cause burns.
How Often Should I Change My Humidifier Water & Filter?
If you have a small humidifier, make sure to clean it at least once a week. For larger machines, maintaining them periodically over a year can work as well. Leaving the filter and water unchanged or dirty can promote the growth of harmful micro-organisms – therefore, it is crucial to set a cleaning schedule for your unit and stick to it.
Can I Use Tap Water In My Humidifier?
It is advisable to use distilled and demineralized water for your humidifier, as tap water contains minerals that can cause white dust to appear on your furniture.
Is It Safe To Leave A Humidifier On All Night?
Leaving your humidifier on at night can help alleviate symptoms of flu, congestion, and asthma, and is safe to use if precautionary measures are taken. Here are some things to consider:
- Don’t use warm-mist humidifiers to avoid any accidents in the dark
- Use machines with automatic shutoff timers
- Place the device at a safe distance from the bed
Where Is A Good Place To Buy These Units?
Out of the many online retailers that offer humidifiers, the most popular one is Amazon. You can also buy a humidifier at an electronics store near you.
Humidifiers are a great way to add some much-needed moisture in the air and clean the atmosphere from allergens while ensuring that the air remains fresh and pure.
In our review, we came across various humidifiers; however, these 8 present the best picks of the lot – chosen due to various factors that are important for users, such as the type of mist they produce, and the space they are able to cool.
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