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Best humidifiers for your bedroom, large rooms and more in 2021

Say goodbye to cracked, chapped skin!
Illustration of a Objecto H3 Hybrid Humidifier and a MiLin Humidifier, and a Woman sleeping next to a Get Canopy humidifier
TODAY Illustration / Amazon / West Elm / Get Canopy
/ Source: TODAY

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We're quickly approaching cracked knuckles and sandpaper skin season. When the humidity drops from the air, it's palpable. That’s why some people rely on a humidifier, which moistens indoor air, to keep symptoms at bay.

“Using one can help make your skin, lips, nose and throat not feel as dry,” said Dr. Emily Pennington, a pulmonologist at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Simply put: it’s a comfort thing.

One warning: If you have a breathing disorder, be very careful, said Dr. Jonathan Parsons, director of the Asthma Center at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Over-humidifying the room or failing to clean the unit properly can lead to the growth of mold, mildew, bacteria and dust mites, which can exacerbate allergies, asthma or other pulmonary conditions.

If you're looking for something to specifically filter the air, look into getting an air purifier.

Pennington recommended cleaning a portable humidifier every 72 hours — this requires emptying out the water daily, scrubbing the tank to rid any built-up film and rinsing the base. You’re also best served using distilled water. Otherwise, naturally occurring minerals can build up in the tank and compromise air quality.

Another word of caution: When it comes to the vapor, less is more. Ideally, you should try keeping humidity between 30% and 50%, advised Pennington. Some models have built-in humidity monitors. If they don't, Parsons suggests buying a room hygrometer.

If you're looking for the best humidifier for the bedroom, or for anywhere else in the house, here are 12 that will get the job done.

Best humidifiers of 2021, according to shoppers

Pure Enrichment MistAir Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

With over 45,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, this ultrasonic cool mist humidifier is a widely popular option. Ultrasonic cool mist humidifiers run quietly, so they’re best for bedrooms, according to Pennington.

Canopy Humidifier

Dermatologists — along with hundreds of shoppers — can't get enough of this smart humidifier from Canopy. Made to hydrate a room up to 500 square feet, Its proprietary technology is designed to kill 99.9% of bacteria with embedded UV lights, delivering filtered, hydrated air to combat skin dryness and dullness. Its parts are also dishwasher-safe, making regular cleaning a breeze.

Sleek and modern, this top-fill humidifier from HoMedics has three mist settings, a 360° mist nozzle and a programmable humidistat for optimal comfort. The 1.47-gallon water tank makes this option especially great in larger rooms up to 426 square feet.

TaoTronics Humidifier

This humidifier automatically monitors the humidity in your room to make sure it stays at optimal levels. The extra-large water tank will humidify your space for up to 60 hours, plus it's remote-operated so you can control it from anywhere in the room.

URPOWER Square Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier

This ultrasonic humidifier doubles as an aromatherapy diffuser and illuminates in a variety of colors, so it’s as beautiful as it is practical.

Crane Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

A cool-mist humidifier is best for little kids, as there’s no risk of burns like some steam or evaporative models, said Pennington. This one’s great because it’s easy to use and clean, has a control dial, automatically shuts off and its teardrop shape looks cute, too.

Boneco Air-O-Swiss Steam Humidifier

Steam models tend to disperse fewer minerals into the air, said Pennington, though they still need to be cleaned. The best part: This one will remind you to clean it, so you’ll never forget. And, it has a handy built-in humidity monitor, too.

Vornado Evap40

This larger in-room model holds a whopping four gallons of water, and it can humidify rooms up to 1,000 square feet.

MiLin Humidifier

If you're searching for a humidifier that doesn't actually look like one, try this pick. It's small enough to fit on your desk or bedside table and it's super quiet so you'll barely notice it's there.

Objecto H3 Hybrid Humidifier

This humidifier could easily be mistaken for a piece of art, but it's just as functional as it is fashionable. It runs for 18 hours, producing both warm and cool mist, and it doubles as an essential oil diffuser.

Levoit Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

This one creates both warm mist (for fast humidifying) and cool mist (to humidify an air-conditioned room in the summer). The bells-and-whistles are great, too, including a built-in humidity sensor, remote control, and aromatherapy box.

Air Innovations Clean Mist Digital Humidifier

The built-in humidistat monitors and maintains the desired humidity level in a room, making this one a great hands-off option.

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This article was originally published on Sept. 26, 2018.