One way to keep yourself from getting sick is to invest in a great humidifier. You know when you wake up with a scratchy throat and other frustrating cold symptoms? That could be caused by excessively dry air, especially in the winter, and humidifiers can help prevent that by emitting steam or vapor to add moisture to the air. Below are a few great options of humidifiers for small spaces.
What to Look for in a Humidifier
Humidifiers are an effective way to stay healthy while sleeping—they’ve even been shown to help prevent the flu virus. That said, not using one correctly can actually lead to respiratory problems or even make you sick. Too much humidity is the opposite of what you want because that can make you more stuffed up. And if your humidifier doesn’t stay clean, harmful bacteria and mold can grow in there and be emitted into the air. Here are a few things to consider when looking for one:
- The appropriate size for your space: Humidifiers come in different sizes. If you’re searching for one for a small room, don’t get a huge one. Look for a humidifier that specifically says it’s for a smaller space.
- Easy to clean: A humidifier that isn’t kept clean can breed harmful bacteria that can lead to serious health issues. Look for a humidifier that is easy to take apart and clean, not one that is super complicated. The idea is to encourage yourself to clean it often, not less because it’s annoying.
- Cool mist or warm mist?: Humidifiers come in two basic types: cool or warm mist. Cool mist humidifiers are what they sound like; they release cool mist into the air. They’re usually more noisy, easier to clean, better for warm climates, and work well in larger areas. And because they use a filter to trap impurities, they often require more maintenance. If you’re looking for a small space, you may be better off with a warm mist. As the name implies, they release a warm, soothing mist into the air. The advantages are that they’re generally quieter and easier to keep clean. Disadvantages are that they shouldn’t be kept in reach of children because of how hot they get, and they need to be cleaned more often. It’s also worth pointing out that some models offer options for both cool or warm mist.
Best Overall: Honeywell HCM350B Germ-Free Cool Mist Evaporative Humidifier
There’s a lot to love about this Honeywell Germ-Free Humidifier. For one thing, it’s convenient: There’s a wide opening for easy refilling and cleaning, and the tank and water tray are dishwasher-safe, which is very nice. It’s quiet, so it’s ideal for bedrooms, and it’s an evaporative humidifier, meaning you can use hard water in it without worrying about a film left behind.
And while the germ-free part doesn’t mean you don’t need to regularly clean it (you definitely do), it does mean it’s more hygienic than most. The ultraviolet light is supposed to kill mold, fungus, or bacteria that might sneak in there, and an antimicrobial filter removes germs and bacteria from the water before emitting it.
Honeywell HCM350B Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier Black
The Honeywell Germ-Free Humidifier is easy to clean, has a filter to remove bacteria from the water before releasing it, and has a tank that allows it to last for about 24 hours.
Best Budget Option: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is a great option for a small space like an office or a bedroom. It has a small tank that shouldn’t need to be changed more than once a day, so the water can’t build up too much. It’s small and compact but can run up to 16 hours on the low setting.
The unique design offers other advantages as well. You can easily see when the water is getting low, which is a nice touch, although it’s worth noting it will turn off on its own when it’s empty. The power adapter comes off for easy cleaning, and it comes with a cleaning brush you’ll want and need to use. If you use it in your bedroom, there’s a nice glowing nightlight feature to keep you cozy. And it’s less expensive than most options out there.
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Premium Humidifying Unit with Whisper-Quiet Operation, Automatic Shut-Off and Night Light Function - Lasts Up to 16 Hours
The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is compact, ideal for small spaces, and works for up to 16 hours.
Best for Travel: Fancii Cool Mist Personal Humidifier
Once you start sleeping with a humidifier, it’s kind of hard to sleep without one. If you travel often, it might be worth buying a super portable humidifier that’s easy to take with you no matter where you’re going. The Fancii Cool Mist Personal Humidifier is ideal. There’s no cumbersome tank to carry around or clean; instead, it works with an upside-down water bottle. It’s also cordless and battery-operated, so you don’t need to worry about finding an outlet near you.
Other great features include a timer for various amounts of time and an automatic shut-off when the bottle is empty. And the best thing is that it’s so small it can easily be thrown in a bag without taking up much space.
Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier, USB or Battery Operated Portable Travel Humidifying Device for use with Water Bottles
The Fancii humidifier uses a water bottle as its tank, is cordless, and is small enough to take anywhere, making it ideal for travel.
Best for Baby: FridaBaby 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight
Babies are more susceptible to congestion and illness, so having a humidifier in their room is important to many parents. The FridaBaby is made with babies in mind (although anyone can use it, of course). It’s a cool-mist humidifier that runs up to 12 hours, and you can adjust the mist from more gentle to a little bit stronger. The auto-stop feature is a nice one to have for a baby’s room as well, and a detachable plug is great for cleaning.
Another reason to buy this for your baby? It also acts as a diffuser and a nightlight that changes colors to keep baby calm. The humming noise it makes might also help soothe your baby to sleep.
Frida Baby Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight, White
This is a humidifier, diffuser, and nightlight all in one to keep baby calm and healthy.
Best Diffusing Humidifier: VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier
If you prefer a humidifier that also smells really nice, then opt for one that also acts as a diffuser. The VicTsing is both an essential oil diffuser and a cool-mist humidifier. It works well, is highly rated, and, as a bonus, looks awesome with the wood grain design. It’s small, so it’s great for small spaces, and the diffuser can last up to 10 hours with an automatic shut-off.
This one is really customizable, too: You can choose between seven different lights, 15 modes, two different mists, and four timers. It keeps moisture in the air while also making the entire room seem more comfortable and relaxing, making it a favorite for yoga studios.
VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ml Oil Diffuser with 7 Color Lights and 4 Timer, Aromatherapy Diffuser with Auto Shut-off Function, Cool Mist Humidifier BPA-Free for Bedroom Home
This attractive wood grain humidifier releases a relaxing aroma along with a cool mist.
Best for Bedroom: TaoTronics TT-AH001 Humidifier
Humidifiers can often be a little noisy, meaning if you keep one in your bedroom, it can disrupt your sleep. This TaoTronics Humidifier is an ultrasonic model, which basically means it’s super quiet—so if you don’t want any extra noise in your bedroom, buy this one. A full tank works well overnight and you’re able to set your own mist level. If you want a nightlight, there’s an option for one; if you need total darkness, you can also put it on sleep mode to shut off the LED screen.
It’s pretty hygienic, too: The cartridge filters germs and micro-organisms out of the water, making it cleaner as it evaporates into the air. You can also easily see when the water needs to be refilled, and you can set the humidity level you want.
TaoTronics Humidifiers, 4L Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier for Bedroom Home Large Room Baby Room, Quiet Operation, LED Display with Humidistat, Waterless Auto Shut-off (1.06 Gallon, US 110V)
This ultrasonic humidifier is super quiet and has an optional Sleep Mode to keep the light away, so it's perfect for your sleeping space.
Best Warm Mist: Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier
As you can see, most popular humidifiers are cool mist options. If you’re looking for a warm mist (this is ideal if you’re feeling very congested), though, the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is a great one. There’s no filter, and the tank is easy to detach and clean, which is nice. And since warm mist is what you want when you’re feeling sick, it’s nice that it can be used with Vicks VapoStream for a boost of medication in the air.
The clear tank, which is one gallon, makes it super easy to see when it needs to be refilled. It also releases water that’s up to 95% free of bacteria and germs.
Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier, Small to Medium Rooms, 1 Gallon Tank – Filter Free Warm Mist Humidifier for Baby and Kids Rooms, Bedrooms and More, Works with Vicks VapoSteam
This Vicks humidifier is ideal for clearing up congestion, and there's an attachment that can also release Vicks VapoStream for a medicated boost.
Best Splurge: Levoit Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
This Levoit Ultrasonic Humidifier is packed with features. One of the best things about it is that it can be used as either a warm or cool mist humidifier depending on how you feel. You can choose between five different settings, but there’s also an Auto Mode that self-manages the mist so you don’t really need to do anything. Another great thing about this humidifier is that it’s easy to clean and comes with its own cleaning brush.
Oh, and something that makes it worth the extra money for many is the remote control, which allows you to control it from your bed if you don’t feel like getting up. It also acts as a diffuser if you add essential oil, and as an ultrasonic, it’s super quiet for light sleepers.