The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier is Quiet and Seldom Needs a Refill

Rating: 8/10 ?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price: $70
The Taotronics humidifier in front of a yellow wall.
Josh Hendrickson

In the United States, force-air heating systems are one of the most common ways to heat homes. But they can leave your home feeling dry. If your home feels dry as a desert, then a humidifier can combat the problem. TaoTronic’s $70 Cool Mist Humidifier promises to be an affordable and easy to fill humidifier, and it succeeds at those goals.

Here's What We Like

  • Large 6-liter tank
  • Quiet enough for bedroom use
  • Large opening to refill water
  • Nightlight could be handy

And What We Don't

  • LED light could be dimmer
  • Awkward tank shape is hard to put on the base
  • Small window for checking water level

I’ve purchased a lot of humidifiers. Usually, I go ultracheap and spend $30 or less, and every year I regret it. The “every year” should be the tip-off on why: ultracheap humidifiers typically die on me in two months or less. They’re also annoying to fill due to the small water hole I have to maneuver under a faucet. Eventually, they either stop working, or they start making an incredibly loud noise akin to a busted speaker.

I tell myself every time I won’t make the same mistake again, but I always do. Thankfully, TaoTronics is here to rescue me from my own bad choices.

That’s a Big Tank

Usually, the humidifiers I buy hold about two liters of water (so about the size of the soda pop bottle you buy at the store). That’s pretty annoying because unless I turn the dial to the lowest settings, I find myself refilling the tank every day. But using the lowest settings is pointless, I may as well not have a humidifier, so I, of course, turn it up.

A small blue translucent tank in front of a large black opaque tank.
Compared to the cheap humidifiers I’m used to, the tank is massive. Josh Hendrickson

Worse yet, the process is typically frustrating because cheap humidifiers have a small screw-top hole barely bigger than the faucet head. That means maneuvering it to just the right spot or trying to hold it just under the faucet head. But as I fill it, the tank gets heavier, and the task becomes more difficult.

TaoTronic’s humidifier solves those issues in two simple steps. First, the tank holds six liters of water, three times the size of what I’m used to seeing. And the screw-top hole is enormous—large enough some people could fit their hand in it. That means I find myself filling the tank up less, and when I do need to fill it up, the process is easier. That’s two easy wins in my book.

I keep the humidifier by my bed to prevent overnight bloody noses. And despite keeping the dial set at the halfway point for eight hours each night, I usually only need to fill up the tank once a week. I also enjoy the recessed handle that makes lifting and hauling the tank around easy.

Quiet and Dim Enough for a Bedroom

Humidifiers come in two main varieties: evaporative and ultrasonic. The first works by using a fan to draw air into the humidifier, run it over a wet wick, then push the moist air back out. They can be loud. Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibrating diaphragms to create a fine mist. It works very similarly to the speakers in your home.

A round dial with a long straight blue LED light.
I wish the LED here were a little dimmer, but I didn’t have to cover it with tape. Josh Hendrickson

Of the two, Ultrasonic should make a softer noise, but that’s doesn’t always translate to a quiet experience. Even before breaking down, I’ve purchased ultrasonic humidifiers that create an annoying noise that kept me from sleeping. Thankfully the TaoTronics humidifier is quiet. It’s not entirely silent, mind you, but it’s something akin to white noise, and I have no trouble sleeping with it on despite proximity to my head.

Most humidifiers also have LED indicators that light up when the unit is on; they’re often bright, which is terrible if you prefer to sleep in absolute darkness (like I do). This humidifier has a blue LED light embedded in the dial to control the water flow rate. Blue is a good choice, but it’s just a tiny bit too bright—that is, until I faced the unit away from my eyes. Then the light didn’t bother me at all. You can turn the top spout 360 degrees, so it doesn’t matter which way you face the unit once you have it on.

All-in-all, the humidifier is nearly perfect for my bedroom.

Just a Couple of Flaws

Besides the blue light that you can work around, this humidifier has a couple of nagging issues. The humidifier’s tank isn’t translucent. It comes in either an opaque dark black or bright white. If you want to check how full the tank is, you’ll need to look at the narrow vertical window on the side. But, depending on how you face the humidifier, that can be annoying. In my case, to keep the blue LED away from my eyes, the window is hugging the wall.

The side of the water tank, with a narrow window to view the inside.
This side window is the only way to check the water level. I added paper to the inside for visibility. Josh Hendrickson

It’s also hard to tell when the tank needs cleaning. When you turn off this humidifier, it continues to run its fans to dry out the insides and prevent mold issues. That might mean you could clean it less than once a week, which would be a bonus, but I can’t tell by looking at it. So I’m cleaning it anyway.

And the shape of the tank is a bit awkward. The bottom of the tank is a rectangular shape, and a large column with a spout protrudes from the base to draw water from the tank. That means you have to align everything precisely right to pair the two pieces up. That was more difficult than I expected at first, and more than once, I made a watery mess in the process. Eventually, I got it down, but it was more learning curve than I’m used to in a humidifier.

A Solid, Reliable Humidifier

The problems with this humidifier and relatively minor. The LED is easy to work around, and I got used to dropping the tank onto the base eventually. And the window issue may not be a problem depending on where you put the humidifier.

The bottom of a tank with a LEGO mini fig standing in a hole, his head just reaching the center.
Refilling is a snap thanks in part to the sheer size of this hole. Josh Hendrickson

But for those minor issues, you get a quiet humidifier that blasts out cool mists for as much as a week before needing a refill. If you prefer to turn your humidifier up to 11, I’m confident this will last the entire night and maybe even partway through another.

My time with the TaoTronics humidifier convinced me that spending a little more on a humidifier is worth it. I won’t be going back to the frustrating ultracheap options again. If you’re looking for an affordable humidifier with a large tank, this is one to check out.

Rating: 8/10
Price: $70

Here’s What We Like

  • Large 6-liter tank
  • Quiet enough for bedroom use
  • Large opening to refill water
  • Nightlight could be handy

And What We Don't

  • LED light could be dimmer
  • Awkward tank shape is hard to put on the base
  • Small window for checking water level

Josh Hendrickson Josh Hendrickson
Josh Hendrickson has worked in IT for nearly a decade, including four years spent repairing and servicing computers for Microsoft. He’s also a smarthome enthusiast who built his own smart mirror with just a frame, some electronics, a Raspberry Pi, and open-source code. Read Full Bio »

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