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Best Cool Mist Humidifiers of 2023 

Updated
Seven humidifiers to keep your home cool and increase humidity.

When the temperature drops and you turn your heating on, the humidity level in your home can drop considerably. A humidifier can be helpful in the winter months for adding moisture to the air. However, you can also use humidifiers during the warmer months.

With so many different models and types, deciding which humidifier is right for your home can be challenging. Humidifiers come in warm, cool, or dual mist.

Cool mist humidifiers can moisturize you while adding humidity to your home. They can help with coughing and congestion and are much safer to use around kids and pets than warm mist humidifiers.

We spent hours researching real customer reviews and expert advice to find the best cool mist humidifiers. We looked at each product’s humidifying ability, tank capacity, coverage area, and more. Keep reading to meet our seven favorites.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier {2.2L Water Tank} Quiet Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Bedroom & Large room - Adjustable -360 Rotation Nozzle, Auto-Shut Off, Humidifiers for Babies Nursery & Whole House
Best Overall
AquaOasis Cool Mist
  • Highly-customizable settings
  • 360-degrees rotating nozzle
  • Whisper quiet operation
Product Image of the Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Quiet Air Humidifier for Bedroom, Nursery, Office, & Indoor Plants - Lasts Up To 25 Hours, 360° Rotation Nozzle, Auto Shut-Off, Night Light
Most Aesthetic Cool Mist Humidifier
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic
  • Easy clean-up
  • Modern & sleek design
  • 25-hour run time
Product Image of the LEVOIT Humidifiers for Bedroom Large Room (2.4L Water Tank), Cool Mist for Home Whole House, Quiet for Baby Nursery, Adjustable 360° Rotation Nozzle, Ultrasonic, Auto Shut off, Night Light, BPA-Free
Best Budget Pick
Levoit Ultrasonic
  • Silent operation under 30 decibels
  • Array of mist settings
  • Quality tested unit
Product Image of the Crane Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Bedroom and Office, 1 Gallon Cool Mist Air Humidifier for Large Room and Home, Humidifier Filters Optional, Clear and White
Best for Health
Crane Drop Ultrasonic
  • Easy to clean
  • Whisper-quiet operation
  • Child-safe design
Product Image of the Bell+Howell Sonic Breathe Water Bottle Humidifier, Easy to Use Small Humidifier, No Leak Portable Humidifier, Mini Humidifier, Travel Humidifier, Personal Humidifier and Desk Humidifier as Seen on TV
Best Portable Cool Mist Humidifier
Bell+Howell Ultrasonic
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Quiet operation
  • Compatible with most water bottles
Product Image of the Guardian Technologies Pure Guardian H920BL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, 10 Hrs. Run Time, 210 Sq. Ft. Coverage, Small Rooms, Quiet, Filter Free, Treated Tank Resists
Best for Sleep
Pure Guardian H920BL Ultrasonic
  • Silver clean protection
  • Runs quietly (great for nights)
  • Handy extra features
Product Image of the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic
Best Runtime
Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic
  • 50-hour runtime
  • Essential oil tray
  • Filter-free design


Product Reviews

We dedicated hours to filtering through the wide range of cool mist humidifiers out there. We focused on real customer feedback and compared it to what the experts say.

The result? This is a list of the best cool mist humidifiers on the market.

1. AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier

Best Overall

This humidifier is perfect for both small rooms and larger spaces, as it has fully customizable output settings. It also features a 360-degree rotating nozzle that covers all areas of your house of up to 400 square feet.

It can run up to 24 hours on the low setting. You don’t have to worry about this too much, though, as it will automatically shut off as well.

What We Like

Highly-Customizable Settings

For such a small humidifier, it comes with a wide array of mist settings. You can have the power to set it on either standard or strong mist.

360-Degree Rotating Nozzle

You might have doubts about whether this can do its task in bigger areas, but its rotating nozzle will ensure that no areas will be left dry and arid.

Whisper Quiet Operation

Thanks to the ultrasonic technology, this humidifier makes absolutely no noise. Place it in the background, and you’ll forget it’s even there.

Auto Shut-Off When Empty

When the unit runs out of water, it turns off automatically. This means you can set it and forget.

What We Don't Like

Difficult to Clean

Users tell us that the humidifier’s opening will make it difficult to clean the item thoroughly.

You Need Distilled Water

This unit works best with distilled water. This can add to costs over time since it’s not suitable to refill it from the kitchen tap. On that, customers found it pretty awkward to refill.

Product Specs

Type Ultrasonic
Dimensions 8.5 x 6 x 9.5 inches
Weight 2.2 pounds
Tank capacity 0.58 gallons
Coverage area 400 square feet

 

2. Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Most Aesthetic Cool Mist Humidifier

This cute little humidifier is perfect for humidifying small spaces such as bedrooms, offices, or even nurseries. Its modern, aesthetically-pleasing design makes it a great addition to any space.

Like the Pure Guardian, this humidifier allows you to turn on a blue night light. You can turn it on at night when you’re falling asleep and turn it off when you no longer need it in the morning.

The MistAire Ultrasonic from Pure Enrichment controls is very basic. It only has one button at the base of the device. Simply push once to turn it on and push again to increase the speed.

What We Like

Easy Clean-Up

This humidifier only has two main parts: the water tank and the base. This makes for a straightforward cleanup.

It also comes with a disk-cleaning brush to clean those hard-to-reach places. Also, it has no filter or additional removable parts that need maintenance.

Modern and Sleek Design

This humidifier’s water droplet design and small size make it easy to store anywhere. It’s one of the more aesthetically-pleasing humidifiers on the market, so it will be a nice addition to any room.

25-Hour Run Time

Humidifiers with small tanks like this usually only run for eight to 10 hours maximum. The MistAire impresses with 25 hours of continuous operation, and that’s when it’s on the medium setting. On the high setting, it offers 16 hours.

Budget-Friendly Price Point

Humidifiers can be pricey, but not this one. We love that it’s a budget-friendly pick that’s still high quality.

Whisper Quiet Operation

This unit runs quietly enough to use overnight, even in nurseries. It won’t wake your little one up as they sleep, making this great for colds and periods of congestion. It also has a night mode that offers an optional night light in case bright lights disturb your family’s sleep.

What We Don't Like

Unstable Mist Nozzle

You can change the direction of the mist by adjusting the mist nozzle. However, customers report that this tends to get stuck and doesn’t turn quickly.

Works Slowly To Increase Humidity

If you want super speedy results, this unit might disappoint. Because it’s on the cheaper end of the spectrum, it lacks the power of some other units. It might take a lot longer to increase your home’s humidity levels.

Product Specs

Type Ultrasonic
Dimensions 10.9 x 9.2 x 6.9 inches
Weight 1.68 pounds
Tank size 0.39 gallons
Coverage area 250 square feet

3. Levoit Ultrasonic Bedroom Cool Mist Humidifier

Best Budget Pick

The Ultrasonic from Levoit surprised us with its outstanding performance and excellent price tag. It features a 360 degrees rotating nozzle that disperses cool mist in different directions.

It also features a built-in night light. However, for those who wish not to use it as they may find the light a little distracting, you can turn it off, unlike the other humidifiers in the market.

Additionally, it is a perfect addition to your kids’ room as it emits 24 decibels of sounds at the lowest setting and 30 decibels at the high mist setting, thanks to its patented removable silencer.

If its cool customizable features weren’t enough, this unit also delivers impressive performance. While its tank is more than half a gallon, it will last up to 24 hours at the lowest setting. It can cover around 290 square feet, so it’s perfect for small to medium-sized rooms.

What We Like

Silent Operation Under 30 Decibels

This humidifier boasts nearly silent operation. No wonder it’s marketed as a good option for babies and nights. It’s true, it’s whisper-quiet.

Running between 24 and 30 decibels, this is a great sleeping companion.

Array of Mist Settings

This model has various mist settings along with the 360-degree nozzle that disperses mist throughout the space. This amount of customizability is impressive for this price point.

Quality Tested Unit

While almost everything sold at a lower price point compromises its quality, Levoit is an exception. It has obtained certifications from FCC, ETL listed, CA65 tested, and ROHS.

And oh, did I forget to mention that it’s BPA-free? It surely is!

Automatic Shut-Off

The humidifier will shut off automatically when it detects a low water level. You don’t have to worry about wasting energy if the humidifier empties while you aren’t around.

What We Don't Like

Not for Larger Rooms

Unfortunately, this humidifier can only do so much in a large area. You might want to consider the floor area for which to use this humidifier.

You Might Need Distilled Water

If you live in a hard-water area, you must opt for distilled, purified, or filtered water. This can be expensive over time.

Quite Tricky To Clean

Because of the design, it can be hard to deep clean this. Customers had to use an array of cleaning supplies — including cotton pads and q-tips — to get in all the corners.

Product Specs

Type Ultrasonic
Dimensions 8.5 x 6.7 x 10.2 inches
Weight 2.5 pounds
Tank Size 0.63 gallons
Coverage area 107 to 290 square feet

4. Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Best for Health

This unit from Crane is a powerful, user-friendly humidifier designed for 500 square feet spaces or lower. The ultrasonic technology is quiet and makes almost no noise.

What’s unique about this humidifier is it’s made of clean, controlled anti-microbial material, which reduces the growth by up to 99.96 percent of any bacteria, fungus, or mold that might fester in the tank. This is great if you are concerned about possible bacteria build-up.

Our favorite thing about this item is its user-friendliness. It’s super easy to clean with its detachable water tank located at the bottom. You can easily fit your whole hand in there for scrubbing or drying.

What We Like

Easy to Clean

If you are concerned that your humidifier might serve as a breeding ground for bacterial growth, you can be sure that it won’t be a problem with this humidifier. The refill tank is detachable at the bottom, allowing you full access to getting into the tight nooks and crannies by hand.

Antimicrobial Material

This unit is made from antimicrobial materials to reduce the growth of mold and bacteria by up to 99.96 percent. This extra feature ensures a safer environment for you and your family.

Whisper-Quiet Operation

Crane Drop Ultrasonic was designed with the light sleepers in mind. It runs in a Whisper-Quiet technology that ensures you and your baby won’t be annoyed by its noise.

Child-Safe Design

When you are to place this humidifier in the nursery, you will have peace of mind that it won’t do harm even when the water tank is left empty, as it has an auto-shut-off feature. Moreover, this item is also BPA-free.

Multiple Fun Color Options

If you want something that stands out from the crowd, this is it. Available in seven color options — turquoise, green, grey, orange, and more — you can choose a humidifier that seamlessly fits your decor.

Vapor Pad Slot Included

When you or your kids are under the weather, vapor products can help. This unit has a vapor pad slot to provide extra relief from cold and flu symptoms.

What We Don't Like

Essential Oil Issue

This humidifier is that it cannot tolerate essential oils, as it would make your maintenance with the machine more tedious.

Poor Quality Construction

This is a pretty budget-friendly pick, so we can’t be too mad about the choice of materials. A few customers dropped their unit from only a few inches high, and the lid cracked or broke. If you want something a bit more durable, you might want to rethink this one.

Product Specs

Type Ultrasonic
Dimensions 8.6 x 8.6 x 13.4 inches
Weight 4.5 pounds
Tank Size 1 gallon
Coverage area 500 square feet

5. Bell+Howell Ultrasonic Personal Portable Humidifier

Best Portable Cool Mist Humidifier

This portable cool mist humidifier is small enough to be popped into a bag. It’s super convenient for traveling, especially if you’re going to a place with a harsh, dry climate.

It has a bottle-mouth adapter you can use with any standard PET water bottle. Not having a water tank makes it really light at half a pound, so it won’t weigh your bag down.

This humidifier utilizes ultrasonic technology to produce micro-droplet mist. It operates quietly and effectively, making minimal noise. Did we mention it can run for up to 12 hours?

What We Like

Portable and Lightweight

Weighing only half a pound, it’s easy to transport with you. It even comes with a travel bag, cleaning brush, and an interchangeable plug for worldwide use.

Quiet Operation

The ultrasonic technology makes for an almost silent performance. On its highest setting, it almost sounds like the fan of a laptop.

Various Settings for Humidity Control

It has a variable output knob control that allows you to control the humidification rate. It also has an automatic shut-off feature — once the inserted water bottle is empty, it’ll turn off.

Compatible With Most Water Bottles

When you pick up a bottle of water from the store, it’s likely to be compatible with this unit. So if you’re traveling, drink your water, get back to the hotel, refill the bottle, and pop it on the unit. Super easy!

You can even add menthol for more relief from cold and flu symptoms.

What We Don't Like

Not Stable for Large Bottles

Some users have tried attaching larger water bottles to this model, causing it to tip over.

For Small Areas Only

If you have a large hotel room, this might not humidify the whole room. Working only in 100 to 200-square-foot areas, it’s a light-duty humidifier.

Inconsistent Results

Customers noted that sometimes the unit worked, and sometimes it didn’t. With this significant inconsistency, it can be pretty frustrating.

Product Specs

Type Ultrasonic
Dimensions 4.36 x 2.88 x 4.53 inches
Weight 0.5 pounds
Tank Size Not applicable
Coverage area 100 to 200 square feet

6. PureGuardian H920BL Ultrasonic Humidifier

Best for Sleep

The H920BL is a tabletop cool mist humidifier for small rooms. It’s portable, compact, and lightweight, so you can take it from room to room.

It emits a soft blue that can be calming and great for sleep. If you’re a light-sensitive sleeper, don’t worry. This unit’s light setting can be switched on and off with the push of a button.

It’s our favorite nighttime humidifier for its glowing blue light and its silent operation. It makes almost no noise, even when it’s set on high.

It has a modest coverage area and a relatively small tank, but that’s because this humidifier is super tiny. Don’t be fooled; it can run for 10 hours straight.

What We Like

Silver Clean Protection

This technology eliminates the growth of mold and mildew. Sometimes you just forget to clean your humidifier, which can lead to the growth of all types of bacteria. This humidifier will ensure that it’s only pumping out clean, healthy mist.

Runs Quietly (Great for Nights)

Ultrasonic models tend to be virtually silent while operating. This humidifier is no exception; you can place it beside your bed while sleeping and not be disturbed.

Handy Extra Features

Besides what we’ve already mentioned, this has some great extras. For starters, it has a low water indicator light to remind you that it’s time to refill the tank. We also like the night light feature, which comforts kids at night.

Lastly, this has a multi-directional mist to ensure an even distribution of humidity throughout the room.

What We Don't Like

Beeping Noise When Water Is Out

Despite its silent performance, users mention an annoying beeping noise when the water runs out. This can disturb your sleep, so be sure to fill it up before you hit the sack.

Doesn’t Always Last 10 Hours

A common complaint from disappointed customers was the run time. While it’s advertised at 10 hours — enough for a full night’s sleep — many customers claimed it never lasted that long. Instead, you can expect around five to seven hours of run time.

Product Specs

Type Ultrasonic
Dimensions 4.7 x 4.7 x 10.8 inches
Weight 1.1 pounds
Tank Size 0.21 gallons
Coverage area 210 square feet

7. Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Best Runtime

Let’s begin by saying that this humidifier’s runtime is 50 hours. That means you can set it going and not worry about it for several days. If the water runs out, it automatically turns off by itself, so there’s no wasting of energy or damaging the unit.

Since it’s an ultrasonic model, you won’t need to purchase replacement filters constantly. The ultrasonic technology makes for a nice heavy spray. It can output up to nine ounces of water per hour, so it can cover large bedrooms.

Some cool features include a user-friendly dial for adjusting the intensity of the moisture and a 360-degree rotating mist nozzle. As a bonus, it comes equipped with an essential oil tray for aromatherapy.

What We Like

Long 50-Hour Runtime

This humidifier can keep pumping out moisture for over two days uninterrupted. This is ideal if you live in a particularly dry climate. You can keep this running even when you’re away from home to keep the humidity level up.

Essential Oil Tray

This nice addition creates a pleasant aroma around the room. Add a few drops of lavender, and you’ll be asleep in no time.

Filter-Free Design

No filter means no need to buy expensive replacements. This makes for minimal maintenance and upkeep, except for cleaning, of course.

Designed for Better Sleep

If you’re struggling with sleep due to a dry environment, this is designed to help. It will add moisture to your nasal passages, helping you fall and stay asleep. Adding a few drops of lavender oil is recommended, as this has been proven to aid sleep.

Minimizes Bacteria and Viruses

If you feel you and your family are consistently sick, this can help. When you add the right amount of humidity to your home, it’s harder for viruses and bacteria to grow. Over time, they will die, leaving you less likely to get sick.

What We Don't Like

Difficult to Clean

This Everlasting Comfort model isn’t the most convenient to clean. The water tank opening is less than three inches, making it difficult to clean by hand, according to customers. Also, the machine has many nooks and crannies where mold and mildew can build up.

Makes Loud Gargling Noises

Many customers complained that this unit wasn’t as quiet as advertised. It tends to make weird gargling sounds that might frighten you in the middle of the night!

No Handle — Easy to Spill

This is a big unit, holding 1.6 gallons of water. When you’ve refilled it, it’s hard to carry it back to your chosen spot without spilling it since there is no handle. When it’s full, it’s pretty heavy, so it’s hard to keep it still.

Product Specs

Type Ultrasonic
Dimensions 14 x 12 x 8 inches
Weight 4.1 pounds
Tank Size 1.5 gallons
Coverage area 500 square feet

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Type Dimensions Weight Tank capacity Coverage area
AquaOasis Cool Mist Overall Ultrasonic 8.5 x 6 x 9.5 inches 2.2 lbs 0.58 gal. 400 sq ft
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Aesthetic Cool Mist Humidifier Ultrasonic 10.9 x 9.2 x 6.9″ 1.68 lbs 0.39 gal. 250 sq ft
Levoit Ultrasonic Budget Pick Ultrasonic 8.5 x 6.7 x 10.2″ 2.5 lbs 0.63 gal. 107 to 290 sq ft
Crane Drop Ultrasonic For Health Ultrasonic 8.6 x 8.6 x 13.4″ 4.5 lbs 1 gal. 500 sq ft
Bell+Howell Ultrasonic Humidifier Portable Cool Mist Humidifier Ultrasonic 4.36 x 2.88 x 4.53″ 0.5 lbs N/A 100 to 200 sq ft
Pure Guardian H920BL Ultrasonic For Sleep Ultrasonic 4.7 x 4.7 x 10.8″ 1.1 lbs 0.21 gal. 210 sq ft
Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Runtime Ultrasonic 14 x 12 x 8″ 4.1 lbs 1.5 gal. 500 sq ft

Warm Mist vs. Cool Mist Humidifiers

The main difference between these two is that the warm mist option creates steam by vaporizing water with heat. They’re faster and more efficient at humidifying the air but can be noisy.

Warm mist humidifiers can also be dangerous if you have children. The tank contains boiling hot water and can easily burn the skin if it tips over or leaks.

Cool mist humidifiers, however, are a much safer option if you have children. The lack of heat makes them a safer choice for busy homes filled with children, pets, or even clumsy adults.

They also tend to be much quieter than their warm mist counterparts. The only annoying thing about cool mist humidifiers is that they require thorough cleaning more often.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing

There are many details to think about before buying a cool mist humidifier. We’ve broken each of them down and explained them further to help you understand the various factors.

Type

There are two main versions of cool mist humidifiers:

Evaporative Cool Mist Humidifiers

Evaporative models utilize a built-in fan to blow air through a porous wick. The wick absorbs water from the tank or reservoir. The air then cools as it collects moisture from the wick.

Keep in mind that this means you’ll have to buy replacement wicks. Also, since these humidifiers are fan-powered, they can be noisy.

Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers use a nebulizer: a compact high-frequency vibrating diaphragm that creates a cool mist.

Since there’s no fan involved, ultrasonic models are usually pretty quiet or almost completely silent. They also require less maintenance than the evaporative options because they’re less likely to grow mold. You’ll just need to scrub it down once a month.

Coverage Area

This simply determines how much square footage of coverage you need from your humidifier. The coverage area can vary widely depending on the type and the model’s output capacity.

A tabletop or personal humidifier will get the job done if you’re looking only to humidify small spaces. However, if you’re looking for something to cover larger spaces, you’ll need a console model — they generate a lot of moist air and have larger water tanks.

Check each product’s square footage coverage area and ensure it matches your room size.

User-Friendliness

Ease of use matters greatly for humidifiers. You also want a humidifier that’s relatively easy to move.

This is important because you may need to move it for monthly cleaning. So whether you’re looking at a table or floor model, you’ll still want it to be portable.

User-friendliness also means easy maintenance. If you’re leaning towards the evaporative models, check that the wick is easy and inexpensive to replace. You don’t want to buy a new humidifier and find out the wick replacements are hard to find or expensive.

Humidistat

First, you want to be on the lookout for controls and displays of the humidity level and other settings. Not all humidifiers have these, but they can help control humidity levels.

Not all humidifiers come equipped with a humidistat, either. Humidistats can make or break the decision for some since some models shut off the unit when the room reaches the desired humidity level. This built-in hygrometer measures the humidity levels in your home, so you don’t have to do it manually.

Essentially, you set the desired humidity level, and the unit will turn off when it reaches it. It will turn back on when the levels drop.

This can help you conserve water and electricity and save money on your energy bills. If you find a humidifier that you really like but it doesn’t have a humidistat, buy a hygrometer instead. This monitors your room’s humidity levels and can help you determine when you want to turn the humidifier off.

Cleaning

Some humidifiers have a user-friendly design that makes them easy to refill and clean. Others have more moving parts and require more maintenance. It’s critical to clean your humidifier according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

How often you clean it also depends on how often you use it. You may need to drain, rinse and dry it daily. It’s essential to clean your humidifier because bacteria thrive in moist environments.

The last thing you want your humidifier doing is circulating bacteria into your home’s air. The standing water in the tank can be teeming with bacteria that could potentially get you sick!


FAQs

What Is the Healthiest Type of Humidifier?

The healthiest type of humidifier is ultrasonic models. They use pulse frequency, a filter, and, importantly, zero chemicals to generate mist. This system ensures that the moist air is the healthiest it can be.

How Much Should I Spend on a Humidifier?

The amount you should spend on a humidifier depends on your budget, your house, and whether you want a whole house unit or individual humidifiers in each room.

You can spend upwards of $1,100 for a whole house unit and $30 to $100 for individual room-size models.

Where Should I Place My Humidifier?

You should place your humidifier at least three feet from a bed, at least two feet from the ground, and never place it in direct sunlight.

Can You Use Tap Water in a Humidifier?

You shouldn’t use tap water in a humidifier because it contains mineral deposits and hard metals. When the water vapor dries, it leaves a white residue on your surfaces. It also pollutes the atmosphere, reducing indoor air quality.

Instead, use filtered, purified, or distilled water. Check the user manual of your product for detailed advice.

Does a Cool Mist Humidifier Make a Room Cold?

A cool mist humidifier does not make a room cold. It releases a vapor that humidifies the air at room temperature, so check your heating thermostat if you feel a temperature drop.

Do Cool Mist Humidifiers Use a Lot of Electricity?

Cool mist humidifiers don’t use a lot of electricity. A portable model will only use between 30 and 50 watts, whereas a whole-house model will use 250 watts. But, a whole house unit will humidify the entire house, while a portable model only services one room.


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About the Author

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is a freelance writer with several years of experience in DIY and HVAC. For as long as he can remember, Matthew has always found great pleasure in taking things apart and learning how to put them back together.