Which Silent Night Humidifier is Right For You?
The soothing mist of a humidifier can be a lifesaver when you’re dealing with dry air or allergies. But which is the best one for you?
Consider factors like the size of the tank, whether it has a LED night light and other smart features, and how easy it is to refill and clean.
Easy to use
A humidifier puts moisture into the air, which can help your eyes, nose, lips, and skin stay hydrated. It’s especially important during winter, when the cold weather and indoor heating can make your air dry. Ideally, your home should have 30% to 50% humidity. You can measure this with a simple tool called a hygrometer, which is available at most hardware stores.
This ultrasonic cool mist humidifier from Pure Enrichment has an ample, easy-to-fill water tank and a soothing night light that’s great for children’s rooms and offices. It also comes with a cartridge that allows you to add your own essential oils for a scented mist output.
The humidifier’s automatic power failure and water shortage protection help you avoid accidental damage or overheating, and it shuts off when the water reservoir is empty. In addition, the appliance has a small Top Fill humidifier footprint and a quiet operation that won’t disturb your sleep.
The appliance can be used year-round to prevent dryness that irritates parts of the body and eases symptoms caused by the flu or common cold. It’s easy to maintain, too: simply clean the large water tank and use a cleaning brush and mild soap to keep it fresh. This model is backed by Pure Enrichment’s industry-leading 5-year warranty.
Easy to clean
As with any appliance, the best way to keep your humidifier clean is to follow its specific cleaning directions. “The best place to find these are in the owner’s manual,” says Carolyn Forte, executive director of Good Housekeeping’s Home Care & Cleaning Lab. “If you don’t have one, look online for your model’s manufacturer.”
Most cool-mist humidifiers require a similar process to clean their tanks and reservoirs. First, empty and disassemble the appliance (following instructions if necessary). Then, mix equal parts water and vinegar in the tank(s) to loosen mineral buildup, and rinse. Then, use a mild cleaner or household detergent to clean the remaining parts of the appliance. Some cool-mist models are also dishwasher safe, but make sure you check the owner’s manual for details.
Many of our silent night humidifiers also have a built-in humidistat to help you maintain your ideal humidity level. This feature will shut off the appliance when it reaches your desired level of humidity, and prevent excess moisture from fogging windows or creating a musty odor. If your model doesn’t have this feature, you can monitor the air’s moisture with a simple hygrometer.
Easy to refill
Silent night humidifiers are easy to refill and maintain. They have a large water tank that lasts all night, and some even come with an aroma tray for essential oils. Adding these to the humidifier releases the aroma into the air, which reduces stress and improves sleep quality. They are also energy efficient and environmentally friendly.
A standard 1-gallon ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier that’s quiet enough to run in a nursery or kid’s room, the Crane Drop has a Top Fill humidifier dial for variable mist output control and comes with an optional filter to remove minerals from tap water. This model also has a rotating lid and can be set to spray in any direction you choose. It’s energy efficient, filters out minerals and isn’t prone to leaking.
One thing to consider with this humidifier is that it’s a bottom-fill type, which can be inconvenient. The cap at the bottom isn’t always large enough to fit over your arm for a thorough scrubbing, which can cause leakage and mineral build up. The top-fill design, on the other hand, makes it easier to remove and clean the water tank.
Console humidifiers are larger units that sit on the floor and are best for homes with ductwork. They have increased-capacity water tanks and can handle spaces up to 1,000 square feet. They are less prone to leaking, and many feature auto modes that shut off when the water level reaches a certain threshold.
Easy to move
When you want to move your humidifier from one room to another, it’s important to find an appliance with wheels that make it easy to maneuver. Also, consider how long you plan to use your humidifier before buying one with a tank capacity of more than 1 gallon. Larger tanks allow you to operate the machine all day without having to refill it as often.
Our best-for-small-rooms pick, the Vicks 3-in-1 Sleepy Time Humidifier Diffuser Nightlight, is compact and lightweight, and it has a small footprint that makes it ideal for placing on a desk, vanity, or dresser. It features an ultrasonic operation and a water shortage indicator that illuminates when it’s time to fill the tank. It also has an optional calming glow to it that works as a night light.
Humidifiers are available in three sizes: portable, which are personal or travel-size appliances; console, which sit on the floor and can handle spaces up to 1,000 square feet; and whole-house, which attach to your home’s ductwork to add moisture throughout your entire house. Many of these devices can also function as air purifiers, allowing them to clean the air and reduce allergens and irritants. Some also have aroma diffusers, allowing you to add your own fragrance oils for an extra level of relaxation. When it comes to maintenance, you should follow the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions to avoid damaging the appliance. You should also remove all accessories from the base and allow them to dry completely before storing the device.