Humidifiers are valuable additions to your home, especially if you live in an arid climate. Having dry air is bad news for everyone and everything: it can cause irritated sinus passages, cracked lips, itchy skin, and even damage wooden floors and furniture.

Humidifiers help prevent these things from happening by increasing the humidity in the air. They also help alleviate allergies, asthma, clogged nasal passages, and make it easier to breathe.

Cool mist humidifiers, in particular, are great for people who live in warmer climates and are looking to control humidity levels at home.

Cool mist humidifiers produce room-temperature vapor. Generally, they’re safer to use near children and use less electricity than warm mist humidifiers.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the 5 best cool mist humidifiers at different price points and find out what makes them the cream of the crop.

  • Ultrasonic
  • Adjustable Mist Output with Knob
  • Built-In Essential Oil Diffuser
  • Automatic Shut-Off
  • Optional Night Light
  • 2-Year Warranty

  • 1-Gallon Tank
  • Ultrasonic So Whisper Quiet
  • Auto Shut-Off When Reservoir is Empty
  • 500 Sq Ft Coverage
  • 1-Year Warranty

  • 0.5-Gallon Water Tank
  • 20-Hour Runtime
  • Auto Shut-Off
  • Ultra-Quiet
  • 2-Year Warranty

  • Ultrasonic
  • Automatic Shut-Off
  • Disk Cleaning Brush
  • Optional Night Light
  • 5-Year Warranty

  • Humidistat
  • Low Water Indicator
  • Filter Change Indicator
  • 4 Output levels
  • 2-Year Warranty


The Everlasting Comfort humidifier has all the features you would expect from a high-quality humidifier: it has a rotating nozzle, adjustable mist output, an automatic shut-off feature when water levels get too low, and an optional night light.

One of the biggest selling points for this humidifier, though, is that it doubles as an essential oil diffuser.

Aside from these features, it also has a large 1.6-gallon tank and a daily output capacity of 1.7 gallons per day, allowing it to cover large areas up to 400 sq. ft. effectively. This is quite impressive, especially considering how quietly it works even on the highest setting. It can do its job of raising the humidity to the most comfortable levels in a matter of minutes.

The Everlasting Comfort humidifier, however, is not without flaws. It lacks two essential features: a humidistat to monitor humidity levels and a low water indicator.

Although they don’t affect the performance of a humidifier, they’re very useful and provide valuable information to the user.

In addition, several buyer’s have complained of both durability and leaking problems with the Everlasting Comfort humidifier; it also leaves white dust everywhere if you use tap water, but you can avoid this by using distilled or demineralized water.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • Small and lightweight
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Doubles as an essential oil diffuser
  • Quiet
  • Humidifies quickly

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • No low water indicator
  • Leaves white dust
  • Reports of leaking
  • Durability issues

This Crane humidifier is a teardrop design that is hugely popular with purchasers because it is a desk-top variety, and their Amazon sales back that up, with thousands of units sold.

It has a 1-gallon tank that allows the humidifier to run for 24 hours continuously when operating on the lowest setting, and because it’s an ultrasonic humidifier, it is whisper-quiet, making it an ideal candidate for a bedroom, a child’s nursery, or the office.

This little cool mist humidifier has an impressive 500 square foot coverage, and because it has Clean Control technology, it reduces the risk of harmful bacteria growth that could cause a potential health hazard in your home.

The distribution of the vapor is enhanced by the 360-degree nozzle, ensuring that no part of the room gets missed, and when the water reservoir runs dry, the machine shuts off automatically to save energy and preserve the life of the humidifier.

On the downside, while this model requires no filter to clean the air, it does mean that in hard water areas, you will need to purchase either a demineralization filter or distilled water that has the impurities removed.

Also, a common problem with cool mist humidifiers is that they create a phenomenon known as “white dust.” This can coat your furniture in a fine residue of powder that will add to your cleaning burden.

Pros

  • Super-quiet
  • Great design
  • Ultrasonic
  • 360-degree nozzle
  • No filters required

Cons

  • Not good in hard water areas
  • Requires demineralization filters
  • Leaves White dust on furniture


Honeywell is one of the top names in the humidifier world, and it would be remiss of us not to include one of their models. This Mistmate humidifier has a 0.5-gallon tank, so it doesn’t have the largest capacity on the list, but Honeywell claims that it has a continuous runtime of 20 hours.

Like the Crane Cool Mist Humidifier, it requires no filter, so those in hard water areas need to compensate by using distilled or demineralized water in the reservoir to stop the components clogging with minerals.

It has an auto shut-off feature when the well runs dry, and because it’s an ultrasonic humidifier, like others on the list, it’s whisper-quiet and ideal for bedrooms and nurseries.

The dial controls are so easy to master, and there are variable output settings to help you select the humidity level that’s right for you.

The reason why this differs from the Crane model is in the large opening for the water tank, which means it is easier to fill and keep clean.

On the downside, some report that the auto shut-off feature can be temperamental and sometimes fails to activate, causing issues if you leave the house with the humidifier running.

Also, for the mist output to have any effect, some recommend that you operate it on the highest setting, which reduces the runtime significantly, especially at night.

Pros

  • Easy to clean water tank
  • 20-hour runtime on the lowest setting
  • No filter required
  • Auto shut-off
  • Ultrasonic

Cons

  • Temperamental auto shut-off sometimes fails
  • Most effective when set in the highest setting for mist output

To say that the Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Humidifier is one of the most popular cool mist humidifiers on Amazon is an understatement. Garnering thousands of reviews and earning a high rating, the MistAire XL is an excellent option if you’re not looking to spend too much on a humidifier.

For such an affordable price, you get a model that comes with single and dual mist nozzles, 2 operational speeds, an automatic shut-off feature when the water level gets too low, and a cleaning brush.

It is compact and lightweight, perfect for placing on bedside tables or desktops, yet this ultrasonic humidifier is still capable of covering areas up to 500 sq. ft. in size!

One disadvantage, however, to the MistAire XL is the lack of a humidistat. The tank also has a tiny opening, making it very difficult to clean and maintain. Even the cleaning brush that comes with it isn’t sufficient to do the job.

Also the MistAire XL leaves white dust everywhere if you use tap water, although this problem is often the case with ultrasonic humidifiers in general. Users have also complained that the MistAire XL easily tips over and will break or crack if dropped.

Still, the MistAire has a lot of redeeming qualities. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, it’s designed in a way that it’s easy for you to check water levels even without a low water indicator.

In addition, it does its job quietly and effectively and is backed by a worry-free 5-year warranty. For such a modest price, the MistAire does all the things you would expect a good humidifier to do.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • Small, lightweight
  • Automatic shut-off
  • Water level is easy to check
  • Quiet
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • Easily tips over/Prone to breakage
  • Difficult to clean
  • Leaves white dust

Finally, we arrive at our heavyweight contender: the Essick Air AIRCARE MA1201. Though it offers slightly dated looks, this MA1201 has a lot of features that make using and maintaining it easy. The MA1201 has a humidistat, automatic shut-off, low water indicator, and an auto mode.

Also, it has a filter change indicator which lets you know when it’s time to change the wick filter. Speaking of filters, the wick that the MA1201 uses a unique antimicrobial wick which prevents the growth of bacteria and mold.

Also, the MA1201 also has casters for easier mobility since it’s a pretty large device.

The best thing about the MA1201 is the sheer power it brings to your home: it has a large 3.6-gallon tank capable of humidifying entire homes up to 3600 sq. ft. in size. The next best thing is probably its affordability, followed by the fact that it is easy to maintain, energy efficient, and works quickly throughout your home.

Unfortunately, with great power comes great noise for the MA1201. Users complain that it works loudly even on the low setting. In addition, its bulky appearance may be obtrusive and blend poorly with home decor.

Like the MA1201’s wick filter also needs to be regularly replaced.

Despite these issues, the MA1201 remains one of the best cool mist humidifiers, especially for larger homes. It does its job quickly, has all the right features, and comes with a very modest price tag considering its performance.

Pros

  • Whole house humidification
  • Affordable
  • Easy to maintain
  • Accurate humidistat
  • Energy efficient
  • Humidifies quickly

Cons

  • Loud
  • Dated design
  • Large and heavy
  • Need to replace wick filter regularly

Comparison Chart

FEATURESCrane Cool Mist HumidifierHoneywell HUL520L MistmateEverlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier Pure Enrichment MistAire XL HumidifierEssick Air AIRCARE MA1201
TypeCompactCompactCompactCompactConsole
Type of MistCoolCoolCoolCoolCool
Type of HumidificationUltrasonicUltrasonicUltrasonicUltrasonicEvaporative
Room Coverage500 sq. ft.Approx 200 Sq. ft.400 sq. ft.500 sq. ft.3600 sq. ft.
Tank Capacity1-gallon0.5 gallons1.6 gallons1.0-gallon3.6 gallons
Humidification Performance1-gallon per 24 hours0.5 gallons per 20 hours1.7 gallons per 24 hours1.5 gallons per 24 hours10.5 gallons per 24 hours
HumidistatNoNoNoNoDigital
ControlsDial knobDial knobDial knobDial knobElectronic
Low Water IndicatorNoNoNoNoYes
Automatic Shut OffYesYesYesYesYes
Weight4.5 lbs3 lbs4.4 lbs3.57 lbs13.5 lbs
Dimensions8.6 x 13.4 x 8.68.5 x 8.5 x 9.514.3 x 12.4 x 7.77.5 x 10 x 12.514.5 x 21.5 x 20.5
Warranty1-year2-year limited2-year5-year2-year

Buyer’s Guide:

Cool Mist Humidifiers

A humidifier is a device that increases the moisture in an area. Because low humidity can have adverse health effects, having a humidifier in your home can be very beneficial especially during drier months.

A cool mist humidifier is a type of humidifier that releases room-temperature mist and doesn’t add to the room’s ambient temperature like a warm mist humidifier does.

It’s important to note that warm and cool mist humidifiers are equally effective at humidifying the air. By the time the water vapor reaches your lower airways, it will be the same temperature regardless of whether it was warm or cool to start with.

Almost anyone would benefit, but there are those that find that using a cool mist humidifier more beneficial.

  • Alleviates cold and flu symptoms – If you’re suffering from cold and flu symptoms, using a humidifier at night can help you recover faster. It can moisten your nasal passages and allow you to breathe easier. Humidifiers may also help alleviate sore throat and sinus headaches.
  • Reduces allergies and asthma attacks – People who suffer from allergies or asthma tend to have worsening symptoms when the air is dry. Adding moisture to the air can help reduce allergens and any pollutants that may cause asthma attacks.
  • Reduces frequency of infections – When air is not too dry, bacteria and viruses tend to be less infectious. Research has shown that a humidity level of 40% or higher decreased the infectivity of influenza virus by 14%.
  • Prevents dry skin – When your skin is exposed to dry air, it cracks and wrinkles more easily. It may become irritated and itchy; even your scalp may be affected. To prevent this from happening, you can keep humidity levels at around 40% or higher.
  • Reduces snoring – Snoring can be caused by a throat that is too dry. Humidifiers can help moisten the respiratory tract and lessen both the noise and intensity of snoring by adding moisture to the air.

There are 3 types of cool mist humidifiers:

  • Evaporative – Evaporative humidifiers are the most common type of cool mist humidifiers. Evaporative humidifiers use a wick filter which absorbs water from the tank and filters out impurities before the fan helps the water from the filter evaporate out into the room.
  • Ultrasonic – Ultrasonic humidifiers use a diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency (hence the name) to create water droplets that are released in the form of mist. These types of humidifiers can be both cool and warm mist humidifiers.
  • Impeller – Impeller humidifiers use a rotating disc to throw water at a diffuser which breaks the water into very fine droplets that float out into the air as a cool mist.

Pros:
  • Energy efficient  – Because cool mist humidifiers don’t need to heat water to produce steam, so they consume less energy even with continuous operation.
  • Safer for children – Warm mist humidifiers use high heat to produce steam, causing parts of the humidifier to become quite hot while in use. This makes them hazardous for households with children and pets. Cool mist humidifiers, on the other hand, use room-temperature water and are much safer to use in general.
  • More affordable – Cool mist humidifiers are typically more affordable both upfront and long-term compared to warm mist humidifiers because they use much simpler systems and do not require any heating elements.
Cons:
  • High maintenance – Because cool mist humidifiers make use of room-temperature or ambient temperature water, there is a higher chance of bacterial and mold growth within the tank and the wick filter.
    Cool mist humidifiers need to be cleaned regularly to prevent this from happening. Some cool mist humidifiers need to be cleaned as often as once a week which may be problematic for some people.
  • Spread of bacteria, mold, and viruses – As previously mentioned, cool mist humidifiers are more prone to the growth of bacteria, mold, and viruses. If cool mist humidifiers are not regularly cleaned, you may run the risk of spreading these microorganisms inside your home.
  • Noisier – Evaporative and impeller humidifiers tend to be noisier compared to other types of humidifiers. However, ultrasonic humidifiers — regardless of whether it is warm or cool mist — are quieter in general.
Cool Mist Humidifiers

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Safer for use around children
  • More affordable

Cons

  • Higher maintenance
  • Prone to spreading mold, bacteria, and viruses
  • Noisier as most require a fan

  • How often do you have to change the wick filter?
  • Wick filters can last anywhere from 1 month to 3 months, depending on how often you use your cool mist humidifier. When left unchecked for long periods, wick filters can be breeding grounds for bacteria and mold as well as mineral build up, all of which will lead to clogging.
    A clogged wick filter will significantly impede the performance of your humidifier and cause it to work harder than it should. This, in turn, will cause the humidifier to use up more energy and burn out more quickly.
    To prevent bacterial and mold growth, characterized by a darkening of the filter, it’s always good to check the wick filter regularly. Keep an eye on the humidity output of your humidifier as well: a humidifier with a dirty wick will work more slowly even on the highest setting and will take a longer time to empty the tank than usual.
    Some wick filters can easily be cleaned simply by rinsing them under running water and then allowing them to soak in a mixture of water and white vinegar for 30 minutes. If the humidifier still isn’t performing as it should even after you’ve cleaned the wick filter, then you know it’s time to replace it.
  • What is white dust and how can you prevent it?
  • White dust is caused by mineral content in the water that goes into a humidifier. When a humidifier uses tap water or unfiltered water, the mist it produces often leaves dried mineral deposits or “white dust” on furniture and other surfaces. For most people, white dust isn’t a cause for concern, but it may be problematic for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory health conditions.
    It’s best to use distilled or demineralized water for your humidifier to prevent the spread of white dust. Unfortunately, this may add up to quite a hefty sum in the long run since distilled water is more expensive.
    Another option would be to purchase a demineralization cartridge for your humidifier which can trap minerals before they become airborne. Otherwise, you can opt for an evaporative humidifier which has a wick filter that removes minerals from the water before releasing it into the room.

Final Thoughts

If you regularly suffer from allergies or clogged nasal passages, especially during the dry winter months, a cool mist humidifier is going to be your best friend. Cool mist humidifiers can help prevent several side-effects that dry climates bring about such as cracked lips, itchy skin, and more. They’re highly effective,and most of them can be purchased at modest prices.

While the cool mist humidifiers on this list all have their strong points, we think the best cool mist humidifier out there is the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.

It is a compact humidifier that’s capable of covering large areas with an excellent daily output and can double as an essential oil diffuser alongside several other useful features.

As a bonus, it is reasonably priced! If you’re looking to buy a humidifier for your home, we strongly recommend the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.

Further Reading

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Humidifiers