The climate in your bedroom can have a significant impact on your overall sleep quality. Controlling your bedroom temperature is an excellent place to start, but humidity is also an important factor. A bedroom that’s too dry can cause a number of sleep-disrupting symptoms, including dry skin and dry mouth. It may also aggravate respiratory conditions.
To achieve the optimal humidity range for sleep, consider using a humidifier to increase the amount of moisture in the air. By maintaining moderate humidity in your bedroom, you can avoid the irritating symptoms associated with dry air and get a better night’s sleep.
There are many different types of humidifiers available, all with unique features. We’ll review the best humidifiers, go over the most common humidifier technologies, and help you understand why humidity is critical for sleep.
Top Picks Overview
- Best Overall
- Best Customizable
- Most Quiet
- Best Automatic
- Best for Large Bedrooms
Our Top Picks
- Dishwasher-safe parts make for easy cleaning
- 36-hour run time
- UV light helps keeps the interior sanitized
The Canopy Humidifier relies on an internal fan to evaporate water from its reservoir. While the Canopy produces filtered air without heat or mist, the internal fan generates a moderate level of background noise. The 2.5-liter tank can run up to 36 hours before needing a refill and can control humidity in rooms up to 500 square feet.
The Canopy incorporates several notable cleanliness features including a paper-based filter and UV filter designed to sanitize the reservoir water. The device is designed to be easy to disassemble, and the outer shell is dishwasher safe. The Canopy includes a built-in sensor to maintain the right level of humidity, and the auto mode option adjusts the humidity to be slightly higher at night as you sleep.
The Canopy features a modern design and also doubles as an essential oil diffuser. It’s available in four color options and comes with a USB-C power cord, one filter, and an essential oil sample kit. Keep in mind that unlike many humidifiers, the Canopy requires a disposable paper filter that you’ll need to replace periodically. However, the subscription option gives you a discount on the filter price. The Canopy ships for free and comes with a 30-day return policy.
Homedics TotalComfort Plus Ultrasonic HumidifierBest Customizable
- Warm and cool mist options
- Tank run time of up to 65 hours
- Timed shut-off
The Homedics TotalComfort Plus Ultrasonic Humidifier is a versatile and customizable model that features warm and cool mist functions. If you live in a dry climate and need a humidifier for both the hot and cold months, the Homedics Humidifier is worth considering. Other customizations include a built-in timer to turn off the unit after 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours, as well as multiple settings to fine-tune the level of mist output.
The Homedics TotalComfort Plus uses ultrasonic humidification technology, making it energy efficient and quiet when running. This model comes with a 1.4-gallon tank that can run up to 65 hours. It also features a night light, automatic shut-off, and a demineralization cartridge to prevent mineral build-up.
The Homedics TotalComfort Plus tank is removable and fairly easy to clean, but it’s not dishwasher safe. Each unit comes with one demineralization cartridge.
The Homedics Ultrasonic Humidifier ships for free. If you’re not happy with your humidifier, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund, minus the cost of return shipping. The Homedics TotalComfort Plus Ultrasonic Humidifier is also covered by the company’s 1-year limited warranty.
Taotronics Cool Mist Humidifier for BabyMost Quiet
- Kid-friendly whale design
- Operates at 26 decibels
- Runtime between 12 and 30 hours
- Adjustable, warmly colored night light
The Taotronics Cool Mist Humidifier for Baby uses a specially developed cool mist technology to maintain humidity between 40% and 60%. Unlike fan-operated evaporative humidifiers, the Taotronics Cool Mist Humidifier doesn’t create any fan noise and is designed to keep the overall noise level at 26 decibels. This makes the Taotronics quieter than many humidifiers on the market.
Designed for babies and young children, the Taotronics Cool Mist Humidifier features a whale-shaped design that comes in white and blue. The unit is BPA-free and has a 2.5-liter water tank. With an adjustable mist output between 60 to 160 milliliters per hour, the Taotronics can run between 12 and 30 hours. The mist dispenser has a 360-degree design to increase coverage and is appropriate for rooms between 107 and 269 square feet.
The Taotronics Cool Mist Humidifier comes with an automatic shut-off function for when the water is low. It also has a night light with adjustable brightness, as well as a scent diffuser for essential oils.
This model requires hand cleaning, but the wide opening on the top of the tank is designed to make the process easier.
The Taotronics Cool Mist Humidifier ships for free and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The humidifier must be undamaged in order to be eligible for return.
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist HumidifierBest Automatic
- 1.5-liter tank
- Up to 25 hours of run time
- Features automatic shut-off and night light
- 5-year limited warranty
The Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is a compact humidifying unit with a simple design and an automatic shut-off feature. When the water level is low or the water tank is removed, the Pure Enrichment MistAire will automatically power down.
This model uses ultrasonic technology designed to quickly and quietly create a 360-degree stream of cool mist that moistens the air. The 1.5-liter tank can run up to 25 hours, providing excellent coverage for medium-sized rooms. The Pure Enrichment MistAire is available at a relatively low price-point.
The model has two settings, high and low, to adjust the mist output. The Pure Enrichment MistAire also features a cool, blue-toned night light. In addition to the humidifier, each unit comes with an AC power adapter and cleaning brush. The MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is protected by Pure Enrichment’s 5-year limited warranty.
Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier for BedroomBest for Large Bedrooms
- 6-liter water tank
- Run time of up to 50 hours
- 2-year replacement policy
The Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier for Bedrooms is a high-capacity, filterless model with an extra-large tank, making it ideal for large rooms. This unit features a water tank that can hold 6 liters, or about 1.6 gallons. The Everlasting Comfort Humidifier can run for up to 50 hours before requiring a tank refill, and the unit’s high mist output is ideal for larger rooms up to 500 square feet.
The Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier uses ultrasonic technology to create a cool mist and does not generate any heat. This means the unit runs quietly at less than 30 decibels and is relatively energy efficient. The Everlasting Comfort also features an automatic shut-off option that turns off the power when the water level is low.
The Everlasting Comfort Humidifier comes with an essential oil tray. The tray feeds into the water tank, allowing you to use the Everlasting Comfort Humidifier as a fragrance diffuser as well.
This model is also protected by a 2-year replacement policy, which guarantees that Everlasting Comfort will replace your humidifier if it stops working within 2 years of your purchase.
How to Find the Best Humidifier For You
To find the best humidifier for you, you’ll need to match the model to your needs. This includes your budget, room size, climate, noise level preference, and other factors.
- Humidification Type: Not all humidifiers work the same way. Humidifier models on the market today may use several different types of humidification technologies. The two main types are warm mist and cool mist. Cool mist models typically use an ultrasonic mechanism or a fan to increase the amount of moisture in the air, while warm mist humidifiers use heat.
- Value: A high-value humidifier should meet your needs while remaining within your budget. But it’s not just about the price-point. Additional perks such as free shipping, free returns, and warranty policies can add to the value of your humidifier.
- Room Size: Think about where you primarily plan to use your humidifier. Certain models have larger-capacity water tanks designed for bigger spaces. And certain types of humidifiers, such as cool mist models, are designed to be more energy efficient and better for larger areas.
- Noise Level: Humidifiers that rely on an internal fan can create background noise. Others are nearly silent when running. If you plan to use your humidifier at night, consider your tolerance for background noise and look for the model that will be least likely to disrupt your sleep.
- Ease of Cleaning: Like any appliance that involves water, a humidifier requires occasional cleaning and disinfecting to keep it sanitary. Depending on the construction, some models are easier to clean than others. Advanced models may also include a filtration system to cut down on cleaning frequency.
Types of Humidifiers
All humidifiers serve a similar purpose: to increase the amount of water vapor in the air. However, different humidifiers use different humidifying technologies.
An evaporative humidifier uses a cloth, foam, or paper wick to soak up water from a reservoir. An internal fan circulates air near the wick, promoting water evaporation and increasing the humidity in the air. You may also see this style referred to as a wick or wicking humidifier. This style of humidifier doesn’t produce any heat, but the internal fan does create background noise.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use electricity to vibrate a metal diaphragm at high frequencies. When the vibrating element comes into contact with water, the ultrasonic movement breaks up the water into tiny droplets. The small water droplets are then easily vaporized into the air. Ultrasonic humidifiers tend to be very quiet when running.
Warm Mist Humidifiers
A warm mist humidifier uses heat to vaporize water. As the name suggests, this type of humidifier releases heated water vapor into the air. Most warm mist humidifiers rely on a heating element to create steam. While the warmth can be comforting on cold winter nights, warm mist humidifiers are less energy efficient. Additionally, they create a hot surface that can pose a risk if you have small children or pets.
Cool Mist Humidifiers
Cool mist humidifiers release ambient or cool water vapor into the air. This includes both evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers because they do not use heat to vaporize water. Cool mist humidifiers tend to be more energy efficient and safer to operate around young children.
Why Use a Humidifier?
Your bedroom environment can have a profound effect on your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Background noise, lighting, and temperature often receive the most attention when it comes to improving your surroundings for sleep. While there’s no doubt that noise, light, and heat all affect sleep, humidity is often overlooked as a factor.
Using a humidifier can improve the quality of your sleep by increasing the level of moisture in the surrounding air.
If you live in a dry climate, increasing the humidity in your bedroom is especially important. A humidifier can help prevent irritation in your airways caused by dry air, allowing you to sleep comfortably and continuously. And if you live in a cold climate, a humidifier can help combat the changing conditions of the seasons while also making a cold room feel a bit warmer.
How Does Humidity Affect Sleep?
Although everyone has personal preferences, most people tend to sleep best in a specific temperature and humidity range. Researchers generally agree that the optimal bedroom temperature is around 66 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature range is cool enough to facilitate the nightly drop in core temperature orchestrated by your circadian rhythm without making you feel uncomfortably cold.
However, humidity also plays an important role in sleep. The ideal humidity range for sleep is between 40% and 60% relative humidity. When humidity drops too low, it can dry out the mucous membranes in your nose and mouth. This can lead to uncomfortable irritation in your airways, dry mouth, and nosebleeds. All of these symptoms can keep you from falling asleep and staying asleep.
Keep in mind that high humidity can have a negative impact on sleep. Like a dry bedroom, a humid bedroom may also make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. That’s because humidity can disturb your body’s ability to control its internal temperature. You’re more likely to sweat in your sleep in a humid environment, which can cause you to wake up throughout the night.
Humidity levels can also exacerbate allergies, leading to sleep issues. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends keeping your indoor humidity between 30% and 50% to prevent the growth of mold spores and other allergens that can worsen allergy symptoms and prevent you from getting a restful night’s sleep.