Best Cool Mist Humidifier

Low humidity can be a problem both in the summer and winter. Dry air pulls moisture from your skin and nasal passages, that’s why you’ll notice chapped lips or scaly skin when humidity drops below the ideal levels between 40% to 50%. In worse cases, you may experience cold and flu symptoms, nosebleeds, and other respiratory issues. To help maintain healthy levels of humidity within your home, humidifiers add moisture to the air. There are many types of humidifiers, but the cool mist type, in particular, can be helpful all year round.

As the name suggests, a cool mist humidifier emits cool mist to add humidity and provide extra comfort. To get the best unit for you, there are a few factors you need to consider, including the capacity, run time, and noise levels of the humidifier, among other useful features. There are countless different models in the market today, but luckily, we have put together a list of the best cool mist humidifiers we’ve found as well as a buying guide to help you choose.

But first, see the summary of our top seven picks below.

Best Cool Mist Humidifier featured photo

Comparison of the Best Cool Mist Humidifiers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Dimensions: 9.06 x 6.69 x 12.2 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 4L/1.05 gallons
  • Run Time: 18 hours
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  • Dimensions: 10.55 x 8.43 x 7.2 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 2.2L
  • Run Time: 24 hours
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  • Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 1.5L / 0.4 gallon
  • Run Time: 25 hours
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  • Dimensions: 10.87 x 9.45 x 13.46 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 gallons
  • Run Time: 30 hours
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  • Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 12 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 3L
  • Run Time: 25 hours
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  • Dimensions: 9 x 12.75 x 9 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 1 gallon
  • Run Time: 24 hours
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  • Dimensions: 11.6 x 7.7 x 11.3 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 6L / 1.59 gallon
  • Run Time: 60 hours
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Top 7 Picks for the Best Cool Mist Humidifier

Best Overall: Geniani Huron Cool Mist Humidifier

Geniani Huron Cool Mist Humidifier

The Geniani Huron provides almost anything you may need in a cool mist humidifier. Its large 4-liter (1.05 gallons) water tank can last up to 18 hours, effectively humidifying small rooms up to 220 square feet. This ultrasonic humidifier features a smart humidity sensor and one button control with a ring light and tank light to indicate the unit’s operation mode and the current relative humidity.

You can choose from three mist output speeds (High, Medium, Low) with a press of the button. When the light around the button is white, the humidifier is working. The level of brightness indicates the mist setting (higher brightness for higher speed). When turning on, the humidifier is in Smart mode by default. In this mode, the unit will automatically adjust the mist level depending on the current humidity. If the humidity is low, the water tank light will illuminate orange, purple at average humidity, or blue in case of high ambient humidity.

This humidifier is ideal for bedrooms, living rooms, or offices, with a whisper quiet ultrasonic operation at 38 decibels. You can also turn off the LED light if you’re sensitive to light during sleep. As a bonus, this unit also functions as a diffuser. Just add a few drops of essential oils to the fragrance tray and enjoy a whole night of aromatherapy and a restful sleep.

Another feature we really like about the Geniani Huron humidifier is its top-filling tank design. There’s no need to remove the tank unlike other common humidifiers. Simply uncover the lid on top or pour water directly into the hole in the lid to fill the tank. Because of this design, cleaning the tank is also super easy. Detach the tank from the base, remove the lid, and wipe the inside with a damp cloth. Since the unit is filterless, it’s important to clean the unit thoroughly every few weeks to prevent mineral buildup, especially if you’re using hard water.

Pros
• Smart humidity sensor and multiple mist options
• Easy to use one button control
• Easy to fill, easy to clean water tank design
• Works as essential oil diffuser
• 38 decibels quiet operation
Cons
• Lack of filter may lead to mineral buildup

Easy to Use: AquaOasis Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

AquaOasis Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

While a lot of us may appreciate the more modern features in newer humidifiers, some want things simple and easy. After all, humidifiers aren’t supposed to be complicated. So, if you want a classic, simple design that is easy to use, the AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier features a single control knob and a 360° rotating nozzle. Control the mist output and direction of airflow easily for a more precise control over your room’s humidity.

This user-friendly humidifier comes with a 2.2-liter (or around 0.5 gallon) water tank that can last up to 24 hours on a single fill. To ensure your safety and protect the device, it comes with the standard auto shutoff feature to stop operation once the tank is out of water. There’s no need to worry about filters too. This unit is filter-free, although it is recommended to use distilled water to prevent white dust buildup in the tank.

Due to its whisper-quiet operation, you can use this humidifier in the bedroom, office, living room, or any small space where you need quiet. To refill, you will need to remove the tank and turn it over. The tank design is very simple to a fault—with a small opening, you can only clean it by filling the tank with water and cleaning solution. However, most users have no complaints in this regard. For your peace of mind, this unit is guaranteed with a lifetime replacement. 

Pros
• Simple and easy to use
• Quiet operation
• Lifetime replacement
Cons
• Basic tank design may be difficult to clean and refill
• Lack of filter can lead to mineral buildup

Best for Bedrooms:  Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier

Pure Enrichment MistAire XL Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Sleeping with dry air can irritate your nasal passages and skin. During cold and dry winter days, you may wake up to cold-like symptoms, dry skin, or chapped lips. You need a humidifier that works quietly. Pure Enrichment’s MistAire line of whisper-quiet portable humidifiers comes with a range of capacities, from a one-gallon tank, to a tankless model. The standard MistAire humidifier features a 1.5-liter (0.4 gallon) water tank, so it can run from 16 to 24 hours depending on the level of mist.

Unlike a few other brands which use knob controls, MistAire features a simple, one touch control. This button controls the mist output speed (Low or High) and the night light (on or off). With a maximum moisture output of 150 ml per hour, it’s suitable for spaces up to 250 square feet. For a smaller room, consider the MistAire Studio. Or if you need something bigger, this one-gallon Mistaire XL.

The auto shutoff feature prevents this model from running when out of water, with an LED indicator turning from blue to red to alert you. With a similar tank design as the AquaOasis unit above, it can be difficult to refill and clean the MistAire. However, this model makes up for it with its easy and quiet operation.

Pros
• Simple and easy to use
• Quiet operation
• Available in a variety of sizes
Cons
• Basic tank design may be difficult to clean and refill
• Lack of filter can lead to mineral buildup

Best for Cold and Cough Relief: Vicks V4600 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Vicks V4600 Bedroom Humidifier

If you or anyone at home is experiencing more serious cold and cough symptoms, such as congestion or difficulty breathing due to dry air, then you may need the extra comfort provided by this Vicks humidifier. Aside from releasing a cool, soothing mist, this unit is specifically designed to work with Vicks VapoPads to help alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions.

This humidifier features a scent pad door that allows you to enjoy soothing Vicks VapoPads for added comfort as you run the unit. You have one sample pad included with the unit, and you can also choose from different aromas to help you relax and sleep better, with each pad lasting up to eight hours. The unit features a wide 1.2-gallon tank with a wide opening to make it easy to fill and clean. You can simply turn the unit on or off and adjust the mist output speed with the control knob. The humidifier will shut off automatically and the green light will turn red when the tank is empty. 

The Vicks V4600 portable humidifier is quiet and compact enough that you can bring it anywhere, from your own bedroom, a child’s room, your office, or anywhere you may need temporary relief from cold and cough. Although, without a filter, you must make sure to keep your unit clean from any slimy residue, or that could make allergy symptoms even worse.

Pros
• Simple and easy to use
• Works with Vicks VapoPads for added relief and aromatherapy
• Quiet operation
• Wide tank opening makes it easier to clean
Cons
• Lack of filter can lead to mineral buildup

Humidifier with Best Features: Levoit Dual 200S Smart Humidifier

Levoit Dual 200S Smart Humidifier

This next unit features everything you may be looking for in a humidifier and more. The Dual 200S is one of Levoit’s newer models and you can definitely tell by its smart design. The 3-liter tank capacity provides a maximum of 25 hours of soothing moisture in spaces up to 290 square feet. With noise levels around 26 dB, this unit is also ideal to use when sleeping.

You can choose from the three mist settings (High, Low, or Auto mode) with each push of the mist button. This humidifier features a smart humidity sensor and an LCD display of the ambient humidity as well as lights to indicate the selected operation mode. Auto Mode uses the humidity sensor to automatically adjust the mist level (or stop operation) to maintain 40% to 50% relative humidity. 

If that isn’t enough, you can also connect the Levoit Dual 200S to your Wi-Fi and change the mist speed or adjust your target humidity in Auto mode, all from the free VeSync app on your mobile phone. Once connected, you can set a timer for automatic shutoff, or a schedule to match yours. This model also works with Alexa or Google to enable voice commands.

The top-fill tank design allows you to easily clean and refill the humidifier without having to turn it over and leaking water all over the floor. As an addition, this model also works with essential oils for a deeper relaxation. Despite being new, this is a great unit overall, with a few common complaints about leaking or stopping operation.

Pros
• Smart humidity sensor
• 26 dB Quiet operation
• Wi-Fi compatibility and voice controls
• Easy to fill, easy to clean water tank design
• Works as essential oil diffuser
Cons
• A few negative reviews on older version

Best for Kids Bedroom: Crane Adorables Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Dry air can be extra harmful to the sensitive skin of babies. To keep your little ones comfortable while they sleep, a quiet humidifier is a must have. Crane Adorables come in different animal designs that will fit well in a child’s room. From an elephant, monkey, frog, or Hello Kitty, a total of 18 designs. The large one gallon tank can last up to 24 hours, with a mist output covering up to 500 square feet.

Crane Adorables Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

You can adjust the mist level with the control knob, and rotate the mist lid 360 degrees to direct the airflow. This humidifier runs quietly like most other ultrasonic models. It also features a soft white night light which makes it a great option for sleeping babies. The auto shutoff ensures the unit will not run when the tank is empty.

While the unit is filter free, Crane offers an optional demineralization filter to prevent white dust buildup due to mineral deposits from using hard water. Make sure to clean the tank and humidifier base or replace the filter as needed.

Pros
• Various fun designs for kids
• Large capacity and coverage
• Easy to fill, easy to clean, large tank
• Optional filter
Cons
• Bottom fill tank may leak

Best for Large Rooms: Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier

Levoit LV600HH Warm Mist Humidifier

The LEVOIT LV600HH is both a warm and cool mist humidifier for year-round use to help relieve congestion, coughs, bloody noses, dry skin, allergies, and other respiratory conditions. With a mist output of up to 500 mL/hr, this unit can easily handle spaces as large as 753 square feet or 70 square meters. The large 1.5-gallon (six-liter) water tank can last up to 60 hours of continuous use at the lowest mist setting.

This humidifier features a built-in humidity sensor and adjustable humidistat that automatically adjusts the mist level to maintain your desired humidity level. The tank needs at least 480ml of water for the humidifier to function. If the water level is lower, the humidifier will automatically turn off and the warning light will illuminate. You can change the settings on the control panel or using the included remote controller so that you don’t have to get up from the bed, for instance. 

For a better, undisrupted sleep, this whisper quiet ultrasonic humidifier also features Lights off and a 12-hour timer so you don’t have to worry about any potential accidents in case you leave the unit on at night or when you’re away. As an added feature, you can also pour a few drops of your favorite essential oils to the aroma box for a more soothing air. Remember to clean the tank and wipe off the exterior once a week to prevent dust buildups and help your humidifier last longer. 

PROS
• Large capacity and coverage
• Warm or cool mist option
• Humidity sensor and humidistat
• With remote control
• Easy to fill, easy to clean water tank design
• Works as essential oil diffuser
CONS
• Potential leaks

Types of Humidifier

Evaporative vs Ultrasonic

A humidifier simply adds moisture to the air. Different types of humidifiers use different methods to do this. The most common type is called an evaporative humidifier. It uses a wick or filter to absorb water from the reservoir. A fan then blows air through the filter, letting the moisture evaporate. This type of humidifier self-regulates, preventing excess humidity. As humidity levels increase, it becomes more difficult to evaporate water. They also filter the water, eliminating impurities that can leave filmy residue on surfaces around the unit. 

An ultrasonic humidifier uses a metal diaphragm vibrating at a high frequency, sending tiny water particles into the air. This type produces visible mist, providing more moisture than an evaporative humidifier. Built without a fan, an ultrasonic model is best used at night because of its nearly soundless operation. 

Cool Mist vs Warm Mist

A cool mist humidifier is the common choice for many. It emits a cool mist using either evaporation or ultrasonic technology. Some cool mist humidifiers also work as an essential oil diffuser.

A warm mist humidifier has an internal heater that boils water before releasing the warm steam into the air. This type of humidifier is great for cough and cold symptoms, especially during winter. It can also reduce bacterial contamination and dust accumulation and achieve higher moisture saturation. Although, with a warm mist humidifier, there is an added risk of burns. 

Some ultrasonic humidifiers have both cool and warm mist options. 

Benefits of Using a Cool Mist Humidifier

Dry air will absorb moisture from any moist surface. This includes your skin, eyes, and airways.  Low humidity can cause nasal passages and throat to become dry and irritated. It can also cause flaking and cracking of skin, which results in itching and bleeding due to scratching. When the air is too dry, tears evaporate fast, leading to dry, itchy eyes, and sometimes even blurred vision. Additionally, some disease-causing bacteria thrive in low humidity.

Humidifiers are commonly used in cold and dry winters, but you can use it anytime you need extra moisture to relieve cold and allergy symptoms.

The surfaces of warm mist humidifiers get hot in the process of heating water. The water itself, as it leaves the humidifier, is at boiling temperature. You don’t get this problem with cool mist versions, since they’re powered by rotation or vibration instead of heat. So if you have kids or pets close, then the best humidifiers for you are the cool mist models. 

Lastly, low humidity can also cause drying and cracking on wood beams and furniture over time. Wood loses moisture and shrinks in size. In contrast, wood absorbs moisture and expands when exposed to high levels of moisture.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying a Cool Mist Humidifier

Size

To find the best humidifier for you, the total area of your room is the first thing you must consider. Depending on the tank capacity and mist levels, most humidifiers have a recommended area of coverage. In general, these units can hold one to two gallons of water, which should be able to cover most medium to large bedrooms. Keeping in mind the optimal humidity levels from 40% to 60% RH, adjust your humidifier’s mist output accordingly. 

Run time

The run time in most product descriptions is calculated based on the lowest mist setting of the humidifier. A smaller tank capacity typically means shorter run time, but it can vary depending on the ambient temperature and humidity, the size of your room, and the discharge rate. The models we featured above should last at least overnight on the lowest setting. Check whether the auto shutoff and timer functions are functioning properly so that you won’t have to worry about leaving your humidifier running while you sleep or when you’re away.

Aromatherapy 

Some humidifiers include compartments that allow you to add essential oils to provide a calming scent. This feature will be useful to help you relax and sleep.

Ease of Use

Portable humidifiers are relatively easy to operate with only a few buttons (or adjustable knobs) to control the mist speed and lights. Smaller units may also feature a single knob for controls, while larger ones even have an adjustable humidistat and remote controller. Consider what you value more in your unit: simplicity or precision.

Ease of Cleaning

Note that you need to clean your humidifier at least once every week of use to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria inside the tank. To make the task easier for you, you need a humidifier that is easy to disassemble. If it has an essential oil tray or additional filters, make sure these parts are easily accessible for regular cleaning. Look for a unit with a large tank that you can easily remove and replace. A top-filling design with a wide opening may be most convenient for refilling and cleaning the tank. Some units are even dishwasher safe.

FAQ

Can you leave a humidifier on while you sleep?

Yes. Sleeping in a harsh environment with dry air can cause serious harm to your respiratory system. All the models we listed have the auto shut-off feature to ensure your safety.

Where should you place your humidifier?

Keep your humidifier on a steady, level surface. To prevent the accumulation of moisture in one area (your bedroom floor, for example), the humidifier must be placed at least a few feet above the ground and pointed to an open area. Do not move the humidifier once the tank is filled and attached to prevent leaking. 

Is a cool mist humidifier better than warm mist?

Both cool and warm mist humidifiers work effectively to add soothing moisture to the air, although cool mist is a more common choice, especially for homes with children and pets. Warm mist models can help you feel slightly warmer in the winter. Some humidifiers feature both misting options for year-round use.

Does a humidifier purify the air?

No, a humidifier’s sole purpose is to add moisture to the air, maintaining indoor humidity levels. It will not change the air quality in your room. Although, some manufacturers offer a humidifier and air purifier in one device.

Conclusion

Cool mist humidifiers are extremely useful in combating dry air all year round. While there are hundreds of different models available today, you can find the most suitable unit for you depending on your needs. While they are typically inexpensive, you wouldn’t want to waste your money and time on something ineffective. Before you make a purchase, consider the features we discussed or take your pick from our top seven humidifiers. Whichever you choose, remember to clean your humidifier regularly and place it in an appropriate location to maximize its efficiency.

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