by | Sep 28, 2021 | Home Comfort, Z

Last Updated: Oct 30, 2021 @ 3:40 pm.

What is the best cool mist humidifier? To find out, we continuously test popular brands of humidifiers, looking for three key attributes: how easy it is to use, how easy to clean and which is most effective at raising the humidity in a room? For this article, we tried out a crop of seven new brands. Here are the ones we think are best.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. We don't take money or freebies from the brands we review. Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Simple Controls

Great for a nursery
Quiet and effective at raising humidity, we think this humidifier is an excellent choice for bedrooms. Loved using this unit as a night light. Caveat: probably best to use distilled water, as unit can be challenging to clean.
$39.95 ($1.10 / Ounce)

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Best Simple Controls: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Sometimes, simpler is better.

Take humidifiers for example. Yes, you can buy models with a dozen settings, with lots of bells and whistles (essential oil diffusers, etc.). But what most folks just need is a simple humidifier that does adds humidity to a bedroom, office or living space.

You can’t get any simpler than the controls on this humidifier—it basically has an on/off button and a high/low setting. That’s it.

We liked this humidifier for its no-nonsense design. You fill it with water, turn it on and it just works. Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Quiet.

• Integrated night light. This is great for bedrooms where you need a night light.

• Includes cleaning brush.

• 1.5 liter tank gives about 12 hours of mist on low (according to our hands-on test) and about half that on the high setting. 

• Good quality overall.

What Needs Work

• Small capacity tank doesn’t last through the entire night (when on high setting). So perhaps if you live in a very dry climate, this isn’t the best choice. On the other hand, for more moderate climates, the low setting will work for an entire night. 

• Fill port could be larger.

• No carry handle on tank.

• More challenging to clean than others we tested. If you can, we recommend using distilled water in this humidifier.

• Top heavy. This model has a somewhat narrow base—which means it can possibly tip over when bumped. As a result, this probably isn’t the best bet in a kid’s bedroom. But if you’re careful, it works well in other bedrooms.

Best Quiet Operation

Perfect size for bedroom
We love how silent this model is—and how easy it is to use. Sure, the water tank opening could be bigger . . . but other than that, this humidifier is a winner. Also nice: no filters to replace.

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Best Quiet Operation: AquaOasis Cool Mist Humidifier

Yes, some humidifiers are noisier than others—even so called quiet ultrasonic models. This one was quieter than others we tested: the AquaOasis. 

And when we say quiet, we mean quiet—no humming, whistling or gurgling.

What We Liked

 No filters to replace.

• Easy to use.

• Very quiet.

• Affordable.

• Auto shut-off feature is handy.

• Easy to clean.

Night light feature is good for baby’s room.

What Needs Work

• Water tank opening could be bigger. That would make it a tad easier to fill.

• Some folks thought the night light was too bright.

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Best For Baby

Night light changes color
Powerful mist is probably the star feature here—turn it up to high and wow, this unit really cranks out the humidity. Also nice: diffuser lets you add essential oils.
$34.60

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Best For Baby: Frida Baby Fridababy 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight

When shopping for a humidifier for a baby’s room, here are some key features: quiet operation is especially important, but extra features like a soft night light and simple controls are also useful. And many parents like to use essential oils, so a diffuser is something to consider too.

After looking at 9 different models that are good for nurseries, we decided the Frida Baby humidifier is the best bet for most folks.

Yes, Frida Baby is probably best known for its baby care products, so this category is new for them—but they hit it out of the park with this one. We liked this unit’s thoughtful design touches (the unit is easy to clean). 

What We Liked

• Easy to use.

• Diffuser for essential oils.

• Night light continuously changes color.

• Easy to clean.

• Half gallon tank lasts all night.

• BPA free plastic.

• Auto shut off.

• Easy-to-operate dial control.

What Needs Work

• Can collect mold if not cleaned regularly. This is true for just about any humidifier, however. It is best to use distilled water instead of tap water.

• Beeps when it runs out of water. This can wake a sleeping baby. Also it beeps when you first turn it on.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Produces lots of mist
If you don't need any fancy features, this humidifier will do the trick. We liked the large tank, which lasts all night even on high setting. Caveat: no night light or oil diffuser.
$32.99

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Best Budget-Friendly: Magictec 

Yes, cool mist humidifiers can get rather pricey. And sometimes all the extra features (night light? Oil diffuser?) are things you may not need.

If that’s you, a simple, budget-friendly model is what we recommend, in this case: the Magictec. This one did well in our tests and is easy on the wallet. No, you don’t get any fancy features . . . just a cool mist humidifier that does its job.

What We Liked

• Easy to use.

• Easy to clean.

• Very quiet.

• Affordable.

• Good mist output.

What Needs Work

• Can’t use with essential oils.

• Top heavy tank can tip over if you’re not careful.

• Power light is too bright in bedrooms, said some folks.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do extensive research, evaluating products with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability. When we purchase a product for hands-on testing, we do so with our own money.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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