by | Sep 27, 2021 | Home Comfort, Z

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

What are the best warm mist humidifiers? To find out, we tested a dozen models to find out which ones were easiest to use—and easiest to clean. Here are the ones we recommend.

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 For Bedrooms

Large tank means less reflillng
Loved how easy this unit is to use—simple controls adjust the amount of mist and that's it. Caveat: distilled water is probably the best bet to make cleaning easier.
$34.99

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Best For Bedrooms: Honeywell HWM705B

Let’s talk warm mist humidifiers.

Most humidifiers sold on the market today are cool mist—and they work well in most situations to add humidity to a room.

But what if you live in a drafty home with leaky windows or little wall insulation? A warm mist humidifier may work for you, adding warm mist that helps cut the chill in a room.

A few caveats, however!

First, we do not recommend warm mist humidifiers in a baby’s room. Why? The mist that comes out can get quite hot—and that can cause a scalding or burn injury if the humidifier is in a place that a baby or toddler can reach.

Also: a too warm nursery is a safety risk, in our opinion. If you decide to use a warm mist humidifier, make sure the temperature in the baby’s nursery does not rise above 70 degrees in the winter.

Another caveat: all warm mist humidifiers require require diligent cleaning or mold and other nasties will grow inside the unit. While we found this warm mist humidifier to be easy to clean, you must REGULARLY do this . . . and that amount of maintenance is usually more than a cool mist humidifier.

If you are still with us, then let’s talk about the best performing warm mist humidifier.

The best bet for most folks is the Honeywell’s HWM705B is the best bet for warm mist humidifiers. It is easy to use and has a special tray that lets you add essential oils—surprisingly, that feature is missing from many warm mist humidifiers. 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Simple controls.

• Affordable,.

• Easy to clean.

• Doubles as a diffuser for essential oils.

What Needs Work

• Distilled water works best. This is true for most warm mist humidifiers—distilled water cuts down on the cleaning and will extend the life of this warm mist humidifier.

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Best For Large Rooms

Huge tank means longer run times
Powerful ultrasonic humidifier that can pump out mist that is either cool or warm . . . great if you have a drafty room. Built-in humidity control works well.
$87.80

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Best For Large Rooms: LEVOIT Humidifier LV600HH

Most humidifiers have small tanks that are designed for use in a bedroom or office. But what if you want to humidify a larger room? 

This model is excellent for larger rooms. To humidify a large room up to 750 square feet, you need two things: a large tank for long run times and customized humidity controls to correctly dial the moisture. The LEVOIT Humidifier LV600HH hit all the right notes in our testing.

Also nice: this unit offers both warm AND cool mist. So if you decide the temperature in the room is ideal, you can switch from warm to cool mist.

Here’s what we liked:

What We Liked

• Large tank. With a six liter capacity, this humidifier can run 22-35 hours without refilling.

• Accurate humidistat and granular controls. Many humidifiers just have a high or low setting—this model allows much more control, which is important when it comes to large spaces.

• Warm and cool mist. Few models offer both large capacity AND warm mist—this one does and that’s a big plus if you want to humidify a drafty room.

• Remote control. Another nice feature for large rooms—you can use the remote to turn it on or off from a bed or couch.

What Needs Work

• Nooks and crannies to clean. All humidifiers require cleaning—and the Levoit LV600HH is no exception. One negative are the all the little nooks and crannies on this model, which make cleaning a bit harder.

• Needs to be on shelf or table. Like most ultrasonic humidifiers, this model works best when positioned off the floor. On a table or shelf works best.

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Best Budget-Friendly

Tried & true brand
It isn't fancy to look at, but this steam vaporizer gets the job done—easy to clean and set up. Large capacity tank can last through the night. Auto shut-off and medicine cup are helpful features.
$15.99

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Best Budget-Friendly: Vicks Warm Steam Vaporizer with Nightlight

If you are looking for a warm mist humidifier that can also function as a vaporizer, this model would be our recommendation.

Just what is a vaporizer humidifier?

All humidifiers turn water into water vapor. Most humidifiers are cold mist—they either use a fan to blow water over a filter (evaporative humidifiers) or ultrasonic waves to create tiny water droplets (ultrasonic humidifiers).

But there is another way to create water vapor—vaporizers and warm mist humidifiers heat the water to a boiling temperature, turning it into water vapor.

The big difference between warm mist units and vaporizers: vaporizers typically have a place to add medicine (liquids or scented pads). Warm mist humidifiers don’t.

It is rare today to have a doctor recommend a medicine be vaporized in a vaporizer for a sick child. If a child has asthma, they typically use a nebulizer—these create vapor, but without the heat.

And we should point out another key safety tip: it is dangerous to overheat a nursery or child’s room. There’s no need to turn it into a swamp.

That said, some folks still like vaporizers to diffuse essential oils (for adults) or over-the-counter menthol-scented pads. As always, you should consult with a doctor before using any over-the-counter medicine in a vaporizer if your child has congestion.

One last note: some cool mist humidifiers also call themselves “vaporizers.” In this context, they typically mean humidifiers that can take water mixed with essential oils and diffuse that into the air.

Vicks is probably the most famous brand when it comes to steam vaporizers and vaporized over-the-counter medicated pads (VapoPads) or liquid (VapoSteam).

And after trying out various vaporizers and surveying our parent readers, we ended up picking Vick’s Warm Steam Vaporizer as the best steam vaporizer. Yes, it is a tried and true . . . nothing fancy to look at, but gets the job done! Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Easy to clean.

• Affordable.

• Easy to set up.

• Large 1.5 gallon tank lasts for 18-24 hours, says the maker—but your mileage may vary. In real world tests, we think this steam vaporizer can last for 8-10 hours, but depends on how the dry the air is to start with.

• Medicine cup.

• Green night light on top.

• Also works with Vick’s own VapoPads as well as liquids.

What Needs Work

• Not recommended for use with essential oils.

• Soft water can cause problems. Vicks recommends you add 1-2 pinches of salt to tap water, if you have soft water. If you don’t add salt, the unit may not produce as much steam as expected.

• Caution: warm mist humidifiers can cause burn injuries, so never put in an area accessible by children. Also: never overheat a baby or child’s room. Use a thermometer and humidity gauge to make sure the temperature doesn’t rise above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. And the humidity should stay at 50% or lower.

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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