Choosing The Best Baby Humidifier (2017 Guide & Reviews)
Last update: Nov. 7, 2016
Before I had my son, I was plotting and planning how I could protect his little body from bacteria and other viruses while keeping the air in his room fresh as a daisy.
In my mind, there was only one solution—placing a humidifier in his nursery. Humidifiers are awesome. They have tons of benefits and they help protect the health of your little one.
If you are expecting, you need to read on to learn all about the benefits of running a humidifier, as well as which ones you should consider purchasing.
The Ultrasonic Cool Mist by Pure Enrichment (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a great humidifier for your baby's room. A lot of moms actually own two of these: one that they for downstairs, one for upstairs.
What makes it so great? Well, it is a cool mist unit first of all, so it’s totally safe. It moisturizes for up to 16 hours so everyone can sleep great and breathe easily.
It is moderately sized (it has a 1.5 liter tank), so it is great to place in bedrooms, nurseries, family rooms, or other medium sized rooms in your home.
Its mist nozzle can be adjusted and turned to wherever you want it, and it even has a speed adjuster so you can decide how moist you want the room to be.
I love it because it has one of the automatic shut off features I mentioned above, so as soon as the water level is low, or the tank is removed to get filled up, it will stop running.
Plus, you’ll notice a difference in the moisture level in your home within minutes. That’s how powerful and effective it is.
Its sound is basically a whisper, and it fits wonderfully in the nursery because it has a soothing night light, which releases a gentle glow.
I also like how sleek and stylish it looks. You can place it in any room, and it almost looks like some kind of modern piece of art (well, functional art). But, my point is it’s not big, bulky, and boxy. It’s super cute.
Over time, I noticed that my son, who used to wake up complaining of headaches and a “blocked up” nose, started to not complain at all. He was able to breathe better, which led to him sleep better (and of course, this made me totally happy).
It is easy to clean too. All I have to do is pop out the main piece, give it a good wiping, and pop it back in. It has no filter, which I appreciate, so cleaning is a snap.
It’s also not a pain to fill because it’s not overly huge or heavy. In fact, it sits perfectly on any dresser or nightstand.
Plus, if for any reason you aren’t happy with this purchase, the device is backed by Pure Enrichment’s two-year warranty so you can be fully refunded.
The InnoGear Aromatherapy (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a device that truly knows how to multi-task.
OK, so it’s a humidifier, an aromatherapy device, and basically a light show all in one!
Kids absolutely love having this their room, because they think of it more as a fun gadget more than anything.
Like the Ultrasonic, the InnoGear is compact with a modern design. It also helps relieve stress because it releases a fragrance that helps calm your kiddos down before bed time, and it covers up pet odors and other dreadful smells that pop up from time to time in your home or nursery.
It too is very quiet, so it won’t be overly distracting if your infant is sleeping. It will help improve skin tone in your tot, especially during winter months when baby’s faces get dry, red, and even chapped.
This model also has seven changing mood lights that can be adjusted to various tones.
If you forget to fill it, or if you want to run it when you aren’t home, it will automatically shut off when it’s out of water.
Another thing I like is that it’s very portable, so you can place it anywhere or tote it with you from room to room as needed.
You can even choose the kind of mist you desire-intermittent or continuous. It will run about three hours in intermittent mode and about six hours in continuous mode.
You can even just use the light feature without any mist action at all.
Overall, it’s a pretty great item!
Designed in a cute drop shape, this gizmo from Crane (click here to check the price on Amazon) is small like all the others I’ve mentioned, yet very powerful, efficient, and one of the best nursery units you can buy.
It too is whisper quiet, and it’s great to run if your baby or kids are having trouble breathing due to cough, cold, and/or flu like symptoms.
I like this model because it can run up to 24 hours. It will shut off automatically and its spout can also be turned any which way.
It holds about a gallon of water and it outputs 2.3 gallons each day. Talk about making things moist!
Moms also love this product because it ships in frustration free packaging, so you can literally pop it out of the box and begin using it (as you know, moms don’t have a ton of time to waste putting things together).
A friend of mine who owns this model is pleased that it helped her daughter with bloody noses. She’d wake up completely dried out and bloody, but after running the Crane Drop, she’s seen a huge improvement.
This model does not need a filter to run, but you can add one to it if you’d like.
It can moisturize a moderately sized room, and it’s easy to move around like the others, so you can place it anywhere it’s needed.
A little pricier than the other models, the Honeywell Germ Free (click here to check the price on Amazon) is also a bit larger than the other ones we've looked at.
It has a simple but modern design that I really do love, which will complement décor with ease.
It’s really effective in that it kills up to 99% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses that are lurking around your home and nursery.
This one from Honeywell runs for about 24 hours and has a large tank (1.5 gallons), and it also has a filter, so it needs to be removed to be cleaned, and should be replaced from time to time.
But, on the positive side, all of its parts are dishwasher safe and can be cleaned that way rather than by hand.
A lot of moms who have purchased this claim it’s very easy to fill compared to some of the other models because its shape and design is straightforward.
It is also designed for medium sized rooms, and because it has a larger tank, it doesn’t need to be filled as often as some of the other ones on the market.
I also learned that when the proper humidity level is achieved, it can cut down on your heating bill, improve the life of your houseplants, and keep your furniture looking nice and new.
Also a cool mist model, the Safety First Ultrasonic 360 is priced pretty well (click here to check the price on Amazon).
It has many of the features that you should look for in a great model. It’s soothing, quiet, easy to fill, and it can run for about 12 hours.
It will also shut off automatically and it has not one, but two 360 degree mist outlets, which is a great feature if you have twins in a nursery or two children that share a room. They can each get some moisture pointed toward them as they sleep.
The Ultrasonic 360 fills the air with moisture, and it has a unique design. It’s easy to move, it can sit anywhere, and it has no annoying filter to clean or replace.
A lot of moms who use this model also comment about how they’ve noticed that their home also has less static overall.
It has a carry handle on its tank, so you don’t have to worry about unplugging it and lugging it to the sink.
Just pop off the top, fill it up, and return it to its base with ease.
It shuts off to avoid overheating and will also turn off like the others when it’s out of water.
Why use a humidifier for baby?
Most parents aren't really sure why they need a humidifier in your baby’s room.
Chances are you probably have no idea how dry the air around your home is. Unless you have allergies or sensitive skin, it’s most likely not something that you will notice. Infants and young children have very different skin than that of their adult counterparts.
So what does a humidifier do for babies?
Children under the age of two have a developing epidermal barrier that is more permeable skin and is more reactive to the environment. Humidifiers can lend a helping hand when it comes to helping keep your baby’s skin moist. If your infant has dry skin, chapped lips or dry eyes, it might be time to look into getting a one for your baby’s room.
And the dryer an environment is, the more germs, bacteria, and viruses you have lurking around, ready to attack a weak immune system like your baby’s.
Running a humidifier helps your baby stay healthy and as it goes about it simply cleaning the air in your child’s room. It restores the proper level of moisture, and you’ll notice a crisp, fresher feel after just a few days of running one.
Finally, if this is not the best selling point then I don’t know what is: a humidifier can help your infant sleep!
When running one, it makes a soft but soothing hum. Babies are used to muffle sounds like this while in the womb, so the background noise in their nursery may comfort them and help them sleep soundly.
How important is it to your baby's health?
Even after doctors suggest baby humidifiers to parents, some feel they are simply not necessary in their homes. Of course, some environments won’t need the help of one for crisp, clean air.
However, if you live in any of these conditions, you may want to think about adding a unit to your next shopping trip.
If you reside in a city, the benefits of using one of these machines are greatly numbered; they clean and help remove toxins that may affect your infant’s sensitive skin negatively.
Winter can be extremely harsh on your little one’s skin. Not only do baby humidifiers help prevent dry skin but they can also assist in the healing process. By slowing adding moisture into your baby’s room while they sleep can alleviate dry, itchy skin.
If you live in an area where winters are harsh more than three months out of the year, it is recommend getting a one for the health of your baby.
Hot, dry climates can be a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria. You may want to consider purchasing a baby humidifier for your home if you live in an area where the humidity level is less than 43 percent.
They are also great to have if you have pets in your home. Most wipe out pet dander which causes allergies in many children. It’s a good idea to have a humidifier on both levels of your home, and one in your baby’s nursery if you have pets in the household.
What to look for.
Now that you know how important is to have one, you can learn what features make a humidifier great. Everyone has different needs based on their location and home situation. Finding a humidifier for your baby’s room can seem daunting with the large selection available.
There are plenty of options on the market, but not all are suitable for your child’s room. Your perfect humidifier should have at least several of these key features.
- Quiet. A high-quality unit can double as a sleep machine for background noise in a nursery. When running one, it makes a soft but soothing hum. Babies are used to muffling sounds like this while in the womb, so the background noise in their nursery may comfort them and help them sleep soundly. A great version makes a gentle hum, not an obnoxious roar. While you may not know how loud or soft one will be, the brands I suggest are all appropriate for a nursery.
- Automatic shut-off. You are most likely going to be a bit scatterbrained (and exhausted) when you have a new baby in your home, so it’s best to get a humidifier that allows you to set it and forget it. A great model will automatically shut off when your desired level of humidity is achieved. On top of this, it's important to find one that will turn off or when its tank is empty despite the humidity level in your baby’s room. This will remove the risk of overheating and a possible fire hazard. You won't have to put any thought or effort into adjusting the level, unless you want to make it more customized. Some will also remember your humidity preferences with a simple touch of a button. A good model will have several settings based on your infant’s current health.
- Anti-bacterial. There are many ways baby humidifiers can prevent germs from entering into the breathable air in your child’s room. For optimal germ-busting action, your unit should have one or a combination of these things: A UV light. Ultraviolet light kills bacteria by breaking their molecular bond. In a good baby humidifier, UV light will kill bacteria before it has a chance to form. Potentially harmful bacteria to your infant will be stopped immediately. A filter that has the capabilities of being changed or washed. The filter is there to catch all that icky stuff before it has a chance to reach your little one. Choose on for your baby’s room that has this function for a constantly clean breathable airflow. A cartridge that can be replaced. A lot of varieties these days have this feature, but it’s best to double check before purchasing. A cartridge that cannot be replaced will result in a giant headache when it is time to clean. Many moms remark that they also notice a more fresher smell in their home when running a humidifier with one or more of these specific features.
- Easy to clean. You definitely don’t want a brand that is a pain to clean and fill. If it’s annoying, you’ll tend to slack off, and you won’t run it as often as you should. Look for one that is easy to clean and also easy to fill. A handle feature is also helpful when you need to move it from room to room, especially if you need to go up and down the steps with it (you don’t want anything super heavy either!) Chances are if the one you buy is overly heavy or bulky, you are not going to want to deal with it.
- Adjustable humidistat. You should be able to decide the level of humidity that you want. Once you have the perfect setting in place, your device should be able to maintain it and allow you to alter it at your discretion with ease. Some days you will want more moisture in the air than others, so you should get a device that allows you to customize this setting.
Cool vs warm mist.
Cold mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers both have their benefits. Each adds humidity to a room which can help relieve congestion from allergies, respiratory ailments, and colds.
Low humidity can cause cracked lips, dry eyes and irritating itchy skin. All of which can wind up keeping both you and baby up all night long. So, if both cold mist and warm mist devices are clearly good for your baby’s overall health, why is one better than the other?
Let me be blunt here for a minute: a cool mist humidifier is much better for your baby than a warm mist alternative.
The two kinds of humidifiers may be similar, but they also have some major differences as well.
Cool mist models release a comfortable stream of room-temperature mist throughout your nursery and home.
They do this by using an internal wick filter to absorb water. A fan will blow during the process and push the air through the filter. This is what makes the water to evaporate throughout your home.
These kinds are also very quiet. They provide a low-hum or white noise that can actually help your baby fall into a comfortable, deep sleep. One drawback to cool-mist version is that they can also be a bit on the pricey side (but are well worth it in my opinion). If you don’t plan on using it often, you may be more inclined to choose a warm-mist version.
Between the two, cool mist brands are more widely recommended because not only are they much safer, but they are less expensive to run.
They do not have any kind of heating element that the warm mist types have. Plus, there really isn’t a huge difference between the effectiveness to make a room moister, so I always adhere to safety first principles.
Warm mist versions are usually initially less expensive to buy, but are more costly to run (especially if you are planning on picking up multiples).
Warm mist models heat up the water in their device before making it evaporate into a steam. They do pretty much the same job as the cool mist alternative, but are more dangerous to have in a nursery.
They tend to get very hot and the steam itself that comes out of the unit could severely burn a baby or toddler (or even yourself!)
Evaporative vs ultrasonic.
Cool-mist humidifiers come in two forms; evaporative or ultrasonic. So, once you decide on selecting a cool mist version, you now have to choose between one that is evaporative or ultrasonic. Here is some information about each.
Out of the two, an evaporative model is considered to be a more natural form of the evaporation process. It has a low but constant hum, which is great for background noise in a nursery.
Many of these devices have a quiet setting as well. If your baby isn’t sleeping well or, it seems like the noise may be bothering them while sleeping it can be adjusted.
How Do Evaporative Models Work
While both evaporative and ultrasonic types are cool-mist, they vary in how the humidity is released into your child’s room. To better determine which is the right baby humidifier for you, you should consider how both work.
Evaporative brands work mainly by absorbing water into a wick and then moving it around your room with its internal fan. These kinds of use a filtration system that acts as a wick and absorbs water from a reservoir.
Once the water is evaporated, an electric fan blows the moisturized air into the room.
The filtration system catches and collects impurities that are evaporated from the water. These impurities such as chlorine and iron would otherwise be spread throughout your infant’s bedroom.
To keep your baby’s evaporative humidifier working properly, you may want to consider cleaning the filter often. It is recommended that the filter is completely replaced twice a year, depending on how often you use it.
How Do Ultrasonic Models Work
Ultrasonic humidifiers are the most recommended for babies out of the two cool-mist designs. One of the biggest benefits of these ultrasonic types is the low energy use. Compared to other types, these will save you money over the long run.
Due to the low electrical components necessary to run ultrasonic humidifiers, these devices can be much smaller in size than others. If you are in the market for a portable one you can easily move around the house or need to be able to store it in a small space; an ultrasonic unit might be the best choice for you.
They are modern because they use a high frequency sound wave to actually vibrate the water, which creates an instantaneous mist. Ultrasonic brands are great for making an extremely fine mist that won’t leave unwanted moisture drops on your baby’s items.
If you desire absolutely zero noise from your unit, you will get none from this machine because it has no fan at all.
These kinds do not use a filter. Instead, they have a special cartridge that needs to be maintained regularly. Because they do not use a filtration system like evaporative models, it’s best to use distilled or demineralized water with your baby’s humidifier. Doing so will help prevent possible contaminants from entering your child’s room through the discharged air.
You have to stay on top of the cartridge clean to make sure you are getting the best performance out of the machine. Ultrasonic humidifiers are fairly easy to clean and only need a simple wipe down twice a week or so to prevent bacteria and mold growth.
Decide which of these factors are pros and which are cons before making your final choice on what baby humidifier is best for your family.
Keeping your unit in working order
If you want to keep your baby’s humidifier in the best possible working order, it’s going to take a bit of work on your part. When it comes to the health of your little one, it’s not much in the grand scheme of things. Below, are some tips you can use to ensure that it's doing its job.
- Don’t use tap water. Tap water is loaded with minerals that can bog down your system. These minerals can promote bacterial growth and make it harder for you to clean your humidifier. Instead, try distilled or demineralized water.
- Invest in a hygrometer. This tool helps measure the humidity levels in your home. Ideal humidity should be between 40-50 percent. You should easily be able to find a hygrometer in any home improvement store.
- Clean your baby’s humidifier at least once a week for optimal airflow. Remember, bacteria, and mold is very small. Unlike bacteria that are made up of one cell, it takes many molds before you can see it with your naked eye. Cleaning your unit frequently prevents your baby from inhaling all those icky molds even if you can’t see them. If you own one that has filters, you may want to think about replacing them often. See the instructions on your manufacturer’s guidelines to get a better idea of how long your filter will last.
Other options to consider.
Here are some other units worth your consideration, especially the one from Vick's, which a lot of moms seem to love.
Lots of parents love Vick’s products, and their Starry Night (click here to check the price on Amazon) has definitely received a lot of great reviews and makes for a great humidifier for baby congestion.
It doubles as a humidifier and a soothing, night light that projects star patterns on your child’s wall and ceiling. It sits easily on any dresser or night stand, and is overall appealing to look at, especially as it glows at night.
This model is ideal for medium sized rooms, and it has a one gallon tank, so you’ll probably be able to run it for a day or so and then need to refill it with water. The unit produces cool, invisible moisture so your child can get the best night’s sleep possible. It also has a handy scent pad heater (you can choose from menthol or lavender) that will help to open up your child’s breathing passages when they are sick, or just need to take in a soothing and calming scent during their slumber.
The Starry Night has two speed settings, so you can adjust it accordingly. Parents have remarked that they have noticed their child getting sick much less often after using the Starry Night, mainly because the product is able to combat flu particles that hang around in the air and on the surfaces in your child’s room.
The Starry Night also helps restore your child’s room humidity level to approximately 40%-60%, which is the ideal humidity level in any room of your home.
The Seneo Cool Mist (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a good option for improving the air condition in any room of your home. But, parents mainly use it for their child’s rooms because this ultrasonic model prevents the air from getting dry, stuffy, and it wipes out any lingering flu germs.
It makes the air cleaner, so your child can breathe easier as they sleep, and rest assured they won’t’ wake up with dry or chapped skin, which can happen during cold winter months. Most parents choose to run it daily as a preventative, but it is also effective if you only use it when your child needs relief from cough and sinus congestion (which happens after suffering from colds, allergies, and the flu).
The Seneo runs on the larger side, so you can run it on its highest mist for about 12 hours straight. You will need to refill it daily and it should be able to sit on a surface that has enough space for it. In addition to fighting germs, this humidifier’s tank is coated with an antimicrobial coating so it will never become home to mold and mildew.
This unit has an automatic shut off which is great for busy parents. And it boasts a whisper quiet design, so it won’t disrupt your child’s sleep.
All mist streams can be customized to your child’s needs, and most parents notice a significant difference in the way their child sleep and the overall air quality in just as little as one day!
An adorably decorative cool mist humidifier, Linkyo’s Cool Mist Humidifier (click here to check the price on Amazon) is able to totally transform your room. It increases the humidity level in your child’s room to help improve their sinus and allergy issues, which creates lots of dryness in their throat and disrupts their evening slumbers.
It is also ideal for babies who have a weaker immune system and are consistently getting coughs and colds. The cool mist is invisible and safe, so you never have to worry about burning yourself or your little one while it’s running. It’s safe to run daily and it makes your child’s room a more comfortable place to breath and catch some zzz’s.
Linkyo’s mist covers about 200 square feet of space, so it’s ideal for any nursery. It has a moderately sized water tank that needs to be filled daily, and it can run for hours on end before needing a refill. Its mist is adjustable and can be controlled by a knob.
In addition to adjusting the humidity level in your child’s room, the Linkyo doubles as a night light (boasting shooting star and butterfly designs in a variety of colors), and it also serves as background noise, which helps babies sleep through the night better.
Each of Linkyo’s humidifiers are certified to ensure they meet high electrical safety standards, so you don’t have to worry about running one overnight or if you are away from home. It is also backed by a one-year warranty.
This darling drop design cool mist humidifier is designed by Remedies (click here to check the price on Amazon). It shoots out an invisible but powerful stream of cool mist to make any room “perfect” again. But, parents love it for their children’s room and baby’s nursery.
It is a very serene sounding humidifier, so it adds a tiny bit of calming background noise, which will comfort babies who are newly born. It also has a LED night light built in, which boasts 7 colors (which can be rotated) for your toddler to enjoy. The vapor’s flow can be easily adjusted by turning a knob. And, it boasts an aroma diffuser, so your child can enjoy a scent while the product also humidifies the air.
This humidifier will shut off automatically and it generally needs to be filled daily. However, it can run for many hours on end, even when you are utilizing a high vapor mist. This Remedies humidifier is on the smaller side, but it’s perfect for parents who don’t have a lot of shelving or counter space in their child’s room. Like all other humidifiers, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
Because of its size and compact design, this one is easy to tote around and has very few parts to be cleaned. It does have a stone filter, so there is no need to purchase an additional one like you would for most other humidifiers.
Anypro’s Cool Mist Humidifier (click here to check the price on Amazon) is small but mighty! It is able to run for about 36 hours if you utilize the lowest mist setting, and helps promote a more restful sleep and it is very quiet.
If using its long mist stream setting, parents have remarked that leaves zero condensation on table tops and is best suited for medium sized bedrooms and nurseries. Not only does it make the air clear and fresh, the humidifier itself is composed of a special antibacterial material that helps deter mold growth.
The Anypro has a sleek and smooth design, so it won’t overly stand out when paired up against other nursery or bedroom décor. And, because it has a deep groove design, it reduces the risk of leakage and increases resistance to compression, so you don’t have to fret about anything cracking or spilling out when it’s in use.
Another plus and favorite selling point of parents is its 360 degree rotating nozzle. It ensures every inch of the room gets reached!
Finally, it is very simple to clean and only requires a few steps. Filling it up with more water is a breeze and can be done by pouring a pitcher of water into its basis, rather than having to unplug it and move it back and forth.
All in all, it’s a necessary item for any space in your home and one of the best cheap humidifiers.
Your baby won’t be the only one benefiting from running a cool mist humidifier.
You and your family members will notice that the air feels less dry and itchy, and your immune systems will be boosted.
Protecting your baby is your main responsibility once you become a parent, and one of the most responsible purchases you can make is a humidifier!
Having one in your baby’s room is important for many reasons. It will help them breath better, alleviate allergy symptoms and can even create a more relaxing sleep environment.
Choosing the right baby humidifier for your family can be a difficult task. There are many factors to consider before making your purchase. Decide which things are essential to you and which things would simply be a plus.
Hopefully this overview will help you make the best choice for everyone in the household, so everyone gets a breath of fresh air all the time!