The Best Humidifiers for Allergies, According to Customer Reviews
If you're experiencing sneezing, dry eyes, scratchy throat, and coughing for what seems like the entire day — and not just when you're outside — chances are you probably have allergies. Seasonal allergies (also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis) happen when you're exposed to airborne substances, such as pollen, that your body is sensitive or allergic to and that only appears during certain times of the year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. However, if you suffer these types of symptoms year round, you're likely also allergic to indoor triggers, such as pet dander, mold, and dust mites.
The good news is that investing in a humidifier could help ease some of your allergy symptoms. During winter, dry indoor air is often the cause of irritated sinus passages; and in the summer months, stale, dry air from air conditioning can also cause sinus irritation. These types of dry air can exacerbate allergies and colds, says Purvi Parikh, M.D., an allergist and immunologist with Allergy & Asthma Network. But the moisture from a humidifier works to soothe dry sinus passages and helps you to breathe better.
How exactly? The short answer: Humidifiers add moisture back into the air. More specifically, they work by releasing water vapors and steam into the air, which helps increase humidity levels and mitigate breathing issues (translation: if you have allergies or cold symptoms, it helps to break up mucus and dry up stuffy noses). And FTR, humidifiers can also help remedy winter skin woes, such as dry skin and chapped lips, since they boost moisture in your home. (Related: Is It a Cold Or Allergies?)
There are five common types of humidifiers: cool mist, warm mist, ultrasonic, evaporative, and vaporizers. All types work by either letting warm air out or releasing cold mist. Cool mist humidifiers usually use less electricity since the water is not heated before it's dispersed, they are safer to have around pets and children (no hot water accidents), they can be slightly noisier than other humidifier types since they use a fan to push out moisture, and they can cause the air to feel chillier in your home, making them ideal for warmer climates.
Warm air options use an internal heating element that boils water before releasing it into your environment as an invisible mist, making them great for winter months or cold climates. They are thought to make the home healthier, since the boiling process kills waterborne bacteria and mold, preventing them from entering the air you breathe. Because they don't have an internal fan, they operate quietly (although you'll still hear a bubbling sound), and they can be harder to clean, thanks to mineral deposits left behind during the boiling process.
The downside of humidifiers is that dust and mold from the devices could cause more harm than good when it comes to indoor allergies, warns Dr. Parikh. Because dust mites grow where there is moisture, humidifiers can create the perfect environment for them to prosper. To prevent dust mites and maintain proper humidity levels to help with allergy symptoms, you should keep the humidity level in your house between 40 and 50 percent, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Mold spores can also be irritating to people with allergies, so it's important to clean your humidifier daily and change the filter per the manufacturer recommendation, so that mold does not grow in the unit and blow into your home, says Dr. Parikh.
While there is no evidence that humidifiers can help with COVID-19, there was a study done in June 2020 focused on the Greater Sydney area of Australia during the early epidemic stage of COVID-19 that found an association between lower humidity and an increase in community transmission. Research showed that lower humidity levels caused airborne COVID particles to stay in the air longer — so it couldn't hurt to introduce a humidifier into your home to boost humidity levels to protect you from both allergens and, potentially, coronavirus. (Related: Can Steam Kill Viruses?)
If you're spending more time at home these days, there is no better time to improve the air quality of your space and get rid of pesky allergies. Keep scrolling for 10 top-rated humidifiers.
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
This is Amazon's top-rated humidifier, with over 36,000 five-star ratings, so you know it must be good. The quiet, ultrasonic cool air mist device holds 1.5 liters of water and adds 150 milliliters of moisture per hour to your space for up to 16 hours. Also nice: It safely turns off when the water level is low. With adjustable speed settings and optional night light, you can create the ideal experience for sleep. Place it on your nightstand or nearby dresser, and wake up breathing and feeling better. (Related: Home Remedies for Allergies That Are Actually Worth Trying)
One reviewer wrote: "For weeks I have been waking up in the middle of the night. I would have trouble with my nasal passages being so dry and congested that I would be forced awake to clear my nose. In the winter months, the heater would dry the air. Now the warmer months, the fan and AC do the same. The first night of using a humidifier for the first time showed a little improvement in my dryness and allowed me to sleep mostly uninterrupted. Now on the third night, I didn't have any sleep interruptions at all. My nasal passages have remained clear. It's only been a week and I plan on running it continuously for the foreseeable future."
Homasy Cool Mist Humidifiers
With a large 2.2 liter tank, this humidifier is great for spacious bedrooms or your living room. A rotating nozzle ensures an even distribution of humidity, and it can run for 24 hours in low speed before automatically shutting off when the water is low. Adjust the amount of mist with a dial, which gives an accurate level of humidity to suit your needs. Customers noted how quiet, easy to clean, and non-invasive this option is — and at a price point under $40, you can't go wrong.
"Love the small humidifier I purchased — I use it in a bedroom and it makes a tremendous difference! So quiet you don't know it's on and provides just the right amount of moisture to keep me breathing easy all through cold weather months," reported a shopper.
Levoit Smart Wi-Fi Cool Mist Humidifier
Congestion relief awaits with this easy-to-maintain cool mist ultrasonic smart humidifier. It connects to the VeSync app, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa so that you can adjust settings and even use voice controls to obtain the right level of humidity. However, you can also maintain healthy humidity levels automatically with the humidifier's smart sensor. It has a 4-liter tank, is great for bedrooms and mid-sized rooms, lasts up to 40 hours on low setting, and powers off when you open the water tank or when the water runs low. You can easily clean it, thanks to a wide opening, detachable base, and included brush. Bonus: It doubles as an aroma diffuser since you can add your favorite essential oils. (Related: The 7 Best Air Purifiers to Keep Your Home Clean)
"Decided to purchase this one because I liked the feature of using Alexa and having the feature to adjust with my phone," shared a customer. "This humidifier is great! The mist level is perfect, it's quiet, easy to fill, and clean. I like that you can store the cleaning brush on the base of the humidifier so that it won't get lost. There's also an option to shut off the "control power unit" light. For the price, it offers many useful features and operates wonderfully. I added a touch of lavender oil to the diffuser pad and lights out. It's already helped my skin, and chapped lips throughout the winter months."
Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier
This humidifier releases clean water into the room through a disc stack, which rotates inside the water reservoir; in turn, pollutants like dust and pollen are reduced and remain in the basin. It has two or three power levels (depending on the model), an LED display, and an automatic shut-off in case of low water. Made to be filterless, this device is easy to clean and the company recommends doing so every 10-14 days. Just pour out the water, remove dirt from the basin, rinse the disc, and refill with clean tap water and a dose of the brand's treatment additive. Choose from three sizes to accommodate your home.
One fan wrote: "No allergies — minimizes boogers! We bought several of these for our whole house for wildfire season and they work great. We live in southern AZ and humidity levels can be 3 percent... the Venta keeps all of us moist and breathing clean air. I'm addicted to essential oils and diffuse lots throughout the house. Peppermint in the Venta has made my asthma inhaler a thing of the past... I just can't put too much in or everyone's eyes burn. Great product."
Buy It: Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier, from $199, amazon.com
Dyson Pure Humidify+Cool Air Purifier Humidifier Fan
It might be a splurge, but do you ever recall anyone expressing regret after buying a Dyson product, whether a vacuum or hairdryer? A multi-functional machine for whole room air treatment, this device purifies, humidifies, and cools, and can be controlled just by using your voice when set up with Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri. The activated carbon and HEPA filters capture 99.97 percent of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.3 microns, and it has a hassle-free, deep clean cycle that removes mineral build-up and bacteria at the touch of a button. Also worth noting: It's certified asthma- and allergy-friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and recognized by the National Psoriasis Foundation as a device that's safe for those with psoriasis or individuals living with severely sensitive skin or joint mobility limitations. (Related: The 7 Best Dehumidifiers to Keep Summertime Humidity at Bay)
"Dyson never disappoints," noted a shopper. "The design on the machine just fits and looks great. Easy to set up and get going. We use it mostly in our bedroom and the night mode is very relaxing. The app is also very helpful not just to control but also very good information on the air quality and keeps a history of it. The machine is easy to maintain and hassle free to clean. The best part is we wanted a humidifier and the machine not only humidifies but also purifies the air."
Hey Dewy Portable Facial Humidifier
If you work from home or an office, this cute facial humidifier is one to keep close for all-day hydration. It features ultrasonic wave technology for quiet, efficient cool mist control, offers up to eight hours of constant mist or 12 hours on the intermittent setting, and has soft LED night light that comes on when the room gets dark. The convenient portable size (it's the size of a can and fits in a car cupholder) and USB port make it incredibly easy to travel with and charge from your laptop or car. (Related: 7 Portable Air Conditioners to Keep You Cool In Any Room of the House)
"It's so easy to use. When travel returns I can't wait to pack this up for those dry hotel rooms," shared a reviewer on the brand's site.
Everlasting Comfort Cool Mist Humidifier
With over 18,000 five-star ratings, this ultrasonic cool mist humidifier features a 6-liter water reservoir that works on rooms up to 500 square feet and puts out a constant stream of mist for up to a whopping 50 hours. It has an auto shut-off when it's out of water and a filterless design, so you can save on replacement costs. Another cool perk: It has an essential oil tray to add beautiful fragrances to the fresh air filling the room. (Psst, Kendall Jenner is a fan and names this as one of her favorite beauty products, in case you needed another reason to add this to your cart.)
"I love this product!" raved a customer. "I have been looking at these for some time and finally pulled the trigger on it. Game changer. I can sleep with ease as I have major allergies, and for some reason, they act up at night. This keeps the air a bit moist and I can run essential oils through it that helps me to breathe better. It has a large water capacity so it runs through the entire night. It also has an automatic shut off so I don't have to worry about it running without water if I forget to shut it off! It's pretty compact and looks nice on my dresser. If you have allergies this is a must-have!"
While this can live in any room in your house, the quietness and sleep mode of this humidifier makes it ideal for bedrooms. It has three mist levels, three mist temperatures, a sleep mode, and an auto shut-off when the desired humidity is reached (about 55 to 65 percent, according to the brand). It's easy to clean, has an extra-large 6-liter tank for up to 60 hours of continuous mist, and emits both cool and warm mist to keep your sinuses clear and skin hydrated. The essential oil tray allows you to add your favorite aromas, too.
One reviewer sad: "My child has severe allergies and eczema and I need to keep the air moist for a long time to reduce the allergens floating in the air. This is my fourth humidifier and the one I recommend the most. It has a very large capacity of 6 liters, and it is very easy to operate. Most importantly, it runs quietly and produces a lot of water mist. And I can drop the essential oil into the tray, filling the air with the fragrance I like."