Most baby humidifiers work by using evaporative action or ultrasonic technology to boost the moisture content of the room that they’re placed in. Some models can also alter the ambient temperature to create an artificial micro-climate that’s ideally suited to little one’s needs. This is particularly important in dry environments, where naturally low moisture levels can irritate sensitive skin, and lead to your child developing chapped lips, rashes and other skin conditions.
Expert studies have shown that running a baby humidifier round the clock can also help to remove allergens from the environment and there’s even some evidence to suggest that the soothing sounds they make actually help babies to sleep.
Their main benefit, however, is their ability to fight congestion. Because young children can’t be given strong, over-the-counter medication to fight off illness and infection, the moist air supplied by the best baby humidifiers is the only thing capable of helping them to break down mucus, and the only source of relief when they are suffering from colds.
Choosing the right humidifier can be a real challenge though: there are hundreds of different models on the market, and knowing which type you need can be quite intimidating. To help you work out which baby humidifier is right for you, we’ve put together a detailed buying guide that covers all of the different types of baby humidifier in detail.
- 1 Baby Humidifier Buying Guide
- 1.1 Which Type of Humidifier is Best for Babies?
- 1.2 What to Look for When Buying A Baby Humidifier
- 1.3 Can I use an Office Humidifier for my Baby?
- 2 Top 10 Best Baby Humidifiers 2018
- 2.1 TaoTronics(Best cool mist humidifier for baby room)
- 2.2 MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier(Best for small nurseries and/or travel)
- 2.3 URPOWER Cool Mist Diffuser(Best smart choice)
- 2.4 Sbode Cool Mist Humidifier(Best for the money)
- 2.5 Honeywell HCM35W Cool Mist Humidifier(Best durable choice)
- 2.6 Crane Cool Mist Humidifier(Best for full night use)
- 2.7 REIDEA Ultrasonic Humidifier(Best high-end option)
- 2.8 Sparoma Ultrasonic Humidifier
- 2.9 Vicks(Best warm mist humidifier for baby)
- 2.10 VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier(Best for traveling)
- 3 Conclusion
Baby Humidifier Buying Guide
To help you work out which baby humidifier is the best fit for you, this guide breaks down the different types available on today’s market and discusses the different things to look out for when selecting a model. Because we understand that you’re most concerned with effectiveness, safety and utility we’ve taken care to ensure that we’ve focused this guide on the level of comfort that each type of humidifier will provide for your child, and the health benefits of each one too.
Which Type of Humidifier is Best for Babies?
Warm Mist Vs. Cool Mist
This is probably the most divisive issue, and one of the first questions that you’ll need to answer when choosing a baby humidifier. Warm mist humidifiers produce heated water vapor to create a cozy environment for your baby, and, according to some doctors, also help to promote good health by killing airborne germs and bacteria in your nursery.
There are, however, obvious dangers associated with having a warm air humidifier in the same room as a young child; not least the fact that they contain a tank full of heated water that, if knocked over, could scald your child. Other doctors also hold that the germ killing capabilities of warm mist humidifiers are nullified by the increased chance of mold growing in and around the warmer water tanks.
And this article from Mayo Clinic demonstrates that cool mist humidifiers are just as effective when it comes to breaking down mucus and clearing up respirators problems. That doesn’t necessarily mean that cool mist humidifiers are always the superior option though: keeping warm air humidifiers out of reach mitigates a lot of the hazards, and there are definitely still some advantages. Ultimately, it all depends on whether or not you value the germ killing properties of the warm air humidifiers, or just want to ensure that your little one can breathe comfortably.
Ultrasonic Vs. Evaporative
The other big decision to make when it comes to choosing a humidifier is way in which the device will generate moist air. Some of the less advanced humidifiers rely on evaporative action to disperse moisture while other, more modern variants use ultrasonic technology to excite water particles, and disperse them evenly across your nursery or, in the case of whole house humidifiers, the entirety of your home.
Although the more basic evaporative humidifiers do technically work, we’d always recommend the ultrasonic models. these products are much more advanced, and offer much more reliable dispersion. They are also much better at humidifying an entire room, which is an important consideration if you’re planning to place your humidifier out of the way – on a shelf or sideboard.
What to Look for When Buying A Baby Humidifier
It goes without saying that some humidifiers can be fairly noisy. Some babies find the faint hum of an ultrasonic humidifier comforting but others will be distressed by the noise, and won’t be able to sleep as a result. Fortunately a lot of baby humidifiers are now designed to be ‘noiseless’ or ‘whisper quiet’. If you’re concerned about ensuring that your baby is well rested, we’d recommend looking out for these products when you’re shopping for the right model.
As mentioned earlier in this article, germs and mold can build up on the vents and tanks of some cheap humidifiers, potentially introducing harmful pathogens to your baby’s bedroom. Fortunately most good quality humidifiers are now made using special antibacterial plastics that actively inhibit the development of harmful pests. To ensure that you are actually improving your little one’s health, make sure that you look out for a model that boasts antibacterial features.
Antibacterial or not, you’ll have to clean and refill your humidifiers’ tank on a regular basis. This makes picking a model that’s easy to use an absolute must, as you don’t want to be wrestling with awkward clips or poorly fitting seals every morning. When shopping for a humidifier, we’d always recommend looking for models with reviews that suggest the tank is easy to change, or at least don’t flag changing the tank as a major issue.
On a related note, it’s worth considering the size of tank. Once our humidifier has run out of moisture it will no longer work and if you plan on running it all night, it’s always worth taking the time to find a model with a larger tank. We’d always recommend choosing a model with a 1 liter tank unless you intend to be on hand to top it up every 6-9 hours, in which case a smaller tank could be selected.
One final consideration is whether or not automatic shut off functionality is provided. Automatic shutoff prevents your humidifier from trying to work when the tank is dry. This prevents damage from being caused to the machine, and also reduces electricity wastage which is why we would consider it a must-have.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are available at a range of different price points, and the cost varies wildly depending on brand, added features and style. For the ultrasonic baby humidifiers, you can expect to pay anywhere between $29.99 and $120 although the models that cost over $100 are generally fairly rare, and are only supplied by market leading brands like Philips.
It’s worth pointing out that a high price tag doesn’t necessarily equate to good value either. Although there is something to be said for the enhanced build quality of the Crane humidifiers, which generally sit at the $50 price point, anything above that is unlikely to be substantially better than their slightly cheaper cousins, and we’d generally recommend that you stick to the $30-$50 mark for the best possible return on your investment.
Can I use an Office Humidifier for my Baby?
Generally speaking, home and office humidifiers are perfectly safe for use with babies. Some of the cheaper models are built from normal plastics, and lack the antibacterial properties of the baby-specific models but as long as there is some kind of safeguard against infection in place, we think it is more than acceptable to use a humidifier that isn’t necessarily designed for babies.
Another consideration, if you go down this route, is the degree to which you will be able to control temperature and humidity: The micro-climate needed to promote optimum health in babies and toddlers is quite different from the optimum micro-climate needed to provide comfort to adults, so it’s important that you have the ability to tweak the moisture and temperature settings for your child.
Top 10 Best Baby Humidifiers 2018
|Short Reviews||Heating and Delivery||Features||Price|
|TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Unique ceramic filter with inbuilt antibacterial properties|
▪ 1 Gallon tank
▪ Full humidity control
|MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ 360 degree rotating nozzle|
▪ Optional night light
|URPOWER Cool Mist Diffuser||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Optional night light|
▪ Compact design
▪ Unique wood-grain styling
|Sbode Cool Mist Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Night light option|
▪ Ultra Quiet technology
▪ Compact design
|Honeywell HCM35W Cool Mist Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Extra large tank for 24 hours of continuous use|
▪ Unique UV water purification
▪ Full humidity control
▪ Unique cool-wick filter
|Crane Cool Mist Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Unique elephant design|
▪ Full humidity control
▪ Naturally anti-bacterial construction
|REIDEA Ultrasonic Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Super-efficient ultrasonic technology |
▪ Unique wood grain and silicone design
▪ Compact construction
▪ Preset timing controls
|Sparoma Ultrasonic Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Full humidity control|
▪ 36 hours of run-time between refills
▪ Silver ion purification technology
|Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier||▪ Warm & Cool mist|
|▪ Warm air option|
▪ Antibacterial design
▪ Small unit size
▪ 3l tank
|VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier||▪ Cool mist only|
|▪ Compact design|
▪ Ultra quiet motor
▪ Easy-to-use controls
TaoTronics(Best cool mist humidifier for baby room)
Designed to offer complete control over internal humidity, this cool mist humidifier is ideal for a baby’s bedroom. It uses ultrasonic technology to distribute water vapor, and is solely a cool mist humidifier which means that you don’t have to worry about leaving it near your child unattended.
Unlike a lot of humidifiers on today’s market, this model also has a one gallon tank, and runs for approximately fifteen hours before it needs refilling, allowing you to leave it on overnight, without worrying. The best bit though? TaoTronics have gone out of their way to ensure that this humidifier runs very quietly, which makes it ideal for babies that won’t tolerate loud noises. The only downsides are its relative bulk.
- Noise minimizing technology to ensure a low 38 dB of noise during normal operation
- Large 1 gallon tank that rarely needs refilling
- Unique ceramic cartridge with inbuilt antibacterial properties
- Built in timer, and an automatic shutoff for when the tank runs dry
- 360 degree rotating nozzle to ensure even distribution of water vapor
MistAire Ultrasonic Humidifier(Best for small nurseries and/or travel)
This cool mist humidifier is one of the more aesthetically pleasing options on our shortlist. It’s also small enough to fit on any shelf or counter top and it boasts a few really useful features, including an automatic shutoff, a night light and easy-fill tank that’s incredibly easy to keep clean. We also found that it was one of the quietest humidifiers; producing a gentle hum that’s all but undetectable to human ears.
This humidifier does lack some of the more advanced options found in other models though. There is no timer, for instance, and there are only two humidity settings.
- 5 liter tank that lasts for approximately 15 hours
- 360 degree rotating nozzle, for even distribution of moisture
- Automatic shutoff
- Optional night light, designed to produce a soothing glow
URPOWER Cool Mist Diffuser(Best smart choice)
Originally designed for aromatherapy purposes, this nifty little humidifier is perfectly well suited to moisturizing the air in your nursery. It’s ultrasonic, which means that it’s also pretty much silent, and it’s more than capable of humidifying a nursery. We’re huge fans of the unique wood grained look too – if aesthetics are an important consideration, this sleek little number is definitely one you’ll want to consider.
We can’t fault the functionality either. The simple and easy to use interface is a real pleasure to use, and the unit is more than capable of creating a really pleasant micro-climate for your baby. The only slight negative is the small tank size. Unlike other models on our shortlist, this humidifier only stores 300ml of water which means that you can only run it for 8-9 hours before it needs a refill
- Easy-to-use interface with simple push buttons to set humidity
- Unique wood-grained pattern
- 300ml tank with 8 hrs of running time
- Soothing lights with 7 colour settings
Sbode Cool Mist Humidifier(Best for the money)
Offering fantastic value for money, the Sbode cool mist humidifier is one that we’d recommend to anyone that wants maximum bang for their buck. It produces an impressive amount of water vapor for its size, and we also think that this humidifier is quite attractive; it’s made of soft-touch silicone and looks a little bit like a water bottle. You can also use this USB powered model in your car for travel.
The only slight downside is the stripped-back approach to feature design. There is automatic shut-off functionality and a night-light option for those that want their humidifier to glow in the dark, but beyond that options are very limited and there is also no filter to remove impurities from your water. This means that you will have to clean the unit regularly to ensure that mold and limescale do not build up in the tank.
- 250ml tank, with a run-time of 7 hours
- Quiet ultrasonic electric motor
- Night light option
- Automatic shut-off
Honeywell HCM35W Cool Mist Humidifier(Best durable choice)
Boasting an unusually large water tank, a unique cool-wick filter and a barrage of special features, this humidifier is definitely a premium option. The price may be a sticking point if you are shopping on a tight budget, but you do get a lot of bang for your buck with this product and there’s no suggestion that you’re simply paying for a brand. One of our favorite things about the Honeywell humidifier is the fact that it uses patent-protected UV technology to purify your water before diffusion. This allows it to produce cool mist that’s 99.9% germ free.
It’s quiet too. In fact, the manufacturer boasts that it’s at least 25% quieter than other ultrasonic humidifiers, which makes it perfect for babies that tend to get restless if there’s a lot of background noise.The only slight issue is that it only offers three humidity settings. This still allows you a good amount of flexibility and control, but it is slightly more restrictive than other models in its price bracket.
- Unique cool-wick filter designed to remove impurities from water
- Patent-protected UV filter to kill germs and mould
- Extra-large water tank allowing for 24 hours of continuous use at low speed setting
- Noise reduction technology
- Automatic shut-off and timer options
- 3 yr warranty
Crane Cool Mist Humidifier(Best for full night use)
Specifically designed with babies in mind, this adorable humidifier boasts a unique elephant design (17 cute animal designs) that would be right at home in any nursery. It’s not just the unique design that we like about this humidifier though – in fact, this is one of the most advanced humidifiers on our list. It boasts a large one gallon tank and whisper-quiet operation to ensure that your child isn’t disturbed in the night. It can also be left running for up to 24 hours which is a big plus if you want to get a full night’s rest!
So what about the cons? If anything, the only issues with this unit are the price point and the method of delivery – mist is pumped straight out of the nozzle in one direction which means that you have to position it quite carefully. Some users do also complain that the surface underneath this unit does get moist, which is another consideration.
- Advanced noise-reduction technology
- Constructed using antibacterial materials
- Large 1 gallon filter for 24 hours of continues use
- Easy-to-use controls
- Automatic Shutoff
- Unique animal design
REIDEA Ultrasonic Humidifier(Best high-end option)
Reidea’s cool mist humidifier has a relatively small water tank, but it boasts ultra-efficient ultrasonic technology that still guarantees 24 hour run time at low settings, which makes it a good choice for parents that want a low-maintenance option. This compact humidifier also boasts a really attractive wood-grain and silicone design, and we’re quite impressed by just how attractive it looks on a shelf or cabinet.
If you’re looking for a high-end option that gives you a lot of bang for you buck, this item is definitely one to explore. Like the other items in the $40+ price bracket, it has a range of preset timers, and a high/low mist option that allows you to regulate the humidity of your nursery. The only slight downside is that this model isn’t specifically designed for use as a baby humidifier, which means that filtration and mist purification isn’t provided.
- 3l tank offering 24 hours of run-time
- Easy-to-use controls
- Quiet ultrasonic technology
- Automatic shutoff
Sparoma Ultrasonic Humidifier
This humidifier is particularly advanced; offering 360 degree mist dispersal, total control over humidity levels and a range of special features that set it apart from the competition. In particular, we’re impressed with the fact that it uses silver ion technology as an anti-bacterial agent. We also like the fact that it can run for 36 hours without needing a re-fill, and the range of light options are a big plus too.
Although you might not need some of the additional features, we’d definitely say that this was a top contender for people shopping in the $30-$60 price bracket. This product is also perfect for people that are worried about things like leaks as the manufacturer has gone out of their way to create a durable and reliable product that’s capable of working around the clock.
- Ultra-quiet technology, producing just 30dBs of noise
- 36 hours of run time
- Silver ion antibacterial technology
Vicks(Best warm mist humidifier for baby)
The only warm air humidifier to make our list, this product is really good at relieving respiratory distress. It’s also built from antibacterial materials which should mitigate any concerns about the growth of mold and bacteria. If you are looking for a sleek, stylish and sophisticated humidifier then this is definitely a contender. Plus points include a large (1 gallon) tank, full range of temperature and humidity control, a barrage of good reviews and the fact that it’s filter free.
The only cons are the fact that you’re paying a fair amount for functionality that you might not need, and the fact that the lack of filtration can lead to the build up of limescale if you have hard water
- Warm air functionality
- Easy to use control dial
- 1 gallon tank for 24hrs of continuous use
- Naturally antibacterial design
VAVA Cool Mist Humidifier(Best for traveling)
We think that VAVA’s ultrasonic humidifier is a great option for anyone that’s looking for a sleek, simple and effective humidifier. It’s perfect for traveling, it does a great job of moisturizing the air, and it’s very stylish too. The only downsides are the fact that it lacks any inbuilt filtration/purification, and the fact that it has a much smaller tank size than some of the other items on our list.
If you’re looking for something reliable, small and easy to use, then this item is definitely worthy of closer examination. That said, if you are looking to create a finely tuned micro-climate, there are other, more effective options out there.
- Compact 1.8l tank
- Simple dial-control system
- Ergonomic design
- Effective mist dispersal
Hopefully browsing through the reviews above has helped you to find the right humidifier. Ultimately, the important thing is that you find a unit that really suits you as a parent; one that you can use easily, and one that’s capable of creating the ideal micro climate for your little one. A great many pediatricians insist that a good humidifier is one of the most essential pieces of kit that you can buy for your nursery, but selecting the perfect model is more a case of working out exactly what’s right for your baby, irrespective of their individual needs!