Looking for the best humidifier for your baby or kid's room? We researched more than 30 potential contenders and purchased 11 popular humidifiers for scientific testing. We conducted real-life, side-by-side comparisons to determine which humidifiers outperform the competition for relative humidity levels and more. We considered effectiveness, ease of use and cleaning, noise, and additional features. We also tested filtration features that help reduce mold, bacteria, and the dreaded "white dust." We believe there is an option for each family and budget in this lineup of options.
The Levoit LV600HH is an ultrasonic option that comes with a remote and a humidistat. It also features a digital display, timer, and handle on the tank for easier filling and carrying. This easy-to-use humidifier has a modern aesthetic and includes a cleaning brush for smaller spaces and an ultrasonic plate. We like that it can sit by itself in the sink for easier filling and that the opening on the bottom is large enough for easy cleaning and filling. It also offers warm or cool mist and is the only one we tested with this ability. This option is rated for a larger room up to 750 sq ft, and it has a max run time of 36 hours with an automatic shut-off when the tank is empty.
The Levoit is one of the most expensive humidifiers in this review, making it a poor choice for tighter budgets or for those who only plan infrequent humidifying supplementation. This product also isn't baby-centric, and it lacks any design or features specifically for little ones. Despite the above-average price, there is much to love about this effective and quiet machine, and we think most families with the right-sized budget will love all the features it offers, even if it isn't baby-centric.
The Crane Drop is a smaller ultrasonic product with a dial user interface. It is super quiet and has a fun shape with a narrow opening for moisture to escape, making it fun to watch. This unit is easy to fill and looks at home in most nurseries. It features auto-shutoff when empty, and you can purchase filters if you want to limit the creation of white dust.
This humidifier is hard to clean; no matter what brush you buy, there is a part of the water reservoir you can't reach. If you regularly clean your humidifier, this will be less of an issue. However, if you get lazy, things can grow that you can reach. This unit also lacks features like programmability, so the humidity level in your room is a mystery without a secondary product. Overall, we like this Crane for its looks, effectiveness, and silence, and the lower price is one most families will love.
The Miro NR07G is a unique humidifier like none we've ever seen. In a bid to create the most hygienic humidifier ever, this unit is completely washable as the controls are separate. It assembles easily and quickly with magnet connections, making it ideal for anyone who's ever struggled to screw something on or off. The bowl is refillable in place, making refilling easier for a baby and parents, and the user interface is straightforward.
This unit is the most expensive in the bunch, but you get what you pay for in some regards, as it feels higher quality and has unique features you simply can't get in the competition. So despite the price and the number of parts, we think it is a great option for those concerned with keeping things clean. Humidifiers aren't the easiest things to clean or keep sterilized, so the added price may be worth it if your budget allows and you want an ultra-clean option.
The Crane Adorable is an animal-themed ultrasonic option with various animal options to choose from. It is a nursery-friendly option that little ones are drawn to. It features auto-shutoff, a simple user interface, and available filters to cut down on the pesky white dust. This unit is quieter than the average humidifier, making it suitable for nursery nightlife. The noise it emits feels like a white noise that is not disruptive to sleep. We like that this option can be a nursery focal point or blend in with the decor.
This product isn't as effective at creating humidity as much of the competition. With results in the lower third of products, it could struggle in larger spaces or drier climates even though it lists up to 500 sqft. Over time, it raised levels to over 83 %, which is more than you really need. Because of the delightfully inspired design, we love this animal-shaped option as a nursery pick.
We've been testing humidifiers for over seven years with our early testing, including humidity measuring and white dust comparison not found in competing reviews. We researched more than 20 humidifiers for our humidifier review. We considered popular, high-quality, and adorable options from a variety of brands. Each humidifier was put through more than a dozen tests, including those for humidity creation efficiency, ease of use, white dust creation, ease of cleaning, and more.
The review process lead is our founder, Dr. Juliet Spurrier, a board-certified pediatrician and mother of two. Dr. Spurrier uses her background in infant health to choose products with baby well-being and safety in mind. The test team leader is Abriah Wofford, who has been with BabyGearLab since 2015. Abriah's father, Bob Wofford, developed testing procedures for this and previous humidity reviews, and she has taken the reigns in the newest iteration with his guidance. Senior Review Editor Wendy Schmitz rounds out the team with her experience analyzing humidifying products since 2015. With over 20 years of combined experience choosing testing and analyzing humidifiers, we have the expertise necessary to help you determine what is essential in this kind of product and what to look for when you make your next purchase.
Analysis and Test Results
For this review, we tested top humidity creators side-by-side in our lab and real homes with scientifically measured analysis to determine efficacy at humidity creation, being easy to clean and use, with low noise and dust. Our testing gives you the details required to make an informed buying decision for your little one based on your needs, emphasizing effectiveness and how easy they are to clean.
Award-winning products create acceptable humidity levels in a reasonable period, and they are easy to clean, so you can avoid exposure to bacteria, hard water minerals, and mold that can build up inside many units.
Humidifier as a gift?
A humidifier is one of the best baby gifts, and it can be the one thing that saves a new parent the first time their little one gets ill. No one is more appreciative of a gift than when they are confronted with a sick infant. We highly recommend asking for or adding a humidifier to your registry.
Our testing indicates that in the world of humidifying products, you typically get what you pay for. However, we still found some effective products that won't empty your wallet, and some others may cost a little more but have features or functionality that bring value to those with specific goals. The Crane Drop is affordable and one of the most effective at creating humidity in our lineup. This option is quiet and effective. If you are looking for something more baby-centric, the Crane Adorable is a few dollars more, effective, and shaped like an ultra-cute whale.
Ease of Cleaning
We feel the ease of cleaning is one of the most critical test metrics for this kind of product because keeping your humidity maker clean is essential to ensure that it does more good than harm. When water sits stagnant in the tank or base, it naturally accumulates bacteria and fungi. Although there are ways to reduce these troublemakers, there is no healthy way to eliminate them permanently or as you go. As the keeper of your child's health, you need to clean all of the unit's parts weekly or daily to keep mold and bacteria at bay.
You might be surprised that descaling or reducing mineral deposits on the base is also necessary for the cleaning routine. Doing this helps reduce the potential for unhealthy pathogens to be released into the air. To start, you can reduce the required descaling effort by using distilled or filtered water instead of tap water. Many of the units in this review also have instructions about sterilization using bleach.
The Miro is arguably one of the easiest to clean and the one to watch if you want the easiest to clean and the cleanest option. All of the parts can be cleaned with soap and water and are easily reached with a sponge or bottle brush, unlike most humidifiers with significantly harder-to-clean bases. The Miro and the Honeywell HUL520 both earned some of the top scores for the group. The hardest option to clean is the AquaOasis. This option has a tiny tank opening, and it is hard to get all of the nooks and crannies clean. The BreatheFrida and the Pure Enrichment MistAire are also harder to clean.
We test effectiveness by measuring the humidity levels in a room that is approximately 150 sq ft. Award winners generate a lot of mist in a short time to raise humidity levels quickly and keep them there. This functionality is key for a worthwhile mist maker.
Throughout testing, we kept conditions as controlled as possible to focus on each product's mist creation and eliminate external variation. We ran each humidifier on its highest setting for 3 hours and logged the humidity percentage every 60 seconds throughout the duration of the test.
The effectiveness of each option to create significant humidity may not be as relevant to you as the amount of noise it creates or how easy it is to clean if your goal is to humidify a tiny room or only the area around the crib. All of the options we considered can raise the moisture level adequately in the vicinity immediately around the unit, even if they didn't affect the entire room.
The most effective option in this review is the TaoTronics TT-AH001. This product creates significantly more mist than most of the competition. The Levoit LV600HH and the AquaOasis come in a close second. The least effective option that took longer to raise the humidity in the room and struggled to raise the moisture over time is Pure Enrichment MistAire, the TaoTronics TT-AH038. Their scores are in relation to the competition and shouldn't be interpreted as being unable to humidify. However, you likely want to use these options in small rooms or when you only want to raise the humidity in the area around your child.
Humidifier noise can range from barely audible to sleep-disruptive, depending on your sensitivity or feelings surrounding white noise. We measure the decibel levels using a sound meter placed 6 inches from the unit operating on its highest setting. We also consider the type of sound produced. Is it high-pitched? Repetitive? Drippy?
We feel that "white noise" is more conducive to restful sleep than a single specific pitch that could be grating over time. In the previous testing, evaporative humidifiers were significantly louder, as they have a fan running to create airflow for evaporation to occur. This review only includes ultrasonic humidifiers, which are much quieter.
The loudest in the group, Vicks Filter Free, had a reading of over 46 decibels. This option also made dripping and gurgling noises we didn't experience with any of the competition. The quietest readings were below 40 for several humidifiers in the group. The highest scoring options for noise, and therefore the quietest, were the TaoTronics TT-AH038, the BreatheFrida, and the Crane Drop.
Ease of Use
We compare each option's user interface, features, and design. The same level of functionality is not found in all of the competition. Ideally, you want a product that is "plug and play," so you don't need to spend an excessive amount of time referencing the manual or setting it up beforehand.
However, if you want a product that has programmable settings and other extra features, you may end up with a slightly more complex system. As long as you are ok with taking some time to learn the program, the tradeoff may be worth it. Some of the competition has a simple dial for on/off and to adjust the level of mist output. Other options have digital interfaces with more features to control the humidity percentage in the air or control a shut-off/run timer. Depending on your goals and usage, a simple dial may be all you need or not enough.
The Levoit LV600HH and the TaoTronics TT-AH001 earned top scores for ease of use as they offer the ability to monitor humidity levels and have programmable interfaces with timers. While this ups the initial learning curve, we think these features make it easier for long-term use, as you are able to set and forget a humidifier and prevent the need for routine checking on the humidity status. The hardest option to use is the AquaOasis with its odd tank shape and tiny filling hole. All of the current review selections feature an auto-shutoff when the tank is empty, which is a plus.
Finding the right humidifier for your child or nursery can make the difference between congested sinuses or a night of easy breathing. Having a useful and effective humidifier on hand to help raise the moisture content of your baby's room can significantly help your little one sleep when congested or feeling unwell. With a marketplace full of potential contenders, each with various features, selecting the right option can be tricky if you are unfamiliar with the products. To help you determine which humidifier is best for your needs, we tested each product in our review to assess performance, ease of cleaning and filling, and more. While we believe the award-winners are the best of the bunch, other top-scoring humidifiers could be a better fit for you if they have more of the features you are looking for. Armed with details from our testing process, we are confident that you can find the best product for your baby and your budget.
BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.