Winter weather is downright abysmal, and the humidifier is a crucial part of the interior warmth arsenal we employ to fight against the cold. Heaters and fireplaces all suck the moisture from the already dry winter air, leaving it just as barren as the chill we leave outside. Your humble abode should be the sanctuary you look forward to and, preferably, be the exact opposite of Old Man Winter. Since every home is different, the array of humidifiers is vast, but we’ve culled the land of misted air and found the best humidifiers of the season.
Il Coccio Milky Way
Best Minimalist Design: Minimalist by design and function, the Il Coccio humidifies a single room the old-school way: by resting on a radiator. By filling the galaxy-shaped ceramic container with water and using the heat already being generated by your radiator, it’s also a low-cost and easy-to-operate option.
Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier
Best All-Around: This Honeywell gets you the most bang for your buck. It can run quietly for 24 hours straight, has a dishwasher-safe tank for easy cleaning and works best in medium-sized rooms. It also kills 99.9 percent of waterborne bacteria and mold before dispersing the vapor throughout the room.
Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360
Most Parent Friendly: One benefit to using high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations to create a micro-fine mist is that there’s no need for filters (which over time become a safe haven for bacteria and mold). Ultrasonic technology also means the Safety 1st Ultrasonic 360 works quietly enough to keep in a baby’s nursery without waking up the child. Two opposing mist outlets allow for a 360 degree coverage — handy if you have two kids in different beds on opposite sides of the room.
Vicks 99.999% Germ Free Humidifier
Most Germaphobe Friendly: A humidifier left dormant for too long is a ticking time bomb. Stagnant water can be a breeding ground for mold, spores and bacteria, and in a humidifier they’re only weaponized. The Vicks Germ Free Humidifier uses an “Ultraviolet Chamber” to kill 99.999 percent of microbes before they’re jettisoned throughout your house. The humidifier also utilizes a medicine cup for Vicks Vaposteam for a medicated vapor, which is perfect when you’re fighting off the Flu.
Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Humidifier
Most Travel Friendly: When you’re traveling abroad, your hotel may have a great bed, but if the air is so dry you wake up with a clay brick for a tongue, that plush pillow is quickly forgotten. The Air-O-Swiss Travel humidifier is filterless and uses ultrasonic vibrations, so it’s compact. It fits in a carry-on and only needs a water bottle and an outlet to give you the air you love to breathe at home.
Most Energy Efficient: Perhaps the smartest of the humidifiers on the market, the Stadler keeps the air in the room customized while saving energy any time it can. Like a home thermostat, it will regulate its power to maintain your set humidity with the least energy needed. When it’s low on water, it will also shut off. And, to add to your tailor-made atmosphere, it has a scented oil container to disburse your favorite scent. If you’re a 2001: A Space Odyssey fan, the monolithic styling is merely a plus.
Honeywell QuietCare 9-Gallon
Best Large-Scale Humidifier: The Honeywell QuietCare’s 9-gallon daily capacity was not designed for a small bachelor pad studio — this humidifier can comfortably adjust the air in a 2,300-square-foot house. The antimicrobial filter helps trap dust, dirt and pollen while stopping the spread of mold, fungus and bacteria. Just make sure you place it on a soft surface; the industrial-sized humidifier tends to audibly vibrate on hard floors like wood or ceramic tile.