The 7 Best Humidifiers for Babies of 2020

Keep your baby healthy and comfortable

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier at Amazon

"Up to 24 hours of soothing moisture."

Best Budget: URPOWER Cool Mist Humidifier at Amazon

"One of the cheaper options out there."

Best Germ-Free: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier at Amazon

"Microporous ceramic cartridges filter out microorganisms."

Best With Filter: Honeywell Cool Mist Humidifier at Amazon

"Three-speed settings for moisture and sound level."

Best Large Capacity: Everlasting Ultrasonic Humidifier at Amazon

"Works for rooms up to 400 sq. feet."

Best Design: Crane USA Cool Mist Humidifiers at Amazon

"Humidifier in the shape of an elephant."

Best for Small Rooms: MistAire Studio Cool Mist Humidifier at Target

"Compact but still works effectively for spaces up to 175 feet."

Offering a bevy of baby-friendly benefits, a good nursery humidifier can go a long way toward keeping your little one happy and healthy. But with so many types and models to choose from, knowing what to buy can be a challenge. We're here to help.

Here are the best humidifiers for babies.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

crane-humidifier
Courtesy of Amazon 

Customers who bought the Crane Drop Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier called it the “perfect humidifier for small rooms,” “filterless & fabulous,” and the “best humidifier I’ve ever had.” This humidifier boasts an award-winning design that provides up to 24 hours of soothing moisture to help relieve the effects of dryness and congestion. The product’s ease-of-use and whisper-quiet technology, combined with Clean Control Technology, earn extra points for busy moms and dads, as well.

As far as safety goes, the antimicrobial material in the base of the humidifier helps reduce mold and bacteria growth by up to 99.96 percent. The unit is BPA free and includes a built-in, auto-shut-off feature that turns the product off automatically once the tank is empty. This product also comes in additional color options, like pink, green, and orange.

Best Budget: URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier

While you could easily drop a pretty penny on your baby’s humidifier, you don’t necessarily need to in order to get a quality product. For example, the URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier is one of the cheaper options out there, and it’s a best-seller with thousands of reviews.

Ignoring the essential oil aspect of this product, the humidifier includes seven color-changing lamps, a nightlight, programmable on/off cycles, and an auto shut-off feature for when the water runs out. You’ll get up to six hours of misting time with the URPOWER humidifier, as well as two mist settings: continuously and intermittently. The product utilizes whisper-quiet technology so baby can keep snoozing comfortably while it’s in use.

Note: There is also a new version of this product, the URPOWER Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser Cool Mist Aroma Diffuser, which is an Amazon’s Choice product. The new version comes in natural bamboo or black.

Best Germ-Free: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier

TaoTronics

 Amazon

When it comes to the air your baby breathes, you want to make sure it’s as pure as possible. This humidifier from TaoTronics adds some extra peace of mind that you’re getting just that as it uses microporous ceramic cartridges that filter out microorganisms in the water to produce a cleaner and safer mist. To direct the mist just where you want it, there’s a nozzle that rotates 360 degrees.

The large reservoir can hold more than a gallon of water, and it will run for up to 15 hours without you having to refill it. If it runs out, the machine will shut off automatically. You can control the mist flow and humidity levels, which are displayed on an LED screen, and there’s an optional nightlight. You can also set a timer to turn it off after a certain amount of time, which is a nice option when you don’t want to disturb a sleeping baby. Customers say it’s easy to clean, easy to fill and ultra effective.

Best With Filter: Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Filterless humidifiers are nice, but if you prefer the clean feel of knowing that you’re truly removing impurities by physically changing out a filter, you might like the Honeywell HCM350W germ free cool mist humidifier as an option. With all the bells and whistles of the other humidifier options—quiet operation ideal for sleeping babies, three-speed settings to adjust moisture output and sound level, up to 24-hours of run time, etc.—the Honeywell Replacement Wicking Filters that you’ll use with this model are treated with Protec antimicrobial to inhibit up to 99.99 percent of mold growth on the filter so ensure your baby’s continued health.

This humidifier also gets top marks for its ability to clean. You can place parts in the dishwasher to get every nook and cranny scrubbed.

Best Large Capacity: Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier (6L)

If you’re looking for something with a little more heft, potentially for a larger room, the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Humidifier earns high praise. This humidifier features a 6L tank with a super high mist output up to 270 ml/hr. It works for rooms up to 400 sq. feet and lasts 50 hours between refills.

The ultrasonic technology also produces a near-silent frequency so baby can snooze in peace while this product does its thing. The blue LED nightlight is a nice addition to a nursery. Automatic shut off technology turns the humidifier off when it runs out of water, and the unique air humidifier design eliminates the need for a filter.

Best Design: Crane USA Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifiers for Kids, Elephant

If you’re looking for something a little bit cuter to go in your kid’s nursery, the Crane USA filter-free cool mist humidifier in the shape of an elephant will likely to the trick. The one-gallon removable tank fits easily under most bathroom sinks for quick filling, and the product runs on whisper quiet technology for up to 24 hours.

Anti-microbial material reduces mold and bacteria growth by up to 99.96 percent, and there is no filter required. The auto shut-off feature also turns the humidifier off when water is low. The Crane USA filter-free cool mist humidifier for kids line comes in many other options as well, including monkeys, polar bears, bees, monsters, ducks, robots, and more.

Best Cool Mist: Air-Joy Premium Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

This cool mist humidifier might not be baby-specific, but it comes loaded with tons of the necessities you need from a product when it’s going in your baby’s room. To start with, it has a quiet touch panel that utilizes whisper-quiet operation technologies, and it offers low, medium, and high misting options with seven colors of LED lights, perfect for providing a little bit of light in the room when you enter for those 3 a.m. feedings.

The automatic shut-off feature also turns the product off immediately when it runs out of water or if the tank is in the wrong position, and the 360-degree spout allows for equal distribution of misting throughout the room. The smart timer can also be set for four, eight, or 12 hours of misting relief.

There is no filter, and the product includes one tank brush and two ultrasonic disk brushes that make cleaning the humidifier (a necessity!) a snap. The easy-lifting handle makes it easy to refill, as well.

How to Choose a Humidifier for the Nursery

By Kitty Lascurain 

Offering a bevy of baby-friendly benefits, a good nursery humidifier can go a long way toward keeping your little one happy and healthy. But with so many types and models to choose from, knowing what to buy can be a challenge. Should you opt for a warm mist or cool? Invest in a high-tech ultrasonic model, or stick to a traditional no-fuss vaporizer? It’s a lot to take in.

The Basics

The first thing you’ll notice when you start shopping is that humidifiers fall into two opposing camps: Warm vs. cool mist. Since both warm and cool-mist humidifiers work well, deciding which camp to bunk with is largely a matter of preference. Still, there is plenty to consider before choosing between the two. 

Warm vs. Cool Mist Humidifiers

Warm-mist humidifiers (also known as vaporizers) use a heating element to boil water and produce steam. Due to their simplicity, warm-mist models tend to be quieter, less expensive and less likely to break than their cool-mist competitors. They also tend to make a room feel warmer, allowing parents to turn down the thermostat and avoid the congestion and dryness associated with artificial heating.

The biggest drawback of a warm-mist model is the potential for burns. You can’t have steam without hot water. Should the unit spill or fall, your little one could be seriously injured. Children can also burn their hands and faces by putting them directly over the steam nozzle. If you opt for a warm-mist vaporizer, it is extremely important that you place the unit out of reach and ensure your child cannot use the cord to pull the unit down on his or herself.

Specifically designed to address this important safety issue, cool-mist humidifiers use only cold water, eliminating the risks associated with warm-mist models. But cold-mist models pose their own risks. If not regularly cleaned and maintained, these units can become a breeding ground for nasty, little nursery invaders, like mold and other microorganisms. Once spewed into the air, these pathogens are easily inhaled, potentially harming your child.

Despite the risk of burns, many pediatricians prefer old-fashioned, warm-mist vaporizers to the new cool-mist models.

“Warm air is cleaner,” explains popular pediatrician, Dr. William Sears. “A vaporizer literally vaporizes germs by converting water to steam, which then kills any bacteria present.”

Still, a well-maintained, cold-mist humidifier poses little risk to your baby. Just be sure to clean and air-dry the unit regularly, changing the water daily and replacing any filters or cartridges as needed.

Ultrasonic vs. Evaporative Humidifiers

If you decide to take go the cool-mist route, you will need to decide whether to opt for a traditional evaporative humidifier or a new, high-tech ultrasonic model.

Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency sound vibrations to break water particles into a cool, hydrating mist. Quiet and efficient, ultrasonic units take up little space and use less electricity than traditional models. However, they can be expensive and are more prone to breakage than traditional, evaporative models.

Since ultrasonic humidifiers lack filters, they sometimes produce fine white dust typically found on the machine itself and the surrounding furniture. This residue is nothing more than a natural by-product caused by the minerals present in the water. While it won’t hurt your little one, it can be a nuisance, especially if you have hard water.

Evaporative humidifiers produce cool, moist air through a process of fan-aided evaporation. These traditional models work by sucking air through a water-saturated filter, increasing the humidity in the air while retaining minerals and other impurities from the water.

Thanks to a high-quality filter, evaporative models do not produce the dreaded white dust associated with ultrasonic models. That said, evaporative humidifiers generally require more space and energy than their ultrasonic counterparts, and the high-powered fans that move the air through the machine can be noisy.

Hidden Costs

With no heating element to power, a cool-mist humidifier can save you a few pennies on your electricity bill. But while your typical warm-mist vaporizer requires little in the way of maintenance, keeping up with the demands of a cool-mist machine can be pretty costly.

Evaporative humidifiers need regular filter replacements. Ultrasonic models require the use of store-bought, distilled water to prevent residual mineral deposits from building up. Some of these models feature demineralization cartridges, which do a good job of preventing chalky build-up but must also be replaced regularly.

It all adds up. According to Consumer Reports, the cost of replacing necessary filters and cartridges can be as much as $50 a year—a considerable expense for a machine that typically costs between $50 and $150.

Making the Best Choice for Your Family

Still not sure what kind of unit is best? Don’t panic. While there are benefits and drawbacks to each type, all humidifiers are perfectly safe and effective when used properly. Making the right choice is about deciding what works best for your family. Working on a tight budget? There’s nothing wrong with a low-cost, easy-to-maintain vaporizer! Hate dusting? Opt for a traditional evaporative model. Regardless of what kind you choose, buying a humidifier is always a good decision.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Humidifiers and health. Updated June 2, 2020.