Cool mist humidifiers are incredibly popular in the warmer months of the year. They often find themselves in storage when leaves or snow begins to fall, however. A cool mist system could still get the job done depending on where you reside, but most homeowners turn towards steam-based systems when they want the best humidifier for winter.
- The Best Humidifiers for Winter
- How to find the Best Humidifier for Winter
- Warm Mist Humidifier FAQ
The Best Humidifiers for Winter
You can walk into any big box hardware store and pick up a humidifier that produces cool mist. That said, the pool of potential prospects narrows considerably when you begin shopping for warm mist humidifiers. There are a variety of reasons these systems aren’t as prevalent as their cool counterparts, but the options below are guaranteed to keep you comfortable all winter long.
- Capacity: 1.5 gallons
- Coverage: 750 sq. ft.
- Settings: 3
- Runtime: 60 hours
- Warranty: 1-year
- Capacity: 2 gallons
- Coverage: 600 sq. ft.
- Settings: 3
- Runtime: 120 hours
- Warranty: 3 years
- Capacity: 0.8 gallons
- Coverage: 430 sq. ft.
- Settings: 2+1
- Runtime: 24 hours
- Warranty: 3 years
- Capacity: 1-gallon
- Coverage: 400 sq. ft.
- Settings: 2
- Runtime: 24 hours
- Warranty: 3 years
- Capacity: 0.8 gallons
- Coverage: 400 sq. ft.
- Settings: 3
- Runtime: 37 hours
- Warranty: 2 years
#1 TaoTronics Humidifier for Bedrooms TT-AH046
Larger areas can be hard to humidify with warm mist, considering portable systems usually top out at around 500 square feet. The TaoTronics TT-AH046 is an exception to that rule, and it’s the best warm mist humidifier for winter when you need additional moisture in your bedroom.
While you can set up the TT-AH046 anywhere, it’s one of the quieter systems on our list with a decibel rating of around 36dB. Touch-sensitive controls adorn the front of this unit, and sleep mode can kill the lights while you slumber. You won’t have to get out of bed to control this humidifier, either thanks to a fully functional remote control.
This ultrasonic system can produce warm mist in the winter and cool mist in the summer. It has an aromatherapy tray in the back for essential oils and is a top-fill humidifier. That could be a positive or a negative depending on how you feel about carrying a humidifier to the sink, although consumers found the TT-AH046 easy to fill and clean.
TaoTronics designed this humidifier for large rooms up to 750 square feet. While the runtime depends on the mode selected, it’s capable of operating for anywhere between 10 to 60 hours. This humidifier has three mist levels with three temperature settings. There is also an automatic humidity monitoring feature and a timer.
This is a relatively new humidifier, but the early returns have been overwhelmingly positive. This system has all the features you could ask for, a reasonable price tag, and holds enough water to get you through several nights. The TaoTronics TT-AH046 comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and is backed by a 1-year warranty.
Pros: Can produce enough warm or cool mist for rooms up to 750 square feet. Multiple modes, a remote control, and an aromatherapy tray.
Cons: Short Warranty.
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#2 PureGuardian Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier H4810AR
With close to two dozen humidifiers in their arsenal, Guardian Technologies is one of the bigger brands when it comes to portable purification and humidification. They have several warm mist systems available as well, although the PureGuardian H4810AR is the best option for extended use during winter.
At first glance, this ultrasonic humidifier from PureGuardian doesn’t look like anything special. It has a clean, two-tone design and a row of controls on the front, but is otherwise unremarkable. Well, it actually has a surprising array of features, including a nightlight and a 12-hour timer. A directional nozzle allows you to adjust the mist to a degree, and a notification light lets will let you know when it’s time for a refill.
This humidifier has the three standard speed settings but can run for up to 120 hours before you need to top off the tank. That’s due in part to the efficiency of this system, although the 2-gallon tank certainly holds a lot of H2O. The output rate is listed at 2.5 gallons per day, and the H4810AR is suitable for medium to large rooms up to 500 square feet.
Like most warm mist ultrasonic humidifiers, this system can produce a warm or cool mist. It has an aromatherapy tray, which opens the door for the use of essential oils as well. The big tank is easy to clean and coated with the company’s Silver Clean technology, which inhibits mold and mildew from growing inside of the tank.
PureGuardian put a lot of thought into this system, and it’s received high marks from homeowners across the board. While the runtime will vary depending on the speed and type of mist you choose, it’s more than capable of running for 24 hours without going dry. There are no significant issues with the H4810AR, and it comes with a 3-year guarantee from PureGuardian.
Pros: Warm or cool mist humidifier with an excellent runtime of up to 120 hours. Large 2-gallon tank, directional nozzle, and 12-hour timer.
Cons: No humidistat.
#3 Boneco S200 Steam Humidifier
All of the best humidifiers for winter can produce warm mist, but the Boneco S200 sets itself apart from the competition. This steam-based system brings the water inside to a hard boil instead of just heating it and is arguably the easiest machine to use on our list as well.
The Boneco S200 has a low-profile design with a water window on the front and an analog dial. To say this humidifier is simple would be an understatement as there is no digital display or buttons to deal with. That dial allows you to select two speeds while the third setting activates cleaning mode. You’ll need to pick up a few supplies to take full advantage of this mode, but it makes maintaining the S200 a breeze.
While the tank on this steam humidifier is only 0.8 gallons, it’s efficient with an output level of 1.8 gallons. As the noise level below 35dB, it’s also very quiet. A fragrance container allows for the use of essential oils, and an LED backlight will kick on when the water level gets low. This system also has a unique cooling fan that keeps the mist warm, not hot, which means it’s safer for homes with kids and pets.
This steam humidifier is a bit safer than others thanks to the cooling fan, and the fact it’s suitable for floor use is a bonus as well. The only drawbacks for the Boneco S200, in our opinion, are the lack of features and the light around the control knob, which may be a little too bright during nighttime use. If you’re need something with more features and want to stick within the Boneco brand, the S450 is worth a look as well.
Pros: High-capacity steam-based humidifier with a kid-friendly cooling fan and cleaning mode. Runs quiet and safe to use with essential oils.
Cons: Light on features for the price.
#4 Vicks VWM845 Warm Mist Humidifier
Vicks is a brand most American’s will be familiar with, and the company has millions of fans across the globe as well. In our Vicks humidifier review, we discovered that they have one of the more
This warm mist humidifier could be mistaken for dozens of similar blue and white systems from various companies, if not for the branding on the front. It has a dial that allows you to select a low or high level of warm mist. Below that is a scent door with a place to put the company’s VapoPads. It can handle two at once, and the system comes with a sample menthol pack to get you started.
If you prefer to use your own concoction or Vick’s line of inhalants, there is a medicine cup built into the top of the VWM845. The tank is removable with a wide opening, so it’s easy to clean and holds 1-gallon of water. The operating time on the Vicks VWM845 warm mist humidifier is listed at 24 hours on low, and the system has a range of up to 400 square feet.
While you don’t get warm and cool mist from this humidifier, it’s affordable, highly rated, and has enough runtime to get you through the night. We also like the integrated medicine cup on the VWM845, as you don’t have to solely rely on the company’s VaporPads. This ultrasonic humidifier comes with a 3-year warranty from Vicks.
Pros: Simple to operating and maintain. Built-in medicine cup, aromatherapy tray, and a 3-year warranty.
Cons: Nothing significant.
You may also like: Vicks Humidifier Reviews and Buying Guide
#5 HoMedics TotalComfort Humidifier Plus
Most of the warm mist humidifiers we chose are 2-in-1 or hybrid systems, and the HoMedics UHE-WM11BD falls into that category as well. It can do something the other humidifiers on this list can’t, however, and it has a very distinct style as well.
With a wood grain exterior, this humidifier could be mistaken for a wooden sculpture from across the room. HoMedics designed it so that it can be used directly on the floor thanks to the extension wand that gives it a total height of 27”. It’s considerably shorter sans the top so that it can be used on a desktop or nightstand as well.
This humidifier holds 0.79 gallons of water and has a 360-degree nozzle in desktop mode. The coverage range is excellent for its size at 400 square feet. Runtime is listed at around 37 hours, depending on the mist level, and there are three of those to choose from. The HoMedics UHE-WM11BD also has a built-in oil tray in the back, cleaning mode, and remote control.
HoMedics packed plenty of features into this humidifier, and it’s quite versatile, considering it can produce warm or cool mist and be used as a tower humidifier or desktop system. As the tank isn’t large, the runtime will take a hit on high, although it still holds enough water to work throughout the night. On the downside, some consumers thought it could be easier to clean, and the wood grain is definitely an acquired taste.
Pros: Wide range of features, including an essential oil try, 12-hour timer, and remote control. Removable extension top and multiple modes.
Cons: Can be tricky to clean.
You may also like: HoMedics Humidifier Reviews and Buying Guide
How to find the Best Humidifier for Winter
Winter can be moderate or severe depending on which part of the world you live in, and in the United States, homeowners can experience weather that’s both mild and wild. Below are a few tips to help you understand the options available so that you can find the best humidifier for winter to use in your home.
Will it be used as a seasonal system?
Before we begin to look at important areas with warm mist humidifiers, think about when and how often you will use your new humidifier. While you obviously plan on using it during the colder months, will you store it in the summer when it is no longer in use? If so, you may just need a seasonal machine.
They aren’t nearly as expensive as a 2-in-1 humidifier that can produce both warm and cool mist, although your options are somewhat limited when it comes to sizing. Alternatively, cool and warm mist humidifiers allow you to run the system all year regardless of the season. There are also other hybrid systems like air washers that can humidify and purify the air.
While some of the best humidifiers for winter can produce earn or cool mist, they all start with a tank of cool water. The water tank isn’t the most important part of a humidifier, but there’s far more to it than the capacity or size.
The water tank on a humidifier should be easy to clean and maintain. Tanks with openings large enough to get your hand in are a plus, but not something you can always tell from a product photo. Whether the tank is filled from the top or bottom can make a difference as well.
While the water tank is an important part of a humidifier for the reasons we outlined, it has a great deal to do with the runtime as well. We listed an operating time for every system in our reviews, but those numbers aren’t always what they seem.
When considering the operating time of a humidifier, take a look at how many speeds it has. Humidifier manufacturers typically give the number for the lowest speed, not the highest. That means a system rated for 48 hours of use may only get you 12 hours on high if it has multiple speeds.
There’s always a degree of concern involved whenever you’re running an electrical device overnight or while you’re gone. Those are two of the most popular times to run a humidifier, and the problems can compound when you involve electricity and water.
While a humidifier meets certain electrical criteria that deem it safe to use, those ratings don’t take build quality into account. Poorly designed humidifiers are prone to leaking, which could cause an electrical short or more severe issues.
Warm mist humidifiers aren’t always the best choice if you have active pets or children in your home. The mist is cooled to a degree before it’s released from the humidifier, but the water inside the tank could potentially cause burns if an accident happens.
There was a time when you wouldn’t find many features on a warm mist humidifier, but those days have passed due to the rise of ultrasonic systems and 2-in-1 humidifiers. The biggest and most expensive feature to consider with a warm mist system is its ability to produce cool mist as well. These machines can be twice the price of a regular warm mist humidifier but are perfect for year-round usage.
You can find plenty of manufacturers that make hybrid humidifiers, but only a few have additional filtration like a UV-C light. Vapor trays are relatively common on warm mist humidifiers, but we didn’t notice too many companies with systems that had dishwasher-safe parts in this range. Other features of interest include timers, notification lights, digital humidistats, and nightlights.
Warm Mist Humidifier FAQ
Q: Is it safe to sleep with a humidifier on?
A: Sleeping with a humidifier is perfectly fine, and many homeowners buy them for this purpose. Some systems have also have built-in sleep modes to keep things quiet or nightlights.
Q: Is a cool or warm mist humidifier better?
A: Cool mist systems can freshen up rooms on hot summer days, while warm mist humidifiers can add some heat to a room in winter. Both serve the same purpose, so it’s a matter of preference and need. If you’re not sure which system is the right fit, our humidifier type guide can help you find the perfect style.
Q: Should I use hot or cold water in my humidifier?
A: Unless directed otherwise by the manufacturer, it’s always best to use cold water in a humidifier.
Q: How often should I change the water in my humidifier?
A: After each use. Letting old water sit in a humidifier increased the chance of spreading viruses and bacteria when you turn it back on.