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The 5 Best Humidifier in 2020

best humidifier

We tested more than 20 humidifiers and the best for us is the Philips 2000. The evaporator humidifies the room evenly, is easy to maintain and offers the best price-performance ratio – even if it did not rank first in terms of humidification performance in the test. Devices with additional air washing are significantly more expensive. Ultrasonic nebulizers are best for providing higher humidity, but you have to accept some disadvantages with them.

Many people suffer from dry air in living spaces, especially in winter. It’s good that there is a remedy in the form of air humidifiers, some of which are even quite stylish and fit well into the room.

The price range of the devices is enormous: inexpensive devices are available from US$30, but you can also spend more than US$400 on a humidifier. Does it really have to be?

The price differences can be partly explained by the three different humidification technologies used in humidifiers. They either work according to the evaporation principle, evaporate water or atomize it with ultrasound. You can read about the advantages and disadvantages of the respective technology further below.

 Here are our recommended humidifier in the short overview:

What is the best Humidifier?

1. PHILIPS 2000 Humidifier

PHILIPS 2000 Nano-Cloud Hygenic Air Humidifier
  • Natural evaporation process: NanoCloud technology uses a…
  • Prevents the spreading of bacteria: Once the water is…
  • Prevents wet spots and white dust: With its 360° design,…
  • Automatic humidity settings: Maintain a constant humidity…
  • Quiet sleep mode: In sleep mode, the humidifier runs at…

The Philips 2000 is not the most powerful humidifier in our test, but it is the clear price-performance winner. Anyone who can do without using it at night in the bedroom receives an elegant, easy-to-use and durable air humidifier. There are no superfluous functions, but you can adapt the device to your needs. That makes the Philips a solid first place.

2. Beurer LW 220

PHILIPS 2000 Nano-Cloud Hygenic Air Humidifier
  • Humidifies dry air and simultaneously cleans it, removing…
  • Suitable for room sizes up to 40 m²
  • Easy to clean – includes dishwasher safe components
  • Automatic switch off function
  • Quiet and with low energy consumption

With the Beurer LW 220, rooms of up to 40 square meters can be humidified and the air can even be cleaned – but only up to 20 square meters. But you also have to spend more money for this than for our test winner and only allergy sufferers have a real benefit from purified air. But if you value air purification, the LW220 is a good choice.

3. Venta LW25

Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier
  • Humidifies dry room air while simultaneously purifying it by…
  • For spaces up to 400 square feet, making it ideal for a…
  • Filter-free, energy efficient operation
  • Produces no ions, ozone, or white dust
  • 2-gallon water reservoir with auto shutoff and water level…

Like the Beurer LW 220, the Venta LW25 is an evaporation device with air washing. Unfortunately, the display light cannot be dimmed on the Venta, which is sometimes a bit inconvenient in a dark bedroom. On the positive side, the Venta delivers better humidification performance than our test winner and also than the Beurer LW 220. If it is not too expensive for you, the Venta device gives you a great humidifier that is easy to use and hygienically humidified.

4. Beurer LB 55

If you don’t want to spend a lot, the Beurer LB 55 is the best choice. In contrast to many other inexpensive devices, it does not atomize, but vaporizes, which is much better. Although the LB 55 only has two levels of effectiveness, it humidifies reliably and has a subtle design. It is slightly larger than other devices, but handling is very easy and a filter is not required. You can use lime pads, 15 of which are supplied – but in our experience the humidifier still has to be descaled. You have to do without precise adjustment of the humidity.

5. Levoit LV600HH Air Humidifier

Sale
Levoit LV600HH Air Humidifier
  • Warm & Cool Mist: The humidifier provides both cool mist and…
  • Auto Mode: The humidifier’s built-in humidity sensor…
  • Aromatherapy: Add your favorite essential oils to the aroma…
  • Perfect for Large Room: With a mist output of up to 500…
  • Convenient Remote Control: Adjust settings in the middle of…

The best ultrasonic nebulizer in the test was the Levoit LV600HH. It had very good room humidification performance and has many features at a good price. It is important here that the device is cleaned often, otherwise bacteria and mold can form. We also recommend it for occasional use, as the background noise could be annoying at night.

How is dry air created?

How much water air can hold depends largely on the temperature of the air. At 20 degrees Celsius, the air in a 20 square meter room can hold a maximum of 830 milliliters, a little more than a bottle of wine. At zero degrees, on the other hand, the air in the same room can only absorb a maximum of 230 milliliters, at -10 degrees even only 110 milliliters.

Cold air can hold much less water than warm air

Even if the air is completely saturated with water in winter, you bring air into the house with little water when you ventilate. Since the air is then heated by the heater, the maximum absorption capacity of the air increases – in other words, the relative humidity decreases. If you heat the air that is zero degrees cold and completely saturated with water (100 percent humidity) to 20 degrees, you have air in the apartment with only 27 percent relative humidity – the air is therefore very dry. This is what is commonly referred to as “dry heating air”.

Dry air wants to absorb moisture and it finds it on our skin and mucous membranes, among other things. The result: you dry out. This can cause irritation and make you more susceptible to infections. Humidifying living spaces helps against this.

If you decide to humidify the air with a device of your choice, it will initially take a while for dry wood in furniture or parquet floors and objects such as books to absorb the first burst of moisture. Only then does the humidity of the room air increase significantly. No matter what type of humidifier you choose, it is advisable to let it work at full capacity for one to two days at the beginning.

Which humidity is optimal?

Anyone who asks the manufacturers of air humidifiers receives quite relevant statements about which air humidity is the right one for the human organism and its health. But if you take a closer look, you get more differentiated information, some of which even contradict each other.

If the humidity is above 60 percent in winter, mold can develop on the walls.

40-60 percent humidity is recommended in living spaces. Most people find these values pleasant. However, you only feel comfortable with it as long as there is no dust irritating the nasal mucous membrane. Unfortunately, this can happen quickly at 30 percent humidity. Over 60 percent air humidity is again not suitable for living spaces, because then mold can develop.

Humidity between 40 and 60 percent is perceived as pleasant

If the humidity is 30 percent or less, this is not a health risk, but it can be perceived as unpleasant – it varies from person to person. However, the bedroom should be cooler and drier than the living room. Age also plays a role in how people feel: Older people are more sensitive to dry air than young people. You can usually tell by frequent nosebleeds. In such cases, doctors recommend a humidity of 60 percent.

Just like the lungs and mucous membranes, the skin feels most comfortable with 40-60 percent humidity. However, there are no identified, unambiguous limit values.

Three humidification techniques

There are three different ways that air can be humidified. All three are used in humidifiers – and they all have advantages and disadvantages.

Atomize

In principle, the well-known hand sprayer, which is commonly used for moistening plants, can also be used to atomize water. A hand pump presses water through a nozzle and small drops of air are distributed in the room. However, they not only humidify the air, but also furniture or paper.

Ultrasonic nebulizers basically do exactly the same thing. With them, the water is set in high-frequency vibrations and the finest water droplets are created. These are blown out by the devices so that they are distributed in the air and in the room. Above a certain output quantity, a clearly visible, light fog forms directly above the device, which is constantly dissolving. Furniture or the floor standing close to it will become damp when a larger quantity is discharged.

If very hard water comes out of the pipe, it can happen with ultrasonic atomizers after a while that a fine film of limescale is deposited on furniture. In terms of hygiene, too, atomization has a disadvantage compared to the other techniques. If there are germs in the water, they are contained in the water droplets. Therefore, with this type of air humidification, the germs would be inhaled directly, which could damage health. The other air humidification principles, however, keep the germs in the device, they do not get into the air. Therefore it is said: With atomizers you have to carry out a thorough cleaning very often!

Steam

If you heat water, it evaporates. The hotter it is, the faster it goes. A kettle or saucepan creates a lot of water vapor; if you put bowls of water on the heater, it goes slower, but the principle is the same.

The natural air circulation in the room usually distributes the moisture largely evenly. There is nothing against doing it exactly as long as the above hygiene guidelines are observed. A hygrometer will tell you whether there is enough moisture in the room according to your requirements.

In our winter test, two small bowls in a 15 square meter room resulted in a relative humidity of around 35 percent at a room temperature of around 21 degrees – too little for most.

There are therefore also special evaporators as air humidifiers. They are also relatively cheap. However, these devices also have two disadvantages: on the one hand, you can often hear the sound of boiling water, and on the other hand, they consume a lot of electricity. Even so, for us, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on the device itself, they are a better choice than atomizers.

Evaporate

Everyone is also familiar with evaporation, for example when hanging up laundry to dry. The air automatically absorbs moisture as it naturally circulates through the room, because it is drier than the laundry.

Regular hanging up of laundry alone usually ensures sufficient humidity in an apartment. This is easily the case, for example, with laundry for a family of four. In addition, there is frequent cooking and showering or bathing, as this moisture is also distributed in the apartment and refreshes the airways.

Drying wet laundry regularly creates good humidity

With appropriate air humidification devices, nothing really happens other than what happens when the laundry dries: The room air comes into contact with a humidified surface and absorbs the moisture from there.

In order to make the device as compact as possible, you have to create a lot of humidified surface in a small space. There are two different solutions for this: either you distribute the water in a kind of sponge, which offers a large surface due to its structure, or you distribute the water on rollers with numerous thin plates.

A built-in fan also increases the air circulation in evaporative humidifiers, which further increases efficiency and allows the degree of air humidification to be influenced.

The principle of evaporation has only one major disadvantage: the devices are often relatively expensive for reasons that are difficult to understand. Because actually the technology for it is simple.

Are humidifiers spewing bacteria into the air?

Even if people talk about it again and again: Air humidifiers with and without filters do not allow dangerous contents to develop – provided you ensure normal cleanliness. Germs only develop in stagnant water, especially when the water is heated and contaminated with dust. Such stagnant water would also arise in small niches in devices in which water collects and forms a closed surface. The same applies even to thin, film-like areas of moisture. Individual drops, on the other hand, are safe.

Contamination can begin after about 14 days in summer, and it takes even longer in winter. If you use your humidifier, you use the water in a much shorter time. In this case, no germs arise.

The cleaning cycles recommended for the respective device should be observed. This mainly prevents calcification, but germs don’t stand a chance either. Any filter technology or additives that prevent germ formation are considered by the expert to be superfluous or even dangerous.

Moisture can remain in filters and even promote the formation of germs. And whether additives keep what they promise is uncertain. He even voiced concerns because it was never known whether the additives might even pollute the air with chemicals, contrary to the manufacturer’s information.

There is no need to add water to prevent germ formation

When we questioned carefully, the manufacturers said that they »recommend« cleaning additives. However, they do not want to prescribe the substances as a “necessity” either. Conclusion: The resulting follow-up costs can be avoided, the top priority should be to follow the usual hygiene rules.

The Best Humidifier & Air Purifier: Our Test

The test took place in two living rooms with a lot of wooden equipment (furniture, parquet). The first room was 40 square meters, the second 16 square meters. The test was carried out in winter at a room temperature of 20 degrees and a relative humidity of around 34 percent without humidification. We compared the humidification with a hygrometer.

In addition to the humidification performance, the hygiene conditions, cleaning, handling and equipment were evaluated. Finally, we put the result in relation to the price.

Test Winner: PHILIPS 2000 Humidifier

In our opinion, the Philips 2000 offers the best price performance. The evaporator humidifies the room very evenly and has a hygrometer with automatic humidity control.

PHILIPS 2000 Nano-Cloud Hygenic Air Humidifier
  • Natural evaporation process: NanoCloud technology uses a…
  • Prevents the spreading of bacteria: Once the water is…
  • Prevents wet spots and white dust: With its 360° design,…
  • Automatic humidity settings: Maintain a constant humidity…
  • Quiet sleep mode: In sleep mode, the humidifier runs at…

The Philips also comes with a timer and is easy to clean. In addition, it also looks elegant. According to technical specifications, it humidifies rooms with a floor area of up to 44 square meters.

The "Cleaning" Principle

What Philips boastfully markets as “nano cloud technology” is ultimately nothing more than normal evaporation. The core of the device is a honeycomb-like, perforated plastic cylinder that stands in the water and soaks up. The porous structure of this filter creates a large surface over which the water evaporates. The fan above distributes the moisture in the room.

According to the instructions, the filter should be immersed in clean water for an hour once a week and cleaned with it. Since the fan is constantly attracting dust that gets stuck in the filter and contaminates it, this is also necessary. Cleaning is very easy this way.

If you want to replace the filter after a while, you can buy a replacement filter. According to the instructions, the filter should be changed at least once a year, and the manufacturer recommends changing it every three months. However, the discretion of the user plays a role here. If the filter shows no material fatigue, the usage time should hardly be limited.

The container in which the filter is located and in which water is filled has almost exclusively smooth surfaces without niches and is therefore easy to clean. Disassembling and reassembling the Philips is also quick and easy.

When it evaporates, the floor or furniture does not get damp. Therefore, the Philips is also ideally suited for the office.

Important from our point of view: The Philips 2000, like all other tested devices, can be easily carried back and forth even when filled with water. So you can easily use just one humidifier in several rooms.

Easy Operation

Not only does the cleaning work without problems. Refilling the container is also smooth and clean. The fan is also the cover of the device, which can be removed for refilling. The water level can be brought to the desired level with a watering can or the like. Everything around the device remains dry. Since the water tank is rather small, you have to refill it up to once a day, depending on the degree of humidity.

If the water level is too low, the humidifier switches itself off and a red warning lamp lights up in the display in the middle of the lid. The water level can be checked continuously by looking through the window on the side.

The operation of the humidification levels, the timer and all other functions is largely intuitive. The degree of humidification can be set in three stages. The first stage allows quiet humidification.

The only negative thing we noticed was a quiet, rather low-frequency whirring, which might have a disturbing effect on one or the other. If you set it to automatic, with a limitation for the degree of humidity, you also have to put up with the fact that the fan switches on and off quite often. This can also get on the nerves of those sensitive to noise.

For these reasons, our assessment is that the Philips 2000 is less suitable for the bedroom – at least if you want to let it run through the night. But almost all humidifiers have this problem.

The Full Package

A rare extra for a humidifier are the timer, an integrated hygrometer and automatic humidity control with entry of a maximum value.

The automatic function is useful when the humidifier should not exceed high humidity values. You can set a target value of 40, 50 or 60 percent relative humidity. The hygrometer worked reliably and with sufficient accuracy in our test. In principle, another hygrometer is still recommended, because the humidity measurement in the device is by no means as meaningful as that of a hygrometer, which measures at a suitable distance from the humidifier – after all, the air near the humidifier is more humid than in the rest of the room.

The three performance levels are practical and especially helpful at the beginning when the room only releases the moisture to the facility. During this time the highest level is required.

The integrated timer helps to save water and electricity. After one, four or eight hours, it can switch off the humidification if required.

Humidification performance

As with the other evaporators in the test, we can attest the Philips only mediocre humidification performance. That means: If you want to achieve a relative humidity of more than 55 percent in winter, you can hardly do it with this device. However, this is also a fairly high moisture value. If you calculate with practical values of up to 50 percent, the Philips 2000 is a reliable partner.

However, you shouldn’t rely on the specified maximum room size of 44 square meters. If you want to humidify such a large room, you should look for a more powerful device.

PHILIPS 2000 Nano-Cloud Hygenic Air Humidifier
  • Natural evaporation process: NanoCloud technology uses a…
  • Prevents the spreading of bacteria: Once the water is…
  • Prevents wet spots and white dust: With its 360° design,…
  • Automatic humidity settings: Maintain a constant humidity…
  • Quiet sleep mode: In sleep mode, the humidifier runs at…

Beurer LW 220

Beurer LW 220
  • Humidifies dry air and simultaneously cleans it, removing…
  • Suitable for room sizes up to 40 m²
  • Easy to clean – includes dishwasher safe components
  • Automatic switch off function
  • Quiet and with low energy consumption

The Beurer LW 220 with additional air wash is the alternative to our test winner if you are willing to pay more. Above all, it impresses with its higher humidification performance.

In addition, the water tank in the tested, medium-sized version for 40-square-meter rooms is larger. This is more convenient because you don’t have to refill water as often. Another plus is that it can be used in the bedroom at the lowest ventilation level. Small deficit: The indicator light dims after operation, but still brightens dark rooms a little.

Instead of a porous, soft cylinder, there are interconnected plastic plates inside the evaporator. They are stable and very durable. They can be cleaned efficiently in the dishwasher.

The advertised air purification has a catch: the Beurer LW 220 can humidify rooms up to 40 square meters, but only clean up to 20 square meters. Unfortunately, Beurer omits the room size information for cleaning in the operating instructions and the device description. When asked, the company admitted that it wanted to add this information in the future.

For allergy sufferers, air purification can still be a relief, at least for smaller rooms. For the average consumer, on the other hand, air purification has no significant advantage.

However, the Beurer LW 220 does not have a hygrometer and therefore no automatic switch-off function when a certain humidity target value is reached. A timer is also missing.

Venta LW25

Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier
  • Humidifies dry room air while simultaneously purifying it by…
  • For spaces up to 400 square feet, making it ideal for a…
  • Filter-free, energy efficient operation
  • Produces no ions, ozone, or white dust
  • 2-gallon water reservoir with auto shutoff and water level…

The Venta LW25 is also an evaporation device with air washing. It uses the same technology as the Beurer, and Venta claims to have invented the principle. In the test, the Venta LW25 had a slightly greater humidifying effect compared to the Beurer LW 220, but it also costs a little more.

Nevertheless, the equipment was saved. The display cannot be dimmed, which is why the dark bedroom is still relatively brightly lit. We would appreciate it if they could be turned off completely. The only thing that helps is masking the small display. In addition, there is no water level indicator on the Venta. After all, the autostop of the fan signals when the water level is too low.

In handling the two were on par. A hygrometer and a timer are also missing here. So it is worth considering how important the differences in equipment are to you.

Beurer LB 55

If you want to save money on your purchase, the Beurer LB 55 is our recommendation. It works on the evaporation principle, which is hygienically perfect – but has a negative impact on electricity costs, because heating water consumes a lot of energy. The LB 55 is therefore only a recommendation for anyone who only uses a humidifier occasionally, but then wants to generate a lot of moisture.

Because the device can emit 200 milliliters or 400 milliliters of water vapor per hour into the air, or 4.8 or a proud 9.6 liters per day, depending on the level. That’s a lot, but it also has a catch: the Beurer draws 365 watts of electricity at the highest level. For comparison: Vaporizers like our test winner or the two recommendations from Venta and Beurer do not even consume 10 watts at the highest level.

Evaporators also have the ability to quickly build up limescale because they heat the water. This is especially a problem if you live in an area with very hard tap water. To counteract calcification, the Beurer can be used with limescale pads, 15 of which are included. You still have to clean the device depending on how dirty it is.

Compared to the other vaporizer in the test, a device from Honeywell that sounded like a kettle, the operating volume of the Beurer LB 55 is comfortable. Only at the highest level can you occasionally hear a gentle simmer. But the built-in fan could be quieter.

The device is relatively large, but it also has a large tank that can hold six liters of water – that saves constant refilling. Structure and operation are extremely simple and the Beurer has a very neutral look. It can supply a room of up to 50 square meters with humidity. There is also no display here that shows any humidity.

The bottom line is that the Beurer LB 55 is an inexpensive device with high humidification performance, which is not suitable for continuous operation due to the high electricity costs.

Levoit LV600HH Air Humidifier

Sale
Levoit LV600HH Air Humidifier
  • Warm & Cool Mist: The humidifier provides both cool mist and…
  • Auto Mode: The humidifier’s built-in humidity sensor…
  • Aromatherapy: Add your favorite essential oils to the aroma…
  • Perfect for Large Room: With a mist output of up to 500…
  • Convenient Remote Control: Adjust settings in the middle of…

The Levoit LV600HH is the first device with ultrasound, i.e. the atomizer principle, that we recommend. It was able to show a good humidification performance in the test and has many functions. As already explained at the beginning, warm air absorbs moisture better.

The device is not particularly suitable for people who sleep lightly or who need absolute rest to fall asleep. Every now and then you can hear a faint splash.

With the Levoit device, you get a humidifier that generates good room humidity for a good price. However, we only recommend the device for occasional use.

Particular attention must be paid to cleaning – if the Levoit LV600HH is not cleaned thoroughly according to the instructions, bacteria and mold will form – just like in any other ultrasonic atomizer.

Our Picks: The Best Humidifier

Beurer LW220WHT 2-in-1 Air Humidifier and Washer
Suitable for room sizes up to 40 m²; Easy to clean – includes dishwasher safe components; Automatic switch off function
Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier in White
For spaces up to 400 square feet, making it ideal for a living room or master bedroom; Filter-free, energy efficient operation
$299.99

Last update on 2020-10-20 | Source: Amazon Affiliate