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J. Namazy M.D.

Professional Allergist Expert

Best Humidifier & Best Venta Humidifiers

Those humidifiers that made my list use cutting edge technology to try and reduce the risk of mold and other microorganisms from being sprayed into the air. Most have humidistats that allow control over room humidity. The majority also boast a lower noise level.

In winter,‘tis the season to be CRANKY, particularly when the temperature begins to drop and the relative humidity falls to about 10%. Add to this the increased use of indoor heaters and your home environment begins to feel like the Sahara! Having a humidifier may reduce the irritating symptoms of dry, itchy eyes, nose, and skin. One study found the increase in air humidification from 10% to about 13% on an intercontinental flight resulted in the sensation of better air quality and fewer complaints of dry eyes and nose. With winter also comes the cold and flu season, so a humidifier may be necessary if you or a loved one suffers from one of the following: croup, whooping cough, bronchitis, sinusitis, or chronic cough.

There are different methods to humidify room air. First is the evaporative method, one of the most popular, which uses a wick (also functioning as a filter) placed in a reservoir of water. With the help of a fan(s) water evaporates off the wick (assuming the room’s relative humidity is low). Once the relative humidity has reached a certain point the humidifier will shut off. These humidifiers give off a cool mist. Since no water is boiled they are also energy efficient. An ultrasonic humidifier uses a metal diaphragm which vibrates and sends water droplets into the air. Another type is the impeller humidifier that uses a rotating disc that sends water into a diffuser sending tiny droplets into the air. One frequent complaint of the ultrasonic and impeller humidifiers is there is no filtration system so minerals from evaporated water sometimes cause a fine white dust on objects in the room. The last type is the vaporizer. Remember the Vick’s vaporizer your parents used to place near your bed when you had a bad cold, leaving the room stinky with that menthol smell? It’s new and improved makes my “Best of the Best” and “Best of the Rest” categories. This humidifier boils water, releasing moisture into the air. It may not be the most energy-efficient but it is effective.

Choosing a humidifier is easier once you answer the following questions:
1. How many rooms are you trying to humidify?
2. Is there a specific medical condition you are using it for?
3. Is an “energy-efficient” model important to you?

I will limit my review to the tabletop humidifiers that humidify single rooms. However, know that there are console humidifiers that have the power to humidify multiple rooms. You can even have a humidifier installed into a forced air furnace to humidify the whole house.

Next, you have to decide, do you want “cool-mist” or “warm-mist”? This is where “What are you using it for?” becomes important. If you are using the humidifier for a medical problem, such as those listed above, a cool-mist humidifier may be your best bet, particularly if there is a child in the house. The last thing you want is a warm-mist humidifier to get knocked over. The boiling water will bring a howl from anyone nearby!

Last, but certainly not least, my two cents. I am compelled as an allergist to end with a “warning”. Humidifiers can be a breeding ground for nasty mold and bacteria. Make sure to empty and clean the reservoir daily and refill it just before use. It’s ok to be obsessive about this, otherwise you run the risk of spraying mold and bacteria throughout your house and having an even bigger problem.

Additionally, if you suffer from allergies to dust mites you may want to reconsider a humidifier or use it sparingly as needed. Dust mites thrive in overly humid environments. You don’t want these visitors taking a vacation in a tropical paradise your humidifier has created. So try to keep relative humidity between 30-50%.

1. Norback D, lundgren T, Wislander G. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2006 Apr; 32(2):138-44.

Buy the best humidifier at the best price for cutting edge technology that reduces mold and other microorganisms. Choose from the best Venta humidifiers and other air purifier humidifier selections.

Best Humidifiers by J. Namazy M.D.

The Best You Can Get

  • Venta Airwasher LW14, 24, 44, or 84

    J. says: A cool mist humidifier that purifies the air at the same time! That’s right, it uses non-ozone-generating technology to remove particles down to ten microns in size from the air. This may be worth the extra money if you need an air cleaner as well.

    • Comes in three sizes to humidify rooms from 180 sq. ft. up to 2800 sq. ft.
    • No need to replace filter pads
  • Vornado HU1-0012-11

    J. says: Vornado has had great success in their air circulators and this cool mist humidifier is also a favorite among experts. Its wicks are treated to prevent bacterial growth and boasts energy efficiency in that it uses a maximum of 40 watts at the highest setting. It also has an easy to fill, no-spill, leak-free bottle design.

    • They also have a 4 gallon model for larger spaces
    • Filters need to be replaced
  • Enviracaire Warm Mist Humidifier EWM-350

    J. says: This warm mist humidifier uses UV light to help reduce the growth of mold and bacteria in the reservoirs.

    • 3.5 gallon capacity
    • UV bulbs to be replaced yearly
    • Requires 300 +/- 10% watts
  • Air-O-Swiss Model 7133

    J. says: An ultrasonic humidifier with cool or warm mist capabilities. Also a favorite of experts, this humidifier has been described as one of the quietest. It has an ionic silver stick to prevent microbial growth and a demineralization cartridge to prevent lime scales and mineral residues from seeping out.

    • Humidifies up to 600 sq. ft.
    • Ionic silver stick needs to be replaced yearly
    • Demineralization cartridge needs to be replaced every 2-3 months
    • Uses up to 130 watts when preheating water to 180 degrees
  • Vicks V790

    J. says: A warm mist humidifier that also uses UV light as a germicidal. It has the added feature of a medicine cup for medicinal inhalants.

    • 2 gallon capacity
    • UV bulbs replaced yearly
    • Optional mineral absorption pad to reduce mineral buildup

You will be happy with any of these

  • Crane Adorable 1 Gallon Humidifier, Penguin shape

    J. says: A cool mist humidifier that is extremely quiet and a big hit with the kids because of its cute shape.

    • No filter required
    • Also available in cow, frog, elephant, Spongebob, Thomas the Train, and Hello Kitty shapes
  • Honeywell HWM-500

    J. says: Boasting "99.999% Germ-free" warm mist humidification at a price less than $100. UV light sanitizes water as it passes through a UV chamber.

    • Humidistat
    • No replacement filters
    • Humidifies up to 700 sq ft
  • Vicks V-745A

    J. says: A warm mist humidifier that is easy to use and contains a medicine cup for inhalant medications.

    • 1 gallon capacity
    • Large nightlight for use in dark rooms
  • Honeywell HWM-450

    J. says: A warm mist humidifier with digital controls for programming desired humidity. Supporters hail the easy to clean feature.

    • Three moisture output settings
    • Humidifies up to 1400 sq. ft.
  • Honeywell HWM-910

    J. says: A compact warm mist humidifier with low and high output settings.

    • Humidifies up to 700 sq. ft.
    • Automatic shut off should the unit tip over

Related Articles

For the best humidifier start by asking what is you want to accomplish. The best Venta humidifiers and other air purifiers offer a bevy of options, including warm or cool mist (good for medical issues and if you have children). The best air purifier will help cut the allergens and dust mites in the air for cleaner breathing all year long.