Best Humidifier for Allergies and Asthma
Picking out a humidifier to deal with your allergies at home can be a tough process, and a decision you want to get right the first time.
There’s nothing worse than time spent indoors suffering with allergy symptoms due to hot, dry air. That’s why a humidifier can really make a difference in how comfortably you breathe in the comfort of your own home.
Once you know the size of the room you want to cover and the type of humidifier that will best suit your needs, you’ll be in a great position to make an informed decision.
Here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Humidifier Picks
- Best for Allergies: Aprilaire 700 Automatic
- Best for Asthma: Vicks Warm Mist
- Best on a Budget: Pure Enrichment MistAire
Best Humidifier for Allergies Reviews
Aprilaire 700 Automatic (👑 Top Pick)
The Aprilaire 700 Automatic is the best humidifier for allergies. A model built for the whole house, this humidifier automatically creates the perfect air for you to breathe at home.
The Aprilaire 700 Automatic can cover very large spaces up to 4,200 square feet. This makes it the ideal choice for anyone who lives in a hot climate and is looking for something to regulate the air to make it more breathable. Hot, dry air can be insufferable, especially when you suffer from allergies and nasal congestion. A humidifier like this one can dramatically reduce allergic symptoms triggered by the temperature and quality of air in your home.
One of the most impressive features of this particular model is its evaporation capacity. It’s capable of evaporating 0.75 gallons per hour, which is one of the fastest rates you’ll find for a humidifier. This makes it extremely efficient, and the turnover of air will be quick enough for you to notice the difference within a short period of time.
The automatic digital humidifier control of this model takes care of everything for you. An investment in the Aprilaire 700 Automatic will not only help to alleviate your allergy symptoms but also make your life easy. You won’t have to constantly tinker with the settings when the air is too dry as the machine will do it for you. As far as convenience goes, there are few better than this humidifier. All you have to do is set it up, then go about your business while it makes sure there’s always enough moisture in the air for you to breathe comfortably.
Lastly this humidifier will let you know what the level of humidity and temperature are in your home, so you know exactly what you’re working with. It is relatively quiet for such a powerful unit, and can be maintained annually. The only real downside is the installation, which comes with any larger whole house humidifier.
- Covers up to 4,200 square feet
- Automatic Digital Control
- Evaporates 0.75 gallons per hour
- Humidity level indicators
Optimus Cool Mist
One of the best affordable options is the cold mist ultrasonic humidifier from Optimus. This small, portable unit is easy to carry from room to room, and best suited for single rooms like bedrooms and bathrooms.
What makes this such a great budget option is the features, of which the soundless operation stands out most. If there’s anything you want from a humidifier you plan on using at night in your bedroom, it’s that it runs quietly enough for you to sleep undisturbed. We believe this humidifier does just that, which makes it an excellent choice for anyone who is kept up at night with irritating allergy symptoms. This is mostly due to the fact that it’s an ultrasonic model, which is the type most well-known for silent operation.
As well as being quiet, this humidifier has an automatic shut off function. This will save energy and let you know with a light when it is that you need to replace the water in the tank. Don’t worry, even though this unit is quite small, you can expect up to 18 hours of continuous operation before you need to refill the tank. That makes it suitable for use overnight should you want to have it on as you sleep.
- Single room use
- 1.5 gallon capacity
- Automatic shut off function
- Adjustable mist volume control
Best Humidifier for Asthma
Vicks Warm Mist
The best humidifier for asthma is the Vicks warm mist model. Vicks is well-known for creating products that make it easier to breathe comfortably, so it makes sense that they would be responsible for producing a reliable humidifier to facilitate better breathing at home.
If you suffer with asthma, this is an excellent choice since it is built to alleviate respiratory issues. As a warm mist humidifier, you can expect to see an improvement in the quality of air you breathe as it will be a lot less dry. The last thing you want is to feel stifled in your own home or suffocated by thick, heavy air. Having one of these Vicks humidifiers by your side at nighttime can lead to better sleep and less trouble breathing first thing in the morning. It’s also quiet enough not to wake you or your partner up, which is obviously important for a humidifier that sits in your bedroom.
As you might expect, this model by Vicks is designed to work in combination with some of their other products. For example, there is a scent pad door on this unit which allows you to use their VapoPads and a medicine cup which you can put VapoSteam in. This makes it great at tackling all kinds of respiratory issues such as coughing fits, nasal congestion, and asthma in general.
Other features include 2 different output settings which can affect how quickly it works to humidify the air, a handle which makes it easy to carry from room to room, and an automatic shut off function for when it runs out. It operates without filters too, which means you won’t have to worry about changing them out every now and again.
- Single room use
- Scent pad door for VapoPads
- Medicine cup for VapoSteam
- Automatic shut off function
- 2 output settings
- Filter free
Best on a Budget
Pure Enrichment MistAire
Our best budget pick is the Pure Enrichment MistAire ultrasonic cool mist humidifier. While it might be difficult to say, this model couldn’t be easier to use.
Many users love this humidifier, and it’s easy to see why. As far as budget options go, this has to be the best for the value that it offers. As an ultrasonic cool mist humidifier, you can expect very quiet operation. This makes it ideal for single room use, especially in the bedroom for helping you sleep easy at night free from allergy symptoms. It’s also fitted with a night light, which can create a relaxing ambience to help you wind down when it’s time to rest. It will run continuously for up to 16 hours, with both high and low speed settings, so you can have it on overnight running exactly the way you prefer.
This unit is also convenient to use in medium-sized spaces like offices as it has a 1.5 litre tank. Once the tank runs out, you will get an indication and the unit will automatically shut off. This will save you energy and let you know exactly when you need to refill the tank with water. You can be sure you’re getting great coverage with the 360-degree mist nozzle which makes it easy to reach every corner of your room.
- 1.5 litre water tank
- Night light
- 2 speed settings
- Automatic shut-off
- 360-degree nozzle
How To Select The Right Humidifier
There are a variety of factors to consider before you invest in a humidifier for your home. The type of model you get is especially important, given that each one can prove effective for dealing with different allergy triggers.
The most important part of your humidifier search will undoubtedly be deciding which type to go for. There are two main types, and then some others, which we’ll go over now.
2. Warm Mist
Warm mist humidifiers are those which produce a warm vapour that circulates around the room. They are best suited to households free from pets and children, since the boiling of the water in the unit can prove dangerous.
The advantage of using a warm mist humidifier is that it directly addresses one of the worst symptoms of allergies: nasal congestion.
If you struggle with sinus-related pressure which can lead to headaches and a blocked nose, then you will be best off investing in a warm mist humidifier.
They are also well-suited for use in small rooms like the bedroom, so you can get a sound night’s sleep even when you suffer from allergies at home often.
3. Cold Mist
Cold mist humidifiers may seem less effective at dealing directly with the symptoms caused by allergies, but they do provide comfort especially in hotter climates. This type of humidifier will spread cool vapours around the room which can make it easier for you to breathe.
They are best suited to large rooms, and can create a pleasant cool air flow which will provide relief from stuffy conditions.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use high speeds to vibrate and separate water molecules so that they can radiate around the room easily. This vapour is spread by a fan within the unit, which will cool down the room and make the air less dry.
This can be useful for those who experience symptoms like nasal congestion due to hot and dry conditions at home.
5. Air Washers
These aptly named humidifiers will essentially wash the air. They do so with disks which rotate and purify air before dispersing it around the room again.
As a general rule, cold mist humidifiers are best for large rooms, and warm mist humidifiers are better for small rooms. However, it’s worth finding out the square footage of your space to get the best value for money.
For a room up to 250 square feet, you can get a small, portable humidifier and it will suffice. This is ideal for bathrooms and bedrooms.
Between 250 and 400 square feet you will need a slightly bigger, more powerful model. This will suit some kitchens and medium-sized rooms.
Next will be rooms that go up to 1000 square feet in size. Think large dining rooms, living rooms, and other big spaces in the house. This requires a big dehumidifier to cover the whole space.
The last option is the most powerful types of humidifiers which cover spaces larger than 1000 square feet. These models can be used for the whole house, which is useful if you live in a hot climate and are constantly suffering with allergy-based symptoms.
7. Noise Level
Humidifiers, like a lot of household appliances, are going to produce a persistent humming sound.
However, the level of noise does vary from one model to the next. This is worth bearing in mind if you plan on using one at nighttime and there are others at home for example.
Generally, cool mist humidifiers are quieter than warm mist humidifiers since they don’t need to heat up the water. Ultrasonic models tend to be especially silent.
While humidifiers aren’t often packed with incredible features, there are definitely some that are useful to have.
One which is fairly common and very useful is automatic shut-off function. You want a humidifier that will tell you when it has run out of water and when it needs to be refilled, otherwise you’ll have to constantly check up on it.
Night lights can be great for those who struggle to sleep and like the idea of an ambient glow to create an environment conducive to rest.
Automatic function can be a very handy feature, but is only available on whole house units like the Aprilaire 700 Automatic.
Frequently Asked Questions About Humidifiers and Allergies
What is the best type of humidifier for allergies?
Humidifiers work by releasing either warm or cool water vapour into the air, which divides them into the categories of cool mist and warm mist.
Allergy-sufferers can stand to benefit from a humidifier as it will help to ease nasal congestion and other irritating symptoms.
Warm mist humidifiers work best for relieving sinus-related pain and alleviating congestion in general. They should be used in small rooms, this means that they’re ideal for use in the bedroom, especially if you struggle to sleep due to congestion.
Cold mist humidifiers are best for big rooms, and act as fans which can make a stuffy room seem less stifling. This can help you to breathe better.
Based on this information you would draw the conclusion that warm mist humidifiers are better for dealing with allergies, but obviously if you live in a warm climate that’ll be the last thing you want.
Do humidifiers help with allergies?
Yes, humidifiers can be effective at alleviating allergy-based symptoms like nasal congestion and sinus issues.
Of course, in order for it to work well, you need to make sure you invest in one that’s suitable for the size room you need it for. You also need to clean and maintain it correctly so that you don’t cause more harm than good.
But in general humidifiers do help ease the frustration that comes with allergic symptoms that are constantly triggered at home.
Is a humidifier or dehumidifier better for allergies?
Interestingly, both humidifiers and dehumidifiers can be effective at treating allergy-based symptoms. It boils down to what is triggering your allergies and what symptoms are worst for you.
If you constantly struggle with nasal congestion and postnasal drip then your best bet is to invest in a humidifier. The increased humidity will thin out the mucus and will make it easier for you to breathe comfortably. If you place a humidifier in the room you spend the majority of your time, you will likely see great results in a short period of time.
On the other hand, a dehumidifier can be useful for tackling allergies caused specifically by dust mites. Since the mites love humidity, a good way to take them out is to bring down the moisture in the air.
Is cool mist or warm mist better?
For allergies, warm mist humidifiers tend to work better. They do a better job of tackling the symptoms caused by allergies, which makes them a solid choice.
Cool mist humidifiers will instead tackle germs and bacteria and are much quieter than their warm mist counterparts.
A Final Word on Humidifiers
If you’re sick of battling allergy-related symptoms all season-long at home as well as outdoors, then investing in a humidifier would be wise.
They can help you breathe comfortably, and make your home a much more enjoyable place to be even when the air is especially dry.