Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Evaporative humidifiers are an excellent appliance to bring to your home. Dry air can cause moisture to evaporate from your skin and also worsen respiratory symptoms, especially if you’re ill with the flu or a cold. This is when these devices come in handy. In this article, we’re going to look for the best evaporative humidifier to fit your needs.
When reviewing best evaporative air humidifiers, the coverage area, tank capacity, runtime, noise level, and dimensions are all important aspects to keep in mind. Coverage area will tell you what size room the humidifier will properly serve, tank capacity how often you’ll have to refill the water, and runtime will let you know how long the humidifier will put humidity into your air. Noise level is important for humidifiers you want to use with infants, or at night when you’re sleeping, and finally, dimensions will tell you if the humidifier will fit in your space.
We spent numerous hours going over the specifications of various humidifier models comparing their product features and reading every customer review to help you pick the model, which will be the best evaporative humidifier for you. We’ll break down our findings in a table with quick-to-find details as well as more detailed reviews for those who are looking for the nitty-gritty, followed by a buying guide for those ready to purchase their own best evaporative air humidifier.
Top 5 Evaporative Humidifiers Review 2021
AIRCARE MA1201 – Editor’s Choice
Coverage area: up to 3,600 sq. ft.
Water tank capacity:6 gal.
Runtime: up to 36 hours
Dimensions: 21.5 x 23.5 x 16.5 inches
Warranty: 2-year limited
More features: 4 fan settings; ETL approved
The AIRCARE MA1201 is our Editor’s Choice on this list.
If you’re looking for a console humidifier that is meant to humidify an entire house, this is the one. It has a coverage area of up to 3,600 square feet, and the digital humidistat automatically maintains the humidity level you select. When your humidity level is reached, the unit automatically shuts off, saving electricity and water.
It’s easy to clean and is on wheels, which makes it simple to move from room to room, or to a different corner of your space. Because it has up to a 36-hour run time, this unit can be relied upon to provide long-term humidity with fewer refills. And when you do need to refill it, it’s 3.6-gallon capacity means the water will last even longer, but the water tanks are opaque which means you can’t see how much water remains in the tanks.
Many users state that the filter lasts the entire winter season, though this will depend on the type of water you put inside, and the digital readout makes it easy to use.
Finally, the three-speed motor has a quiet “nighttime setting” which means you can leave the humidifier on while sleeping and not worry about the noise keeping you awake.
What we liked:
The filter will last an entire winter season
Wheels for easy moving
What could be better:
The fan can be too loud for some users
The water tank is opaque, making it hard to see how much water is remaining
OPOLAR EV01 – Best Table-Top Evaporative Humidifier
Coverage area: up to 300 sq. ft.
Water tank capacity: 8 gal.
Runtime: up to 12 hours
Dimensions: 12.6 x 13 x 6.7 inches
Warranty: 1-year limited
More features: built-in timer; top fill design; LED panel
The OPOLAR EV01 is a small humidifier meant for single room use.
It humidifies up to 300 sq. feet which means it would work well for a bedroom or a baby’s room. In fact, it might be the best single room evaporative humidifier on our list.
It has a permanent and durable filter which is great for the user who would rather clean a filter than buy a new one. And the filter doesn’t require any special chemicals to clean. It can just be cleaned using vinegar (which is cheap) and boiling water. It also has a top fill design, which means much less hassle. You just remove the top grate and pour in more water, much like watering plants. Though you will need to be careful not to overfill and accidentally spill water onto your floor.
The OPOLAR EV01 model has a touch-sensitive LED display, making it really easy to choose the settings you want. It also has a “Quiet” mode, letting you sleep or relax easily in its presence and would make it excellent for a child or baby’s bedroom and for that reason it is our choice for best evaporative humidifier for babies as well.
The shorter runtime means that while the user can make it through the night as long as they fill it beforehand, you will need to refill it more frequently. And finally, the blue LED light may make it hard to sleep, if you’re a person who requires complete darkness, because it cannot be shut off.
What we liked:
The filter can be cleaned with common, household chemicals
Easy to refill
What could be better:
The filter requires regular cleaning
Relatively short runtime
LED light remains on
Honeywell HCM-6009 – Budget Pick
Coverage area: multi-room
Water tank capacity: 4 gal.
Runtime: up to 24 hours
Dimensions: 21 x 13 x 17.5 inches
Warranty: 3-year limited
More features: 2 water tanks; adjustable humidistat; 3 speed settings
Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier is our Budget Pick due to its amazing price.
This is a model made for humidifying multiple rooms, or for a large open space. With two tanks and a total capacity of over three gallons, this model can run up to 24 hours on the low setting, which makes it a great unit for those people who don’t have the time to regularly refill their model but still want to return to a more humid home.
This model has an adjustable humidistat which automatically turns on and off whenever your chosen humidity level hasn’t or has been reached, making it easy to just set, and walk away. It has three speed levels so you can adjust the sound level and moisture output. The two water tanks are large and easy to fill and clean, though the design of the tanks means you have to turn the tank over, once it’s filled, to grab the handle, which can be cumbersome for some users. The tank plastic may also be prone to cracking, and the limited warranty may not cover the tanks.
The Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier has “Humidity Reached” and “Refill Tank” indicator lights, making it even easier for you to know the status of your room and humidifier. And this model comes in either white or black, so you can better match your décor, making it easier for this humidifier to blend in with your room.
What we liked:
Good for large spaces or multiple rooms.
Easy-to-read indicator lights
Puts out a lot of moisture
Can run on a single tank
What could be better:
Awkward tank design
Fragile tank plastic means they can crack easily
Too loud for some users
Vornado Evap40 – Best Humidifier for Large Rooms
Coverage area: up to 1,000 sq. ft.
Water tank capacity: 4 gal.
Runtime: up to 24 hours
Dimensions: 19.5 x 10.5 x 13.5 inches
Warranty: 5-year limited
More features: 3 fan settings; 2 wick filters
The Vornado Evap40 uses vortex circulation which means it can quickly and efficiently humidify up to 1,000 square feet. It has an adjustable humidistat, letting the user choose the level of humidity they prefer, and there are also three speed settings: High, Medium, and Low, allowing for even more personalized use, though the humidity setting may not be accurate for some users.
The Vornado has two humidifying filters, and the tank can hold four gallons of water. The humidifier evaporates the two water tanks every 24 hours while set on low, which means those four gallons will last you an entire day or longer depending on the settings you choose. This is important if you plan to use your humidifier when sleeping, or if you’re gone most of the day but don’t want to return to a dry house.
This Vornado humidifier has an Airlock water tank, which is easy to fill, leak-proof, and spill-proof, so you don’t have to worry about placing this model on hardwood floors that might stain or carpets that might grow moldy if they become too wet. Replacement wicks and filters, though, may be hard for some users to find.
This model comes with a five-year warranty in case there are any problems with your unit and is easy to clean.
What we liked:
Don’t have to refill every day
Decent coverage area
What could be better:
Wicks and filters hard to find
No accurate humidity setting
Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 Humidifier and Air Purifier – Best Console Evaporative Humidifier
Coverage area: up to 400 sq. ft.
Water tank capacity: 2 gal.
Runtime: not specified
Dimensions: 11.8 x 13 x 11.8 inches
Warranty: 10-year limited
More features: doubles as an air purifier; filter-free
This is a 2-in-1 humidifier and air purifier combo, so it may be a great choice if you’re looking to add humidity to your home, but also keep your air pure and eliminate dust, pet dander, and other allergens.
The coverage area for the Venta LW25 is only 400 sq. feet, which means it would work great for a single room, such as a bedroom or a family room where you spend more of your time. It’s filter-free, which makes it easy to clean and also means you won’t have to worry about replacing costly filters. It has an amazing ten-year limited warranty, which means even if something were to go wrong with your unit, you’d have plenty of time to get it replaced or fixed.
Because this model doesn’t force moisture into the air, it makes over-humidification impossible, which is good for rooms with wood that could easily warp, or shelves with a lot of books on them.
Unlike other models that use wicks to achieve evaporation humidity, the Venta LW25 uses Disc Stacks and Cold Evaporation technology which traps airborne pollutants inside the reservoir of the humidifier meaning they won’t be launched into the air, though the disc stacks require specific cleaning chemicals.
Finally, the unit is lightweight, making it easy to move from room to room, as needed, or to bring with you for an extended stay elsewhere.
What we liked:
Easy to clean
What could be better:
Too loud on highest setting
Requires specific cleaning chemicals
Things to Consider
Whether you live somewhere cold and you have to turn on the heat, or whether you live somewhere dry and hot, adding a humidifier to your house can make your life more comfortable. If you’re considering adding an evaporative humidifier to your home, the following guides can help you decide on the best evaporative air humidifier to meet your personal needs.
How do evaporative humidifiers work
Evaporative humidifiers work differently than misting humidifiers that put a mist of moisture in the air. Evaporative humidifiers typically use a wicking system. The wicking filter pulls water up from a reservoir, and then an internal fan blows air over the wet wick, making the water evaporate. This evaporated water turns into humidity in your air.
Features to consider while choosing an evaporative humidifier
The best evaporative humidifier is one that meets all of your humidity needs, including coverage area, runtime, noise level, and dimensions to make sure it will fit in the space you would like to place it. The below qualities will help you choose the best evaporative air humidifier for you and your home.
Coverage area may actually be the most important aspect when considering which humidifier is best for you. If you get a humidifier that is too small for your space, it won’t put enough moisture into the air, making it practically useless. If you get one too big, it could take up too much room in your space, be too loud, or possibly even put too much moisture into the air. Also, units with more coverage areas are typically larger and more expensive.
If you are looking for a humidifier for a large space, you may want to consider our Budget Pick, the Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier which can cover multiple rooms. Or if you’re looking for a humidifier for a single room or small space, look at the OPOLAR EV01.
Water tank capacity
Water tank capacity is important for a variety of reasons. Larger tanks can hold more water, which means the unit may be able to add more moisture to your space. It also typically means you have to refill your humidifier less frequently and often means that the unit can run for long periods of time without being monitored.
Humidifiers that can hold more water, though, often have more than one tank. Which means more cleaning. And water tank capacity often correlates with the size of the humidifier: smaller humidifiers have smaller tanks, and larger ones have larger tanks, so keep your space in mind when trying to decide which is the best evaporative air humidifier for your home.
If you want a unit with a large water tank capacity, look no further than the Vornado Evap40 which holds an amazing four gallons of water in its tanks.
Runtime is a setting that is useful for those users who don’t want to refill their humidifier regularly, because they are frequently out of the house, or because they want to use the humidifier while sleeping. The good news is that most humidifiers, even the smaller ones, will provide at least 12 hours of runtime, but this often depends on the fan and moisture setting. If you want a lot of moisture overnight, make sure the model you choose has a runtime that matches your preferred humidity setting and fan speed.
For the humidifier with the longest runtime, the AIRCARE MA1201 has an astonishing 36 hours of runtime. It is also our Editor’s Choice model.
Number of settings/speeds
Some people prefer a lot of different settings and speeds, and some people don’t. Fan speed setting can change how quickly or how slowly moisture is added to your air. Moisture settings can also let you choose how much moisture you want added to your room.
If these setting are important to you, make sure you choose a model that lets you choose the specific humidity settings you want.
Our Budget Pick is the Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier has an adjustable humidistat, which means the unit will automatically turn on or off to meet the setting you’ve chosen for your space.
Noise level is another category that is very important for some people, and not as important for others.
If you are going to use your humidifier in a nursery, or in your bedroom and you plan to run it while you’re sleeping, then noise level may be one of the most important considerations when choosing which is the best evaporative humidifier to meet your needs. But for some people, the humidifier is stationed out of the way and therefore the noise level does not matter as much for them.
If the noise level is an important concern for you, then consider the OPOLAR EV01. Which, while small, is specifically designed to be used in nurseries and bedrooms and is our choice for the best evaporative humidifier for babies.
Dimensions and weight
If you have a small house, you’ll most likely want a smaller humidifier to fit in that space. But if you’ve got a large room that needs moisture added to the air, then perhaps a unit with larger dimensions will better meet your needs. And if you plan to move your unit from room to room, or to different spaces, then weight should be a consideration, too.
If you’re looking for a robust, large unit, then check out the AIRCARE MA1201 or the Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier. And for smaller spaces, look no further than the OPOLAR EV01 which is our choice for best single-room humidifier evaporative.
Hopefully, you will never need to rely on the warranty for your evaporative air humidifier, but sometimes accidents happen, or you use a product so much that you wear it out before you expected. The good news is that most evaporative humidifiers do come with a warranty, anywhere from a year in length to something longer. If a warranty is important to you, then look no further than the Venta LW25 which has an astonishing ten-year limited warranty, which really cannot be beaten in terms of warranties for evaporative humidifiers.
If your humidifier doesn’t work as intended or is damaged in some manner, the warranty will help you get your humidifier repaired, or even replaced as necessary.
Humidifiers come with a variety of extra features, from automatic shut-offs, LED displays to ease of cleaning and other settings. It’s important to remember, though, that sometimes extra features can cause problems as well. For example, LED lights that always remain on, like with the OPOLAR EV01, means it may not be the best humidifier for a nighttime sleeper who needs complete darkness.
The Venta LW25, however, is actually a two-in-one humidifier and purifier. It is the only model on our list that prioritizes not just humidity, but also air purification, removing dust, pollen, dander, and other allergens from the air as it humidifies.
How to maintain an evaporative humidifier
Depending on the model of evaporative humidifier you choose, maintenance may be barely anything at all, to a regular annoyance. Most of the models use filters, which means they either need to be regularly replaced, or regularly cleaned.
If you’d rather take the time to clean a filter than putting up the money to buy new ones, then the OPOLAR EV01 is probably your best bet because it has a permanent filter that can be easily cleaned with household chemicals and water.
If you don’t like the idea of filters at all, the Venta LW25 is filterless and easy to clean, but you may need to use special chemicals to clean the unit.
If you’d rather not clean as frequently, then choose a model with disposable filters, and you can throw them away and replace with new ones as needed.
Finally, filter cleanliness has much to do with the quality of water you’re using in your humidifier. If you have tap water that is very hard, or full of minerals, consider using distilled water in your humidifier to limit the amount of buildup on your filters.
This depends on a variety of factors. Some models have permanent filters or no filters at all, which means you never have to replace them as long as they’re kept clean. Otherwise, the amount of minerals and hardness level of your water can make a huge difference so if you’d rather not replace filters as frequently, consider using distilled water.
There are! Specifically, the Venta LW25 uses a set of discs instead of wicks. This also makes it a filter-less model and also an air purifier, so it may be a good choice for someone looking for something different.
Choosing a model with a built-in humidistat means you will be able to check the humidity level of your room. Some models have automatic shut-offs, as well, once the humidity is reached.
An evaporative air humidifier can help add much-needed moisture in the air of your home, which can cause greater comfort for anyone living inside. Though any humidifier can add moisture to the air, these are the evaporative air humidifiers that stand out.
If you’re looking for a humidifier that is large and in charge, the best evaporative air humidifier is the AIRCARE MA1201 which is also the Editor’s Choice. It can cover up to 3,600 sq. feet, has a 36-hour runtime, and tanks that hold almost four gallons of water, making sure it can do the job you’re asking of it, no matter how big a job it is.
Our best table-top evaporative air humidifier is the OPOLAR EV01. Even though it is small, it is quiet as well, making it great for nurseries or bedrooms for use while sleeping. It also has a permanent filter that is easy to clean and will save you money. It doesn’t require special chemicals for cleaning purposes, and the top fill design makes it as easy as watering plants to refill.
And for those looking for an all-around good humidifier, the Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier is a great choice. It’s the model built for multi-room humidity, and its large water tanks and capacity means it can do the job well. Even in the negative reviews for this model, everyone said it does an excellent job of making the space humid. It’s also our Budget Pick, which means you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck.