Best Warm Mist Humidifier: Reviews and Buying Guide


Best Warm Mist Humidifier: Reviews and Buying Guide

No one wants to be uncomfortable in their home.  In fact, most of us spend thousands of dollars a year working to make it as cozy as possible.  But while we focus on switching out our furniture and purchasing mattresses with space-age materials, we tend to forget about something that is present in every room of our home: the air we breathe.  Humidification plays a key role our health and comfort.  So if you are ready to make your home the best it can be, it is time to find the best warm mist humidifier for the money.

Warm Mist Humidifiers: How Does it Work?

If you have ever been inside a steam sauna, you have a pretty good idea of how warm mist humidifiers work.  Also known as steam humidifiers and vaporizers, these humidifiers take the water fed into them and heat it to the point of boiling.  At this temperature, steam is created.  The humidifier pushes this steam out into the air, humidifying the air in the room and potentially increasing the temperature within the room.

What to Consider Before You Buy

The best way to ensure you will be happy with your product is to think through your purchase before you make it.  On the surface, humidifiers seem like a simple purchase to make: you want to humidify the air in your home and that is what all humidifiers do.  But different humidifiers work in diverse ways and offer various benefits.  To help you navigate your purchase, let’s look at some things to consider when browsing warm mist humidifiers on the market.

Whole House or Single Room?

Both of these options are excellent choices, but the one that works for you will depend on your circumstances.  Below are the key facts about each to make your decision easier.

Whole-house humidifiers are humidifiers that hook onto the HVAC system.  The central unit creates steam and that steam is then forced into the ducts and moved throughout your home.  If you do not have central heating and cooling, this is not an option.  Also, if you rent, your landlord may not allow it.  If it is an option for you, it comes with many advantages.  The primary advantages are you do not need to purchase multiple humidifiers and they require less maintenance.

Single-room humidifiers offer more flexibility than whole-house humidifiers because you can use them to humidify just one room at a time.  While humidifying the entire house may be easier, you may have art or antique furniture that needs a lower humidity level.  Single-room humidifiers allow you to set different levels in different rooms.  Unlike whole-house models, you can use them most anywhere, even if you are renting.

Square Feet Covered

Whether you need a humidifier for a small room, a large room, or a whole house, you need to check the square feet covered before you buy.  Whole-house humidifiers need to be able to humidify as many square feet as the rooms hooked up to the HVAC system cover.  Single-room humidifiers need to cover the square footage of the room they will be placed in.  As you determine the coverage you need, be certain to consider the height of your ceilings.  If yours are higher than standard, you will need extra coverage.

Filter or Filterless

You may want a filter-free warm mist humidifier, or you may prefer one that has a filter.  Preference usually comes down to how important filtering air is to you and how much extra maintenance you want to take on.  Some humidifiers come with washable filters, while others need to be replaced, increasing the cost of owning the machine.  If you already filter the air in your home in some other manner, the filter may not be important.


Different humidifiers are designed to treat different things.  So if you want a humidifier for someone with a weakened immune system, you may want a warm mist germ-free humidifier.  If you are wanting a humidifier for dry skin, you may want one that comes with different steam settings to give you more control.  Carefully consider the purpose of your humidifier and the features that can help it better serve you.

Best Warm Mist Humidifier On The Market

Aprilaire 800 Residential Steam Humidifier

Aprilaire 800 Residential Steam Humidifier

When it comes to whole-house humidifiers, most are cool mist or ultrasonic, leaving very few options for those wanting warm mist.  Luckily Aprilaire offers this model, allowing you to meet your humidification goals.  Unlike most whole-house humidifiers, it does not rely on forced air to work, giving you the chance to humidify your entire home without an integrated HVAC system.

The unit comes with all items needed to get it installed and working except for the separate circuit needed to run it.  If you want maximum control over it, you can use manual settings.  If, however, you would rather let it do the work for you, you can switch it to automatic.  In terms of downsides, users mostly note that it, like all whole-house humidifiers, does not allow you to control the humidity level in individual rooms.

Good for: Helping the Whole Family

Pros: Takes care of the entire home, can be put on automatic settings, does not require forced air to work

Cons: Does not give you control over which rooms are humidified, can significantly increase energy bills

BONECO Steam Humidifier S450

BONECO Steam Humidifier S450

One of the biggest downsides with warm mist humidifiers is that they can be dangerous to animals and small children. This is because the water is boiled inside and then released as a very hot steam. However, this model from BONECO cools the steam before it is released, getting it down to a temperature that is safe but still offers the benefits of warm mist.

Because there is still the risk of it tipping over and the boiling water causing harm, you need to be careful with your placement. However, if you need a warm mist humidifier for a nursery or toddler room, this is a safe choice. Other benefits to this model include its ability to humidify larger rooms and its bacteria-free and mineral-free running process. The primary issue noted with this model is that you have no control over the direction of the steam, so you will need to consider this when positioning the unit.

Good for: Nurseries and Children’s Rooms

Pros: Warm but not scalding steam, humidifies larger spaces, eliminates bacteria and minerals

Cons: Runs loudly, does not give you control over the direction of the steam

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier with Auto Shut-Off

Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier

As you would imagine from any Vick’s product, this humidifier is designed to help you deal with colds and various respiratory ailments. It runs quietly, making it a good humidifier for bedrooms or TV rooms, and comes with a soft light that can be comforting at night. It can operate for 12 hours on a single fill, allowing you to stay comfortable throughout the day or night.

The greatest benefit to this model is that you can use Vicks Vaposteam in it to help soothe the respiratory system when suffering from colds, flus, and even croup. It automatically shuts off when the tank is empty, and it runs all the water, so there is no standing water left. The primary struggle for purchasers is finding the right spot for it since it is a bit large but is not safe to place in the floor.

Good for: Fighting off a Cold

Pros: Can use Vicks Vaposteam in it to soothe the respiratory system, runs for 12 hours, shuts off when empty

Cons: Large and difficult to place, not everyone likes the light inside it

TaoTronics Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier

Warm & Cool Mist Humidifier

Warm mist comes with its benefits, but it also has its downsides. When you purchase this humidifier from TaoTronics, you are given the ability to choose cool or warm mist, making it easy to customize the humidifcation in your space. Designed for offices and bedrooms, this unit works well in stand-sized rooms or smaller.

Unlike many other humidifiers, this one is designed with space in mind and will fit even in smaller spaces. The design is very modern, allowing it to fade into the background and not interfere with the look you are going for. By using the 360-degree nozzle, you can control exactly where you want the steam to go. The most common complaint from users is that the nozzle can be difficult to turn.

Good for: Cool and Warm Mist

Pros: Attractive design, small profile for small rooms, maximum control of steam and direction

Cons: Some feel the output is too much, in some cases, the nozzle does not turn easily

Holmes Warm Mist Humidifier

Holmes Warm Mist Humidifier

If you are seeking a humidifier for eczema or dry skin, we recommend this option from Holmes. It offers just enough ways to customize the experience so as to make it comfortable without complicating things. And as it is priced economically, you can place multiple units around the home.

The model has anti-microbial protection built into the plastic, which means fewer irritants get into the air and impact your skin. It can run for up to 24 hours on a single fill. As an added benefit, most parts can be cleaned in the dishwasher, making maintenance easy on you. Most customers are very happy with their purchase, but some do complain about the noise level when the unit is running.

Good for: Treating Various Skin Conditions

Pros: Anti-microbial protection, great price, easy to clean

Cons: Runs noisily, can take up to 30 minutes to generate steam

Health Benefits of Warm Mist Humidifiers

While moisturized air is comfortable air, most people purchase humidifiers for specific health benefits.  So, what exactly are these warm mist humidifier benefits?

  • You are at reduced risk of infections when you use a humidifier, especially a warm mist humidifier.  This is for two reasons: one, the moisture helps your mucous membranes fight invaders, and two, the boiling action of warm mist humidifiers ensures no bacteria in the water enters the air.
  • They replenish moisture in the skin.  Dry air pulls moisture from your body, and moisturized air brings it back.  With a humidifier, eczema, dry skin, and more can be better managed or eliminated.
  • Sinus passages feel better.  Dry air leaves the sinuses feeling tight and dry, causing your body to over-produce mucus, which clogs your nose.  With the humidification from your warm mist humidifier, you will find yourself breathing easier.
  • Even your vocal cords are better with a humidifier.  If you notice that your voice is raspy in the mornings, this is a sign that the air in the room you sleep in is too dry.  Rather than waiting for your voice to correct itself every morning, use a humidifier to keep it healthy at all times.
  • Sleep is key to staying healthy, but when you are uncomfortable, it is difficult to settle into a deep sleep.  Also, if you share your room with others, snoring caused by dry air can be a problem for everyone involved.  Humidifying the air increases comfort and reduces snoring.
  • Some coughs are caused by dry throats.  If you have a dry cough, the best way to fight it is by moisturizing your throat.  While syrups work and drinking lots of water is always good, adding a humidifier will make a big difference.
  • There are those who suffer from chronic nose bleeds.  While there can be various factors that contribute to the development of nose bleeds, dry sinuses is the biggest.  Moisturize your air to moisturize your sinuses and reduce or eliminate nose bleeds.

Health Risks of Warm Mist Humidifiers

As they say, every rose has its thorn, and for warm mist humidifiers, their thorns come in the form of certain health risks.  Most of these risks can be eliminated with proper care.  However, if you have asthma or severe allergies, warm mist humidifiers are not recommended for you.  As for the manageable risks, they are:

  • Dirty humidifiers releasing germs and bacteria into the air.  However, since warm mist humidifiers boil water, this risk is minimal.  To manage it, clean your warm mist humidifier properly.
  • Setting the humidity level too high can lead to mold growth in the home.  To avoid this, purchase a humidifier with a built-in hygrometer or purchase one separately.
  • The noise level can be high.  If you are using the unit where you sleep, this can compromise the quality of your sleep, and ultimately your health.  If you do not sleep well with white noise, look for whisper-quiet models.
  • Warm-mist humidifiers run the risk of burns since they use boiling water.  To reduce this risk, look for those that cool the steam before releasing it and/or place your humidifier in a spot where it cannot be reached or knocked over.

Warm Mist Humidifier Brands

While there are many brands of warm mist humidifiers, there are a few that stand out amongst the rest.  If you purchase from one of these brands, you know that you own a quality product that you can depend on, and that your warranty will be one of the best in the industry.  Below are some of the best brands you can buy.


aprilaire Humidifier logo

Aprilaire is not a household name, but it is an expert in home air solutions.  They have made the biggest impact on the market with their whole-house humidifiers.  However, they have products that address all areas of air quality, such as: temperature control, purification, ventilation, and dehumidification.  Where they stand to make the biggest impact is in their embrace of smart home solutions, putting them on the cutting edge of home air care.  Although not incredible well-known, it is an older company, having been in business since 1938, consistently growing the company by offering quality products and sticking to what they know best.


Holmes Humidifier logo

Holmes is another company that specializes in home air care solutions.  However, they are a very well-known brand that you can find on the shelves in most any super store or home improvement store.  In addition to humidifiers, they also offer purifiers, fans, heaters, and filters.  At the moment, they are developing units that are smart home compatible.  The company is known for quality products and support, allowing you to feel comfortable in your purchase.


Unlike the other humidifier brands on this list, Vicks is not particularly known for their humidifiers.  Instead, they are known for their medications.  However, since their medications address respiratory issues, making humidifiers was a logical step.  Their humidifiers are designed to tie in with their medical products, allowing you to add breathing aids to your humidifier to increase your comfort when sick.


honeywell humidifier logo

While we did not pick a Honeywell product for our top five products, should you purchase a warm mist humidifier from them, you will be making a solid choice.  Honeywell does not restrict itself to home air care solutions, instead offering a wide variety of products that help to make your life more comfortable.  While it is diverse in its offerings, it does offer a lot of research and other resources to its humidifier division, ensuring its products are always high quality.


Crane is a company that strictly offers humidifiers, and has yet to branch out into other items.  They offer high-quality products in innovative designs, allowing you to care for the air in your home without compromising the vision you have for the space.  If you need a humidifier but don’t like the way they look, you need to search for Crane products.

Warm Mist Humidifier Cleaning Instructions

The exact method you should use to clean your warm mist humidifier will depend on the model.  As such, you should consult your user manual to get the best results.  However, there are some general instructions that work for most models and will help you keep your air as healthy as possible.

Every Day, You Should:

  • Turn off the humidifier and give the water time to cool.
  • Drain any water still in the tank.
  • Rinse out the tank.
  • Wipe the tank, water tray, and medicine chamber with a damp microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe all parts until dry.
  • Refill using distilled water for the best results.

Every Week, You Should:

  • Turn off the humidifier and give the water time to cool.
  • Take the machine apart and soak the water tray in a vinegar solution for 15-20 minutes.
  •  Rinse out the tank and the water tray once the vinegar solution has sat for the right amount of time.
  • Wipe the tank, water tray, and medicine chamber with a damp microfiber cloth.
  • Wipe all parts until dry.
  • Pour white vinegar into the heating chamber and leave it for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse the vinegar out.
  • Refill using distilled water for the best results.

At the end of the season when you are ready to store your humidifier, complete the monthly cleaning and leave the machine apart.  Do not place water inside the tank.  Store all pieces in a box together so none are lost but so they are still loose and keep it in a cool dry storage space.

Final Words

With all the warm mist humidifiers on the market, it is easy to get overwhelmed, but if you use our guide to help you, you will find that making your decision is as easy as can be.  While there are many factors that determine which is the best warm mist humidifier for you, we are confident that our top five picks contain the right choice for you.  So battle the dry air in your home and stay healthy and comfortable by purchasing your humidifier.

Mike Nikko is a blogger with over 15 years of experience. I will bring you the best product reviews and other useful life experiences, tips to increase height, tips to improve health... If you have any questions, feel free to ask Mike Nikko!

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