The Best Baby Humidifiers For Clearing Up Baby’s Congestion (2020 Guide)
Before I had my son, I was plotting and planning how I could protect his little body from bacteria and other viruses while keeping the air in his room fresh as a daisy.
In my mind, there was only one solution—placing a humidifier in his nursery.
Well, there are tons of benefits, most notably that they help protect the health of your little one!
If you're expecting, read on to learn all about these humidifier benefits, as well as which ones you should consider purchasing.
Here are all of the topics we cover in this guide:
As a mom, however, I know you may be short on time and just want to know which humidifiers are best. So, if you're not all that interested in the background information, just skip ahead to the "Best Baby Humidifiers" section.
What Is A Baby Humidifier?
In plain terms, a humidifier adds moisture into the air.
You may think your rooms are at a perfect temperature and moisture level, but you’re bound to notice a huge difference after running a humidifier for just a week.
Humidifiers help improve the air quality, which also makes your room smell better, and they help you breathe and eliminate pesky allergens that are floating around in the air as well.
A humidifier can release a cool mist into the air, for a steady stream or mist, which gets absorbed into the air and adjusts your room to the ideal setting (usually between 25 and 50 percent humidity level).
Remember not to confuse a humidifier with a vaporizer!
Vaporizers only deal with hot steam, which gets released into the air and is meant to breathed in to clear up colds, coughs, and stuffy noses!
Why You Need a Baby Humidifier
Chances are you probably have no idea how dry the air around your home is.
And the dryer an environment is, the more germs, bacteria, and viruses you have lurking around, ready to attack a weak immune system like your baby’s.
In fact, a humidifier is great for reversing nose and sinus irritations.
>>Read: Choosing the best nasal aspirators
It helps add moisture to dry skin, reduces asthma flare ups, and can even cut down on snoring.
It’s also been said that humidifiers can help with a sore throat and other respiratory infections.
Humidifiers are also great to have if you have pets in your home.
Most wipe out pet dander and that is what causes allergies in some children. It’s a good idea to have a humidifier on both levels of your home, and one in your baby’s nursery no matter what.
Finally, if this is not the best selling point then I don’t know what is: a humidifier can help your infant sleep!
When running one, it makes a soft but soothing hum.
Babies are used to muffle sounds like this while in the womb, so the background noise in their nursery may comfort them and help them sleep soundly.
>>Read: Choosing the best baby sound machine
All in all, you need a humidifier because it’s a multi-functional device that promotes well being and good health for every member of your family.
5 Features to Look for in a Baby Humidifier
Now that you know how important a humidifier is to have, learn what makes a humidifier great. It should have these key features.
A great humidifier makes a gentle hum, not an obnoxious roar.
As I mentioned before, it can double as a sleep machine for background noise in a nursery.
While you may not know how loud or soft one will be, the humidifiers I suggest are all appropriate for a nursery.
#2. Automatic Shut-Off
You're going to be a bit scatterbrained (and exhausted) when you have a new baby in your home, so it’s best to get a humidifier that allows you to set it and forget it.
A great model will automatically shut off when your desired level of humidity is achieved or when its tank is empty.
You don’t have to put any thought or effort into adjusting the level, unless you want to.
It will also remember your humidity preferences with a touch of a button.
A great baby humidifier should have a UV light, a filter that can be changed or washed, or a cartridge that can be replaced for ultimate germ busting action!
Many moms remark that they also notice a more fresher smell in their home when running a humidifier.
#4. Easy to Maintain
You definitely don’t want a humidifier that is a pain to clean and fill.
If it’s annoying, you’ll tend to slack off, and you won’t run it as often as you should.
Look for a humidifier that is easy to clean and also easy to fill.
A handle feature is also helpful when you need to move it about, especially if you need to go up and down the steps with it (you don’t want anything super heavy either!)
#5. Adjustable Humidistat
You should be able to decide the level of humidity you wish to achieve with your baby humidifier.
Once you have the perfect setting in place, your device should be able to maintain it or alter it at your discretion with ease.
Some days you'll want more moisture in the air than others, so you should get a device that allows you to customize this.
Cool Mist Humidifiers vs Warm Mist Humidifiers
Let me be blunt here for a minute: a cool mist humidifier is much better for your baby than a warm mist humidifier.
The two types may be similar, but they also have some major differences.
Cool mist humidifiers release a comfortable stream of room-temperature mist throughout your nursery and home, and they come in two main forms: evaporative or ultrasonic.
These humidifiers also use an internal wick filter to absorb water.
A fan will blow during the process and push air through the filter: this is what makes the water to evaporate throughout your home.
These types are also very quiet, but can also be a bit on the pricey side (but are well worth it in my opinion).
Between the two, cool mist humidifiers are more widely recommended because not only are they much safer, but they are less expensive to run.
They don't have any kind of heating element that the warm mist models have. Plus, there really isn’t a huge difference between the effectiveness to make a room moister, so I always adhere to safety first principles.
Warm mist humidifiers are usually less expensive to buy, but are more expensive to run (especially if you are planning on picking up multiples).
They heat up the water to make it evaporate into a steam, and they do pretty much the same job as the cool mist humidifier, but are more dangerous to have in a nursery.
They tend to get very hot and the steam itself that comes out of the humidifier could seriously burn a baby or toddler (or even yourself!)
Evaporative vs Ultrasonic
So, once you decide on selecting a cool mist humidifier, you now have to choose between one that is evaporative or ultrasonic.
Evaporative humidifiers work mainly by absorbing water into a wick and then moving it around your room with its internal fan.
Out of the two, an evaporative humidifier is considered to be a more natural form of the evaporation process. It has a low but constant hum, which is great for background noise in a nursery.
Some of these devices have a quiet setting if it seems to annoy your baby while sleeping (or yourself).
Ultrasonic humidifiers are the most recommended for babies out of the two.
They are modern because they use a high frequency sound wave to actually vibrate the water, which creates a mist.
If you desire absolutely zero noise, you will get none from this machine because it has no fan at all.
These humidifiers do not use a filter. Instead, they have a special cartridge that needs to be maintained regularly.
You have to stay on top of the cartridge clean to make sure you are getting the best performance out of the machine.
But, I’d certainly say the many pros outweigh this con.
>>Read: Choosing the best baby thermometer
Potential Humidifier Safety Risks
Despite warnings, some parents choose to use hot-water vaporizers.
Their child may suffer from severe allergies and may truly need the hot, hot steam for breathing reasons (because bacteria gets totally wiped out).
When using a hot mist humidifier, you should be aware of the burn risks that come with it.
One, you must make sure it’s out of reach from your child, especially the cord, which they can tug on and pull the whole unit on top of them.
Some parents opt to stage an octagon gate around the area that the humidifier is running, completely allowing them zero access.
Two, you also have to make sure you’re keeping up with the cleaning of your humidifier. Bacteria and mold will thrive in this wet area, so you should wipe it out regularly, to prevent additional and unwanted health issues and keep baby's room mold-free!
Three, it's also possible to make a room over moisturized, which could make mold or other stuff grow in your baby’s room, that could pose as a potential allergen, making them feel worse. Many humidifiers will measure the current moisture in the air, to help you ensure it’s at the ideal, safest level.
Tip: If daily upkeep is difficult for your work schedule or lifestyle, many moms prefer to use filtered water or distilled water in their humidifiers.
This helps the water last longer and stay safer because it doesn’t allow for as much of a build up as tap water does. This little trick helps extend the life of your device and keeps your kiddo safe and sound.
Best Baby Humidifiers
The Ultrasonic Cool Mist by Pure Enrichment (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a great choice for your baby's room. A lot of moms actually own two of these: one that they for downstairs, one for upstairs.
What makes it so great? Well, it is a cool mist unit first of all, so it’s totally safe. It moisturizes for up to 16 hours so everyone can sleep great and breathe easily.
It is moderately sized (it has a 1.5 liter tank), so it is great to place in bedrooms, nurseries, family rooms, or other medium sized rooms in your home.
Its mist nozzle can be adjusted and turned to wherever you want it, and it even has a speed adjuster so you can decide how moist you want the room to be.
I love it because it has one of the automatic shut off features I mentioned above, so as soon as the water level is low, or the tank is removed to get filled up, it will stop running.
Plus, you’ll notice a difference in the moisture level in your home within minutes. That’s how powerful and effective it is.
Its sound is basically a whisper, and it fits wonderfully in the nursery because it has a soothing night light, which releases a gentle glow.
I also like how sleek and stylish it looks. You can place it in any room, and it almost looks like some kind of modern piece of art (well, functional art). But, my point is it’s not big, bulky, and boxy. It’s super cute.
Over time, I noticed that my son, who used to wake up complaining of headaches and a “blocked up” nose, started to not complain at all. He was able to breathe better, which led to him sleep better (and of course, this made me totally happy).
It is easy to clean too. All I have to do is pop out the main piece, give it a good wiping, and pop it back in. It has no filter, which I appreciate, so cleaning is a snap.
It’s also not a pain to fill because it’s not overly huge or heavy. In fact, it sits perfectly on any dresser or nightstand.
Plus, if for any reason you aren’t happy with this purchase, the device is backed by Pure Enrichment’s two-year warranty so you can be fully refunded.
The InnoGear Aromatherapy (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a device that truly knows how to multi-task.
OK, so it’s a humidifier, an aromatherapy device, and basically a light show all in one!
Kids absolutely love having this their room, because they think of it more as a fun gadget more than anything.
Like the Ultrasonic, the InnoGear is compact with a modern design. It also helps relieve stress because it releases a fragrance that helps calm your kiddos down before bed time, and it covers up pet odors and other dreadful smells that pop up from time to time in your home or nursery.
It too is very quiet, so it won’t be overly distracting if your infant is sleeping. It will help improve skin tone in your tot, especially during winter months when baby’s faces get dry, red, and even chapped.
This model also has seven changing mood lights that can be adjusted to various tones.
If you forget to fill it, or if you want to run it when you aren’t home, it will automatically shut off when it’s out of water.
Another thing I like is that it’s very portable, so you can place it anywhere or tote it with you from room to room as needed.
You can even choose the kind of mist you desire-intermittent or continuous. It will run about three hours in intermittent mode and about six hours in continuous mode.
You can even just use the light feature without any mist action at all.
Overall, it’s a pretty great item!
Designed in a cute drop shape, this gizmo from Crane (click here to check the price on Amazon) is small like all the others I’ve mentioned, yet very powerful, efficient, and one of the best nursery units you can buy.
It too is whisper quiet, and it’s great to run if your baby or kids are having trouble breathing due to cough, cold, and/or flu like symptoms.
I like this model because it can run up to 24 hours. It will shut off automatically and its spout can also be turned any which way.
It holds about a gallon of water and it outputs 2.3 gallons each day. Talk about making things moist!
Moms also love this product because it ships in frustration free packaging, so you can literally pop it out of the box and begin using it (as you know, moms don’t have a ton of time to waste putting things together).
A friend of mine who owns this model is pleased that it helped her daughter with bloody noses. She’d wake up completely dried out and bloody, but after running the Crane Drop, she’s seen a huge improvement.
This model does not need a filter to run, but you can add one to it if you’d like.
It can moisturize a moderately sized room, and it’s easy to move around like the others, so you can place it anywhere it’s needed.
#4. Honeywell Germ Free
A little pricier than the other models, the Honeywell Germ Free (click here to check the price on Amazon) is also a bit larger than the other ones we've looked at.
It has a simple but modern design that I really do love, which will complement décor with ease.
It’s really effective in that it kills up to 99% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses that are lurking around your home and nursery.
This one from Honeywell runs for about 24 hours and has a large tank (1.5 gallons), and it also has a filter, so it needs to be removed to be cleaned, and should be replaced from time to time.
But, on the positive side, all of its parts are dishwasher safe and can be cleaned that way rather than by hand.
A lot of moms who have purchased this claim it’s very easy to fill compared to some of the other models because its shape and design is straightforward.
It is also designed for medium sized rooms, and because it has a larger tank, it doesn’t need to be filled as often as some of the other ones on the market.
I also learned that when the proper humidity level is achieved, it can cut down on your heating bill, improve the life of your houseplants, and keep your furniture looking nice and new.
Also a cool mist model, the Safety First Ultrasonic 360 is priced pretty well (click here to check the price on Amazon).
It has many of the features that you should look for in a great model. It’s soothing, quiet, easy to fill, and it can run for about 12 hours.
It will also shut off automatically and it has not one, but two 360 degree mist outlets, which is a great feature if you have twins in a nursery or two children that share a room. They can each get some moisture pointed toward them as they sleep.
The Ultrasonic 360 fills the air with moisture, and it has a unique design. It’s easy to move, it can sit anywhere, and it has no annoying filter to clean or replace.
A lot of moms who use this model also comment about how they’ve noticed that their home also has less static overall.
It has a carry handle on its tank, so you don’t have to worry about unplugging it and lugging it to the sink.
Just pop off the top, fill it up, and return it to its base with ease.
It shuts off to avoid overheating and will also turn off like the others when it’s out of water.
#6. Vick's Starry Night
It doubles as a humidifier and a soothing, night light that projects star patterns on your child’s wall and ceiling. It sits easily on any dresser or night stand, and is overall appealing to look at, especially as it glows at night.
This model is ideal for medium sized rooms, and it has a one gallon tank, so you’ll probably be able to run it for a day or so and then need to refill it with water. The unit produces cool, invisible moisture so your child can get the best night’s sleep possible.
It also has a handy scent pad heater (you can choose from menthol or lavender) that will help to open up your child’s breathing passages when they are sick, or just need to take in a soothing and calming scent during their slumber.
The Starry Night has two speed settings, so you can adjust it accordingly. Parents have remarked that they have noticed their child getting sick much less often after using the Starry Night, mainly because the product is able to combat flu particles that hang around in the air and on the surfaces in your child’s room.
The Starry Night also helps restore your child’s room humidity level to approximately 40%-60%, which is the ideal humidity level in any room of your home.
#7. Seneo Cool Mist
The Seneo Cool Mist (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a good option for improving the air condition in any room of your home. But, parents mainly use it for their child’s rooms because this ultrasonic model prevents the air from getting dry, stuffy, and it wipes out any lingering flu germs.
It makes the air cleaner, so your child can breathe easier as they sleep, and rest assured they won’t’ wake up with dry or chapped skin, which can happen during cold winter months. Most parents choose to run it daily as a preventative, but it is also effective if you only use it when your child needs relief from cough and sinus congestion (which happens after suffering from colds, allergies, and the flu).
The Seneo runs on the larger side, so you can run it on its highest mist for about 12 hours straight. You will need to refill it daily and it should be able to sit on a surface that has enough space for it. In addition to fighting germs, the Seneo's tank is coated with an antimicrobial coating so it will never become home to mold and mildew.
This unit has an automatic shut off which is great for busy parents. And it boasts a whisper quiet design, so it won’t disrupt your child’s sleep.
All mist streams can be customized to your child’s needs, and most parents notice a significant difference in the way their child sleep and the overall air quality in just as little as one day!
#8. Linkyo Cool Mist
An adorably decorative cool mist unit, Linkyo’s Cool Mist (click here to check the price on Amazon) is able to totally transform your room. It increases the humidity level in your child’s room to help improve their sinus and allergy issues, which creates lots of dryness in their throat and disrupts their evening slumbers.
It is also ideal for babies who have a weaker immune system and are consistently getting coughs and colds. The cool mist is invisible and safe, so you never have to worry about burning yourself or your little one while it’s running. It’s safe to run daily and it makes your child’s room a more comfortable place to breath and catch some zzz’s.
Linkyo’s mist covers about 200 square feet of space, so it’s ideal for any nursery. It has a moderately sized water tank that needs to be filled daily, and it can run for hours on end before needing a refill. Its mist is adjustable and can be controlled by a knob.
In addition to adjusting the humidity level in your child’s room, the Linkyo doubles as a night light (boasting shooting star and butterfly designs in a variety of colors), and it also serves as background noise, which helps babies sleep through the night better.
Each of Linkyo’s humidifiers are certified to ensure they meet high electrical safety standards, so you don’t have to worry about running one overnight or if you are away from home. It is also backed by a one-year warranty.
This darling drop design cool mist is designed by Remedies (click here to check the price on Amazon). It shoots out an invisible but powerful stream of cool mist to make any room “perfect” again. But, parents love it for their children’s room and baby’s nursery.
It is a very serene sounding humidifier, so it adds a tiny bit of calming background noise, which will comfort babies who are newly born. It also has a LED night light built in, which boasts 7 colors (which can be rotated) for your toddler to enjoy. The vapor’s flow can be easily adjusted by turning a knob. And, it boasts an aroma diffuser, so your child can enjoy a scent while the product also humidifies the air.
This unit will shut off automatically and it generally needs to be filled daily. However, it can run for many hours on end, even when you are utilizing a high vapor mist. It runs on the smaller side, but it’s perfect for parents who don’t have a lot of shelving or counter space in their child’s room. Like all humidifiers, it needs to be cleaned regularly.
Because of its size and compact design, this one is easy to tote around and has very few parts to be cleaned. It does have a stone filter, so there is no need to purchase an additional one like you would for most other options.
Anypro’s Cool Mist (click here to check the price on Amazon) is small but mighty! It is able to run for about 36 hours if you utilize the lowest mist setting, and helps promote a more restful sleep and it is very quiet.
If using its long mist stream setting, parents have remarked that leaves zero condensation on table tops and is best suited for medium sized bedrooms and nurseries. Not only does it make the air clear and fresh, the device itself is composed of a special antibacterial material that helps deter mold growth.
The Anypro has a sleek and smooth design, so it won’t overly stand out when paired up against other nursery or bedroom décor. And, because it has a deep groove design, it reduces the risk of leakage and increases resistance to compression, so you don’t have to fret about anything cracking or spilling out when it’s in use.
Another plus and favorite selling point of parents is its 360 degree rotating nozzle. It ensures every inch of the room gets reached!
Finally, it is very simple to clean and only requires a few steps. Filling it up with more water is a breeze and can be done by pouring a pitcher of water into its basis, rather than having to unplug it and move it back and forth.
All in all, it’s a necessary item for any space in your home and one of the best cheap options available.
Your baby won’t be the only one benefiting from running a cool mist model.
You and your family members will notice that the air feels less dry and itchy, and your immune systems will be boosted.
Protecting your baby is your main responsibility once you become a parent, and one of the most responsible purchases you can make is a humidifier!