A humidifier may seem like something you don’t necessarily need. But in the dry, heated indoors of winter, you'd be surprised the affect these tiny machines have on daily life. Better over-all health. Skin that doesn't feel like sandpaper. Less static cling. And the slight moisture keeps your walls from cracking, too. What's not to like?
As we all know, winter can be tough on our bodies. Dry sinuses, bloody noses and cracked lips, not to mention the itchy dry skin that can't be soothed with just lotion. A humidifier will work wonders for your skin—all over your body—all season long.
And there's a reason why your parents would install a humidifier in your room when you were sick as kid. The machines have been medically proven to make breathing easier. Especially when you're congested, have a scratchy throat or suffer from sinus infections and allergies. Since they help open up your airways, many men who snore have found that running a humidifier in the bedroom has alleviated the problem.
According to Shawn Nasseri, MD, a California-based otolaryngologist, whenever the air is dry, our mucous membranes tend to dry out and get thicker. And that makes it harder to filter what enters through your airways. The same goes for your skin. The air will actually pull moisture from your skin, dehydrating it (which makes it itchy and dull looking). A humidifier will keep the air at an optimal humidity level, which not only makes it easier to breathe, but keeps your skin hydrated and healthy.
What's more, humidifiers have been found to actually prevent you from getting sick by adding moisture to the air. A well-regarded study found that because the influenza virus survives better in drier conditions, you have a better chance of not catching it in a room where the indoor humidity is greater than 43%—easy when you've got your trusty humidifier running. Ready to get humming? Here are our four recommended machines.
If you want a humidifier that does its job well, is simple to operate and easy to clean, this well-reviewed model is your best option. The oversized tank allows for over two days of continuous operation, while the machine (which produces both warm and cool mist) can be controlled and scheduled via app so your home is always at your target humidity level.
$109.99 by Levoit
For Good Vibes
Not only is this handsome model an aroma therapy diffuser as well, but the water is treated by passing through UV light before being evaporated. There's no visible mist, just clean, hydrated air. Plus, the smart sensors in the tank know to continue running until the unit is completely dry inside. No water left behind means mold can't grow.
$150 / $125 by Canopy
For Easy Filling
If you don't want to deal with a separate tank, this streamlined design allows you to easily pour water directly into the top of the humidifier for convenient mess-free refills. The large 3-liter tank allows for up to 30 hours of continuous use and added patented magnetic suspension technology prevents water from leaking.
$79.99 / $59.99 by Pure Enrichment
For Sinus Health
This humidifier switches between producing warm or cool mist with three adjustable levels and temperatures. Which means you can dial in relief when your sinuses are suffering. Sensors automatically work to maintain comfortable indoor moisture based on the environmental humidity.
$69.99 / $59.99 by TaoTronics
Keep Them Clean
A dirty humidifier can become a breeding ground for bacteria and mold, which can cause allergy flare-ups, asthma and other breathing problems. In between cleanings, these little balls keep your tank clean and prevent any mold from growing.