Best Nursery Humidifiers 2024, Tested & Reviewed
These humidifiers will keep your baby moisturized and your plants well-hydrated!
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Whether you're combating the winter's dry air or helping your baby recover from the symptoms of a cold, a humidifier is a great way to moisten the air in your little one's nursery.
An essential element for any prepared parent, the best humidifier will soothe a dry and scratchy throat, clear a stuffy nose, and help mitigate other symptoms of a cold or croup. The result? Better sleep for you and your little one!
Just for fun, what does ChatGPT think is the best nursery humidifier!?
"Based on my research, the Crane Drop Humidifier is one of the most popular and highly-rated nursery humidifiers on the market. It has a unique and stylish design, quiet operation, and adjustable mist output." -ChatGPT
We've been reviewing humidifiers for over 10 years, and if we made our own, here is what it would look like:
✔️ Adorable design.
✔️ At least 3.5-liter capacity.
✔️ UL listed.
✔️ Ultrasonic cool mist.
✔️ Adjustable intensity.
✔️ Automatic shut-off.
✔️ Integrated hygrometer.
✔️ Top-fill design.
✔️ Integrated nightlight.
✔️ Optional filter.
✔️ Anti-mildew coatings.
✔️ Essential oil compatible.
✔️ Runs for at least 18 hours.
✔️ Whisper quiet operation.
✔️ HSA FSA-eligible.
✔️ Highly stable, not top-heavy.
✔️ Durable and reliable operation.
Of course, you will also want the humidifier to meet your style preferences, fit easily into your home, and meet your budget constraints. That's a lot to ask, and very few nursery humidifiers meet the needs of picky parents!
Below are the top 5 baby humidifiers we've found, followed by in-depth reviews.
|#1. FridaBaby BreatheFrida
|#2. Crane Drop Humidifier
|#3. TaoTronics Humidifier, 6L
|#4. Safety 1st 360 Humidifier
|#5. TaoTronics Humidifier, 4L
How is a nursery humidifier different from any other humidifier? The only real difference is which features are prioritized: a good humidifier will not only moisten the air but also be dimly lit, whisper quiet, have an auto-off function, and demand very low maintenance.
Nurseries can get very dry in the winter, especially if you have forced-air heat or like to keep the house on the warmer side. That dry air can exacerbate the symptoms of the common cold and make for an uncomfortable sleeping experience.
We suggest turning on the humidifier about an hour before naps or bedtime to prepare the room for your baby or toddler, and keep it running on low during naps and overnight.
Pro-tip: Always use distilled water in your humidifier! Distilled water can be purchased at your local grocery store or pharmacy, and will help you avoid common humidifier issues such as a white mist on furniture, brown gunk and scaling, and premature failure.
- Top 5 Nursery Humidifiers Comparison Table
- 1. Best Overall: FridaBaby BreatheFrida
- 2. Crane Drop Humidifier
- 3. TaoTronics 6L Humidifier
- 4. Safety 1st 360 Humidifier
- 5. TaoTronics 4L Humidifier
- 6. Levoit Humidifier
- 7. Miro Cool Mist Humidifier
- 8. Pure Cool Mist Humidifier
- 9. Honeywell Cool Mist Humidifier
- Cool versus Warm Mist Humidifiers
- Noise Levels
- Germs and Bacteria
Full disclosure: Some of these humidifiers, including the Taotronics, Miro, and Safety 1st models, were sent to us as free test samples by the manufacturer.
Here are our Top Picks for Nursery Humidifier!
Best for small nurseries, about $50. From snot-suckers to gas-passers, FridaBaby has amused the world with their innovative, functional, and somewhat bizarre baby products. Their recently-released nursery humidifier has quickly become very popular and is included not only on our own list of the best nursery humidifiers, but also recommended by our friends at Babylist, What2Expect, and Baby Center! What's so special about it? For features, it is a cool mist humidifier with a 1.9 liter capacity, a nightlight, and the BreatheFrida essential oil diffuser. The night light can change colors, it will automatically turn off when it runs out of water, it uses a 360-degree misting nozzle, and it has continuously variable intensity (from low to high and everything in between). The FridaBaby BreatheFrida can cover up to 320 square feet of space, and claims to run for up to 12 hours.
Out of the box, the BreatheFrida humidifier is most similar to the Safety 1st models (below) in size, which means it's a relatively compact humidifier that will fit easily on small surfaces such as the corner of a changing table, or edge of a bookshelf. To fill the water (about 1.9L or half gallon), you simply lift the reservoir off the base, unscrew the fill cap, and fill it with distilled water. When you turn the knob clockwise it will make a beep noise and you'll start to see the mist climbing out of the top. And it's a lot of mist! This humidifier pushes out an impressive amount of humidity, even on the lowest setting. The night light is optional (i.e., it can be turned off) and you can cycle through a few cute colors such as blue and green; all of them are dim and provide a nice warm glow to the nursery. The humidifier is very quiet, it's easy to add aromatherapy drops (directly to the water!), and it's very intuitive and simple to operate. On the lowest setting it will run for about 12-13 hours, on medium for about 8 hours, and on high for about 4-5 hours. Everything worked perfectly in our testing, and after several months it is still going strong. The only gripe is that the unit will beep when it runs out of water, so we suggest keeping it the low setting so it will last the entire night and not risk waking your sleeping baby. Nothing fancy here, just an adorable and highly functional nursery humidifier at a very reasonable price! Interested? You can check out the FridaBaby Nursery Humidifier here.
Best for large nurseries, about $50. Crane has built a strong reputation for selling high quality humidifiers that look great and functional exceptionally well in any environment - including not just nurseries but anywhere else in the home! The Crane Drop is an excellent ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier that offers great bang-for-the-buck and highly reliable operation. It uses a relatively large capacity reservoir, coming in at 3.8L or about 1 gallon, which allows it to run for an impressive duration: in our testing, on a very low setting it lasted about 23 hours, on medium about 14 hours, and on high about 7.5 hours. The 23 hour duration means that you might be able to get away with filling this humidifier every other day, rather than each night before bedtime. Not only does it run for longer than some others (like the Frida), it can also humidify a larger space - up to about 500 square feet. In addition to humidifying your baby's room, it also includes a color-changing night light, three white noise settings, and a lower tray and pad where you can dispense vapors or aromatherapy oils.
One of the things we loved about this nursery humidifier is the fact that it has 4-in-1 functions: humidifier, night light, aromatherapy diffuser, and white noise machine. That means for about $50 you can save some cash but not purchasing a separate nursery sound machine or night light - good deal! In our testing, the highest setting was very intense but still surprisingly quiet. Crane says under 38dB, which we think is roughly accurate - not the quietest humidifier we've tested, but very impressive given its high capacity. Refilling and cleaning were easy, though the refill opening isn't quite as wide as some options. Overall, we think this is an excellent option, offering higher capacity then most nursery humidifiers along with great functionality and reliability. Who else recommends the Crane Drop humidifier? Our friends at What2Expect, Babygearlab, and The Bump consider it a top pick! Interested? You can check out the Crane Drop humidifier here.
Best for huge capacity, about $55. TaoTronics consistently impresses us with their quality, features, reliability, and price. This cool-mist humidifier packs a huge 6 liter tank capacity that blows most other humidifiers out of the water (pun intended)! That capacity makes this humidifier run for nearly 60 hours straight on the lowest setting. Yes, 60 hours! We didn't believe it when we read the specs, but in our testing it lasted 58.5 hours - which was amazing because we used it through 5 straight nights in a row without refilling. Of course, you'll probably run it at something more like medium mist, but even with that setting we got it to run for 2-3 nights in a row. Every parent needs one less thing to worry about during the day, and we'll take all the help we can get! In terms of functionality, this is the quietest humidifier we've ever tested - it's truly whisper quiet (under 26dB!) which makes it ideal for a nursery. No glug-glug sounds every 30 minutes that are typical with other humidifiers. No, it doesn't look like an adorable teddy bear or elegant dew drop, but you can't argue with this functionality. Refill is easy and similar to other humidifiers, and the wide refill opening was a nice touch. No filters to clean, and no risk of steam burns that you get with a warm mist unit. It does have a subtle warm yellow glowing night light on the bottom, but that can be easily turned off.
There is a small light on the front panel that turns red when the water level is low, which is a nice feature. Speaking of lights, you can turn on Sleep mode and all of the lights turn off, including the digital screen, which is perfect for a dark nursery. Additional customizations let you set the humidity level to whatever you'd like, set an auto-off timer (1-12 hours), and rotate the mist nozzle to point wherever you'd prefer. Cons? It's not for use with aromas or essential oils, if you're looking for that feature. Also, because the tank capacity is so large you'll likely need to fill it in your kitchen sink or bath tub, since the tank may not fit under the faucet in a bathroom sink. Overall, we fell in love with this humidifier and have been using it for over a year now without any issues! Who else loves the Taotronics humidifiers? Our friends at WhatToExpect, Babygearlab, and The Bump consider them a top pick! Impressed? You can check out the TaoTronics Nursery Humidifier here.
Best for directed mist, about $35. Here's another good option made by Safety 1st, a company with a strong reputation for making high quality baby products at a reasonable price. There are a few things that make this is a great option for your family. First, it is whisper quiet, and even after several months of testing it hasn't gotten any louder. When you're looking for a nursery humidifier, the sound level is really important and this makes a great quiet option. Second, it has an awesome dual-direction 360-degree nozzle, so you can orient the cool mist in two directions at the same time. This is super helpful when you're trying to evenly fill a room rather than point it in one direction (and end up with a moist carpet in the morning!). Third, it uses a 2.5 liter tank which is a moderate size, lasting about 20 hours on a low setting. Speaking of adjustable settings, rather than using discrete low-medium-high settings, this humidifier uses a continuous knob that lets you dial in the perfect setting for your room size and duration of use.
In our testing, we tried a medium setting and it lasted through the night (from 8pm to 7am) and had about an inch of water remaining in it. Like many of the other humidifiers on this list, it is ultrasonic, cool mist, and doesn't require a filter. It will auto shut-off when it runs out of water, and a light will turn on when you're running low on water. The light is relatively dim and unlikely to wake a sleeping baby. Overall, we really liked the features and functionality of this humidifier, and definitely suggest checking it out if you're looking for a relatively cheap nursery humidifier that will pack a pretty good punch. Downfalls? Well, relative to other options on this list, its construction isn't quite as high quality. Some of the parts, such as the screw-on fill cap, felt a little flimsy and brittle. Like with all humidifiers, you need to be really careful about how much you tighten the fill cap - you want to hand-tighten it until it's barely snug. If you over-tighten it, the expansion of the plastic will make it a total bear to remove. A second thing is that cleaning is pretty difficult because the fill cap is so small; again, that's not unique to this humidifier, but worth mentioning. You will only need to clean it about once a month, especially if you don't let water sit in it for several days. Overall, we think that this is a great option even when considering those minor limitations - and we're not the only ones who think this is one of the best nursery humidifiers on the market! Our friends at What2Expect, Babylist, and Baby Center agree that it's a great deal for a no-frills yet functional and reliable humidifier! Interested? You can check out the Safety 1st 360 Nursery Humidifier here.
About $50. This humidifier offers great features at a truly impressive price. This unit has 3 different speed settings (low, med, high): the low setting is super quiet, and the medium and high settings are still very quiet overall. Taotronics is known for producing very high quality humidifiers, but also for their relatively large tank sizes - this one is no exception, with its ample-sized 4 liter tank (just over a gallon of water). It is rated for up to 30 hours of humidifying (at its low setting), and in our testing we got 2 nights on medium setting (about 10 hour nights), and about 1.5 nights (about 15 hours) on high setting. This humidifier also has several advanced features and a nice LED screen. It has a built-in humidity meter to tell you what the current conditions are in the room, and let you set a desired humidity level. It has an auto-off timer you can set at night, a rotating nozzle, a night light, and a sleek profile.
It has a very quiet operation (less than 38dB), with only a very subtle glug-glug noise ever 15-20 minutes. Nothing that would wake up your baby, and frankly we find it somewhat peaceful. Speaking of waking up your baby, the sleep mode turns off the light and LED screen, which we love. Cleaning is the same as the other units: clean out the tank and brush off the metal ring. The reliability on this unit is fantastic, and the company is very responsive to any questions or concerns. Just like with the 6L Taotronics, above, the tank is a bit larger than some others so it will likely need to be filled in your kitchen sink. Other than that, there are no other drawbacks to this humidifier that we could find. Not for use with aromas or essential oils (see below for that). Definitely highly recommended as an excellent, high-capacity and high-tech nursery humidifier. Who else loves the Taotronics humidifiers? Our friends at WhatToExpect, Babygearlab, and The Bump consider them a top pick! Interested? You can check it out here.
About $40. Looking for a nursery humidifier with smaller footprint, a fully see-through tank, and basic functionality at a relatively low price? The Levoit could be the perfect option for you! While the Taotronics options are definitely not cutesy, the Levoit takes a step in that direction with a baby blue or light pink tank option. When the nightlight is on, it creates a nice blue or pink glow in the nursery, and it can be turned off using the front knob. The knob is a unique design, with three humidifier intensities (low, medium, high): if you turn the knob clockwise to 1, 2, or 3, the nightlight will be off, but if you turn it counter-clockwise to those settings, the nightlight will be on. This is a clever way to do it, rather than using a separate nightlight button. The tank is on the smaller side (2.4L or 0.63 gallons), making it easier to fill in your bathroom sink, and taking up less space in the nursery. In our testing, the low setting lasts for about 22 hours, on medium about 12 hours, and on high about 9 hours. The mist levels were impressive, especially on the high setting, and you can rotate the mist nozzle in any direction you'd like.
One of the best things about this humidifier is how whisper quiet it is, especially on the low setting (24dB), with the high setting not too far behind (30dB). Refilling was easy, and we liked that the refill cap was a partial-turn style thread, rather than screw-on. Of course, we'd be remiss not to clarify that this is a very basic humidifier, without the perks of more expensive options: no auto-off timer, no hygrometer, and you can't set a preferred humidity level. The smaller tank is simple and lightweight, but it also will need to be refilled on a daily or semi-daily basis. Other than that, this is a truly excellent humidifier for an awesome price. Highly recommended! Who else loves the Levoit humidifiers? Our friends at Babygearlab and The Bump call them a top pick! Interested? You can check it out here.
About $120, which happens to be the most expensive humidifier on our list. Before the price scares you away, the Miro has some unique features for germaphobe parents like me: While most humidifiers have a base that fills up with water and can't be cleaned, the Miro completely disassembles for cleaning. This means you can clean every single part of the humidifier, not just the tank. Worried about mildew build-up, discoloration, or mold? This humidifier will put your mind at ease. Yes, it's time-consuming to take apart and clean every piece, but definitely a perk. And the Miro has a unique and beautiful design, well-suited for a modern nursery, with a color-changing base (6 different colors). In our testing, we thought it looked great and functioned reliably and quietly. The humidifier uses 3 settings (low, medium, high), and at the lowest setting it lasted for about 24 hours, about 13 hours on medium, and 7 hours on high.
The lights look great, or can be turned off; however, even when off, the humidifier still has a subtle glow. Pretty dim, but not ideal if you want a completely dark nursery. Operation was very quiet, though there is an audible beep when the device turns off (even when using timer mode). After about 8 months of testing, the Miro is still working great, looking great, and totally clean! The only cons other than the light and beep, there's no hygrometer or ability to set a preferred humidity level. Outside of that, we think Miro has solved a very common issue with nursery humidifiers, the ability to thoroughly clean the system, and they deserve a ton of credit for the innovation. Who else recommends the Miro humidifier? Our friends at The Bump call it a top pick! Interested? You can check it out here.
About $40. A great overall humidifier; in our testing, this humidifier lasted for over 14 hours; this was great because you can turn it on 2-3 hours before bedtime (maybe like 4 pm) and it would go all the way to morning (about 8 am)! Another great feature is that it's very simple to operate: there literally is only one button that controls the power and whether the subtle glowing night light is on or off. Here are some additional features: you can swivel the nozzle around 360-degrees to position it exactly how you'd like. It shuts off automatically when the water level gets low, or if the tank is removed. We also think it is one of the quietest one on the list - like, really super quiet (you'll be surprised). No annoying filters to clean, no complicated features, and all at a really great price. If you want a humidifier with fancy features, check out the TaoTronics option above, it's also a great humidifier. The only con with this humidifier is that its tank is quite small, at only 1.5-liters capacity. That means that even though it may last an impressive 14 hours, you're actually not getting as much moisture into the air during that time relative to other humidifiers on this list with larger tanks. Interested? You can check out this Pure Humidifier here.
About $50. This is a powerhouse humidifier that's been manufactured by Honeywell for several years. We were able to get our hands on one of these units and give it a thorough review two years ago, and we are happy to report that it is still running strong! This humidifier has a 1-gallon (about 3.8 liters) water capacity, which keeps it running on high for about 9 hours (overnight), or up to about 24 hours on low. That's excellent for running all day to keep a room moist for naps and then bedtime. The operation was whisper quiet especially on the low setting, though there was a gurgling sound every once in a while, as the water moves down from the reservoir. We found the reservoir easy to refill, with a nice wide fill hole, and easy to clean as well. Honeywell markets this as "germ-free" by using ultraviolet light to kill a range of bacteria before it is misted into the room. Unlike most other cool mist humidifiers, this unit does not use a nebulizer. Instead, it uses a moisture wicking filter and blows room air through it to release moisture into the room. It works very well, though we have to be honest that it's a pain to replace these filters every few months (and it gets pricey!). But that filter does do a nice job of trapping minerals in your water, rather than releasing them into your room and causing the white mist on your furniture. Another drawback is that the unit is short and wide, so it does take up a lot of space on the top of a dresser or table. Overall, you're getting an excellent, high capacity and reliable humidifier here. If you're willing to put in the work and cost to change the filter every few months, this will be an excellent option for you. And at only about $50-60, it's a great deal! Who else recommends the Honeywell humidifiers? Our friends at Babylist, WhatToExpect, The Wirecutter, and The Bump all consider them a top pick! Interested? You can check out the Honeywell humidifier here!
Cool versus Warm Mist Humidifiers for Babies
Doctors recommend cool mist humidifiers. There are two types of humidifiers - cool and warm mist. Both add moisture to the air, but warm mist humidifiers are more dangerous. Both cool and warm mist humidifiers add moisture to the air, but they do so differently. Cool mist humidifiers force water to dissipate into your room without using heat. Warm mist will heat the water and then send it into the room in the form of steam.
While you might think that warm mist would be better because it will keep your baby warm and cozy at night, cool and warm mists are just as effective as each other for helping coughing and congestion (if you don't believe us, read about it at the Mayo Clinic). However, warm mist humidifiers are dangerous for use in a baby's room: they can spill hot water, and burn your baby if they get too close to the steam. They are also more expensive than cool mist because they have the added heating element, and they are much noisier at night with the bubbling and hissing involved in heating the water.
Some humidifiers run low-quality fans and fan motors that introduce a loud drone into your baby's room. The better-quality humidifiers use quieter fans, or even better, no fan at all and instead rely on ultrasonic humidification. Cool mist humidifiers are also quieter than warm mist because there is no background bubbling and hissing noise from boiling the water inside the unit. The humidifiers we recommend above are some of the quietest we could find.
Germs and Bacteria
If your baby is sick, the last thing you want to do is pump more germs into their room. All humidifiers, even the ultrasonic ones, and both the warm and cool ones, can build up mold and bacteria in their tanks and other components. If you're considering using a humidifier in your baby's room you must be sure to clean it regularly (like every few days)! A solution of 90% water and 10% bleach is perfect, just make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions (they might not allow any cleaners to be used) and rinse well after cleaning. Also be careful where you point the humidifier in your baby's nursery: try to avoid pointing it directly at your baby's crib, bassinet, or nursery glider, since that might cause dampness, mildew and mold to form on the furniture.