The ideal humidifier is one you shouldn’t notice.
It creates a comforting indoor condensation level that soothes your skin and helps you breathe more easily, without turning the room into a swampy fog or leaving little drops of moisture on the walls. And it should do this without making the maintenance process too much of a burden.
This sounds pretty basic, but it’s a surprisingly tall demand for such a seemingly simple device.
After testing dozens of humidifiers over the years, we think the Wi-Fi–enabled Levoit LV600S Smart Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier is the best option out there: It’s quiet, durable, and easier to deal with overall than any other humidifier we’ve tested, with a 1.5-gallon tank that will last all day.
The Levoit LV600S Smart Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier does everything right. It’s easy to clean, and it humidifies the air quickly and (almost) silently, and it won’t bother you at night with beeping or bright lights. It also does something that almost no other ultrasonic humidifier can claim to do: It can achieve a target humidity level and maintain it on an auto setting that actually works, thanks to a built-in humidistat and functional smart features. This sounds like it should be the most basic expectation for a humidifier, but it is in fact a rare and remarkable feat. Over-humidification of a room has been the flaw of nearly every ultrasonic humidifier we’ve tested since 2013—including the non-smart version of this same humidifier, which we recommended from 2018 to 2022. But the LV600S finally fixes that issue. It has plenty of other thoughtful features that make it stand out from other humidifiers, too. Its 1.5-gallon tank is big enough to last all day, and its fill hole is wide enough that you won’t have to scrub around any awkward corners. It’s also the only model we currently recommend that offers warm mist capabilities. While the idea of a “smart humidifier” might sound a little ridiculous, we were genuinely surprised at how impressed we were with the LV600S’s smart-home features, which brought some added convenience into our lives with cleaning reminders, scheduling options, and memorable voice commands via Alexa or Google Home. The LV600S is still susceptible to some of the other drawbacks of ultrasonics, including a tendency (if you have hard or well water) to leave a trail of fine mineral dust on the furniture or floor, but this is harmless and simple to clean, and easier to maintain overall than an evaporative model.
The Levoit Classic 300S Ultrasonic Smart Humidifier performed nearly identical to our top pick in our tests and has a lot of the same features as well, including a top-filling tank that holds 1.5 gallons of water, and smart-home capabilities that help prevent it from over-humidifying the room like other ultrasonic models do. It also adds a pleasant night-light feature (that’s also easy to turn off when you need to). The user interface isn’t quite as intuitive, however, and the four unmarked buttons on the basin are pretty limited on what they can accomplish without pulling up the app on your phone. We’ve heard several complaints about the tank leaking when it’s lifted off the basin as well. But if you want something spartan and uncomplicated (and don’t mind some potential dripping), the Classic 300S is a solid choice.
If you just need a basic humidifier that looks nice and does the job without costing too much, get the Levoit Classic 200 Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. Its 4-liter tank is big enough to last most of the day, with a large opening and simple rectangular shape that make it easy to clean. The Classic 200 isn’t quite as versatile as the Levoit LV600S, or even the Classic 300S: The Classic 200 has just a single button that changes color each time you press it, to indicate the different power levels (on/low, medium, high, and then off again). This model also lacks a humidistat or any other option for self-regulation. Otherwise, the Levoit Classic 200 has all of the same perks and flaws as many ultrasonic humidifiers, including quiet yet buzzy operation and a slight chance of water puddling underneath.
The Vornado EVDC300 is the most energy-efficient humidifier we’ve ever tested, thanks to its unusual DC motor. It’s also the most consistent, with a powerful fan that keeps the humidified air circulating evenly around the room. The EVDC300 differs from our other picks in that it’s an evaporative model. That means it’s better at self-regulation than your typical ultrasonic humidifier, so it won’t over-humidify your room. But the downside is you have to deal with the added maintenance and regular replacement of this model’s wicking filter. The EVDC300 is also louder than our ultrasonic picks. But the white noise emitted from its fan is still quieter and more pleasant than that of most other evaporative models we’ve tested. The EVDC300’s 1-gallon tank is also slightly smaller than the tank on the Levoit LV600S, but it’s still easy enough to open, carry, and clean. If anything else goes wrong with this humidifier, it’s backed by Vornado’s impressive five-year warranty (and 10 years for the motor alone). This is the best protection for any humidifier we’ve seen. However, it won’t cover you if your toddler knocks a full tank off the counter, shattering it into a puddle of sharp plastic edges. We learned that one the hard way.
If you want an extremely effective evaporative humidifier that requires less-frequent cleaning and refilling than our other recommendations, consider the Venta LW25 Airwasher. At its current price, it’s very expensive. But its high up-front cost is somewhat mitigated by its extreme energy efficiency in the long run. And in our tests, the LW25 consistently ranked high in humidification performance. Like our other evaporative picks, this model is suited to spaces that are the size of a large bedroom. Competitors require weekly cleaning. But Venta recommends that you rinse this unit every two weeks and thoroughly clean it every six months. Despite its name, however, it does not wash the air particularly well. If that’s a concern for you, consider getting an air purifier.
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