Home & Garden Home The 6 Best Energy Efficient Humidifiers of 2023 Our top pick is the HuPro Warm and Moist Humidifier. By Amber Nolan Amber Nolan College at Brockport, State University of New York Amber Nolan is a freelance writer for Treehugger who is passionate about sustainable living, nature, and outdoor adventure. Learn about our editorial process Updated January 3, 2023 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Home & Garden Pest Control Natural Cleaning DIY Family Green Living Thrift & Minimalism Sustainable Eating We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more. Catherine Falls Commercial / Getty Humidifiers add moisture indoors, which is useful in dry regions and during the winter months because the water vapor in cold air condenses more readily, removing it from the local atmosphere. This can result in unpleasant health effects, including dry skin and chapped lips. By adding water vapor to the air, humidifiers increase localized humidity. This can help with symptoms of dryness and even relieve flu or cold symptoms, like sore throats and stuffy noses. A humidifier also can be helpful if you grow lots of house plants, which thrive best in high humidity environments. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), humidifiers accounted for about 0.11% of total electricity use in 2012, making them a small part of the typical household's energy use. But even appliances that consume relatively little energy can benefit from eco-conscious decisions. The EPA estimated that nudging the market toward more energy-efficient models could collectively save hundreds of megawatt hours and tens of millions of dollars every year. Picking the right humidifier for your environment can be an eco-friendly way to improve your indoor air quality. We found the best energy-efficient humidifiers for any situation. The Rundown Best Overall: HuPro Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier at Amazon Jump to Review Best Budget: PureGuardian Cool Mist Ultrasonic Tower Humidifier at Wayfair Jump to Review Best Splurge: AIRCARE 5 Gal. Evaporative Humidifier at Walmart Jump to Review Best for Travel: Pure Enrichment Portable Ultrasonic Humidifier at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Small Rooms: Levoit Smart Top-Fill Humidifier at Amazon Jump to Review Best for Large Rooms: Elechomes Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier at Amazon Jump to Review Best Overall HuPro 773 Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier 5 Amazon View On Amazon View On Hupro.biz The HuPro Ultrasonic Humidifier is a sleek, reasonably priced humidifier that's loaded with modern features. With a 5.5 liter capacity, it's also versatile enough to be used in most average-sized rooms (up to 500 square feet). The digital screen allows you to set the humidity levels and fan speeds, and the sleep mode timer reduces sound to less than 30 decibels. On cool mist mode, the humidifier uses less than 30 watts. When humidifier reservoirs aren't properly cleaned, they can become a breeding ground for microorganisms, dispersing them into the air. The HuPro Ultrasonic helps protect against stagnating water with an included filtration system, which combines a ceramic filter with active charcoal to maintain water quality. Additional features include an essential oils tray, a remote control, and a detachable water tank for easy refilling. Best Budget PureGuardian H940AR Cool Mist Ultrasonic Tower Humidifier 4.6 Wayfair View On Wayfair View On Home Depot If you're shopping for a humidifier on a budget, the PureGuardian Cool Mist is an affordable choice that can handle up to 350 square feet of space. Although it doesn't have a humidistat to monitor moisture levels like some of the pricier choices, the ultrasonic humidifier uses just 25 watts of power. The PureGuardian humidifier can run for up to 30 hours on its half-gallon tank and includes an indicator light for when the water reservoir is low. With its clean curves and small footprint, this ultrasonic tower humidifier is tabletop-ready. It also includes a tray for essential oils and a night light feature (which you may or may not like, depending on what room this is used in; it's not great in bedrooms where excess light can interfere with sleep). Price at time of publish: $60 Best Splurge AIRCARE Whole House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier Home Depot View On Walmart View On Amazon View On Home Depot If you need a quiet humidifier that can add moisture throughout your entire home, the AIRCARE Digital Whole-House Humidifier is a worthwhile option. The unit is fairly large, with a 15-inch by 24-inch footprint, but the honey-oak paneled humidifier can handle up to 4,000 square feet—suitable for a large house. For efficiency, the digital humidistat automatically maintains the desired humidity level and will shut off when that level is reached. The AIRCARE Whole House Evaporative Humidifier has four adjustable fan speeds and a 5.4-gallon water reservoir that allows it to operate for up to 45 hours. Price at time of publish: $193 Best for Travel Pure Enrichment MistAire Travel Portable Ultrasonic Humidifier Amazon View On Amazon View On Wayfair View On Belk.com Combining a nearly handheld base with a standard water bottle for a reservoir, the Pure Enrichment MistAire Travel humidifier is true to its travel-friendly name. Plus, since it works on 100 to 240 volts, it's ideal for international travel. The unique design uses any standard 16.9-ounce water bottle, so you can reuse bottles from around the house and recycle them when the bottle needs to be changed out. The humidifier weighs just 1.2 pounds and has a 5.6 by 3-inch footprint—small enough to fit in a purse or tote. The MistAire Travel can run for up to six hours on one bottle of water. It also features a soft blue mood light, but be warned: It can't be turned off. Price at time of publish: $30 Best for Small Rooms Levoit Dual 200S Smart Top-Fill Humidifier Amazon View On Amazon View On Levoit.com If you're searching for a humidifier for a smaller room, the 24-watt, Levoit Top Fill Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is full of added functions, including several smart settings that can be adjusted using a free smartphone app. The built-in humidistat can be set to maintain the target humidity, and the device is compatible with Google Home, Alexa, and Siri Shortcuts. Levoit's top-fill humidifier is designed for spaces between 100 and 300 square feet and has a runtime of 25 hours. The 3-liter water tank is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning. Price at time of publish: $51 Best for Large Rooms Elechomes Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier Amazon View On Amazon For larger spaces, the Elechomes Top Fill 5.5-Liter Humidifier has an outreach of up to 755 square feet, yet this ultrasonic humidifier is also extremely quiet, with a noise level between 20 to 32 decibels. The humidifier has both a cool and warm mist mode with three levels, a night setting, and a child lock. The digital display screen allows you to set desired humidity on a 12-hour timer, or you can use the included remote. The Elechomes humidifier is compatible with essential oils. On a low, cool mist setting, the device uses just 16 watts, though the heating element used for warm mist uses quite a bit more energy, consuming approximately 80 watts of power on a low mist setting. Price at time of publish: $104 Final Verdict The HuPro Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier is our top pick overall with a stylish design, multiple functions, and moderate price. If you're on a budget, the PureGuardian 0.5 Gal. Cool Mist is a low-watt, ultrasonic option for mid-sized rooms. If you're traveling, we like the unique, compact design of the Pure Enrichment Cool and Warm Ultrasonic Tabletop Humidifier. What to Look for in an Energy Efficient Humidifier Unfortunately, Energy Star does not certify humidifiers, but when determining if a humidifier is energy efficient, there are a few things to look for to help guide your decisions. Humidifier Type Due to the heating element required in warm mist humidifiers, they draw significantly more energy than those that use cool mist (about four times as much). Check the wattage on your humidifier's product details—an efficient portable humidifier (on a cool mist setting) uses less than 30 watts. Energy Star finds that ultrasonic humidifiers, which use high-frequency sound vibrations to propel moisture, are more energy efficient than cool mist or warm mist alternatives that do not use this technology. Humidistat According to Energy Star, "Portable humidifiers that do not have a humidistat will run continuously until they run out of water." Luckily, many modern humidifiers are now designed with digital humidistats that can be set to a chosen humidity amount, making it easy to control levels. If you can't find a humidifier with a humidistat that suits your needs, consider using one that has a timer on it. Room Size When searching for an energy-efficient humidifier, you'll want to find one that matches the room size you plan on using it in. Using a large volume humidifier in a small room can lead to excessive humidity levels (and can contribute to mildew) and energy waste. Frequently Asked Questions Where is the best place to put a humidifier? The best placement depends on the type of humidifier. If you're using warm mist, it shouldn't be placed too close to an individual, so allow several feet in between. You can set it on a shelf, desk, or table, but it's best to leave some space between the device and the wall and put a tray underneath in case it leaks.If you're using a cool-mist humidifier, you'll want to place it in the vicinity of people and closer than a warm mist humidifier. Avoid areas that are already showing any type of moisture damage (like leaky pipes or windows). Can a humidifier cause mold? Yes, adding moisture into the air can increase mold and mildew buildup, but there are ways to prevent this when using a humidifier. Mold flourishes with humidity levels above 55%, so monitor the humidity levels in the home. According to the EPA, you'll want to keep humidity levels between 30% and 50%. If your humidifier doesn't have a built-in humidistat, you should consider purchasing a humidity reader to monitor the levels inside your home.It is important to change the filters regularly (every one to three months) and to use distilled water (not tap water) to fill the tank. Be sure to properly wash, rinse, sanitize, and dry the water chambers every few days. How do you recycle a humidifier? If your humidifier is still working, consider donating it to a charitable organization or thrift store, or by listing it on websites like FreeCycle or Craigslist. If it's inoperable and can't be repaired, it should not be disposed of in the trash or placed in regular-service recycling bins. Many local transfer stations accept them, and the EPA offers several resources for locating an electronics recycling center in your area. Why Trust Treehugger? Treehugger is committed to helping readers reduce the environmental impact of our day-to-day lives. While living off the grid, the author, Amber Nolan has been researching and writing about energy-efficient products for several years. The 8 Best Mist Humidifiers of 2023 View Article Sources "Humidifiers and Health." National Library of Medicine. "ENERGY STAR Market & Industry Scoping Report - Residential Humidifiers." United States Environmental Protection Agency. "Indoor Air Facts No. 8 - Use and Care of Home Humidifiers." United States Environmental Protection Agency. “ENERGY STAR Market & Industry Scoping Report Residential Humidifiers.” Energy Star, Oct. 2012.