Recently, the popularity of evaporative humidifiers has been on the rise. These nifty devices have captured the attention of many due to their remarkable tap water friendliness.
However, there are much fewer evaporative models available on the market than ultrasonic models. It is also hard to find a good guide to tell you how to pick an evaporative humidifier.
In this post, we will list out the 4 best evaporative humidifiers we have tested and guide you on how to find a suitable one for yourself.
The Canopy humidifier is a good option for small to middle-sized rooms because it is beautiful, easy to clean, and quiet. For a larger space, our go-to choice is the Vornado EVDC500 since it has many advanced features and can cover up to 1000 sq. ft.
Why you can trust this review: We purchased these evaporative humidifiers with our own money, took pictures, and spent at least two weeks testing them with a hygrometer, a scale, and a sound level meter.
Best Evaporative Humidifiers – Our Top Picks
1. Canopy Evaporative Bedside Humidifier – Best Overall
You may have seen it on social media because they really put much effort into promoting it. But after using it, we think it lives up to its reputation and decides to put it on the top of our list.
Unpacking it is just like receiving a gift and three bottles of essential oils have been included in the package.
Unlike most evaporative humidifiers that tend to be bulky, this one is refreshingly compact, allowing you to effortlessly place it on any nightstand. Additionally, it comes in a variety of colors to suit your taste. Ours happens to be a gorgeous and understated shade of green.
While it lacks a detailed instruction manual, it’s incredibly easy to get the hang of. All you need to do is press the power button to select the mode or switch the machine on or off.
When the auto mode is activated, this humidifier cleverly adjusts its settings based on the humidity level and darkness of your surroundings. For instance, it increases the output at night and decreases it during the day.
To help keep you informed, there are two indicators that remind you when it’s time to refill the water reservoir or replace the filter.
Through our trial and error, we stumbled upon an interesting yet highly useful feature we hadn’t experienced before.
As long as you don’t unplug it, this Canopy humidifier will continue running until the water reservoir is empty even if you have turned it off before, preventing any growth of mold and bacteria. It even incorporates a UV light inside for germ-killing purposes.
These features make this machine easy to maintain. Even better, it is dishwasher safe.
For light sleepers, this product is a dream come true, as it automatically shuts off after a certain period.
Now, let’s talk about its humidifying performance. There are two versions of Canopy humidifiers available. The smaller one, like the one we purchased, can cover up to 500 sq. ft, while the larger one (Canopy humidifier plus) can handle up to 1000 sq. ft.
During our testing, we found that the output averaged around 133 ml, making it an excellent choice for small to medium-sized rooms. In other words, it performs exceptionally well in spaces that are smaller than 300 sq ft.
While the diffuser function may not be as powerful as a standard diffuser, it still works, filling your room with a light and pleasant fragrance.
Coverage: 500 square feet (Canopy Humidifier Plus: 1000 square feet) Output: 133 ml (based on our result) Water capacity: 2.5L Weight: 3.58 pounds Warranty: 1 year Size:10.7"D x 7.4"W x 11"H
What we like
- Compact size.
- Modern and simple design.
- Easy to use and clean. It is dishwasher-safe!
- It is quieter than many competitors.
- UV light is included for killing germs.
- Diffuser feature included.
- It will turn on automatically to empty the water in the reservoir. (Some don’t like this feature!)
- It has two versions for covering different types of rooms.
What we don’t like
- The water tank capacity of the Canopy humidifier is only 2.5 liters.
- Both the machine and filter of this humidifier tend to come with a higher price tag.
- It tends to provide coverage for a smaller space than what the manufacturer claims.
2. Honeywell HCM-350 Cool Moisture Humidifier – Best Budget Option
The Honeywell HCM-350 evaporative humidifier has enjoyed enduring popularity in the market for several years. While it doesn’t have a plethora of advanced features, it is reliable, effective, and affordable.
One remarkable advantage of this model lies in its association with the trusted brand, Honeywell, which generously provides a 3-year warranty for the HCM-350, offering you a comforting sense of security.
From our own firsthand experience, we can attest that the entire machine is constructed from sturdy and durable plastic. However, it must be noted that it is bulkier compared to the Canopy humidifier. With its substantial footprint, it is best placed on the floor for optimal usage.
Conveniently situated atop the device, a sizable knob allows you to effortlessly adjust the fan speed. Overall, it tends to produce a bit more noise than its Canopy counterpart. Nevertheless, when set to low mode, it won’t disrupt your peaceful slumber.
Unlike the Canopy humidifier, the Honeywell HCM-350 lacks an indicator for water level or filter condition. However, it does feature an indicator to remind you when it’s time to replace the UV light. Rest assured, this task only needs to be performed after 3000 hours of use.
Based on our comprehensive testing, we found that its output averages around 189 ml, making it an excellent choice for a medium-sized room. It’s important to note that the output can decrease as the humidity level rises.
As I mentioned, the Honeywell HCM-350 is a straightforward device. It lacks an auto shut-off feature and the indicator cannot be turned off while the machine is operational.
Therefore, it’s crucial to clean and refill it regularly to ensure the filter remains clean. The good news is it is also dishwasher-safe.
Coverage: 400 square feet (our estimation) Water capacity: 3.79L Output: 189 ml (based on our result) Weight: 3.76 pounds Warranty: 3 year Size: 10.39"D x 18.58"W x 13.03"H
What we like
- It is cost-effective.
- It is easy to use.
- UV light is included for killing bacteria.
- 3-year warranty.
- It is dishwasher-safe.
What we don’t like
- If you don’t empty the water often, its filter can produce a bad smell.
- It can’t turn off automatically.
- It is bulky.
- You need to replace the UV light.
3. Smartmi Evaporative Top Fill Humidifier 2 – Best Smart Model
Many people don’t choose to buy an evaporative humidifier because they don’t want to pay for the expense of filter replacements. If you are one of those, this Smartmi humidifier can perfectly solve your problem.
Rather than using a wick filter, this humidifier uses a plastic evaporator to facilitate evaporation. That is to say, you don’t need to replace the evaporator!
However, the downside is the evaporator comprises a few chips, which should be disassembled and cleaned separately. It does come with a self-clean and a drying function, but we found that it is not as effective as we expect. Well, nothing’s perfect, right?
The Smartmi humidifier doesn’t take up much space, but it’s a bit heavier than the other models we’ve talked about. So, my advice? Don’t try lugging it around when it’s filled with water. On the bright side, you can easily refill it from the top.
In terms of controlling it, there are two ways. You can either use the control panel right in front of the machine or whip out your smartphone for some fancy remote control action.
You can set your desired humidity level, schedule a timer, and even adjust the brightness of the display. Plus, it’s got this nifty water level detection thing going on.
Our test indicated that its output is about 130 ml/h, allowing it to cover a small to mid-sized room. Additionally, it has a quiet operation but the high mode is still not recommended for use at night.
Now, here’s a little something we discovered: if you let the water sit in the tank for too long, it can develop a bit of a funky smell.
So, here’s the golden rule: always remember to empty the tank when you’re not using it. That way, you’ll avoid any unwanted odors and keep things fresh and clean.
Coverage: 270 square feet (our estimation) Output: 130 ml (based on our result) Water capacity: 4L Weight: 9.4 pounds Warranty: 1 year Size:11.8 *7.1*7.1 in
What we like
- You can control it via your phone.
- It has a top-fill feature.
- It has a built-in humidistat and timer.
- Quiet operation.
What we don’t like
- It is hard to clean.
- The self-clean and drying function is not useful.
- The diffuser feature is not included.
4. Vornado EVDC-500 Evaporative Humidifier – Best for Large Rooms
Up until this point, aside from the larger version of the canopy humidifier, the three models we have reviewed above are for small to mid-sized rooms. Now, Now, it’s time to delve into a great evaporative model for large rooms – Vornado EVDC-500.
Vornado offers many evaporative models and this EVDC-500 one can serve up to 1000 sq. ft. It’s a perfect fit for your expansive living room or those generously proportioned bedrooms.
Different from other models in this list, it comes with two transparent water tanks so as to store more water. Meanwhile, according to our test, its output could be as high as 250 ml, which is the highest on our list.
After trying out this product, we discovered that, unlike its counterparts, the EVDC-500 utilizes two wick filters to absorb and purify water instead of relying on a single filter.
Even though it is not a smart humidifier, it has many advanced features. It has a built-in humidistat to maintain the indoor humidity level at a proper level. Even better, it features Energy Smart Technology, which can adjust the fan speed automatically to save more electricity.
We are very impressed by the ease of cleaning this model has. You can disassemble it easily and clean each part quickly. The 5-year warranty can also give you peace of mind.
However, it does have two drawbacks that you may not like. Firstly, when set to high or turbo mode, the unit can emit noticeable noise. We recommend placing it at a slight distance from your bed, even if you intend to operate it solely on the low setting.
Secondly, the internal light remains illuminated even during nighttime hours, which may not be ideal for those seeking complete darkness.
Coverage: 1000 square feet Output: 250ml (based on our result) Water capacity: 7.57L Weight: 8.9 lbs. Warranty: 5 years Size: 8.1 x 18.9 x 12.2 inches
What we like
- It is a good evaporative humidifier for large spaces.
- Ease of cleaning.
- Larger tank capacity.
- It is energy-efficient.
- 5-year warranty.
- Built-in humidistat.
What we don’t like
- It can make a bit more noise.
- Light will keep illuminated when working.
How do we test these evaporative humidifiers?
Testing humidifiers has become our daily routine, allowing us to accumulate a wealth of experience through the evaluation of numerous models.
To find the best evaporative humidifier on the market, we spend two days researching the most popular models and ordered them through online stores. All of the products we tested are not sponsored.
After we received the products, we put each of them into a two-weeks test. This duration allowed us ample time to assess their user-friendliness, efficiency, and ease of maintenance. Our keen eyes were attuned to identifying any potential flaws or shortcomings, ensuring a thorough evaluation process.
Meanwhile, we also utilize a hygrometer, a scale, and a sound level meter to measure and record the humidifying performance, output, and noise level of the humidifiers in one of our bedrooms.
Since evaporative humidifiers require a few days to reach their optimal functioning capacity, we conducted these tests on the last day of the two-week evaluation period.
Evaporative humidifier or ultrasonic humidifier, which one you should choose?
Most people don’t know exactly the difference between an evaporative humidifier and an ultrasonic humidifier. If you find yourself grappling with this dilemma, you can consider asking yourself these questions to clean up your mind and make an informed decision.
First, do you want to use your humidifier with tap water? If yes, go for an evaporative humidifier because the filter inside can remove most mineral deposits and it is free of white dust.
Next, are you a light sleeper? Evaporative humidifiers generally produce more noise compared to their ultrasonic counterparts. If noise disturbances are a significant concern for you, ultrasonic models might be a better option as they tend to operate quietly.
Lastly, are you on a budget? Evaporative models tend to have a higher price tag and you need to pay for the cost of filter replacement.
What to consider when purchasing an evaporative humidifier?
It looks like you have made up your mind about buying an evaporative humidifier. Let’s spend a few minutes learning how to pick the right model that can meet your needs.
Your room size
It is crucial to consider the intended placement of your humidifier as each model has its own coverage capacity, determining the maximum area it can effectively humidify.
We recommend selecting an evaporative humidifier with a coverage capacity that exceeds the size of your room.
For instance, if your room measures 500 sq. ft, opting for the Canopy humidifier plus or the Vornado EVDC500 , which boasts coverage of 1000 sq. ft, would be a wise choice. This is because, in most cases, you would operate the humidifier in lower settings to maintain optimal humidity levels.
Since all the evaporative humidifiers make use of a fan to accelerate the evaporation, they tend to generate more noise. Therefore, it becomes imperative to ensure that the noise produced by the humidifier is acceptable to you.
Generally speaking, most evaporative humidifiers could be noisy when they are on high. As a result, you should make sure it is relatively quiet when it is on low since it is likely the setting you will use while sleeping.
To assess the noise level of a specific humidifier model, you can visit your local store or read the reviews online. The Canopy humidifier and Smartmi 2 are two models we found that feature quiet operation.
Ease of cleaning
While the filter can filter out most contaminants in the water, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to commit to regular cleaning.
Over time, the fan component can accumulate dust and dirt, while stagnant water and damp wick filters can emit unpleasant odors.
It is better to opt for a unit that does not have any hard-to-access corners or intricate components that are challenging to clean thoroughly, like the Vornado EVDC500 .
Some models like the Canopy humidifier and the Honeywell humidifier come with a UV light to kill microbes and are dishwasher-safe, which is also helpful.
Price of product and filter replacement
Again, evaporative humidifiers are more expensive than ultrasonic humidifiers. Many models are priced above $100 and you should also pay for the ongoing cost of filter replacement.
Evaporative humidifiers typically utilize wick filters that need to be replaced regularly, usually every one to two months. The cost of these filter replacements should be taken into account when considering the overall cost of owning an evaporative humidifier.
For some popular models, there may be options to purchase cheaper wick filters made by other manufacturers. This can help reduce the cost of filter replacements but may affect the humidifying performance.
If you are planning to purchase an evaporative humidifier, this post should have provided you with the necessary information.
When selecting an evaporative model, it is important to ensure that it is quiet, offers sufficient coverage, and is easy to clean. Additionally, it is crucial not to overlook the cost of filter replacement.
Drawing from our experience, the Canopy humidifier is the best evaporative humidifier and now it has a new version for spacious rooms. But if you are working on a budget, the Honeywell cool moisture humidifier could be a great option.
Last update on 2023-12-04 at 06:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API