Humidifiers are great for soothing all manner of problems exacerbated by dry air, including asthma. Following are reviews of five fantastic humidifiers. We’ve highlighted the distinguishing features of each so that you can make a choice based on your biggest priorities. To help make things easier, we have researched the best humidifier for asthma.
But first, let’s learn a bit more about how humidity can support your health, even with asthma.
How Humidity Helps Asthma
Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the inside walls of your airways to become sore and swollen. This makes those passages sensitive and reactive to irritants of all kinds.
When sensitive and swollen airways react to irritants, it narrows those passageways enough to cause coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. The amount of air you can take while suffering an asthma attack is seriously limited.
According to the CDC, one in four people in America suffers from asthma or breath-limiting allergies. Every day, up to 30,000 people have an asthma attack, and 5,000 of those need to rush to the emergency room in response. Unfortunately, about 4,000 people die each year from asthma attacks.
Humidifiers can help minimize asthma symptoms because moist air relaxes lungs and improves breathing. Humidity can also bind with pollen and other environmental irritants and keep them low to the ground, rather than constantly circulating in your space.
On the other hand, overly dry air irritates nerves in the lungs. That, in turn, causes inflammation and begins to constrict airways.
Ideal Humidity Levels
In the most basic terms, humidity is simply the level of water vapor in the air at any given time. Humidity varies naturally throughout the year, with summer generally being much more humid than winter. But regardless of the time of year, the ideal humidity level for human comfort is somewhere between 30% and 50%.
When humidity is either too high or too low, you may experience discomfort and health challenges.
Low humidity can dry your skin and irritate your throat, nasal passages, and eyes, causing itchiness.
High humidity triggers mold growth and harmful bacteria and can cause condensation to appear on walls, ceilings, and floors. It also creates a muggy, stuffy environment that can smell unpleasant.
If you are paying attention to humidity to protect your health, it’s helpful to use a tool that can measure it accurately.
This device is called a hygrometer or humidistat. It looks like a thermometer but measures the amount of moisture in the air rather than the temperature. Some humidifiers come with one built-in, which can be a handy feature.
Dirty Humidifiers and Health Concerns
When using a humidifier for any health purpose, it is really important to keep it clean. Dirty reservoirs and filters are breeding grounds for mold and bacteria, which can trigger asthma and even cause lung infections.
Rooms that are too humid in general also have this capacity, so it is important to keep on top of both the humidity level and the tools you use to achieve it. Stick with us after the reviews for important information on keeping your humidifier clean.
Placing Your Humidifier
When placing your humidifier, be sure to aim the stream of moisture away from drapes and furniture. The goal is for the moisture to hang in the air rather than settle on surfaces.
If the humidifier dampens the items in your home, you can easily get mold and bacterial growth. One way to compensate for this is to choose a humidifier with a rotating nozzle that can adjust when one area becomes too damp.
The 5 Best Humidifier for Asthma
If you’re wondering what type of humidifier is best for asthma, we will tell you. Let’s dig deeper into each of these top-reviewed humidifiers for asthma.
Elechomes UC5501 Ultrasonic Humidifier 6L Vaporizer Warm and Cool Mist for Large Room Baby Bedroom with Remote
If you want it all when it comes to a humidifier for asthma, look no further than this Elechomes model. It has the largest water tank, longest continuous run time, and largest coverage area of any product on our list. And that’s just the start.
This ultrasonic humidifier can deliver cool and warm mist based on your preference. Though cool mist is sufficient for almost any purpose, you’ll find that using warm mist in the wintertime lowers your heating bill. Placing this humidifier is also super easy, as the dual nozzles can rotate 360° to direct moisture wherever you need it.
Even better, this humidifier comes with a built-in humidistat that accurately detects the moisture level in the room. Set it to your desired level, and the machine will cycle on and off as necessary to keep the room’s humidity consistent.
Another helpful setting is Sleep Mode. Under this setting, the unit will turn off its LED screen and operate at a whisper-quiet 34dB.
You can also set a runtime anywhere between 1-12 hours. Want to add some aromatherapy to your humidification? Not all humidifiers support this, but Elechomes does with a built-in aromatherapy box that can be used or left empty as desired.
And finally, control all of these incredible features from a distance with the included remote control. There’s no need to leave the comfort of your bed or couch to make adjustments to your settings. For rooms up to 750 sq. ft. and up to 40 hours of continuous use due to a large 6L tank, this humidifier simply cannot be beaten.
Pallas Humidifier, Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifiers with 5L Water tank for Bedroom
Though slightly less feature-rich, the Pallas humidifier is a solid workhorse that can deliver over 20 hours of continuous moisture to ease asthma symptoms. The 5L tank is roomy, while the 360° degree rotating nozzle allows you to direct the moisture where you need it most. The settings are basic and intuitive, with low, middle, and high volume levels.
Furthermore, the microporous activated carbon cotton filter cartridge removes microorganisms and negative ions from the water while it works to produce a cleaner mist. This is especially important for asthma sufferers.
As an ultrasonic humidifier, it runs nearly silently and should not disturb any activities, from watching television to sleeping soundly. Running this humidifier at night reduces snoring for a further reduction in ambient noise!
The manufacturer wants you to feel safe in your purchase and promises to address any concerns within 24 hours of your request. This includes refunding or replacing your purchase if need be.
iTeknic Humidifiers, Upgrade Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier for Bedroom
iTeknic humidifiers deliver a good range due to the ultrasonic technology coupled with an internal fan to push moisture out and away from the unit. It also runs very quietly at 27dB at all times, making it great for sleeping with a humidifier every night. And with an ample 4L of water capacity, you won’t have to get up in the middle of the night to refill. You can get up to 50 hours of continuous use from one tank.
One of the challenges of using a humidifier is refilling it without making a mess, and the iTeknic has included a convenient handle to make this job easier. The water tank also has a wide opening that supports easy filling and also makes it a snap to clean. If you use your humidifier for asthma, you know that regular cleaning is essential.
Another beneficial feature to people with asthma is the integrated ceramic filter. This filter removes potentially harmful impurities from the water before it becomes vaporized. Not only does this keep your air cleaner, but it also minimizes that white residue left behind in the water tank, further supporting the ease of maintenance.
Direct the cool mist anywhere you want it with the 360° degree rotating nozzle. The unit will automatically turn off when the tank is empty, so there are no worries about burning out the machine if it is empty overnight. Buy with confidence as this humidifier comes with a long two-year warranty.
UCareAir Cool Mist Humidifier
Sometimes you need a smaller humidifier so as not to overwhelm tighter spaces. Too much moisture can be just as harmful to asthma sufferers as too little. This model from UCareAir holds 2L of water and runs for up to 10 hours, ably covering about 200 sq. ft. of space.
There are two mist settings – high and low – that control both the direction and speed of the mist. That may not sound like enough control, but in fact, this humidifier utilizes advanced ultrasonic technology that creates a very fine mist. You don’t ever need to place a towel under the machine (you shouldn’t, as it may block the vents), and you don’t need to fine-tune the settings to death just to avoid pooled water.
This cool-mist humidifier works at a quiet 32dB. And while it does have lights, they can be set to dim night lights that may be comforting. You can also turn the lights off completely if desired. Add in the automatic shutoff that triggers when the water runs out, and this humidifier has great features to support peaceful sleep when you run it overnight.
There is no filter to clean or replace, and the water tank is also designed to make refilling and clean a breeze. Your purchase includes a special brush to help get the job done in no time. Because the tank is narrower at the top, you should grip it easily in one hand to remove it. And just for fun, choose this product in blue, pink, or green.
TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier, 4L Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Large Bedroom
For a feature-rich experience in a smaller humidifier, check out this model from TaoTronics. Depending on the setting, it has a compact 4L tank that can run for 12-30 hours. It is compact enough to fit almost anywhere and runs at a quiet 38dB.
But unlike other small humidifiers, this one has an informative LED display and a built-in humidistat to reveal the current relative humidity in the room. You can set your desired humidity level via three mist settings. You may turn on the nightlight at night or switch into sleep mode to shut off the LED screen entirely.
This model has an automatic shutoff that triggers when the water runs out in terms of health and safety. It also uses a microporous cartridge filter to remove microorganisms and unpleasant odors from the water before it is vaporized. You’ll need to clean or replace the filter every 4-6 months, depending on your level of use.
One thing that may discourage users who want many features is that the manufacturer specifically discourages the use of essential oils with this product. Doing so can damage the machine and lead to leakage issues. However, a further nice feature is that you can buy this humidifier in white, gray, and black, or in a smart version that works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
How to Keep Your Humidifier Clean
When it comes to safety and cleanliness, it is important to follow the guidelines set out in your dehumidifier’s user manual. The following tips can also help.
- Use distilled or demineralized water.
Tap water tends to contain minerals that are not harmful in general but can create deposits inside your humidifier. These minerals can also be released into the air and settle on furniture in a white powder. While these are not dangerous minerals, breathing them in can irritate the throat and lungs. Distilled or demineralized water contains a lot less mineral and will help keep your dehumidifier and the environment cleaner.
- Change humidifier water often.
Even if it takes days for your humidifier tank to empty at your level of use, it can still be better to empty and refill the tank daily rather than let water sit stagnant for any period of time. Any mold or bacteria that has begun to form will die if it dries, so we recommend emptying your humidifier and drying it thoroughly inside before refilling.
- Clean every three days.
To remove mineral deposits or film from your humidifier, a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution can do the trick with minimal elbow grease. Rinse after cleaning to ensure that no chemicals become airborne when you use the humidifier next. To ensure that your humidifier is clean, every three days is an ideal time frame for cleanings. Be sure to unplug the machine before cleaning!
- Change the filter regularly.
Not all humidifiers have filters, but if yours does, it is vital to clean and/or replace them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you have had a situation where excess dust or other particulates have come through the house – think of nearby forest fires or windy days – it is good to just keep an eye on the filter. It may become dirty sooner than usual.
- Prepare humidifier for storage.
During naturally humid months, you may not need to use your humidifier. If you will put it away for any amount of time, definitely drain all water and clean the unit first. When you bring it out for use, clean it again as dust may have accumulated. It’s also good to start a season fresh with a new filter.
- Consider replacing old humidifiers.
Even with regular cleaning and maintenance, your humidifier will build up deposits in areas that are difficult or impossible to reach overtime. This allows for the growth of bacteria. After the warranty period on your humidifier has expired, it could be time to consider getting a new one. New models tend to be more energy-efficient, reducing your operating costs.
You may also want to use a humidifier for allergies and sinus problems. You may find it is great for congestion as well. Properly hydrated air also keeps nasal passages from drying out and may reduce the number of nosebleeds you have during the cold winter months.
Now that you have looked at five great models, you’re ready to take the leap and purchase the best humidifier for asthma according to your unique needs. The products on our list can fit the bill whether you care most about ease of cleaning, a filter, a built-in humidistat, tank capacity, aromatherapy, sound level, or cool or warm mist.
The best humidifier for asthma is a worthwhile investment because maintaining the proper humidity in your space at all times can make a huge difference in your asthma symptoms. Though it takes some time and effort to keep a humidifier clean and running well, it’s worth it when you think about having many fewer asthma attacks each year.