Humidifiers are great for soothing all manner of problems exacerbated by dry air, including asthma. However, using one can actually make you sick if the air becomes too humid or if the humidifier itself is not properly cleaned. To help you feel better with the easiest fix, we have done the research to determine the best humidifier for asthma. Following are reviews of five fantastic products. We’ve highlighted the distinguishing features of each so that you can make a choice based on your biggest priorities.
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 in while suffering an asthma attack is seriously limited.
According to the CDC, one in four people in America suffer 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. Overly dry air, on the other hand, 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 level of humidity for human comfort is somewhere between 30% and 50%.
When humidity is either too high or too low, you may experience discomfort as well as health challenges.
- Low humidity can dry your skin and irritate throat, nasal passages, and eyes, causing itchiness.
- High humidity triggers the growth of mold 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 in order 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 a lot 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 very 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 you are 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 items in your home are dampened by the humidifier, 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.
TOP 5 Best Humidifier for Asthma
If you’re wondering what type of humidifier is best for asthma, we are going to tell you. Following are the quick specifications of each of the products reviewed in full below.
Cool & warm
750 sq. ft.
450 sq. ft.
430 sq. ft.
200 sq. ft.
322 sq. ft.
Now let’s dig deeper into each of these top reviewed humidifiers for asthma.
1 Elechomes UC5501 Ultrasonic Humidifier 6L Vaporizer Warm and Cool Mist for Large Room Baby Bedroom with Remote, Customized Humidity, LED Touch Display, Sleep Mode, 12-40 Hours, 550ml/h Max Humidity
If you really 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 both 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 actually 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 setting that is really helpful 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 beat.
- 11.6 x 7.7 x 11 inches
- 5.07 pounds
- One year warranty
- Covers huge spaces
- Included remote control
- Accurate built-in humidistat
- Run time between refills diminishes the higher you set the humidity
- Can be challenging to refill and reseat water tank
- Makes audible beeps while setting and continually flashes some readings
2 Pallas 2020 Humidifier - 5L Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier for Bedroom, Baby, Home, Vaporizer for Large Room with Adjustable Mist Knob 360 Rotatable Mist Outlet
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 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. In fact, running this humidifier at night tends to reduce 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.
- Carbon filter keeps air cleaner
- Runs quietly with few glaring lights or beeps (only lights when tank is empty)
- Large water reservoir
- May dampen surfaces if used on the floor
- Mist is not expelled forcefully enough to cover large areas
- Water tank is opaque so you can’t see the level at a glance
3 iTeknic Humidifiers, Upgrade Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier for Bedroom Baby 12-50 Hours, Ultra Quiet, Easy to Clean, 360° Nozzle, Auto Shut-Off (4L/1.06 Gallon US 110V)
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. In fact, you can get up to 50 hours of continuous use from one tank.
One of the challenges that comes with 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 not only supports easy filling, but also makes it a snap to clean. If you are using your humidifier for asthma, you know that regular cleaning is an essential task.
Another feature that is beneficial 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 happens to empty overnight. Buy with confidence as this humidifier comes with a long 2 year warranty.
- Sleek and slim design fits almost anywhere
- Comes with extra filter included
- Easy to set and to refill
- Does have a continuous light that may bother some sleepers
- Limited settings and features
- Smaller tank than some other models
4 UCareAir Cool Mist Humidifier – Humidifier for Bedroom, Quiet Mist Humidifier, High Low Mist, Waterless Auto-off, Night Light, Baby Kids Nursery, 2L Tank, Filterless Humidifiers for home office, ETL Approved
Sometimes you actually need a smaller humidifier so as not to overwhelm tighter spaces. Too much moisture can be just as harmful for 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 actually 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 cleaning a breeze. In fact, 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 be able to grip it easily in one hand to remove. And just for fun, choose this product in blue, pink, or green.
- Incredible run time for the size
- Easy to set, refill, and clean
- Detachable cord for safety; keeps water away from critical parts during cleaning & refilling
- Water gurgles as it fills reservoir; can bother very light sleepers
- Covers a relatively small area
- No carrying handle on water tank
5 TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier, 4L Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Large Bedroom Home Baby, Quiet Operation, LED Display with Humidistat, Waterless Auto Shut-off (1.06 Gallon, US 110V)
For a feature-rich experience in a smaller humidifier, check out this model from TaoTronics. It has a compact 4L tank that can run for 12-30 hours, depending on the setting. 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. At night, you may turn on the nightlight or switch into sleep mode to shut off the LED screen entirely.
In terms of health and safety, this model has an automatic shutoff that triggers when the water runs out. 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 a lot of 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.
- Built-in humidistat and smart version available
- Dual handles on water tank, top and bottom, for easy carrying and refilling
- Designed and built to be sturdy; packaged safely
- Tank opening is small and can complicate cleaning
- Requires a deep sink for refilling
- May dampen carpets or floors
How to Keep Your Humidifier Clean
When it comes to safety and cleanliness, it is important to follow the guidelines as set out in the user manual of your dehumidifier. The following tips can also help.
- Use distilled or demineralized water. Tap water tends to contain minerals which 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 the form of a white powder. While these are not dangerous minerals in general, 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 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 3 days. To remove mineral deposits or film from your humidifier, a 3% solution of hydrogen peroxide can do the trick with minimal elbow grease. Rinse after cleaning to make sure that no chemicals become airborne when you use the humidifier next. To be absolutely sure 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 it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. If you have had a situation where excess dust or other particulates have come through the house – think nearby forest fires or really 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 are going to 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, over time your humidifier will build up deposits in areas that are difficult or impossible to reach. 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 as well, reducing your operating costs.
Other Uses for Humidifiers
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 therefore 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. An effective humidifier 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 totally worth it when you think about having many fewer asthma attacks each year.