Many of us struggle with dry skin, congestion and other undesirable conditions brought on by dry weather, especially during winter. But it’s not just our health that suffers, dry air can actually cause structural damage to our homes by warping and cracking timber.
A humidifier can help you maintain a healthy level of humidity, improve your health and extend the life of your home and furniture. Humidifiers come in a variety of styles and sizes and cost anywhere from $50 to $500 depending on the size and layout of the space you want to humidify.
We’ll walk you through all the options, help you compare humidifiers and ultimately choose the right model to meet your needs.
Popular humidifiers compared
What does a humidifier do?
The ideal level of humidity inside a home is considered to be between 30% and 50%. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can work to help your home achieve this level. While dehumidifiers work by removing moisture from the air, humidifiers add moisture to the air in dry environments.
Generally, air is drier during winter months and indoor heaters further strip the air of moisture. This can cause timber homes and furniture to warp and even crack. Dry air can also be damaging to your health.
Humidifiers can help relieve the following symptoms and conditions:
- Dry and itchy skin
- Allergy symptoms
- Bloody noses
- Asthma symptoms
- Dry and cracked lips
- Sore throats
- Sinus infections
- Dry eyes
What types are available?
There are two main types of humidifiers: evaporative and ultrasonic. Both styles can effectively add moisture to your home or office but they use different methods to do so.
How to compare humidifiers?
The first step in choosing a humidifier is determining what size you need. Common sizes include tabletop or individual room models, console units and central air humidifiers.
|Maximum room capacity||Pros||Cons|
|Tabletop or room humidifier||Small to large-sized rooms such as bedrooms or living rooms.|
|Console humidifier||Large open spaces up to 300 square metres including entire houses, units and offices.|
|Central air humidifier||Entire homes, offices and buildings.|
The price of a humidifier depends on size, type and features. Tabletop humidifiers typically cost between $30 to $200, whereas console humidifiers run from $100 to $300. Central air or whole house models start at around $150 and require an additional installation cost. Keep in mind, larger units also use more electricity and will increase your monthly electric bill.
Which humidifier is best for me?
The best humidifier for you depends on your room or house size, the humidity level of your environment and what additional features you want. To make it easier to help you find your ideal humidifier, we’ve compared five popular models below:
|The good||The bad|
|Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier|
|Beurer LB 37|
How to clean a humidifier
The main thing you can do to extend the life of your humidifier is to keep it clean. Regular cleaning also prevents mould and helps keep your air safe to breathe. Look for a model with an easy to remove water container. Generally, a humidifier that is used daily should be cleaned at least weekly. When cleaning, it’s important to drain, rinse and fully dry the dehumidifier to prevent mould and other undesirable build-up. The specific instructions to clean each model depends on the manufacturer.