Is your skin dry and flakey and your lips chapped and wrinkly? Does your nose easily get stuffed up and, on occasion, bleed? Girl, it is not Halloween at the retirement center. You’re feeling the effects of dry winter air and you need to fight back!
Since a jaunt to the tropics may not be in the cards, here’s a simple solution: get a humidifier. Not only will it increase the amount of moisture in the air around you, it could also prevent more serious sinus and respiratory conditions from taking hold and worsening. Oh, and did we mention the hydration will help plump skin and hide wrinkles — bonus!
There are two major classes of humidifiers: cool and warm mist. Warm mist uses electricity to create a steam mist. Cool mist uses ultrasonic vibrations to emit moisture or an evaporative process that blows air through a wick or filter. Generally, cool mist humidifiers are recommended for use around kids, since they contain no heating mechanism. Either one you choose, be sure to clean it regularly as humidifiers are prone to collect bacteria and mold, which can exacerbate allergies and asthma symptoms. Some models include their own germ-fighting technology and require less upkeep. Here’s a roundup of some great options for different needs.
Best Overall: VicTsing Cool Mist Humidifier - Essential Oil Diffuser
This ultra-quiet funky wood-grain humidifier is a bestseller on Amazon and a hit with wellness obsessives. It holds up to 10 ounces of water and has timer and mist output settings — and you can choose between seven groovy light settings as well. Essential oils are sold separately.
Best for Bedroom: Urpower Diffuser - Cool Mist Humidifier
Another Amazon bestseller, this humidifier/essential oil diffuser combo is small but potent, and an ideal choice for dry, stuffy bedrooms.
Best for Baby: Vornadobaby Huey Nursery Evaporative Humidifier
Especially suited for babies, this humidifier uses a gentle evaporative technology to release moisture into the air. The water tank is designed to be easy to remove — and won't clank around if you need to refill it during naptime.
Best for Kids: Crane Adorable Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
This fun line of humidifiers for kids by Crane comes in an array of colorful animal characters. With 1-gallon capacity, it utilizes ultrasonic technology for infusing moisture and includes different mist settings as well as an automatic shut-off safety feature.
Best Germ-Free: Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier
This warm mist humidifier by Vicks is an advanced germ fighting machine. A terrifying sounding UV “germ chamber” kills 99.9 percent of bacteria, mold, and viruses in the unit’s water. It comes with a medicine cup that can be used with Vicks Vaposteam.
Best Large Capacity: Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier
Need to go big? This evaporative humidifier can supply moist air for 24 hours. The water tank has a convenient handle and is dishwasher safe. It also includes UV light technology to kill germs. And it has a “wicking filter” to remove impurities and dust from water.
Best for Travel: Crane Travel Cool Mist Humidifier
A bite-sized travel humidifier that can be set up anywhere, it is whisper quiet and includes three water filters, a base and travel bag.
Best for Colds: Crane 2-1 With Inhaler Warm Mist Steam Humidifier
This 2-in-1 steam humidifier includes an inhaler so you can direct warm mist exactly where you need it most when you’re congested: your nose. And it features an antimicrobial base to help reduce mold and bacteria growth.
Best Multifunction: Vornado Element A Air Steam Humidifier
This innovative humidifier by Vornado includes cool, warm, and hot mist functions. Bonus: it also diffuses essential oils. What more could you want? A digital control lets you adjust temperature and set timers, and it automatically controls humidity levels so your space is always in the Goldilocks spot.
Best for Office: Homedics Personal Cool Humidifier
A compact personal ultrasonic humidifier that’s great for your desk — it plugs into a wall outlet or a USB port. And it’s aromatherapy ready so add some essential oils if your cubemate doesn’t mind.
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