Moisture in the air has been shown to slow the spread of influenza, and scientists believe that trick may work with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 as well. Lower humidity levels not only allow coughs and other virus-containing droplets to travel farther, they tend to dry out the nose, airways, and eyes, potentially reducing their ability to keep harmful particles out. And if you do get sick, adding a little moisture to the air in your home is sure to help relieve symptoms.
These six humidifiers offer an option for virtually every taste and budget, including models that diffuse scents, kill bacteria with UV lights, and work without electricity. Just remember to keep yours hygienic by replacing the water inside every day, cleaning the water tank regularly, and using distilled water to avoid a buildup of minerals.
It’s hard to find electronics that look this good. Objecto’s W4 Hybrid Humidifier essentially looks like a pleasingly shaped vase, and it comes in both wood grain and acrylic to fit into practically any interior design style, from bohemian to ultramodern. Best of all, it features a removable water tank and aroma trays for your favorite essential oils. It’s $169 at Verishop, but you can also pay in installments via Afterpay.
Priced at just $49.99 at Target, this petite humidifier comes in eight different colors, from unobtrusive white to bright neon pink. Its cool mist adds moisture to the air in rooms measuring up to 500 square feet, and it’s more energy efficient than a household light bulb. But for the price, you get a pretty high capacity, with a whopping one-gallon water tray.
HoMedics’ TotalComfort 2-in-1 humidifier lets you choose between cool and warm mist, depending on what’s comfortable for your room, and even between floor use or table use with a “mist extension wand.” An essential oil tray lets you turn it into a scent diffuser if you like, too, and it even comes with a remote control for easy operation.
No batteries, electricity, or humming sounds here. These natural ceramic humidifiers work by evaporation, and while they won’t have quite the same impact as a more conventional model, they’re great for people who just want a little bit of extra moisture in the air. Bonus: they have a nice minimalist look and can be placed virtually anywhere you like.
Biggest Splurge: Dyson AM10 Humidifier
If you just have to have the best of the best, Dyson’s futuristic-looking humidifier offers three functions in one: air humidification, a high-velocity fan option, and ultraviolet cleanse technology to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria before the air is projected into the room.
Easy to find at a variety of retailers and highly rated by customers, this Honeywell cool mist humidifier is affordable, too, currently priced at $64 on Amazon. Its evaporative technology blows moisture off a wicking filter so it evaporates into the air quickly, and UV technology kills 99.9 percent of bacteria in the water.