Regulating the humidity in your house is not always essential but, if you need to keep the levels in check, there’s no substitute for a proper humidification unit.
If you don’t fancy going to the trouble and expense of installing whole-house humidifiers, you’re in for a treat today…
You can achieve the same effect in smaller rooms by using neat, desktop devices. In today’s portable humidifier reviews, we’ll look at the following 5 products.
5 Top Rated Portable Humidifiers for 2020:
After we’ve walked you through the advantages and drawbacks of these candidates for the best portable humidifier on the market, we’ll give you a thorough breakdown on the ins and outs of making sure the humidity levels in your house are optimized. We’ll get straight down to it with our reviews now before tailing off with a comprehensive buying guide…
Best Portable Humidifier Reviews
TaoTronics have spent the past decade selling small electronic goods and accessories from LED lights through to portable humidifiers.
If you’re looking for a stylish but functional way to restore proper humidity levels in your home or office, this neat little ultrasonic humidifier is a smart choice. While it stands barely a foot tall, you’ll get more than enough performance to service a reasonably substantial room.
The water reservoir can take 5 ½ liters which means you’re set for a misting session of up to 16 hours. This is more than ample to take you all through the night and means you won’t need to constantly top up your device, an issue that blights many scaled-down humidifiers.
The TaoTronics has an accurate humidity sensor onboard so you won’t need to dash out and buy a separate hygrometer. This is a great way to take all the guesswork out of tweaking those levels and to make sure the air you breathe is the best it can be.
Although it’s a basic design, all main features are lit up on a clear LED display so you can see all you need at a glance. The most valuable addition is the low water warning so there’s no chance you’ll run dry.
Cleaning humidifiers can be such a tiresome task it puts many people off investing in one in the first place. That’s not the case with the TaoTronics. The integrated cartridge is designed to minimize the build-up of any nasty smells or bacteria. It’s also an absolute cinch to clean.
Cleaning the reservoir is not much more hassle. There’s a space-saving storage compartment down in the base with a brush included. The filter keeps the water from smelling bad and maintenance is super-simple.
You can use the touch screen to chop and change between warm and cool mist making this perfect for all the family. You’ll get more output (13.5 ounces an hour) with the warm mist than the cool (11.8 ounces an hour) so if you want to boost those humidity levels in a hurry while also raising the ambient temperature, roll with the warm mist for a decadent experience. At the gentlest setting, you’ll get 16 hours of mist while choosing warm mist will give you 20% more grunt but a reduced run time.
There are 3 different levels of mist which you can also select fuss-free from the front panel. The nozzle rotates through a full 360 degrees ensuring the whole room is treated.
The levels at your disposal range from 30% up to 75% which is actually higher than we’d recommend. Think twice about going above 50%. The percentage is displayed front and center on the readout.
If you intend to be out of the house or you want the humidifier limited to running while you’re asleep, take advantage of the timer and give it a burst from 1 to 12 hours according to your requirements.
Check out a snapshot of the pros and cons of this fantastic portable humidifier before exploring some worthy alternatives and deciding which makes the best fit for you…
We can’t say the TaoTronics is the cheapest portable humidifier out there but it’s certainly one of the very best in this category.
It’s small enough to sit on a crowded dresser while still being man enough for the job. You can opt for a black or white colorway according to the color scheme in your room and the basic but effective LED display is a nice touch.
The crowning glory is the ability to flit between warm or cool mist which is rare at this price point. For an efficient, effective portable humidifier, TaoTronics is a brand you can rely on and this neat little model is worth a place on any shortlist.
Based out of California, Pure Enrichment offer a range of impeccably designed products to set off any home and they do so at an extremely reasonable price point.
Coming in at little more than half the price of the TaoTronics we kicked off with, you’ll get some limitations with the MistAire but overall it represents outstanding value without sacrificing performance.
We’ll state off the bat that the MistAire comes into its own with smaller rooms. Although it can offer up to 16 hours of continuous use, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll go this distance without needing to top up the tank. Compared to the 5 ½-liter reservoir on the TaoTronics, you’ll get the capacity for just 1 ½ liters with the Pure Enrichment cool mist humidifier so bear this in mind so you don’t end up disappointed.
The automatic shut-off feature is a nice addition given the rather reduced capacity of the reservoir. The device will power down if it’s running out of liquid or if you remove the water tank.
You can only benefit from cool mist with this humidifier which is not surprising given the cut-throat pricing. There are 2 speed settings and, as with most of these portable models, the nozzle turns through 360 degrees ensuring your whole room is regulated at the pace you demand.
Noisy humidifiers can be a real bugbear, especially if you’ve picked one up intended to enhance the atmosphere in your bedroom and you’re then menaced by a low-level but intrusive noise. The MistAire runs pretty much silently which is wonderful news for all you light sleepers.
Another nice extra for a humidifier intended for bedroom use is the night light which you can flick on or off as a supplement to or replacement for your reading lamp. This kicks out a muted and relaxing light to help ease you toward dreamland.
If your budget will stretch to it, using distilled water to fill the reservoir is one way to sidestep the very fine white dust that can be created. This is not excessive but if you want to avoid a thin film on surfaces under heavy use, consider using this type of water rather than using water directly from the faucet.
You’ll be well advised to purchase a separate humidistat if you plan to buy the MistAire. Regulating humidity levels is not really something you can accurately estimate without measuring so the small investment in a hygrometer will make sure everything is nicely in check.
Have a look through the chief advantages of drawbacks of the Pure Enrichment MistAire humidifier and decide for yourself if this budget portable device would sit well on your bedside table…
If you want a budget-friendly mini humidifier from a highly reputable brand, the Pure Enrichment MistAire punches well above its slimline weight.
With a pared-down minimalist design and capable performance without any annoying buzz and hum, the MistAire might be limited to cool mist but it gets the job done without any fanfare.
The outstanding warranty, among the best in-class, should leave you in no doubt as to how this Californian company stands behind its inexpensive but effective portable humidifier. Should you need it, you’ll also have access to a highly responsive customer care team around the clock.
By definition, any appliance at the lower end of the price spectrum involves a degree of compromise, but if you’re prepared to forego an integrated hygrometer and you want a humidifier specifically for smaller rooms, the MistAire makes a smart bet.
Road test the Pure Enrichment MistAire today and enjoy regulated humidity levels in your bedroom tomorrow.
And now for something completely different…
We always try to select a broad spread of products so that we cater to all tastes and budgets. Today, with so many people spending a great deal of time on the road, there’s a burgeoning market for travel humidifiers and BONECO is ideal for anyone bouncing from hotel room to hotel room and suffering from poor air quality.
An inbuilt snag with even smaller portable humidifiers is that, regardless of dimensions, the water reservoir is normally pretty bulky. This renders them tough to easily pop into hand luggage. The innovatively designed BONECO allows you to make you of any PET bottle so you can enjoy a humidifier measuring up at just 2.6 x 4.4 x 3 inches which nevertheless performs in rooms up to 200 square feet.
You’ll be able to fine-tune the humidity level to taste. If you run it at a slightly reduced pace, you’ll get enough legs to last you through the night. Max it out and you’ll still enjoy an impressive 5 or 6 hours of continuous use which is nothing short of miraculous in a humidifier with a footprint this tiny. The output is sterling at a gallon of mist in a 24-hour period.
The attention to detail for travelers ensures this humidifier is a real home run. The power plugs are interchangeable so whether it’s a 2-pin or 3-pin outlet, you can switch them without needing to fumble for travel plugs. There’s an adapter allowing you to run this humidifier on 110 volts or 220 volts, another real boon for worldwide travels frequently confronted with voltage discrepancies. The ability to use a regular plastic bottle is a total space saver and you’ll get a nifty travel bag to put the whole caboodle in.
Features are relatively limited but automatic shut-off means you’re in safe hands as the humidifier will power down if it runs out of water. You’ll be limited to cool mist but that’s not such a sore loss when set against the core purpose of convenient humidifying on the hoof.
Explore our breakdown of the benefits and minor snags with the BONECO and determine for yourself whether to make this awesome travel humidifier part of your road kit…
For anyone who travels frequently and often suffers from dry air in their hotel room, a truly portable travel humidifier is hard to find. Most units, even the smaller ones, suffer from a relatively bulky water reservoir rendering them awkward to pack in a smaller suitcase.
BONECO, a highly reputable American manufacturer, comes dashing to the rescue with this innovative portable device that allows you to use regular plastic bottles and means you have just a tiny appliance to pop inside your luggage.
Although and a few users complain of leaking and a short lifespan, we feel some of these complaints are perhaps due to the way a device like this can be battered around in luggage rather than being down to an inherent design flaw. The only other gripe is that the LED light seems rather too harsh for some.
Overall, if you’re on the trail of an efficient and hard-hitting travel humidifier in a reassuringly small package, check out the BONECO and you’ll enjoy properly humidified air wherever you might be in the world.
As we edge toward the end of our portable humidifier reviews, a superb multi-tasking unit is up next.
VicTsing have a hard-earned reputation in the field of essential oil diffusers for producing beautiful products which are certainly not a case of form over function. Available in 5 striking colorways, this curved and rounded device looks more like an ornament than a humidifier which can only be a good thing.
Where humidifiers perform a fairly basic role, essential oil diffusers have a shower of additional benefits. From elevating your mood and reducing stress through to promoting sleep and simply making your living space smell divine, pop in some water-soluble essential oils and you’ll enjoy an added dimension at very minimal cost. While essential oils are not cheap, you need to use so little of them that a tiny bottle really last the distance so represent great economy.
If you want help doctoring the humidity levels in your bedroom, the VicTsing is a versatile ally. The ultrasonic mist is surprisingly strong for a compact device. While some claims that it can deal with several rooms are perhaps exaggerated, it’s more than fit for a decent bedroom. You can flick between high and low settings depending on your requirements.
There’s no inbuilt humidistat so you will need to think about picking up a hygrometer if you want to stay abreast of the exact levels of humidity without leaving it to guesswork.
You can vary the runtimes (1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours) or leave the humidifier to run continuously for complete adaptability. With the permanently-on mode, the appliance will keep going until there’s no water left. If the water becomes dangerously low, the VicTsing will switch itself off.
If you want to further enhance your mood, there’s a choice of 7 differently colored LED lights to add a playful air to the bedroom and get you ready for a sound slumber.
Using the humidifier is very straightforward. You won’t need to use excessive power to take off the lid and you can grasp it even if you have wet hands without any straining. There are rubber strips underneath to protect your surfaces from being scratched but it doesn’t work so well on wooden surfaces so pop a magazine or tray underneath to prevent any unsightly damage. Overall, though, the base is solid and you won’t run the risk of an upended appliance spilling water and oil everywhere.
Look at our rundown of the upsides and drawbacks of this superb humidifier and essential oil diffuser to see whether you think it fits the bill for your bedroom…
If you’re not sure whether to invest in a humidifier or an essential oil diffuser, this multi-purpose appliance is the obvious solution.
In a market where so many humidifiers look plainly and boringly functional, it’s a refreshing change to see a company place the focus on design without compromising performance.
Whether you want to create a wonderfully relaxed bedtime atmosphere with the fragrant waft of essential oils or to regulate your humidity levels and get rid of dry air for good, the VicTsing ultrasonic humidifier and diffuser is a multi-tasking workhorse that will grace your bedside cabinet or sit proudly in the living room while performing double-duty at a price you’ll love. What more could you ask for, really?
Give this dual-purpose device a crack and you’re highly unlikely to regret your decision.
As we come to the end of our portable humidifier reviews, we’ve got another extremely attractive model finished in matte white.
With the appearance of a lamp or vase, this humidifier bridges the gap nicely between functionality and aesthetics and will not look out of place while it quietly goes about its business.
Unlike many humidifiers, you get the choice of 2 interchangeable nozzles with the VAVA. There’s a conical shaped nozzle and one that’s much longer and thinner so you can vary the way in which the mist comes out according to the environment you’re in. Both of these nozzles dole out the mist through 360 degrees so the humidity will be optimally regulated at all times whichever shape you roll with. The mist comes out in an even spray so you won’t get any of the over-saturation that can occur with sub-par humidifiers.
You’ll be able to adjust things further with low, medium and high vapor volumes. You can also choose from 3 time settings or leave your humidifier running full-clip.
If the water levels start to dip, your humidifier will switch itself off. This is a simple but crucial feature to prevent any accidents if it runs dry. The reservoir is reasonably generous at 3 liters. It’s enough for around 6 hours of continuous use on high power so, if you want it to keep going throughout the night, we suggest using a lower setting.
Since so many of these portable humidifiers are for use in the bedroom, sleep mode is welcome. Lights are dipped and the sound ratcheted down so you can drop off without being over-stimulated and you won’t wake up to soaked sheets.
Tipping the scales at less than 5 pounds and measuring up at just 11 x 8 x 15 inches, this small device won’t end up taking up too much space or dominate the room.
Controlling things is a cakewalk. You can use the crude but effective touch screen or opt instead to take the reins from afar with the infrared remote. This is an unexpected bonus on a cheaper humidifier and highly appreciated.
Unlike the TaoTronics, there’s no onboard humidistat so it’s well worth the modest investment to pick up a dedicated hygrometer. It’s senseless going to the trouble of moderating the humidity in your home if you have no accurate means of checking that the levels fall between the recommended levels.
Have a swift glimpse at where this neat little humidifier stands and falls then check out our buying guide so you’re perfectly placed to get the correct device for your needs…
If you fancy a humidifier that looks more like a vase than an electrical appliance but won’t let you down in terms of its core duty, think long and hard about this VAVA ultrasonic beauty.
Coming in at a keener price point than many of its competitors, you’ll get a hard-working humidifier allowing for plenty of customization without needing to dig too deep.
Aside from a few niggles about excessive noise – about which, for the record, we disagree – there’s very little we can knock about this excellent budget humidifier.
Give this a try and you can enjoy fresher, cleaner air at the exact humidity level you want without spending a fortune for the privilege. You can even control it from a distance, too, so it’s the ultimate in convenience and performance with a surprisingly low price tag.
Now you’ve had a good look at 5 diverse portable humidifiers, we’ll give you a detailed look into why you should consider buying one in the first place. We’ll also serve up plenty of handy hints to make your buying decision incredibly easy.
Best Portable Humidifier Buying Guide
Now you’ve had chance to study 5 of the best portable humidifiers you can find, it’s time for a few facts and figures on these nifty appliances.
Read on to find out why you should use a humidifier in the first place and what to watch out for when you’re hunting for the most effective portable humidifier…
What is a Portable Humidifier?
A portable humidifier is a mini, freestanding unit that will plug directly into a power outlet or into a USB connection.
If you’re only looking to regulate the humidity in one or two small rooms or a medium-sized room, these models make a smart bet. They also come fully to the fore if you travel frequently and want to make the most of your environment when you’re on the road.
We’ll take a quick look at the advantages and drawbacks of these portable humidifiers so you can see if a mini unit makes sense for you.
Portable Humidifiers: Benefits and Drawbacks
Why Use a Humidifier?
It makes sense to ask yourself why you should consider using a humidifier and whether or not you really need one in the first place.
Put simply, humidity is the quantity of water vapor in the air. Inside the home, this is labeled relative humidity and it’s expressed as a percentage. The ideal range is fairly broad and anywhere from 30% to 50%. If it dips much below this threshold, you air will feel restrictively dry. Allow it to soar far above 50% and you’re inviting mold and bacteria to flourish in your house.
A sound starting point is to get yourself a hygrometer. This handy little device will measure the atmospheric humidity giving you a precise digital readout. A hygrometer is a cheap and worthwhile investment which will enable you to stay abreast of humidity levels and fine-tune things for the optimum environment.
Humidifiers are more about improving comfort than health so don’t expect any kind of miracle cure in these mini packages. That said, dry air can bring about irritation to your skin and eyes while also inflaming your nasal passages. By boosting these levels artificially, you can restore a more comfortable and balanced atmosphere in your home or hotel room.
Types of Portable Humidifier
There are 5 main types of humidifier in general:
- Ultrasonic (Warm and Cool Mist): These humidifiers emit liquid water particles into the air. These particles evaporate before they hit the ground which increases humidity levels. This is achieved through a diaphragm vibrating ultrasonically to agitate the water before it’s fanned up into the atmosphere. Some models allow you to choose whether or not this water is heated before being shot out into the air
- Ultrasonic (Cool Mist): These humidifiers operate in the same way but only afford you the option of a cool mist
- Evaporative (Cool Mist): The fan on these evaporative humidifiers sucks in air from the room then blows it through a wick that’s moistened in water. A proportion of this water evaporates and this in turn boosts the humidity levels. Air is then blown into the room again
- Steam Vaporizer (Warm Mist): The heating element inside this form of humidifier is the ideal way to see off rogue bacteria and organic matter
- Air Washer: This type of device helps to suck away airborne pathogens and promote clean, pure air with a cool mist. These humidifiers are dependable hard-hitters but they do demand a fair amount of maintenance
We focused today purely on ultrasonic humidifiers as they are safer than evaporative models and make sense if you’re using them in the bedroom.
We’ll give you a quick snapshot of the differences between these types of humidifier now before guiding you through what you should look for when buying the best portable humidifier…
Ultrasonic or Evaporative?
Evaporative humidifiers are pretty common and very cheap but they tend to be fairly noisy.
You’ve got no option of warm mist with evaporative humidifiers and the rate of evaporation is directly linked to the humidity in the room.
They are simple to operate and maintain and work well with humidifying large areas but you’ll need to regularly replace the filters to avoid spreading mold, germs and other bacteria.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are incredibly lightweight and portable. They also run almost silently so are a great addition to any bedroom that needs regulating.
The white dust they can kick out can be countered by using a demineralization cartridge or popping in some purified water so think about this and factor it into your budgeting.
If you opt for a model with warm mist functionality, you’ll be able to doctor the levels of humidity more rapidly.
While they are moderately more expensive, ultrasonic humidifiers hardly break the bank. They also need very little indeed by the way of maintenance.
Warm Mist or Cool Mist?
What we’re talking about here centers more on personal preference than any hard and fast science suggesting one type is superior to the other.
If you suffer from sensitivities or congestion, you might find the warm mist produced is easier to breathe in. The added bonus of this style of humidifier is that it will gently and economically raise the temperature in the room as well as regulating humidity levels.
On the flip side, warm mist promotes no real health benefits and the need to boil up the water presents certain safety issues which we’ll look at briefly down below. Warm mist humidification is also less energy-efficient so decide how much stock you place on breathing in slightly warmer air and choose in line with your taste.
What to Look For When Buying a Humidifier
Once you’ve nailed down the type of humidifier you think would work best, there are a few key factors to take into account before diving in:
- Adjustable Output of Humidity
- Automatic Shut-Off
- Don’t Forget The Hygrometer
You need to consider the square footage of the room you want to regulate.
For the purposes of this article, all of the models we review are of the portable or tabletop variety and suitable for dealing with a single room effectively. They make the ideal bedroom companion.
If you are looking to dehumidify a larger space, a single room or multiple rooms from 600 to 1250 square feet, ramp things up to a room humidifier. Obviously, these models cost more but you’ll get a lot more power and performance in return.
At the upper end, whole-house humidifiers cater for the needs of your whole home. This does, of course, depend upon doors being opened to allow the effect to circulate throughout the building. If you’re looking to humidify areas from 1500 to around 2500 square feet with one unit, this is the system you should be angling for.
Noise becomes more of an issue as you scale up in size.
Most portable humidifiers, by definition, are designed to run quietly. After all, there’s no sense in installing a device in the bedroom to make things comfier if it ends up molesting your sleep through its thrum and vibration.
While they’re normally pretty quiet anyway, many bedroom humidifiers also come with a Night or Silent setting so you can ease toward dreamland even more peacefully.
Since there’s no boiling of water involved, ultrasonic humidifiers are quieter in operation. Only you know whether you’re a particularly light sleeper or find it tough to drop off with any background noise so bear this factor closely in mind and buy accordingly.
If you want to keep the likelihood of bacterial growth to a manageable minimum, there’s no avoiding regularly maintaining your humidifier so shoot for a model that makes caring for it as easy as possible.
Many of these portable units have reservoirs you can pop in the dishwasher which simplifies things. You’ll normally need to clean the base by hand.
Look for a humidifier with at least a 1-year warranty in place.
Adjustable Output of Humidity
It’s often a case of less being more when it comes to humidity levels.
The optimum degree of humidity in your house will fluctuate along with the outside temperature which explains the wide recommended range of 30% to 50%.
Keep the humidity ratcheted up too high as the mercury plummets outside and the net result will be windows dripping with condensation. Along with the onset of peeling paint, condensation is a prime indicator that you’ve over-egged it.
If you want to keep bacteria, mold and dust mites firmly at bay, it’s wise to look for a humidifier where you can tweak the levels in line with the ambient temperature.
Auto shut-off is a particularly valuable feature in portable humidifiers where the reservoir is small and needs refilling frequently.
If you’re prone to absent-mindedness, a humidifier that detects when the tank is almost empty and powers down is a precious ally in preventing damage to the unit through overheating or a potential fire hazard.
Failing this functionality, a humidifier with a translucent reservoir at least makes it easier to see at a glance when it’s time to top up the tank.
Depending on the type of humidifier you have, you’ll need to consider changing the filters. This needs to be done more often if you live in an area with hard water.
Simple wick filters will catch dust or stray particles while more advanced dual-filtration systems can deal with allergens and pathogens at the same time.
If your water is too soft, on the other hand, a niggling white dust will build up so it’s essential to sidestep ultrasonic humidifiers if you live somewhere with soft water or use a water softener at home.
Don’t Forget The Hygrometer
If the model of humidifier you have in mind does not have a built-in humidistat, it’s well worth picking up a dedicated hygrometer so you can make sure humidity levels are as they should be.
Whether the measurement of humidity is integrated into the unit or achieved with a third-party tool, don’t overlook the fact you’ll need to keep an eye on proceedings if you don’t want mold or dust mites plaguing you where once it was over-dry air.
Last but by no means least, you should think about the design.
If you want something to sit on the bedside dresser, there’s a huge spread of choice meaning there’s no need to settle for something ugly or out of kilter with your décor.
Take your time and make sure you get a portable humidifier that checks all boxes and you can turn your bedroom into even more of a sanctuary.
Parting Shot: Safety First!
Overall, ultrasonic humidifiers present very little by the way of risk.
That said, if you choose a warm mist model or a cool/warm combo unit, it goes unsaid you need to keep children well away from the humidifier and its potentially scalding water.
Make absolutely sure you don’t end up with a horrible accident on your hands when all you’re trying to do is create a better environment in your home.
A Final Word
After reading these portable humidifier reviews and taking the time to explore our buying guide, you should be perfectly placed to get the best unit for the needs of you and your family.
Any of these portable models will give you an affordable and highly effective approach to keeping the humidity levels of your home in check and make a perfect addition to the bedroom.
Drop us a line if you have any queries or feedback at all and we’ll get back to you promptly.
Now breathe easy and fire up that humidifier!