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9 Best Humidifiers For Asthma

Last updated April 7, 2022

This post may contain affiliate links.

Author
Author avatar Danny Ashton

Danny as been writing about air purifiers for 10+ years. He is a major fan of home technology, which makes him the perfect person to test and evaluate products for HouseFresh

If you suffer from asthma, you’ll know how much it can impact the rest of your health. Shortness of breath and a tight chest are just some of the many problems associated with this condition. 

One thing you can do to alleviate your symptoms is to pay attention to the humidity levels in your home. When this drops below 30%, airborne contaminants remain in the air for longer and may trigger your condition.

A dry atmosphere can, unfortunately, exacerbate asthma symptoms and this is why it’s crucial to add more moisture to your environment. Using a humidifier is an ideal solution as it will improve moisture levels in your home and therefore ease your condition.

A good humidifier effectively removes airborne impurities while also reducing irritation in your respiratory system, enabling you to breathe more easily. There are a lot of models to choose from but luckily, we’re here to help you find the right one for your needs.

When picking out our top choices we looked at weight and tank size, as well as special features like:

  • Automatic shut-off
  • Night light
  • LED mood lighting
  • Quiet mode for sleeping
  • Aroma tray for adding essential oils

It’s important to consider the size of your room together with your budget before investing in a humidifier. The Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is our best budget buy and covers 250 square feet. But the Dyson AM10 Humidifier White/Silver covers 172 square feet and might be a better option if you have more money to spare.

In our search for the best humidifiers for asthma, we used consumer reports analysis to eliminate any false and unhelpful reviews. All our recommendations came from genuine people like you who have previously used these models.

Humidifier
For Mid-Sized Rooms
For Larger Rooms
Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Quiet Air Humidifier for Bedroom, Nursery, Office, & Indoor Plants - Lasts Up To 25 Hours, 360° Rotation Nozzle, Auto Shut-Off, Night Light
Elechomes Humidifiers for Bedroom (6L), Ultra-Quiet Warm and Cool Mist Humidifiers for Home, Baby and Plants, Customized Humidity, Sleep Mode, Timer, UC5501, Black
Dyson AM10 Humidifier White/Silver
Pros
The output spout comes off so that you can easily clean the top of the reservoir housing
There is a remote to give you more flexibility in controlling your unit
It offers a tilt indicator, which shuts down the unit if it detects the unit isn't level
Cons
The addition of automatic humidity control settings would be a bonus
The unit does not include an air filter which needs to be purchased separately
The reservoir can be tricky to fill, requiring removing the fan head first
Tank Size
0.5 gallons
1.6 gallons
9 pints
Room Size Suitability
250 sq. ft
250 sq. ft
172 sq. ft
Special Features
night light and an automatic shut-off
Enhanced sleep mode turns off the LED display
UV-C light purifies the water to remove bacteria
Weight
1.35 lbs
5.07 lbs
7.5 lbs
Price
$39.99
$89.95
$600.73
For Smaller Rooms
Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Quiet Air Humidifier for Bedroom, Nursery, Office, & Indoor Plants - Lasts Up To 25 Hours, 360° Rotation Nozzle, Auto Shut-Off, Night Light
Pros
The output spout comes off so that you can easily clean the top of the reservoir housing
Cons
The addition of automatic humidity control settings would be a bonus
Tank Size
0.5 gallons
Room Size Suitability
250 sq. ft
Special Features
night light and an automatic shut-off
Weight
1.35 lbs
More information
Price
$39.99
For Mid-Sized Rooms
Humidifier
Elechomes Humidifiers for Bedroom (6L), Ultra-Quiet Warm and Cool Mist Humidifiers for Home, Baby and Plants, Customized Humidity, Sleep Mode, Timer, UC5501, Black
Pros
There is a remote to give you more flexibility in controlling your unit
Cons
The unit does not include an air filter which needs to be purchased separately
Tank Size
1.6 gallons
Room Size Suitability
250 sq. ft
Special Features
Enhanced sleep mode turns off the LED display
Weight
5.07 lbs
More information
Price
$89.95
For Larger Rooms
Dyson AM10 Humidifier White/Silver
Pros
It offers a tilt indicator, which shuts down the unit if it detects the unit isn't level
Cons
The reservoir can be tricky to fill, requiring removing the fan head first
Tank Size
9 pints
Room Size Suitability
172 sq. ft
Special Features
UV-C light purifies the water to remove bacteria
Weight
7.5 lbs
More information
Price
$600.73

Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Elechomes UC5501

The Elechomes UC5501 humidifier shows that there’s much more to humidity control than just vaporizing some water. This mid-range unit gives you ultimate control, both automated and manual.

This unit measures a mere 11.6 x 7.7 x 11 inches, allowing you to easily find room on a counter, tabletop, or shelf. The humidity output comes through dual 360-degree rotating nozzles, giving you ultimate flexibility for directing the moisture output.

You’ll love the fact that you’ll get 60 hours of continuous operation on a single refill. The unit also has smart humidity control, allowing you to set the desired humidity level, and letting the unit manage it automatically to help keep asthma triggers to a minimum.

The automatic control allows you to set the humidity between 30% and 90% in 5% increments. You have a timer to control how long the unit runs, allowing you to set it to automatically shut off between 1 and 12 hours after starting the timer.

It uses ultrasonic technology to generate the water vapor, keeping the unit safe from mold and mildew. The unit has variable moisture output, ranging from 100- to 500-ml/h, to meet the need of any size room up to 750 square feet. If you prefer to run the unit continuously, you can run it on minimum, maximum, or medium. It will then run continuously until either the timer shuts it off, you turn it off manually, or it runs out of water.

There is a large LED display on the front that flashes the room’s ambient humidity. It’ll also show you any errors, and the timer setting while you’re setting it.

  • Tank Size: 1.6 gallons
  • Room Size Suitability: 750 sq. ft
  • Weight: 5.07 lbs
  • Special Features: Enhanced sleep mode turns off the LED display, and runs on a quiet mode under 32 dB

What we love

  • There is a remote to give you more flexibility in controlling your unit
  • The unit has an essential oil tray to allow you to diffuse oils while humidifying your space
  • You have the option of both cool-mist and warm-mist, thanks to a warming element
  • It has an automatic shutoff to protect the unit once it runs out of water in the reservoir

We don't like this as much

  • The unit does not include an air filter which needs to be purchased separately
  • The fill opening is on the bottom of the reservoir, making it a little more difficult and messy to fill

2. AIRCARE Digital Evaporative Humidifier

The AIRCARE digital pedestal humidifier is a perfect solution for whole-house humidity control. The unit stands 18 x 18 x 27.25 inches but produces enough humidity to effectively treat your entire home. This allows you to effectively control asthma triggers throughout your home without having to move the unit around. The best way to treat your entire home is by setting it up near the return vent for your HVAC system.

The unit is designed to run with automatic humidity control, up to 60% relative humidity. When you set it to 65%, it’ll run continuously until the unit runs out of water.

Filling the unit is easy with an easy-fill funnel on the front which folds in when it’s not being used. There is an additional attachment for the funnel to make it easier to fill. The unit comes equipped with an automatic shutoff when the reservoir runs empty., which will also start the automatic dry-out feature, which keeps the fan running after the unit empties to dry out the filter.

The unit uses a combination filter and wick to humidify the air and remove airborne contaminants as the air moves through the system. The unit will display CF every 720 operational hours to remind you to check the wick. If you notice discoloration or crusty mineral deposits, it’s time for a replacement wick.

  • Tank Size: 3.5 gallons
  • Room Size Suitability: 2,400 sq. ft
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Special Features: 9 different fan speeds

What we love

  • The digital readout shows the ambient room humidity and shows the fan speed and humidity setting
  • You can control the unit with a remote control that shows the ambient temperature and humidity
  • There are two color choices, espresso and nutmeg
  • It draws enough air to effectively humidify your space without over-saturating the area around the unit

We don't like this as much

  • The unit has to sit before it’s ready to use, 20 minutes after the initial fill up and 12 minutes every subsequent fill-up
  • We wish there was an exterior level indicator for the reservoir to ensure you don’t over-fill it

3. Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

When you need to add moisture to a small room, the Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier will get this job done without consuming all the space in the room. This unit measures only 8 x 7 x 9 inches, making it perfect to put on a dresser, table, shelf, or countertop. When full, it’ll provide 25 hours of continuous humidification with the 0.5-gallon water tank.

The unit offers two different fan speeds to control the moisture output, with up to 150ml output per hour. There is a 360-degree nozzle on the top of the unit to allow you to direct the flow of the moisture to where you need it in the room.

It’s easy to set up in a bedroom with the whisper-quiet operation, keeping it from disturbing your sleep. The BPA-free construction makes it safe to use in your baby’s nursery or your child’s room who suffers from asthma without exasperating the issue. There’s an optional night light feature, which emits a soft glow into the room at night, just enough to keep an eye on your little one.

There’s a light indicator on the unit that changes red when the water level is low. It also has an automatic shutoff to prevent damage to the ultrasonic ring when there’s not enough water. To help prevent damage to the ring from mineral deposits, you’ll want to clean the ring regularly. The package comes with a cleaning brush to help you keep the unit in good working order.

  • Tank Size: 0.5 gallons
  • Room Size Suitability: 250 sq. ft
  • Weight: 1.35 lbs
  • Special Features: Night light and an automatic shut-off

What we love

  • There are four total settings, two fan settings, and each with or without the night light feature
  • The AC adapter attaches to the back of the unit, making it more stable than with a bottom fitment
  • The output spout comes off so that you can easily clean the top of the reservoir housing
  • The transparent tank reservoir allows you to easily track the water level

We don't like this as much

  • The addition of automatic humidity control settings would be a bonus
  • We wish you were able to fill the tank from the top to help make the process less messy

4. LEVOIT Classic 300S Humidifier

The LEVOIT Classic 300S brings intelligent humidity control to your spaces. This unit offers up to 60-hours of continuous operation to serve rooms up to about 500 square feet. The unit itself is compact, measuring only about 10 x 8 x 13 inches and carries a water reservoir of 1.6 gallons.

This particular unit offers automatic humidity control to maintain relative humidity between 40% and 50%. There is also continuous operation, with low, medium, and high mist levels. You gain even more control through the VeSync app that allows you to control the unit through the use of your smartphone. This app not only allows you to turn the unit on and off but also gives you control over the automatic humidity control setting. It also provides a timer and scheduling feature to set up automated control over your unit. 

The Wi-Fi capability also allows you to easily connect to many third-party voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. This advanced Smart functionality makes it easy to consistently manage asthma triggers through more consistent and direct humidity control.

The unit offers a top-fill feature, so there are no messy or difficult caps or seals to contend with. Simply pull the top off, pour water in, and you’re ready to go. It also offers a comforting night light, with full, half, and no light options. When the unit runs out of water, it’ll illuminate an indicator on the display, and has an automatic shutoff to prevent ultrasonic plate damage.

You’ll also be able to sleep easily with this unit running in a bedroom. The unit emits less than 30 dB noise, plus has a sleep mode, which turns the display off to reduce light pollution.

  • Tank Size: 1.6 gallons
  • Room Size Suitability: 505 sq. ft
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs
  • Special Features: Smart humidity sensor

What we love

  • The unit has an aroma tray, which allows you to safely add essential oils to the unit without directly putting them in the reservoir
  • It has a BPA-free construction, so you don’t have to worry about adding harmful chemicals to the air
  • You can easily direct the mist output with the 360-degree rotating nozzle
  • The large display shows the current humidity level, and the smartphone app allows you to keep an eye on levels remotely

We don't like this as much

  • The aroma pad is on the back of the unit, making it trickier to access
  • We wish this unit also offered a warm-mist option

5. Aprilaire 500 Whole Home Humidifier

When someone in your home suffers from asthma, you want to know they are comfortable regardless of what room of your home they visit. This is when a unit that serves your entire home comes in handy, like the Aprilaire 500. This particular unit installs on your HVAC system to condition the air as it cycles through your system to comfortably humidify the entire home.

The unit measures about 16 x 13 x 10 inches and weighs in at approximately 8 lbs. Unlike the individual room units, this integrated unit will add up to 12 gallons of moisture throughout your home each day. However, it also integrates with dual sensors for both indoor humidity and the outside temperature to tightly regulate the proper humidity in your home. This prevents over-humidification while ensuring the air isn’t too dry.

The digital control mounts to your HVAC ductwork and shows you the humidity of the air moving through, when it’s running, and even when to change the water panel. Replacing the water panel is part of annual maintenance you can plan on for your unit.

You aren’t limited to running the unit while your furnace is running, either. Rather, the humidifier unit circulates about 200 cubic feet per minute on its own. It connects directly to a hot water feed to help improve evaporation as the air circulates. The unit works to maintain relative humidity between 35% and 45%. Anything higher than 45% poses a risk of too much moisture, including mold development and moisture on your windows.

  • Tank Size: N/A
  • Room Size Suitability: 3,000 sq. ft
  • Weight: 7.75 lbs
  • Special Features: Built-in bypass damper to stop operation while using your air conditioner

What we love

  • The unit offers continuous humidification without the constant need to refill a reservoir
  • The automatic humidistat keeps your home at a constant humidity level throughout the winter
  • Once the unit is properly installed and calibrated, it offers set-it and forget-it operation
  • The unit is very compact and lightweight, making it easy to find a place to install on most systems

We don't like this as much

  • Initial installation can be quite challenging, it is recommended that a professional assist you
  • It’s imperative to ensure you have everything necessary for installation, including secondary ductwork and the water supply line

6. Dyson AM10 Humidifier

Getting the humidity level right in any space is a balance between air movement and adding the right amount of moisture. The Dyson AM10 balances these two components in a compact unit that can be used throughout the year. The unit has a footprint of about 9 x 9 x 23 inches, with a weight of approximately 8 lbs. It moves a substantial amount of air around the room with the patented air multiplier technology.

One of the challenges of many humidifier options for those suffering from asthma is the development of mold and mildew in the reservoir. To help reduce this risk, this Dyson unit uses UV-C technology to purify the water before it turns it into water vapor, killing about 99.9% of harmful bacteria. This is one reason why this particular unit has been certified asthma-friendly.

The unit has a substantial 9-pint reservoir, which will run up to 18 hours of continuous operation. You can set it for automatic humidity control between 30% and 70%, and it offers 10 fan settings to get just the right amount of airflow into your room. If you prefer a more automated approach, the unit has an automatic mode, which controls the mist setting based on the ambient room temperature and humidity levels.

You easily control the unit with the remote that magnetically attaches to the fan housing. From the unit, you can choose the fan setting, the humidity control, and the sleep timer. The sleep timer allows you to automatically shut the humidifier down anywhere between 15 minutes to 9 hours after starting the timer.

  • Tank Size: 9 pints
  • Room Size Suitability: 172 sq. ft
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs
  • Special Features: UV-C light purifies the water to remove bacteria

What we love

  • The unit easily converts between a robust fan in the summer to a humidifier in the winter
  • It offers a tilt indicator, which shuts down the unit if it detects the unit isn't level
  • The power supply easily disconnects from the back of the unit
  • The unit is exceptionally quiet, with bladeless fan technology

We don't like this as much

  • We wish the unit would also oscillate like many other Dyson fan products
  • The reservoir can be tricky to fill, requiring removing the fan head first

7. HuPro Humidifier

When you need sleek and stylish humidification, then the HuPro home humidifier is the option to explore. This unit offers up to 40 hours of continuous humidification, with both warm and cool-mist options. This allows for effectively controlling asthma regardless of whether you’re in a warm or cool environment. It does this while maintaining a footprint of only about 11 x 8 x 16 inches.

The unit offers constant humidity output, along with an automatic mode, which maintains a relative humidity between 55% and 68%. The unit chooses the best mist power according to the ambient room temperature and relative humidity. Once the humidity reaches 68%, the unit enters standby mode until the humidity drops again.

It also offers constant humidification options, with three different fan speeds to control the amount of moisture output. There is an ionization option, which produces up to 300 million negatively charged ions every minute, helping remove airborne contaminants as the unit runs. It also includes a ceramic filter with active carbon and mineral pellets to help soften and remove mineral deposits from the water before it vaporizes. In addition to these features, the unit has an aroma box, to allow you to diffuse essential oils while humidifying your space.

You don’t have to worry about the unit disturbing your sleep, either, with less than 35 dB noise output while running. There’s also a sleep mode that turns off the display to protect your sleeping environment. You’ll easily control the unit from both the remote control and the buttons on the bottom of the front display of the unit.

  • Tank Size: 11.6 pints
  • Room Size Suitability: 500 sq. ft
  • Weight: 6.87 lbs
  • Special Features: Ultra-quiet sleep mode with 10-hour timer

What we love

  • There is an extra-wide opening on the detachable water tank to make filling easier
  • The unit produces an ultra-fine water vapor with 2.4 billion vibrations per minute
  • The moisture output for the unit is up to 400 ml/hour
  • It features an automatic shutoff when the unit runs out of water

We don't like this as much

  • The bottom-fill design does mean you have to remove the reservoir to fill it
  • We wish you were able to adjust the moisture output direction for greater control

8. MIRO-NR08M Humidifier

One of the primary challenges to running a humidifier when you have asthma is keeping it clean enough to prevent asthma triggers. The MIRO washable humidifier makes that exceptionally easy. The entire unit is designed to easily disassemble, allowing you to wash every part. There are no tiny corners or crevices for small bacteria to hide and wreak havoc as it runs.

The unit itself measures 14 x 13 x 12 inches, with a 1-gallon water reservoir capacity. You can easily fill the unit from the top after removing the cover and filling the water bowl. Each tank will last between 8 hours, while running at maximum power, and 24 hours, while running at minimum power.

There are simple touch panel controls on the touch station. This includes the power button, and output select with three different settings. There is also the light setting, which allows you to have the LED lights rotate through a rainbow of colors, or you can choose your favorite. There is an automatic timer, with options for 1-, 4-, and 8-hour settings. You’ll also get an indicator on the touch station when the water bowl is empty so that you know it’s time to refill the unit.

The unit is made from BPA-free plastic, taking away the concern over the humidifier actually exacerbating asthma irritation. It has near-silent operation, making it imperceptible while it’s running, even on high. There’s also an optional MIROT chip that allows you to connect the unit to your virtual assistant devices and a smartphone app.

  • Tank Size: 9.6 pints
  • Room Size Suitability: 600 sq. ft
  • Weight: 8.93 lbs
  • Special Features: LED mood lighting

What we love

  • It is very sleek and stylish for a humidifier, making it easy to blend into most rooms
  • The range of LED colors available makes it easy to find a pleasant color for whatever room you place the unit in
  • There’s an automatic shutoff when the reservoir runs empty, along with an empty indicator on the touch station
  • There’s a splash guard to help reduce condensation from building up around the unit while it runs

We don't like this as much

  • A humidistat to control moisture output would be a bonus
  • We’d like to see more output levels aside from low, medium, and high for greater user control

9. Air Innovations MH-701BA Digital Humidifier

Occasionally, you need a humidifier that can double both as a countertop and a floor model. The Air Innovations MH-701 BA unit offers this kind of versatility, with an optional 15-inch extension nozzle. This allows you to move the mist further into the room before distributing through the 360-degree rotating dual directional mist nozzle.

The unit is compact, measuring only 8 x 8 inches, standing only 18.5 inches before the 15-inch extension. It offers five different settings, including a turbo setting that will run for 40 minutes. You can also choose to use the automatic humidistat with settings between 40% and 95% relative humidity. The ideal setting for controlling asthma is between 40% and 60% relative humidity, and this unit offers a maximum runtime of 96 hours.

The base and tank are constructed of antimicrobial plastic, helping reduce the development of bacteria while operating. The tank has a wide-mouth bottom fill construction and has a top and bottom handle to help lift the tank off the unit.

Controls for this unit are straightforward and simple, with the power button, humidity control, and mist level. There’s also a timer to allow you to set both delayed start and automatic shutoff, allowing you to set a schedule for running the unit as you need it. In addition to the control panel on the unit itself, there is a remote to allow you to easily adjust the unit without having to be physically at it. The unit also offers a display dimming feature to reduce light pollution during nighttime operation.

  • Tank Size: 1.7 gallons
  • Room Size Suitability: 600 sq. ft
  • Weight: 3.83 lbs
  • Special Features: Permanent ceramic filter to soften the water vapor and remove minerals

What we love

  • The unit has an automatic shutoff feature when the tank runs empty
  • There’s an aromatherapy option to allow for diffusing essential oils while running the humidifier
  • The 15-inch extension is nice to help more evenly distribute moisture throughout the room
  • It includes a permanent ceramic filter to remove impurities from the water before it vaporizes

We don't like this as much

  • A greater range of aroma pads would be a bonus
  • We’d like to see a warm-mist option available

FAQs about Humidifiers For Asthma

What time of the year is a humidifier needed for someone who suffers from asthma?

Asthma sufferers know all too well the triggers that cause their symptoms, and those triggers can vary from place to place and season to season. In most areas of the country, the humidity drops over the winter, especially when using a furnace or heating system. In these areas, adding moisture to the air helps remove airborne contaminants that might otherwise stay airborne too long. It also keeps respiratory passageways moist, reducing irritation.

Summer can also be problematic in dry environments, such as the desert. The best way to know whether you need additional humidification is to keep an eye on your indoor humidity level, which is ideally kept between 30% and 50% relative. Many humidifiers have a built-in humidistat to allow you to easily keep an eye on the humidity level.

What type of humidifier is best for asthma?

Your particular situation will determine whether you are better suited to use a warm-mist or cool-mist humidifier. Warm-mist options use heat to create steam, which then cools down as the fan circulates it into the room. This kind of humidifier is perfect for people living in cooler climates and allows you to increase humidity more precisely.

However, warm-mist humidifiers are also more prone to developing bacteria that can trigger asthma symptoms. This makes cool-mist humidifiers perfect for people living in drier and hotter climates, especially over the summer months.

What can a humidifier do to help with asthma, and what should you be cautious of when in operation?

Humidifiers help remove airborne contaminants from overly dry air, which helps improve triggers for asthma sufferers. They also help keep respiratory airways moist, which reduces irritation and inflammation. However, there are some cautions when adding moisture to your air.

First, be careful not to run the humidifier for too long. This can cause issues with airborne contaminants like mold and mildew, which can exacerbate asthma. Next, you’ll want to be sure to clean your unit regularly to prevent the growth of these biological contaminants within the system itself. Exercise caution when cleaning your machine to ensure you don’t leave chemical residue that will further complicate your asthma.

Which humidifier is best for you? 

Maintaining the right humidity in your home is important for anyone who suffers from asthma. When the humidity drops below the recommended 30% relative range, airborne particles stay in the air longer, and more are contributed through dry conditions. This leads to more contaminants that end up triggering the sensitive respiratory system of anyone with asthma.

Choosing the right humidifier for your asthma can be challenging, with so many options and price points on the market. Start by considering whether you need a cool-mist or warm-mist humidifier, and the amount of space you need to condition. Remember, adding humidity to your air is a balancing act, with too much being just as harmful as too little for asthma sufferers.

For asthma sufferers, a key to keeping triggers under control is cleaning your unit effectively. As you evaluate the function, also evaluate the difficulty of cleaning the unit, including disassembly and reassembly. Remember, the more small areas there are, the more places there are for tiny particles to hide and grow, exacerbating many asthma triggers.

Consider the functions that will help you achieve your ideal humidity level, including an automatic humidistat, and variable mist control. Here are our recommendations based on budget and the size of the room you will be operating it in.