Best Whole House Humidifiers of 2020 (Steam, Portable, Best for the Money)

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Dry air within the house leads to various kinds of health problems and often is the cause of discomfort. Whether you live within a dry area or you have a furnace working all year long, dry air doesn’t have to be a problem.

What you need to do to get rid of the dry air is a whole house humidifier. When it comes to selecting the best one, there are numerous choices.

We’re reviewing the top eight products on the market here, so have a look!

Comparison of the Best Whole House Humidifiers 

PRODUCT
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Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier

  • Best Overall Whole House Humidifier
  • Can Humidify an Area of up to 3000 Sq. Ft.
  • Promises a Maximum of 0.5 Gallons of Humidity/Hour
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Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier

  • Can Cover an Area of Up to 4200 Sq. Ft.
  • Runner-Up on Our List of Whole House Humidifiers
  • Digital Humidistat Helps Monitor Humidity Levels Easily
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URPOWER MH501 Humidifier

  • Fitted With a 5L Tank
  • Comes With Auto Shut-Off Feature
  • Best Whole House Humidifier for the Money
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Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Humidifier

  • Has a Tank Capacity of 13 Gallons
  • Best Steam Whole House Humidifier
  • Allows Good Control Over the Humidity Level
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AIRCARE Space-Save Humidifier

  • Most Portable Whole House Option
  • Water Refill and Check Filter Indicators
  • 70-Hour Run Time With a 6-Gallon Tank
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Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier

  • Best Whole House Humidifier by Honeywell
  • Can Cater to an Area of Roughly 2300 Sq Ft.
  • Fitted With an Easy to Refill and Clean 3-Gallon Tank
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Holmes Cool Mist Humidifier

  • Can Cover an Area of 2000 Sq. Ft.
  • Triple-Layer Filter Allows Clean Mist
  • Best Whole House Humidifier by Holmes
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Sunbeam Cool Mist Humidifier

  • The Tank Can Last for 24 Hours
  • Best Whole House Humidifier by Sunbeam
  • Highly Versatile, Suitable for Various Needs
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How Does a Whole House Humidifier Work?

A whole house humidifier is installed in the ductwork near the furnace. It is either placed on the supply or return end and is connected to the house’s water supply. Inside, there is a pad, rotating drum, or steam system. When the unit is working, water runs down the humidifier pad. The rotating drum collects the water or is misted in the device, depending on the model you have.

Once air enters the humidifier, it comes into contact with the water inside. The water then evaporates in the air. So as the air leaves the humidifier and joins your house’s airflow, it has a higher moisture level. The end result is higher humidity in all rooms.

How to Choose a Humidifier For Your Whole House

Buying a whole house humidifier is a big investment. For this reason, you must consider the following factors so that your money is spent in the right place.

Kinds of Whole House Humidifier

There are two basic kinds of humidifiers available. These are steam and evaporative humidifiers.

Compared to steam humidifiers, evaporative humidifiers are cheaper, yet they are quite powerful. Plus, evaporative models are ideal for those wanting to make their home cool and healthy.

Capacity

To get the best whole house humidifier, you must consider the capacity. Before you finalize your purchase, check its ability to distribute air throughout the room. If you have a large house, then you must go for one with at least a 12-gallon water tank. Choosing such a humidifier will ensure that moisture spreads everywhere quickly.

Area the Unit Covers

Compared to single room humidifiers, whole house humidifiers cover a huge area at once. So, you must know the maximum coverage area of the humidifier you want to purchase. For a large house, one with a coverage of at least 3000 sq. ft. should be sufficient. Meanwhile, a humidifier with a 2500 sq. ft. coverage will be enough for smaller houses.

Maximum Run Time

The maximum run time is basically the number of hours for which the humidifier works nonstop. While this number doesn’t seem to be crucial, you must know how long the humidifier can work for continuously. If you live in an environment where the air stays mostly dry, you’d want one that can handle working for long hours days on end.

Quick Take: Best Whole House Humidifiers

These are our recommendations for the best whole house humidifiers:

  1. Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier
  2. Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier
  3. URPOWER MH501 Humidifier

Review of the Best Whole House Humidifiers

Humidifiers have now become quite popular, primarily because of their wide use. Picking out the best product to suit your needs is a difficult task because of the number of models available. To help you cherry-pick the best ones, we’ve reviewed the top eight products available.

Aprilaire 500 Whole Home Humidifier, Automatic Compact Furnace Humidifier, Large Capacity Whole House Humidifier for Homes up to 3,000 Sq. Ft.

PROS

  • The Unit Works Quietly
  • Promises Efficient Water Usage
  • Considerably Improves the Comfort of the House
  • Completely Eliminates the Need for Individual Room Humidifiers

CONS

  • No Instructions on How to Install the Product, Making Installation Difficult and Time-Consuming

The Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier is a bypass model. It is thought to be one of the best in its class. It can humidify an area of 3000 sq. ft. for several hours in one go. The company doesn’t state the tank capacity or the maximum runtime for this product. However, we do know that it can provide a half gallon of humidity per hour.

It comes with automatic controls that make the unit quite easy to use. Moreover, it is fitted with a drain hose which flushes the unwanted water particles, so you can be sure that the water humidifying your house is clean enough not to harm your health. Moreover, it is possible to directly install the unit with your central cooling and heating system.

When you go out to buy this model, you’ll be faced with two variants. The two variants are Aprilaire 500 and 500M. The 500 is a digitally controlled model. Meanwhile, the 500M is controlled manually. Both the models feature a water panel change indicator which notifies you that it’s time to change the unit’s water panel. As a result, this feature ensures that you get clean air throughout the year.

Bottom Line

With this humidifier, you can maintain optimal humidity within your house. Doing so will reduce the chances of various allergy-related diseases. At the same time, it will also make the air inside your house clean, so you’ll be able to enjoy a good sleep!

Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier

PROS

  • Installation Isn’t Too Difficult
  • It is Quiet as Well as Efficient
  • Various Configuration Options Make This Unit FlexibleThe Directions the Unit Comes With are Easy to Understand

CONS

  • Often Makes a Whistling Sound
  • It'll Take Some Time to Install This Product

Another Aprilaire item, the 700 Automatic Humidifier can evaporate 0.75 gallons of water per hour. It is for this reason that the unit accompanies a sizeable water tank. The company doesn’t exactly reveal the unit’s gallon size. However, we do know that it can cover an area of up to 4200 square feet.

One great thing about this Aprilaire unit is how easy it is to control. The automatic digital control panel makes everything simple. Primarily, this is because of the high-quality feedback system and sensors.

Familiarizing yourself with the controls is also very easy. All the buttons are intuitive and the range of settings isn’t overwhelming at all. So you can just power it on, adjust it according to your ideal settings, and then let it be! The only time you’ll have to touch the humidifier again is when you have to refill the tank.

Another interesting thing about it is that it can work in tightly constructed houses. Such houses often have tight spaces with numerous turns and twists. Due to the layout, they’re left with hot or dry spots, but not anymore! The Aprilaire 700 can cater to this problem.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Aprilaire 700 promises great value considering the money you pay for it. Plus, it has an excellent all-around design that can be suitable for various purposes.

Best for the Money:
URPOWER MH501 Humidifier

URPOWER MH501 Humidifier, 5L Large Capacity Whisper-Quiet Operation Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier Waterless Auto Shut-Off with Adjustable Mist Mode for Home Bedroom Babyroom Office

PROS

  • It is Silent, Easy to Use, and Effective
  • Produces a Sufficient Amount of Vapor
  • Beautiful, Stylish and Minimalist Black Unit
  • Quite Compact, Making it Easy to Place Anywhere

CONS

  • Doesn’t Last for Long
  • The Round Top Makes Filling the Unit Difficult

The one thing that defines the MH501 humidifier is its large 5L tank. This huge tank makes the unit suitable for overnight operation. While the tank isn’t the biggest available on the market, the efficiency of the unit makes it an ideal option. Moreover, the tank is easy to refill and fit back on with minimum hassle, so your humidifier can keep on running without a problem.

Another unique feature is the sleep mode. With just a push of a button, it is possible to power down the indicator lights and make it run quietly. This mode is perfect for nights where you wish to have a peaceful sleep without any disturbance.

One more impressive feature you’ll find in this humidifier is automatic shut-off. So once the unit runs out of water, it will power down to avoid potential damage. By owning an intelligent model, there’ll be one less thing to worry about!

The MH501 comes with a black body, which is stylish and matches most modern homes. In fact, the black design works as a welcome break from the white units often available on the market.

Bottom Line

Considering its price, you will hardly find a better model. With a 5-liter tank, this unit promises cool water vapor throughout all hours of the day and night. Plus, its matte black body and stylish design make it a perfect decoration to add to your place.

Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Steam Humidifier

PROS

  • No Scale Build-Up
  • Self-Cleaning, Efficient, and Quiet
  • The Auto Flush is an Excellent Feature
  • It is Well Designed and Works Very Well

CONS

  • The Installation is Quite Difficult

Upfront, you’ll find steam humidifiers to be quite pricey. However, they are highly efficient and cost-effective in the long term. The Emerson HSP2000 Whole House Humidifier is no different. For a steam humidifier, this unit is quite large. However, it is suitable for both large and small homes. In fact, its high efficiency makes it an ideal option for various kinds of living spaces.

The unit comes with a pure filter which helps to add moisture in the air. At the same time, it also removes allergens, pollutants, and toxins from your house. So, this not only keeps air adequately humid but keeps it clean, too.

Unlike some, this one doesn’t need a furnace fan to operate. Instead, it features a digital humidistat which monitors the air. So, when it senses that the air isn’t at the right humidity, it will turn itself on.

Moreover, Emerson HSP2000 Humidifier comes with easy-to-follow settings. So, anyone can set it up and use it once it’s installed. However, the installation is quite difficult and must be handled by a professional.

With a capacity of 13 gallons, this humidifier can cater to your whole house. Plus, it can release air and moisture into all parts of the house. So, even if you have a 3000 square foot house, you can benefit from this unit.

Bottom Line

Steam humidifiers are known to provide highly precise humidity control, and this one is no different. This unit by Emerson doesn’t need hot air to function. Once it detects low levels of humidity, it powers on. So, you can enjoy ideal humidity levels at all times.

Most Portable Whole House Humidifier:
AIRCARE Space-Save Humidifier

AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver, White Whole House Evaporative Humidifier 2700 sq. ft

PROS

  • Doesn’t Leave Any White Dust
  • 5-Gallon Tank Reduces the Need for Frequent Refilling
  • It is Fitted With Wheels that Make it Easy to Move Around

CONS

  • It Seems to Be Made Using Cheap Materials

The Aircare Space-Save Humidifier comes with numerous excellent features that make it one of the best whole house humidifiers. Perhaps the greatest thing about this product is how low-maintenance it is. Simply type in the level that you’d like, and it will take care of everything else. In other words, it is a truly intelligent, adaptable, and automatic humidifier.

Another impressive feature is the Trapmax filter system that comes with antimicrobial protection built in. In fact, the antimicrobial element is something many would appreciate, particularly those with babies around. Moreover, what makes the filter system even better is that it doesn’t affect the raw performance. Generally, such filters reduce the unit’s efficiency, but this isn’t the case with this one.

In addition, the pour-in design was very well thought out. By filling up the water when you need to use it, you can have the right level for days. Moreover, the unit features filter and refill indicators. These ensure that you never have to guess anything when it comes to the unit. Instead, the simple visual indicators guide you on what you have to do.

Bottom Line

With an effective range of 2700 square feet, this is a great portable unit. Since it is an evaporative humidifier, it is ideal for adding the desired humidity in your house. Maintaining proper humidity levels with this unit can help fight many diseases!

Honeywell Cool Moisture Console Humidifier

PROS

  • It Doesn’t Weigh Too Much
  • Significantly Improves Moisture Level in the Air
  • Quite Effective and Offers Trouble-Free Operation
  • The Smart Design Makes the Unit Easy to Deal With

CONS

  • Tends to Vibrate
  • The Tanks Are a Little Difficult to Open

The Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier is one of the best products by Honeywell that blows cool mist. It is a console-style humidifier that offers coverage of around 2300 sq. ft. This product ensures that the discomfort that dry air brings along is taken care of effortlessly.

Fitted with a three-gallon water tank, this unit is suitable for both small and medium-sized houses. Moreover, the tank allows up to 24 hours of uninterrupted run time. Perhaps the greatest feature of this Honeywell humidifier is the auto on and off feature. Note that most of the products on this list only have the auto shut-off feature. Thus, the auto shut-on feature gives this unit an edge.

Moreover, just like the Aprilaire 500, this Honeywell humidifier has a wicking filter. This filter helps to remove minerals from the water you use to fill the tank. In addition, you can choose from three-speed settings. Another thing that makes this unit an excellent feature is the fact that the tank is easy to clean, fill, and carry!

Bottom Line

Overall, this humidifier makes use of unique technology that ensures the best operation. The innovative technology also allows the unit to generate fresh moisture quietly. Plus, the three different speed settings allow you to adjust the moisture output just how you like it!

Holmes Cool Mist Console Humidifier HM3855L-UM

PROS

  • Can Handle Quite a Good Amount of Water
  • Works Great Even During Warm, Humid Months
  • You Can Adjust the Setting You Want and Let the Unit Handle the Rest

CONS

  • It Vibrates Quite a Bit
  • No Auto Shut-Off Once the Tank is Empty

Another excellent option to check out is the Holmes Cool Mist Humidifier. With this unit, you can easily restore the balance of moisture throughout your house. This humidifier comes with a large tank that can cover up an area of to 2,000 sq. ft. However, what makes this unit worthy of your money is its ability to offer relief from the harmful effects of dry air.

In this unit, the water from the tank passes through a tri-layer filter. As a result, you are left with a clean and fresh mist that disperses in the air for extreme comfort. The filter in the unit undergoes treatment with an antimicrobial agent. This agent prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew. Meanwhile, the Arm & Hammer baking soda treatment helps to remove unpleasant smells from the air.

In addition, the adjustable digital humidistat provides simple operation. Similarly, the large handles and pull-open filter door make the humidifier easy to carry and maintain. Overall, the unit can offer a run time of 24 hours for each filling.

Bottom Line

There’s no doubt that Holmes has done justice to this humidifier. It comes with all the necessary features you’d expect. Overall, when choosing a whole house humidifier, this is a good option.

Sunbeam Cool Mist Humidifier, White, White & Green

PROS

  • Works Wonders
  • A Good Unit for the Price
  • It is Functional and Provides Good Health Benefits

CONS

  • Can Be a Little Loud on the High Settings
  • Doesn’t Come With an Auto Shut-Off Feature

The last whole house humidifier is this one by Sunbeam. This cool mist humidifier by Sunbeam helps you create the most comfortable environment in your house. The unit disperses fresh and cool mist into the air and makes the room cozy and comfortable instantly.

What makes this one of the best whole house humidifiers is its versatility. For instance, you can use this in your den, living room, bedroom, dining room, and more. Similarly, it can be used in all seasons ranging from hot summers to cool winters.

The Sunbeam cool mist humidifier comes with various benefits. Apart from ensuring fresh air that’s free from bacteria and mold, this unit also prolongs the lifespan of your furniture and appliances.

Moreover, it comes with a triple-layer filter that is enhanced by Arm & Hammer baking soda. Plus, the filter check monitor only adds to the unit’s convenience. In addition, hassle-free maintenance and a tank that can last for 24 hours make it an ideal option. Lastly, the tank is easy to fill and carry.

Bottom Line


For a truly comfortable environment in your house, you can’t go wrong with this humidifier. While it’s not overly fancy like the expensive models, it does provides numerous health benefits by regulating the moisture level in the air.

Perks of Investing in a Great Whole House Humidifier

A humidifier is a much-needed product, particularly if you live in a dry area. Apart from adding moisture back to your environment, a whole house humidifier has other perks too.

Reduces Health Risks

Dry air triggers respiratory-related diseases like asthma, sinusitis, and bronchitis. However, once a humidifier does its magic, the chances of these health situations worsening decrease drastically. Plus, since whole house humidifiers last for a long time, they can keep your house moist for quite a while.

Protects Your Home

You might be surprised to know that humidifiers help preserve your house. Without moisture, wooden surfaces and objects can be damaged easily. Thus, humidifiers can help prevent damage to all wooden things in your house.

Helps to Save Money

Many people assume that installing a whole house humidifier is quite expensive. The truth is, it isn’t. Instead, it’s more beneficial in the long run. While a whole house humidifier will add a little to your bill, ultimately, it will save money on your electrical bill. Keeping your home properly humidified helps it feel warmer and allows you to feel more comfortable.

Conclusion

Humidifiers work as great alternatives for adding moisture to your house. Plus, adding moisture can help prevent many dry skin problems. In addition, such humidifiers help prevent infections caused by molds, algae, and fungi. All in all, once you invest in the best whole house humidifier, you can significantly improve your house’s air quality and enjoy the various benefits.