Choosing the Best Humidifier for Your Baby

By: Evan Scoboria, Last updated: June 28, 2023

Humidifiers are an excellent addition to your baby's nursery, essential in creating a conducive environment for their comfort and health. An ideal humidity level can help keep your little one's skin hydrated, ease breathing, and provide a good night's sleep. But not all humidifiers are created equal, especially when it comes to the needs of our precious little ones. This article aims to guide you through the crucial factors to consider when choosing a humidifier for your baby and reviews the top models available in the market. Whether you're a new or seasoned parent, this comprehensive guide will help you find the best humidifier for your baby's unique needs.

Top Picks for the Best Humidifiers for Baby

Our Top Pick
Levoit LV600S Smart Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier

Best overall choice for a baby's room.

Levoit LV600S Smart Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier

This WIFI-enabled humidifier boasts a 6-liter tank, quiet operation, and a built-in aroma box making it our top choice humidifier for babies.

As a parent, I've found that the Levoit LV600S Smart Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier is the best companion for my baby's room. What makes it so unique is its hybrid ultrasonic technology, which allows me to select either warm or cool mist, depending on the season. This ensures a consistently comfortable environment for my baby. After several months of use, I liked this unit so much that I added it to my list of the best humidifiers

What I appreciate most about the LV600S is its smart controls. The WiFi-enabled humidifier lets me adjust settings, create schedules, and even monitor the humidity level from my smartphone using the free VeSync app. As a busy parent, I value this level of convenience and control.

The LV600S is also built with a 1.59-gallon (6 liters) tank to run continuously for up to 36 hours on a low mist setting. I've found this hugely beneficial because it means I don't need to refill it as often, and it can cover a large room comfortably.

It has an auto mode that adjusts the mist level based on humidity, making the environment consistently comfortable and healthy for my little one. Plus, the built-in humidity sensor displays real-time humidity readings, so I can easily keep track of conditions in my baby's room.

An absolute game changer for me is the quiet operation of the LV600S. It works silently to maintain the room's humidity level, ensuring my baby's sleep remains undisturbed.

Cleaning is often a hassle with humidifiers, but not with the LV600S. Its wide opening allows easy access to the water tank, which makes cleaning a breeze and helps prevent mold or bacteria build-up.

Lastly, the built-in aroma box adds an extra touch of calm to the room. I add a few drops of my favorite essential oil, filling the room with a soothing aroma.

 I can confidently say the Levoit LV600S Smart Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier checks all the boxes for creating a comfortable, healthy, and soothing environment for a baby.

Also Great
Safety 1st 360° Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

Another Great Option for Your Baby's Room

Safety 1st 360° Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

One of the aspects I appreciate the most is how incredibly quiet this humidifier is when operating. Your baby's sleep won't be disturbed even with this device running throughout the night.

Another humidifier I highly recommend for your little one's room is the Safety 1st 360° Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier. Its selling point is right in the name: the unique 360° mist outlet, which I've found to be exceptionally effective in evenly distributing humidity throughout the room.

One of the aspects I appreciate the most is how incredibly quiet this humidifier is when operating. Even with this device running throughout the night, your baby's sleep won't be disturbed.

The Safety 1st humidifier comes with a sizeable 0.5-gallon tank, ensuring a runtime of up to 10-12 hours, usually sufficient for a whole night's sleep. Refilling the tank and cleaning the unit is a breeze, too, thanks to the removable tank design.

I am particularly fond of the auto shut-off feature of this unit. It automatically turns off the humidifier when the water level is too low, or the tank is removed. This function gives me peace of mind knowing it's a safe choice for my baby's room.

Another perk of this model is its compact design. It fits nicely on a small bedside table or a shelf, saving valuable space in the nursery. The lack of a filter reduces maintenance work and costs over time.

The one area where the Safety 1st humidifier shines is affordability. Given its set of features, performance, and brand reputation, it offers excellent value for the cost.

As a parent, I've found that the Safety 1st 360° Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is a reliable, quiet, and affordable choice that does an excellent job maintaining a comfortable humidity level in my baby's room.

Other Humidifiers We Tested

Honeywell HCM-350 Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier

The Honeywell HCM-350 Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier stands out for its UV technology that kills up to 99.9% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses in the water. This feature gives me the peace of mind that the mist emitted is germ-free and clean.

It operates at a quiet noise level, so I never had to worry about the device disturbing my baby's sleep. Its soothing, cool mist is also ideal for relieving a baby's dry skin and congestion.

Honeywell HCM-350 Germ-free Cool Mist HumidifierUV technology that kills up to 99.9% of bacteria, mold, fungus, and viruses in the water.

With its 1-gallon tank capacity, this humidifier runs for up to 24 hours on the low setting, which is perfect for keeping the nursery comfortable all day and night. The large tank also makes filling and cleaning a straightforward task. I appreciate that every part of this unit that comes into contact with water can be washed in the dishwasher - a feature that simplifies maintenance for busy parents like me.

Even though this unit does not have a built-in hygrometer to measure humidity levels, pairing it with a separate hygrometer works fine.

The Honeywell HCM-350 didn't make our top choice list because it's more expensive than other humidifiers on the market, but given its germ-killing feature and ease of use, it's worth the investment. As a parent, I found that this unit successfully ensures a healthy and comfortable environment for my little one.

Miro NR07G Cool Mist Humidifier

The Miro NR07G Cool Mist Humidifier offers a unique blend of functionality and design. This humidifier takes a different approach to aesthetics and usability, featuring a sleek, modern design that fits nicely in my child's nursery.

What I find particularly impressive about the Miro NR07G is its innovative modular design. I can disassemble it entirely for a thorough cleaning, and let me tell you, this is an absolute game-changer in terms of maintenance and hygiene. This feature reassures me that my baby is not breathing in harmful mold or bacteria that can sometimes build up in hard-to-clean humidifiers.

Miro NR07G Cool Mist HumidifierStands out for its easy to clean modular design.

Additionally, the NR07G offers a fully adjustable mist output. It allows me to control the moisture level in the room, ensuring that it's just suitable for my baby's comfort. The generous tank capacity provides continuous operation for hours, so I don't have to worry about frequent refills, even during those dry winter nights.

Remember that the Miro NR07G comes with a slightly higher price tag than some other models. But, considering its unique features and easy-to-clean design, it's worth looking at.

Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Autoreact

I used the Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Autoreact for my little one's nursery. This device goes beyond the typical humidifier by offering air purification and cooling capabilities, making it a three-in-one solution ideal for any climate and season.

The Dyson auto mode does all the work for you. The device automatically senses the room's humidity and temperature levels and adjusts its output accordingly. It's one less thing to worry about, allowing you to focus more on caring for my baby.

Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool AutoreactTop of the line options for those with a flexible budget.

The air purification function is another standout feature. The Dyson captures 99.95% of allergens and pollutants as small as 0.1 microns. This includes dust, pollen, mold spores, bacteria, and viruses. Knowing that my baby breathes cleaner, healthier air gives me peace of mind.

However, the Dyson is a high-end model whose price reflects that. For most, the cost will be prohibitive for this machine, but the Dyson Purifier Humidify+Cool Autoreact is an excellent choice for those who want the best for their babies.

Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier

The Levoit LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier is another contender for the best baby-friendly humidifier. This dual-function device offers warm and cool mist options, a versatile feature not seen in many other models. It can help maintain a comfortable and healthy moisture level in your baby's room all year round.

The device includes a remote control and a built-in humidistat – practical features, but I didn't find them particularly intuitive. The bulky size and complicated cleaning process are something to consider for those who prefer a more compact and low-maintenance model.

Fridababy BreatheFrida 3-in-1 Humidifier

The Fridababy BreatheFrida 3-in-1 Humidifier is an interesting device with its multi-functionality as a humidifier, diffuser, and nightlight. It attempts to create a comfortable environment for your baby by providing a steady stream of cool mist.

However, it comes with a built-in diffuser, a feature some parents might find questionable. While it is compatible with BreatheFrida Vapor Drops to emit a soothing scent, I suggest caution here. Fragrances or essential oils should be used with proper medical guidance in a baby's room to avoid potential allergic reactions or respiratory issues.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Humidifier for Your Baby

When it comes to the health and comfort of your baby, a humidifier can be a game-changer. However, not all humidifiers are created equal, and the best one for your baby depends on several factors. Understanding these factors can help you make an informed decision.

Types of Humidifiers and Their Benefits and Drawbacks

There are primarily two types of humidifiers – warm mist and cool mist. While both add moisture to the air, the difference lies in how they achieve it.

  1. Warm mist humidifiers heat the water to produce steam. This can be soothing during cold weather but bear in mind the risk of burns if the baby comes in contact with the unit. They are typically quieter than their cool mist counterparts but can consume more electricity due to the heating element.
  2. Cool mist humidifiers use a wick filter to absorb water while a fan blows air through the moistened filter. They don't pose a burn risk and can cover larger areas. However, they can be a bit noisier and require frequent cleaning to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Safety Concerns When Using a Humidifier for Babies

When it comes to using a humidifier in your baby's room, safety is paramount. As beneficial as they are, humidifiers can pose certain risks if not used properly. One of the main safety concerns is the potential for burns. Warm mist humidifiers heat water to a high temperature to produce steam. If your baby gets too close, it could accidentally tip it over or touch the steam, leading to burns. Thus, cool mist humidifiers are often recommended for use in nurseries.

Another safety concern is related to cleanliness. Humidifiers can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria if not regularly and thoroughly cleaned. These airborne contaminants can cause respiratory issues, especially in babies with allergies or asthma.

There's also the risk of over-humidification. A room with too much humidity can be just as problematic as one with too little, and it can promote the growth of mold and dust mites, which are common allergens. To mitigate this, use a hygrometer to monitor the room's humidity levels and aim to keep it between 30-50%.

Lastly, please ensure the humidifier is placed outside your baby's reach to prevent accidents. The cord should also be kept away to avoid any risk of strangulation. Remember, a humidifier can significantly benefit your baby's health and comfort when used correctly and safely.

Noise Level and Ease of Use

As parents, we know how precious a good night's sleep is for you and your baby. That's why considering the noise level of a humidifier is essential. Some babies might find a low hum soothing, almost like white noise, while others could be disturbed by it. Ultrasonic humidifiers are known for being the quietest option, making them an excellent choice for nurseries.

The ease of use is another crucial factor. Parenting comes with its fair share of challenges, and a complicated humidifier shouldn't be one of them. Consider features like a simple, intuitive interface and a hassle-free refilling process. Some models come with a removable tank that fits under most bathroom sinks, making it easier to refill.

Furthermore, consider whether the unit has an automatic shut-off feature when the tank is empty, saving you the worry of checking the water level frequently. Other user-friendly features may include adjustable mist settings and built-in humidistats.

The goal is to choose a humidifier that makes its operation and maintenance as straightforward as possible, so you can focus on what truly matters—caring for your baby.

Tank Size and Runtime

A humidifier's tank size and runtime are crucial, particularly when considering a unit for your baby's room. These aspects directly influence how often you'll need to refill the unit and how long it can operate without interruption.

Humidifiers with larger tanks can often run longer, typically for an entire day or even more. This means you won't have to get up at night to refill the unit, which can be a significant advantage for busy parents. On the other hand, larger tanks can make the humidifier bulkier and more challenging to fill and clean.

Conversely, humidifiers with smaller tanks might be easier to manage but require more frequent refilling, which could become a hassle.

Regarding runtime, some units can operate continuously for 24 hours or more on a single fill, while others may run out of water in less than 10 hours. Please consider your needs and your baby's sleep schedule when choosing the appropriate tank size and runtime.

Choosing a model with a clear water level indicator can also be beneficial, alerting you when it's time for a refill. It's all about balancing convenience, functionality, and your lifestyle.

Ease of Cleaning

Keeping a humidifier clean is essential, especially for a baby's room. Bacteria and mold can grow in standing water, and if not cleaned regularly, these contaminants can be dispersed into the air when the humidifier is in operation. Therefore, the ease of cleaning should be a primary consideration when choosing a humidifier for your little one.

Please look for a model design that allows for thorough cleaning. A humidifier with a wide opening or removable parts will make your job much easier. Units that can be safely cleaned with vinegar or bleach will ensure the eradication of any potentially harmful bacteria or mold.

Some humidifiers also have dishwasher-safe parts, saving you time and ensuring a thorough cleaning. Other units feature antimicrobial materials or UV light sanitizers, offering an extra layer of protection.

Remember, a humidifier can only provide health benefits if kept clean and free of mold and bacteria. Choose a model that suits your cleaning preferences and habits, ensuring the air your baby breathes is as pure as possible.

Extra Features

Features like built-in night lights, essential oil diffusers, or auto-shutoff when empty can enhance a humidifier's usability. Some models even come with a built-in hygrometer to monitor room humidity levels.

Choosing a humidifier for your baby is about balancing the features you want with the price you're willing to pay. Hopefully, this guide has helped you better understand what to look for when deciding.

Tips for Using a Humidifier for Your Baby

A humidifier can make a difference in maintaining a comfortable atmosphere for your little one, but it’s not just a plug-and-play affair. Here are some essential tips to ensure you use a humidifier safely and effectively for your baby.

1. Proper Placement of the Humidifier in the Baby's Room

Place the humidifier safely from the baby's crib, preferably on a flat, stable surface. Ensure that it is out of your baby's reach to avoid accidents. Directing the mist away from walls or furniture is also a good idea to prevent potential moisture damage.

2. Ideal Humidity Level for Babies

The optimal humidity level for a baby's room is between 30% and 50%. Any higher can promote the growth of mold and dust mites, while lower levels can cause dry skin and irritation. Consider investing in a humidifier with a built-in hygrometer, or purchasing a separate device, to monitor room humidity levels.

3. When to Use a Humidifier for Babies

While it can be beneficial to use a humidifier year-round, it's helpful during the winter months when the air tends to be dry. Dry air can exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and cause dry nasal passages, making your baby uncomfortable. A humidifier can also be helpful when your baby has a cold or a cough, as it can soothe a sore throat and clear nasal congestion.

4. Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Humidifier for Babies

  • Don't neglect to clean your humidifier regularly. Left unchecked, it can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can then be dispersed into the air. Follow the manufacturer's cleaning instructions, which typically recommend cleaning every three days.
  • Avoid over-humidification. Too much moisture in the room can condense windows, walls, and other surfaces, promoting mold growth and other allergens.
  • Don’t forget to use distilled or demineralized water in your humidifier. Regular tap water can contain minerals dispersed in the air, which can settle as fine white dust around the room. They can also lead to mineral buildup in the humidifier, making it harder to clean and shorten its lifespan.

With these tips in mind, you'll be well-equipped to use a humidifier to create a comfortable and healthy environment for your baby. Remember, as with all aspects of child care, it's always best to consult a healthcare professional with any concerns or questions.

Our Testing Conditions

To provide the most accurate and reliable information, we've set up stringent testing conditions for the humidifiers we've reviewed. The testing phase occurs in real-life settings similar to your baby's room, allowing us to evaluate how each unit performs under typical circumstances.

Firstly, we maintain a controlled environment, ensuring a consistent temperature and humidity. This allows us to see the impact of each humidifier on the room's overall moisture levels. We also measure the square footage of our testing space to understand how well each model disperses moisture in rooms of different sizes.

We run each humidifier continuously for 24 hours to evaluate runtime and track how often we need to refill the tank. This helps us judge the convenience and efficiency of each model in real-life usage scenarios.

We use a decibel meter at varying distances from each unit to evaluate noise levels. This gives us an idea of the sound your baby will be exposed to during the operation.

We also consider the ease of cleaning and maintaining each unit, as we understand the importance of hygiene when it comes to baby products. This includes looking at the accessibility of the tank and other parts that require regular cleaning.

Finally, we evaluate the ease of use, including the simplicity of controls, the readability of instructions, and the practicality of any extra features.

Most importantly, we ran several of these units in our children's rooms and collected feedback about any noise or moisture impact they experienced. 

Common questions

  1. Is it safe to use a humidifier for a newborn? Yes, using a humidifier in a newborn's room is generally safe, as it can help maintain optimal humidity levels, which is beneficial for the baby's respiratory system. However, it's essential to clean the humidifier regularly and avoid excessive humidity, which can lead to mold growth.

  2. Can a humidifier help with a baby's dry skin? Absolutely! A humidifier can add moisture to the air, helping to soothe and hydrate dry skin. This can be especially beneficial in colder months when indoor air becomes dry from heating systems.

  3. How often should I change the water in my baby's humidifier? You should change the water in your baby's humidifier daily to prevent bacteria and mold growth. Always empty any remaining moisture before adding fresh water.

  4. What is the best type of humidifier for babies with allergies? A cool mist ultrasonic humidifier is often recommended for babies with allergies. These humidifiers are quiet and safe, as they don't use heat to create mist. However, it's essential to keep them clean to prevent the growth of allergens like mold and bacteria.

  5. How can I tell if the humidity level in my baby's room is too high?  One way to monitor humidity levels is by using a hygrometer, an instrument that measures the humidity in the air. The ideal humidity level for a baby's room is 30-50%.

  6. Can a humidifier help with my baby's congestion? Yes, a humidifier can help relieve congestion by adding moisture to the air, which can thin out the mucus in the baby's nasal passages. This can help your baby breathe easier and provide some relief from congestion.

  7. Do I need to use a humidifier year-round for my baby? The need for a humidifier can vary depending on the season and your indoor air quality. It may be more necessary in winter when indoor air tends to dry. However, if your baby has certain health conditions like allergies or dry skin, you might benefit from using it year-round.

  8. How can I clean my baby's humidifier without harsh chemicals? You can clean a humidifier effectively with household items like white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide. These natural cleaning agents can descale and disinfect the humidifier without the need for strong, potentially irritating chemicals.

  9. Can a humidifier help prevent my baby from getting sick? While a humidifier cannot prevent illness completely, maintaining optimal humidity levels can create a more favorable environment for your baby's respiratory health. Dry air can irritate nasal passages and throats, making babies more susceptible to infections. By moisturizing the air, a humidifier can help reduce this risk.

  10. Are there any risks associated with using a humidifier for babies? If not operated or maintained correctly, humidifiers can pose risks, such as promoting bacteria or mold growth due to stagnant water or excessive humidity. Therefore, it's crucial to regularly clean the humidifier and monitor the room's humidity level to ensure it's within a safe range (30-50%).