What are the best cool mist humidifiers for your baby?

Dave | |

Cool mist humidifiers use spinning discs and ultrasonic waves to make vapor. With a cool mist humidifier there’s absolutely no chance that your little one could get burnt. The water inside is cool and they pose less of a danger.

There’s a host of symptoms such as colds, flu, sinus infections, eczema and dry eyes that can be relieved using a humidifier.

If you already know how a cool mist humidifier works and all about the benefits you can skip straight to our top choices for the best cool mist ones and our mini-reviews. Otherwise, there’s a little guide in this article to take you through what’s what in the world of the humidifier.

Cool mist ultrasonic humidifier with finger in the cool water
A cool mist humidifier produces vapor and the water is cool and can’t burn you….

The Best Cool Mist Humidifiers for your Baby

Note: Our individual reviews are below, but you can also click any of the links above to check current prices on Amazon and other retailers

Humidifiers – The Lowdown

What does a humidifier do?

The level of water vapor in the air around us is called humidity.

The ideal humidity level inside your house is anywhere from 30 to 50 percent.

A humidifier is designed to add more water vapor into the air so that your room can reach those optimum levels or even higher levels to help relieve some symptoms.

Common symptoms that high humidity levels help with are those from common colds, flu, and sinus infections.

Dry air, allergies, or asthma can also cause eczema, itchy skin, cracked lips, nose bleeds, and dry eyes. All of which may be helped by the use of a humidifier.

Humidity levels

Air that feels stuffy in a room that has condensation on the walls and windows is a sure sign of high humidity. That environment allows bacteria and mold to grow.

Dry air with low humidity levels can make your skin itchy and irritate your eyes and throat.

Why is a cool mist better than warm mist for baby?

There’s no chance a cool mist humidifier it could ever burn your child. They have no heating element, the water inside is cool and the vapor emitted is cool.

Because of that lack of a heating element cool mists are generally cheaper to run for long periods of time. Even those with nightlights as most of these are LED which uses very little power.

What type of water should I use?

You’re recommended to use filtered or demineralized water with a cool mist humidifier to reduce the likelihood of mold, bacteria, and minerals entering the air.

Using tap water in areas with heavy mineral deposits in the water can lead to a white dust appearing on your surfaces. Not to mention that it may well not be free from bacteria.

What do you use to clean a cool mist humidifier?

You need to keep any humidifier clean. Most manufacturers recommend a weekly cleaning cycle that includes a natural agent such as white vinegar. This will descale, remove mold and decontaminate the insides.

Can I use essential oils in a cool mist humidifier?

You can in some of them.

Not all cool mist humidifiers allow this but there are some that do such as the Babymoov . There are a few oils you may want to stay away from if you’re using them with your baby. Also, it’s recommended that you dilute essential oils for younger children and babies and avoid certain ones.

Can you get sick from a humidifier?

Yes. You need to keep them clean. That’s why the manufacturers recommend a weekly cleaning cycle. If you don’t keep the insides clean mold and bacteria will grow. That can make it out into the air and you end up breathing it in. That can lead to some nasty conditions.

You also need to be careful to not over-use a humidifier and keep the humidity level in a room elevated for long periods of days or weeks. If you do this you’ll get condensation and moisture everywhere. That environment is a breeding ground for bacteria and molds on your surfaces.

A good humidifier will come with a built-in hygrometer that lets you monitor the current level. It’s fine to allow it to become high when humidifying, just be sure to give your room a break.

Should I put my humidifier next to my baby?

Good humidifiers will control their output level so as not to saturate the air. If you run a powerful humidifier at a high level right next to your child you actually run the risk of making them and their surroundings damp.

You need to exercise a little judgment. Most small units, even those without inbuilt regulation will not produce a huge amount of vapor.

There’s usually a directional nozzle on the top where the vapor is emitted. Even if you have to locate the unit right next to your child you can use this to direct the flow away from them.

Types of cool mist humidifier

Ultrasonic humidifiers

These are normally the most common kind due to their quiet operation and you’ll find the most readily available.

A vibrating disc submersed inside a container of water produces ultrasonic waves. I think of this as an underwater speaker. As the tiny waves it makes break the surface of the water they spray water particles into the air. If you’re an engineer and really want to get technical check this out.

Impeller humidifiers

A rapidly spinning disc flings water at high speed onto a diffuser that breaks it into microscopic droplets inside an impeller humidifier.

Evaporative humidifiers

If you blow on something that’s wet you’ll dry it out. You dry it out by blowing the water off the thing that’s wet and into the air. These use the same principle. There’s a sponge element and a fan inside. The element soaks up water and the fan blows air over it evaporating it into the air.

An evaporative humidifier will self-regulate and become less effective as the humidity in a room increases. It’s harder to evaporate water into the air by blowing on something in an already humid room!

What features to look for….

How loud is it?

What’s great about cool mist humidifiers is that they are usually ultrasonic. The moving parts vibrate at a frequency that you can’t hear. That makes them quiet.

They’ll usually operate under 40 dB, good ones down as low as 20-25 dB which is whisper quiet.

Unless your child could sleep through anything, or you’re going to put it some distance from them, you’d be advised to check it isn’t a noisy model.

Germ-killing features

Other than being turned into vapor nothing else happens to water in a basic cool mist humidifier. The air that circulates the room can be filled with the contaminants and minerals that were present in the water.

There are a couple of solutions to this that are included in certain humidifiers. You can sometimes find filter cartridge (similar to a Brita filter) that first helps remove microorganisms and demineralize the water. Or sometimes you’ll find anti-bacterial properties present in the materials the humidifier is built from. Occasionally you’ll find one with a UV light that sterilizes the water.

Room Size

Most humidifiers are designed to work well in small to medium-sized rooms. Smaller portable travel humidifiers will output less vapor. However, unless you have an especially large nursery or you want your whole house humidifying you’ll be fine with most options you see.

Run Time and Shut Down

Tanks can vary in size from 100 ml up-to several gallons. A bigger tank doesn’t always mean a longer run time. Runtime depends on the actual quantity of vapor being output.

How long a full tank of water will last at full output is usually a figure given in the product description. If you’re going to put one in your baby’s room and want it to work the whole time they sleep you’ll be looking for something with an 8 hour run time.

This isn’t essential though because good humidifiers will automatically shut-off when the tank is empty. Programmable ones will let you specify how long they run before they shut off too.

A bigger tank and longer run-time mean less refilling.

Automatic Humidity Levels

A hygrometer is a device used to sense humidity levels. If a humidifier has one built in it will normally allow you to choose your humidity level. It’s then just going to work to achieve that level producing more or less mist as necessary. This is a great choice if you want something that’s set and forget.

The ambient humidity changes with the seasons. If you’re going to use it a lot having a set level and a sensor means things won’t get overly humid or dry whatever the season.

Night Lights and Running Lights

Color changing LED nightlights use very little energy and are a great feature you’ll find on many baby friendly humidifiers. You have them plugged in and switched on all night anyway so why not add a comforting light show to the room too?

A humidifier nightlight on a bedside table
Multi-color nightlights are great for beside a crib or kids bed

If you have a child that won’t sleep easily, look for a humidifier that allows you to switch off the nightlight and doesn’t have any other bright sources of light. Things like a power light or LED display that doesn’t dim for example.

Baby Humidifier Reviews

Babymoov Hygro Plus

Hygro Plus Cool Mist Humidifier | 3-in-1 Humidity Control, Multicolored Night Light & Essential Oil Diffuser | Easy Use and Care (NO Filter Needed)
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This is great looking humidifier with a stylish French inspired design. It looks a little like a pod and wouldn’t look out of place in any room.

This does pretty much everything you’re going to want and it runs at 25 db (which is actually whisper quiet).

It also doubles as a 7 color night light which can be switched off if it’s too bright. Or can cycle through 7 colors to or just stick to one.

There’s a backlit touchscreen on the front which displays the current room humidity level and temperature. What’s great is that you don’t have to worry about the lights from that screen keeping your little one awake as they automatically dim when not in use.

The tank is pretty big. 0.7 gallons or 2.5 L. Specifications say that should give you 22 hour of runtime 22 hours of runtime before you need to refill. Good for 2-3 nights. Even if the tank runs dry however this has an auto-switch off feature.

On top of the tank there’s a little diffuser that you can use to add essential oils or other inhalants into. Great if you want to use it to freshen a room or add something a little more potent into the air to clear little airways. The vapor nozzle spins a full 360 and directs vapor out at 45 degrees so you can really direct it exactly where you need to.

The best way to use this is as a set and forget unit. You choose the humidity level and let it keep things how you like them until the water runs out.

You can also just set this manually to run constantly at one of 5 output levels from 110 ml/hour upto 250 ml/hour. There’s also a timer mode that allows you to stop operation after a prescribed period.

Type: Ultrasonic

What we liked:

  • Looks great
  • Essential oil compatible
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Auto shut-off when the tank is empty
  • 7 color nightlight
  • Humidity and temperature display
  • Regulated humidity levels

What we didn’t:

  • No filter, not antibacterial, needs filtered water

Check the price on Amazon »

Honeywell Germ Free

Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier White
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

Do you have particular allergies? Are you generally worried about what else a humidifier is expelling into the air other than water vapor? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you may want to take a close look at this evaporative Honeywell one.

Water from the tank is first passed under a UV light that kills bacteria. It’s then soaked into an antimicrobial ‘wicking’ filter that is resistant to mold. A fan blows air over the filter and the result is the humid air expelled is 99.9% free of germs and contaminants.

There are 3-speed settings on the fan. You get greatly reduced noise levels on the lowest setting, great for night-time and light sleepers. Modern fans like this one and the ones inside your computer case use dual bearings and other technologies which make them practically silent. All you can hear is the air moving.

The filter and the UV bulb are replaceable parts and they have a lifespan. Honeywell recommends 90 days before you change the filter. The bulb will last much longer. You might get a longer lifespan if you use filtered water. But the idea is that it’s easy to use, you fill it from the tap and you get germ free humid air. You have less maintenance and cleaning to do but a few parts to replace periodically.

The tank is large, so large that you can open it and easily get your hand inside to clean it. However, you don’t have to because you can put it in the dishwasher. A full tank will give you a 24-hour runtime on the low fan speed.

You can get it in black plastic too if that suits your house better.

Type: Evaporative

What we liked:

  • Safe to use tap water
  • Kills germs and mold (99.9% of them)
  • The tank is dishwasher safe
  • Easy maintenance and cleaning
  • 3-year warranty

What we didn’t:

  • No nightlight
  • Big
  • Filter and UV bulb are wear and tear parts and will need to be replaced periodically
  • Not compatible with essential oils

Check the price on Amazon »

Crane Adorables Animal Cool Mist Humidifiers

Crane Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifiers for Kids, Monkey
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This actually looks like something you might find in a child’s room. They might even like it and think it’s a cute addition. Especially because you can get it in about 20 different kid friendly designs, Monkey, Dragon, Train and many more.

So how does it stack up?

Well, they got the name right. It’s pretty adorable when mist starts jetting out of the elephant’s trunk or a pig’s ears.

This runs quiet like most ultrasonics, so there’s little danger of it keeping you or your child awake through the night.

The tank holds up to 1 gallon of water and can run for 24 hours. It isn’t the smallest unit. At 9” wide by about 13” high it might just fill a little bedside table.

You can change the direction of the output so you get mist where you want it and not where you don’t. There’s also a control dial on the front allowing you to adjust the level of mist output.

There isn’t a UV light inside to kill bacteria however the base is made from anti-microbial materials that will discourage up to 99.96% of nasties from growing in there.

Type: Ultrasonic cool mist.

What we liked:

  • BPA Free
  • Auto-shut off
  • Anti-microbial base
  • Optional demineralization filter for hard water homes
  • Some models include a nightlight

What we didn’t:

  • Weekly cleaning with white vinegar recommended
  • Tank is large and may not fit in some basins for filling

Check the price on Amazon »

MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist

Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Premium Humidifying Unit with 1.5L Water Tank, Whisper-Quiet Operation, Automatic Shut-Off and Night Light Function - Lasts Up to 16 Hours
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

A popular choice from MistAire with a lot of units sold. This has a 1.5-liter reservoir that allows it to run for up to 16 hours on it’s highest setting. There’s also a low setting, that’s going to give you much longer between refills.

You get 360-degree rotation of the nozzle on the top that allows you to control the exact direction of the mist output.

There’s a soft blue single color nightlight, but you don’t have to have it switched on to make it work. Good for a light sleeper.

One large button on the front allows you to cycle through the 4 running modes high or low output, light on or off.

This one runs quietly. It’s virtually silent.

The ultrasonic element periodically needs a clean using a supplied brush and as with all ultrasonics, you’re recommended to soak the tank and in vinegar periodically.

If you don’t like the blue tank this is also available with a silver color tank (but still with a blue nightlight) – and in XL size with a 1 gallon tank for large rooms.

Type: Ultrasonic cool mist

What we liked:

  • Very quiet
  • No filter or cartridge to replace
  • Night light
  • 16 hour run-time on highest setting
  • 360 degree directional output nozzle
  • Auto-shut off
  • 2 year warranty

What we didn’t:

  • Ideally needs clean filtered water
  • No anti-bacterial filter or light
  • Requires regular cleaning
  • Not compatible with essential oils

Check the price on Amazon »

Rebassa Cool Mist USB

REBASSA Cool Mist Humidifier For Babies, USB Port, Cute Space-Saving Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Bedroom Car Office Babies, Whisper-Quiet, Filter Free, Automatic Shut-off …
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

This would look great in a nursery or a little girls room. It’s also really handy for traveling and will fit into the cup holder of your car. Who doesn’t love a cute bird design in either yellow, pink or green?

This doesn’t plug into a socket but takes a USB cable instead. Of course, you can plug it into a socket if you have a USB socket adapter. It also means you can connect it to your car, your laptop or a portable battery pack. So many things have USB ports that provide power now…

The 180ml tank will give you about 3 hours of use on continual mist mode. Switch it to intermittent and you’ll get much longer.

There’s even a little cotton filter inside to help to remove minerals and other particles from the expelled air. You get a spare filter so you can clean one and use the other.

Type: Ultrasonic cool mist

What we liked:

  • Quiet
  • Affordable
  • BPA free
  • Small and portable – Fits in a car cup holder
  • Auto shut off
  • Cotton filter

What we didn’t:

  • No antibacterial properties

Check the price on Amazon »

URPOWER Aromatherapy Humidifier & Essential Oil Diffuser

URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home (White)
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

Small, simple to use and affordable this budget humidifier is also friendly with essential oils.

Push the on button on this once and you’ll get 3 hours of continuous output. Press it again and you’ll get up to 6 as it will run intermittently until the 100 ml tank is empty.

You can just use it optionally as a nightlight. Light control is separate from the mist and it can be switched off. Either stick with one particular color or cycle through 7 different ones continually to provide a nice light show in your nursery.

Type: Ultrasonic Cool mist

What we liked:

  • Affordable
  • Small footprint
  • Essential oil compatible
  • 7 color nightlight
  • Auto shut-off
  • Continuous or intermittent mist mode
  • BPA free
  • Easy to clean

What we didn’t:

  • Low run-time, only 100 ml tank, 6 hours max
  • The on light (not the nightlight) might be a little to bright for some locations
  • No anti-bacterial properties

Check the price on Amazon »

Levoit Warm and Cool Mist

LEVOIT Humidifiers for Large Room Bedroom (6L), Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Air Humidifier for Home Whole House Babies Room, Customized Humidity, Remote, Germ Free and Whisper-Quiet, 2-year Warranty
Click the picture to see more images and user reviews on Amazon

Here’s a humidifier that does both cool and warm. Why can’t you have your cake and eat it?

This Levoit unit allows you to select the type of mist via the touch panel on the front or the remote control. That means you can have the antibacterial warm mist if your symptoms are allergy driven or just cool mist if you want relief from a cold or dry skin.

If you or your baby is a light sleeper it’s also possible to even turn off the blue lights on the control panel so the unit is completely dark. They aren’t supposed to act as a nightlight but they can.

There’s a humidity sensor built in and mist will be produced until the desired humidity level is reached in your room. Then it will automatically shut down and just work to maintain that level.

The warm mist option means there is no filter. If you want clean bacteria-free mist, you use the warm mist option. Two nozzles on the top can be spun in 360 degrees to allow you fine control over exactly where the mist goes.

You can run this for up to 36 hours on a single tank. That means less refilling.

The ultrasonic air diffuser produces less than 36 dB. That’s not as quiet is some others, but it’s still quiet. The sound of a humming refrigerator is about 40 dB.

Type: Warm mist or cool ultrasonic mist

What we liked:

  • Humidity sensor and auto-mode
  • Remote control
  • 2 year warranty
  • 2x Descaling pads and aroma pads supplied
  • Programmable timer
  • Does warm AND cool mist
  • Essential oil compatible

What we didn’t:

  • No nightlight

Check the price on Amazon »

A stay at home dad and blogger. I'm lucky enough to have 2 wonderful children and the full set, a boy, and a girl! When I get a minute I like to share this tiring but amazing journey and my experience by writing!

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