It’s important to keep indoor humidity at an optimum level (45 to 65 percent). Dry air in the winter is one the main causes of sinus infections and sore throats. Humidifiers require frequent maintenance — minerals in tap water can cause an accumulation of scale, a breeding ground for bacteria. Parts of the humidifier need to be descaled regularly with vinegar and disinfected with bleach, and filters and wicks require periodic replacement.
Listed below are the top rated humidifiers according to ConsumerReports, Wired Magazine, Good Housekeeping Research Institute and Amazon reviewers.
Another way to add humidity to a room, is to put a few Areca Palms in it. These palms release copious amounts of water into the air, and remove chemical toxins too. They are consistently rated among the best houseplants for removing all indoor toxins tested. According to B. C. Wolverton, author of How To Grow Fresh Air, a six foot (1.8 m) areca palm transpires approximately 1 quart (1 litre) of water every 24 hours. So if you put three in your bedroom, the palms will be releasing three quarts of water per day — not bad!
Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic 7144 Humidifier
The Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic 7144 Humidifier received the top rating overall from the review sources we surveyed. Testers praised its effectiveness and quiet operation.
Reviewers at Good Housekeeping tested the Air-O-Swiss 7144 with 20 other humidifiers, and concluded that the Ultrasonic 7144 was “splurge-worthy pick”. Wired Magazine reviewer Michael Lasky gave the Air-O-Swiss 7144 a score of 8 out of 10 in this review. A total of 68 Amazon reviewers gave this humidifier an average rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. The only complaint reviewers had about this humidifier is that refilling the tank can be a bit difficult and messy.
Kenmore 12 Gallon Humidifier
The Kenmore 12 Gallon Humidifier is the top rated high-output humidifier overall. It is an evaporative humidifier, which means it does not produce the white residue that ultrasonic humidifier create. However, evaporative humidifiers are noisier than ultrasonic models though.
This Kenmore humidifier is one of Consumer Reports recommended high-output humidifiers. They had this to say about this humidifier:
This Kenmore Console was good in overall performance, and is intended to humidify areas up to 2500 square feet. It is equipped with a humidistat and digital humidity display. This model’s output was very good. It was very good for convenience, had a noise level that was poor, excellent energy efficiency, and its output with hard water was excellent.
This humidifier received an average of 4 out of 5 stars from 46 reviewers at Sears.Com.