Humidifiers help balance a room’s humidity level, but it’s also prone to contamination. It can turn into a cesspool of mold spores, bacteria, microbes, and germs if you don’t clean it well. To combat this problem, manufacturers have produced the best antimicrobial humidifiers. It helps neutralize microbes that may form in the humidifier, especially if paired with regular maintenance.
In this post, I reviewed 5 antimicrobial humidifiers that you can use for your home. See which one matches your budget and the features you need:
5 Best Antimicrobial Humidifiers
OUR #1 CHOICE
OUR TOP PICK: Venta LW25 Original Airwasher Humidifier
Product Name: Venta LW25 Original Airwasher Humidifier
Product Description: If you’re looking for the best antimicrobial humidifiers, the Venta LW25 Original Airwasher should be at the top of your list. This keeps your indoor humidity within the 40% to 60% range to prevent the proliferation of airborne pollutants. Aside from that, this humidifier is rated for up to 430 sq. ft. It’s a great choice for medium to large rooms in your home. Moreover, it uses a cold evaporative technology, though it foregoes the wick filter. Instead, it uses a disc stack that rotates within the water reservoir. This prevents pollutants from getting ejected into the air, which guarantees clean mist. You can also use Venta’s water treatment additive to prevent the proliferation of microbes inside the humidifier. The Venta L25 Airwasher Humidifier has a 2-gallon capacity, but it remains compact, so you can move it around. It’s also reasonably quiet for this size, which is perfect if you have a sleeping baby at home.
Offer price: $$$
Value for Money
I also like that this humidifier is easy to clean, thanks to the ergonomically designed motor and housing. There’s also a basin that collects dirt and mineral deposits, which is easy to access. In addition, this humidifier has a LED status display where you can adjust it within three power levels. It’s also equipped with an automatic shut-off to prevent burning the motor once the tank runs out of water. Overall, the main issue buyers see on this unit is its price tag. But if you want a humidifier that works and lasts long, the Venta LW25 won’t disappoint. I also want to mention that the discs of this unit aren’t detachable. It can be challenging to clean at first, but you’ll get used to it.
Large 2-gallon capacity Adjustable humidification settings Compatible with Venta’s water additive No additional filters are needed, which is added savings It helps filter out dust.
I expect a built-in humidistat for this price range. The discs are not detachable.
MILIN Cool Mist Germ-Free Humidifierd Litter Box Kit
If you want a humidifier that kills germs, you should put your money on the MILIN Cool Mist Germ-Free model. This 1-gallon unit has a micro-electrolysis sterilization technology, which can neutralize 99.9% of airborne germs, so your indoor air gets humidified and cleaned at the same time.
This technology works by destroying the RNA/DNA of the germs in the air. It does so by converting water molecules into highly oxidizing ions. When these ions attach to airborne pathogens, the latter will be reduced into harmless molecules. All of these happen without the use of chemicals.
Moreover, the MILIN Cool Most Germ-Free Humidifier has three modes: auto mode, humidifying mode, and sterilization mode. It also has a timer that you can set for 0 to 8 hours. Nevertheless, it can work continuously for 40 hours non-stop.
Aside from that, this humidifier produces water molecules smaller than 5 microns. This allows the device to balance humidity without making your furniture and walls damp.
You can also use this as a diffuser by adding your favorite essential oils. With this, it will help clean the air, balance humidity, and add fragrance to your home. It’s a purchase that’s truly worth the money.
Another thing I like about this humidifier is its high-tech touchscreen panel. It’s an added convenience and aesthetic.
However, I wish they could quiet this unit because it can be pretty loud, especially in a large room. Also, it’s only suitable for small rooms, unlike what’s indicated in the advertisement. Other than that, I still think that this MILIN humidifier can give more expensive units a run for its money.
HoMedics TotalComfort Ultrasonic Humidifier
The HoMedics TotalComfort Ultrasonic Humidifier has both cool and warm misting options to suit your needs. This way, you’ll have a humidifier in both the summer and winter seasons.
Aside from that, this comes with two free demineralization cartridges. This prevents minerals from getting ejected into the air, which can turn into irritating white dust.
Also, the HoMedics TotalComfort Humidifier has a Clean-Tank technology. This is paired with an antimicrobial technology to prevent germs from forming in your water tank and reaching the air. Overall, it will help prevent the growth of molds and mildew.
You’ll get a 1.7-gallon water tank on this unit, which is more than enough for medium to large rooms. Overall, it can run for up to 80 hours per refill. You no longer have to wake up in the middle of the night just to refill the tank multiple times.
I also like that they used two water tanks, which makes them easy to refill. There’s no need to bring one bulky container to the sink.
There’s also an adjustable mist control so that you can tweak the amount of moisture. However, you should expect it to be loud when using the highest mist setting. The highest setting sounds like a percolating coffee maker, which can be difficult to sleep on if you’re a light sleeper.
Also, the mist doesn’t get blown far enough, so you should consider running a small fan to circulate the air. Other than that, this works wonders in adding humidity to your room and soothing sinusitis.
AZEUS Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
If you’re looking for a compact humidifier, you should consider the AZEUS Ultrasonic Cool Mist unit. It uses an atomizer that breaks down the water molecules into tiny particles so it doesn’t make the floor and furniture damp.
Aside from that, it uses microporous filters that prevent minerals and microorganisms from getting into the air. This filter helps reduce bad odors in the air so that you can breathe easily.
Overall, this AZEUS Cool Mist Humidifier covers up to 377 sq. ft. and can produce a maximum of 250 ml of mist per hour. It also uses 360-degree double nozzles to diffuse moisture throughout the room.
Moreover, this humidifier has a 1.32-gallon capacity, which can run for up to 50 hours using the lowest setting. With the highest setting, it can run for 10 hours per refill.
I also like that there’s a light indicator that turns red when the humidifier runs out of water. It will also shut down automatically to prevent the risk of fire and motor damage.
Adjusting the mist level of this humidifier is very easy, thanks to the dial knob located in front. It’s a good choice for older users who aren’t very techie.
Based on user experience, this humidifier is fairly quiet. It uses a vibrating ceramic diaphragm that doesn’t emit too much noise.
However, I wish there was a way to turn off the ambient lighting of the humidifier. It’s not too bright, but not all users would like this feature.
Pure Enrichment MistAire Antimicrobial Humidifier
If you’re on a budget, you’ll never go wrong with the Pure Enrichment MistAire Antimicrobial Humidifier. This is a compact choice with a 0.7-gallon capacity, which is more than enough for most small rooms.
Aside from that, this humidifier has an antimicrobial wicking filter. It traps allergens, minerals from hard water, and other irritants before it gets into the air. This will dramatically reduce the irritants in your indoor air.
Moreover, the Pure Enrichment MistAire has four fan speeds and an auto-off timer. You can achieve the ideal humidity level in your room without having to babysit your humidifier. The timer can be programmed to shut off automatically in a 2, 4, or 8-hour period.
This unit also has a sleep mode to turn off the panel light. This panel has seven color options, but don’t worry because turning it off won’t affect your choice of fan speed and timer settings.
Unlike other humidifiers, the MistAire doesn’t produce visible mist. Instead, it uses natural evaporation that doesn’t make surfaces damp.
Overall, the 0.7-gallon tank of this humidifier can humidify for up to 25 hours per refill. The brand says it can humidify up to 500 sq. ft. rooms, but I think it’s best used in small areas.
Also, the replacement filters are quite expensive, so it’s something to keep in mind before purchasing this unit. But if you want a truly antimicrobial humidifier, this one is worth the splurge.
How to choose the best antimicrobial humidifiers
There are many humidifiers in the market that promise to neutralize bacteria and viruses in the air. Unfortunately, not all these deliver as promised. So to ensure that you’re getting a reliable unit, you should think about the following first:
✔️Choose the right tank size
The first thing you have to check is the size of the humidifier you’re going to purchase. You should always match it with the size of the room where you’re going to use it.
Overall, large rooms need large humidifiers. You should consider getting a 1-gallon unit for a large room, so you won’t have to refill it multiple times a day.
However, you should know that large humidifiers also fall at a higher price point. It’s also bulkier and heavier than compact models, which is a reasonable trade-off.
✔️Check the filters
Another thing you should check is the filter fitted inside the humidifier.
Evaporative humidifiers often use wick filters to trap minerals from hard water. It’s also responsible for creating mist, so the water gets ejected into the air.
If you’re using an ultrasonic type, try to look for one that’s compatible with a demineralization cartridge. This will help remove minerals from hard water.
Aside from that, many humidifier manufacturers have proprietary technology that can neutralize airborne microbes.
One good example here is the MILIN Humidifier we reviewed above. It has an air sterilization technology that releases ions, which can destroy harmful germs in the air. While it costs more, it pays for itself in terms of keeping your indoor air healthy and clean.
✔️Look for an auto shut-off feature
As much as humidifiers are helpful, too much moisture in your indoor air can also be detrimental. It will allow bacteria, viruses, and mold to proliferate.
To prevent over-humidification, you should consider looking for a humidifier with an auto shut-off feature. This will allow you to set a target humidity, and the unit will shut down once it’s achieved. It will only start working once humidity falls below the ideal level.
If your budget can’t afford a humidifier with this technology, you should at least use a separate humidistat. This way, you can monitor your home’s humidity level, so it doesn’t go beyond the ideal level where microbes can proliferate.
✔️Opt for adjustability
A humidifier with an adjustable mist level will let you adjust the amount of moisture ejected into the air. This way, your room won’t be over-humidified, which will help prevent the accidental proliferation of molds.
If possible, look for humidifiers with at least two humidification levels. This will allow you to match to humidification level with the weather.
✔️Consider the maintenance needs
Humidifiers with filters require more maintenance than those without this extra part. While it’s an added expense, these filters play an important role in trapping hard water minerals and neutralizing microbes.
Make sure that replacement filters are easy to come by. Most of the time, the brand itself will sell the replacements for convenience.
Aside from that, the humidifier’s water tank should be removable for deep cleaning and easy refilling.
✔️Invest in a durable unit
Lastly, you should consider investing in a durable humidifier. While cheap ones are an easy choice, they won’t always last for years. In the long run, you may spend more buying replacements.
If you’re purchasing an expensive humidifier, make sure that a decent warranty backs it up. This will protect your purchase should there be manufacturing defects.
Overall, you don’t really have to spend a fortune just to get a humidifier that does the job. You just have to get the right balance of features and value.
How to prevent microbes from growing your humidifier
Bacterial growth is one of your leading enemies when using humidifiers. To prevent this from happening, you should practice the following steps:
✔️Stick to distilled water
Take note that you’ll inhale the mist coming from your humidifier. With this, it’s important to use only clean and potable water at all times. You’ll never go wrong with demineralized water or distilled water. This has lower mineral content, which prevents the production of white dust that could cause respiratory problems.
✔️Clean your humidifier regularly
Even if your humidifier has an antimicrobial filter, it’s still important to keep it clean all the time. You should wash it weekly or more frequently if the unit is running for long hours.
This is because molds, bacteria, and bad odor can easily form in a dirty humidifier. Once a month, you should disassemble the entire humidifier for deep cleaning. Take note that the molds may start growing on the hose, which can be left unnoticed for long periods.
✔️Replace the humidifier if needed
If your humidifier has worn-out parts, prone to bacterial growth, or no longer producing enough mist, it’s time to replace it. Take note that humidifiers aren’t made to last forever, so around 2 to 5 years would be reasonable enough for mid-range models.
✔️Change the filters regularly
The filters inside humidifiers must be replaced based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Usually, a wick filter may last for a month, but some can be used longer.
It’s important to check if the filter is already filled with mineral deposits. These deposits will encourage bacterial growth if not removed.
✔️Wipe leaks right away
You should always wipe leaks around the humidifier as this will allow molds to grow and get into the unit. Also, you should avoid placing humidifiers too close to walls since it will allow moisture to cling to surfaces, leading to dampness and mold.
✔️Change your humidifier water regularly
Never run a humidifier with water that’s been stagnant for days. You should clean the tank and replace it with fresh water to prevent ejecting microbes into the air.
Also, sitting water will allow the minerals to stick to the sides of the tank. Again, this deposit will trigger bacterial growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the healthiest type of humidifier?
A: Many consider evaporative and cool mist humidifiers as the healthiest types to use at home. This is because evaporative humidifiers use a wick filter to create a mist. This filter helps remove minerals from hard water, so it doesn’t turn into white dust when diffused into the air. Nevertheless, any humidifier can be healthy as long as you use it right and clean it regularly.
Q: Can bacteria grow in a humidifier?
A: Yes, bacteria can grow in your humidifier if you don’t clean it. Aside from bacteria, a dirty humidifier can also harbor mold spores, viruses, and other microorganisms when neglected. When these microbes get ejected into the air, they can be inhaled, which can lead to respiratory irritations.
Q: Do humidifiers kill viruses and bacteria?
A: Humidifiers aren’t designed to kill viruses or bacteria. Still, keeping an ideal humidity level in your home can help prevent the proliferation of various pathogens. This is because some microbes are more likely to survive in dry air. Still, you should consider using an air purifier to reduce bacteria and viruses in your home.
Q: Can you get pneumonia from a dirty humidifier?
A: Dirty humidifiers can cause flu-like symptoms, but it’s unlikely to trigger pneumonia. It’s possible that the humidifier only worsens your symptoms of the said illness, but it can’t be the only cause. Nevertheless, it’s still important to keep your humidifiers clean to avoid respiratory irritations.
Q: Can I put hydrogen peroxide in my humidifier?
A: Hydrogen peroxide can help kill molds and bacteria in your humidifier water tank. It’s also safe to be diffused as long as used in small amounts. Nevertheless, you should know that hydrogen peroxide may have a negative effect on the components of the humidifier if used regularly and for long periods.
The best antimicrobial humidifiers will help keep your air clean while providing healthy humidity levels. Still, not all models are made equal, so you should be meticulous with your purchase. Overall, it’s important to consider the size of your room, tank size, adjustable features, and price point. From there, you can find the humidifier that suits your budget and preference.
Home Air Quality is founded by Bernard K to provide information on Indoor Air Quality in Homes and enlighten people about what they need to know about creating and maintaining a comfortable and healthy home environment.
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