Wellness

The 7 Best Whole House Humidifiers – [2020 Reviews]

When we think of how to improve our health, exercise and eating well come to mind, however many of us often overlook the air quality in our own homes!

If the air inside your home is too dry, you may find that you get sick more often than usual and aren’t breathing as easily.

Luckily, the easy solution is a whole house humidifier. We’ve done the research to bring you the top models on the market today, so let’s get started!

Best Whole Home Humidifiers

 Honeywell HE360A Whole House HumidifierVornado Evap40 Evaporative HumidifierAprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier
editorschoice
Coverage:4,200 sq feet1,000 sq feet3,000 sq feet
Evaporation:N/A4 gallons/day12 gallons/day
Type:Furnace-MountFree-StandingFurnace-Mount

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Whole House Humidifiers

  1. Honeywell HE360A Whole House Humidifier
  2. Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier
  3. Vornado Evap40 Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier
  4. AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative
  5. Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier
  6. Honeywell HE280A2001 HE280A Whole House Humidifier
  7. AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver

Our reviews to the top rated whole house humidifiers with our comparison table and buyers guide will help you choose the right whole home humidifier for you.


Whole House Humidifier Reviews

Honeywell is definitely one of the most popular names in the whole house humidifiers due to the high quality they offer making maintenance simple.

While it’s not necessarily the most powerful model out there, not everyone needs a lot of power anyway.

If you’re not someone who’s particularly comfortable with DIY projects, you’ll also appreciate how easy it is to install – taking just a few minutes to get it set up.

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Having to change it maybe just once a year, changing the pad is also very simple and takes no more than 4 or 5 minutes to do.

This is thanks to the flow-through design which makes the entire design very straightforward and basic yet effective. You can mount it one of two ways: either on a warm air supply or a return air duct of a furnace.

Just keep in mind that you’ll also need a drain or condensation pump to get rid of extra water.

With a coverage area of up to 4,200 square feet, it works in a wide array of households, too! You can switch the speeds up to suit you and the others in your home to ensure you’re always comfortable and feeling good.

 

He360A 1075 HE360A Whole House Humidifier at a Glance:

  • Coverage: 4,200 square feet
  • Water Evaporation: n/a
  • Type: Furnace-Installed
  • Rating: 3.8 / 5.0

Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier

If you’re on the hunt for one of the best whole home humidifiers but need something that will work on a tighter budget, then check out the Aprilaire 500.

The central furnace humidifier is perfect if you need to over 3,000 square feet or less! If that works for you and your home then let’s keep on reading.

Designed and manufactured in the US, you can rest assured that it’s made with the highest level of quality and detail.

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With a capacity of 12 gallons per day, you and your housemates will instantly feel a difference. No more dry skin, nasal passages, hair, throat, and many more benefits will be noticed within the first month or so.

If this is the first time you’re using a whole home humidifier, you’ll appreciate the dual sensors which work to monitor and respond to the outdoor and indoor temperatures.

They work together to make sure that you’re getting the best humidity level possible throughout your entire home.

To ensure that you always know the settings your humidifier is set to, you’ll get a user-friendly digital control which displays the humidity percentage level along with a light that will let you know it’s running or turned off, a Water Panel change alert, service alert, and Blower Activation switch.

 

Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier at a Glance:

  • Coverage: 3,000 square feet
  • Water Evaporation: 12 gallons/day
  • Type: Furnace-Installed
  • Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Home Humidifier

If you’re looking to save even more money yet, then the Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier is one of the best options out there.

It’s hard to compete with in terms of price, but this one doesn’t quite come with the same kind of capacity many others on our guide do. If you are okay with a lower output, then don’t go anywhere.

Humidifying a home of up to 1,000 square feet with the brand’s signature Vortex circulation, it’s ideal for smaller homes or if you only want to humidify certain parts of your home.

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As it’s a standalone model, you can easily move it around to where you need it!

All you have to do is find an outlet and plug it in! Set it anywhere between 750 and 1600 RPM – you get either Low, Medium, or High speed settings to select among.

The water capacity is also smaller, as you can imagine. The machine is capable of putting out 4 gallons every 24 hours continuously so you don’t have to worry about it stopping when you need it most.

The airlock water tanks are also very simple to fill back up and also resistant to spills and leaks. If you end up having any issues by chance, you’ll be able to relax knowing that it’s covered with a 5-year limited warranty.

 

Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier at a Glance:

  • Coverage: 1,000 square feet
  • Water Evaporation: 4 gallons/day
  • Type: Free-Standing
  • Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Quite possibly the most portable of the bunch is the AIRCARE MA1201 Whole House Console Style Evaporative Humidifier.

It’s notably smaller than the vast majority of the high-quality models, but this makes it easy to tuck away in a corner or move around without putting forth a lot of effort.

Despite this, it actually has a pretty high coverage area, working with homes of up to an impressive 3,600 square feet.

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The console style makes it incredibly convenient, and perfect if you don’t want to go through the whole hassle of hooking it up to a furnace which can be off-putting for many people.

With a digital humidistat, you won’t have to struggle with trying to figure out the appropriate humidity level for your home.

It automatically maintains the perfect humidity level with incredible precision. Once the desired level is reached or if there’s no more water in the tank, it also automatically shuts off.

Keeping consistent with the ease of use, it’s very easy and quick to clean. As the evaporative wick works to trap mineral deposits, you don’t have to worry about it getting clogged up and malfunctioning.

The 3.6-gallon capacity will work consistently without issue, helping to relieve dry skin, sore throat, prevent allergies, colds, and much more.

 

AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House COnsole-Style Evaporative Humidifier at a Glance:

  • Coverage: 3,600 square feet
  • Water Evaporation: 3.6 gallons/day
  • Type: Free-Standing
  • Rating: 4.1 / 5.0

While portability definitely has its place and benefits, not all of us require or even want it.

Sometimes what we need is strength and capacity more than anything else, which is what the Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier will provide you with.

Installation does take a good amount of time right off the bat, but we can assure you it’s more than worth it!

The premium Aprilaire model comes with one of the highest capacities you’re going to find, putting out a whopping 0.75 gallons an hour!

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Of course, a high capacity isn’t really that necessary unless you have a bigger space you need to address. This model is rated to work best for homes up to 4,200 square feet, working best if the home is properly sealed.

The US-made product actually comes from the original inventor of the whole house humidifier so you can use it with confidence in the fact that they know better than possibly anyone else about how they operate!

If you’re suffering from dry/cracked skin or allergies, then there’s not a better option out there for you.

With truly automatic control of humidity level, you never have to sit there and babysit the settings or wait it out until you feel good – the machine will do that on its own.

With a user-friendly display, you’ll also get to see the temperature, relative humidity indicators, and vital service notifications.

 

Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier at a Glance:

  • Coverage: 4,200 square feet
  • Water Evaporation: 0.75 gallons/hour
  • Type: Furnace-Installed
  • Rating: 4.2 / 5.0

We’re back yet again with another Honeywell product, but this time we have the HE280A2001 HE280A Whole House Humidifier.

This model is quite a powerful one and is one that you will have to install with a furnace. The installation process is also a bit difficult to be honest but it’s definitely a process you’ll benefit from every day once you’re done.

While installation isn’t the easiest (though it does come with an installation kit), the rest of operation is.

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Working to replenish moisture throughout the home, you’ll always be at the proper level of humidity to create a healthier, comfier home for you and others.

With water-saving technology, you can also feel better knowing that the model uses approximately 30% less water than your competitor products,

A flow-sensing pressure switch and shut-off damper does help a bit with installation, and as it uses your home’s HVAC system, distributing humidity evenly throughout your home will be no issue at all.

Humidity control is quite simple and straightforward so you won’t be left wondering how to change the levels.

One of the biggest pluses of portable units is how easy they are to clean. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find that this one was the easiest to clean and maintain than any other we’ve tried out.

 

Honeywell HE280A2001 HE280A Whole House Humidifier at a Glance:

  • Coverage: 4,000 square feet
  • Water Evaporation: N/A
  • Type: Furnace-Installed
  • Rating: 3.6/ 5.0

Lastly, we bring you a great middle-of-the-road humidifier: the AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver.

This model isn’t extreme in any sense but offers a great mix of features that a good percentage of people will find works for their homes best.

The standalone console is incredibly easy and convenient to move around from room-to-room or home-to-home without too much trouble.

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With a huge reservoir of an impressive 6 gallons and extended runtime of a few days, it’s no wonder that this is a crowd favorite.

You’ll notice the little caster wheels on the bottom, which also makes it incredibly easy to move around from room-to-room!

Changing humidity levels is very simple to do, and you can also choose to have it run on the “automatic” mode which will automatically keep it at your desired humidity percentage.

Once it reaches this level, it will also shut off on its own to prevent the waste of excess water and safety reasons, to boot. When you do end up needing to refill, it won’t be difficult with the spill-proof container.

If you’re unsure when you need to refill, simply take a look at the water refill indicator!

 

AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver at a Glance:

  • Coverage: 2,700 square feet
  • Water Evaporation: 6 gallons/day
  • Type: Free-Standing
  • Rating: 3.8 / 5.0

Whole House Humidifier Comparison Table

Home Humidifiers CoverageEvaporationTypeRating
Honeywell HE360A Whole House Humidifier4,200 sq feetN/AFurnace-Mount3.8 / 5.0
Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier3,000 sq feet12 gallons/dayFurnace-Mount4.5 / 5.0
Vornado Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier1,000 sq feet4 gallons/dayFree-Standing3.7 / 5.0
AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Humidifier3,600 sq feett3.6 gallons/dayFree-Standing4.1 / 5.0
Aprilaire 700 Automatic Humidifier4,200 sq feet0.75 gallons/hourFurnace-Mount4.2 / 5.0
Honeywell HE280A Whole House Humidifier4,000 sq feetN/AFurnace-Mount3.6/ 5.0
AIRCARE 831000 Space-Saver2,700 sq feet6 gallons/dayFree-Standing3.8 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Whole House Humidifier – Buying Guide

whole house humidifier coverage
Aprilaire 500 Whole House Humidifier

Now that you have had the chance to read through all about the house humidifiers, have you decided which one is the best for your household? If not, then there’s no need to worry.

For this exact reason, we’ve decided to go ahead and create the following comprehensive buying guide.

This guide will take you through each step of the selection process to ensure that by the time you’re finished reading, there will be no doubt which is the perfect machine for you! Get ready to start breathing easier and feeling better!

Type

First off, it’s a wise idea to determine the type of humidifier you want or need! As you may have noticed from our aforementioned products, there are products which are used mounted on a furnace or are free-standing models.

They each come with their own set of pros and cons, so let’s take a quick look at each for you to start narrowing down your choices!

Furnace-Mounted

These are often referred to as “HVAC humidifiers” as they are installed right onto your home’s heating and cooling system. The difficulty of this installation will vary depending on its individual features, if it comes with a complete installation kit, and if you feel confident in what you’re doing.

These generally don’t require much maintenance and are easy to use, making them a great investment for many. There’s no need to keep on filling them up every day or so, which overall makes them much more convenient.

Free-Standing Console

These obviously don’t require an annoying installation process, which means you can just fill it up and use it almost right away. This makes it a less intimidating option for many.

However, keep in mind that you will have to refill these every day or every few days. Overall, they’re going to require a bit more maintenance than the HVAC models. They can typically be moved quite easily between rooms as well as they’ll typically come with wheels.

whole home humidifiers
Furnace Mount vs Free Standing Home Humidifiers

Water Capacity

The water capacity of each model will vary a bit. Keep in mind that the furnace-installed models aren’t really applicable here, as they do not need to be refilled and can keep working constantly. However, the portable, standalone models will need to be refilled.

Obviously, the higher the water capacity is the longer you’re going to have to go without refilling it, making it more convenient for you. Some will come with extra features like an auto shut-off once it runs out of water as well, which is to ensure you don’t waste any extra energy and for safety purposes as well.

Run Time

This often goes hand in hand with water capacity, but isn’t quite the same thing. The run time is relating to how many hours the humidifier can run consistently without any issues.

The minimum that we often see with high-quality whole house humidifiers is 24 hours, however, there are models that go up to 60 hours or greater which is even more convenient as you have less maintenance to deal with. Once again, this isn’t applicable to furnace-installed models.

Portability

Are you in need of a humidifier that you can move to various parts of your home? Perhaps only a couple of bedrooms need humidifying and you don’t want to waste water and energy.

Then the easiest or most logical thing to do would be to get a humidifier that you can actually move around at your leisure. Furnace-mounted models do not have this capability as they’re installed directly into your home’s HVAC system.

However, standalone models can do this. All you need is to find an outlet to plug it into and make sure it’s filled up enough!

portable whole house humidifiers
Vornado Evap40 4-Gallon Evaporative Humidifier

Coverage Area

Next up, you should take a look at the area the model you have your eye on can cover. This is another characteristic that ranges widely.

The smallest, typically most affordable models will cover around 1000 square feet or so. Bigger, more powerful/expensive models are capable of covering up to an impressive 4000 square feet or even greater! So, think about how much area you’ll need to humidify.

If you only need to do a small area at a time, a smaller model is more appropriate. If you want your whole house humidified, look at the more powerful selections.

whole house humidifier coverage

Price

How much are you willing to spend for a whole house humidifier? It’s a good idea to create a budget for yourself before you start looking so you don’t accidentally spend more than you’d wanted to.

No matter what your budget is, we can assure you that we have an excellent selection that will fit it. Just keep in mind that if you do have the means of spending a bit more, it often pays for itself in one way or another.

When you go up in price, you’ll find that products are often made of higher-quality materials and with more care. They’ll often be more powerful as well, so if you do happen to just need something smaller, you could do so on a budget.

Warranty

Also take a look at the warranty that comes with the product. A warranty will give you added peace of mind when you make your purchase, as you’ll know you’re covered if something isn’t working properly or you’re not satisfied with it. Warranties will also vary quite a bit.

Most will offer at least a 6-month warranty, but usually the higher the quality of the machine, the longer the warranty will be. For example, some of the best products will have a 5-year warranty or even longer!

FAQs About Whole Home Humidifiers

Q: Do whole home humidifiers really work?

A: Yes, they do. No matter if you’re using a furnace-mounted system or a free-standing one, they will properly humidify the air in your home. Of course, there are some which work more effectively than others. Some will have automatic humidity features so it will be able to create the most ideal humidity level for you.

Some will also be able to let you select your desired humidity level and once it’s reached will turn off so that it is maintained without wasting water or energy. They can even end up saving you money as more humid air will feel warmer which will save you money on heating/gas.

Q: Is it okay to sleep with a home humidifier every night?

A: Yes, generally speaking it’s not an issue at all. In fact, it can greatly help you with your health and quality of sleep! If you’re prone to snoring or having a dry throat and sinuses at night, then the moistened air could greatly help you. Just make sure that your humidifier has proper safety features like an automatic shut-off once it’s empty or if it somehow ends up getting tipped over.

Q: Are humidifiers good for COPD?

A: They can be for some people. The moisture can help loosen up mucous in the lungs which can relieve some symptoms of COPD. However, there are some people who prefer the dry, warm climates. It is greatly up to personal preference.

Q: Can a humidifier cause mold in a room?

A: Yes, they can – particularly if your humidifier is dirty and not cleaned regularly. This can then cause them to contaminate the air of your home. Excessive moisture in your home can also cause mold spores to sprout on surfaces like walls and windowsills. Making sure it’s properly sized for the room/home you have it in and have it on correct settings will help to eliminate this from happening.

Q: Can one humidifier do a whole house?

A: Yes, if the capacity and coverage area works for the size of your household then you shouldn’t have any issues with it working. Also, make sure that your home is tightly constructed for the humidifier to work properly.

Tips For Choosing Whole Home Humidifiers

#1: If you’re unsure which size/area coverage you need, measure your home or look up the exact size.

You don’t want to have a humidifier that’s going to be too powerful for your home, as it will just waste energy and water and can more likely cause mold or become too humid. On the other side of the spectrum, you don’t want it to be too weak or your home’s air won’t be moist enough and you may not be able to reap the benefits you should.

#2: Make sure you have all that you need if you’re going to use a furnace-mounted model.

Unfortunately, many of those types of models don’t come with everything they need to be installed which is weird but that’s just how it is. Oftentimes manufacturers will sell an installation kit separately and there are those rare models that also come with everything.

#3: Make sure that the lack of humidity in your home isn’t caused by an air leakage problem.

A great idea would be to have a professional come inspect your home before purchasing a humidifier. However, if you’re sure that that’s not the case then simply skip this step.

Summary

Now that you’ve had the chance to read everything you could ever want to know about the best whole house humidifiers, which one will you be installing in your home? If you’re still unsure know that no matter which one you get, you’ll be receiving one of the best in the world.

However, what’s most important is that you select the perfect product for your home, you, and anyone else living in your house (including pets). We hope that our guide has helped you do just that. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again soon!

Performance
Quality
Value

The Honeywell HE360A is our Editor's Choice for the best whole house humidifier with its combination of performance, quality and value.

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