The 6 Best Humidifiers for Dry Skin of 2022

Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Humidifier will help bring moisture to your skin

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Not everyone associates humidifiers with their skin benefits. A lot of people turn to humidifiers to ease cold and flu symptoms, allergies, and sinus irritation. But they also provide a great way to add moisture back into dry skin

Reviewed & Approved

The Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool-Mist Humidifier is our favorite overall pick because of it's easy to operate and can run for up to 25 hours. If you want to find a model that's perfect for your little one's room, we recommend the Safety 1st 360 Degree Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier.

“We tend to accept dry skin as just part of the dry and cold weather,” says dermatologist Mercy Odueyungbo, M.D. FAAD, FACMS of Lilly Dermatology. “But a humidifier, along with great skin care, can greatly improve dry skin symptoms.” Of course, in addition to a humidifier, it’s always important to take extra measure to protect your skin. According to Dr. Odueyungbo, that includes drinking tons of water, taking short showers with warm to lukewarm water, and moisturizing multiple times a day. 

If you're looking for a humidifier this season, you'll want to keep a few things in mind while shopping—including how long its water reservoir lasts, its noise levels, its filter systems, and whether it has an automatic shut off. We researched dozens of humidifiers and evaluated them by reservoir size, hours of operation, water temperature, recommended room size, and price.

Here are the best humidifiers on the market today.

Best Overall: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

4.3
Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Pros
  • Long run time, even on high

  • Easy touch operation

  • Small but powerful

Cons
  • Difficult to clean

  • Some users report leakage

We chose the Pure Enrichment Ultrasonic Cool-Mist Humidifier as our best overall pick because really, it has almost everything you could want in a humidifier. It features an adjustable 360-degree mist nozzle, optional night light setting, and automatic shut-off feature, so this humidifier is ready to adapt to your personal needs.

With a 1.5-liter water tank, it can operate quietly on low for up to 25 hours or on high for 12. This comes in special handy at night when you’re sleeping; not only does it allow for a more restful sleep by allowing you to breathe easy, but it also helps your skin absorb moisture considering the cooler night air can be particularly drying. 

Reservoir Size: 1.5 gallons | Added Features: Night light and auto shut-off | Hours of Operation: 25 (on low) | Room Size: 250 sq. ft. | Temperature: Cool

Best Budget: URPOWER 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser

4.8
URPOWER 200ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Humidifier with 7 Color LED Lights and Waterless Auto Shut-off- Wood Grain
Courtesy of Amazon.com.
Pros
  • Aesthetically pleasing

  • 30-second burst and multiple mist settings

  • Adjustable brightness for 7 color settings

Cons
  • Not suited for large or open spaces

This compact humidifier is the perfect space saver and ideal for your desk, nightstand, or to take with you on the go. It comes with two misting modes: the intermittent mist that pauses every three seconds after spraying can work for up to eight hours and the continuous mist which runs for around four hours.

Urpower’s cool-mist humidifier can also double as a nightlight and aromatherapy diffuser, giving you a lightshow of eight soothing colors while releasing a relaxing flow of room-temperature mist the scent of your favorite essential oil.

Reservoir Size: 100 mL | Added Features: Essential oil diffuser | Hours of Operation: 6 | Room Size: Unspecified | Temperature: Cool

Best for Babies: Safety 1st 360 Degree Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

Safety 1st 360 Degree Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Quiet operation

  • 360 degree misting rotation

Cons
  • Difficult to clean

You can trust the Safety 1st humidifier to pump moisture back into the air without disturbing your baby’s peaceful rest. It uses ultrasonic technology to operate more quietly than most humidifiers, allowing its cool mist to seamlessly transition into the air where it can work to help ease cold symptoms, reduce dry skin, or relieve itchy eyes.

Your baby’s room will receive full coverage with this humidifier, which rotates 360 degrees to fill every corner and comes with two mist outlets for up to 24-hour protection. These features are what make the Safety 1st humidifier great for kids sharing a room, because they can both get equal coverage. And don’t worry, when the water is all gone, it automatically shuts off and a light pops up as a reminder to refill it.

Reservoir Size: 2.5 liters | Added Features: Auto shut-off and fill-tank light | Hours of Operation: 24 (on low) | Room Size: Unspecified | Temperature: Cool

What the Experts Say

“Babies need extra moisture in the air because their sensitive skin is more prone to drying out than adult skin—it’s less oily and therefore has fewer protective mechanisms than adolescent and adult skin. Baby skin [loses more moisture] in dry environments than adult skin, so keeping the appropriate level of moisture in the air is critical to ensuring their skin is not dry and compromised.” — Michelle Henry, M.D., founder of Skin & Aesthetics Surgery of Manhattan and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Best for Sinus Problems: Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

4
Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Designed to be filter-free

  • Can be used with VapoPads

  • Wide tank for easy cleaning

Cons
  • No night light or auto shut-off

Vicks is one of those brands everyone knows and can trust. That’s why Vicks Cool Mist Humidifier is a go-to for people suffering from bad sinuses. With a 1.2-gallon water tank, this humidifier quietly and effectively restores moisture to rooms for up to 30 hours.

If you’re looking to get a little fancy, you can even add a Vick Vapors pack, like 12 Nights of Comfort, to create a more aromatic mist that brings about an even more soothing environment. The filter-free design makes it super easy to clean and long lasting, but, it’s recommended that you use filtered water so that you get the cleanest mist possible.

Reservoir Size: 1.2 gallon | Added Features: Fully customizable mist settings | Hours of Operation: 30 (on low) | Room Size: Unspecified | Temperature: Cool

What the Experts Say

“I actually think that mucous membranes, including nasal passages, lips, and even the throat, benefit more from humidifiers than the rest of the skin. When the heat is on, the dry air can really dry out [these areas], leading to irritation, cracked skin, and sometimes even bleeding of the lips in the winter.” — Amie G. Sessa, M.D., a Maryland-based dermatologist

Best for Large Rooms: Levoit LV600HH 6-Liter Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

4.3
Levoit

Amazon

Pros
  • Humidity sensor for auto adjustment

  • Remote control for convenient operation

  • Alternates between cool and warm mist

Cons
  • Difficult to clean

Size doesn’t always determine whether a humidifier is capable of properly adding humidity to a room, but in the case of the LEVOIT Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier, it definitely works to its advantage. Its 1.5-gallon water tank allows the humidifier to operate for 36 hours on high and 60 hours on low, making it the perfect fit for large rooms up to 753 square feet. You can also choose between warm or cool mist to satisfy your seasonal needs, and add essential oils to the aroma box to create the perfect mood. 

With the option of using a touch control panel or remote, this humidifier makes it easy for you to monitor and change the humidity level. And if you’re not quite sure what you want or forget to set it, the built-in humidity sensor will automatically adjust the mist level to meet you at your comfort zone.

Reservoir Size: 1.5 gallons | Added Features: Auto shut-off | Hours of Operation: 60 (on low) | Room Size: 753 sq. ft. | Temperature: Cool or warm

Best for Allergies: CarePod 21P Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

CarePod 21P Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Amazon

Pros
  • Three mist settings for maximum comfort

  • Easy fill from the top

  • No filter and only three parts to clean

Cons
  • Not aesthetically pleasing

If one of your biggest concerns is allergies, you have to be careful when choosing a humidifier to run in your home—while they’re supposed to help keep your respiratory tract from drying out, they pose a health hazard in the form of bacteria and mold, potentially worsening the same symptoms you’re trying to treat.

In that case, you may want to opt for a device that doesn’t have a filter to clean and maintain, as well as one that’s easy to clean, minimizing the surfaces that come into contact with water and could promote mold growth. The CarePod 21P Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier has no filter and a reversed design, with the humidifier unit on top and nothing below the tank (making it less prone to leaks and hidden mold). It also only has three parts, total, which means cleaning is less time intensive and less likely to result in overlooked crevices breeding bacteria.

Reservoir Size: 2.8 liters | Added Features: Auto shut-off | Hours of Operation: 27 (on low) | Room Size: 400 sq. ft. | Temperature: Cool

What the Experts Say

“I personally am not a fan of devices with filters, as the cost and [required] maintenance is a very practical concern. The Carepod humidifier is one of the first devices I have come across without filters, [making it] easy to clean and much easier to recommend.” Erum Ilyas, M.D., dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology

Final Verdict

If this is your first foray into humidifiers, the Pure Enrichment MistAire Humidifier (view at Amazon) is a great introduction. It’s compact, inexpensive, and does just enough to keep you at ease. But, if this is your second or third go round, you might as well go big (literally and figuratively) by getting the Levoit 6L Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier (view at Amazon). It’s one of the most loved humidifiers for a reason: It never seems to stop running and can fill a big room with all the cool, moist air you need.

What to Look for When Buying a Humidifier for Dry Skin

Functionality

The more consecutive use you can get out of your humidifier, the better; that’s why you should look for one that can run for at least 10 hours on high.

You should also consider the pros and cons of choosing a humidifier with a filter: while humidifiers with filters, like cool and warm mist varieties, are often safer for use in children’s rooms, they also require a lot more upkeep to keep clean, says Dr. Ilyas. Plus, there is an additional cost consideration for replacing old and ineffective filters.

On the other hand, vaporizer-style humidifiers, which are often filter-less, tend to get too hot to be used safely in some homes.

Auto-Stop

A humidifier shouldn't be another home hassle. One with an automatic shut-off feature ensures you don’t have to check every time you think your humidifier is running low on water, which just makes your life that much easier. This is particularly important for parents who plan to use a humidifier in their child's bedroom and don't want to worry about safety hazards.

“I strongly recommend automatic shutoff features,” says Dr. Ilyas. "Most newer humidifiers have this safety feature, but it is always important to verify.”

While she adds that this is more of a concern for steam humidifiers than for ultrasonic ones due to the heating element, it will be a convenience no matter what type of humidifier you choose. 

Noise Level

Your humidifier should help soothe you, which means you should be able to forget it’s even there because it’s operating noise is just above a whisper.

“Humidifiers are a lot like fans—they do create white noise that is soothing to some people but not to all,” Dr. Ilyas says. She adds that the type of humidifier you buy can make a difference for sound level; ultrasonic humidifiers tend to produce less noise overall compared to steam humidifiers, but they can also be more expensive, so weigh those pros and cons, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is a cool or warm mist humidifier better for dry skin?

    Despite the temperature differences of some humidifiers, when it comes to hydrating dry skin, both cool and warm mists will work.

    “There are many types of humidifiers but the best type to improve humidity in air and dry skin in the winter are cool and warm mist humidifiers,” explains Dr. Odueyungbo. “Warm mist humidifiers use heat to boil water which creates a vapor that is then dispersed in the room. Cool mist humidifiers don’t require heat but use a fan to evaporate water into the air, are easy to clean, energy efficient, and can be used year round.”

  • How do you clean a humidifier?

    Models vary, so follow the manufacturer's directions on cleaning. White vinegar and a soft brush are often recommended, or they might suggest soapy water. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies. When you clean - frequently - is as important as how you clean, to prevent bacterial growth.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Having been raised by two medical professionals, Amari Pollard understands the importance of health literacy. As a seasoned health writer, she is committed to producing well-researched and well-sourced product reviews to help people make informed medical decisions.

Additional reporting to this story by Sarah Bradley

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

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