The 6 Best Humidifiers for Dry Skin in 2021

Bring back moisture to your skin naturally

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best humidifiers for dry skin

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. 

“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. 

As the largest organ of our body, the skin plays an active role in protecting people from diseases and outside invaders, explains Dr. Odueyungbo. The skin is made up of three distinct layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous fat. It’s the top layer, or the epidermis, that acts as the skin’s main protective barrier, which means it’s more susceptible to drying out during the winter months. Dr. Odueyungbo says dry skin is one of the top reasons patients visit their dermatologist and it can often present as eczema, chronic scratching, or other medical conditions such as thyroid disease. This is why she always recommends that her patients suffering from dry skin get a humidifier in the winter. 

“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.”

Here are some different humidifier options that might be perfect for you and your space. 

Our Top Picks
This humidifier is ready to adapt to your personal needs.
This can double as a nightlight and aromatherapy diffuser.
It uses ultrasonic technology to operate more quietly than most humidifiers.
With a 1.2-gallon water tank, this humidifier quietly and effectively restores moisture to rooms for up to 30 hours.
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.
Operating at a whisper, this humidifier will allow you to sleep peacefully through the night.

Best Overall: Pure Enrichment MistAire Silver Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Pure Enrichment ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier has everything you could want in a humidifier. From its adjustable 360-degree mist nozzle to its optional night light setting to its automatic shut-off feature, this humidifier is ready to adapt to your personal needs. And, 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. 

Best Budget: URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Best for Large Rooms: LEVOIT 6L Warm And Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

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.

Best for Allergies: UCAREAIR Cool Mist Humidifier

Nothing keeps you up at night or tired the next day quite like a bad case of allergies. The UCAREAIR cool mist humidifier is perfect for easing you into a restful slumber, with ultrasonic capabilities and a two-liter water tank that allows for up to 10 hours of continuous high level mist. It’s two settings work together to fit your comfort level and cover rooms up to 200 square feet. Operating at a whisper, this humidifier will allow you to sleep peacefully through the night, especially since there’s no need to worry about waking up to turn it off when the water level is low with its auto-shutoff feature. 

Final Verdict

If this is your first foray into humidifiers, Urpower 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser 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. 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 in Humidifiers for Dry Skin

Long hours: 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. 

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. 

Quiet: 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. 

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.

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