Indoor plants offer an aesthetic appeal, plus they can remove allergens from the air and oxygenate the space. The key to keeping indoor and tropical plants thriving all year-round is maintaining humidity levels that are specific to the plant types. And often, simply watering your plants isn’t enough to keep moisture levels optimal. Humidifiers can add moisture to the air and are especially beneficial during the colder months because cooler air tends to be a little dryer. In addition, indoor air loses moisture from heating systems (central heat or fireplaces), which can leave humidity-loving plants looking a little wilty and dull.
Increased moisture in the air can help you as well by fending off dry sinuses, dry skin, and sore throats. A humidifier can keep your indoor plants happy and healthy. When it comes to choosing the best humidifier for your plants, read through this list of top humidifiers and the features to consider on your purchasing journey.
- BEST OVERALL: Levoit Classic 100 Ultrasonic Cool-Mist Humidifier
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Movtip Portable Mini Humidifier
- UPGRADE PICK: Everlasting Comfort 50-Hour 6L Cool-Mist Humidifier
- BEST COMPACT: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Humidifier
- BEST LARGE-CAPACITY: Levoit 6L LV600HH Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier
- BEST EVAPORATIVE: Vornado 4-Gallon Evap40 Evaporative Humidifier
- BEST FOR WINTER: Taotronics 6-Liter Warm- and Cool-Mist Humidifier
- BEST FOR INDOORS: Taotronics 4-Liter Ultrasonic Cool-Mist Humidifier
How We Chose the Best Humidifiers for Plants
This list of recommendations covers the range of options available to shoppers, from small portable units to help keep a few plants hydrated (and that are easy to move around to several places in the home), to large units suitable for a whole room full of exotic flora.
We have made sure to consider the most important aspects of humidifiers when curating our top picks, namely noise level, filter life, and tank capacity. As such, our suggestions all run smoothly and quietly to avoid disturbing users, and we feature a range of tank sizes to suit the variety of uses a shopper may be looking for. In terms of filter life, our research led us toward trusted brands known for their product longevity, ensuring a humidifier capable of keeping your indoor plants healthy for years to come.
Our Top Picks
This list recommends some of the best humidifiers, by category, for keeping your indoor plants’ moisture requirement optimal for year-round growth and survival.
Levoit’s Classic 100 air vaporizer is an excellent option for plant lovers. The unit comes with several standout features, including a 2.4-liter water tank, an optional night light, and a patented silencer. The Levoit comes with low, medium, and high water vapor settings, and it can run for up to 24 hours continuously on the low setting. The 360-degree rotating nozzle ensures the mist disperses evenly in up to 290 square feet of space, and the unit will shut off automatically when it detects that the water level is low.
- Capacity: 2.4 liters
- Type: Ultrasonic
- Runtime: Up to 24 hours on low
- Portable unit; can be placed in any room where it is needed
- Night-light feature makes it a great choice for children’s bedrooms or nurseries
- Runs quietly; affordable option compared to other cool-mist humidifiers
- Difficult to clean; some users say this unit does not dry properly
Get the Levoit Classic 100 humidifier for plants at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Levoit.
For those who have scattered houseplants and are looking to breathe easier, consider this Movtip model. At 5 inches tall, 3 inches wide, and just 10 ounces in weight, this humidifier is small enough to carry from room to room to serve multiple houseplants. It’s powered through a USB connection and features a 500-milliliter tank, allowing it to continuously spray for up to 12 hours or intermittently for up to 18 hours.
With an output of 30 to 50 milliliters per hour, it can humidify about 200 square feet, and the auto shutoff will power down the humidifier when the tank is empty. The entire top of the unit opens to expose the reservoir, making it easy to clean.
- Capacity: 500 milliliters
- Type: Evaporative
- Runtime: 12 to 18 hours
- Compact and lightweight; perfect for moving around the house if desired
- USB power connection; easily connects to any outlet
- Ample water evaporation; up to 30 to 50 milliliters per hour mist output
- Auto shutoff to prevent oversaturating plants with moisture
- Easy to clean compared to similar models
- Not suitable for use with essential oils
Get the Movtip humidifier at Amazon.
This Everlasting Comfort ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier features a 1.6-gallon tank and a powerful fan to add moisture for up to 50 hours. This is an affordable humidifier with all of the features you need and none of those you don’t. It’s best used as a small room humidifier, suitable for increasing humidity in rooms measuring up to 500 square feet. An analog knob fine-tunes the humidifier’s mist output.
This cool-mist humidifier also features an essential oils compartment for aromatherapy. It lacks a humidistat, requiring the user to monitor the humidity levels in the room to avoid over-humidifying the space. Its auto-shutdown function can turn the unit off if the basin runs out of water.
- Capacity: 1.6 gallons
- Type: Ultrasonic
- Runtime: 50 hours
- Includes an essential-oils compartment that can be used for aromatherapy
- 6-liter (or 1.5-gallon) water tank; lasts up to 50 hours in 500-square-foot rooms
- No humidistat included; not meant for large spaces over 500 square feet
Get the Everlasting Comfort cool-mist humidifier for plants at Amazon or Everlasting Comfort.
The Pure Enrichment MistAire ultrasonic humidifier’s 1.7-liter water reservoir and sleek base make it a great choice for small spaces like offices, plant rooms, and lanais up to 245 square feet in size. With low and high settings and a 360-degree mist nozzle, it allows the user to choose the ideal moisture dispersion for a space. The unit can run for 25 hours continuously for overnight or all-day operation. It also features a night-light function and an automatic shutoff that turns the humidifier off when the water tank level is low.
- Capacity: 1.7 liters
- Type: Ultrasonic
- Runtime: Up to 25 hours
- Near-silent operation; great for small spaces, including offices, nurseries, and bedrooms
- Easy to use and clean; cleaning brush included for maintenance and upkeep
- 360-degree rotating nozzle for even air distribution, consistently balancing and regulating humidity
- Some may consider 1.7-liter water tank small, requiring constant refilling
- Power night light may be too bright for some users; may disrupt sleep
Get the Pure Enrichment cool-mist humidifier for plants at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, or Pure Enrichment.
The settings, sensors, and large water tank of the Levoit LV600HH model give the user customized control over a room’s humidity levels, adjusting the humidity according to preset levels. The unit comes with a remote, which allows users to adjust the settings without leaving their bed or desk. Other notable features include both warm- and cool-mist dispersion, an aromatherapy feature for essential oil use, and ultra-quiet operation.
The unit can provide humidity for spaces up to 753 square feet and can run on one tank of water for 50 hours continuously—but for those who prefer to follow a schedule, the timer can be set for 1 to 12 hours for just the right duration for houseplants.
- Capacity: 6 liters
- Type: Ultrasonic
- Runtime: Up to 50 hours
- Includes a remote control; has various settings to choose from for versatility
- Warm- or cool-mist options for cold and warm climates
- Can run for up to 36 hours without being refilled
- Some users report that refilling the tank caused leaks
Get the Levoit LV600HH humidifier for plants at Amazon or Levoit.
Vornado’s Evap40 humidifier uses vortex action to humidify spaces up to 1,000 square feet, and the 4-gallon water tank can sustain moisture output for up to 24 hours. The control panel allows users to adjust both the fan speed and the humidity output. The humidification feature senses the amount of circulation and humidity necessary to maintain moisture in the environment based on the control settings and makes adjustments to the moisture output accordingly. Two easy-refill tanks make refilling the humidifier easy and mess-free.
- Capacity: 4 gallons
- Type: Evaporative
- Runtime: Up to 24 hours
- Great for large areas, including living rooms, office spaces, and garages
- 2 tanks are easy to fill compared to other humidifiers
- Built-in humidistat; easy-to-use control panel that allows the user to set the desired humidity level
- May not turn back on until the room’s humidity level has dropped by around 50 percent
Get the Vornado humidifier for plants at Amazon, Wayfair, or Vornado.
Taotronics’ 6-liter ultrasonic humidifier provides both cool and warm mist to keep sinuses and skin hydrated and plants saturated. It automatically works to maintain comfortable indoor humidity and will turn off automatically when the desired humidity is reached.
This top-fill humidifier makes it a breeze to refill and clean, and essential oils can be used to infuse the air with favorite fragrances. Its extra-large water tank produces up to 60 hours of continuous cool mist to moisturize dry air, and a handy remote gives users control over all settings: mist levels, temperature, humidity levels, timer, sleep mode, and auto mode. This humidifier operates quietly; an LED display turns off when the water tank is empty.
- Capacity: 6 liters
- Type: Ultrasonic
- Runtime: 60 hours
- Maximum 60 hours of use before needing to refill tank; compatible with essential oils
- Adjustable mist output, temperature, humidity levels, and timer option setting
- Includes sleep mode and auto mode, built-in control panel, and additional remote control
- Large unit; may take up a lot of counter or desk space
Get the Taotronics 6-liter humidifier for plants at Walmart.
The 4-liter tank on this Taotronics ultrasonic cool-mist humidifier can run from 12 to 30 hours before needing a refill. It covers rooms up to 322 square feet, depending on users’ desired humidity levels. With an LED display, the built-in humidistat displays the room’s current relative humidity and allows users to control moisture output, a timer, and the sleep and night-light modes.
The unit has an automatic shutoff to turn the unit off when the tank is running low on water. This Taotronics humidifier also features a built-in handle for easy refilling and a microporous filter cartridge to filter odors and bacteria.
- Capacity: 4 liters
- Type: Ultrasonic
- Runtime: 12 to 30 hours
- Great for large indoor areas in need of humidity control
- Tank is easy to fill compared to similar cool-mist humidifiers
- Automatically shuts off whenever water runs out; sleep mode shuts off LED screen at night
- Pricey compared to other cool-mist humidifiers presently on the market
- Some users report that this humidifier is noisier than than expected
Get the Taotronics 4-liter cool-mist humidifier for plants at Taotronics or Walmart.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Humidifier for Plants
Understanding a little about humidity can help you determine which humidifier is best for keeping your indoor plants thriving. Humidity is the amount of water (water vapor) that is suspended in the air at any given time. Cooler temperatures tend to remove moisture from the air, and a humidifier is a convenient and inexpensive way to maintain humidity levels that are ideal for indoor houseplants and to help humans avoid dry sinuses and skin during the colder months.
Types of Humidifiers for Plants
Plant humidifiers work by discharging moisture into the air. While you might be familiar with a basic humidifier, you might be wondering how it differs from a humidifier indicated for plants. Although the function of a humidifier is consistent between models, it’s the amount of moisture discharged that can make the difference. And just like plants, humans can also benefit from increasing the level of humidity in the home during dry seasons. The two main types of discharge techniques are described below.
Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency (ultrasonic) vibration to facilitate the water’s evaporation. The vibrations steam the water, producing extra-fine droplets. Ultrasonic humidifiers typically cost a little more than evaporative ones, have no filters to change, and are quieter. Because the ultrasonic conversion of water to mist doesn’t require heating the water, there’s less risk of burn injuries from spills. The drawback is that the absence of heat that would normally inhibit bacteria and mold growth requires you to disinfect the unit regularly to prevent contamination.
Evaporative humidifiers use airflow to create mist by using a fan to pull water over a wet wick. Evaporative humidifiers also contain filters, which need periodic changing to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria. Although these types of humidifiers are less expensive than ones with ultrasonic technology, they can run a little noisy because of the fan that pushes air movement to generate moisture.
It’s important to find a humidifier with a moisture output that matches your room’s size. If your humidifier’s output is less than what the size of your room requires, you might not achieve optimal moisture dispersion. It’s also helpful to consider where you will locate your humidifier. It’s best to place your humidifier at least 6 feet away from your plants, especially if your unit has a fan because the direct airflow can contribute to your plants’ moisture loss.
The size of a humidifier’s water tank is directly proportional to the amount of time a humidifier can run. The larger the tank, the longer you can expect to run the unit without needing to refill it or shut it off. If you require less moisture, you can find small and attractive units that are great for small spaces with limited moisture requirements.
When it comes to the humidity your plants prefer, mist temperature isn’t as critical as you might think. Warm mist humidifiers tend to produce purer air because it’s generated by evaporation, but cold mist is a little more cost-effective to generate because cool-mist humidifiers require less energy to run.
Humidity Output and Settings
The amount of moisture released by your humidifier should match the temperature of the room––to avoid releasing too much or not enough moisture. For that reason, cool and warm mist humidifiers are designed with mist output controls to make adjustments according to the ambient air environment. Most plant humidifiers come with at least two settings: low and high. However, three-speed units are available if you think you’ll need a little more control over the mist output. Some models also record relative humidity percentage to help you gauge the ambient humidity levels of your space or room.
To keep your humidifier running at full efficiency, it’s best to replace its filter every 2 to 3 months—maybe more frequently if you use tap water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your humidifier’s scheduled maintenance recommendations. There also are filterless units available if you prefer a low-maintenance option.
When it comes to noise levels, all cool and warm mist humidifiers are not equal. If you spend time in or near your grow space, you might want to consider a unit with low noise output. Evaporative plant humidifiers tend to generate more noise than ultrasonic models from the fan that’s used to pull air across the wicking component.
Setup and Maintenance
Periodic maintenance of your humidifier can help keep it running efficiently and keep it free from bacteria and mold that can grow in the tank without proper cleaning. If left unchecked, mold can be released in the mist, causing allergies and respiratory illnesses. Along with cleaning the tank, cleaning or replacing the filter will help ensure the humidifier’s mist isn’t contaminated with allergens. Cleaning your tank once a week with bleach will help prevent unwanted mold and mineral buildup.
When using a humidifier to optimize your home’s humidity level for keeping your indoor plants thriving in every season, here are a few answers to some common questions about humidifier use to get you on your way.
Q. What kind of humidifier is best for plants?
The best humidifier depends on several factors, including the size of the room, typical ambient conditions, and the amount and duration of humidity required by the plant species.
Q. Do humidifiers cause mold?
When not properly maintained and cleaned, a humidifier can grow mold in the water tank and on the filter. The mold can then be dispersed into the environment with mist, triggering a variety of respiratory issues, from allergies to asthma.
Q. Is warm mist or cool mist better for plants?
You can use both warm- and cool-mist humidifiers with indoor plants. The biggest difference between the two is that cool-mist humidifiers use a filter system, which is more energy-friendly than the evaporation method of warm-mist humidifiers.
Q. What is the best humidifier placement for plants?
Keeping your humidifier about 6 feet from your plants will ensure they receive adequate moisture. However, it’s advised to not keep them any closer than that distance to avoid accumulation of excess moisture on the plants’ leaves, which could give way to fungus and mold growth.
Q. How often should I use a humidifier for my plants?
When it comes to the frequency at which you should be running your humidifier, follow your plants’ cue. Wilty leaves with brown tips can indicate that your plants are not receiving enough moisture. Stunted growth and blossoms prematurely dropping also can indicate low humidity.
Q. How long should I run my humidifier for plants?
How often you need to run your humidifier depends largely on the types of plants you have and the season. Tropical plants require a longer duration to supply sufficient moisture, while succulents require less.
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