Best Humidifier For Elderly And Seniors – Live Well, Age Well

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None of us are immune to the harmful effects of low humidity but the effects may be more pronounced in our seniors who usually have poorer immunity. Effects of poor humidity control may result in dry eyes, poor skin condition and even respiratory ailments. Needless to say, we should take every precaution to minimize that in our seniors. 

For optimum health, it is crucial that we maintain the home humidity at a level between 40% to 60% for ideal results. The easiest way to manage this is with a humidifier. With a click of a button, our seniors can ramp up their humidity to their desired level.

While most humidifiers will do the job just fine, some humidifiers may be more suitable for use by our seniors due to certain features. We will cover what these are in our buyer’s guide later on.

Below, you will find a list of 5 best humidifiers from reputable international brands, all geared towards seniors, each with their pros and cons clearly stated.

Ease of cleaningRefillPortabilityInbuilt
Humidistat
Auto Shutoff
HuPro Premium EasyTop8.5 lbsYesYes
Taotronics TT-AH018EasyTop6.8 lbsYesYes
Honeywell HWM705BEasyTop4 lbsNoYes
Vicks Filter-FreeEasyBottom4.3 lbNoYes
Pure Enrichment MistAireEasyBottom2.3 lbNoYes
Best Humidifier For Elderly And Seniors

You’ll also find a buyers’ guide where you can read our rationale when deciding how to rate these products, and hopefully you can use it yourself when making future purchases.

In a Hurry? This Is Our Winner!

HuPro Premium Ultrasonic Warm And Cool Humidifier

Best Overall Humidifier For Seniors And Elderly

Product Overview

  • Coverage area: up to 500 sq. ft./ 47 sq. m
  • Water tank capacity: 1 gallons /4 litre
  • Essential oils compatibility: Yes
  • Refill: Top fill
  • Running time: 30 hours
  • Dimensions: 14” x 11.2” x 10.5”
  • Weight: 8.48 lb

The HuPro Premium Ultrasonic Cool and Warm Humidifier is a dual mist humidifier that can cover an area up to 500 sq. ft. with its 4 gallon water tank. This large capacity humidifier has a running time of 30 hours between refills allowing users to use it through the night without waking up to refill it. If it does run out of water during the night, the auto shutoff feature kicks in, ensuring the safety of the unit and the user. As an ultrasonic humidifier, this model is also very quiet, registering only about 30 dB on the highest speed setting. This makes it an ideal choice for babies, seniors and sensitive sleepers.

In terms of functionality, the dual mist feature allows users to choose between cool or warm mist depending on their preference for the day. The smart humidification system incorporates three types of humidity control, auto mode, constant humidity and 5 speed levels. There is also an essential oils tray for homeowners who love to indulge in some aromatherapy at the end of a tiring day.

One particular feature that caught our attention was the triple purification unit that consisted of  a ceramic filter, UV light and air ionization. The ceramic filter contains active carbon and mineral pellets that will absorb impurities from the water as it passes through the filter resulting in cleaner and fresher air. The great thing about this filter is that it never needs replacement so you never have to worry about replacement schedules or fork out additional cash for replacement filters.  Another feature that aids the cleansing of air is the air ionization. It produces 300 million cleansing negative ions per minute to decontaminate the water of fungus, virus and fungi. Combine that with an UV light that prevents odor in the water and you have a winner!

For ease of use, I really love that it is a top refilling humidifier because that is just so convenient for homeowners to refill without much effort and without any mess. The water tank also has an extra-wide opening for easy filling and cleaning. 

One gripe I have with this humidifier is that the mist shoots straight up and some droplets will just drop down and wet the surface the humidifier is sitting on. It would have been better if the mist can be directed away from the humidifier and further away. It still does a good job but users will need to make sure they protect the floor with a rug or a tray so that water does not collect. Besides wetting the floor, this also causes the humidistat to register a higher humidity than what the room really is.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Auto shut off feature
  • Triple purification feature
  • Good coverage area
  • Easy to refill water and clean

Cons

  • Tends to wet the surface/floor that it sits on
  • Humidistat can be inaccurate because the mist is saturated near the unit

What the fans love: “Easy to clean due to the removable water bin. Virtually silent. No fans or other noise. Love the little warming tray to put some scented oil. Keeps the master bedroom humidity at 45% ( up from 33% naturally ) and has solved respiration problems due to dry air. Bought a second one for the office.“


Best Humidifier For Seniors and Elderly Buyers’ Guide

Are Humidifiers Good For The Elderly

Our seniors may be more prone to the harmful effects of excessively low humidity which can result in poor respiratory health and uncomfortable conditions such as dry eyes. Having a humidifier can drastically improve these symptoms by maintaining the humidity between 40% to 60%. The advantages of having a humidifier for our elderly is listed below.

Better Eye Health

Dry eyes happen when the humidity level is too low and tears evaporate at a rapid rate from the eye. This reduces the lubrication on the eye and results in the feeling of a gritty sandy sensation in the eye. Humidifying the air will reduce this evaporation and greatly improve eye health.

Better Sinus Health

Our nasal passages require warm and moist conditions in order to provide a comfortable and healthy environment for air exchanges. Most of the work is done by the cells in the nasal passage as they humidify and warm up the air that enters through the nose. Having cold dry air will result in uncomfortable symptoms such as dry nose, nosebleeds or stuffy nose. Having a humidifier would really help your body combat these symptoms and result in better sinus health.

Better Skin Health

Who doesn’t love smooth flawless skin? However, this can be difficult to maintain when the air is so dry. Skin is the largest organ in the body and we can lose moisture through our skin rapidly when the air is too dry. Having a humidifier would reduce some of these symptoms and reduce the chances of dry skin and eczema.

For a comprehensive guide on how humidity can cause harmful to your health, visit our article here!

Considerations For Choosing A Humidifier For Seniors And Elderly

Portability 

When choosing a humidifier, it is important to select a heater that is portable and easily moved between rooms. This is especially so when selecting the humidifier for our seniors who may have mobility issues or just generally weaker physically. 

Features that contribute to good portability are ergonomic carrying handles, light weight and compactness. Having these features would allow our seniors to carry the humidifier easily between rooms to suit their heating needs.

Ultrasonic humidifiers and vaporizer are generally more compact and lighter and can be transported between rooms easily. 

Ease Of Water Refilling

This refers to the ease of refilling water and the ease of cleaning. Most humidifiers will require a refill of water every 24 hour depending on the capacity of the water tank. For something that you have to do frequently, it makes sense to find a model that allows easy refilling that is fast, efficient and neat. Usually, a top refill model is easier to do refilling as you just need to cover the top lid and pour in water. Generally, bottom refills tend to be messier and more of a hassle.

Seniors may do well choosing a top refill model because it is much easier to refill the water. Most of the time, you do not need to remove the tank to fill it. Trying to carry a full tank of water around may be quite challenging for our seniors.

Ease Of Cleaning

Humidifiers usually need a good thorough wash once every week. Depending on the model of the humidifier, the cleaning may take anything from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. When choosing a humidifier that is easy to clean, avoid units with many components or units with many small parts that are difficult to access. Some models come with specialized brush to allow users to reach difficult to access areas. The water tank should have a large access hole which allows the users to place the whole hand in for easy scrubbing.

If a humidifier cannot be cleaned properly, there will be buildup of lime, mold and fungus and these particles can get released into the air when the humidifier is working. 

When choosing a humidifier for seniors who may struggle with mobility and dexterity issues, definitely go for a unit that can be cleansed easily and thoroughly. This ensures that the water that is released is clean, fresh and healthy. 

Remote Control

Remote control of the humidifier is something that may sound superfluous but is actually a very important consideration when choosing humidifiers or other appliances for our seniors. Some seniors may be suffering from mobility issues such as osteoarthritis that severely limit their movement. They may need either mechanical or human assistance to move between places and having a remote control to adjust their humidifier would be such a great help for them. 

Auto Shutoff

Automatic shutoff of the humidifier when it has run out of water is an important feature when choosing humidifiers for our seniors. This becomes even more important if the user is suffering from memory issues such as dementia. Having the auto shutoff when water has run out is a good safety feature that prevents overheating of the humidifier. Overheating of the humidifier may potentially cause short circuits or fires.

Filter-free

Humidifiers may come with filters or without filters. While filters are good at removing minerals and pollutants from the water, they do need replacement regularly. As such, users will have to keep track of replacement schedules and also do the physical replacement every 3 monthly or so. For our seniors, that might be too much hassle and they might be better off with a filterless humidifier.

Ultrasonic and steam humidifiers typically do not have filters and may be suitable for this case.

Inbuilt Humidistat

Having an inbuilt humidistat in the humidifier will allow our seniors to effect changes in the humidity level easily. Usually models with inbuilt humidistats are also able to accurately display the current humidity level in a digital format so that our seniors can read it easily and then make the necessary changes. An alternative is to purchase a separate humidistat which is more troublesome but more accurate.


Best Humidifier For Seniors and Elderly Product review

Taotronics TT-AH-018 Warm And Cool Mist Humidifier

Best Quiet Humidifier For Elderly And Seniors

Product Overview

  • Coverage area: 450 sq. ft. / 40 sq. m.
  • Water tank capacity: 1.45 gallons / 5.5 litre
  • Essential Oils Compatibility: No
  • Refilling: top fill
  • Running time:45  hours
  • Dimensions: 10.2” x 8.07” x 12.6”
  • Weight: 6.8 lbs

The TaoTronics TT-AH018 warm and cool mist humidifier is an ultrasonics humidifier that can produce both warm and cool water vapor to humidify the room. While not technically a steam vaporizer, it does contain a heating element to produce warm mist that can reach temperatures of 60°C / 140°F. For consumers like me who could never decide whether a cool mist or warm mist was better, this is perfect. As an ultrasonic humidifier, there is no fan required and hence this unit is pretty quiet. It registers about 35 dB while it is operating and is a good fit for a bedroom and light sleepers.

With a coverage of about 200 to 450 sq. ft., this humidifier is good for a medium sized room and can run up to 45 hours between refills. For refilling, this is a top fill humidifier and refilling is easy and convenient. Just pull up the top lid and pour water in. 

Other features include a touch screen LED display for style and easy handling. The settings may be adjusted to customize mist output, mist temperature and also the humidity level. As with any good humidifier, this model comes with an inbuilt humidistat that allows it to determine the room humidity and adjust the humidity according to the user’s preferences. There are also two 360° nozzles which enable the user to direct the mist where they want it.

As with most ultrasonic humidifiers, there will be white dust generated from this unit because of the mineral contents in the water. As much possible, it is advised to use distilled or filtered water rather than hard water. That might be a little bit more troublesome for users but if you do not mind cleaning the humidifier slightly more frequently, hard water is fine as well!

Pros

  • Has warm and cool mist for different seasons
  • Able to customize mist temperature to suit one’s needs
  • Quiet during operation
  • Long running time between refills
  • Top fill makes for easy refilling

Cons

  • Generate white dust during operation

What the fans love: “This humidifier works excellent for my large master bedroom. It has a large water tank so I do not need to change water everyday. The part I love most is that it comes with sleeping mode which is really quiet. The design is awesome. It is easy to set up with a phone and to clean the inside of the tank. Highly recommend this humidifier”


Honeywell HWM705B Warm Mist Humidifier

Best User-Friendly Humidifier For Elderly And Seniors

Product Overview

  • Coverage area: up to 400 sq. ft./ 37 sq. m
  • Water tank capacity: 1 gallons /4 litre
  • Essential Oil Compatibility: Yes
  • Refill: Top fill
  • Running time: 24 hours
  • Dimensions: 10.75” x 6.5” x 12.68”
  • Weight: 4 lb

The Honeywell HWM705B Humidifier is a warm mist humidifier that can cover an area up to 400 sq. ft. with its 1 gallon water tank. This medium room  humidifier has a running time of 24 hours between refills. If it does run out of water, the auto shutoff feature kicks in, ensuring the safety of the unit and the user. As an ultrasonic humidifier, this model is also very quiet, registering only about 30 dB on the highest speed setting. This makes it an ideal choice for the bedroom and study room.

In terms of functionality, this humidifier has a no frills approach with an easy to use manual knob control that allows users to choose between 2 moisture output settings. It does require a bit of trial and error initially to find the correct level that suits your home. However, once you nail that down, it is pretty convenient. For seniors who are not too particular and looking for units with minimum configuration, this is a suitable model. There is also an essential oils medicine cup for homeowners who love to indulge in some aromatherapy during the yoga session.

As with most other ultrasonic humidifiers, this unit also does not come with any filters so you never have to worry about replacement schedules or fork out additional cash for replacement filters.  Of course, this does mean that some white dust may be dispelled as part of the humidification. However, this is generally not a major issue if distilled or filtered water is used.

For ease of use, I really love that it is a top refilling humidifier because that is just so convenient for homeowners to refill without much effort and without any mess. The water tank also has an extra-wide opening for easy filling and cleaning. 

The one limitation that some users face is that some of these units come with a defect that causes water leakages through the dial button. While not many users face this problem, it can be a major nuisance to have to deal with this. Do arrange for a replacement if this happens to you.

Pros

  • Quiet
  • Auto shut off feature
  • Good coverage area
  • Easy to refill water and clean

Cons

  • Some units have defects which causes water leakage from the dial button
  • No humidistat for precise humidity control

What the fans love: “This warm moisture humidifier has been a huge help this past winter. I get extremely dry skin and have unfortunately always slept with my mouth open. In the extremely dry months in winter, this has proven a lifelong pain. However, having this humidifier I am able to humidify (and somewhat warm) the air in my room all night! I also only need to refill the basin once every two days on the low setting (which is perfect for having on all night).”


Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Best Cool Mist Humidifier For Elderly And Seniors

Product Overview

  • Coverage area: 400 sq. ft. / 37 sq. m.
  • Water tank capacity: 1.2 gallons / 6 litre
  • Refilling: Bottom fill
  • Essential oil compatibility: No
  • Running time: 30 hours 
  • Dimensions: 12” x 9.5” x 8.5”
  • Weight: 4.3 lbs

The Vicks filter-free humidifier is an ultrasonic humidifier that produces cool mist humidification. As with the case with most other ultrasonic humidifiers, this model does not come with any filters giving homeowners a hassle free humidification experience. With a large water capacity of 1.2 gallons, this humidifier can run up to 30 hours between refills while humidifying a medium sized room of about 400 sq. ft.

As an ultrasonic humidifier without any moving parts, this humidifier is generally silent during operation and is a good addition to your bedroom or study room. For adjustments of the humidity levels, the Vicks filter-free humidifier comes with a twist knob to manage your home humidity. While not entirely customizable like a precise digital display, there is still some degree of personalization. 

This humidifier is not compatible with common essential oils on the market so do avoid dropping your own oils into the tank as this may void the warranty. However, you can purchase their Vicks VapoPads that can be used with this humidifier in the VapoPad slots beside the twist knob. This releases a nice soothing vapor that will be comfortable for seniors who may be asthmtic or just generally sensitive. This unit also comes with automatic shut-off when the humidifier has run out of water, preventing circuit burns and potential family fires.

Regarding the ease of maintenance, the Vicks filter-free humidifier is generally easy to wash. The tank of this humidifier features a wide tank opening that allows for easy filling and cleaning. There are also few small components that may need more meticulous washing. 

All in all, this is a no-frills humidifier that can deliver the work with minimal fuss. Maintenance is not difficult if you do a consistent job of rinsing the unit and looking after it.

Pros

  • Light and portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Decent humidification for a small humidifier
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Bottom fill is more troublesome to refill
  • Distilled or filtered water preferred

What their fans love: “We were quite pleased that this humidifier is nearly silent while running. It puts out a decent amount of mist without soaking nearby surfaces“


Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Best Quiet Humidifier For Dry Eyes

Product Overview

  • Coverage area: 250 sq. ft. / 25 sq. m.
  • Water tank capacity: 0.3 gallons / 1.5 litre
  • Refilling: Bottom fill
  • Running time: 16 hours 
  • Dimensions: 8” x 6” x 9”
  • Weight: 2.3 lbs

The Pure Enrichment MistAire humidifier is an ultrasonic humidifier which puts out cool mist as its mode of humidification. It comes with a 0.3 gallon water tank that can run for 16 hours between refills. With a coverage area of about 250 sq. ft., it is a comfortable fit for a small room. 

With two different settings of mist speed, users will have some degree of control over the amount of humidification needed. There is no inbuilt humidistat for complete customization so you will need a separate humidistat if you desire a tight control of humidity level at home. 

Quietness is also one of the features of this humidifier. It is whisper quiet and will not disturb the peace and quiet as you enjoy a serene afternoon at home. Other features include waterless auto shut off and it comes with a cleaning brush to with the small spaces while maintaining your humidifier.

Perhaps the most defining point of this humidifier is how light and portable it is while still maintaining a decent amount of humidification. Weighing just slightly 2 pounds, you can bring this humidifier anyway, be it your home or office. That makes it so much more flexible than just a humidifier for your plants.

Do note that this is a bottom fill humidifier so you will need to remove the whole tank while refilling. Generally, a bottom fill humidifier is less convenient than a top fill humidifier and requires a bit more work.

Pros

  • Light and portable
  • Easy to clean
  • Decent humidification for a small humidifier
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Bottom fill is more troublesome to refill
  • Distilled or filtered water preferred

What the fans love: “Love the small humidifier I purchased — I use it in a bedroom and it makes a tremendous difference! So quiet you don’t know it’s on and provides just the right amount of moisture to keep me breathing easy all through cold weather months”


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Where is the best place to put a humidifier?

A: Long story short.

  • Placement in the middle of the room leads to fast and even humidification
  • Keep humidifier 14 -17 feet (4-5m) away from walls and furniture
  • Place 3 feet (1 m) away from the bed 
  • Elevate the humidifier 2 feet off the ground
  • Keep the windows and doors shut when using the humidifier
  • Avoid running a humidifier and air purifier in the same room
  • Avoid placing humidifier in direct sunlight

If you like the full story, check out our guide on the best practices when positioning your humidifier!

best place to put humidifier

Q: Should the humidifier run all night?

A: Yes it is perfectly fine to keep the humidifier running all night if you always find your self waking up with dry mouth and dry nasal passages. However, homeowners should be mindful to keep the humidifier well maintained if they wish to run it all night. 

  • Always ensure there is enough water in the unit for overnight usage. Running the unit without water may burn the circuit and damage the humidifier. Alternatively, get a model with automatic waterless shut off.
  • Clean the humidifier regularly and rid it of lime, mold and fungus. If not, these particles will be distributed into the air every night during your beauty sleep and harm your health
  • Use distilled or filtered water instead of hard tap water to reduce the amount of lime and scale buildup

Q: Do humidifiers kill airborne viruses?

A:  No. Humidifiers do not kill viruses per se. However, maintaining the indoor humidity levels between 40% to 60% will lower the survival rates of viruses. Viruses thrive in very dry (blow 20% relative humidity) or very moist conditions (above 80% relative humidity). Therefore, we always see an uptake of influenza during the winter seasons. The virus simply survives longer on surfaces and has more chances to infect people. By increasing the humidity with a humidifier, the virus does not survive as long.

Q: Is a humidifier safe to use around seniors?

A: Most humidifiers are safe around seniors with the exception of steam humidifiers or vaporizers. Steam humidifiers boil water to get steam which is then released into the air to humidify the room. For seniors with dexterity issues, handling these steam humidifiers may result in burn injuries if toppled over accidentally. Cool mist humidifiers may be a safer bet for these seniors.


Recap Of The Best Humidifiers For Elderly And Seniors

Ease of cleaningRefillPortabilityInbuilt
Humidistat
Auto Shutoff
HuPro Premium EasyTop8.5 lbsYesYes
Taotronics TT-AH018EasyTop6.8 lbsYesYes
Honeywell HWM705BEasyTop4 lbsNoYes
Vicks Filter-FreeEasyBottom4.3 lbNoYes
Pure Enrichment MistAireEasyBottom2.3 lbNoYes
Best Humidifier For Elderly And Seniors

Wrapping it up

Out of the 5 products we reviewed, the HuPro premium ultrasonic humidifier was our favorite humidifier for seniors. It strikes a good balance between functionalities, ease of use and noise level. With the ability to purify air 3 ways, you are also assured of clean and fresh air in your hot yoga studio. We also like the inbuilt humidistat and digital that gives us the flexibility to adjust the humidity easily. If you are looking for a good gift for seniors, this would be a great addition to their homes!

Click here to get your humidifier now!

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