Clear that Congestion! Best Humidifiers for Baby

Uh oh! Your baby is congested. When babies get sick (it’s inevitable), you’ll want to have the best humidifier ready for action. This is the number one suggestion I got from the pediatrician every time I brought in my sick baby. So, why a humidifier? The humidifier adds more moisture to the air, which keeps everything moist in the baby’s nasal passages so it can be coughed up more easily.

It’s important to make sure that the humidifier you purchase is effective. The best kind to get is one of the newer ultrasonic models. As the name implies, an ultrasonic humidifier uses high-frequency sound to break water particles into a mist.

The most effective (and most expensive) models produce smaller sized vapor particles that can penetrate the breathing passages more deeply, and therefore, more effectively. These types, however, are primarily used in hospitals for sick infants, such as those with bronchitis or whose deep airways are plugged with mucus.

From personal experience, I know it’s wonderful to already have the humidifier on hand before your baby is ever sick so that you’re prepared. It’s stressful enough having a crying, screaming, sick baby. No need to add a shopping trip on top of that!

What to Look for in a Humidifier

When you’re looking for a humidifier, you want to keep several criteria in mind:

1The best humidifier for baby is easy to use and easy to clean. This is important not just for the obvious reasons. Humidifiers can introduce bacteria into the air if they are not properly cleaned on a regular basis. The stagnant water is a perfect breeding ground for all kinds of ick.

To avoid adding bacteria to your baby’s air, be sure to empty the humidifier every time you turn it off, and fill it only when you’re about to turn it on again. If the humidifier is easy to clean, then you will be more likely to actually do this. You can also help to reduce bacteria growth by putting a cleaning cartridge in the tank.

Of course it should also be easy for you to use so that you don’t have extra hassle when you already have your hands full with a sick infant.

2Make sure you choose a humidifier that is filter-free. Filters are a major hassle, so be sure to avoid models with these extras. When the baby is sick, it’s all about making life as easy as possible, right?

3Quiet operation is very important. Some humidifiers can be rather noisy – especially those with a fan. If you think your baby might be disturbed by a whirring sound, then you’d do best to choose an extremely quiet model.

Ultrasonic and impeller humidifiers are nice and quiet. Impeller humidifiers use a high-speed rotating disc to create a cool mist, and ultrasonic units make mist with high frequency sound vibrations (don’t worry – you can’t hear those high frequency sounds!).

4You might also be concerned with size. If you have limited tabletop space in your baby’s room, then you will want a smaller humidifier that still offers a 12-hour operation when you use it on a medium setting. Most models these days are more compact than they used to be, so size shouldn’t be a deal breaker.

Our 4 Favorite Humidifiers for Your Little Ones

So which is the best humidifier for your child? Here are four that have all the qualities you want in a humidifier for when your wee one is under the weather.

Safety 1st Soothing Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier

Safety 1st Soothing Mist Ultrasonic HumidifierSafety 1st Soothing Mist Ultrasonic HumidifierCHECK PRICE

The Safety 1st Ultrasonic Humidifier is a great quality product at a great price. The humidifier is quiet, easy to clean, filter-free, and has a very small footprint. This model easily fits under the sink faucet to make cleaning and refilling as easy as possible.

The coolest feature of this particular humidifier is the “360 degree mist outlets” that let you point the mist in multiple directions. Most humidifiers have one spout that the mist comes out of, but this one has two adjustable spouts so you can get more coverage in the room. I think it’s a great idea.

This product will quietly improve your baby’s breathing for 12 hours at a time. The automatic shut-off feature turns the machine off when the tank is empty, which is a great safety feature. Available in both blue and raspberry colors, it is sure to fit in with the color scheme of your nursery.

Hunter Fan Company 31011 Personal Ultrasonic Humidifier

Hunter Fan Company 31011 Personal Ultrasonic HumidifierHunter Fan Company 31011 Personal Ultrasonic HumidifierCHECK PRICE

 Here’s another well-priced humidifier that is very small and very light (making it easy to travel with). The Hunter Fan Company Ultrasonic Humidifier works with a small, empty water bottle to provide a fine mist all night.

It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and doesn’t have a filter. This is the best baby humidifier if your family is on the go.

If your baby stays at grandma’s house during the day, or if you take a lot of trips, this humidifier is perfect for packing in your bag….just in case!


Crane Drop Shape Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Crane Drop Shape Cool Mist HumidifierCrane Drop Shape Cool Mist HumidifierCHECK PRICE

The Crane is my top pick for the most stylish humidifier because it performs as well as my other recommendations, but with a much sleeker look. The droplet-shaped humidifier comes in green, orange, pink, white, or the classic white and blue.

The humidifier is extremely quiet – it won’t disturb even the most sensitive baby. The water lasts a long time (overnight and then some!), and no filter required.

Since the Crane Humidifier looks so stylish I don’t mind leaving this one out on the dresser all winter long.

Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic – The Ultimate Baby Humidifier

If you want a humidifier that takes it to the next level, consider the Air-O-Swiss. This one has tons of cool features: a digital LCD display that lets you preset and control the level of humidity, an ionic silver stick to prevent bacteria growth, and even a demineralization cartridge to minimize white dust.

But perhaps the most distinguishing feature is the ability to produce warm or cool mist. If the cool mist isn’t doing enough to help your baby, it’s nice to be able to give the warm mist a try. Sometimes it can help more with baby’s congestion. Keep in mind that warm mist humidifiers can be a burn hazard, so keep the unit far away from the reach of your little one.

best-humidifier-for-babyAir-O-Swiss AOS 7147 Ultrasonic Humidifier – Warm and Cool MistCHECK PRICE

The Air-O-Swiss is a much more powerful unit than the other machines on this list, and can easily regulate the humidity in rooms up to 600 square feet. It is also “whisper quiet” so that you and your baby won’t miss a wink of sleep.

Although it is the most expensive product on this list, it is a great choice, especially for all of the advanced features it provides. If your budget allows for it, the Air-O-Swiss is definitely our top choice.

What Humidity Level Should I Maintain in the Baby Room?

It is recommended to keep the humidity of your nursery between 45 and 50 percent. But how do you know what the humidity level is?

Well, you can start by picking up the best selling humidity monitor on Amazon. For just $10, it is a great compliment to your new humidifier to maximize its benefit. In addition to the humidity, the AcuRite also simultaneously measures the temperature, which you should maintain between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celcius).

What Else Can I do for my Sick Baby?

In addition to using a humidifier, there are a few other things you can do to comfort your little one while he or she is sick.

  • Elevate the head of the crib mattress. Roll a towel and place it under the mattress where the baby’s head will be. It’s like propping up your baby’s head on some pillows without the SIDS risk.
  • Give an electrolyte drink like Pedialyte if she’s not drinking a lot of milk.
  • Turn your bathroom into a steam room. Think about how soothing it is to run your head under the hot shower when you’re congested. You can create a similar experience for your little one by steaming up the bathroom and holding a warm washcloth an inch or so in front of his face. Just watch that mucus drain!
  • Squirt some saline drops in the nose. Adding extra moisture to your baby’s nasal passages will break up that mucus and help it flow out. Your baby might not like the process, but he will surely appreciate breathing more clearly a few minutes later.

Having a sick infant can be extremely stressful for the whole family, but take heart in knowing that every parent goes through it, and we all survive.

Pull out your humidifier, bring in the special toys, and find your collection of take-out menus. You’ll be fine. In addition to humidifiers, your family can also benefit from having an air purifier handy to make breathing easier for everyone in the house.


I'm Patricia Baker, a kindergarten teacher turned stay at home mom. I enjoy researching and writing product reviews as a way to help other consumers (like myself) make informed decisions. signature

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