Inhaling dry air can cause several problems like nosebleeds, irritated sinuses, and cracked lips. Here is one reason why a lot of people are interested in the best evaporative humidifiers under $500.
Besides the price of top-rated evaporative humidifiers in the market, it is important to understand the variables that influence both performance and life span.
The major factors to consider before choosing a humidifier include; size, ease of cleaning (to prevent bacteria growth from clogging the device), and type (evaporative, warm-mist, or ultrasonic).
Evaporative humidifiers are the most conventional type and they add moisture to the air with a reservoir, fan, and porous wick. The reservoir contains water which the wick soaks up. Then the fan blows on the wick to enhance evaporation.
No matter what your reasons are, either to fight symptoms of flu, to improve sleep, these top-rated evaporative humidifiers will efficiently moisturize the air in your home.
Best Evaporative Humidifiers Under $500: The Buying Guide
You may be thinking, how can I know the best type of humidifier to buy?
That is a valid question. First, we’ll consider a type of humidifier known as an evaporative humidifier. People often refer to it as a wick humidifier. The makeup of the affordable evaporative humidifier is similar to that of an old school kerosene lamp, only that in addition to a wick it has a fan and a water-filled reservoir.
The wick is soaked in water while the fan blows air over it. This will spread the moisture into the surrounding dry air after which it will be passed up into the environment. This is an important process that should be considered when looking to buy the best type of humidifier.
The latest top-rated evaporative humidifiers are not to be downplayed in how they function. They are made up of a wick and a fan that spreads the moisture. The wick soaks up water from the reservoir with a cloth or paper sheet.
The fan blows air over the wick once it is turned on, then the wick introduces the vapor right into the surrounding air. The water will help reduce the heat and also reduce the temperature of the room or space.
An evaporative humidifier functions like every other humidifier created to produce moisture and rid the home of any dry air. The evaporative humidifier raises humidity levels in the home without needing much technology.
Evaporative Humidifier Buying Factors To Consider
Evaporative humidifiers are a type of cool mist humidifier just like the ultrasonic. They have a fan that blows air on the wet wick to spread humid air in your room.
Although they are not as famous as ultrasonic humidifiers, they are cheaper to purchase but you will have to change the filters regularly. Evaporative humidifiers are also a great option for homes with kids or pets because they operate without heat.
Before going to buy a humidifier, make sure you have verified the exact size of the room it will be placed in. This will help you to slim down your choices. Some tabletop humidifiers can serve medium-sized rooms but if your room or space is very large then you should get a whole-house model.
Why Choose Evaporative Humidifiers
Evaporative humidifiers are very simple to use unlike the others like an ultrasonic, warm mist, and steam vaporizers. It operates quietly without having to boil the water with any form of heat.
One important fact about an evaporative unit is that your home can not be excessively humid because it allows only the needed amount of humidity into the air. It releases more humidity when needed and soaks up only a little amount of vapor from the wick if little humidity is needed.
An evaporative humidifier is an appliance that regulates itself because if the humidity level of a room is high, there is a possibility that the humidifier won’t work. Monitor your humidifier to make sure that it is working effectively.
If you buy a hygrometer to measure the level of humidity in the surroundings, you’ll notice that the humidifier keeps it within the appropriate level without much effort from you.
How then can you maintain an evaporative humidifier? Some units come with an easily detachable bowl for water and easy cleaning.
Ensure that the reservoir is the right size for you. If your reservoir is too small for your space, then you may end up having to refill more often.
Some units have a filter that should be either changed or washed at intervals. Also replacing them is much cheaper than replacing the other types. This also applied to the wicks.
Just like all other humidifiers, it is possible for mildew, mold, bacteria, and other pathogens to grow on it.
When this happens, there are treatments for it, however, you can prevent this from happening by cleaning often with water and white vinegar.
Don’t forget to wash and dry the wick and basin properly. The recommended period for changing your filter/wick/pad is two months but then, this varies according to the size and type of humidifier.
Not changing the filter can cause potential health problems because the airflow can become clogged and vapor won’t be introduced into the environment. The uncleaned wick will harbor mold and other pathogens and will keep spreading germs instead of fresh clean air.
Best Cheap Evaporative Humidifiers Under $500
Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1
Venta LW25 doubles as a humidifier and air purifier and it is great for people who want to increase the humidity in their home and at the same time, maintain air purity and remove dust, pet dander, pollen, and other allergens.
Venta LW25 can cover 400sq. feet which make it suitable for a single room like a bedroom, or any other room where one spends more time.
It is designed without filters which mean cleaning is very easy and there’s no need to bother about filter replacement.
This appliance comes with a ten-year limited warranty. With this, you’ll have enough time to fix or replace your unit if it goes bad.
The product cannot make the air excessively humid because it doesn’t release more moisture than the air can carry. This makes it okay for rooms with wooden furniture or shelves carrying plenty of books.
The Venta LW25 Airwasher 2-in-1 could easily pass as the best evaporative humidifier under $500 because rather than use wicks like others, it uses Disc Stacks and Cold Evaporation Technology.
This technology captures airborne pollutants inside the humidifier’s tank and prevents them from entering the air. However, the disc stacks need to be cleaned with a special cleaning agent. This unit is very light and can be easily carried about.
- Zero filters
- Long warranty period
- Easy cleaning
- Cool design
- Makes a very loud noise on the highest setting
- Needs some special cleaning chemicals
Vicks Starry Night Cool Moisture Humidifier
This cool-mist evaporative humidifier comes with an antimicrobial filter. It is usually a good choice for children’s rooms and other living spaces.
Apart from providing humidity for better sleep, it projects stars on the ceiling that can cause distraction and help one fall asleep faster.
It gives you all the benefits that you cannot get from a warm mist unit.
This humidifier works with a wick filter that draws water up from the reservoir while the fan spreads the moisture in the surrounding. This technology ensures that there is no chance for excess moisture in the air because it absorbs only the amount of humidity the air needs. The filter also takes out the minerals in hard water to avoid “white dust residue”.
Build Quality and specifications
Dimensions: This product is 13.2 x 11.3 x 11.4 inches; 6.6 pounds.
It comes with a filter that inhibits microbial growth. It releases vapor moisture that is too small to be seen with the naked eye.
The tank capacity is 1 gallon and it works for 24 hours with auto shut off. The controls are lighted and the fan has multiple speeds. There is a humidity monitor that connects directly to the auto shut off feature. The quiet operation makes it a good choice for small to medium rooms.
Ease of Use
There are wide openings to make cleaning and filling easier. The fan and moisture have dual knobs to control direction. The manufacturer’s warranty is available for the product. Also, it is not so expensive at about $40.00.
- A full 1-gallon tank runs a 24-hour cycle. It has an auto-shutoff.
- Projects stars on the ceiling
- Filter that inhibits microorganisms (mold, mildew, bacteria, etc)
- Fill openings are large, which makes cleaning an easy task
- Some units end up leaking
The Vornado Evap40 is an evaporative humidifier that can function in a large space of up to 1,000 sq. ft because it uses vortex circulation which allows it to add moisture to a place quickly and efficiently. The humidistat is adjustable to allow the user to choose the level of humidity they want from the three-speed settings available: Low, Medium, and High.
Its different settings allow users to personalize the experience they get to an extent.
The Vornado is fitted with a tank that can store four gallons of water. There are also two filters for humidifying.
The two water tanks can supply water for 24 hours when the setting is on low. The settings you choose will determine if the four gallons will serve you for a day or longer.
This is necessary if you want to use your humidifier during bedtime or if you stay out for a greater part of the day and want to come home to a humid house.
The Airlock water tank in the Vornado humidifier can be refilled easily. It is spill-proof and leak-proof and there is no need to worry that it might stain hardwood floors or the carpets or encourage mold growths when they are too wet.
However, it may be difficult to find replacement filters and wicks. The unit is easy to clean and the manufacturer offers a five-year warranty for it.
- Does not make noise
- No need for a daily refill
- Large coverage area
- Wicks and filters are not easy to locate
- No exact humidity setting
The Honeywell HCM-350 Germ-Free Cool Mist Humidifier is noiseless, easy to use and can serve large rooms of about 500-800 square feet.
Being an evaporative humidifier means that it keeps the room free from the thin film of white dust that gathers around the room if it operates with hard water. It also emits ultraviolet light that functions as antimicrobial and destroys bacteria, fungi or mold.
The Honeywell evaporative humidifier is better than others because it is way too easy to clean.
Also, the opening of the water tank is wide enough so you can fit in your hand properly while cleaning. You can even use a dishwasher to wash the components like the water tray and water tank if you put them on the top rack.
This means that you don’t have to worry about it entering into tight corners. However, despite how strong it looks, it could spill water if the bottom detaches while being moved around.
- Has a cooling fan
- Can be used in a dishwasher
- Fair price
- Prone to spillage from easily detachable bottom
VORNADO EVAP3 1.5
Vornado Evap3 1.5 has some cool features that would make you want to get it. It is capable of working in large rooms. The tank is big, detachable, and has confirmation settings that are easily understood. This is the best type of humidifier for those who want reliability.
This model is made up of a 1.5-gallon tank which lets it operate for much longer periods.
The fan has three speeds and setting it at the lowest can even boost the run time. Users can set up an automatic setting to ensure the unit is maintaining a comfortable humidity level.
Even at the current VORNADO EVAP3 1.5 price, it comes with a lot of extra features that were not present in the past model like the humidity sensor that connects to the automatic setting.
Build Quality and Specs
This appliance has a height of 15.1 x 10.2 x 12.1 inches and weighs 7.25 pounds. It uses a wick type filter and comes with two filters. It provides vapor/mist humidity and can run a 24-hour cycle on a full 1.5-gallon tank. It has an automatic setting and can operate at 2 speeds. This device can be set to any humidity level and can serve more than 700 square feet.
The easily detachable tank makes the cleaning and filling simple to do. The mist direction is detachable and the product has a manufacturer’s warranty. It serves a much bigger area than some other devices with similar prices and also has more features than most of them.
- Covers large spaces
- Bigger water tank
- Tank for filling and cleaning is easily detachable
- Has two filters
- Adjustable speed and automatic settings
- There have been complaints about the brightness of the light on the control panel
Aprilaire 500 Whole-House Humidifier
If you need any humidifier that can carry your entire house and save you the stress of buying several tabletops sized humidifiers, then you should get the Aprilaire 500 whole house humidifier. It is one of the best evaporative humidifiers under $500.
It is made for homes of about 3,000 square feet. It has pre-installed sensors that regulate the humidity levels of the home and make proper adjustments automatically.
There is also a digital control panel that lets you see the current humidity levels and notifies you of when your humidifier needs servicing.
Even though you may have to use the services of a professional to service it, the stress will be worth it eventually when you get to use your humidifier all year round or if you live in a dry climate.
- Great for whole houses
- Perfect for use in a dry climate
- Has a digital control panel
- Needs to be installed by a professional
VORNADO EV100 EVAPORATIVE WHOLE ROOM HUMIDIFIER
Apart from adding moisture to an environment, Vornado EV100 is also a space saver. Because of its tower design, it doesn’t take up much space but still has multiple settings and can be used in large rooms.
It can humidify a room as large as 299 square feet. It is easy to know when the 1-gallon tank needs refilling because it is transparent, but the full tank is still able to run for 24 hours.
It resembles a modern piece of art and has several settings for the fan. The opening is large enough for easy cleaning and refilling.
Since this product has a combination of a fan and a wick, it won’t add excess moisture to your surroundings, just the right amount.
Build quality and specs
It has a height of 12.3″H x 13″W x 8″ and weighs 5.3 pounds. It is a cool-mist humidifier that runs on 1 full gallon for 24 hours. It can also use two gallons in 24 hours depending on the setting. It uses a wick style filter and runs noiselessly.
It has an adjustable vent and a wide and easily removable cap to make cleaning and filling less tedious. There is a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years. Even with the price of the Vornado EV100, it still carries many features that can be found in high-end humidifiers.
- 5-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Tower design conserves space
- Covers a large space.
- Multiple fan settings
- Buyers claim that the humidity sensor is inaccurate
- Users complain about motor failure at just six months use
- No remote control
AIRCARE MA1201 Humidifier
The Aircare MA1201 is able to humidify a big house of about 3,600 square feet. When you select a humidity level, the digital humidistat keeps the humidity at that level, automatically.
Once the unit reaches the humidity level you chose it shuts off automatically to conserve water and electricity.
This appliance is easily cleaned and stands on wheels that can be used to move it from place to place. It can run a 36-hour cycle, which is why it is mostly hard for long term humidity, as well as the fact, you have to refill only a few times. With this model, you may not need to read through other evaporative humidifier reviews.
When it’s time to refill however the tank capacity is 3.6 gallons and that means the water lasts long. However, the tank is not transparent so you can’t see the quantity of water inside it.
A lot of users have said that the filter can carry them through the entire winter season although they mentioned that the kind of water used also matters. It has a digital readout where you can get the information you need.
Also, the three-speed motor can be set to have a “nighttime setting” which lets you use the humidifier even when you’re sleeping but keeps the noise away so you don’t worry about it.
- The filter can serve you through a full winter season
- A wonderful size
- Has wheels for easy movement
- It has a digital readout
- Some users complain of the noise from the fan
- It is difficult to see how much water is in the tank because it’s opaque
Q1: How often should you clean a humidifier?
Use a deep cleaning procedure to clean your humidifier several times every week, especially if you use it regularly. This is to prevent mold spores and bacteria from contaminating the air you’re breathing.
Q2: Do evaporative humidifiers produce white dust?
When the mineral content in water enters a humidifier, the white dust forms. This white dust is the dried mineral deposits or mist that settles on furniture or other home surfaces.
Some people have nothing to bother with the white dust but to some others, it could cause problems especially people who have asthma, lung/sinus problems, and allergies.
There are only two types of humidifiers that produce white dust; impeller portable and ultrasonic humidifiers.
Q3: Should a humidifier run all night?
Yes. Humidifiers generally run for a full day.
Q4: Can I put salt in my humidifier?
The cool mist humidifier produces a mist, but adding salt to it won’t affect the amount it discharges because it does not operate with heat.
Finding the best evaporative humidifiers Under $500 shouldn’t take you an excessive amount of research time. While this post has presented you with some of the top-rated models in the market, the list is not meant to be exhaustive.
You can still find some other interesting models from the brands represented in this humidifier buying guide. Just follow the links above and you’ll find even more affordable options.
However, you should bear in mind that the price of evaporative humidifiers shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Be sure to consider some of the features that matter most to you. By following some of the links above, you can get more insights by asking more questions and getting answers from other experienced users on Amazon.
Finally, don’t forget to check the warranty for anyone you intend to buy.