- Smart humidifiers come with mobile apps, but the quality of these apps can vary and cause connectivity issues.
- The selection of smart humidifiers is relatively small compared to other smart devices.
- Smart humidifiers can still harbor bacteria and mold, and require regular maintenance to keep them clean.
- Alternatives to smart humidifiers include traditional humidifiers without smart features, as well as other methods like using plants or water features to add humidity to a room.
Humidifiers can improve issues in dry households, and we’ve seen new smart systems that promise to take things to the next level. Are they worth it, or should you avoid a smart humidifier at all costs? That’s a question millions of homeowners ask themselves and something we will address in our guide. We’ll tell you four reasons to avoid a smart humidifier and discuss some of the better alternatives available for consumers today.
Reasons to Avoid a Smart Humidifier
A humidifier can help keep wooden furniture in shape and solve minor issues like dry skin, but it can also cause many problems. While you may believe adding a brain to a humidifier would solve some of those issues, that’s not the case. The same problems with regular humidifiers plague smart ones, but now you could have additional headaches to deal with.
The Lack of Useful Smart Features
Whenever you hear the word “smart” tied to a product, most people expect voice or app control at a minimum. Some devices are autonomous, like robot lawnmowers or vacuums, while others take a more low-key approach with tasks like opening blinds or turning on lights.
Every smart humidifier we’ve encountered comes with a mobile app. The quality of those mobile apps varies by brand. That can cause issues with cheaper models. Simply put, there are plenty of connected humidifiers that have connectivity issues.
Want a humidifier with voice control? You’ll need to search a little harder if you want to tell Google to adjust your system. Home Kit compatibility is rare, like a unicorn, and so are big-name brands. Levoit and Homedics are two of the more recognizable brands in the niche, so don’t expect to find a system from Samsung or LG.
In our opinion, the lack of useful smart features for the price is the main reason to avoid a smart humidifier. If you can get past that, you’ll want to consider the product selection carefully.
Companies have produced smart gadgets for almost anything you can imagine. Whether you want to adjust a TV with your voice or unlock a door, there’s a smart device for you. Unfortunately, the selection of smart humidifiers is relatively small compared to other intelligent devices.
We found intelligent humidifiers from well over a dozen brands, most of which we’ve never heard of. Levoit is by far the most prevalent option, although their systems are in the premium class. Want a smart humidifier with an aromatherapy tray? That may be harder to track down, along with other features commonly found on cheaper traditional humidifiers.
You’ll also notice a common trend with the design language of humidifiers in this class. Most share a similar vibe, but some have a cheaper look and feel. That’s important, considering humidifiers need to sit out in the open. Just because a humidifier is smart, that doesn’t mean it’s any more stylish than a traditional one.
Humidifiers use water to add moisture to the air in a room. How much water they need depends on the type and size of the unit. While companies have made these systems more efficient, they can still harbor bacteria and mold.
A smart humidifier will tell you when your tank runs dry and may even provide users with a reminder when it’s time to change the filter. They don’t do any special to keep the tank clean, and no humidifier can automatically remove or clean a filter.
Distilled water can help with that, and so does ensuring fresh water is always in the system. Those steps will help alleviate the buildup of bacteria or mold, but the machines still need maintenance. How challenging that depends on the type of humidifier, although we found some smart humidifiers can actually be tougher to keep clean.
You must perform routine maintenance to ensure good indoor air quality whenever something blows or circulates air in a home. With HVAC systems, that involves changing the filter and having seasonal service calls. Humidifiers may be smaller, but they require more upkeep than window-based AC units, portable systems, or tower fans.
Cleaning out the tank is part of the weekly routine for humidifier owners. You also need to clean out areas that come in contact with water, including internal components of the machine or surfaces where it sits. That’s a common complaint with traditional humidifiers and something that’s amplified with many smart models.
Depending on the smart humidifier, you could have more tasks added to your maintenance routine. That’s due to the design of the system, along with additional features. An app doesn’t require maintenance, but you may have to reorganize devices connected to your Wi-Fi network. That’s especially true with budget-friendly models and intelligent, multi-purpose machines that heat, cool, and dehumidify rooms.
Alternatives to Smart Humidifiers
The best alternative to a smart humidifier is a traditional one without extra bells and whistles. While we’ve found models suitable for a range of consumers, there are also other ways you can add humidity to any room.
LEVOIT has dozens of humidifiers worthy of consideration, but the best system for large rooms is the LV600HH. It can humidify areas up to 750 square feet in size and it allows homeowners to choose between warm or cool mist.
This humidifier holds six liters of water which is enough to power the LV600HH for around 50 hours. You’ll never need to worry about it running out of water overnight. It will also shut itself off when it reaches the optimum humidity level in your home. Auto mode allows for a more hands-off approach, and so does the handy remote control.
LEVOIT designed this system with ease of use in mind. Touch-sensitive controls are on the front, and the large tank is easy to fill or clean. Dual nozzles provide ample coverage throughout a room, while an aroma box allows users to enjoy a bit of aromatherapy. It’s fast, efficient, and quiet, with a rating of around 28 decibels.
If you need a humidifier for large rooms, the LEVOIT LV600HH is an excellent choice. The ability to switch from cool to warm mist is a significant feature, but we also like the fact it’s easy to maintain. Homeowners have been thrilled with its performance and the price point. This ultrasonic humidifier is available in two colors and in two capacities at seven or 10 liters.
Honeywell Mini Cool Mist Humidifier
Honeywell is responsible for a number of highly-rated HVAC products, including devices that either remove humidity or put it into the air. One of their more popular systems is also the best choice for homeowners who need an affordable system.
The Honeywell HUL52 doesn’t have digital controls or a filter. Instead, you’ll get a humidifier that’s incredibly simple to use and clean. The water tank has a large opening that makes cleaning and filling the system a breeze. A manual dial on the front controls the humidifier, and there’s a small tray to the side for essential oils.
Honeywell’s humidifier is medium-sized at around eight inches tall. It comes with a .5-gallon tank, which is small, but the system is very efficient. Consumers found the humidifier quiet and simple to use. It’s not flashy by any means, although it’s available in three colors, including blue, black, or transparent.
This humidifier checks all the right boxes, from the auto shut-off timer to the directional mist outlet on the top. The ability to use essential oils is a bonus considering the price, and the tank is just large enough to last for 24 hours before it needs to be refilled.
Aquascape Pond and Waterfall
- Holds 5 to 7 gallons of water
- LED lighting
- Waterfall feature
- Pump and media included
There are several ways to add humidity to a room without a mechanical device. While plants and steamy showers can help, they don’t have the same effect as this AquaGarden. This interesting piece of décor will add humidity to any room while providing some unique benefits as well.
At close to two feet wide, this fountain will make quite the statement indoors or out. It holds between 5-7 gallons of water, with plenty of space for the water surface and the recirculation pump. The pump sends water trickling over a ledge back into the bow while helping feed the plants at the top of this AquaGarden.
This kit contains everything you need to get started, minus living plants or any fish you may keep in this mini ecosystem. The well-built injection-molded container is sturdy, and they provide gravel for both the waterfall and pond area. There’s also clay growing media included if you want to add plants and an integrated waterfall light.
It’s not uncommon to find indoor water features in homes, but most aren’t large enough to provide any humidity without breaking the bank. This system from Aquascape is an exception, and it is a fantastic choice when you want to add moisture to the air without using a humidifier.
From open-top aquariums to spider plants, there are many ways to increase the moisture in rooms throughout a home. None perform as well as a standard humidifier, however, which is the best reason to avoid a smart humidifier today. While the ability to adjust your system without lifting a finger is useful, it’s often not worth the additional cost or potential headaches a smart system can bring to your home.
- Aquascape 78325 AquaGarden Pond and Waterfall Kit Container Water Garden, Measures 23. 5-inch in Diameter and 9 7/8-inch Tall, Brown$133.26Buy on Amazon
- Holds 5 to 7 gallons of water
- LED lighting
- Waterfall feature
- Pump and media included
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