House & Beyond is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Not all coughs are contagious. You don’t have to be sick to cough. On a typical day, healthy individuals may cough 20 or more times. Often the reason is the quality of air in our homes or offices. Minimizing this quantity is the reason we created our guide.
When shopping for the best humidifier for cough, make sure to consider the coverage area, as overhumidifying your home could lead to the mold growth. Physicians generally recommend cool mist humidifiers for dry coughs, though it is great to also have a warm mist during winters. We’ve reviewed around 60 models in the course of 2 months and rounded up our sturdily built 5 top picks with long mist time and various tank capacities to help you find the best option for your coughing problem. A highlight of our selection is the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier that deserved to be our Editor’s Choice.
More features: no filter required; blue LED nightlight
Besides maintaining a steady RH level beyond 43 percent, the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier makes the air smell good as well, which is one of the reasons why it’s regarded as the best air humidifier for a dry cough. Featuring an inbuilt essential oil tray, this device diffuses a sweet and fresh fragrance with a mist that will help you unwind and likewise eliminate numerous health problems such as a respiratory issue or congested sinus.
Equipped with a wide nozzle, this humidifier allows you to direct the mist in any direction of your choice. The six-liter capacity tank is also a huge plus, as it means it doesn’t need refilling for the next 50 hours once filled. The device can be placed in bedrooms, attics, music rooms, dorm rooms, kids’ rooms or any other areas that measure up to 400 square feet. Since the device maintains a steady RH level beyond 43 percent, you don’t need to be concerned about the growth of pathogenic bacteria, allergens, and mold.
Doing away with the filter method typically found on most humidifiers, this unit actually uses no filter. We, however, recommend against utilizing regular tap water because high mineral content can make the unit discharge white dust. The device also features an auto shut-off which activates when the tank is empty to avoid damage. However, several customers have complained about the difficulty that comes with cleaning this unit, so you might want to keep those in mind as you do your shopping.
More features: 5-year warranty; whisper-quiet operation; ETL listed
The Pure Enrichment® MistAire™ PEHUMIDIF is a cool-mist humidifier that is designed to cover a space of up to 250 square feet. Its ultrasound technology helps you avoid annoying noises, allowing activation even while sleeping or working.
The device is very easy to use and turns off automatically when the water level is low. The large 1.5-liter tank allows the humidifier to operate for up to 16 hours with stable nebulization. During the design phase, particular attention was paid to the design. It’s designed in the shape of a water drop with night lights and adjustable steam flow.
The 360-degree rotating spray nozzle allows you to select the angle of the spray jet by choosing the desired direction. The humidifier doesn’t have a built-in filter that can keep it clean and able to vaporize healthily.
However, the cool mist it emits helps with face care, skincare, and in relieving cold or flu symptoms. However, it doesn’t have an essential oil or aroma diffuser. But we liked the general ease of use of this device. Assembling it is hassle-free; filling the water tank is easy, cleaning and maintenance are also easy.
More features: Medicine Cup for use with liquid inhalants such as Vicks VapoSteam
Coming from one of the most popular companies in the industry, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier is one of the bestsellers on the market today. This budget-friendly steam humidifier is especially popular among people with health issues like asthma attacks, colds, and coughs. Another reason for its popularity is the medicine cup it includes, which enables you to use the Kaz Inhalant and Vicks Vaposteam. This also makes this model probably one of the best humidifiers for babies with dry cough and sinus problems.
With a 3.8-liter tank capacity, this unit can work continuously for up to 12 hours without you needing to refill it. Besides, the water tank is transparent, which enables you to see the remaining amount of water easily. However, there is no cause for alarm if you even forget to check since the machine features an auto shut-off function that prevents it from running dry. Also, the humidifier comes with two humidity settings – high and low – which allow you to use it in different conditions.
The device operates quietly, which is vital if you are using it in your baby nursery or kid’s bedroom. Moreover, there is a soft glowing light which your kids will probably find appealing. Keep in mind, however, that the light cannot be turned off. Since the unit has a filter-free design, you needn’t worry about incurring expenses on buying replacement filters. Nevertheless, you need to wash this unit occasionally for it to remain in top-notch condition.
Why are we impressed?
Can be used in conjunction with medicinal inhalants
More features: filterless; auto shut-off; operates at 35 dB
The Opolar Cool Mist Humidifier is another excellent machine that is capable of raising your home’s humidity level and thereby alleviating your cough. Apart from featuring a sleek, compact design that undoubtedly will complement your home décor, this unit also features a touch-sensitive display that enables you to control the device with ease. You can set the machine to the humidity level of your desire, while the incorporated humidistat and timer allow for optimum efficiency.
Furthermore, the inbuilt 360-degree nozzle enables the device to disperse in the opposite direction in order to maintain the humidity of your room. Besides, this unit is equipped with a filter that gets rid of dirt and enables you to utilize any tap water. This way, you don’t need to worry about it emitting any white dust. This humidifier also features three adjustable mist modes – high, low, or medium – which can be used for regulating the mist diffused by the unit. However, probably the only downside of this device might be its three-liter water tank, which is a bit too small.
In spite of the compact construction, this device is perfect for any room. It also amazingly covers up to 500 square feet with a quick moisture delivery. The humidifier also features an auto shut-off option which prevents the machine from running dry. With this feature, you can rest assured that no damage will be done even if the tank runs empty whilst you sleep. Moreover, it boasts a night mode which allows it to work without producing extreme light and noise for you to sleep peacefully all night long.
For anyone suffering from a cough as a result of low humidity, the LEVOIT Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier might just be the most suitable solution. Featuring a decent 4.5-liter water tank that delivers about 40 hours of operation, you don’t really need to refill the reservoir as frequently as with smaller models. Not only that, but the device also allows for use with essential oils. Additionally, you will get three aroma pads and a cleaning brush with your purchase.
Like most high-end humidifiers, the LEVOIT Ultrasonic Humidifier also features a 360-degree nozzle that allows you to humidify every part of your room. And if you are someone that gets easily perturbed by noise, you don’t have to worry about the operational sound of this machine. It works quietly and allows for a restful night’s sleep.
Essentially, if you are in search of a high-capacity unit with several customization options – like essential oil diffusion, a directional nozzle, and adjustable humidity levels, you might need to consider this device. It doesn’t have a hot vapor function, which means it is baby-friendly. Besides that, this baby humidifier also features three mist levels to provide you with a lot of control over its operation. However, if you have a limited amount of space in your room or just need humidifying occasionally, you may want to check out a simpler model since a unit with a smaller water reservoir would likely suit your needs better.
What are our favorite features?
About 40 hours of nonstop use
Adjustable humidity level
What could be better?
Consumes a lot of space
Things to Consider
Since you’ve read the reviews of our favorite cough humidifiers, now you should learn how to choose amongst them. This buying guide explains the basics of how the best humidifier helps ease your cough and provides a couple of tips that will aid your decision.
How can it ease your cough?
When you are battling with a cough, your throats and nasal passageways usually dry out. Most times, this is due to the fact that the humidity required is more than the current humidity in your room, thereby leading to a cough. Below are the ways by which a humidifier can help ease your cold symptoms:
They increase the humidity in the air and thus allow you to breathe easier.
They humidify painful dry throats.
They reduce the inflammation in nasal passageways.
They alleviate sinus congestion.
Features to consider while choosing a humidifier for cough
All humidifiers aren’t created the same, which means you need to look at different things when buying different types of humidifiers. If you’re looking to buy the best humidifier for a nagging cough, below are the most vital factors to look at.
Humidifiers are capable of producing either warm or cold mist. Warm mist is refreshing and nice in the winter, but cold mist is especially soothing in the summer. Humidifiers are more often utilized in colder periods, during flu and cold season, so it’s always great to have a unit with a warm mist. Keep in mind that if you intend to use a humidifier in a quite large office, room, or entire apartment, chances are the air particles will be room temperature by the time they get to you.
Moreover, warm mist humidifiers contain a heating element so it’s not advisable to leave them operating without you being nearby especially if you have small kids or pets.
Water tank capacity
There are two different things that will be determined by the water tank capacity of the unit. First of all, keep in mind that the larger the tank’s size, the more mist you’ll be able to disperse into the atmosphere. If your unit has a larger tank capacity, it can moisten a larger area for an extended amount of time. Also, a larger tank capacity means you don’t need to be refilling the tank as often as you would with a smaller tank.
Mist time is the period for which a humidifier is capable of misting before the tank dries out. A humidifier usually comes with a couple of settings, so if a product is even advertised to have a mist time of up to 20 hours, this may be at the lowest setting only. If you use it on high setting, then the tank could run dry in 12 hours only. If you intend to use your device at night, make sure you choose a model with a 10-hour mist time at least. This will ensure that it will still be operating by the time you wake up.
Each humidifier is capable of covering a specific maximum area. While the smallest units are designed for desktop usage, the largest ones (like furnace humidifiers) can humidify a whole house. Bedroom humidifiers fall somewhere in between.
Keep in mind that over humidifying your home could lead to the growth of mold, so avoid this by selecting a model that is the ideal size for where you want to use it.
Every humidifier makes some kind of noise, regardless of how quiet it is advertised to be. If you have a bedroom model, it’s vital for it to be very quiet so that it doesn’t disturb your sleep. In general, the larger the unit, the noisier it is. Warm-mist and evaporative models have a tendency of being louder as well. In the event that you are an extremely sound-sensitive person, look for models that operate quietly, such as the OPOLA Digital Humidifier and the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier.
Essential oils diffuser
Essential oils are extremely popular at the moment. In addition to their wonderful smell, they also help relax and calm emotions after a stressful day. If you have an interest in essential oils, buy a model with an essential oil diffusing option. With this, you can save both space and money since there won’t be a need for two large devices in your room.
Amongst some other things you need to look at are if the unit comes with an auto shut-off feature, a warranty, a timer, and if it uses a filter.
Auto shut-off ensures that the unit is safe to leave operating all night long, even with your kids sleeping by without fearing of the unit overheating. A nice long warranty is also a must since humidifiers, as any other electronic devices, tend to break from time to time, so some sort of guarantee is always good to have. A timer, as well as the intensity levels, will let you control the unit more effectively. Filterless models are easier to maintain since they don’t require any additional expenses, while humidifiers with a filter make the water cleaner and prolong the device’s life. However, keep in mind that the addition of those fancy features might mean you’ll have to pay more for the unit.
Normally, the moist air produced by cool mist models makes breathing easier than the air produced by warm mist units. This is why cool mist systems are usually recommended by physicians as they help reduce inflammation in the nasal passageway and make breathing easier for dry cough sufferers.
While moist air offers comfort, keep in mind that exceedingly high humidity levels are also unhealthy. When used excessively, these devices may leave condensates on the floor of your home or office. Even worse, it can lead to the growth of bacteria and mold, and thereby lead to health issues.
Featuring an auto shut-off feature and lacking a hot vapor function, the LEVOIT Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier is considered to be extremely children-friendly, and is in fact, the model that is safest to use in a nursery on this list.
Featuring the largest water tank capacity and the longest mist time on this list, we expect no eyebrows to be raised about our decision to make the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier our top pick. Also, this unit doubles as an essential oil diffuser, making it a deserving pick for the best humidifier for dry hacky cough.
Our third pick is the Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier V745A which despite not featuring fancy bells and whistles, does its job exemplarily. Its four-liter water tank capacity is decent for a product of its class, and its affordable price makes it all the more appealing.