Don’t let dry air stop you from enjoying your vacation. Instead, bring along your own humidifier. Small and portable, but still effective, the best travel humidifiers offer impressive relief against the negative effects of dry air.
The question remains though, which humidifier is best for travel? It depends. It depends on your travel style, where you’re going, and how much space you have in your bag. We’ll guide you through the process of selecting the right humidifier including sharing the best choices currently available.
Quick Answer: Best Portable Humidifiers
- Best Overall: Movtip Portable Mini Humidifier
- Best Ultraportable: Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier
- Best with Water Bottle: Boneco 7146 Ultrasonic Travel Humidifier
- Best with Essential Oils: Urpower Essential Oil Diffuser & Humidifier
- Best for Car: econoLED Mini Car Humidifier
What to Look for in a Good Portable Travel Humidifier
With so many portable humidifiers on the market, here are some things to consider to help you narrow down your options.
1. Type of Humidifier
The two umbrella categories that humidifiers fit into are cool and warm mist. Cool mist humidifiers add moisture to the air by releasing cool vapors while warm mist humidifiers heat water then release it. Cool mist humidifiers are typically the most popular personal humidifiers for travel. But within these umbrella terms you will find the following types:
- Steam: Also known as vaporizers, these boil water then release the vapors. These are very budget-friendly and popular because they can be used with medical inhalants to reduce coughing. However, when it comes to safety, many people don’t like the idea of using them around children and they also tend not to be very portable.
- Ultrasonic: These create mist by vibrating a metal diaphragm at an ultrasonic speed. A major pro of ultrasonic humidifiers is that they’re quieter. They are typically more costly but if you’re a light sleeper this may be the best type of humidifier for you.
- Evaporative: Ideal for warmer climates, a thick filter (like cloth or paper) draws water from the tank and releases it as a mist. These are very easy to use, but the filters need to be replaced regularly.
- Impeller: Ideal for cooler climates, a rotating disk sends water into a diffuser and is released into the air as a warm mist. Some models feature cups where you can add inhalants. They don’t come standard, but can be a good feature to have if you anticipate needing inhalants.
2. Run Time
Some humidifiers can run for up to 20 hours while others only run for up to two hours. Typically, car humidifiers have the shortest run time while humidifiers with large, built-in water tanks have the longest run time.
Consider how long you need your humidifier to run for and also the climate where you’ll be. Another thing that’s important is the size of the water tank. If you’re in a very dry climate the humidifier will use more water than it would in a more humid area. In this case it wouldn’t matter if it has a 10-hour run time if the water tank isn’t big enough to hold enough water.
3. Humidity Output
Think about the size of the space it needs to humidify plus how long you need it to run. Many humidifiers have a feature that can maintain humidity throughout the night. If you’re in a drier place like Egypt then the humidifier will have to use much more water than it would if you were somewhere more humid like Thailand. If you’re in a hostel pod, then range and capacity aren’t a huge deal but if several people in the same room are depending on the humidifier then be sure it has the capacity to work for everyone.
4. Power Source
Some humidifiers plug into the wall, others have a USB charger, and others still are battery-operated. Consider what will work best for your travel style. If you always stay in hotels when you travel, then any of the three could work. However, if you camp often a battery-operated humidifier is probably your best bet. If you have a powerful portable charger then you could also consider a USB charging humidifier depending on the length of your trip.
5. Water Source
Some come with their own water tank while others are water bottle humidifiers. Humidifiers with their own tanks tend to be bulkier, however all you have to do is add water and you’re ready to go. Those needing water bottles are lighter and easier to travel with, you just have to make sure you have a water bottle that correctly fits the humidifier.
6. Noise Level
No matter what the advertisements say, all humidifiers make some type of noise. Some are easier to sleep with than others. Since you won’t be able to use it before you buy it, make sure to read the reviews.
7. Time Control / Automation
Some are manually operated while others are automated, which type you choose just comes down to personal preference. Manual humidifiers have an on/off button that you can press whenever is convenient. If you upgrade to an automated humidifier, you will be able to set a time and your preferred output for your humidifier. Many humidifiers will also have a shut-off safety feature that prevents it from operating without water and prevents it from overheating.
Especially if you’re flying, you’ll want to make sure the humidifier fits in your luggage and doesn’t add too much weight. However, if you’re going backpacking, weight matters a lot more than if you’re getting off the plane and going right to your hotel. If you’re trying to cut as much weight as possible, consider getting a humidifier that works with a water bottle instead of with a built-in water tank. While portability is important, you also want to make sure it will work effectively for the humidity level and time you need.
Best Portable Humidifiers Reviews
Now that you know what you’re looking for, here are the best portable humidifiers on the market.
Movtip Portable Mini Humidifier
When it comes to portable humidifiers, the Movtip Portable Mini Humidifier is one of the best. Only weighing around ten ounces, it has a working time of up to 18 hours. It includes two mist modes – the first sprays continuously for 12 hours and the second sprays intermittently for 18 hours. The 500-milliliter water tank has a sensor which includes a shut-off feature that activates when the water level is too low. The humidifier also includes a night light and a USB cable. At only 5.3” x 3.9” x 3.9”, traveling with the Movtip Portable Mini Humidifier is a breeze.
TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifiers
The TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier has a space saving design that allows it to fit perfectly on your hotel nightstand. It has a 1.8-liter water tank that’s easy to pick up with only one hand. This humidifier includes a variety of convenient features like a 360° nozzle, an auto shut-off feature, and a smart LED indicator. The dial knob control gives you the ability to determine the level of mist output. To make sure to avoid sleeping in dry air no matter where you are in the world, bring along the TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier.
Boneco 7146 Ultrasonic Travel Humidifier
When it comes to the smallest humidifier, it’s hard to beat the Boneco 7146 Ultrasonic Travel Humidifier which is only 2.6” x 4.4” x 3”. The advantage of this humidifier is it doesn’t come with a water tank. While many have forgone plastic bottles for reusable water bottles, for this humidifier you’ll need to bring along a conventional plastic bottle. This humidifier has an adapter to connect the bottle, after which you’ll have moist air in seconds. It can output up to one gallon per day and you’re able to control the output. Included is also a travel bag and a cleaning brush. If weight and size are your biggest priorities, this is the best portable humidifier for travel.
Figrol USB Portable Mini Humidifier
The Figrol USB Portable Mini Humidifier was designed to travel well. The humidifier itself is only 3” x 3” x 9.2” and weighs around six ounces. Its advantage is that it gives you container freedom, meaning there’s no built-in water container, you simply put the humidifier in your chosen container with water and it can spray for up to five hours unplugged. Since you’ll be traveling with it, many people use a hotel glass or a mug for the humidifier. The lack of a built-in container lets you save room in your suitcase, on the bedside table, or on the floor of your backpacking tent. The Figrol USB Portable Mini Humidifier is among the best humidifiers you can buy because of its versatility.
Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier
Fancii has created one of the best travel humidifiers because it transforms a 16 or 20-ounce standard bottle of water into a moisture-producing water tank. The Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier is powered by three AA batteries or a USB and operates at only 15 decibels. It includes an adjustable timer that allows you to choose a two, four, or six-hour timer. It will shut off after eight hours, and also includes an auto shut-off feature when the water runs out. The Fancii Cool Mist Personal Mini Humidifier is a light and convenient way to combat dry air.
econoLED Mini Car Humidifier
A great humidifier for cars, you’ll want to have the econoLED Mini Car Humidifier with you on all road trips. The humidifier fits right into your DC jack and swivels for your convenience. In addition to water, you can also put up to two drops of essential oil in the diffuser. The water tank has a 50-milliliter capacity, and the humidifier automatically shuts off after two hours to ensure it’s not running without water. While it only weighs four ounces, be sure you unplug it and pour the water out when it’s not in use. Whether you’re caravanning through the UK or road tripping through Croatia, be sure you have the econoLED Mini Car Humidifier with you.
Pure Enrichment MistAire Studio Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
The Pure Enrichment MistAire Studio Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier is definitely one of the best cool-mist humidifiers. It has a sleek look and can balance the humidity whether you’re relaxing in Mexico or discovering Marseille. The problem with many travel size humidifiers is the limited run time, but this humidifier allows you to sleep comfortably through the night as it has a 10-hour run time. It has a 0.7 liter water tank and can deliver up to 80 milliliters per hour of moisture. Soft-glow lighting is also included to help you operate it in the dark. For a stylish and effective humidifier, check out the Pure Enrichment MistAire Studio Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier.
Levoit Dual 100 Ultrasonic Top-Fill Cool Mist 2-in-1 Humidifier & Diffuser
With many humidifiers not being able to use essential oils, the Levoit Dual 100 Ultrasonic Top-Fill Cool Mist 2-in-1 Humidifier & Diffuser boasts the versatility many travelers have been waiting for. You can improve the air quality with the humidifier and the diffuser lets you take advantage of the benefits of essential oils. The 3.4-pound humidifier can run for up to 20 hours at less than 28 decibels. It has three mist settings so it can be adjusted to your personal comfort level. It’s equipped with a Spiral Air-Duct Technology that allows the mist particles to humidify the room without damaging nearby furniture. It even has an Intelligent sleep mode that maintains a comfortable humidity and shuts off all display lights to prevent sleep disruption. When it comes to the best small humidifiers, it’s hard to beat the Levoit Dual 100 Ultrasonic Top-Fill Cool Mist 2-in-1 Humidifier & Diffuser.
Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier
One of the best mini humidifiers on the market, this Vicks humidifier has a half gallon tank with a working time of up to 20 hours. The tank has a large opening, which makes it easy to clean and refill. Designed for better breathing and to give you a more comfortable sleep, it requires no filters and works with Vicks VapoPads if you’d like to add soothing menthol vapors. It measures 8.3” x 8.3” x 9.1” and weighs just under three pounds. While this isn’t ideal if you’re an ultralight backpacker, the Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier will fit in your weekender bag just fine to help with a restful night’s sleep no matter where you are in the world.
Urpower Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser & Humidifier
This updated humidifier has been greatly improved so you can enjoy the advantages of both a humidifier and essential oils. It works with ordinary tap water and up to three drops of an essential oil. If you’re not into essential oils, you can still enjoy the benefits of the humidifier. It has a beautiful design that includes seven LED mood lights with adjustable brightness. There are two mist settings – the intermittent setting has a six-hour working time and the continuous setting has a three-hour working time. It only measures 3.1” x 3.1” x 5.5” so it won’t take up to much space in your luggage. Whether you’re using it in a hotel, hostel, or Airbnb rental, the URPOWER Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser & Humidifier will add just the right amount of style and moisture.
Traveling with your own humidifier can help you combat harsh air everywhere from the airplane to your hotel room. The effects of dry air can negatively impact a vacation, and you don’t want to be a victim of that. When you choose any of the best travel humidifiers, you can be confident that your days of waking up with dry sinuses, skin, and eyes are over.