The Best Humidifiers For Your Pesky Stuffy Nose

Winter is coming, as they say, and as the heat turns on in your home, and the air gets colder outside, you might find that your nose is uncomfortably dry. And if you already have a stuffy nose or cold, then simply breathing and existing in your home can become a laborious, even painful, task.

Having a humidifier can do wonders for your nose, sinuses, and airways — if it's used properly, explains Miguel Wolbert, MD, a board-certified allergist in Midland, TX. In general, humidifiers can help prevent nasal irritation and nosebleeds, and keep your airways from becoming inflamed, Dr. Wolbert says. And that's a good thing, because "once the nasal passages are more lubricated, then it becomes easier to blow out the irritants, pathogens, and of course allergens that accumulate in them," he says. Think about it this way: If there's dirt on a window, spraying water and then wiping will clean it, he says. "Without the water, wiping the dirt just rubs it in even more." In winter, your sinuses are a dry and dusty window sill, metaphorically speaking.

That means that, if you are going to use a humidifier, you have to be really diligent about cleaning it properly. You want to keep up with wiping away irritants and mold, so they don't propagate with the humidified air, Dr. Wolbert says.

Ahead, find humidifiers at a variety of price points that can help prevent the wrath of dry nasal passages this winter.

Photo: Courtesy of Homedics.
Although this humidifier is a little pricey, you can choose between running warm or cool mist — so it's like having two humidifiers in one.
HoMedics Warm and Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier, $99.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Crane.
This portable humidifier is about the size of a travel coffee mug, so it's perfect for taking on trips or using in a stuffy hotel room.
Crane Crane USA Humidifiers, $21.25 $16.95, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Boneco.
The control panel on the front of this humidifier allows you to get a precise reading of the humidity of your room. The mist exits the machine at warm 104 degrees, which is great if your room tends to get chilly.
Boneco Boneco Air-O-Swiss® Ultrasonic Digital Humidifier, $179.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Ultrasonic.
This humidifier can last 20 to 36 hours on a single gallon of water, so you can leave it on overnight and not have to refill it in the morning. Plus, there are six different lights you can activate if you'd like.
Ultrasonic Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, $39.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Crane.
The knob on this teardrop-shaped humidifier controls how much moisture the device emits, and the nozzle can be rotated 360 degrees.
Crane Crane - 0.9-Gal. Ultrasonic Drop Shape Humidifier, $42.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Dyson.
This sleek Dyson model has high-tech functions that might make it worth the expensive price. For example, it measures the temperature of your room and adjusts the humidity accordingly, and it can evenly maintain mist in a 172-foot space.
Dyson AM10 Humidifier & Fan, $499.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Holmes.
The digital "humidistat" on this tower humidifier makes it easy to set the humidity level to precisely the setting you like, and allows you to see when you might be overdoing it.
Holmes Holmes Cool Mist Tower Humidifier HM630-NU [White], $79.98 $62.66, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of URPOWER.
This easy-to-use humidifier and oil diffuser has a color-changing bulb inside so you can adjust it based on your mood or decor. It's about the size of an iPhone 6, so it's best for small rooms or desks.
URPOWER URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser, $39.99 $16.95, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Roolen.
Health goths will love this minimalist humidifier, which automatically turns on when the air falls below a 40% humidity level. Dr. Wolbert says about 45% is an ideal level.
Roolen Roolen - BREATH 0.83 Gal. Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier - Black, $92.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Honeywell.
Special germ-killing technology in this humidifier will kill up to 99.9% of water-bred germs, bacteria, mold, and spores in the water. It's bigger than most humidifiers, and works best in medium-size rooms.
Honeywell Honeywell HCM350W Germ Free Cool Mist Humidifier, White [White], $69.98 $59.99, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Vicks.
Perfect for your office or desk, this mini humidifier allows you to adjust the amount of humidity using a knob and will turn off when it's out of water.
Vicks Vicks Mini Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifer, $42.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Honeywell.
Warm-mist and cool-mist humidifiers are equally effective, because by the time the mist reaches your lower airways, it's the same temperature regardless of how it started, according to the Mayo Clinic. This warm-mist model has two settings and can run for a full 24 hours on low. Plus, it's about the size of a Wi-Fi router.
Honeywell Honeywell - 1 Gal. Warm Moisture Humidifier - Black, $17.98 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Amir.
If you're into essential oils, you can add a few drops to this portable humidifier which will send it out in the cool mist. And if you want to really go for a spa effect, you can choose between seven different light colors.
Amir AMIR 100ml Essential Oil Diffuser, $59.99 $15.95, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of MistAire.
This humidifier has an optional nightlight built in and doesn't make a lot of noise, which makes it a great pick for nighttime use.
Mistaire MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier, $49.99 $39.99, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of TaoTronics.
The two nozzles on the top of this model rotate, so you can ensure you're misting the entire room. Keep in mind, you can't use essential oils in this tank.
TaoTronics TaoTronics Ultrasonic Humidifiers, $49.99 $32.99, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Sbode.
This portable humidifier is USB-powered, so you can charge it up like a phone, and it'll run for seven hours. Keep in mind that this is a small humidifier, so it's probably not great for giant bedrooms.
Sbode Sbode Humidifier, $39.99 $12.99, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Crane.
This quirky elephant model shoots steam out of its trunk, but don't discount it as a joke: It can humidify a 500-square-foot room.
Crane Crane - Ultrasonic 1-Gal. Cool Mist Humidifier - Elephant, $47.99 Buy
Photo: Courtesy of Multifun.
This inexpensive humidifier is great for packing on trips or using at your desk. While you can't adjust the level of moisture, there's one button, which makes it incredibly easy to use.
Multifun USB Humidifier, multifun Portable Mini Humidifier, $15.99 $13.99, Buy
Photo: Courtesy of PureGuardian.
There are two mist settings and an optional nightlight on this humidifier. Sleek, simple, and to-the-point.
PureGuardian PureGuardian - Ultrasonic 0.21-Gal. Cool Mist Humidifier - White/Smoked Gray, $34.99 Buy
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