As it has been among the best-selling humidifiers on Amazon for quite some time, it’s unlikely that the Honeywell will become unavailable. But if it does, the is our runner-up pick. It performs very similarly to the Honeywell and is easy to clean because it also has no electronic components inside that touch water. It even adds a humidistat (which is accurate, according to our testing). However, the 9210 costs a bit more up front, has annoying beeping buttons, and lacks a one-piece reservoir, which could lead to leaks in the long run. Like the Honeywell, its evaporative humidifying mechanism doesn’t have the same horsepower as an ultrasonic model. When your room starts pushing 350 square feet or larger, you’re going to have a tougher time getting a comfortable level of humidity with an evaporative humidifier. If you’re willing to deal with more maintenance, it might just be worth going for an ultrasonic model instead, but our testers preferred the low-maintenance evaporative models, even when it meant living with slightly under-humidified air.
In the past we’ve recommended ultrasonic models because they are almost silent as opposed to just “really quiet.” But after further head-to-head testing, it became clear that evaporative humidifiers are a better value for most people.
The Honeywell uses evaporative technology (as opposed to ultrasonic or warm mist), which means you will never run into issues with white dust, pools of water around the base, or over-humidification. While it doesn’t have the horsepower to take a living room from bone-dry to subtropical in 30 minutes, it can get a large bedroom or medium-size living room up to a comfortable level of humidity in less than two hours and then keep it there.
We tested the humidifiers in a climate-controlled space while regularly logging the temperature, humidity, and particle count (where applicable). Then we evaluated them for ease of use and cleaning, which was just as important as humidifying power. It’s hard to overstate how annoying it can be to clean most humidifiers being sold today. That’s unfortunate, because regular cleaning is essential to achieving optimal (and safe) performance. A typical humidifier is full of nooks and crannies that funky stuff loves to grow in. Because some of those dirty parts house the electronics, they can be even more difficult to clean than usual. As such, the fact that the Honeywell is specifically designed to avoid those issues and make cleaning easy is a huge deal.