Cubby Nursery Awards 2024

We Asked 1,000 Parents to Tell Us the Best Humidifier for The Nursery, and The Winner Was the Easiest to Clean

published Mar 26, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Parenting is hard, but discovering what baby essentials to buy shouldn’t be. If you’re looking for nursery ideas, you may be focused on pinning all the baby boy nursery ideas or baby girl nursery ideas you can find. But you may also be wondering about humidifiers. Should you get one for the nursery? If so, which one and why? We asked over 1,000 parents to share what humidifier they bought for their baby room, and there were two that got rave reviews across the board. 

Why You Should Trust Us

This is a best list that comes with real chops. Cubby is helmed by a small yet vibrant team of design-savvy parents who are unusually invested in finding the best products for life at home with kids, beginning with the nursery. Faith Durand (SVP of content at Apartment Therapy Media, two kids, pro pinner of all the things), Cambria Bold (executive editor of Cubby, two kids, hobby designer, avid product researcher), and Laura Schocker (chief content officer at Apartment Therapy Media, one kid and one on the way, small space/city living expert) have 40 years of digital editorial experience between them. They’ve already read about, researched, and purchased many of the baby products that you, as a soon-to-be parent, are wondering about right now. They’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about what to get. 

If they don’t know the answer, they know plenty of people to ask — fellow editors, parenting experts, designers, and Cubby readers — so you can be sure that these recommendations come from real-life experiences.

Most importantly, we don’t just “office test” these products (read: Order a bunch and shake ’em around in our office “lab” with a fake baby doll) because that is helpful to approximately no one. The products we recommend here are ones we or fellow parents have actually purchased ourselves for our nursery and used for at least a few months (and sometimes way longer). The rave reviews are real.

How We Chose These Products

We asked readers (and parents!) of Apartment Therapy Media, which includes Cubby, Apartment Therapy, and The Kitchn, to tell us what humidifier (if any) they bought for their baby, and why or why not they’d recommend it to other parents. We received over 1,000 responses. We also spoke to Dr. Steven Goudy, the director of pediatric otolaryngology at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, for his expert guidance on what to look for in a baby humidifier. Based on his advice, we took the top two recommended evaporative humidifiers from this survey and then assessed our own firsthand experiences with the product. If the product was strongly recommended by our survey parents and/or personally used for a significant period of time (with positive results!) by one of our editors — it made it to this list!

Nursery Humidifier FAQ

1. Why is it important to have a humidifier in a nursery?

“We all need to have humidity in the air to ensure the proper function of our respiratory tract,” says Dr. Steven Goudy MD, MBA, FACS, founder and chief medical officer for Dr. Noze Best, and the director of pediatric otolaryngology at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “The optimal humidity for your baby is between 40%-60%, where lower than 40% causes dryness of the airway and coughing, and humidity greater than 60% can precipitate growth of mold and dust mites, which can lead to asthma and respiratory issues.”

2. What are the most important considerations when buying a humidifier for a baby?

“Cleanability of the humidifier is important as the standing water can build up mold quickly, and evaporative humidifiers [which require filters] are generally more cleanable,” says Dr. Goudy. “Avoid warm mist humidifiers as the warm/hot water can be dangerous to a curious toddler.” 

Credit: canopy

The Easy-to-Clean Winner: The Canopy Nursery Humidifier

We’ll be honest: Humidifier recommendations from our survey parents were all over the board, with major players like Vicks, Lenoit, and Honeywell referenced a lot. However, a lot of the reviews for those brands were mixed, with just as many complaints as happy customers. (Isn’t that always the way?) But one humidifier that got almost unanimous praise was the Nursery Humidifier from Canopy. In our survey parents said it was the easiest to clean (the tank, cap, and tray can all go in the dishwasher!). They also noted its evaporative paper filter, which dries out between uses so it doesn’t grow moldy, and its built-in humidistat, which ensures that the room doesn’t get over-humidified.

What Parents Said About the Canopy Nursery Humidifier in Our Survey

“I love that it can be completely taken apart and put in the dishwasher. You do have to replace the natural fiber filter every few months, but it keeps the humidified air clean so I don’t mind.”

“It’s the easiest to clean, which is critical for a humidifier.”

“Dishwasher safe and no mold! So easy to clean and use.”

“It has a built-in humidistat, so it won’t add too much moisture to the air. And it’s very easy to clean!”

“So great that it doesn’t get moldy like traditional humidifiers.”

“Love it. So simple. So stylish.”

The Only Downside

At $150, the Canopy Nursery Humidifier is more expensive than other humidifiers on the market. But parents say it’s worth it for how effective the humidifier is, and (most importantly) how easy it is to clean. Like other evaporative humidifiers, the Canopy Nursery Humidifier requires a filter change every 6 weeks, which costs $10 per filter. However, if you purchase a filter subscription with your humidifier, you’ll save $10 off the cost of the humidifier and Canopy will automatically charge that $10 and send you a new filter every 45 days.

Some people don’t like subscriptions, but as parents of a newborn will tell you, they can be a huge help in the first year when you have so much else on your mind. One less thing to worry about!

Credit: amazon

A Similar But Less Expensive Model: The Honeywell HCM-350 Cool Moisture Humidifier 

Another no-fuss-yet-effective evaporative humidifier that came up repeatedly in our survey was Honeywell’s HCM-350 Cool Moisture Humidifier. It’s similar in style and function to the Canopy Nursery Humidifier, if a bit bulkier. But what it lacks in finesse it makes up for in a more affordable price ($80). Survey parents with the Honeywell HCM-350 Cool Moisture Humidifier loved how it does not get moldy, it’s pretty easy to clean, and it’s very quiet. Like the Canopy, all the parts that touch water — the tray, the cap, and the tank — can also be put right into the dishwasher.

What Parents Said About the Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier in Our Survey

“I recently purchased the Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier HCM-350 from a local moms group. I did not pay anywhere near full price, but it has been excellent, even after years of use by the other family.”

“It doesn’t leave white dust everywhere [like an ultrasonic model]. Super easy to clean, too.”

“It’s easy to clean, and it is still working after 6 years and doesn’t get moldy like others I’ve tried.”

“Love it. Does not get moldy!”

“Although large, it’s very easy to refill and stays clean.”

“Whisper quiet, tons of modes, fills a large room easily, easy to clean.”

The Only Downside

Like the Canopy Nursery Humidifier and other evaporative humidifiers, the Honeywell HCM-350 Cool Moisture Humidifier requires replacement filters, which run about $12 a filter. Honeywell recommends replacing the filter every 30-60 days, but that depends how frequently you’re using the humidifier. 

What Cubby Editors Said About the Honeywell HCM-3540 Cool Moisture Humidifier

Cubby’s executive editor, Cambria Bold, owns two Honeywell HCM-350 Cool Moisture Humidifiers, and she’s used them in her kids’ rooms since they were babies. Here’s what she says about them: 

“I knew I wanted an evaporative humidifier for my nursery because I was concerned about the white dust and mold buildup that can happen with ultrasonic models. Even though I knew filter replacements would be an extra cost, it seemed like the best option overall for clean, allergen-and-mold-free humidified air. 

I’ve been super happy with these Honeywell humidifiers. They’re workhorses. I’ve had the first one for eight years and it still works just fine! Cleaning is easy: I do a periodic vinegar soak and rinse with all the plastic parts, but you can also run them through the dishwasher. The trickiest part to clean are the fan blades, but I followed this YouTube video to remove the grate and now that’s no longer an issue!”