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Best portable humidifier for 2021

Your lungs, sinuses and skin don't like things too dry. This lineup of air humidifiers will keep them moist.

If you are experiencing nosebleeds, cracked lips, dry skin, eyes or sinuses, the humidity level in your home may be low. A portable humidifier is an effective and simple way to combat exposure to harsh, dry air -- adding a cool mist of water to the air in your room with a mini humidifier while you sleep could help to alleviate these uncomfortable symptoms, often overnight.

With so many options available, it can be difficult to figure out what the difference is between an evaporative humidifier, an ultrasonic humidifier (complete with demineralization cartridge, so you don't have to only use distilled water to avoid mineral buildup if you have hard water coming from your tap) and an essential oil diffuser. So to simplify your life, we went out and found some of the best portable humidifier options suitable for any smallish space, perfect for a bedroom or baby's nursery.


The Ourry humidifier.


Here's what we compared, beyond price:

  • Size: How easily can it be packed or carried around?
  • Duration: How long does a single fill last?
  • LED lights: Are there LED lights? Can they be disabled (to avoid disturbances)?
  • Design: Is it aesthetically pleasing?

Travel humidifiers, compared

Humidifier Buying info *Max hours/fill Tank type
Dewy $39 at Urban Outfitters 10 Reservoir
Mztdytl $16 at Amazon 9 Reservoir
Ostad $20 at Amazon Varies** Reservoir
Ourry $22 at Amazon Varies** Water bottle
Pure Enrichment $30 at Amazon Varies** Water bottle
Sonifun $19 at Amazon 12 Reservoir

*Max hours assume ongoing (not intermittent) usage. 
**With a 16.9-ounce water bottle. Run time varies depending on the size of the water bottle.

Portable room humidifiers are small but mighty devices that help increase moisture level in the air and raise the humidity, no matter where you are. Not to be confused with an essential oil diffuser, these room humidifiers come in many different forms, depending on your preferences. Some use a water bottle as a tank, for example, while others have a built-in water reservoir to create water vapor.

Most portable humidifiers work using cool mist ultrasonic technology, which uses high-frequency sound vibrations to create water particles that get expelled into the air, raising the air's moisture level. Unfortunately, we couldn't identify a portable evaporative steam humidifier, which is generally considered to be healthier, especially when you're using tap water. It is important to clean these ultrasonic humidifiers regularly to avoid introducing contaminants into the air like mold growth, dust and bacteria. 

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As you probably guessed, a travel humidifier will not add moisture to an entire house. At a minimum, it will increase the humidity levels of the air immediately around you (such as when placed on a bedside table); at most, it can be used to humidify a small room (about 200 square feet). 

This guide will give you an overview of the options available and considers types of humidifier models that meet a certain threshold of features, price, safety and customer satisfaction. Note that products that receive less than a B+ grade on Fakespot are excluded due to the overwhelming number of suspected fake or bias portable humidifier reviews. We've also omitted claims about the area (square footage) these devices can humidify since that can really only be determined through measured tests. 

Read moreThe benefits of using a humidifier


Dewy is marketed first as a skin and hair hydration device, jumping off the trendy idea that your skin is thirsty and what it needs is more moisture in the air. In the end, Dewy is another compact ultrasonic humidifier with a contemporary, Instagrammable design for people who want to take cool moisture with them everywhere. 

Like some of our other picks, Dewy is powered by a USB cord, so you can plug it into your laptop, car or any standard USB charging brick. On its normal, continuous setting, it releases a cool, clean mist for 10 hours; change it to the intermittent setting and you'll get a total of 20 hours of added cool moisture. 

Dewy is more expensive than cool mist room humidifier options with similar specs, but you might feel better knowing that 10% of the company's profits go to The Water Project. It has LED illumination, which provides a soft night light for use in the bedroom.

Ostad is really just a humidifier wand (like the Ourry) that comes with an accompanying cup water tank. That is to say, you don't have to use the included cup; you can place the wand in any container. The benefit here is that the larger your water reservoir, the longer Ostad will emit a cool mist. 

Including the cup, the humidifier is about 7 by 3 inches and much smaller as a wand. This makes it incredibly portable, easy to pack and a great travel humidifier. Like some of our other picks (like Dewy and Ourry), Ostad is powered by USB, so you can take it in the car, plug it into your computer or even power it with a portable battery pack. 

Ostad uses a cotton wick to release cool moisture, which you'll need to replace as often as weekly, depending on how frequently you use your humidifier. Ostad does glow blue when it's running, so this may not be a good choice for the bedroom. 


Most water bottle-type portable humidifiers work by having a water bottle screwed into the device. Ourry is different. The humidifier, which looks like a wand, can be dropped into any container of water, including a cup or bottle. The benefit here is that the unit could mist for a pretty long time, depending on how large your water tank container is.

Another one of the pros of this design is the size. At full length, Ourry is about the size of a chubby marker, making it extremely compact. You can make it even smaller by adjusting the wand, which makes it about 5 inches tall. 

Like some of our other picks, Ourry is USB-powered, so you can take the unit on the road, plug it into your laptop and even replace the included cord with another one at the length of your choosing. We especially appreciate that this little cool mist humidifier doesn't have a bright light, which can be problematic when sleeping.


Water bottle-based portable humidifiers are theoretically more compact since the reservoir water tank isn't built into the device. The downside to this design is that some Amazon customers report difficulty in finding bottles that fit perfectly. Pure Enrichment doesn't seem to have too many of these complaints, though. 

Pure Enrichment is compact and aesthetically pleasing. But that doesn't usually matter as much as the run time, which is a light 6 hours per 16.9-ounce water bottle. At $30, we expected this humidifier to have a longer misting time but included it as an option for those dedicated to finding a water bottle-based model. 

The biggest concern with this portable room humidifier is its light. It can't be turned off and reviewers have complained it's simply too bright -- especially for a bedroom.

Sonifun looks and acts a lot like Dewy, but for half the price. What you give up with that $20 difference is a slightly better design and 2 hours of continuous cool mist time. Not bad. 

Sonifun uses ultrasonic technology and is powered by USB, letting you power the unit with a laptop, a USB port in a car or any USB charging brick. The ultrasonic humidifier comes with one cotton tube (which acts like a filter) -- one already in the device and a replacement one in the box. A five-pack of additional filters costs $11.

Finally, you have three color options: pink, white and gray. It also includes an LED light that can display a variety of color, but -- thankfully -- that feature can be disabled so it won't interrupt a good night's sleep.

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Originally published earlier and updated periodically.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.