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Humidifiers Are For More Than Hothouse Flowers
- 1 Humidifiers Are For More Than Hothouse Flowers
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Our Recommended Best Humidifier Is The Oxford Street Ngozi Ultrasonic!
Humidifiers were once only useful for keeping tropical plants and “ invalids” healthy. The healthy who had one were either thought of as strange ( in the same way that vegetarians were), and certainly not “normal”.
However, it was found that humidifiers should not just be for the “oddballs”, botanists and the chronically infirm. Far from it.
These one time “gimmicks” do reduce dry skin, allergies, “dry throat” syndrome and persistent dry coughing at night and apparently snoring, and while in winter when the central heating has dried the air out, it has been clinically shown that a humidifier can reduce the risk of catching flu or other viruses.
The benefits of having a home humidifier go further than just keeping the flu away.
Most homes will have at least one humidifier nowadays.
A modern humidifier has come a long way from the bulky glorified bucket of water with a heating element and a couple of drops of “friar’s balsam” with its oily medicinal smell. Clean lines, ultrasonic technology and with creative and scientific thought the 21st century humidifier is should be used regularly instead of when a “flu bug” appears.
There are many humidifiers available, and to find the best one, in terms of value for money, design features and build, the five most popular models have been put under the microscope.
The Oxford Street Ngozi Ultrasonic Humidifier.
With a compact, discreet cylindrical design, the Oxford Street Ngozi is a humidifier that uses ultrasonics and not heat to create mist. As the term suggests a super-hypersonic sound wave is used to create mist.
An easy to fill 4L water tank ensures 18 hour mist production using 300ml/hr so that the room is gently humidified to the desired level without any dampness occurring, as can sometimes be the case.
An almost silent hum is all that is heard as the Ngozi humidifier goes quietly about its job remoisturizing the air, using a 360° nozzle to ensure a consistent mist in the room. With its fill up, set and forget, the Oxford Street Ngozi will automatically switch off when the water level runs low, or when the humidity reaches the desired setting.
The Oxford Street Ngozi has an essential oils tray and pad so that relaxation, well being or just plain self indulgence can happen, just by adding an essential oil (or two) to the mist.
The mist control is purely manual, and not controlled by an app, remote or even by Alexa, meaning it’s not “smart” which could be a cause for complaint to some, but there is really no need to have a “smart” humidifier, and Oxford Street have been really smart in making the Ngozi humidifier just a good old “set and forget” humidifier, just as it should be.
The Ngozi humidifier should be cleaned regularly, and is easy to do so, with its oil pads filters and tank being dishwasher friendly.
Weighing just 1.16kg and only being 300mm in height, the Ngozi is compact, discreet and truly portable.
While being easy to use, compact and highly effective, there were some little negatives to this humidifier.
The first and most obvious was the price. It is the most costly of all the humidifiers under test. However, for its robustness, ease of use and the quality construct the price can be justified.
The Oxford Street Ngozi comes with just a basic one year warranty.
- Clean lines and pleasing compact design.
- Extremely lightweight making it truly portable.
- Ultrasonic mist generation.
- 4L water tank that’s easy to fill.
- Adjustable mist control.
- Auto shut off when water level is low.
- Essential oils can be used with the mist.
- Extraordinarily easy to clean. Tanks, pads and filters are dishwasher friendly.
- Absolutely no “smart” gimmickry, or remote controls.
- The price. Although the quality of construct is vey high
- Comes with just a basic 1 year warranty.
Boneca Air Washer W200 Humidifier.
As Boneca describes the W200 as an “air washer”, the rest of us would call it a humidifier as it does not qualify for air purifier certification due to the W200 using a mild heat induced evaporation method to create its mist.
Although it uses heat to produce its mist the Boneca W200 is very economical. Unlike its ancestors!
With its 4.4L water tank, the Swiss made W200 has 2 settings: day mode and night mode. The day mode has an increased fan speed but the noise level is barely at a whisper level being only 32dB. When in the slower night mode the noise level hovers around 27dB making this humidifier ideal for light sleepers.
When the water level is close to being empty, a small red LED will show and then the Boneco W200 will automatically shut off until it is replenished.
For those who like to indulge in essential oils, Boneco have incorporated a small essential oil reservoir with pads. It must be added that the oils mix with the mist very quickly, fragrancing a room in minutes.
As with all humidifiers, the W200 does need to have its tank and filters cleaned on a regular basis, which has been made easy do. The tank and filters are dishwasher proof, saving a chore.
The Boneco W200 comes with a 2 year warranty, which will give peace of mind.
The W200 humidifier with its tall square box like design and hefty weight of 4.9kg, giving it the look of a desktop computer tower, make the W200 humidifier conspicuous in the room.
While the construct quality is good, the number of features do not really justify the high price.
- Extraordinarily quiet, with it being effectively silent when in night mode.
- Large 4.4L water tank.
- Includes an essential oils reservoir.
- Tank, pads and filters are dishwasher friendly, making easy cleaning.
- No gimmickry.
- Auto shut off when water level is low.
- Comes with a 2 year warranty.
- Only 2 settings for mist density.
- Large and bulky. The W200 is very conspicuous.
- Very heavy. At 4.9kg this is the heaviest humidifier under test.
- Uses heat rather than ultrasonics to produce mist.
- The price.
iTronics IT-01 Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier.
Even for a compact design this iTronics humidifier is to say the least compact. Measuring just 138mm high and being able to sit in the palm of your hand, the IT-01 weighs just 495g.
With a fully detachable lid which gives access to the tiny 120ml water/essential oil reservoir, iTronics claims that the IT-01 is able to humidify a room of up to 30 sqm, however, it does by emitting its ultrasonically generated perfumed mist at just 30ml/ hour.
This little humidifier has an “auto shut off” when the reservoir level is low.
The iTronics IT-01 has 2 settings, the first of which allows 6 hours of continuous mist emission, while the second is for 12 hours with 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Along with these 2 settings is a 3 level mist setting from an intermittent mist, a continuous mist and a “mist lite”. Which means that the room does not become too saturated with the aroma of the essential oil.
Much fanfare is made by iTronics about the choice and variance of the LED mood lighting which is claimed to inspire children’s creativity, right through to working with the essential oil to further cause further relaxation and inner calm. With a choice of 7 colours and methods of dimming and blending, this humidifier / diffuser at times felt more like a vintage lava lamp than anything else.
The iTronics IT-01 comes with a standard 1 year warranty.
While this humidifier is able to infuse a 30 sqm room, it was such a pity that iTronics decided on such a small 120ml water / essential oil reservoir. Access to which is removing the dome top, while being careful not to dislodge the inner top.
The pressing of buttons “x” number of times in a set sequence to get the desired level of misting and the correct light settings was both stressful and irritating. While the lava lamp effect was neither calming or relaxing.
As with any humidifiers the iTronics IT-01 requires regular cleaning, and this must be done by hand.
Although the iTronics IT-01 humidifier has been called “cute” the LED feature is an out of control gimmick.
- Extremely compact but effective.
- “all in one reservoir” for oils and water.
- Ultrasonic mist generation.
- Very lightweight at only 495g.
- Filling the reservoir can be very fiddley.
- Over emphasis on LED lighting. More of a lava lamp than a humidifier.
- Sequencing of buttons to push. Too many things to push in the “right” order to start the humidifier. Very irritating and annoying.
Elechomes SH8820 Ultrasonic Humidifier.
The SH8820 humidifier with its huge top fill 5.5L tank is able to aromatically humidify a room up to 70sqm for up to 40 hours continuously with either a cool or warm mist. With an auto shut off feature once the right humidity level is reached, thanks to its built hygrometer.
Looking very much like a computer tower and weighing 3.5kg, the SH882O is not discreet, however its child lock and auto shut off features do cater for young curiosity, making it safe around children.
With quiet operation and soft night light this humidifier is ideal for young children’s rooms or for light sleepers.
Elechomes make much of the SH8820’s ability to produce both cool and warm mist. While superficially looking impressive, there is no real requirement for warm mist in the winter if the heating is on. More of a gimmick than a necessity.
The SH8820’s tank must be cleaned manually and its filters replaced on a regular basis.
While nearly everything these days has a remote control, the review wondered if a humidifier having a remote was exactly necessary. Again a little bit of gimmickry seems to be afoot.
The Elechomes SH8820 humidifier comes with a 1 year warranty.
While having a large reservoir and forty hours operation the Elechomes SH8820 is too full of gimmicks that could go wrong.
- Large reservoir with up to 40 hours continuous operation.
- Built in hygrometer which manages mist production.
- Auto shut off and child lock facility.
- Quiet operation and night light. Ideal for children and light sleepers.
- Ultrasonic mist generation.
- Square box and indiscreet bulky design.
- Warm mist facility, not necessary.
- Remotely controlled. More gimmick than necessary.
- Its weight. At 3.5kg with an empty 5.5L tank this will be extremely heavy when being used.
- Manual cleaning of the reservoir, while filters have to be replaced.
Elechomes EC5501 Humidifier.
With Ultrasonic mist generation the Elechomes EC5501 humidifier can aromatically hydrate a room up to 70 sqm with ease. It has essential oils tray and huge 6L reservoir which will last for 40 hours of operation.
The EC5501 has a built in hygrometer which monitors and maintains the room’s humidity, and does so very quietly at 32dB.
Weighing in at 3.4kg with an empty reservoir and its box like design with bold LED water level indicator, the Elechomes EC5501 humidifier is highly conspicuous and heavy.
The settings include, mist temperature, misting level, sleep mode and timer, which can be controlled from the humidifier’s own control panel or by a remote control.
The EC5501 offers warm or cool mist options, supposedly winter or summer use.
While a nice option, it begs the question of is it really necessary?
To prevent the risk of burn out this humidifier has auto shut off when the water level is low.
The Elechomes EC5501 is very reasonably priced and comes with a 1 year warranty.
With all humidifiers, the reservoir, essential oil tray and filters need to be regularly cleaned. The EC5501’s reservoir and oil tray must be cleaned by hand, while the filters have to be replaced.
While very quiet and an extremely long lasting operation, the Elechomes EC5501 is expensive to maintain because of filter replacement, and again has too many gimmicks.
- Extremely large reservoir for 40 hours of operation.
- Very quiet operation, at 32dB it is barely above a whisper.
- Ultrasonic mist generation.
- Auto shut off when the water level is low.
- Built in hygrometer, ideal for humidity management.
- Large bulky box like design.
- The weight.
- Unnecessary warm or cool mist option.
- Inclusion of an unnecessary remote control.
- Filters have to be replaced as opposed to being cleaned and reinstalled.
So Which Is The Best Humidifier?
While each humidifier in this review has its own special feature, which will appeal to some but not to others, the humidifier which offers the best long term value for money, great design and best performance is the Oxford Street “Ngozi”.