The Honeywell Germ Free Cool Mist is a cool moisture humidifier that draws water from its two-gallon internal tank using a wicking filter. Then it blows that moisture into the air with a fan, where it turns to water vapor, raising the humidity in the room where the unit is placed. To make it work, just remove the tank, fill it with tap water and insert it back into the unit. Ultraviolet light in the tank kills, according to the manufacturer, 99.9 percent of the germs in the water, so there's no real danger that you're going to start an epidemic of Legionnaire's Disease in your house. Honeywell says that this evaporative technology is quiet and won't disrupt your sleep, which is when you'll need it most to keep the tissues in your sinuses from drying up.
Don't confuse this humidifying unit with an oil diffuser, though the technology is similar. Putting essential oils in the Cool Mist will gum it up and probably ruin it permanently. If you want your humid air to carry the aroma of exotic plants, look at a unit like the Diffuser World Aroma-Infinity. Honeywell recommends the Cool Mist for helping plants grow, clearing your sinus problems and coughs, and of course preventing your skin from turning dry and cracking like aging papyrus. It also protects wooden furniture by keeping it from drying up and warping. And it gets rid of static electricity in dry winter weather. For all those benefits this compact unit is surprisingly inexpensive, even purchased new.
You can buy replacement humidifier filters and antimicrobial cleaning cartridges from Honeywell to supplement the supplies that come with the machine. If you have hard water you might need to replace the filter more often because mineral deposits can build up, but cleaning the filter periodically can stave off the inevitable. To see what other high-tech humidifiers are on the market, look at the Guardian Technologies PureGuardian Elite, the Aprilaire Steam 800 and the Air Innovations MH-512. And if you want a humidifier that you can pop into the dishwasher to clean, look at the Miro CleanPot.
The design on this humidifier is really convenient. Lift the tank, fill it up, and drop it back in. There are almost no corners so it requires little cleaning.
We like it, but the fact it didn't get 5 stars is because we have to constantly change the filter. Had to changed the filter every 3-4 months of usage.
This humidifier is perfect for a master bedroom. It is so quiet and it really does the job.