Where To Put Humidifier? (7 Golden ‘Best Place’ Rules + Bonus Tip)

You can’t just put a humidifier anywhere. And it’s not because of feng shui. Adequately positioning a humidifier in your home can have a major difference in how well the humidifier will be used.

In fact, if you know where to put a humidifier, you can increase its effectiveness by more than 15%. Even more importantly, placing a humidifier incorrectly in a room can reduce its function by as much as 30%. On top of that, you can inadvertently cause a breeding ground for mold.

where to place a humidifier in bedroom
In a bedroom, you can put a humidifier on a nightstand or a table (never in the corner). Make sure that there is at least 3 feet between you and a humidifier.

The biggest mistake when placing a humidifier is usually putting it in a corner, on the floor, or near a wall. In these cases, we will get localized higher humidity levels (let’s say 80% near a humidifier) but the rest of the room will still feel dry (let’s say 30% relative humidity). These placement mistakes create an uneven distribution of humidity (soggy near the humidifier, dry air everywhere else).

Where should I put my humidifier?

We’re going to cover the 7 golden rules for placing a humidifier in a room. To correctly place your humidifier, you should at least be aware of the general principles for placing a humidifier in your bedroom, living room, kids’ room, and so on.

On top of that, we have added the bonus tip at the end (that will involve a little bit of exercise on your part).

We’ll go one-by-one through these ‘best place to put humidifier’ rules , starting with the most important one:

1. Best Place To Put A Humidifier Is Where The Most Airflow Is

We’ll talk about putting a humidifier on the table, a nightstand in the bedroom, near plants, and so on, later on.

The first general principle for where to place a humidifier is this:

Always put it in a place where the air is moving the most.

Any humidifier is a singular source of higher relative humidity (or moisture). In order for the moisture to spread throughout a room or entire house most efficiently, it needs to be placed where we have the most airflow.

Airflow is nothing else than air moving. A humidifier will moisture the air in its general vicinity. If that air is not moving around, you will have a localized high humidity space, but the rest of the air in the room might still feel a bit dry.

Example: You will see high 80% humidity levels near a humidifier. If that air is not moving around effectively, chances are that even 6 feet away from the humidifier, the indoor humidity levels will still be 30% (aka. dry air).

The best practice for placing a humidifier is to put it:

  • Between a window and a door.
  • Between a window and another window.

Windows and doors present entrance/exit for air. Between a window and a door, there will likely be a small but significant airflow that will help disperse the moisturized air from a humidifier throughout a room.

Here is another example of how where should you place a humidifier to increase the even distribution of higher relative humidity air:

2. Keep The Humidifier 2-4 Feet Off The Ground (Place It On A Table)

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t put a humidifier directly on the floor or too close to the ceiling. You want to find that sweet spot 2-4 feet of the ground and at least 4 feet below the ceiling (especially in case of high capacity 500+ ml/h cold mist humidifiers.

Here is why putting a humidifier on the floor is a bad idea:

  1. You will get less airflow on the floor. Down there, the air is usually stale and moves around less than 2-4 feet of the ground. This will increase the likelihood of uneven humidity distribution.
    where to place a humidifier (1)
    You can refill the humidifier on the floor, but never position it on the floor when running.
  2. Spillage on the floor. Humidifiers are prone to spilling water and leaking. To prevent damaging your floor, you should keep a humidifier elevated off the floor.
  3. Pets or kids can easily knock the humidifier over if it’s placed on the floor. Of course, cats are known to knock down stuff from tables as well; that’s just their nature.

Now, it’s also not the smartest move to place a humidifier close to the ceiling. This is true in any case; whether you’re trying to figure out where to put a humidifier in your bedroom or where to place a humidifier in the living room.

That’s because most humidifiers expel the moisturized air at the top. If that water-rich air is to reach the ceiling unimpeded, you will have to worry about the ceiling paint breaking apart, or even worse, about mold.

It is not all that uncommon to see the black mold on the ceiling above a humidifier that’s elevated 5+ feet of the ground.

The best elevation for a humidifier is between 2 and 4 feet. That’s where it will get sufficient airflow, won’t damage the floor, is less likely to be knocked over, and is still positioned enough away from the ceiling not to cause ceiling paint damage or spur mold infestation.

That means that you should place a humidifier on a table (either low 2 feet or high 4 feet table) in the middle of the room.

Of course, due to potential leakage, it’s always advisable to put a humidifier on a towel.

3. Place A Humidifier Near Heaters (Places With The Lowest Relative Humidity Levels)

Even when you don’t use a humidifier, some spaces in your room or house have lower relative humidity levels than the rest of the room.

Example: Areas near heating sources (near heaters) usually have lower relative humidity in the winter (let’s say 30%). While the room may still have an average of 40% relative humidity levels, you should start by increasing the moisture levels where there are the lowest.

A lot of times, it makes sense to place a humidifier near a room heater. This may be a space heater, baseboard heaters, or even a mini-split heat pump air handler or heating vents. Those spaces are known for three things:

  • Higher air temperature. Due to higher temperatures, the air feels especially dry.
  • Lower relative humidity levels. Heated air can usually retain less moisture.
  • Good airflow due to warm air rising to the ceiling.

As we can see, we need to increase the humidity levels near these heating sources. On top of that, due to warm air rising, placing a humidifier near a heating source will ensure ample airflow.

That means that the humidifier will first moisturize the air that needs moisture the most, and that humidified air will be easily propelled throughout a room due to heated-air-rising airflow. That will ensure a more even distribution of moisture generated by the humidifier.

4. Don’t Put A Humidifier In A Corner (Bedroom Humidifier Placement Mistake)

Placing a humidifier in a corner is a no-no. That’s because of two main reasons:

  • Corners get a minimal amount of airflow. A humidifier in a corner will moisture your air very unevenly.
  • Corners usually already have higher-than-average relative indoor humidity levels. Example: That’s why you will first see mold growth (including black mold growth) in the corners.

As a general rule, you should place a humidifier as close to the center of the room as possible. That’s easily manageable when you’re putting a humidifier in a living room.

What about bedrooms? Where should you place a humidifier in a bedroom?

In a bedroom, the ‘corners are a no-no’ rule is the most evident. We can’t put a humidifier in the middle of the bedroom; that’s where the bed is. On one size, there usually are closets, and on the other side of the bedroom, we have two corners.

That’s why many homeowners think that it would be great if you could use that bedroom corner and fill it up with a humidifier. That’s not the best humidifier placement for a bedroom.

In a bedroom, you should put smaller humidifiers on a nightstand and bigger humidifiers for large rooms on a table or even a chair. Make sure that the distance between you and the humidifier is at least 3 feet; you might need to move a nightstand a bit away from the bed.

You can check a list of the best humidifier for bedrooms here.

5. Put A Humidifier Near Plants (They Usually Need Additional Moisture)

According to Dr. Leonard Perry from University Of Vermont, “houseplants do best at a relative humidity of 70 to 80 percent, a level that is often difficult to maintain in the home.”

Pretty much any house plan will welcome the vicinity of a humidifier. Putting a humidifier close to house plants is the most obvious rule for positioning a humidifier.

That’s true especially in the winter when the humidity can fall below 40% quite often.

Now, you might be thinking, ‘Hey, I have a humidifier, what difference does it make, if I put it near the plants or not? The humidity levels should be the same throughout the room’.

Quite a big difference, actually. Humidifiers don’t provide an even distribution of moisture in most cases. For example, an air conditioner will be able to create an even distribution of temperature (let’s say from 68°F to 72°F). An average room humidifier will ensure that the moisture levels are from 50% to 80%; that’s quite a substantial range.

We want that higher 80% of indoor relative humidity levels to be where the plants are, right? The easiest way of achieving that is by placing a humidifier near the plants.

6. Don’t Put A Humidifier Near Electronic Devices (Electricity And Water Don’t Mix Well)

We all know that water can damage electronic devices. Imagine suspending an iPhone in very close vicinity of a humidifier; the moisture would sip through all the iPhone jacks and eventually damage or even completely ruin the phone.

where to place a humidifier in a room
Most humidifier expel the moisture from the top. Be careful not to put any electronic device near the top of the humidifier.

The same is true for laptops, radios, stereos, Alexas, etc. Be careful that you don’t expose the expensive electronics to the higher-than-average moisture levels in the immediate vicinity of a humidifier.

When positioning a humidifier, also make sure that the moisture stream (either cold mist or warm mist) doesn’t blow into a laptop, desktop, phone, and so on. That moisture stream usually has 100% relative humidity levels and it will be able to damage any electronic device if you expose it to the stream long enough.

Be also aware of electric devices as well. Outlets and multi-outlet extension cords shouldn’t be near a humidifier. Standard outlets are usually elevated from the floor and flooding won’t cause an immediate problem there.

The multi-outlet extension cords are another matter; if you place a humidifier above an extension cord, the moisture (or leakage water) can drip into the outlet extension cords and damage your equipment.

7. Always Try To Put A Humidifier In The Center Of The Room

If you want for the whole room to get as even distributed of air moisture as possible, try to put it at the dead center of the room.

Putting a humidifier next to a wall is a bad idea. The column of moisture coming from the humidifier might damage your wall (wall paint and water don’t mix).

Putting a humidifier in the center of the room will ensure ample airflow and adequate distribution of relative humidity levels. This is especially true for the 360-degree moisture output humidifiers.

Bonus Tip: Move A Humidifier Around The Room

As we know, the biggest problem with positioning the humidifier is ensuring the even distribution of humidity. You can maximize this distribution if you keep the humidifier elevated, close to the center of the room, and so on.

You can maximize the efficacy of the humidifier even further if you move the humidifier around. Yes, you will have to unplug and plug the humidifier when moving it around, but you can increase the evenness of moisture levels tremendously if you reposition the humidifier every few hours or so.

If you feel there is a place in a room that still feels dry, just move the humidifier there, and let it do its magic.

Hopefully, now you can use the humidifier to its full extent by knowing how to correctly position it in your home.

5 thoughts on “Where To Put Humidifier? (7 Golden ‘Best Place’ Rules + Bonus Tip)”

  1. I have cathedral ceiling in my bedroom. the heat register is about 8 feet up the wall. I have a Levoit Classic 300S unit 60″ up on a bureau, about 4 feet from, my bed. Though I keep the temp at 65, with the door closed in my bedroom, it’s at least 5 degrees warmer than the rest of the place. Is this an optimal location.

    The other spot would be on a snack table next to my be, which is against the wall, like most beds are.

    WHICH IS BETTER?

    Thank youi.

    Reply
    • Hi Artesssa, your current air purifier position is perfect. You have it elevated, more than 2 feet from the bed. That snack table is against the wall which may present a bit of an obstacle for optimum air purifier operation. Just leave it as you currently have it; its a great position.

      Reply
  2. Hi
    I purchased a Vornado EVDC300 energy-smart evaporative humidifier that claims to cover up to 750 sq feet. I have a large 1 bedroom apartment that may be 800 or 850 sq feet. Do you suggest I place this evaporative humidifier on my coffee table in my living room? The kitchen island would seem too high of a counter to place it on. My sofa is nearly 9 feet away from the television and electronics and the coffee table is 22 inches away from the sofa. It seems the bedroom being a smaller room would not be the best place for this medium size humidifier and with the evaporative humidifier on the coffee table in the living room may be able to still keep my whole apartment a comfortable humidity especially while sleeping in my bedroom and to lessen my cough during the dry cold winter weather. I plan to use only room temperature distilled water for the evaporative humidifier to prolong the life of the filters. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Jeffrey, the coffee table in the living room would be a suitable position for the Vornado humidifier. Usually, the living room is close to the center of the apartment, and will offer an adequate distribution of the higher relative humidity air throughout the flat. Hope this helps.

      Reply

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