Ultrasonic vs Evaporative Humidifier: 7 Best Differentiating Factors Listed

Ultrasonic vs Evaporative Humidifier: It’s that time of the year when you bring out your blankets and warm clothes. Your skin and lips are probably getting dry, making you feel uncomfortable. So, what can be more suitable than a humidifier to get rid of this problem and keep yourself cozy during the winter?

Now, you might be wondering which one you should go for. An ultrasonic humidifier or an evaporative one? We will discuss some of the essential aspects and features of these two while helping you determine your household’s best choice! Let’s get going with Ultrasonic vs Evaporative Humidifier debate.

ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier
Ultrasonic vs Evaporative Humidifier: Key Differences Only

What is an Ultrasonic Humidifier?

An ultrasonic humidifier consists of two ceramic plates that vibrate at a very high frequency. It uses that vibration to drive evaporated water into the air. Those ultra-fine water droplets increase the moisture in the air while keeping the room warm and comfortable. Ultrasonic humidifiers are basically “cool mist” humidifiers since they do not heat water during the process. Honestly speaking in this ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier battle, the former has a slight edge over the latter.



What is an Evaporative Humidifier?

Instead of two ceramic plates like the ultrasonic humidifier, the inner part of an evaporative humidifier has a wicking filter and fan. It draws water and uses the fan to blow cold air through the wicking filter for evaporation

The process is completed inside the humidifier, which keeps all the different substances inside the tank, providing a mist of fine water droplets in the air.



Ultrasonic vs Evaporative Humidifier: 7 Key Differences Discussed

To determine the perfect choice for you, we need to checklist and discuss some of the critical factors. Both of these portable humidifiers do a decent job of adding moisture to your room. However, the way they operate and the impression they leave are quite different.

Let’s have a look at 7 of these various differentiating factors of ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier one by one.


Ultrasonic humidifiers are portable and mostly come in a teardrop shape. There are several other designs available in the market as well. Some of them consist of a fillable tank inside them, where some are small enough to fit inside a glass. 

These days, ultrasonic humidifiers come with USB power cable, LED displays, and clocks along with color-changing LED night lights. Overall, ultrasonic humidifiers look pretty cool, and they can be a great decorative addition to your room.

On the other hand, evaporative humidifiers are bigger and quite basic in design. However, the pedestal units have quite an attractive build design, but they are oversized and heavier in design. 

For the portable ones, you can check out Yescom or Honeywell products since they also care about their products’ appearance. You might find an elegant one with good aesthetic value for your home.

Winner: Ultrasonic Humidifiers


Size is an essential factor to consider. However, for both units, it is not much of a problem. Ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers are usually portable in size. Since they are mostly single-room humidifiers, you can easily carry them around from one room to another.

Although, there are even smaller versions available for ultrasonic humidifiers. They have a more straightforward design, and the mini versions are relatively cost-effective as well. 

If you’re short on space, an ultrasonic one can be ideal for you. But if you want to cover a considerable area or an entire house, there’s no match for the pedestal evaporative humidifiers. They are relatively bigger, and there’s no need to move them around either.

Winner: Evaporative Humidifiers

Noise Level

This is one of the most important factors to be considered. No one loves noise during a pleasant conversation or during sleep. In that case, ultrasonic humidifiers are highly efficient for everyone. 

People who are sensitive to noise can rest assured with this one. Since the ultrasonic humidifiers operate with high-frequency vibrations, there is no question of noise to begin with. The sound they actually emit is barely audible, which is quite pleasant to the ears and might actually help you fall asleep.

On the other hand, we have the evaporative humidifiers with their operating fans. Well, when you have fans to operate, noise is inevitable. It’s quite louder in comparison, and some people will find it quite irritating. 

Based on the noise level, ultrasonic humidifiers are the clear winners here. However, if you want to use the humidifier in your living room or you have a large bedroom space, the noise won’t be an issue after all.

[NOTE: Remember to clean them frequently. If humidifiers are not maintained regularly, any of them can create disturbing sounds after a certain period.]

Winner: Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Safety Factor

Safety is a major concern. But with both of these humidifiers, you don’t have to worry about that. Compared to other humidifiers like a warm mist one, these two are considered a much more suitable option if you have pets and kids at home. That’s why we have decided to add it in this ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier debate article.

Since ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers don’t use heat to create mist, the surface doesn’t get hot. There’s no burn risk, and you easily place them anywhere without having to worry about safety. However, since these two don’t boil the water, there are chances of bacteria contamination. Let’s cover that in the next part.

Winner: Both


Humidifiers are appliances that require frequent maintenance. For an ultrasonic humidifier, you have to make sure it’s cleaned and well maintained. If your area has a hard water supply, put more effort into maintenance; otherwise, it may cause bacteria and mold to grow. 

Apart from this, there’s no replacement hassle, unlike an evaporative humidifier. Although, if you get an ultrasonic humidifier with ceramic cartridges, those might require replacement that’s less frequent.

For the evaporative humidifiers, you have to maintain and clean regularly and replace the filter once in a while. You can also clean the wick filter. However, maintaining an evaporative humidifier is quite simple and easy. 

On the other hand, some of the ultrasonic humidifiers come with modern technology, and you might require a technician to handle if anything serious goes down, which means more money!

Winner: Ultrasonic Humidifier

Mineral Accumulation

While operating, ultrasonic humidifiers leave dust behind. While using an ultrasonic humidifier for a long period, you will find gray dust all around the room. Since they don’t have a filter to absorb the mineral deposits, they discharge more dust than an evaporative humidifier. Those mineral deposits eventually land on furniture and electronics in the room.

There’s no way you can eliminate this gray/white dust. The more you water the humidifier, the more dust you’ll get. It’s the consideration you have to make while choosing an ultrasonic humidifier. However, some models come with ceramic cartridges. They are refreshable and quite effective.

As for the evaporative humidifiers, they are quite effective in this aspect. The filter function is to trap mineral scale that reduces the grey/white dust accumulating in your room. This can be a great choice if anyone in your family has allergies or asthma. However, evaporative humidifiers require high maintenance.

[NOTE: If you don’t want to deal with high maintenance, just use demineralized water for the ultrasonic humidifiers. However, it’s quite costly]

Winner: Evaporative Humidifier


In the end, comes the money factor. However, it’s not that simple either. You have to decide here if you want to pay more upfront or pay less first and then invest later for a replacement. Ultrasonic humidifiers are generally more expensive than evaporative humidifiers

However, the maintenance cost is comparatively less for this one. If there is a major issue with your ultrasonic humidifier and you might require a technician, it might cost you money. Apart from that, it also consumes less electricity. So, if you’re looking to buy more than one, it would save you a good amount in the long run.

Evaporative humidifiers cost quite less when you pay upfront. Then comes the replacement cost that’s kind of recurring. Since evaporative humidifiers come with replaceable wicker filters, you might have to buy them once in a while, even after regular cleaning. Eventually, the overall cost will reach the ultrasonic ones’.

Now, remember, the initial price of a humidifier will generally depend on its brand, size, and features.

Winner: Ultrasonic Humidifier

The Verdict: Which One to Choose?

Both ultrasonic and evaporative humidifiers have their perks and drawbacks. They are both quite effective in making you feel comfortable and warm during winter. Now, the main difference comes in the aspect of money and operation in this ultrasonic vs evaporative humidifier debate.

If you are willing to pay a good amount upfront, definitely go for an ultrasonic humidifier. It looks good, has a noiseless operation, and saves you recurring money. All you have to consider is the grey dust! 

On the other hand, if you can put up with the noise and won’t mind paying for filters later, go for the evaporative one. It has a low upfront cost, less dust accumulation, and quite suitable for larger rooms.

It’s up to you to determine your preferences and go for the one that suits your need the best. Have a comfy and pleasant winter with the humidifier of your choice! 

Leave a Comment