Safe Humidifiers for Children

 Safe Humidifiers for KidsWe've been keeping our eyes open for a warm mist humidifier made without polycarbonate plastic for quite a while and we kept coming back empty-handed.  Safe Mama reported that her search had been unsuccessful too.

Last week our kids passed around a heavy duty cold, so I dug out our old standby Vicks humidifier.  I decided to check out the type of plastic used just in case it was made with safer plastic by some off chance.  I was surprised to find the recycling code #2 (HDPE) on the white base  and #5 (polypropylene) on the blue outer and black inner pieces.  All this time I had a great option sitting in my linen closet and didn't even know it!

You can find the Vicks Warm Steam Humidifier for about $16.00.   There appears to be several other brands with options like Vicks, so we'll be checking into them and publishing a full list of BPA-free humidifiers soon.

Vicks Warm Mist Vaporizer

If you're looking for a cool mist humidifier, we confirmed that all Crane  humidifiers are BPA, PVC and phthalate-free.

Crane Adorable Humidifiers

The PureGuardian Ultrasonic Humidifier is BPA, PVC and phthalate-free (keep in mind that all humidifiers have a PVC wrapped cord).


  1. When both of my kids had the H1N1 (or so they say) and myself and daughter ended up with upper resp. infections the doc. suggested using a cool mist. I like the cute froggy one and might have to give it a whirl. Who would have known you had a safe solution in your closet! Good to know! Hope everyone is feeling better.

    1. I actually have the Crane froggy humidifier and am so happy to know it is BPA-free! I had never even thought about the humidifier as being a source of BPA exposure! Yikes! Anyway, I like it because it doesn’t require a filter, is totally silent and you can dial the amount of moisture you want up and down to fit the needs of your particular room. Our hard water has caused some build up, but it still works well.

    2. Yes! Would like to know if any BPA free WARM mist humifiers exsist. The Dr told you to use cool mist? I would have thought warm mist would be the one to use.

  2. I have the green frog for my daughter and it is great. Quieter than the one in my bedroom and you can adjust the level of mist greatly. Glad to know it is BPA free!

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention Ask TSL: Can You Recommend a Safe Humidifier for My Children? | The Soft Landing Blog --
  4. Ugh! I never thought about the humidifier as an exposure source! We just bought an Air-O-Swiss Ultrasonic, so I’m eager to hear what you learn. Thanks for all your work!

  5. We had the froggie humidifier with my daughter and it’s great if you don’t have hard water or possibly if you clean it every day. Being sleep deprived, I didn’t keep up with cleaning it after each day it after a month the mineral deposits rendered it useless. I tried cleaning it with vinegar at that point but it was too late, couldn’t get the deposits off enough for it to work again. Great product, just need to keep up with cleaning it if you have hard water.

  6. Thanks for this post! I've been wondering about this myself as we keep trading colds around our family this past month. Just purchased the cute elephant humidifier you mentioned.

      1. message from Crane

        Hello All, please note that all Crane humidifiers do not contain lead. The Prop 65 warning was incorrectly displayed and was removed later on. 

              1. I can detect when something is toxic with my ultra-sensitive nose.
                The Vicks warm air vaporizer was always surprisingly safe – no fumes detected. However, recently I tried purchasing one three different times and each time it smelled of burnt plastic once I plugged it in. Any suggestions for a warm air vaporizer that does not outgas or smell of burnt plastic?

  7. Thanks for the quick review of the Crane humidifier, macten! I've had quite a few questions about that since writing this article and didn't have an answer for them (I don't own one myself).

  8. I have to admit that finding a BPA/PVC-free humidifier wasn't the highest priority on my list of toxic plastics to avoid. But it sure is nice to know there are safe options out there!

      1. Hi Boo,

        We just heard back from Germ Guardian and the Digital H-3010 is BPA-free! The housing and water tank are made from ABS, not polycarbonate – so you’re good to go!

        We also found out that the only PVC (and thus phthalates) is in the electrical cord.

  9. Vicks 1.5 Gallon Vaporizer is the best value for money can buy. It just requires a bit of patience when cleaning it. The more often you clean it, the faster the deposits dissolve.

  10. I am also interested because I just purchased the Air-O-Swiss but have not yet set it up.
    I'll wait until I find out more information before I use it. Thanks, Teresa

  11. Awesome blog. It's fantastic to see that people are being educated about BPA's and PVC in products that are being retailed to our children. We have been very careful avoiding these products. Having a scientific background it's second nature for me to check out things thoroughly, as do you do here. Keep up the good work.

  12. Thanks so much, Lisa! It's really great to meet you and I'll look forward to connecting with you again.

    BTW, love your website – my nephews have learned how to sign, and it's just amazing to see them communicate without even being able to speak!

  13. I contacted Air-O-Swiss and they told me that all of their humidifers have always been bpa and pvc free!! They make a great product with warm air option, filter and ionic stick to keep the water clean

  14. I just bought an Idylis BPA free humidifier. It doesn't say if it's PVC free though. I knew to look for a BPA free model because of this post. Thanks Alicia!

    1. I’m curious if the water tank itself is BPA-free on the Idylis. Based on the marketing materials, I understand that the WATER PITCHER used to transfer water from sink to unit is BPA-free, but it the TANK BPA-free, as well?

  15. I just went to bed bath and beyond to get the Crane humidifier and there a is a prop 65 warning on them – “this product will expose you to lead”


  16. Hi there, I’m just wondering if you contacted CRANE when finding out about their animal humidifiers? I just got a CRANE humidifier to review and was really bummed to see the plastic #7 sign on the tank! I know that doesn’t necessarily mean BPA.

  17. Did you say all humidifiers have a PVC wrapped cord or just the GermGuardian?

    all humidifiers have a PVC wrapped cord
    GermGuardian H3010 Digital Ultrasonic Humidifier

  18. We purchased and used the Crane humidifier 3+ years ago for my son’s nursery. It was great. Unfortunately I didn’t store it correctly, and mold developed. Recently purchased a replacement, and it smelled very badly like mothballs. I returned it and bought another one, which didn’t smell as strongly. BUT it DOES have a faint smell, especially when on. I’d rather not be spewing chemicals into his room all night…

  19. Shelby – California’s infamous Prop 65 is a really tricky thing and one we’re definitely not experts on. We do know that it’s a law that requires warning labels to be affixed to any product that might possibly contain chemicals the state has determined may “cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.” The concept is a good one, but it’s a nightmare in reality. So if there’s a piece of metal, like stainless steel, in the humidifier, the label is required because it may contain chromium. The problem is that chromium is an integral part of the stainless steel itself. So you really have to do your homework and decide if it’s worth avoiding or not. Sorry we couldn’t be of more help!

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