This Thing Rules

This magic humidifier saved my sinuses, skin, and plants

It turns out plant daddy likes it moist. Plant children seem to, too.

Sure, there are worse things than dry skin, wilting plants, and the occasional nosebleed after an over-enthusiastic blow on a winter’s morning. But not many. Thankfully, there’s a readily-available solution that won’t only ameliorate these worries, but can reduce your odds of getting a cold, treat your allergies, and ease your asthma. I’m talking, of course, about a humidifier. But as anyone who’s shopped for one will know, not all humidifiers are created equal.

When choosing a plug-in mist-maker for your abode, you want to consider a few things: how big is the water tank? Does it leak? Are there annoying filters that require maintenance? Does it make a noise? How much does it cost? And is it attractive enough to leave on display?

Lucky bamboo sold separately.Craig Wilson / Input

The Everlasting Comfort 6L Humidifier (or ECH, as I’m now calling it) hits all of the marks with the precision of a Broadway lead. First up, the only maintenance required is filling it with water and the screw-on cap for the tank has a rubber seal so there’s no leakage. It’ll shut off when it runs out and alert you via a red LED above its on/off/enthusiasm dial. Second, because it takes 1.6 gallons (or 6L, as per the name), on a low setting it’ll last two days between refills.

Then there’s the sound. Or, rather, the lack thereof. The ECH is like a whisper in a rainforest: moist and inaudible. Seriously, thank heavens mist streams out of the top the moment you turn the dial or you’d never know it’s on. There are no filters to worry about, you can fill it with tap water, and if you’re the sort who likes essential oils, well, there’s a convenient tray for those, too. Namaste.

In the promotional materials for the ECH, one image shows it centered on a coffee table in a stylish apartment replete with candles and an artificial fireplace, cord nowhere to be seen as though this nostril-lining soother is cordless (it isn’t). Now look, it’s definitely not an ugly device, but I wouldn’t go so far as to make it a focal point of my home. Your mileage — and aesthetic sensibilities — may, naturally, vary.

You’re going to want to keep the ECH away from your TV or other electronics — it does, after all, emit vaporized water — but with its sufficiently pleasant design, you won’t feel compelled to hide it when you have visitors. If anything, you’ll probably want it somewhere they’ll notice it so that you can enthuse about it. Because enthuse, you will.

Crank the dial all the way up and you can look forward to 9 oz (270ml) of cool-to-the-touch, fine as baby powder, airborne H2O per hour. Is that a lot? I don’t know. For a rainforest, probably not. For a plant-filled, centrally heated, regular-sized Brooklyn apartment, it feels generous.

I’ve tended to point the dial to around two o’clock (where 11 is maximum output and noon is off) and forget about it for a couple of days at a time. Do the plants love it as much as I do? It’s hard to tell. They appear to be thriving, and as the mass grave of houseplants I’ve stocked in my time would attest if it could, I’m no horticulturist. So I’m taking that to mean my plant friends at least don’t hate their new, ebullient companion. I’m chalking it up as a win.

One button, one dial, zero leaks.Craig Wilson / Input

My ECH lives in my living room, but there’s a built-in, toggleable, blue LED that both illuminates the water-level window and serves as a nightlight, so if you put it in a bedroom you’re unlikely to kick it over. Which is just one more reason to love it. The final one — in case you need it — might be the price. At less than $60 and with a two-year guarantee Amazon comments suggest is fiercely honored, it’s a low-commitment, high-reward purchase.

In a matter of weeks my humidifier has already paid itself off thanks to the body lotion and plug-like twists of blood-stifling tissue it’s saved me. Cider, laptops, and humor may be best dry. But most other things benefit from a bit of moisture.