Can You Humidify a Room with Bowls of Water?

Sometimes, you do not need to run the humidifier if you just want to raise the humidity slightly, say, from 45 to 50%.

If your Pure Enrichment humidifier has failed, and you cannot order a new one right away, you might try a DIY method to raise the indoor humidity level.

So, can you humidify a room with a bowl of water? Placing a shallow, wide bowl of water in the center of the room raises the humidity level. The bowl should be large enough, depending on the size of the room, or you can use several of them.

In another article, we looked at ways to humidify a room naturally. Using a bowl of water is one of the ways. So yes, it is possible to increase the moisture content of the air without using a humidifier.

How many bowls of water do you need to raise the humidity?

Image of can a bowl of water act as a humidifier

First, you need to know how much you need to raise the humidity in your room. For this, you should use a hygrometer. It measures the level of relative humidity indoors accurately.

If you need to raise the humidity level a great deal, you can use several bowls of water in a room, at different points. More bowls of water are going to raise the moisture content in the air faster.

You can also place the bowls around the perimeter of the room. To increase humidity, the water in the pans has to evaporate.

Evaporation is the loss of moisture to the drier surroundings in the form of water vapor. In this case, the water evaporates from the bowls into the surrounding air.

If the indoor air is too dry, and you need to raise the moisture level faster, you can try to enhance the evaporation process. You can do this by placing a bowl close to the heating vents.

If you have hot water, you can pour it into the bowl and place it in the room where you want to raise the moisture level. As the steam evaporates, the humidity level is going to rise. This will do a faster job than using cold water.

The best placement for a water bowl to increase humidity

Image of best position to increase humidity

If you have high humidity outside, you could open the windows so that the humid air can flow in and help to raise the indoor air moisture level.

However, most of the time, the air outside your home will be drier than what you have indoors. Keep the windows closed so that the dry air stays outside.

If you have a window that faces the sunshine, you can place the bowl of water on or close to the window. The heat from the sun will make the water evaporate faster.

At best, using this method of raising humidity in the room is slow, but it works. The important thing is to increase the rate of evaporation.

Shallow vs deep bowl for increasing humidity

The best thing here is to use a shallow bowl so that the water can evaporate faster. It is already a slow process to raise the humidity level in your indoor air. However, it can become even slower if you use a deep bowl.

Make the bowl wide and shallow. That way, most of the water is in contact with the drier air, thus increasing the rate of evaporation. A couple of hours later, you will feel the change in the quality of the air in the room.

Long story short, a shallow and wider bowl will raise the humidity level easily, while a deep bowl will take longer.

Raising the indoor temperature can also help

Image of how to humidify a room with a bowl of water

Several times in this blog, we have mentioned how warm air holds more moisture than cold air. There is a close relationship between temperature and humidity.

If the air is too dry indoors, you can use a bowl with water. To make the evaporation faster, turn on the heater. In summer, it is warmer, so the air holds more moisture. That’s why the humidity is always high.

Keep checking the humidity level using a hygrometer. Do not let it exceed 50%. If it gets to 60%, mold colonies can start developing. You can develop signs of mold toxicity if you are exposed to mold.

Using a bowl of water as a humidifier: FAQ

If you are still not sure about the effectiveness of using a bowl of water to humidify a room, here are a few frequently asked questions with more information:

Does putting a bowl of water humidify a room?

Use a wide and shallow bowl or pan as opposed to a regular bowl. That way, more of the water will be in contact with the air. It will evaporate faster, increasing humidity faster.

Will a pan of water humidify a room?

A shallow, wide pan is better at raising the humidity in a room than a deep bowl. Air is in contact with all the water, so it starts evaporating faster. The only problem is that on hot days, you might have to refill the pan more often.

How do you make a homemade humidifier?

Find a black vase and fill it to about 1/3 with water. Place it on the window sill facing the sun. The black color retains heat, so it gets hotter faster. As the water evaporates, the humidity in the room starts to rise.

Best humidifiers to raise humidity safely

If DIY is not your thing, you might just want to buy a humidifier that comes with a humidistat so that it turns on and off automatically depending on the humidity level.

Here are a few humidifiers you might want to buy:


Notable Features


GENIANI Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier

It is a 2-in-1 appliance consisting of humidifier for humidity and diffuser for essential oil therapy

Has smart mode, which is an integrated sensor to turn the unit on

Auto-off function turns humidifier off

Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Has a tank of 6 liters, which can run for 50 hours without needing a refill.

It has a tray for essential oils

The noise level is less than 30dB

It has a space rating of 500 square feet

AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier

It is good for small rooms because it has a 2.2-liter tank size.

The nozzle rotates 360-degrees to spread cool mist evenly

It has automatic shut-off so it switches off automatically

It does not have filters, is very silent

Covered by a lifetime warranty

Honeywell HWM-705B Warm Moisture Humidifier

It is small and filter-free with a 1-gallon tank that can run 24 hours without a refill

It has an essential oil cup for your aromatherapy

Auto shut-off function - the humidifier practically runs itself releasing warm mist

It has a simple, yet effective handle design with the handle located at the top


Can a bowl of water act as a humidifier and be effective at increasing the level of humidity in your room? It is a slow process, so you have to be patient.

If the air is too dry, and you need to raise the moisture level fast, get a humidifier. You can order the Everlasting Comfort Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier on