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The Lasko space heater will make you think outside the box.

Humidifiers and Space Heaters That Think Outside the Box

Small appliances that not only turn heads but also perform impressively

With temperatures dropping, indoor air is getting cooler and dryer. Unfortunately, many of the space heaters and humidifiers we depend on to combat cold, dry air are boxy and unattractive. Recently, however, manufacturers of these small appliances have been making models that are easier on the eyes, even whimsical, and that perform so well they deserve a prominent space in your family room or bedroom. Take a look at these two space heaters and three humidifiers.

1
Dyson AM09
Dyson AM09

    Dyson AM09

    Our top-rated space heater, the Dyson AM09, echoes Dyson’s design of stylish room fans that are far from boxy. The Dyson aced our tests for both heating a room and directly heating a person (spot heating). It has some nice safety and convenience features, including a timer, a remote control, and a tip-over switch. The space heater oscillates, but the fan can be a little noisy.

    2
    Lasko Designer Series 6435
    Lasko Designer Series 6435

      Lasko Designer Series 6435

      It could be mistaken for a Grecian urn and will blend in with your décor. The Lasko Designer Series space heater is excellent at room heating and very good at bathing a person in direct heat. Despite its high style, the heater is simple to operate and pretty quiet, too. It rests in a metal stand, oscillates, and can be turned on and off with a remote.

      3
      Air Innovations MH-701B
      Air Innovations MH-701B

        Air Innovations MH-701B

        This humidifier resembles a smokestack, and there’s a reason for that. You can use it with or without a 15-inch nozzle that extends the reach of the mist. In our tests output was excellent, and it's super-quiet and energy efficient. The manufacturer claims it will run for 96 hours on its lowest setting before it needs refilling. Like all humidifiers, you have to clean it regularly.

        4
        Crane Owl
        Crane Owl

          Crane Owl

          At $40, the Crane Owl has been one of our Best Buys for years. The humidifier also comes in other cute creature shapes. Output is top-notch, it’s quiet enough for a child’s room, and it's an energy miser. Despite its looks, it’s a pretty basic machine and shuts off when the tank is empty.

          5
          Crane EE-5303
          Crane EE-5303

            Crane EE-5303

            This Crane humidifier, which is intended for large rooms (500 to 999 square feet), missed our list of picks, but we’re calling it out for its teardrop shape. Output is only middling, but it’s quiet and energy efficient. A metal stand lifts it off the floor, and it can run for 36 hours on one tank of water. The smaller Crane Drop is one of our picks and is recommended for rooms up to 299 square feet.

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            Mary H.J. Farrell

            Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.