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Best Hygrometer in Canada – Reviews & Buying Guide

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We bought and tested 7 of the highest rated humidity sensors available in Canada (and 4 poorly rated options) to evaluate their accuracy, data logging, reporting and connectivity and let you know which is best for each use case.

Our current pick for the best overall humidity sensor is the ThermoPro TP-50, thanks to its high degree of accuracy, overwhelming positive reviews and great price. 

However, according to reviews, seemingly all – even the highest rated consumer-grade sensors have a noticeable ‘lemon rate’. This is likely due in part to some not understanding how hygrometers need time to adjust and be calibrated, but also faulty sensors as a result of cheap manufacturing. 

The main brands – AcuRite, ThermoPro and La Crosse all provide replacements, but be prepared to spend the time returning it and requesting a new one.

For background information, see our comparison table and buying advice. Once you know the humidity level in your home, be sure to check out our recommendations for the Best Warm Mist Humidifiers, the Best Dehumidifiers, and the Best Air Purifiers.

Here are our other picks:

Best hygrometers

Hygrometer criteria

Every pick on this list is:

  • Rated 4+ stars
  • Accuracy of at least ±5% (for all but the mechanical option)
  • Displays humidity and temperature in °F and °C

Our research

10

Research Sources

12

Products Evaluated

120k

Reviews Considered

20

Hours of Research

Best humidity sensor comparison

ThermoPro TP-50ThermoPro TP-49SensorPush Wireless HygrometerAcuRite 01083MLa Crosse Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer/ HumidityThermoPro TP-60SCigar Oasis Caliber IV
Best forOverallBudgetSmartCalibratableMechanicalIndoor/OutdoorHumidor
Hygrometer typeElectrical (Resistive)Electrical (Resistive)ElectricalElectricalMechanicalElectrical (Resistive)Electrical
Accuracy – RH±2%±2-3%, 30% to 80%20% – 80%: ±3% typical ±4.5% maximum±2%±10%+±2%±1%
Accuracy Range10% to 99%10% to 99%0 to 100%1% to 99%0 to 100%10% to 99%20% to 90%
Temperature range (°C)-50 to 70-50 to 70-40 to 60-20 to 70-40 to 50-20 to 700 to 50
Response time (sec.)101060103010
Power source1 AAA (incl.)1 AAA (incl.)CR24772 AAA (incl.)No4 AAA (incl.)1 CR2032 (incl.)
Data logging24hr/all min/maxNo20 days24hr min/maxNo24hr/all min/max3 day high/low
Calibratable?NoNoYesYes“Yes”NoYes
Warranty (Years)121121
PlacementMagnet, standMagnet, stand, holeHoleMagnet, holeHoleStand, holeMagnetic mount
Total Reviews68,4844,1913,6924,718214,1683,049
Aggregate Rating4.54.64.54.554.24.5

Best overall – ThermoPro TP-50

  • Humidity accuracy (range): ±2% (30-80%), ±3% (10-30% and 80-99%)
  • Temperature range: -50°C to 70°C
  • Calibratable: No
  • Power: AAA (incl.)
  • Placement: Magnet, stand
  • Longevity: Battery has lasted 3 months and counting

With over 66,000 reviews and an accuracy of ±2-3% for less than $20, this unit is clearly the best home hygrometer available in Canada. It updates its readings every 10 seconds and keeps track of the maximum and minimum readings it has displayed so you can have an idea of the humidity levels while you’re away/sleeping. These records can be reset by holding the button on the back for 2 seconds.

Unfortunately, it is not calibratable so you’ll either have to remember how far off it is or contact ThermoPro for a replacement.

Best on a budget – ThermoPro TP-49

  • Humidity accuracy (range): ±2% (30-80%), ±3% (10-30% and 80-99%)
  • Temperature range: -50°C~70°C
  • Calibratable: No
  • Power: AAA (incl.)
  • Placement: Magnet, stand, hole

Save around $3 and get the exact same performance as the Best Overall TP-50. All you lose is the all time high and low records for temperature and humidity and the hole placement. The numbers may difficult to read for some as the screen is only 2” diagonally.

Also comes in white.

Best smart (bluetooth) – SensorPush Wireless Thermometer / Hygrometer

  • Humidity accuracy (range): ±3% typical ±4.5% (20-80%), ±4.5% typical ±7.5% maximum (0-20% and 80-100%)
  • Temperature range: -40°C to 60°C
  • Calibratable: Yes
  • Power: AAA (incl.)
  • Placement: Hole

If you want to monitor the humidity remotely – say inside a refrigerator, freezer, grow tent/room, greenhouse, guitar case, garage or wine cellar and get alerts while you’re sleeping, this is the solution for you.

The sensors have a 20 day memory on board so they’ll continue to record measurements while you’re away and send them to your phone once you return. 

The apps, which are rated well on both Google Play and App Store supports an unlimited number of additional sensors (this higher-end sensor also measures barometric pressure), so you can hook up an entire network of multiple rooms, projects, etc. if you’ve got a lot on the go. They require location permissions on Android in order to work, but they make it very clear that they do not read, store, use or sell your location data

You can calibrate the readings easily by simply doing a salt test and adjusting the sensor’s setting to 75% in the app.

They take CR2477 “watch batteries” which typically last over 2 years, but not as long in colder conditions.

It is important to note that like other “smart/remote” humidity meters, this device communicates via Bluetooth 4.0, not WiFi which means two things: 1. The absolute max range between the sensor and your phone is 100m and considerably less if there are obstructions/walls between the two. Though it is reportedly sufficient to cover an average-sized 2 storey house. 2. You have to be at home (within range) to get data from the sensor.

Note regarding WiFi: To be able to receive updates and alerts while away from home, you’ll need to also purchase the SensorPush G1 WiFi Gateway. We were unable to find any reputable, well-rated WiFi-connected hygrometers that did not require the purchase of a separate gateway device. 

The app shows charts of historical temperature and humidity on a minute-by-minute basis and alerts can be set if a reading is above or below a certain level. The app is also available in French.

Best calibratable – AcuRite 01083M

  • Humidity accuracy (range): ±2% (1% to 99%)
  • Temperature range: -20° to 70°C
  • Calibratable: Yes
  • Power: 2 AAA (incl.)
  • Placement: Magnet, hole

Pushing and holding the wrench, up and down arrow buttons at the same time for 5 seconds allows you to calibrate the temperature and/or humidity level to an accurate reading based on a salt test. It does not have a stand, but stands up reasonably well on a flat surface as long as it is not disturbed.

The screen displays maximum and minimum levels for humidity and temperature for both the past 24 hours and all-time. You can reset the high and low records separately by pressing and holding the up or down arrow, respectively.

Best mechanical – La Crosse Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer with Humidity Reader

  • Humidity tested accuracy: ±10%
  • Temperature range: -40°C to 50°C
  • Calibratable: “Yes”
  • Power: No
  • Placement: Hole

If you just want to get a basic idea of the temperature and humidity inside or outdoors at a glance without having to ever change batteries or deal with a faulty screen and are fine with the accuracy that is really only good enough to say whether it is “dry”, “damp” or “comfortable” outside, then this is the best option for you.

Best indoor/outdoor – ThermoPro TP60S

  • Humidity accuracy (range): ±2% (30-80%), ±3% (10-30% and 80-99%)
  • Temperature range: -20°C to 70°C
  • Calibratable: No
  • Power: 4 AAA (incl.)
  • Placement: Stand, hole

Provides the same performance as the Best Overall TP-50, but comes with an additional sensor that can be placed up to 60 m away such as in other rooms in the house such as a cellar, office, bedroom or baby room or outdoors (we placed ours in the mailbox) and reports the temperature and humidity in that location remotely which is displayed on the screen for easy comparison.

The biggest downside is that it only provides accurate readings down to -20°C, so it unfortunately isn’t much good during mid-winter in Canada.

Best calibratable for humidor – Cigar Oasis Caliber IV

  • Humidity accuracy (range): ±1% (40-80%), ±3% (20-40% & 80-90%)
  • Temperature range: 0-50°C
  • Calibratable: Yes
  • Power: CR2032 (incl.)
  • Placement: Magnetic mount

This hygrometer is highly accurate in the range of 40-80% RH, is recalibratable and provides current, 3 day high/low & average readings to give a really detailed and precise snapshot of the humidity level. While marketed towards those who enjoy and collect cigars, it can be used for any other indoor application.

We also tested the following options, which we wouldn’t recommend:

  • Enviracaire Honeywell Humidity Monitor (H10C) – while reasonably accurate, it stuck at a reading of 15% RH when the indoor humidity level dipped below 30%. A terrible deal at any price over $15.
  • La Crosse Indoor Comfort Monitor
  • La Crosse Humidity Meter
  • Taylor Indoor Thermometer with Humidity Meter

My wife and I recently purchased our first piece of original art to hang in our living room.

Part of our plan to protect it was to keep an eye on the temperature and humidity levels in the room as high humidity can cause mold and chemical damage and frequent, large fluctuations in relative humidity can cause curling/cracking. We needed to find a relatively accurate hygrometer which we found harder to do than expected.

How we tested

After scouring all major retailers in Canada and analyzing customer reviews, we purchased the highest rated digital, analog and smart options. We also bought a few dirt-cheap 3-star rated units for comparison purposes.

To test them, we placed them all side-by-side in our living room/kitchen which is centrally located in our home – away from any vents, windows and direct sunlight. 

We did 3 tests:

  1. Low humidity: Early morning before coffee was brewed and showers taken
  2. Average humidity: While making dinner, boiling water for tea & doing laundry
  3. High (75%) humidity: Calibrated each unit individually by performing the salt test

And recorded measurements for each device every 2 minutes for a 30 minute period and every 5 minutes for the 30 minutes after that.

Some reviewers report that the screen stops working after 2 to 3 months. We will continue testing these units and update this page if any die on us.

What is a hygrometer?

A hygrometer (or humidity sensor) is a small, inexpensive and easy-to-use device that measures Relative Humidity (RH) – the percentage of moisture currently in the air relative to the maximum amount that it can hold at that temperature. 

Temperature can change humidity since cold air can hold less mass of water per unit volume than hot air.

What to consider when looking for a humidity meter

Accuracy

Accuracy is not always clearly stated on product pages, and if it’s not easy to find, you can expect the accuracy to be worse than ±5% – typically ±10%.

Use case

How accurate you need your hygrometer to be depends on your use case: guitar cases, humidors, attics, basements and crawl spaces. For example, for leopard geckos, it should be within 35% ± 5% while for cigar humidors it should be 70% ±4% and storing cannabis 60% ±2%

All sensors are more accurate in mid-range humidities and less accurate as you approach extreme levels (0% and 100%). A typical device has a tolerance of ±4-5% when RH is in the range of 30 to 80%, better devices will extend that accuracy to the range of 10% to 90% and the best devices will provide <±3% accuracy.

For anything less than $15, expect accuracies of ±10%. For $15 to $30, you can expect the accuracy to be from ±5% up to ±3%. Devices that are ±1 to ±2% accurate and come with a calibration certificate cost hundreds of dollars and are typically only needed for sensitive commercial and industrial applications. These 

Response time

The response time to adjust to a new level of humidity and provide a stable reading can take anywhere from 5 minutes for a digital sensor to up to 6 hours for a mechanical meter.

Calibratability

Few devices have the ability to be manually calibrated after doing the salt test, but it’s very handy if they do so that you don’t have to adjust the reading in your head every time you look at the numbers on the display.

Power source and battery life

All of the electrical hygrometers on our list are battery powered and most devices use AAA which can be expected to last at least 6 months, but a couple use CR2477 “watch batteries” which should last at least 1 year. Some include the battery – though we recommend you get some better quality ones.

How does a hygrometer measure humidity?

Electrical

Electrical hygrometers require batteries (typically AAA) which should last at least 4 to 6 months or another source of power. They typically cost $15 to $60 and once calibrated, are reasonably accurate (±5%) in the mid to high RH range of 30% to 80%, and less so (±7%) outside that range. It typically only takes them a few minutes to respond to changes in humidity.

Capacitive

The most common device type, the internal capacitor’s ability to store an electrical charge changes proportionally with relative humidity. This cheap and small sensor performs well in a wide range of temperatures, uses less power, fully recovers from condensation and has response times of a few minutes. They are affected by drift, contamination and aging. Once calibrated, they are typically ±2% accurate for RH in the range of 5% to 95%.

Resistive

Resistive electrical hygrometers measure how hard it is for electricity to pass through a material that absorbs water from the air such as a salt, ceramic or polymer. Higher humidity makes it easier for electricity to pass through the material. It must be combined with a temperature sensor to work in order to calculate humidity.

They are less sensitive than capacitive sensors and so are typically more expensive for the same level of accuracy. The accuracy depends heavily on the material used, but can be up to ±3%.

Mechanical

The simplest and cheapest mechanical hygrometers are typically accurate enough (±5-10%) to answer (“Is it dry, comfortable or humid right now?”) once calibrated. They do not require a source of power and can usually be easily calibrated by physically moving the pointer. However, they can “stick” if the humidity does not change for a long period of time.

Dew point

At accuracies of up to ±1.2%, a dew point/chilled mirror is the most sensitive and precise type of hygrometer. It requires regular cleaning and calibration to maintain this level of accuracy. It consists of a metal mirror that is cooled at a constant temperature until moisture just starts to condense (the “dew point”).

Psychrometers

A psychrometer is a mechanical measures humidity using two thermometers: 

  • a dry bulb to determine the temperature in the air and 
  • A wet bulb to determine the temperature dipped in a liquid

The difference between the two temperatures is then used to find the relative humidity on a psychrometric chart. While very simple, cheap and long-lasting, the accuracy is ±3-6% RH – worst at low humidity and/or low temperatures (no measurement below freezing) and has slow response times.

DIY hygrometer

You can make your own psychrometer (tutorial here) using 2 identical regular thermometers and converting one into a wet bulb. You can then determine the humidity by looking up the difference in temperatures in a psychrometric chart. The bigger the difference, the drier the air.

Where should a hygrometer be placed?

For general tracking, you should place a hygrometer 1m from the ground in a central location in your home or wherever most time is spent. If you’re using it to confirm if humidity is too high or low, it should be placed as close to where physical symptoms or signs of home damage are most obvious. 

Do not place them near a vent, radiator, fireplace, in direct sunlight or close to an exterior door or window as significant temperature changes will affect the readings. Dirt and dust can also prevent the sensor from providing accurate reads.

Humidity will be slightly different throughout your house – higher in laundry rooms and bathrooms and lower in areas with greater airflow (front hall). One unit is usually sufficient to get an idea of the humidity level as moisture is transported quickly:

  1. as air naturally moves from high to low pressure areas through the easiest path (infiltration) at a rate of several hundred cubic feet per minute, and 
  2. from high to low pressures and temperatures through materials (diffusion).

And they are small and portable enough to be moved around the house.

How to test and calibrate a hygrometer?

To check if a humidity sensor is providing accurate readings, you can calibrate it by performing a salt test. This way you can check its reading in a standardized environment where you know the humidity is 75%.

What you’ll need

  • Hygrometer
  • Cup or mug
  • ½ cup table salt
  • ¼ cup tap water
  • 5L Ziploc bag or well-sealed container (Tupperware)

Steps

The salt test has begun.
  1. Put the water and salt in the mug and stir for several seconds.
  2. Place the mug and hygrometer into the bag or pressure cooker. Be careful not to spill water on the device as it can permanently damage it.
  3. Place the bag in a spot where the temperature will be steady
  4. After 8 to 12 hours, the reading should be 75%.
  5. If your device is adjustable/resettable, immediately adjust it to 75%. For an analog hygrometer, just turn the needle. 
  6. If not, make note of the difference the reading is from 75%. Add or subtract this difference next time you read your hygrometer to determine the actual reading.

Calibratable devices should be calibrated before initial use as they may not have been properly set at the factory and then at least once every year. Even the best devices can experience ‘drift’ and do not hold their accuracy over long periods of time.

What is an ideal indoor humidity level?

According to Health Canada, the optimal humidity level for your home is between 30% and 50% – above 30% in winter and below 50% in summer. If too high, the moisture promotes the growth of bacteria, mites, viruses and mold. Too low, and it increases the chance of dry skin, allergic reactions and respiratory infections and promotes ozone production.

If it fluctuates too severely or frequently, it can cause it to swell and contract – leading to cracks in paint, wood floors and trim.

Museums and art galleries aim for relative humidity of 50% and short-term fluctuations of ±5% RH to protect their delicate paintings and artifacts.

What to read next

Sources

Over to you

Why do you want to measure the RH in your home? Do you have plants, pets or valuables that you need to protect? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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About the author

Alex Wideman

Founder of Cansumer. Consumer rights advocate, serial entrepreneur and educator. For over 10 years I’ve been creating consumer-focused online resources, and I started this website in 2018 to help other Canadians find the best gear and save time and money. LinkedIn Read more

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1 comment

  1. Did you try out any of the Govee hygrometers? I was tempted to order one on Amazon since it had all or most of the features of Bluetooth one you recommended, but at a lower price.

    It seems like the name Govee is everywhere suddenly, every time I go to purchase something in the last little while I see this brand that I have no clue about. Seems they make everything! But then, if they make so many products, are they really *good* at any one product? 🤔

    Reply