Is A Humidifier Without Filter Safe? Here’s a Surprising Revelation!

Now that it’s the humidifier season again, I bet you are wondering which kind of humidifier to use to effectively bring comfort inside your house by balancing air humidity and to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses.

There are two types of humidifiers you can use regardless of its kind, the one with a filter and without the filter.

I’ve received a lot of messages from this blog asking if a humidifier without a filter is safe to use, and so I thought I have to make my research about it and share it with all of you.

Although most people prefer filtered humidifiers to avoid white dust, there are many humidifiers without filters that work excellently such as the ultrasonic and warm mist types.

The most shocking revelation is, your humidifier doesn’t actually need a filter. If you have a warm-mist type, this device heats up the water and kills off all bacteria and other contaminants before it will be released into the air via steam. Cool-mist types also do not require a filter if you are using a filtered or distilled water.

But of course, like most of your household appliances, there is always maintenance involved in ensuring that your device is working at its topmost performance.

Humidifier with Filter vs.

 Without Filter, Which is

Better and Why?

humidifier with filter vs without filter

There are many apparent contrasts between humidifiers with filters and no filters. It all depends on what you need and how you need it.

One of the main contrasts is basically lying on the component of these two devices. Filtered humidifiers have fan motors inside which make them noisier than humidifiers without filters where they operate quietly.

Benefits of Humidifiers with Filters

benefits of humidifier with filter

Filtered humidifiers are known to be more helpful to people with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and allergies because it sieves all harmful elements in the water before it will be dispensed into the air.

Typically, warm-mist and evaporative are the kinds of humidifiers that require filters. Filters can be replaceable or reusable depending on your unit.

Since your unit has filters, you don't have to boil or use distilled water, you can use both soft and hard water which is a cheaper alternative.

What’s the Catch with Filtered Humidifiers?

However, filtered humidifiers can be costly when it comes to maintenance. Depending on the brand and type of filtered humidifier you use, you need to replace or clean the filter at least bi-weekly or maybe twice a month.

Another consideration would be the noise the unit emits. Filtered humidifiers are fan-operated so it can get a little annoying at night hearing the buzzing sound of your humidifier.

Advantages of Using Humidifiers Without Filters

Advantages of Humidifiers without filters

On the other hand, humidifiers without filters are extremely quiet in operation because most of these devices don't have fans and use ultrasonic technology. It is ideal to use this device inside the nursery, bedroom, and even offices.

Since you don’t have to change or clean any filters, maintenance is easy and affordable. Apart from that, some brands have added extra features like timers, humidity control and more.

What’s the Downside of Humidifiers Without Filters?

Price could be one of the downsides of filterless humidifiers. The more features you look for, the more costly it can be. However, not all humidifiers without filters are expensive, it totally depends on the features you need. There are filterless models that are in mid-ranges.

Water quality is another factor that you have to consider upon getting a humidifier without a filter. If your area has hard water, you need to filter or soften it first before you can use or better yet, utilizing distilled water is the best option.

So, Is a Humidifier without Filter Safe?

Is a humidifier without filter safe

Yes. A humidifier without a filter is perfectly safe because the majority of the humidifiers available today are made from plastic that has undergone antibacterial treatment.

However, if you have hard water at home, you might notice white dust surrounding your humidifier. This by-product is actually harmless and was brought about by the dissolved minerals found in the water.

Cleaning this white dust is simple by only using a clean dry cloth and gently wiping the areas around the humidifier. Your only concern here is that if you leave the white dust sitting on top of your furniture for a long time. This might cause damages if left untreated.

Can I Use Hard Water in Humidifiers without Filters? Here’s What An Expert Has to Say!

To give us better insights and information if hard water is safe to use in filterless humidifiers, I invited a water treatment Engineer to help explain the pros and cons of using hard water in a humidifier without a filter.

Once again, I invited Antonio Morgan, a water treatment engineer at the Houston’s Water Purification Plant.

Here is the transcript of my interview:

best humidifier for hard water - interview graphic image

Leona Maurer


Hello Antonio!, It’s me again. Thank you so much for gracing this interview.

Antonio Morgan 

Water Treatment Engineer

Always a pleasure talking to you Leona and congratulations on your blog, you have helped a lot of people understand humidity, how to cope up with it and as well as understanding the different types of water to use.

Leona Maurer


Wow, Thanks! I actually invited you again since I got a lot of messages from my blog asking if using a humidifier without a filter is safe and if hard water is also safe to use.

Antonio Morgan 

Water Treatment Engineer

Sure, bring it on. LOL

Leona Maurer


The last time we talked about hard water, you advised that homeowners should actually submit their water for testing or they can use DIY Testing kits to know their water quality. You also recommended that humidifiers with filters are better with hard water.

Antonio Morgan 

Water Treatment Engineer

Yes that is right. Hard water minerals are fine and harmless if it stays in the water but when they are released into the air, that’s when the problem starts. Filtered humidifiers are excellent in trapping these mineral deposits.

Leona Maurer


So, what about the filterless humidifiers? Is there a chance you can use hard water in it?

Antonio Morgan 

Water Treatment Engineer

Usage is no problem Leona, but the health risk is what I am more concerned about. I will give you two options here, the first is to filter or soften your water before adding it in your humidifier or you can use distilled water.

How can you achieve soft water? By simply boiling it or purify the entire household water supply by installing reverse osmosis or water filters. 

It may seem pretty costly at first, but if you are going to look at the long-term result, you have actually saved a lot!

The next option is to use demineralization cartridges to clean and disinfect the water inside the humidifier before it will be released into the air.

But, you know what, we recently conducted experiments with new filterless humidifiers, specifically ultrasonic humidifiers. Some of the brands we tested have included features that disinfect the water and clean the air.

Leona Maurer


So, finally, there are filter-free humidifiers I and my friends can use? Could you give me a list of these brands?

Antonio Morgan 

Water Treatment Engineer

Haha! I can give you the names of these brands if you’ll give me some time Leona.

Leona Maurer


Oh sure! Send me your list anytime. I’m so excited to share this wonderful news on my blog! Thank you so much for your time, Antonio. As always, you have been so helpful.

Antonio Morgan 

Water Treatment Engineer

My pleasure Leona, and you are always welcome!

3 Best Filter-Free Humidifiers (With The Golden Seal Of Approval From The Water Expert)

PureGuardian H1510 Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier


Specific Features (Click Here To See More)

Going filterless with your humidifier is now possible with the PureGuardian H1510 Ultrasonic Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier. This genius device gives you the option to run a cool mist or a warm-mist type depending on what the scenario calls.

Its tank is about 1.5 gallons in size so you can go for days without having to refill it since it can run up to 100 hours under its lowest settings.

PureGuardian has also added an excellent feature in getting rid of slimy mildew and mold growth at the surface of the tank with its Silver Clean Protection.

Although this particular model requires distilled or filtered water, you can actually opt to add-on a demineralization cartridge to block unwanted deposits caused by hard water.

Full mist control was also added based on your preferences and you can move the device of up to 5 feet from the power source. It’s the ideal humidifier choice for small to medium-sized rooms.

BONECO 7135 Warm or Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier


Specific Features (Click Here To See More)

If you are looking for a great deal, then Boneco Digital Cool and Warm Mist Humidifier is perhaps for you. You can easily turn your room into a fresh and relaxing environment by turning on the auto-mist technology for micro-fine mist setup. This technology checks the temperature and automatically adjusts the mist output when the conditions change.

What’s best about this particular model is the water treatment accessories included such as demineralization cartridges to prevent limescale and mineral build-up as well as releasing white dust into the air. This is an optional add-on you can take advantage of if you have hard water at home.

Another great add-on it has is the Hydro Cell which has activated charcoal to ensure that the room stays fresh and a breeze.

LEVOIT (LV600HH) Humidifier (1.5 gallon version)


Specific Features (Click Here To See More)

Among the filterless humidifiers available in the market, LEVOIT Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier have the largest tank capacity of up to 6 liters. It can run up to 36 hours under low mist setting which means, you can leave it on for about 2 days.

This model is best for large spaces such as the living and dining room, conference rooms, or any area of up to 753 ft2.

It has multi-features including an aroma diffuser box so you can get into the mood while making sure, your indoor air is of good quality and with balanced humidity.

People who have used this particular model are happy because it works for both hard and soft water. There is low to minimal dispersal of white dust which is manageable and can be treated with demineralization cartridges.


The surprising truth about humidifiers is that we don’t actually need the filters unless under certain conditions. Among these conditions could be the hardness of your water.

It depends on your area if you got hard water or soft water. Like what our water treatment expert advised, always have your water tested before you make any decisions.

Hard water can be easily managed with filtration systems or demineralization cartridges for humidifiers.

As for me, it’s difficult to maintain a balanced home humidity especially when the weather changes, regardless of your humidifier has a filter or without filters.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to maintenance. The more dedicated you are in properly maintaining any household appliances, the longer its lifespan would be. Consider your water at home if a filterless humidifier would work or you can stick with the filtered one.