Can You Run A Humidifier Without A Filter? Is It Safe?

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People love to buy humidifiers with filters to keep their room air dust and bacteria-free. The filter traps minerals contents and bacteria in the water before it dispenses into the air. You have to change the filter frequently. However, you may want to purchase a humidifier without a filter to avoid this maintenance issue.

Now your concern is – can you run a humidifier without a filter?

Yes, you can run a humidifier without a filter. A filterless humidifier does not trap the minerals and pathogens from the water before it dispenses into the air as mist, though it kills microorganisms by heating water. So, you can run a filterless humidifier if you do not have white dust and germ problems.

In this article, I will share all of the appendices related to your question, “can you use a humidifier without a filter?”. On top of that, I will let you know the real definition of a filterless humidifier, its advantages, disadvantages, which one is the best filterless humidifier right now in the market, etc.

Stay tuned to get a good vibe of the researched article.

What Is a Filterless Humidifier, and How Does It Work?

A filterless humidifier is a device that emits steam directly to the air without passing air through a filter. This humidifier adds moisture and keeps the air easy to breathe. There is no filter separating minerals and residual bacteria, viruses, mold, etc.

A filterless humidifier creates moisture by using ultrasonic waves, or using a fan, or boiling water. Then pass the mist through an opening towards the room.

Can You Run a Humidifier Without a Filter?

You can run a humidifier without a filter when using purified water. Because this water does not contain any minerals, bacteria, viruses, etc. Using tap water will produce white dust and spread bacteria and viruses as tap water has a high dose of minerals and pathogens. These contaminants spread throughout your room and make the room uncomfortable for living.

Can You Run A Humidifier Without A Filter

Can You Run a Cool-mist Humidifier Without a Filter?

You can run a cool-mist humidifier without a filter. An ultrasonic humidifier that produces cool mist does not require a filter to run. When running a humidifier without a filter, you must consider using distilled water. The same principle goes to Vicks humidifier. You can run a Vicks humidifier with distilled or purified, or filtered water.

Nevertheless, running a humidifier with a filter for health and safety should consider buying distilled water. You can buy a distiller to make distilled water.

Can You Run a Portable Humidifier Without a Filter?

You can run a portable humidifier without a filter. But you should consider filters to protect humidifiers from particle build-up. You can easily escape white dust build-up in the room as you can move it anywhere. So, using a portable humidifier without a filter could be a great choice if you do not like to manage a filter.

Those using filters with their humidifier should change the filter within three months.

Do Ultrasonic Humidifiers Need Filters?

An ultrasonic humidifier does not need a filter because it produces steam using sound vibration. It is manufactured without a filter that keeps you away from operational costs. The vibration makes mists, and a fan expels the mist into the air. You do not require to change the filter every two or three months later where it has no filter at all.

On the other hand, you have to use a filter on your evaporative humidifier. You have to change the filter every three months for your evaporative humidifier. Why? Because the wick of the evaporative humidifier build-up with mineral dust gradually.

Are Humidifiers Without Filters Safe?

Yes, humidifiers without filters are relatively safe. If you do not use a filter and use purified/distilled/filtered water, you will not be affected by bacteria, viruses, and mold.

Are Humidifiers Without Filters Safe

Besides, your humidifier will not produce white dust. Meanwhile, you are safe from bronchial infections and respiratory distress. If you use tap/spring water, you will see your humidifier is spreading microorganisms, white dust, and being clogged with minerals.

So, using the best types of water determines whether using a humidifier without a filter is safe or unsafe.

What Happens if You Do Not Change Your Humidifier Filter?

Every humidifier user should change their humidifier filter within six months. If you do not change your humidifier filter, dust and debris will come out to the air from the humidifier. Besides, the wick of the evaporative humidifier will be clogged up. Mold will start growing inside the humidifier, and you will get type-1 hypersensitivity (allergy). The humidifier smells odor.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Humidifier Without a Filter?

Filterless humidifiers are pricier than humidifiers with filters. However, you will find many filterless humidifiers in the mid-range. Another downside of using a filterless humidifier is considering the best quality water. If you live in a hard water area, you should consider softening water before using it. Without a doubt, purified or distilled water is the best option for all time for a filterless humidifier.

Regarding costs, I can say a filterless humidifier costs you more than a filtered humidifier. But, this cost does not break your bank account. Chill!

What Can You Use as a Filter for Your Humidifier?

You can use the sponge, cheese clothes, foam as filters for your humidifier. The sponge absorbs the water, and the fan behind it spreads mist throughout the room. Cloth works as a filter by following the same principle of the sponge air filter. However, sponge filters are less expensive than cloth. On the other hand, foam filters are costly, and they can maintain high airflow when wet.

Is It Better to Buy a Humidifier With or Without a Filter?

It is better to buy a non-filtered humidifier if you do not like noise during sleeping and regular maintenance. The non-filtered humidifier does not produce sounds because it works by vibration. However, it is better to buy a filtered humidifier if you have a budget problem and do not like white or grey dust in your room.

Best Humidifier Without the Filter

In my research, I found Vicks Filter Free Cool Mist Humidifier is one of the best filterless humidifiers. However, I have selected another humidifier in my list ranked second. Here is the review of them.

1. Vicks Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier

Vicks Filter-Free Cool Mist Humidifier


  • Dimension (L X W X H): 10.87 x 9.45 x 13.46 inches
  • Weight: 4 pounds
  • Tank Capacity: 1.2 Gallons
  • Room Size: Medium
  • Mist Type: Cool Mist
  • Run Time: 30 hours.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.

What Do We Like?

Well, this humidifier runs noiselessly, so it is suitable for offices, baby’s nurseries, bedrooms. As it has a 1.2 tank capacity, the run time would be higher; you do not need to pour water again and again.

It can cover your medium-sized room again because of the higher tank capacity. You can control the output as well as the nozzle for directing mist.

It gives you relief from congestion and coughing. On top of that, you will have little maintenance for it and be easier to clean.

You are going to grab it from Amazon at a reasonable price. With VapoPads, you will get an aromatic vapor.

What Are The Drawbacks?

They produce a white dust, which is unsuitable for some people with respiratory issues. However, it is not bad at all for both people and pets.

2. Kelmar: Best Filterless Humdifier For Baby



  • Dimension (L X W X H): 8.43 x 5.1 x 9.96 inches
  • Tank Capacity: 0.4 Gallon
  • Room Size: Up to 300 sq. feet
  • Mist Type: Cool Mist
  • Run Time: 40 hours.
  • Warranty: Manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.

What Do We Like?

This humidifier is made of BPA-free material and comes in a compact and stylish shape. As this humidifier has a 0.4-gallon tank capacity, you can lift it with one hand. On top of that, it produces less than 32dB sounds that help with running it at night, in offices, bedrooms.

  • Primarily, this humidifier is suitable for babies because of its low sound production.
  • It has an LED indicator and auto shout on-off feature that helps with electricity bill reduction.
  • You can adjust the nozzle at 360-degree angles to direct mist in any direction.
  • Eventually, it helps prevent skin irritation, congestion, and respiratory insufficiency.

What Are The Drawbacks?

It also produces white dust. It is a little bit harder to clean.

Is It Best to Use Mineral-containing Water in Your Humidifier?

No, it is not best to use mineral-containing water in your humidifier because mineral-containing water produces white dust. White dust is allergic to most homeowners. Besides, white dust can cause respiratory distress to children and pets. Mineral deposits in the wicks and other systems of the humidifier are harmful to the humidifier efficacy.

Is It Best to Use Mineral-containing Water in Your Humidifier

If you are bound to use mineral-containing water like tap or bottled water, you should choose a filter to have an almost safe moist air.

Last but not least, you can go through the user manual from the first line to the last to get a basic idea of what you have to do with your humidifier.

Do All Humidifiers Need Filters?

No, all humidifiers do not need filters. Ultrasonic humidifiers do not require filters because it produces white most through vibrating sounds. Contrary to that, evaporative humidifiers need filters to prevent mineral deposition in the wick. A filter not only prevents mineral deposition but also helps with germ protection. However, whether you use a filtered humidifier or a filterless humidifier is your choice.

I forgot to say you need to have a humidifier for your hot steam humidifier. Meanwhile, you need a filter when your humidifier produces mist through heating water. You do not need a filter for a humidifier if it produces mist whiteout heat (ultrasonic humidifier).

How to Clean a Humidifier Without a Filter?

Cleaning a humidifier is essential to keep away your humidifier smelling fowl and mold. Here is how to clean a filterless humidifier. Let’s move –

How to Clean a Humidifier Without a Filter

  • Collects all necessary goods like – a bristle brush, white vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, gloves, and water.
  • Unplug the humidifier and disassemble parts like – the water tank and other removable parts.
  • Clean the water tank with vinegar.
  • Keep water with a vinegar solution in the tank for 1 hour to lose build-up/grime.
  • Scrub with a bristle brush to remove the grime or tough stains.
  • Disinfect with 3% hydrogen peroxide or bleach by adding it to water and waiting 30 minutes.
  • Rinse the base and tank thoroughly with running clean water to remove the cleaning solution.
  • Wipe away water with a clean towel.
  • Reassemble all parts how they were. You can follow the user manual to do it with no-fault. Replug and run it. Now, how to run a filterless humidifier, let’s go.

How to Run a Humidifier Without a Filter?

Here is the rundown on how to run a humidifier without a filter –

  • Unplug the humidifier from the wall-mounted socket.
  • Remove the filter if there is any.
  • Drain water from the water tank.
  • Pour distilled or filtered water into your filterless humidifier.
  • Replug to the socket and run it.


My final words on the query, “can you run a humidifier without a filter?” are – you can run a humidifier without a filter, provided you use distilled or filtered water. I never recommend you to use tap water in a humidifier because the bacteria, viruses, white dust can not be prevented from spreading out as a filter can. However, you will get quiet home humidification by running a filterless humidifier in your office, bedroom, and nurseries.

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