When choosing a humidifier for your home, you have a lot of choices. Some models have remote or voice controls, warm mist, cool mist, or even ultrasonic. However, one of the biggest factors is the filters.
Filters in humidifiers can be a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, or other health concerns. If you are worried, you need to be diligent about changing your filters regularly. Alternatively, you can purchase a filter free humidifier. This article will examine the best filterless humidifiers for your home and help you select the best humidifier for you.
Benefits & Risks of Filter Free Humidifiers
As with all things, there are good points and bad points. Filterless humidifiers tend to have more advantages than disadvantages, though. Depending on your usage amount, time of year when running the humidifier, and your maintenance regimen, filterless models could be a big advantage.
The most significant advantage, obviously, is the lack of filters. You don’t need to run to the store or shop online for replacement filters every couple of months. There are some health advantages, too –namely mineral deposits and mold build-up.
Filters hold moisture and, if not properly cared for, can lead to mold spores and mineral deposits being created. These are then released into your air, coating your surfaces in a thin white film or, worse, being inhaled while you sleep.
There are drawbacks, too, though. The biggest disadvantage is that you need to clean your machine diligently. Because there isn’t a filter, the tanks, hoses, and nozzles all become susceptible to growths, build-up, dirt debris, and other contaminates.
Filtered models need a light cleaning every couple of weeks and a deep cleaning once a month. Filterless humidifiers need a weekly deep cleaning, sometimes more. Luckily, most companies include cleaning brushes and even cleaning solutions when you buy their humidifiers.
Filterless Humidifiers Compared
Choosing a Quality Filterless Humidifier
There are two major types of technology behind humidifiers, and each can perform two functions. Ultrasonic humidifiers use vibrations to create water vapor that is pushed out into the room by the fan. These models are much quieter, can perform longer, and cost a little more, on average.
Vaporizers turn the water into a vapor through mechanical means and disperse the vapor through the nozzle. These models are a bit louder and don’t generally have the visible vapor trail typical with ultrasonic models. Both types can use cool mist or warm mist by heating the water or not.
You also need to decide where you are going to place the humidifier. The size of the room (measured in square feet) may be too large for the capacity of the humidifier you choose. Ensure that the humidifier is rated to at least the size of the room or rooms you plan to use it in.
Note that bigger isn’t always better here. If you have a large capacity humidifier in a small room, for example, you may produce too much moisture and cause condensation or high humidity.
Water Tank Capacity
Most humidifiers will have water tanks between 1 and 4 gallons. Smaller tanks won’t run as long, but they can be more effective. Depending on the room size, you will want your humidifier to run as long as possible on minimal tank refills.
If you plan to use the device overnight while you sleep, make sure the capacity can run for at least 10 hours. This will help prevent the tank from running dry and causing wear and tear on the motor, burn out, or worse.
Humidifiers aren’t overly loud as it is, however, you can select quiet models or standard models. Most vaporizers will fall around 50 to 55dB, which is enough volume to have white noise at night, but may disturb lighter sleepers.
Ultrasonic models tend to be the quietest with noise ranges in the mid-20dBs. There is virtually no noise from the machine for these models at all, and you can sleep in near silence, watch TV, or hold a normal volume conversation without hearing the hum of the motor.
Safety & Energy Efficiency
Safety is a big concern with any electrical device, more so when that electrical device holds water. Humidifiers should have safety features in place, and if they don’t, you need to find a different model.
The most common features are automatic shut-off. This will turn the unit off when the machine tips over, the water tank is lifted, or the tank runs dry. Without these features, you run the risk of burning out your humidifier motor, causing a fire or shorting out a circuit in your home.
You also want to check the energy efficiency when possible. Because these are small appliances, efficiency isn’t thought about a whole lot. However, they will be used for hours at a time, often overnight or all day long, and should have low wattage and voltage draws when possible.
Ease of Use, Setup & Maintenance
Most humidifiers are relatively easy to use. The basics involve filling the water tank, plugging the unit in, and turning it on. However, some units are more sophisticated and require a little more knowledge.
Things like remote control or voice-command operation, humidity level settings, auto-timers, and other special features may require more set up steps or instruction. Along with being able to use your humidifier easily, you should also be able to take care of it quickly and efficiently.
Maintenance is important, and it should be something that can be done regularly without causing much stress or hassle. Easy to reach parts for cleaning, large openings or machines that come completely apart are ideal for this type of maintenance.
Some humidifier companies keep costs lower to entice you to buy from them. To keep their costs down, they may remove some features or not include others. However, some companies add as many features as possible, hoping you will pay a little more for their functionality.
You can look for features such as aromatherapy diffuser, timer feature, overflow protection, automatic settings, mist output controls, humidistat, remote control or, even voice command activation. Each feature might add some to the overall cost, though you can decide which ones you are willing to pay for.
Finally, you will want to check the warranty coverage and duration. The industry average is about 1 to 2 years, but some will reach as far as 5-years. You need to not only note how long the coverage is, but what is covered, when coverage starts, and what is required for making a claim.
8 Best Filter-Free Humidifiers Reviewed
1. Everlasting Comfort
Best Filterless Cool Mist Humidifier
|Water Tank Capacity||1.6 gallons|
|Room Coverage||500 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||0.9 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||26 dBa|
If you are looking for the best filterless cool mist humidifier, look no further. The Everlasting Comfort is one popular model. It has a moderately large water tank that holds up to 1.6 gallons of water. With an output up to 500 square feet in coverage, it is best for medium-sized rooms.
The whisper-quiet operation is always less than 40db, and average about 26dBa on all settings. This is an ideal noise level for nurseries, bedrooms, or near the TV in the living room. Jut make sure you keep it at least 6 feet from any electrical appliance or window.
The Everlasting Comfort humidifier uses ultrasonic methods of creating water vapor, so there is no filter or absorbing pad to mess with. However, you will need to make sure you use distilled water to prevent the white film of minerals from occurring.
One of the best features is the aromatherapy tray that allows you to add your favorite essential oils to the machine for a refreshing, relaxing odor while the device is in operation. With a full water tank, the unit can run for up to 50 hours (on low setting), which is enough time for you to start and end your day without refilling the tank.
It also comes with a 2-year free replacement warranty. If you ever have any problems during the warranty period, you can request a new unit shipped to you. The customer service is easy to get a hold of and always happy to make things right with your purchase.
- Great customer service
- Essential oil tray adds fragrance to the mist
- Easy to set up and use
- Lasts up to 50 hours on a single tank
- Whisper-quiet operation day or night
- 2-year warranty is still a bit low
- Not suitable for large or multiple rooms
2. LEVOIT LV600HH
Best Warm & Cool Mist Filterless Humidifier
|Water Tank Capacity||1.6 gallons|
|Room Coverage||732 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||0.15 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||36 dBa|
The best filterless humidifier for large bedrooms is the Levoit LV600HH. This machine also has essential oil capabilities, automatic shut off protection, and remote control. If you need to cover a large room and don’t want to fiddle with your humidifier constantly, this is your model.
With a 1.6 gallon water tank, you can rest assured it will last through the night. While it won’t last up to 50 hours like some other models, this larger unit will output mist for up to 36 hours straight.
The best part is that you can select if you want cool mist or warm mist. Warm mist is ideal for winter months and cool for summer. Either way, you can breathe easier, minimize allergens, and help prevent mold and bacteria growth with one machine.
This model is a little noisy during operation as the nozzle seems to be a bit narrow. However, it is a gentle hum and not something that is going to bother most people. Ultra-light sleepers may notice it keeps them awake longer, but this is a rare report.
You can also add essential oils to bring aromas into your room while humidifying the space. With proper placement, you can use this one machine to adjust the humidity levels in a few rooms at once. It even has an auto shut off to prevent burn out and humidity control so you can set it up once and let it run.
- Warm or cool mist options
- Long runtime for use overnight
- Essential oil compatible
- Remote control operation
- Automatically adjusts for humidity levels
- 1-year warranty is a bit low
- May be louder than some other models
3. Venta LW45
Best Large Room Filterless Humidifier
|Water Tank Capacity||3 gallons|
|Room Coverage||800 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||1.6 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||45 dBa|
For those looking for a filterless humidifier that can handle large spaces and help purify the air, the Venta LW45 is what you are looking for. Known as an “air purifier and humidifier,” this unit is easy to use and can use any water density (hard or soft water).
As it stands, the unit is quite small (only about 17-inches wide) but will handle the air in spaces up to 800 square feet. What is most notable about this unit is the way it is manufactured. You don’t have to settle for “as is” like almost every other unit. You get to customize to fit your needs.
The Venta has additional accessories (each sold separately) to allow you to use tap water with a water treatment additive, a cart to aid in portability, an aromatherapy tray, and a digital hygrometer to measure your humidity levels.
Buying in this manner means you only spend money on parts that you need and never have something you aren’t going to use. The quiet and efficient machine works well without any of these add-ons, though.
Even if you decide to use tap water, the machine will operate wonderfully. However, the 7 to 10-day cleaning regimen outlined in the owner’s manual will need to be bumped up to 4 to 6 days without the water treatment additives.
The biggest selling point, though, is the 10-year warranty. Not only is this the longest warranty for a humidifier in the industry, but it is also one of the most complete. To make a claim is straightforward, and to qualify, you just have to use the machine properly, not cause any damage, and make sure it is cleaned on schedule.
- 10-year warranty is unheard of in this industry
- Purifies the air while adding humidity
- Easy to set up and use
- Can be upgraded with additional parts
- Case is not very durable
- Can be difficult to clean inside
4. Pure Guardian H3200WAR
Best Run Time
|Water Tank Capacity||1.5 gallons|
|Room Coverage||440 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||0.8 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||32 dBa|
Pure Guardian produces one of the most advanced humidifiers available. This unit not only has the best runtime, but it also performs well in all small and medium sized rooms. Plus, it has unique features to minimize maintenance and maximize efficiency.
When it comes to the runtime, you know it will be affected by the speed of the fan you set it to. The higher the speed, the less time the unit will run on a tank of water. This model can run up to 100 straight hours on the lowest setting; about 40 hours more than most other humidifiers.
The manufacturer also knows that you aren’t keen on doing regular maintenance. While it is still required, they have added a special coating to the water tank called Silver Clean. This treatment prevents mold and mildew from forming inside the machine and in the water tank.
If you happen to miss a cleaning cycle or two, you won’t have to worry about slimy deposits inside when you do clean it out. You also get a 3-year warranty that covers the motor, fan, tank, and housing.
With the H3200WAR model, you also get an essential oil pad to enjoy fragrances from your favorite oils. Covering a space of about 440 square feet, you won’t have to worry about dry skin, allergies, nosebleeds, or changing filters.
- 3-year warranty
- Up to 100 hours runtime on a single tank
- Silver Clean treatment to prevent mold
- Night light and timer included
- Only one oil pad, changing oils can be difficult
- Not ideal for large sized rooms
Best Quiet Filterless Humidifier
|Water Tank Capacity||1.6 gallons|
|Room Coverage||430 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||0.75 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||26 dBa|
The Homech humidifier is a compact, ultra-quiet model that performs better than expected. It is also one of the highest-rated filterless humidifiers on the market right now. The warranty is a little confusing, but the performance is nothing short of incredible.
The cool mist humidifier does not have an essential oils tray, and you should never add oils to the water. However, if you want a little fragrance to your mist, you can add fresh sliced fruit to the water, including lemons or oranges.
The unit is also easy to clean, and it does come with a dust pad to keep dirt and debris from entering the motor area. The mist comes out of the adjustable nozzle up to 3 feet, so it doesn’t spray your floor or leave a residue nearby.
When you purchase this unit, you get a 12-month warranty included. However, if you take the time to register the product on the company’s website, you can extend the warranty an extra 6 months (18-months total).
While this isn’t required, it can be beneficial if you plan to use the humidifier during summer or winter seasons only, as you can get two seasons of use to make a claim. The whisper-quiet operation, though, doesn’t usually break down. You can expect a noise level below 26dB, making it ideal for use in the bedroom or nursery.
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Nightlight and tank level light
- Compact and quiet design
- 18-month warranty
- No essential oil usage
6. Honeywell HWM705B
Best Filterless Warm Mist Humidifier
|Water Tank Capacity||1 gallon|
|Room Coverage||330 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||0.65 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||35 dBa|
The Honeywell filterless humidifier is the best warm mist humidifier you can find. It produces only warm mist and does so for any small or medium sized room. Because it is ultrasonic, it is also quiet as a mouse and a lot more soothing.
The tank is a bit smaller than average, with a capacity of 1 gallon. However, that 1 gallon can warm the vapor and produce mist for up to 24 straight hours. On top of that, it also has an essential oils cup so you can infuse your warm mist with any fragrance you like.
The machine itself is relatively small and should be placed on a shelf, stand, or table. It is also fairly easy to clean when the time comes but can be more challenging for those of us with larger hands.
There are two power settings, low and high, and it is perfect for keeping your room warm, humid and comfortable all winter long. The warm mist in the summer may not be as valuable, but it helps raise the humidity on those hot, dry days in August.
With a 3-year warranty, simple controls, essential oil infusion, and simple maintenance, it stands to reason it is a favorite humidifier for most homes. Your home can be next.
- 3-year warranty
- Essential oil infusion cup
- Simple controls
- Automatic shut off
- No humidity settings
- Smaller capacity water tank than most others
7. Homasy Top-Fill Cool Mist Humidifier
Best Cheap Filterless Humidifier For Baby Nursery
|Water Tank Capacity||0.6 gallons|
|Room Coverage||300 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||0.55 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||28 dBa|
Homasy offers you a model that is the best cheap filterless humidifier you can find for your baby nursery or office. While it may not raise the humidity in medium to large sized rooms, it is ideal for smaller spaces and working overnight.
The top-fill design makes it easy to fill, use, and clean. Just lift the top, fill with water and turn it on. When it comes time to clean, you can remove the top again, use the included cleaning brush and wipe the inside with a cloth or sponge.
For those that want to infuse aromas with their humidifier, the Homasy model is essential oil compatible. Simply add a few drops right into the water, and the fragrance will come out with the vapor.
If you do use oils, make sure you clean the unit more often. There aren’t any treatments on the tank, and oils can build-up quickly. Make sure you remove the thin film of oil leftover and use the brush to get into harder to reach spots.
You do get a warranty, but it is only for 12 months. However, it is a simple machine with limited controls and minimal pieces. If anything is going to go wrong, it will do so in the first few uses.
- Top fill tank
- Low maintenance
- Essential oil compatible
- Night light included
- 1-year warranty
- Not ideal for larger rooms
8. Vicks Filter-Free
Best Small Filterless Humidifier
|Water Tank Capacity||1.2 gallons|
|Room Coverage||400 square feet|
|Daily Humidity Output||0.75 Gallons per day|
|Noise Level||42 dBa|
Vicks is known for its medicinal ointments and soothing rubs that help us sleep better and breathe easier. It is no wonder they make a humidifier that does the same. The filter free humidifier is small, compact, and powerful.
It does use aromatherapy, but will only accept the Vicks brand vapor pads. Other owners have tried oils on cloth, but doing this can void your warranty. Each pad is relatively inexpensive and will last up to 8 hours. You can also use 2 pads in the machine at once.
The water tank is a little small. With a capacity of 1.2 gallons, you can get about 30 hours of mist on the lowest setting. However, for more power, larger rooms, or higher humidity, you can put it on high for about 10 hours. Either way, it will work long enough to let you sleep in.
The 3-year warranty covers the entire machine, and making a claim is a fairly straightforward process. But you must make sure you follow all directions. Cleaning needs to be done at least every 7 days, and this can be difficult.
Some of the tank is round and wide open ideal for using a sponge or cloth. The nozzle and output areas, though, are trickier, and if you don’t clean them good enough, mold and mildew can develop. Overall, it is a powerful humidifier that adds moisture and fragrance into your home whenever you need it.
- 3-year warranty
- Uses Vicks vapor pads
- Adjustable output settings
- Automatic shut off
- Cannot use other oils or aroma pads
- Can be difficult to clean
Types of Filter Free Humidifiers
There are several types of filterless humidifiers, and each one works a little differently. Here is what you need to know.
Steam vaporizers take the water in the tank and heat it until the water vapor turns to steam. The steam is then passed through a membrane, cooled, and dispersed into the room. These are the most common type of humidifiers and sell for a lower price than most other options.
Evaporative humidifiers also turn the water to vapor but through evaporation instead of heat. As the machine runs, the water is made into vapor, which is then pushed out into the room. These models are the loudest of the bunch (about 48 to 56dB) and use more water than any other type.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are the newest type to come out. They use ultrasonic waves to turn the water into vapor and a high-powered fan to push the vapor into the room. They use less water and last longer than any other type of humidifier. They are also the most expensive of the group. However, they are also the quietest models, ranging between 22 and 28dB on average.
Cool vs. Warm Mist
Each humidifier type can also produce both warm or cool mist. Not all machines are equipped for this, but the ability is there. To get a warm mist, the water is boiled before becoming a vapor, and the vapor droplets are not cooled before entering the room.
Cool mist humidifiers can lower the ambient temperature of the room. Likewise, warm mist options can also raise the temperature of the room.
How Filterless Humidifiers Work
Humidifiers without a filter work by passing water through the system with either mechanical or sound wave methods. These systems then transform the water into vapor, sanitize it, and release the vapor into your home’s air.
While filterless humidifiers are safe to use, many people with allergies or respiratory issues may want to avoid their use. In some cases (usually due to a lack of proper cleaning), the filterless humidifiers can release more allergens into the air than a filtered model.
Filter Vs. Filterless Humidifiers
Humidifiers have a single job; add moisture to the air we breathe and live in. Filtered units clean the water and prevent dirt, dust, or debris from getting inside the water or motor areas. Filterless models sanitize the water before it is released into the home.
When it comes to safety, both models are essentially the same. With automatic shut off capabilities, water cooling or heating properties, and the ability to clean the water before being released, there isn’t much of a difference here.
Unless you don’t clean your filter or deep clean the filterless machines properly, there is only a small chance of having more harmful allergens introduced than not. Cleaning is the biggest difference, with filterless models being slightly higher in maintenance but lower in maintenance costs.
Filtered models need to be cleaned every 10 to 14 days, and the filters must be changed regularly, adding to the overall cost. Filterless models need a deep cleaning every 4 to 7 days (depending on use) but require no extra purchases to do so.
Both models are simple to use with intuitive controls and settings. However, for those that need a humidifier while dealing with allergies or respiratory issues, or those that want a cheaper solution upfront, filtered models are the best choice. For everyone else, and those looking to save money in the long run, a filterless humidifier is the way to go.
People Also Ask (FAQ)
Is a filterless humidifier safe to use around children?
Yes, filterless humidifiers are safe to use around children. As with any device with water or electricity, as well as moving parts, you should keep them out of reach of wandering little legs and hands. If you do have small children (or pets), make sure you pick a humidifier with auto-shutoff features when tipped, lifted, or knocked over.
How long do typical filterless humidifiers produce mist?
Most filterless humidifiers will continuously spray mist for at least 10 hours. Many models will last as long as 24 to 50 hours on a single tank of water, depending on speed and humidity settings. For the most part, though, you can fill the tank before bed and expect the humidifier to last through the night while you sleep.
Can I use tap water on a filter-free humidifier?
You can use tap water in your humidifier, though it is highly discouraged. Demineralized or distilled water is recommended. This will help your machine run smoother, produce fewer deposits and allergens, and keep the system free from clogs, mold and make them easier to clean. If you must use tap water, make sure you thoroughly clean it after every use.
Is it safe to leave a humidifier on all night?
As long as your humidifier is rated to last as long as you plan to be asleep, there isn’t a problem leaving it on all night. However, make sure you know how long it can run on a tank of water, based on the settings you plan to use during the night. It is also wise to make sure the tank is full before you lay down.
What are some suggestions for reducing humidity levels in the home?
To reduce the humidity levels in your home, the best thing to do is turn on your air conditioner. Central air systems are designed to pull moisture from the air. You can also purchase a dehumidifier.
Are these filter free devices better suited to bedrooms or living rooms?
Filter-free humidifiers can be used in any room of the home. Some models are large enough to cover multiple rooms, too. Because most are ultrasonic and relatively quiet, they make great additions to bedrooms, living areas, and main rooms.
Where should a filterless humidifier be placed in the home?
Placement of your filterless humidifier will depend a lot on the type and size of the unit. Most units will do well against a wall or on a countertop. If you select a model with a 360-degree rotating nozzle, then you may wish to find a more centrally located area. The owner’s manual will offer placement suggestions best suited for the model you buy.
Where is a good place to buy these units?
One of the best places to buy a filterless humidifier is through Amazon. When you buy through the 3rd party vendor, you can find close-out specials, better shipping offers, and even savings on last year’s models (still new-in-box). Saving money, along with a better customer service process and warranty claim service, makes Amazon one of the best options for buying a new humidifier.
Finding the right humidifier for your specific needs can be a challenge. Choosing between a filtered model with more costs down the road but better allergen reduction, or a filterless unit is difficult.
If you are having trouble deciding, take another look at our top pick. The Everlasting Comfort humidifier is long lasting, durable, and comes with an aromatherapy tray so you can infuse your humidity with fragrances to help you relax, sleep better, or just feel good.
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