One of the biggest challenges with owning humidifiers is that some of them require regular filter replacement. Filterless humidifiers set out to eradicate this problem. As the name suggests, these types of humidifiers do not use filters to operate. Examples of filterless humidifiers include impeller humidifiers, steam humidifiers, and — the most popular type — ultrasonic humidifiers.

The main advantage of filterless humidifiers is that long-term maintenance costs are kept at a minimum because there are no costly filters to replace. If this is something that you’re looking for in a humidifier, then read on to discover the best filterless humidifiers available.

  • Warm and cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 753 sq. ft.
  • 1.5-gallon tank capacity
  • Touch control and remote control available
  • Optional aromatherapy feature
  • 2-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 270 sq. ft.
  • 0.53-gallon tank capacity
  • Antibacterial material to inhibit microbial growth
  • Variable mist output
  • 1-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 400 sq. ft.
  • 1.6-gallon tank capacity
  • Optional night light
  • Optional aromatherapy feature
  • 2-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 400 sq. ft.
  • 1.2-gallon tank capacity
  • Compatible with Vicks VapoPads
  • Variable mist output
  • 3-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 250 sq. ft.
  • 1-gallon tank capacity
  • Silver Clean Protection fights the growth of mold and mildew on the surface of the water tank
  • Automatic shut off
  • 3-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 210 sq. ft.
  • Tank can hold 0.5 gallons of water
  • Silver Clean Protection fights the growth of mold and mildew on the surface of the water tank
  • 2 output levels
  • 1-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 500 sq. ft.
  • 1-gallon tank capacity
  • Automatic shut off
  • 2 Output Levels
  • 2-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 600 sq. ft.
  • 1-gallon tank capacity
  • Automatic humidity control with built-in humidistat
  • Mineral cartridge lessens mineral build-up
  • 5-year warranty

  • Cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 250 sq. ft.
  • 0.5-gallon tank capacity
  • Compatible with Vicks VapoPads
  • Variable mist output
  • 2-year warranty

  • Warm and cool mist, ultrasonic humidifier
  • Covers up to 750 sq. ft.
  • 1.5-gallon tank capacity
  • Automatic humidity control with humidistat
  • Innovative display with touch controls
  • 1-Year warranty


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Levoit LV600HH

Crowned our Best Dual Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier, the Levoit LV600HH has long been a crowd-favorite and is easily one of the best in the industry. Despite being one of the most cutting-edge filterless humidifiers out there, the LV600HH boasts a very modest price tag. It’s rated to cover up to 753 sq. ft. of space and boasts a1.5-gallon tank capacity that allows it to run continuously for up to 36 hours.

The chief complaint with this device is that it’s high maintenance and requires frequent cleaning. There are also several nooks and crannies in the device that are difficult to reach, which makes cleaning them more difficult. Another problem with filterless humidifiers like the LV600HH is that they tend to release white dust if tap water is used.

Overall, the LV600HH remains to be a robust device despite a few minor flaws. For its price, you get a large room humidifier with a remote control, an accurate humidistat, and an aromatherapy option. Another key feature of the LV600HH is its modern touch display that shows you the humidity level and other settings.

Pros

  • Large room coverage
  • High daily humidity output
  • Quiet
  • Durable
  • Accurate humidistat
  • Remote Control
  • Can diffuse essential oils
  • Modern, sleek design
  • Automatic humidity control

Cons

  • High maintenance
  • Difficult to clean
  • Difficult to fill
  • Leaves white dust

The VicTsing 2L Cool Mist Humidifier is a popular small room humidifier that can cover up to 270 sq. ft. of space with a 0.53-gallon tank capacity. This model is perfect for use in small areas like offices and single bedrooms where space is at a premium.

Of course, with such a compact device, you can’t expect to be able to cover anything larger than a small room. As with most filterless humidifiers, this unit will also release white dust when you use hard or tap water. Furthermore, considering its low price, it’s no surprise that this VicTsing model comes with a few issues pertaining to durability and leaking.

If you’re looking for an entry-level humidifier that doesn’t require much maintenance in the form of replacement filters, then this VicTsing filterless ultrasonic humidifier is right up your alley. It’s affordable, effective, and easy to use — everything you would expect from a humidifier at this price point.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Quiet operation
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Wide tank opening for easy cleaning
  • Low water indicator and automatic shut off
  • Easy to use, clean, maintain

Cons

  • Small room coverage
  • Durability issues
  • Leaking issues
  • Leaves white dust
  • Short warranty

The Everlasting Comfort humidifier is a feature-packed filterless humidifier that packs quite a punch at very affordable price point. Rated to cover up to 400 sq. ft. of space, the Everlasting Comfort humidifier houses a 1.6-gallon tank and uses an ultrasonic system.

One of the biggest drawbacks to this device is that it lacks two important features: a humidistat to monitor humidity levels and a low water indicator. Although not critical to the performance of a humidifier, they’re very useful to have and provide important information. Several users have also complained of both durability and leaking problems with this model. It also leaves white dust everywhere if you use tap water, but you can avoid this by using distilled or demineralized water.

Overall, however, the Everlasting Comfort humidifier is an excellent, affordable option that’s able to humidify small to medium-sized rooms and even has the added bonus of being an essential oil diffuser. Dubbed the Best Cool Mist Humidifier, you definitely get more bang for your buck with the Everlasting Comfort humidifier.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Medium room coverage
  • Small and lightweight
  • Automatic shut off
  • Doubles as essential oil diffuser
  • Quiet
  • High daily humidity output

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • No low water indicator
  • Leaves white dust
  • Reports of leaking
  • Durability issues

The Vicks V4600 is a popular filter-free ultrasonic humidifier that releases a cool, refreshing mist. Using an ultrasonic system and a 1.2-gallon water tank, the V4600 is fully capable of covering areas up to 400 sq. ft. in size.

Unfortunately, similar to other Vicks humidifiers, users have complained of leaking as well as poor long-term durability. Aside from these issues, the V4600 will also release white dust if you use hard water, as is the case for most filterless humidifiers like it.

With all things considered, however, the V4600 remains to be a very robust device at a reasonable price point. Because of its lack of filters and high energy efficiency, the V4600 keeps long-term costs at a minimum. It also has a scented pad slot for Vicks VapoPads like most other Vicks humidifiers, making it the perfect companion during the flu season.

Pros

  • Medium room coverage
  • Large tank capacity
  • Long runtime
  • Affordable and quiet
  • No filters to replace, long-term costs are low
  • Compatible with Vicks VapoPads
  • Easy to clean and use

Cons

  • May release white dust
  • Durability issues
  • Leaking issues

The PureGuardian H965 is an affordable cool mist ultrasonic humidifier rated to cover small rooms up to 250 sq. ft. in size. Despite being a relatively compact device, you don’t miss out on performance with the H965, which can run for up to 70 hours on each filling. With its 1-gallon tank, you can expect a daily humidity output of 3.17 gallons.

Unfortunately for the H965, several users have complained of persistent mold-growth despite having PureGuardian’s patented Silver Clean antimicrobial treatment on the water tank. There are also durability issues associated with this model. Overall, though, the H965 more than makes up for these minor flaws by being an affordable and altogether powerful little humidifier. It has several features that you’d want in a humidifier as well as an optional night light. It’s a straightforward device that’s incredibly easy to use and maintain.

Pros

  • Large tank capacity
  • Affordable
  • No filters to replace
  • Long runtime
  • High daily humidity output
  • Optional night light
  • Small enough to place on desktop
  • Quiet and easy to use

Cons

  • Small room coverage
  • Releases white dust
  • Mold-prone
  • Durability issues


Another popular filterless humidifier from PureGuardian is the H940. Easily one of the sleekest and most compact humidifiers on this list, the H940 houses a tiny 0.5-gallon water tank that can run for up to 30 hours on each filling. It’s rated to cover small spaces up to 210 sq. ft. in size.

As you may have already noticed, everything about the H940 is small: small water tank and small room coverage. While this may be ideal for some people who don’t need to humidify large spaces, it is definitely a limiting factor for anyone who needs a little more coverage. Another problem with this device is that many users have complained that it’s not very durable, which probably explains the short 1-year warranty.

Overall, the H940 is an excellent compact humidifier. It doesn’t skimp on features as it also has PureGuardian’s signature Silver Clean antimicrobial treatment on the water tank to keep mold and bacterial growth at a minimum. While it may not be the most impressive on this list in terms of specifications, the H940 still does get the job done at a very affordable price.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Small enough for travel
  • Long runtime
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Quiet
  • Silver Clean Protection prevents growth of bacteria, molds, and mildew
  • Low water indicator

Cons

  • Small room coverage
  • Small water tank
  • Durability issues
  • Releases white dust
  • Short warranty

The MistAire XL is one of Pure Enrichment’s high performance humidifiers, capable of servicing areas up to 500 sq. ft. in size with a large 1-gallon tank. It also has 2 output levels, 3 optional night light colors to choose from, as well as standard humidifier features.

Unfortunately, the features on the MistAire XL don’t stand out and, in fact, it’s missing a few features that most humidifiers in this price range have. Its tank also has a small opening, making maintenance more difficult. As with the other filterless humidifiers, white dust is still an issue with this unit. In its defense, though, the MistAire XL still has a lot of redeeming qualities: it’s aesthetically pleasing and, with its transparent tank, checking water levels is easy even without a water low indicator. It does its job quietly and efficiently and is backed by an industry-leading 5-year warranty. For a large room humidifier, the MistAire XL is a simple, straightforward humidifier that’s easy to use and easy on your wallet.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large room coverage
  • Small, lightweight
  • Automatic Shut Off
  • Water level is easy to check
  • Quiet
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Long warranty

Cons

  • No humidistat
  • Easily tips over/Prone to breakage
  • Difficult to clean
  • Leaves white dust

The Ultra3 is a popular ultrasonic humidifier from Vornado which is equipped with a large 1-gallon tank that can cover up to 600 sq. ft. of space. It also uses Vornado’s signature Vortex Action, which allows it to distribute the mist evenly throughout the room with the help of a powerful fan.

Because it’s such a powerful and sophisticated device, it’s no surprise that the Ultra3 is pricier compared to the other filterless humidifiers on this list. Another problem with this unit is that it produces copious amounts of white dust despite having an included mineral cartridge. Users have also reported difficulty in cleaning and maintaining this unit.

With all things considered, the Ultra3 is still a pretty solid choice for anyone looking for a filterless humidifier that’s sophisticated and powerful. It’s quiet, sleek, and offers a convenient automatic humidity control that allows you to set it and forget it.

Pros

  • Large room coverage and tank capacity
  • Vortex Action distributes humidity evenly throughout room
  • Automatic humidity control with built-in humidistat
  • Quiet operation
  • Sleek, discreet design

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Produces white dust
  • No automatic shut off
  • Difficult to clean

The VUL520P from Vicks is a compact humidifier, weighing only 3.7 pounds. It’s the ideal size and weight for a humidifier you’d want to have on your bedside table or on your table at the office. It’s equipped with a tiny 0.5-gallon tank and can cover small areas up to 250 sq. ft. in size. Considering its size, the VUL520P has a surprisingly long runtime of up to 20 hours on each filling, making it great for overnight use. The VUL520P also boasts a scented pad slot for Vick VapoPads for added relief from cough and cold symptoms.

The size of this unit, while also its biggest selling point, is also its biggest limiting factor. Because it’s so small, you can’t expect this unit to be powerful enough to cover larger areas. Furthermore, there has been an alarming number of complaints regarding the VUL520P’s durability, with users complaining their unit didn’t last more than a few months. In addition, it is also said to be a chore to clean. Overall, though, the VUL520P is a great humidifier if you’re only planning to use it in small rooms.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Long runtime
  • Quiet
  • Compatible with Vicks VapoPads
  • Comes in 3 colors
  • Easy to use
  • Good for treating cough, colds, and flu

Cons

  • Small water tank
  • Small room coverage
  • Durability issues
  • Difficult to clean

The Elechomes UC5501 is a little-known filterless humidifier that runs on a powerful ultrasonic system. It’s able to service areas up to 750 sq. ft. of space and equipped with a large 1.5-gallon tank. The unit itself looks incredibly innovative and sleek, which is one of its biggest advantages.

Unfortunately, the UC5501’s premium-looking design is matched by an equally premium price tag. In addition to this problem, users have complained about the warm mist from this unit is not warm at all. Furthermore, considering how expensive the unit is, you would expect a longer warranty period, but this unit is only backed by a short 1-year warranty. Nevertheless, the UC5501 is an ideal choice for anyone looking for a powerful filterless humidifier that looks good doing its job. It’s packed with features and allows you to set it and forget it with its automatic humidity control. It’s quiet, effective, and everything you want in a premium humidifier.

Pros

  • Warm and cool mist
  • Large room coverage
  • Large tank capacity
  • Modern, innovative design
  • Automatic humidity detection and control
  • Long run time (up to 45 hours)
  • Quiet operation
  • Slot for aromatherapy oils

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Warm mist is not quite warm
  • Short warranty

Filterless Humidifier Buyer’s Guide


Types of Filterless Humidifiers and How They Work

There are several types of humidifiers available on the market today and they’re usually categorized based on the technology they use. However, they can be divided into two broad categories: those that use filters and those that don’t.

There are a few subtypes of humidifiers that fall under the broad filterless humidifier category:

  • Filterless Ultrasonic Humidifiers

An ultrasonic humidifier uses a diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency (thus the name) to create water droplets that are released in the form of mist. These types of humidifiers can either emit cool mist only, warm mist only, or both. An ultrasonic humidifier that can emit both warm and cool mist is called a dual mist ultrasonic humidifier.

Dual mist ultrasonic humidifiers and cool mist ultrasonic humidifiers are extremely popular these days. Based on our research, though, there aren’t many warm mist ultrasonic humidifiers available on the market that are worthy of your attention.

ProsCons
  • Much quieter because there are no fans involved
  • Consumes the least amount of energy among all the other types of humidifiers
  • No hot parts or surfaces (unless it is a dual mist ultrasonic humidifier)
  • More versatile because they’re able to produce both warm and cool mist
  • Tend to have more useful features compared to other types of humidifiers
  • Doesn’t use any filters that need to be replaced
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid build-up of mold and bacteria
  • Produces white dust due to minerals present in tap water (but can be avoided by using demineralized or distilled water)
  • Generally has smaller room coverage compared to other types of humidifiers
  • Slightly more expensive than evaporative and impeller humidifiers
  • Higher risk of bacterial contamination because the water used is at room temperature (unless warm mist is used)

Filterless Impeller Humidifiers

Impeller humidifiers use a rotating disc to throw water at a diffuser which breaks the water into very fine droplets that float out into the air. These droplets are then seen as cool mist being released from the humidifier. The water tank of impeller humidifiers need to be kept clean to avoid the risk of spreading bacteria into the air.

In recent times, impeller humidifiers have seen a decline in popularity as more and more manufacturers lean towards the production of evaporative and ultrasonic humidifiers. With their bevy of different features and more impressive humidification performance, the simpler impeller humidifiers have paled in comparison, which is why we have not included one in our recommended list.

ProsCons
  • Consumes less energy compared to other types of humidifiers
  • No hot parts or surfaces, safe around children and pets
  • Doesn’t use any filters that need to be replaced
  • Generally more affordable than other types of humidifiers
  • Able to cover larger areas
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly to avoid the spread of mold and bacteria
  • Produces white dust due to minerals present in tap water (but can be avoided by using demineralized or distilled water)
  • Tends to be a lot noisier because of the rotating discs
  • Higher risk of bacterial contamination because the water used is at room temperature

 

Filterless Steam Humidifiers

Steam humidifiers (or steam vaporizers, as they are popularly referred to) works by boiling or heating water at very high temperatures, releasing steam and moisture into the air. This type of humidifier releases “cleaner” mist as compared to cool mist humidifiers because bacteria is eliminated during the heating process so you can rest assured that the mist you’re inhaling isn’t contaminated.

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding steam humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers because of the risk they pose. They tend to get very hot while in use and are considered unsafe for use around children and pets. Low quality steam humidifiers may have poorly designed heat sources that could cause the product to overheat, melt, leak, and potentially start fires.

ProsCons
  • Much quieter because there are no fans involved
  • Lower risk of bacterial contamination because water is heated at high temperatures
  • Great for treating colds and flu, especially with medicinal inhalants
  • Doesn’t use any filters that need to be replaced
  • Provides both humidity and warmth for a more comfortable environment
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly to remove mineral deposits and limescale
  • Generally has smaller room coverage compared to other types of humidifiers
  • Parts and surfaces tend to get quite hot while in use and are thus deemed unsafe around children and pets
  • Consumes more electricity because of the heating element
  • Potential fire hazard, especially when used for long periods of time

Benefits of Using Filterless Humidifiers

Humidifiers in general offer a variety of benefits, but some benefits are specific to filterless humidifiers:

  1. Quiet operation – Filterless humidifiers tend to be quieter than those that use filters, but this is particularly true for ultrasonic humidifiers. Filterless ultrasonic humidifiers are considered the quietest type.
  2. No filters to replace – Compared to humidifiers that use filters, filterless humidifiers are significantly more affordable long-term because there are no filters to replace.
  3. More energy efficient – Humidifiers that use filters generally consume more energy because they require the use of powerful fans. Filterless humidifiers such as impellers and ultrasonic humidifiers are very energy efficient.

Disadvantages of Using Filterless Humidifiers

Unfortunately, despite having a lot of advantages, filterless humidifiers are not without flaws. Here are a few disadvantages to using filterless humidifiers:

  1. White dust – The biggest problem with filterless humidifiers is that they don’t offer any protection against the spread of white dust. White dust is caused by minerals present in hard water that is used in the humidifier. When these minerals are not removed or filtered out, they get dispersed into your room along with the mist. This leaves a thin film of white dust all over your belongings and poses a potential health risk.
  2. Need to use distilled water – White dust can easily be avoided by using distilled or demineralized water instead. Unfortunately, continuously using distilled water in your humidifier is definitely costlier in the long-run.
  3. Smaller room coverage – Humidifiers that use filters (i.e. evaporative humidifiers) are able to humidify larger areas compared to filterless humidifiers.

When to Buy Filterless Humidifiers  

There are a number of circumstances that would call for a filterless humidifier:

  1. You don’t like having to replace filters
  2. You’re looking for a quiet humidifier to use in your bedroom
  3. You want to keep upfront and long-term costs low
  4. You’re looking to save more on your electricity bills

FAQ

Can I use tap water with my filterless humidifier?

Yes, you can. However, it isn’t recommended. While tap water is more accessible and affordable, experts would always recommend distilled water instead. This is because tap water contains minerals and other pollutants that can create deposits inside your humidifier and require you to clean it more often.

What is white dust?

Aside from leaving deposits in the water tank, using tap water in your filterless humidifier will cause it to release white dust. White dust pertains to the mineral content present in tap water or hard water that is used in an ultrasonic or impeller humidifier. When the mist from a humidifier that uses tap water lands on furniture or other surfaces, it leaves a thin white film known as “white dust.”

For most people, white dust isn’t a cause for concern, but it may be problematic for people who suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory health conditions.

How do I clean my filterless humidifier?

Filterless humidifiers are cleaned more or less the same way as other types of humidifiers. Ideally, you should be giving your humidifier a quick rinse before each use and replacing any water left inside. On a weekly basis, you should be giving your humidifier a deeper cleanse by soaking its parts in a vinegar solution which will remove the mineral deposits. For more in-depth instructions on how to clean humidifiers, you can check out our guide here.

How often should I change the water in my humidifier?

Ideally, you should change the water before each use. If emptying the water tank is inconvenient for you, you can allow your humidifier to run until it’s completely empty and then refill it with clean water.

Final Thoughts

A filterless humidifier is an umbrella-term that describes humidifiers that don’t use or need any filters to operate. What makes filterless humidifiers so appealing is their long-term maintenance costs are kept at a minimum because there are no costly replacement filters to replace. The most popular filterless humidifiers on the market usually run on an ultrasonic system.

With that said, we are still picking our favorite, the Levoit LV600HH, as the Best Filterless Humidifier on the market today. The LV600HH gives you so much value for your money as it is an overall robust device with many useful features you wouldn’t normally expect from a humidifier at this price point. Aside from being powerful, this model is also incredibly sleek and well-designed.

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