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best filterless humidifier

6 Best Filterless Humidifiers 2024 – Purchased & Tested

A lot of folks opt for a filterless humidifier because they don’t want to deal with the hassle and expense of replacing filters and I guess you are one of them. Thankfully, there are tons of filterless models out there to choose from.

After testing numerous popular humidifiers on the market, I have compiled a list of the best filterless humidifiers for you. Each humidifier underwent a minimum of two weeks of testing to ensure that they are reliable, effective, and suitable for most people’s needs.

Vicks ultrasonic humidifier is a classic model that has been popular for years, but I still decided to put it on the top of our list because it is durable, easy to use, and can work with Vicks vapopad. But if you want to reap the extra benefits of an evaporative humidifier, the Smartmi 2  is the best. You can control it via your smartphone and it is generally quiet. 

We will cover more details about these products and a practical buying guide in the following sections. 

Our Top Picks 

Best Overall
Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Best For Children
Crane Adorables Ultrasonic Humidifier
Easiest To Clean
Taotronics TT-AH038 Cool Mist BPA-free Humidifier
Smartmi Evaporative Humidifiers
HoMedics TotalComfort Deluxe Ultrasonic Air Humidifier
Vicks Nursery 1.5Gallon Vaporizer
ImageVicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier reviewCrane Adorables Ultrasonic Humidifiers for Bedroom and Baby NurseryTaotronics TT-AH038 Cool Mist BPA-free Humidifier reviewSmartmi Evaporative Humidifiers reviewHoMedics TotalComfort Deluxe Ultrasonic Air Humidifier reviewVicks Nursery 1.5Gallon Vaporizer review
Overall Rating9.2/10
9.3/10
8.8/10
8.5/10
9.6/10
9.4/10
HighlightsConstructed with durable materials and is extremely easy to use.Adorable appearance.Adorable and Safe: A humidifier that's sure to be a hit with the little ones.Filterless evaporator design with smart app control and a convenient top-fill option.This model is equipped with nearly all the features you'd need in a humidifier.Powerful vaporizer: Quickly increases humidity without bacteria or mold concerns.
Tank Size4.54L3.78 L2.5L 4L7.57L5.68L
Output183 ml184 ml118 ml130 ml258 ml358 ml
Price Range$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
More DetailsRead MoreRead MoreRead MoreRead MoreRead MoreRead More
Where to BuyView on AmazonView on AmazonView on CraneView on TaotronicsView on AmazonView on AmazonView on HomedicsView on Amazon

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Best Overall

Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier

Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier components
Vicks Filter-Free Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier nightlight

Highlights:

Constructed with durable materials and is extremely easy to use.

Air Smartly Rating

9.2

/10

Output

183

ml

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9/10
Humidification Performance
9/10
Ease of Cleaning
9.5/10
Noise Level
9.65/10
Usability
10/10
Build Quality
9/10
Warranty
water tank size

Tank Size

4.54L

warranty

Warranty

3-Year

type

Type

Ultrasonic/Filterless

type

Max Runtime

30-Hour

type

Wattage

w

type

Size

9.45"D x 10.87"W x 13.46"H

type

Price

$$$$$

type

Coverage

Small to Middle-sized room

Pros

  • It’s made from sturdy plastic.

  • 3-year warranty.

  • Easy to use.

  • It is compatible with Vicks vapopads.

Cons

  • The nightlight can’t turn off.

  • The bottom of the water tank is difficult to clean.

  • It is not the most cost-effective option.

Elderly
Elderly

With just a simple knob for control, it's especially user-friendly for older people.

Children
Children

Dry Skin
Dry Skin

It operates quietly with moderate output, allowing for a comfortable humidity level and a good night's sleep.

This filterless humidifier from Vicks has been a popular choice in the market for years. It’s made with quality materials and is extremely easy to use and maintain.

Even though I have dozens of humidifiers at home for my business, my mom and grandma still prefer to use this one.

According to our tests, it has an output of 183 ml/hour, and with a 4.54L water tank, it’s sufficient for covering a middle-sized room. There’s only a big knob on the front for adjusting the mist level, making it easy for anyone to use.

Honestly, it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for an advanced model. But it does have some nice touches that I want to mention.

Firstly, it has a handle on the water tank, allowing for easy refilling. Secondly, it has a slot for using Vicks vapor pads. You can definitely use this humidifier without vapor pads, but using them together can provide you with more comfort.

Another highlight of this product is its 3-year warranty. As you’re probably aware, most humidifiers only come with a 1-year warranty.

I notice that its indicator can’t be turned off when running. While it could be used as a nightlight, some light sleepers may not like it. 

Best For Children

Crane Adorables Ultrasonic Humidifier

Highlights:

Adorable appearance.

Air Smartly Rating

9.3

/10

Output

184

ml

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9/10
Humidification Performance
9.5/10
Ease of Cleaning
10/10
Noise Level
10/10
Usability
10/10
Build Quality
8.5/10
Warranty
water tank size

Tank Size

3.78 L

warranty

Warranty

1-Year

type

Type

Ultrasonic/Filterless

type

Max Runtime

24-Hour

type

Wattage

45w

type

Size

9 x 12.75 x 9 in

type

Price

$$$$$

type

Coverage

Small Spaces

Pros

  • Very easy to use.

  • Adorable appearance.

  • It is quiet when running.

  • Easy to clean.

Cons

  • No advanced functions.

  • The green light can’t turn off.

Children
Children

It is a gadget even kids can't refuse.

Elderly
Elderly

It is senior-friendly. No text to read and simple one-knob control.

Dry Skin
Dry Skin

It can improve the indoor humidity.

Children tend to be more fragile when flu season is coming. This Crane humidifier is so adorable that your kids will likely love it. It could be a good addition to your children’s room. 

While my Crane humidifier looks like a unicorn, the manufacturer offers various cartoon images for you to choose from. All of them are cute. Because it only produces a cool mist, it is also a safer choice for kids.

Like the Vicks humidifier I mentioned, it has no advanced features. All you need to do is fill the water with distilled water and rotate the big knob on the front, and you are good to go. Note that the green light can’t be turned off either. 

Don’t worry, the same to all the models in this list, it can shut off automatically when it runs out of water. The red light will stay on to alarm you for refilling. 

As for humidification performance, its output is 184 ml based on our data, making it a suitable option for a small or middle-sized room. I also like its quiet operation, which allows people to sleep well. 

Because of the unique appearance, you may be concerned about the ease of cleaning. Luckily, the top is removable and the water tank itself has a regular shape. Adding to that it is filterless, you don’t need to spend too much time maintaining it.

Easiest To Clean

Taotronics TT-AH038 Cool Mist BPA-free Humidifier

Taotronics TT-AH038 Cool Mist BPA-free Humidifier
Taotronics TT-AH038 Cool Mist BPA-free Humidifier components
Taotronics TT-AH038 Cool Mist BPA-free Humidifier mist

Highlights:

Adorable and Safe: A humidifier that's sure to be a hit with the little ones.

Air Smartly Rating

8.8

/10

Output

118

ml

View on Taotronics

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8/10
Humidification Performance
10/10
Ease of Cleaning
10/10
Noise Level
10/10
Usability
10/10
Build Quality
8.5/10
Warranty
water tank size

Tank Size

2.5L

warranty

Warranty

1-Year

type

Type

Ultrasonic/Filterless

type

Max Runtime

30-Hour

type

Wattage

18w

type

Size

11.3 x 8.5 x 6.0in

type

Price

$$$$$

type

Coverage

Small Space

Pros

  • Affordable price.

  • A large water tank opening - very easy to clean.

  • Easy to control.

Cons

  • Offers just humidification and a nightlight feature.

Children
Children

Kids will like the whale-shaped gadget.

People on Budget
People on Budget

It has a low price tag but it can work in small spaces.

Elderly
Elderly

Its simple knob control ensures hassle-free operation.

This is another good filterless humidifier that I think is suitable for kids. The whale-shaped appearance is favored by many parents and children as well. Since it is made with BPA-free and thick plastic, it could be safe for your child for long-term use.

Different from the two models above, this model comes with a separate button to control the night light, allowing you to adjust its brightness. The warm, yellow light creates a soothing and snug ambiance that your child will love.

Furthermore, you can completely turn off the light, which is great for light sleepers.

What I love most about this humidifier is its ease of cleaning. The cap of the water tank is large enough for your hands to reach every nook and cranny effortlessly. Its lightweight design also makes it effortless to refill.

This is a big reason why I want to keep it in my bedroom when winter comes. I have to admit that I am a lazy guy.

However, the maximum output is only 118 ml, which can’t cover a large space. 

Best Evaporative Model

Smartmi Evaporative Humidifiers

Smartmi Evaporative Humidifiers
Smartmi Evaporative Humidifiers components
Smartmi Evaporative Humidifiers fan

Highlights:

Filterless evaporator design with smart app control and a convenient top-fill option.

Air Smartly Rating

8.5

/10

Output

130

ml

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8/10
Humidification Performance
8/10
Ease of Cleaning
10/10
Noise Level
9.65/10
Usability
10/10
Build Quality
8.5/10
Warranty
water tank size

Tank Size

4L

warranty

Warranty

1-Year

type

Type

Evaporative/Filterless

type

Max Runtime

24-Hour

type

Wattage

8w

type

Size

9.45 x 14.29 x 9.45 in

type

Price

$$$$$

type

Coverage

Small Spaces

Pros

  • No need to pay for the filter replacement.

  • Easy to refill.

  • Easy to control.

Cons

  • It is a bit expensive.

  • Need to clean it regularly to prevent smells.

  • Some advanced features are not effective as it claims

  • It is not for large spaces.

Cough
Cough

This humidifier can improve the humidity level and the water mist is invisible and clean.

Asthma
Asthma

The clean mist coming out of the humidifier can help with easing your symptoms.

Even though most guides will tell you that evaporative humidifiers need to work with wick filters, there are some exceptions.

Instead of using a filter, this Smartmi makes use of an evaporator to filter out the dirt and mineral in the water and boost the evaporation process. This evaporator is made of thick plastic chips and doesn’t need a replacement. 

If you insist on using tap water in your humidifier, an evaporative model is definitely a better choice. 

We are very impressed with the functionalities this model has. You can control it through both the control panel and the APP. You can check the water level, and humidity level, or set the timer or the brightness of the screen wherever you want. 

It even embraces a self-clean and a drying mode, even though it is not very effective based on our test. 

Another advantage many people like is its top-fill design. You can fill the water either from the top or the base. 

As you know, evaporative humidifiers tend to make more noise. This Smartmi model is much quieter than its counterparts. 

However, it has a relatively high price tag and can only cover a small or middle-sized room.

If you decide to purchase this model, you should commit to regular cleaning. Otherwise, it may produce an awful smell.

Best Filterless Humidifier For Large Bedrooms

HoMedics TotalComfort Deluxe Ultrasonic Air Humidifier

HoMedics TotalComfort Deluxe Ultrasonic Air Humidifier
HoMedics TotalComfort Deluxe Ultrasonic Air Humidifier components
HoMedics TotalComfort Deluxe Ultrasonic Air Humidifier mist

Highlights:

This model is equipped with nearly all the features you'd need in a humidifier.

Air Smartly Rating

9.6

/10

Output

258

ml

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10/10
Humidification Performance
7.5/10
Ease of Cleaning
10/10
Noise Level
9.15/10
Usability
9.5/10
Build Quality
8.5/10
Warranty
water tank size

Tank Size

7.57L

warranty

Warranty

1-Year

type

Type

Ultrasonic/Filterless/Cold/Warm

type

Max Runtime

120-Hour

type

Wattage

w

type

Size

22"D x 22"W x 22"H

type

Price

$$$$$

type

Coverage

Large space

Pros

  • High output and large water tank.

  • It is a cold/warm mist humidifier.

  • Essential oil tray included.

Cons

  • The mist spout tube is very hard to clean.

  • It is expensive.

Cough
Cough

The high output makes sure it can relieve the symptom quickly.

Asthma
Asthma

Regardless of warm mist or cold mist you want, it can provide the comfort you need.

Dry Skin
Dry Skin

It can increase the indoor humidity level quickly.

This humidifier is another versatile model on our list. While it is recommended to use a demineralization cartridge, it can still function as a filterless humidifier if you add clean water. With a high output of 258 ml, it is capable of effectively humidifying large rooms.

What sets this model apart is its ability to provide both warm and cool mist options. During the winter season, many users prefer the warm mist mode, which can slightly increase the room temperature. However, it’s worth noting that it takes some time to heat the water, as is the case with other warm mist models I have tested.

Furthermore, this humidifier features a built-in humidistat and offers five mist levels to suit your preferences. It also has the convenience of a nightlight and a display that can be turned off if desired.

Additionally, it includes an essential oil tray, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy along with moist air.

While this humidifier boasts several advantages, I did identify one drawback: the cleaning process can be challenging. The mist spout tube, located between the two water tanks, is narrow and long, making it difficult to access from the bottom.

Consequently, if cleaning is neglected, mold spores and grime can accumulate in the tube, posing a cleaning challenge. Therefore, I highly recommend using distilled water to operate this humidifier to avoid any unpleasant odors that may occur otherwise.

Best Budget Filterless Humidifier

Vicks Nursery 1.5Gallon Vaporizer

Vicks Nursery 1.5Gallon Vaporizer
Vicks Nursery 1.5Gallon Vaporizer night light
Vicks Nursery 1.5Gallon Vaporizer add salt

Highlights:

Powerful vaporizer: Quickly increases humidity without bacteria or mold concerns.

Air Smartly Rating

9.4

/10

Output

358

ml

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10/10
Humidification Performance
9/10
Ease of Cleaning
7/10
Noise Level
8.65/10
Usability
10/10
Build Quality
9/10
Warranty
water tank size

Tank Size

5.68L

warranty

Warranty

3-Year

type

Type

Vaporizer/Warm Mist/Filterless

type

Max Runtime

24-Hour

type

Wattage

3.6w

type

Size

15 x 12 x 10 in

type

Price

$$$$$

type

Coverage

large rooms

Pros

  • Great humidification performance.

  • It has a 3-year warranty.

  • Low price tag.

  • It is compatible with other products from Vicks.

Cons

  • It can consume more electricity.

  • The hot water inside may hurt your naughty children.

  • The nightlight can't turn off.

Cough
Cough

This humidifier can increase the humidity level quickly to ease your cough.

Asthma
Asthma

Clean mist effectively soothes symptoms.

Dry Skin
Dry Skin

This gadget powerfully moisturizes your skin in a short time.

If you’re looking for a no-frills, budget-friendly option, the Vicks Vaporizer could be a great choice.

Despite its affordable price, this model is constructed with durable materials and even comes with a generous 3-year warranty. It has gained popularity among many American households as a trusted solution for relieving sinus problems during the winter season.

Unlike ultrasonic humidifiers, the Vicks Vaporizer operates by heating water, similar to boiling it in an oven. This means it doesn’t rely on an atomizer or filter.

In our tests, I found that it offers a powerful output of up to 358 ml, surpassing the capabilities of ultrasonic models. Additionally, it boasts a large water tank with a capacity of up to 5.68 L, allowing for extended operation without frequent refills.

However, it’s important to exercise caution when using the Vicks Vaporizer around children, as the hot water it produces can pose a scalding hazard. Additionally, if you plan on using it continuously day and night, keep in mind that it may result in higher electricity costs.

It is designed to work with products from Vicks. Even though it doesn’t have many advanced features, it has a medicine cup and two pad slots for adding Vicks Vaposteam and Vapopad. The nightlight is also a nice touch, although it will remain on whenever the machine is in operation.

Note that this humidifier needs to work with hard water so its heating element requires more regular cleaning.

Is a filterless humidifier better than one with filter?

When it comes to comparing filtered humidifiers with filterless humidifiers, it’s difficult to provide a definitive answer about which one is superior.

Using a filterless humidifier allows you to save money on filter replacements and reduces the time spent on cleaning the filter. However, opting for a filtered humidifier helps prevent the occurrence of white dust and promotes better air quality.

Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on your specific needs and priorities.

What to look for when purchasing a filterless humidifier?

If it is your first time purchasing a filterless humidifier, it is better to check the factors I summarized in this section.

Is it truly filterless?

It is a common misconception that all ultrasonic humidifiers are filterless, but in reality, that is not the case. For instance, certain models of ultrasonic humidifiers, such as those by Levoit, may require the use of sponge filters or mineral-descaling nylon pads.

filter in levoit dual 200s humidifier

Similarly, not every evaporative humidifier requires a filter. Take the Smartmi 2  humidifier on our list, for example; it operates without the need for a filter.

Therefore, you should carefully check the manufacturer’s specifications to determine whether a filter is needed.

Ease of cleaning 

Since there is no filter to filter out the pollutants, the humidifier will need to be cleaned more frequently. Accordingly, the ease of cleaning becomes even more critical.

You should check if the cap of the water tank is large enough so that your hands can reach every corner easily. In addition, the mist tube is also a common place for accumulating germs and it should be easy to clean. (Check our list of the best easy to clean humidifiers)

The Taotronic humidifier I just mentioned has a really large opening and gives us a hassle-free experience.

Output 

To be honest, output is an important factor to consider regardless of the type of humidifier you prefer. If your humidifier can’t increase the humidity level, it becomes useless.

Some manufacturers will tell you the maximum output but others don’t. Alternatively, they will claim the coverage. 

In any case, you should choose a model that has a bit higher output or larger coverage than you need. This is because you may not always run the humidifier at its highest level, and having some leeway ensures that it can effectively maintain the desired humidity level in your space, even when operating at lower settings.

According to our experience, to effectively humidify a mid-range room, it is recommended to choose a humidifier with an output of at least 100ml. For larger rooms, an output higher than 200ml is preferable.

Ease of refilling 

In addition to the task of replacing the filter, refilling the water tank is another chore that comes with using a humidifier, unless you opt for a whole-house model.

We understand that many individuals who prefer filterless humidifiers also desire a seamless refilling process to enhance their hassle-free experience.

The best solution is to choose a humidifier model that offers a convenient top-fill feature. Alternatively, select a humidifier with a water tank that can be securely placed upside down while refilling.

Water tank size

If you work from home in an extremely dry area and anticipate running your humidifier for extended periods each day, it is advisable to select a humidifier with a larger water tank.

A larger tank capacity will allow for longer continuous operation without the need for frequent refilling.

How to prevent white dust when using a humidifier without filter?

If you purchase a filterless ultrasonic model, a potential issue you need to prevent is white dust, which may increase your time on cleaning and pose some health risks.

While cleaning it regularly can avoid the mineral deposits to accumulate on the atomizer and tank, the ultimate solution is using distilled water. 

We understand that distilled water could be too expensive to buy. Actually, there are some ways to make it at home

Summary

Filterless humidifiers are easy to find on the market but many people have no clue how to get the one that is right for them. 

After testing a bunch of humidifiers and interviewing different groups of people, I conclude that Vicks ultrasonic humidifier  is a good one because it is reliable, easy to use and clean, and compatible with Vicks vapopad. 

If you want to avoid white dust, the Smartmi 2  is the best because it is an evaporative model.

Last update on 2024-03-01 at 11:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested more than 150 products in person, including humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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