Purified water vs distilled water for humidifier. What is better?

Have you ever wondered what type of water for a humidifier is best to use? A humidifier helps to control the moisture in the air inside your house. Especially during winter time, using a humidifier regularly helps to sort out health problems caused by dry indoor air.

To ensure the optimal performance of your device, let’s find out what water in humidifier you can use and what is the difference between them.

What are the types of water you can use in a humidifier?

Using the tap water in a humidifier isn’t ideal as its mineral content is elevated. Releasing them into the air can cause changes in air quality and air contamination, which in turn will affect your family’s health.

A mineral buildup can impact the way your humidifier performs and even cause the damage to the internal parts of the device.

Using tap water in a humidifier can also cause mold growth due to the bacteria present in such water. Avoid using tap water in a humidifier at any cost, to prevent health issues.

Another downside of the tap water as it is hard water. Adding tap water in to the humidifier can result in white dust forming on the surfaces of your furniture around the house. It happens because the mineral particles, presented in high quantities in tap water, get released into the air and land everywhere around you.

Inhaling such air can cause medical respiratory problems as well, that is why you have to stay away from adding the tap water into your humidifier’s tank.

What is the type of water for a humidifier that is recommended to be used? How to choose the best water? Does it have to be purified water or distilled water?

1. Distilled water and purified water

The manufacturers of the humidifiers recommend using distilled water, as it is the cleanest type of water that is free from any mineral deposits and mineral content.

The water purification process is quite simple. Water gets warmed up to the boiling point, and the steam that forms after boiling water gets collected into the liquid form again.

Despite the fact that the distilled type of water is made out of boiling water, they are completely different.

Distilled water is widely used in food and beverages production, as it is perfectly safe. The distilled water is the best type of water to pick for humidifier.

The benefits of the distilled water:

  • It will keep your humidifier clean. This type of water doesn’t contain the minerals or contaminants that can build up and clogged up your humidifier, unlike boiling water or tap water.
  • Won’t result in mold growth inside the humidifier. Having distilled water in your humidifier with no contaminants and any dissolved minerals won’t cause a bacteria or mold to grow.
  • Will significantly improve the quality of air. The white dust caused by excessive amount of minerals and contaminants in water inside your humidifier will affect your health and the performance of the device, unless you start using distilled water.

The purified type of water is almost the same as distilled water. The major difference is in the way the water gets cleaned. With distilled water you have to use hot water to create steam, and then you collect it back into liquid form of cold water.

The purification process is done through a reverse osmosis.

Such water is basically the same as distilled water as there are no harmful minerals, hence you can use purify water in a humidifier.

3. Filtered Water

Filtered water gets purified using different filtering systems. Carbon filters remove nearly 99 percent harmful particles. The filtered water is also fine to be used in humidifiers, but it all depends on the quality of the filtering system. In some cases, it is not effective in removing the heavy metals from water.

If there is no distilled water around, use cold water that has been filtered. Cold water is also known for containing less dissolved minerals including carbon dioxide, unlike hot water.

4. Boiled Water

Many people choose to use boiled water, as they think it is safer and improves the air quality around the house. In reality, boiled water will be free of any kind of germs and bacteria, but will still have a presence of dissolved minerals. In fact, boiled water will have even more dissolved minerals caused by simply boiling it.

Just like with tap water, to use boiling water in your humidifier isn’t recommended.

5. Bottled Water

Bottled water will less likely to have any harmful contaminants, as it is sold as drinking water or spring water and has high standards of purification. You might think you can use bottled water in your humidifier.

You need to know that all bottled water that comes in plastic bottles will have a high volume of synthetic polymer particles that get released into water from plastic. They are quite harmful to human if consumed in large quantities, and it can also damage the humidifier’s reservoir.

So bottled water isn’t the best option if you want perfect environment around your house.

6. Demineralized Water

Demineralized water doesn’t have any impurities and contaminants in it as the cleaning process it goes through, eliminates any mineral deposits, including the good ones.

That in turn might cause a lack of minerals in your body if you use such water to drink.

Such water still might contain viruses and bacteria, and using this water in your humidifier will spread them around the house, making the indoor air contaminated.

Perhaps you will also be interested Is a diffuser a humidifier?

Should I use hot or cold water in a humidifier?

The effectiveness of your humidifier depends on the temperature of the water you are going to be using.

For those who have problems with the respiratory system, adding hot water in to the humidifier will release hot mist, which is perfect for treating such conditions.

Before adding hot water, you have to make sure your humidifier supports such temperatures, otherwise it can cause damage.

Another thing to keep in mind is that hot water might result in bacteria or mold spores to form inside the humidifier, which will make the air around harmful. So it is not going to help with health issues, but will make it worse.

If you have kids or animals, avoid using hot water for your humidifier. Hot water can be spilled easily, causing the skin injuries such as burns.

At the same time, using a warm mist humidifier will result in a higher level of moisture in the air and will make your house to smell nice and fresh.

Choosing between hot or cold water, opt for the cold one. It is safer for everyone and also has fewer minerals that can affect your health state.

Using the water that has room temperature will prevent accidents from happening. It is important if you have small kids or animals at home.

The cool mist will help you to breathe freely and will sort out other health issues cause by dry air indoor.

There are modern humidifiers that have an automatic function of controlling the temperature of the mist coming out. Depending on your needs and the environment, you can regulate it.


Can you use tap water in a humidifier?

The short answer is no, you can’t. Tap water is the worst option you can select. The high level of harmful heavy metals and different minerals might result in developing health issues. So instead of helping you, it is going to be quite the opposite.

Adding tap water into the water reservoir of your humidifier will cause the unwanted bacteria and other particles to build up. It will also be the reason your humidifier isn’t working smoothly.

How often should you change water in a humidifier?

That is the most important part of maintaining the humidifier. The water must be changed daily. If you aren’t going to be using the humidifier for some time, never leave hard water in, pour it out. Leaving water in will result in mold and bacteria growth, and it will be difficult to clean it afterward.

Do not forget to clean the humidifier to kill bacteria as per the manual instructions. To ensure, the water stays clean inside and clean steam gets released into the air.

The humidifier can cause harm if not used properly, including adding tap water and leaving it to sit there for days. To remind, hard tap water contains the largest amount of dissolved minerals, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses.

To summarize

Based on the information above, we recommend to use only distilled water in your humidifier as it is the purest form of water out of all the described types, with no dissolved solids present. The tap water is the worst to be used because of all the harmful particles in it. The bottled water isn’t ideal if it comes from plastic bottles.

Taking care of your health is the prime reason for getting a humidifier. Make sure you use it to your benefit. Do not neglect the manufacturer instructions regarding the type of water that can be used in a humidifier. It is possible to avoid unexpected costs of having to fix a broken humidifier that can be damaged by the wrong type of water you use.

Also read our articles: Best place to put humidifier in a house and Best humidifier for plants.

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