best water for humidifier

Best Water for Humidifier-Distilled, Bottle, Boiled or Tap?

What is the Best Water for a Humidifier?

Distilled water is the best water to use in a humidifier because:

The use of distilled water helps keep your humidifier in good condition. Because of the process in which distilled water is made, It lacks minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as sodium that can build up inside your humidifier and make it less effective.

Dry air in the Winter causes an array of issues. The skin breaks, the lips shrink and swell, and your nose becomes congested. The worst part is that these issues result from the air you breathe and are surrounded within your home, your own domain.
A humidifier is a device that can help avoid these issues. It can help bring the humidity to a level that is comfortable and much more healthy for the people in your home.
However, there are some disadvantages to using a humidifier incorrectly. It can increase maintenance expenses. It can also affect the quality of air in your home.
If you want to use your humidifier properly, the first thing you’ll need to be aware of is the kind of water you should be filling it with.

Distilled Water for Humidifier

Distilled drinking water is the most suitable kind of water to use in a humidifier. It has been processed to get rid of contaminants like bacteria and minerals. Particles that you do not want in your air or your humidifier.

Think about it…

The bacteria in your water can end up being in the air that you are breathing since it’s going through a humidifier. And Minerals and other particulates can end up damaging your unit and reducing the life of your humidifier.

Distilled water is produced when boiling water evaporates into steam and then cools.  The process causes the impurities in the water to be left behind as it turns into condensation. The condensation is collected and bottled as “distilled water”

Mold Prevention. Mold growing in a humidifier is one the biggest problems people face when using one. Distilled water is less likely to have mold spores present in it. Which will help keep mold and bacteria from taking root as quickly in the humidifier.

Less Dusty Humidifier dust is caused by the minerals that are in tap water and drinking water.  Because distilled water is treated to eliminate the minerals, it will help keep the problem of “humidifier dust” to a minimum.

Tap water in a humidifier?

Tap water for humidifiers is not advised. Tap water is typically a source of solids and minerals that could harm your humidifier. Tap water can result in calcium deposits developing inside of your humidifier.

Utilizing tap water for your humidifier can cause also lower the quality of your ambient air. It is is loaded with chemicals like fluoride that when moved through a humidifier become part of the air you breathe.

Also the white “humidifier dust” that appears on the surfaces around the humidifier can be kicked up into the air. Which will not only inhibit your breathing, will dry out your skin. One of the very things that you wanted a humidifier for in the first place. 

In order for mold to grow, it requires three different ingredients; water, low light, and a food source.

Tap water is loaded with minerals that can be considered the food source for mold to grow.

Though It is recommended to clean or replace the humidifier’s filter frequently and also clean the inside of any mineral build-up, using tap water will increase the frequency of replacing filters and increase your cleaning schedule..

Demineralization cartridges are available on many humidifiers and can be bought separately if you decide that using tap water is worth the risk.

bottled water for humidifierBottled Water in a Humidifier?

Using bottled water in a humidifier is only slightly better than using tap water. It is filtered but not to the point that it is free of the minerals that can cause deposits in your humidifier. 

A lot of bottled drinking water that you find on the shelf is natural spring water or at least that’s supposed to be the origin.

Natural spring water naturally has a lot of minerals and solids that will end up making your humidifier less effective.

If you read the label good on most bottled water, you will see that it says that minerals have been put back into the water for consumption.

But not to the point or the quantity that you will get from just putting plain tap water into your humidifier. So even though bottled water may not be the best water for a humidifier, it is a step up from tap water.

Should I use filtered water in my humidifier?

Using filtered water in a humidifier is better than using water straight out of the tap. But even filtered water is not 100% pure of minerals and other solids that can end up doing damage to your humidifier. 

And water filters are not able to get rid of all the fluoride and chlorine that is in tap water.

Though it is better than using tap water, filtered water still has much of the mineralization and propensity to develop mold and bacteria.

Should I boil the water I use in my humidifier?

 Boiling water is a do it yourself technique for humidifying your home without the use of a humidifier. When water is boiled it turns into steam and evaporates.

 Boiling water also kills any microorganisms in the water. 

But, the pot that you boil the water in is full of deposits and minerals left behind from the tap water.

If you pour the water directly out of the pot into the humidifier, much of the deposits that have been boiled out of the water will get back into the water.

The very thing you’re trying to avoid.

Much is made about how vaporizers and warm mist humidifiers are not as likely to develop mold and bacteria in them because the water is brought to a boiling point that kills the organisms. 

But you have to remember that minerals and deposits are left behind when you boil water.

Even in the case of vaporizers, distilled water is going to be the best water to use in your warm mist humidifier.

Caution:  And remember that the humidifier is made out of plastic. Pouring boiling water into it, is going to melt it. Let it cool first if you decide to do it this way.

Should I put hot or cold water in my humidifier?

Humidifiers do not need to have the water brought to any certain temperature before pouring it into the basin. 

 Normal room temperature is adequate. 

Some might get the idea of that because a vaporizer uses steam to humidify, that you have to put boiling water in it for it to work.

 Not so. The humidifier is built to warm the water on its own and does not require you to do anything besides fill it with room temperature distilled water. 

But by the same token, if you pour cold drinking water out of the refrigerator into a vaporizer, it’s going to take that much longer to work because it takes longer for cold water to get to a boiling point.

So just stick with room temperature.

And excessive cold or hot temperatures are not good for plastic and will eventually cause plastic to crack.


Distilled water is the best water to use in a humidifier because it goes through a process that eliminates the most minerals and microorganisms that can damage your humidifier and get into the air you breathe when you put them through a humidifier. 

It also is the best water to avoid the white dust that builds up around humidifiers.

 Bottle drinking water is a little better than using straight tap water in a humidifier but it’s still contains a great deal of the minerals that can cause a humidifier to scale up and be less effective.

And it is the minerals in the water that eventually become the white dust that you see settling around a humidifier.

 Boiled water does have the advantage of killing the spores and bacteria that can be in your average tap water, but when you boil water, the mineral deposit settle at the bottom. 

If you pour that water into a humidifier, you still have the problem of the mineral deposits getting into the humidifier.

Lastly, tap water is easily the worst water you can use in a humidifier. 

It is full of minerals and chemical treatments that will not only eventually damage your humidifier, will become part of the air you breathe when you use the water to humidify the air.

Tap water also becomes moldier faster and leaves the white dust that you were trying to avoid around your humidifier faster.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @