Purified Water vs Distilled Water For Humidifier: Which Is Better?

Using clean water is crucial whenever you’re running a humidifier. This is to prevent irritations and minerals from building up on the device. But the question, what type of water should you use? In this post, we will compare purified water vs distilled water for humidifier to see which one is best.

Overall, both these types of water are suitable for humidifiers. However, they differ in how they are produced as well as their components.

Difference between distilled vs purified water for humidifier

purified water vs distilled water for humidifier

Both distilled and purifier water are clean and potable. However, they differ largely on the process they undergo.

Distilled water undergoes the process of distillation. This is done by boiling water and then collecting the steam or vapor that comes from it. After that, the collected steam will be cooled, which is now distilled water.

Through the process of distillation, heavy metals like lead, chromium, and copper will be removed from the water. It will also eliminate sodium and chloride among other impurities. This makes distilled water mineral-free.

On the other hand, purified water undergoes several purification stages to eliminate impurities. These stages may include reverse osmosis, ion exchange, activated carbon, sediment filter, and more. More stages mean cleaner water most of the time.

With this process, heavy metals, fungi, bacteria, and other contaminants will be removed from the water. Still, purified water holds a healthy level of minerals necessary for our health.

Both of these water types are safe to drink, use for cooking, and utilize on your humidifier.


Distilled vs Purified Water For Humidifier

As mentioned, both distilled and purified water is safe to use in humidifiers. Here’s a quick rundown to help you pick the best option:

Both distilled and purified water won’t cause white dust.

purified water vs distilled water for humidifier

Since distilled water is depleted of minerals, it will not release white dust from your humidifier. This guarantees zero irritation on your part.

Aside from that, distilled water won’t cause mineral buildup inside the water reservoir of your humidifier. In turn, the device will last longer and will be easier to clean.

On the other hand, purified water is also safe to use in a humidifier. While it contains healthy minerals, it’s only a small amount and is unlikely to cause white dust or trigger irritations.

If you clean your humidifier’s water reservoir regularly, purified water won’t cause mineral buildup. Also, it will take a very long period before purified water even leaves traces of visible minerals on your unit.

Both distilled and purified water won’t cause irritations.

If you have sensitive skin and respiratory issues, both distilled and purified water will be safe to use. These are proven to be safe to inhale and get in contact with the skin.

In case you experience irritations while humidifying with purified or distilled water, you should check your unit first. There might be molds forming or you failed to clean it for long periods already.

Purified water is a cheaper option.

When it comes to distilled water vs purified water for humidifier, the latter wins when it comes to price. Depending on local pricing, purified water tends to be the cheapest option.

It’s because distilled water takes a lot of energy and equipment to produce since it has to be boiled for long periods. And while the process of purification needs replacement filters, it’s usually cheaper than maintaining a distillation facility.

Overall, the price difference between these two water types is small. Still, it may start to pile up if you’re using your humidifier regularly and for long periods.

Distilled water is the safest and foolproof option.

When it comes to the purified vs distilled water for humidifier, the latter wins overall.

Distilled water is a foolproof choice for humidifiers since it doesn’t have any minerals or contaminants. Overall, it’s just water and nothing else, which is exactly what you need for a humidifier. It’s the same reason why distilled water tastes flat.


Other water types and their safety for your humidifier

Aside from distilled and purified water, there are other water types you may find. Here are their differences and suitability for your humidifier:

  • Demineralized water. This has minerals and salts removed. However, it’s not treated against bacteria, viruses, and organic matter. Overall, demineralized water is a no-no for humidifiers.
  • Boiled water. Boiled water may inactivate some pathogens, but it’s not mineral-free. This isn’t advisable to use on humidifiers since it’s almost the same as tap water.
  • Bottled water. Bottled water is a blanket term for any commercially-sold water in a small container. It can either be distilled, purified, or treated in a different manner. Depending on the filtration process, this may or may not be suitable for humidifier use.
  • Tap water. Water straight from your faucet isn’t good for humidifiers. It’s high in minerals, especially for those who live in areas with hard water. Over time, tap water will cause mineral buildup on the humidifier and disperse white dust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use tap water in my humidifier?

A: Tap water isn’t a good choice for humidifiers. Over time, it will cause mineral buildup on the hose and water reservoir. This may cause the humidifier to malfunction and have a shorter lifespan than what’s expected. Aside from that, the high mineral content of tap water will leave white dust all over your home. This can cause skin and respiratory irritations, especially for those with asthma.

Q: Can I use boiled water in a humidifier?

A: Boiled water isn’t recommended to be used on humidifiers. Boiling only kills bacteria but it will not remove the mineral content of the water. Over time, boiled water will still leave mineral buildup on the device just like tap water. You should avoid using it on your humidifier as much as possible.

Q: Does boiling water distill it?

A: Boiling water doesn’t distill it. The intense heat will just remove and neutralize some toxins. Take note that distillation is done by boiling the water and then collecting the steam. This steam will be cooled down and the remnants will be disposed of. The result is clean, mineral-free water.

Q: What can I put in my humidifier?

A: You should only put clean water in your humidifier. Unless the device is designed to work as a diffuser, it shouldn’t be loaded with oils and other non-water fluids. If you do so, your humidifier will get damaged beyond repair. Always stick water and nothing else.

Q: Can mold grow in my humidifier if I use distilled water?

A: Overall, using distilled water in your humidifier will prevent the risk of molds. However, it’s not the absolute answer to the problem. If your humidifier isn’t cleaned regularly, mold spores can harbor inside and spread. So aside from using clean water, it’s also important to observe the proper maintenance of your humidifier.

Final words

Purified water vs distilled water for humidifier, which should I use? If you want the safest option, always go for distilled water. This is mineral-free and won’t cause any white dust or irritations.

On the other hand, purified water is also a safe choice if distilled water is more expensive in your area. Just remember that it still contains traces of healthy minerals, though not enough to cause substantial white dust.