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Does a Bathroom Need a Window? [EXPLAINED]

A bathroom is a high-moisture environment with high levels of humidity.

A window helps to air out space, which prevents mold and other nasties from flourishing in the ever-so-convenient grouting lines of your tiles.

But what do you do when there is no window in your bathroom and no option to install one?

Does your bathroom really need a window?

Let’s look at the pros and cons of bathroom windows and consider some alternatives to help you ventilate your bathroom without needing to break through walls and installing windows.

bathroom window

Windowless Bathroom: Pros and Cons

While a bathroom can technically work without a window, you may need to consider the pros and cons before opting for such a space.

Pros of a Windowless Bathroom

There are a couple of benefits to having a windowless bathroom.

Less Heat Loss

A bathroom window is where most of the heat is lost.

By not having a window, you can significantly increase the space’s ambient temperature, which is great for colder climates.

Increased Privacy

While most bathroom windows feature security or non-see-through glass, not having one increases the feeling of privacy.

By having a windowless bathroom, you can also have a more quiet bathroom since windows bring outside noise in busy areas.

Less Chance of Insect Infestations

Windows can serve as a pest entry.

You have to worry about flying insects, small animals, rodents, crawling insects, and any number of other undesirable life forms entering your bathroom through windows.

Cons of a Windowless Bathroom

There are, however, more reasons why having a bathroom window is a good idea.

No Ventilation

When your bathroom has no window, you will struggle with getting fresh air, and soon, it will smell like the gym locker at a cheap establishment.

Ventilation is essential to keep a bathroom fresh.

Increased Mold Risk

Mold, fungi, and other bacteria love warm and damp spaces.

If your windowless bathroom isn’t properly ventilated, you increase the risk of these nasties taking root.

With no window to let damp air out, your bathroom will soon be a great breeding spot for any number of unwanted infections that are just waiting to contaminate your home and family.

Increased Electrical Bill

Since you will have to install some form of ventilation, whether through an exhaust fan or dehumidifier, you will end up with a larger electricity bill.

You will also need to use electrical lights whenever you use the bathroom as there is no natural light.

It Might Be Illegal

Building codes in different parts of the U.S. may stipulate that windowless bathrooms are not legally allowed due to the health risk.

So, while you can keep quiet and hope nobody notices, you may end up with a hefty fine when you do sell the property one day.

More Labor Intensive

Since your bathroom will not ventilate and dry as effectively, you will need to be very thorough in your cleaning routine for a windowless bathroom to prevent spore buildup and mold development.

This means your bathroom will require a lot more maintenance.

Costs to Install a Window

Should you purchase a property where there are no windows in the bathroom, you may end up having to install a window, which requires special equipment to cut the hole in the wall and install the window panes.

This renovation exercise will also run up substantial costs in labor and materials.

Ok, But I Still Have No Windows in My Bathroom. What Can I Do?

So, you have no window, and you don’t want to pay to have one installed.

What can you do to create a better and more ventilated bathroom?

Buy an Exhaust Fan

When you want to introduce outside air and remove excess humidity, an exhaust fan is a great idea.

This is essentially a series of fans that suck your warm and humid bathroom air out and replace it with cool and dry air from outside.

An exhaust fan will improve the bathroom air quality, preventing that tell-tale stale smell, and it will help prevent mold build-up.

Installing one in a windowless bathroom may be more complicated than the cheaper in-window designs used in bathroom windows.

To safely install the wiring and drill the holes for the fans, you may need to hire a contractor.

Sadly, an exhaust fan will also drop your bathroom temperatures, and it can place an additional strain on your HVAC system, which will have to work harder to heat up the extra outside air.

Declutter Your Bathroom

By reducing the number of things in your small and windowless bathroom, you add more space to yourself and the air.

Add some reflective surfaces like mirrors to help improve lighting and enlarge the space visually.

Making a windowless bathroom visually larger and well-lit improves psychological comfort.

Add a Few Plants

Plants can warm up your bathroom space. By placing a few low-maintenance plants around the bathroom, you can help it feel warmer and airier.

Some bathroom plants can absorb moisture and will help improve the room’s air quality provided that you properly ventilate your bathroom.

Choose a Light Color Scheme

When we think of breathing and fresh air, we tend to think of light colors.

Use warm wood tones, pale yellows, and other light colors to help lift the space and make it more welcoming.

Since the windowless bathroom usually tends to be a dull and dark room, you can brighten up space with a few bright accessories such as red or yellow bath sheets, soft and inviting bathroom floor rugs, and finish it up with a sleek set of lights to complement and light up space on either side of a large wall-mounted mirror.

Add Minor Comfort Tweaks

Even small changes can help make your windowless bathroom a better place to visit. For starters:

  • Keep your dry towels in the hallway closet and put wet or damp towels in the wash immediately to keep the bathroom smelling fresh as a daisy.

  • You can also use scented dispensers, allowing you to choose from a range of delicious smells over nasty body odor and damp reek.

  • By leaving the bathroom door open when you aren’t using the bathroom, you will also improve the air quality and ventilation.

  • You may also consider installing a two-way vent at the bottom or top of your bathroom door, so it allows fresh air in from the rest of your house.

  • Install a small ceiling fan to stir things up and improve air circulation.


Always check what your local area regulations are regarding the use of a windowless bathroom and whether an exhaust fan is a requirement or not.

Manage the space by keeping moisture to a minimum, wiping up water spray from showers and baths, and spreading the light by having multiple mirrors to enlarge the space.

A windowless bathroom doesn’t need to be an eye (and nose) sore. Make it your own with tips and helpful ideas like those listed above.

Adam McCoy

Adam is an HVAC expert and the owner of Mackydo's HVAC Services with decades of experience in fixing and installing air conditioning units, furnaces, and every type of cooling and heating equipment you can think of.

Adam believes that your home is your sanctuary. He loves sharing advice based on his lifelong experience and treats every HVAC problem as if it was his own.

Mandy Phillips

As a frequent contributor to top US magazines and publications in the home improvement niche, Mandy has been known for sharing her expertise on how to clean, organize, and decorate bathrooms.

Additionally, Mandy has immense experience offering lifestyle tips and tricks to her readers.

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At Loo Academy, our mission is to offer trusted advice for everything related to bathrooms (design ideas, plumbing advice, showering & bathing tips, remodeling guides, and more) — a place where we all spend a great deal of time.

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