Silica (SiO₂) nanoparticles (NPs) usage includes, but is not limited to, industrial and biomedical applications. Toxic effects of SiO₂ NPs have been explored either in vitro or in vivo, assessing different surface modifications to reduce their harmful effects. Here, murine bone marrow-derived dendritic (BMDC) and a mouse model of mild allergic inflammation were used to study inflammasome activation and lung inflammation. Our results showed that SiO₂ plain NPs induced NACHT, LRR and PYD domains-containing protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome activation, increasing interleukin (IL)-1β release in vitro, and, to a lesser extent, in vivo. In addition, SiO₂ plain NPs triggered a pulmonary inflammatory milieu in both non-sensitized (NS) and sensitized (S) mice, by inducing the expression of key inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Electron microscopy showed that SiO₂ NPs were mostly localized in alveolar macrophages, within vesicles and/or in phagolysosomes. Both the in vitro and the in vivo effects of SiO NPs were attenuated by coating NPs with phosphonate or amino groups, whereas PEGylation, although it mitigated inflammasome activation in vitro, was not a successful coating strategy in vivo. These findings highlight that multiple assays are required to determine the effect of surface modifications in limiting NPs inflammatory potential. Taken together, these data are obtained by comparing in vitro and in vivo effects of SiO₂ NPs suggest the use of amino and phosphonate coating of silica NPs for commercial purposes and targeted applications, as they significantly reduce their proinflammatory potential.