Oil Diffuser Vs. Humidifier Key Differences

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Okay so what IS the difference between oil diffuser vs. humidifier? After all, they both have similar functions right? Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the most common questions about them and what their different purposes are.

oil diffusers and humidifier on a table
Oil Diffuser vs. Humidifier

Oil Diffuser Vs Humidifier – Which is Better?

It all depends on what problem you’re trying to solve or what benefits you want out of using a diffuser or humidifier. They can both be used for overall health wellness but have different functions and purposes.

What is a diffuser?

Diffusers are smaller devices designed specifically to diffuse essential oil particles into the air.

There are four types of essential oil diffusers:

  • Heat Essential Oil Diffuser is just what it sounds like, it uses heat to help the essential oil evaporate into the air giving off a stronger aroma.
  • Nebulizer Diffuser doesn’t use any water or heat to disperse oil into the air. You simply put drops of essential oil into the top of the tube and it uses air to force the oil aroma to fill a room. These diffusers are often very expensive and can be a bit noisy.
  • Ultrasonic Diffuser is probably the most common type. Using ultrasonic technology and water it adds a little moisture into the air while at the same time dispersing the essential oil.
  • Evaporative Oil Diffuser is like the heat diffuser using heat but also uses a fan to blow air through a filter where the essential oils are dropped on.
oil diffuser with essential oils
oil diffuser

When Should I Use A Diffuser?

Diffusers can be used any time you want to reap the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

They don’t emit too much moisture into the air due to their small size, so there is not the main concern of high moisture levels.

There are a multitude of benefits to defusing essential oils.

Diffusing pure essential oils will clean the air in your living space by reducing airborne bacteria.

They enhance your mood by creating an uplifting environment. My favorite essential oils for aromatherapy purposes are Orange, lemon, pretty much any citrusy scent and lavender oil.

Essential oils like eucalyptus and breath blend have added health benefits during cold season. When they are dispersed through the air they clear airways and maintain easy breathing.

What is a humidifier?

The main purpose of a humidifier is to increase the amount of moisture in the air by releasing water vapor. Increasing the moisture level in your living spaces, especially during dry winter months helps with health issues like bloody noses due to dry air, respiratory issues, dry skin, and snoring.

Using a humidifier can help ease symptoms of a cold and clear nasal passages, especially at night time to help you get a better night sleep.

There are four different types of humidifiers on the market today:

  • Ultrasonic Humidifier sends ultrasonic vibrations through a disk to produce and release cool mist.
  • Evaporative Humidifier uses a fan to blow air through a wet filter.
  • Impeller are another type of cool mist humidifiers that release fine mist using a rotating disk.
  • Warm Mist Humidifiers heat the water with a heating element before releasing into the air.

All types of humidifiers require frequent cleaning to avoid deposit buildup and the growth of bacteria in the water tank.

Just like low humidity can cause pesky health issues, too much moisture can as well.

The Mayo Clinic suggests keeping the indoor air humidity level between 30% to 50% to avoid any chances of bacterial or mold growth. The best way to measure humidity is by purchasing a hygrometer like this one, or by purchasing a humidifier with a built in hygrometer that automatically keeps the humidity within a healthy range.


When Should I Use A Humidifier?

It’s a good idea to use a humidifier during the winter months when the air is especially dry.

When you have sinus congestion or a respiratory illness that makes it difficult for you to breath.

Or if you suffer from dry skin or frequent nose bleeds.

Can You Use A Diffuser As A Humidifier?

Most humidifiers are not made to be used with essential oils because of their internal plastic components.

Citric oils eat through plastic over time affecting the efficiency of the humidifier, and eventually from function all together.

There are some humidifier oil diffuser combos in the market today. Personally I have not tried the combo appliance so I can’t give a personal opinion on how well they work.

If you find yourself using a humidifier and oil diffuser together most times, it might be worth exploring that option.

Best Humidifiers

As of 2022 these are the top rated Humidifiers on Amazon. they all have over thirty thousand four star reviews.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to youSee my full disclosure and privacy policy here.

Best Essential Oil Diffusers

Just like the humidifiers these are top rated oil diffusers you can find on Amazon or through the dōTerra website.

Final Thoughts on Oil Diffuser Vs. Humidifier

The bottom line is for you to decide what it is you want most.

If you want the benefits of higher humidity to help clear dry skin and respiratory issues then a humidifier is best for you.

If you’re looking to create a soothing relaxing environment or fill your home with a pleasing aroma without the use of toxic chemicals, then a diffuser is your best bet.

On the other hand if you want both the extra humidity and soothing environment, then I would get a combo appliance that is specifically made for both purposes.

I hope this oil diffuser vs. humidifier post was helpful and helped answer your questions.

oil diffuser vs humidifier pin graphic

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