diffuser versus humidifier

Diffuser vs Humidifier: What’s the Difference?

Confused between a diffuser versus humidifier? Learn what makes these two types of humidifiers unique and find the best option for your home or office. With this guide, you can make an informed decision that best meets your needs.

Quick Summary

Diffusers and humidifiers are both used to moisten and balance the air in a space, but there are some key distinctions between them. A diffuser is a device that disperses essential oils through the air. The oils come from natural sources, and they can be used to produce a calming effect. Diffusers are often used to enhance the atmosphere of a room, whether it be to add a pleasant aroma or to encourage relaxation. Humidifiers, on the other hand, use high-frequency sound waves to create a mist of water particles in the room. This moisture helps to keep the air in a room balanced, making it a great tool to prevent nose and throat irritation, as well as dry skin.

The main difference between diffusers and humidifiers is that diffusers use natural resources to disperse compounds throughout the air, while humidifiers use water to create moisture. Another difference is that diffusers can help to produce a calming atmosphere, whereas humidifiers cannot on their own. Ultimately, diffusers and humidifiers are both useful for keeping a space healthy and balanced, and it can depend on the situation as to which device to use.

Diffuser Versus Humidifier: What’s the Difference?

Humidifiers and diffusers both serve a similar purpose in helping to purify and balance the air in a home or office. When choosing which device to use, it’s important to know the differences between them. Understanding the differences between diffuser versus humidifier will help you choose the one that’s the right fit for your needs.


A diffuser is a device that circulates essential oil molecules into the surrounding air. These molecules contain natural, therapeutic scents that can help with relaxation, mood elevation and energy balance. Diffusers come in several styles, including electric and ultrasonic models.


A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air. When air is dry, it can aggravate asthma and allergies by drying out mucous membranes, leading to throat irritation and coughing spells. In addition to reducing irritation, humidifiers can help minimize static electricity, ease stuffy noses and reduce flu symptoms.

Diffuser vs. Humidifier: Key Differences

  • A diffuser diffuses essential oils into the air, while a humidifier adds moisture to the air.
  • A diffuser adds fragrance to the air, while a humidifier can reduce throat irritation and coughing.
  • A humidifier can help reduce static electricity, while a diffuser helps with relaxation, mood elevation, and energy balance.

Deciding on the Right One for You

In some cases, both a diffuser and humidifier could be a beneficial addition to your home. Generally, it’s best to think about your personal needs and the existing environment when trying to decide which device is the best choice. In areas with high humidity, like the bathroom or kitchen, a diffuser is the better option. And in dryer environments, such as a bedroom, a humidifier may be a better choice.

Personal Experience

Should I get a humidifier or a diffuser?

Having used both diffusers and humidifiers extensively, I feel that each device has it’s own unique advantages and drawbacks. A diffuser helps to lightly moisturize dry air, it doesn’t add moisture to the air as powerfully as a humidifier. If you’re looking for relief from dry skin or throat irritation, a humidifier provides that benefit more effectively. On the other hand, a diffuser will generate a pleasant scent in the air, while a humidifier doesn’t. This could be an important advantage depending on your desired result.

Humidifiers tend to be larger and louder than diffusers, making them better suited for large areas with lots of people in them. For example, offices or conference rooms are better suited for humidifier use as they quiet the room while adding moisture. Diffusers on the other hand, work better in smaller enclosed rooms such as bedrooms and living rooms where noise isn’t an issue. In addition, diffusers are more energy efficient and cost-effective.

Ultimately, both diffusers and humidifiers have their own pros and cons. If a pleasant scent it what you’re after, then a diffuser is the way to go. For instances where plentiful, healthy moisture is needed, a humidifier is the better option. It all comes down to your own personal wants and needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get a humidifier or a diffuser?

The decision of whether to get a humidifier or diffuser depends on your needs. If you need more moisture in the air in your home, then a humidifier is the better option. However, if you only want to add fragrance to the air, and not moisture, then a diffuser is the better choice. Both devices can be used to freshen the air in your home, and either one can be an effective solution.

Can I use both a humidifier and diffuser?

Yes, you can use both a humidifier and a diffuser at the same time. Both devices add water to the air, with humidifiers providing a generally more efficient way to add moisture. The combination of both devices is a great way to keep the air in your home well balanced.

Do diffusers affect indoor air quality?

Yes, diffusers can affect indoor air quality. Essential oils that are diffused into the air can release chemical compounds into the indoor environment, leading to uncomfortable smells and air quality. In some cases, these compounds can even result in health concerns, such as headaches or respiratory distress. For this reason, it’s important to be mindful of how and how often diffusers are used in an indoor setting.

What are benefits of humidifier with diffuser?

The use of a humidifier with diffuser can provide a number of benefits, such as prevention of the flu, easing of breathing difficulties, and aiding of skin problems. Humidifier and diffusers work to increase moisture levels in the air, which helps eliminate dry air, reduce air pollutants, and provide relief from the discomfort caused by conditions like asthma and allergies. Ultimately, humidifier and diffuser usage can help reduce nasal congestion, ease coughing and sore throats, and improve overall air quality.

What are the benefits of air diffuser?

Air diffusers provide a number of benefits. They can purify the air, remove airborne contaminants, reduce allergen levels, and help eliminate odors. Air diffusers can also help improve respiratory health and increase energy levels, as well as ensure better quality sleep by providing a calming and pleasant atmosphere. Finally, air diffusers help to reduce stress and provide an overall sense of well-being.

What is the most popular diffuser?

The most popular diffuser is the ultrasonic oil diffuser. It is easy to use and requires only a few drops of essential oil and a small amount of distilled water. These diffusers are widely available and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Do diffusers help air quality?

No, diffusers do not help air quality. Dusting and vacuuming on a regular basis is still the most effective way to maintain good air quality. Additionally, an indoor air purifier could be used for an added layer of protection in your home.

Which scent is best for diffuser?

The best scent for diffusers depends on individual preference. Some popular choices include lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, cedarwood, peppermint, and jasmine. Each of these fragrances has its own unique therapeutic benefits, so you can try different scents to find the one that best fits your needs. Researching aromatherapy benefits can help you determine the best scent for your diffuser.

Are humidifiers with essential oils good for you?

No, humidifiers with essential oils are not good for you. Essential oils can trap in the wicking filter and create a buildup of oil residue which can be potentially harmful for human health, emitting dangerous toxins and irritating respiratory illnesses. To get the most out of a humidifier, use it with only clean water.

Can essential oils damage a humidifier?

No, essential oils cannot damage a humidifier if used correctly. Essential oils should be used in an oil diffuser, which does not contain any water, in order to avoid any potential damage to the humidifier. When using an oil diffuser, a few drops of essential oil can be added to the diffuser and evaporated into the air without compromising the safety or integrity of the humidifier.

How many drops of essential oil should I put in my humidifier?

The recommended number of drops of essential oil to put in a 100 ml diffuser is 3-5. However, it is important to start with the lower end of the range to assess how the smell affects the room before increasing the amount. Too much essential oil can cause skin or respiratory irritation. Therefore, the recommended amount of essential oil for a humidifier is 3 drops.

What kind of humidifier is best for essential oils?

The best type of humidifier for essential oils is an ultrasonic humidifier. Ultrasonic humidifiers use high frequency vibrations to disperse essential oils into the air, making them more effective and providing better air coverage than other types of humidifiers. For best results, look for a humidifier that has an essential oil tray or compartment to hold your favorite oils.

Final Thoughts

The difference between a diffuser and a humidifier are the ways in which they change the environment. While each of them can provide valuable health benefits and improve indoor air quality, diffusers use natural oils to add moisture and other substances to the air, whereas humidifiers increase the air’s moisture level by pumping water into it or filtering it through a wet surface. Depending on your specific needs, either product can provide relief from allergies and skin irritation, as well as reducing symptoms of colds and flu. Consider the specific advantages and disadvantages of each option before making a decision on what works best for you.