difference between a humidifier and an oil diffuser

What Is The Difference Between A Humidifier And An Oil Diffuser?

What is the difference between humidifier and oil diffuser

If you are new to these terms, it can be challenging to choose the right option because of multiple similarities in the appearance and operation of an humidifier and oil diffuser.

There are a few key differences between the two. Humidifiers change water into mist to improve the humidity of the air. Whereas an oil diffuser emits essential oil particles, fragranced into the air which can have an impact on our mood and wellbeing.  Both devices emit a mist, this is where the confusion often occurs. No need to worry, we've outlined all these differences so you can decide which one is best for you. 

To know the difference between a diffuser and humidifier, its important to understand each device thoroughly.

What Is An Oil Diffuser?

Oil diffusers have a single yet crucial task- to evaporate essential oils in the air and enhance its medical value for aromatherapy. These devices  can help you target specific emotions, whilst simultaneously improving your physical and mental health. They create a calming and pleasant scent to breathe, whilst containing therapeutic, potentially healing properties. 

Types Of Oil Diffusers


oil diffuser


There are multiple types of diffusers based on their functionality, but the end goal, is to make your space worth living. 

  • Ultrasonic Diffuser: To use these diffusers, you have to mix the essential oil with water. It then evaporates the water in the air. These diffusers often come with automated functions like timer, auto shutoff, etc.
  • Evaporative or Electric Heat Diffuser: These are electronic diffusers with a small cup to heat the essential oil, which then evaporate into the air. You can easily maintain these diffusers-  it is easy to clean the cup compartment. 
  • Nebulizing Diffuser: To use these diffusers all you would need is essential oil as it does not require water to operate.
  • Reed Diffuser: For this, you have to place the reeds in the essential oil bottle so they can absorb the oil. Then it spreads the oil molecules in the air. You can use it till the oil stays in the bottle; once it ends, you can no longer use it. 
  • Fan-Style Diffuser: This is a bit different from other diffusers. You have to place the oil on a pad, and then a fan spreads the oil into the air. Fan style diffusers are durable and very easy to maintain. 
  • Candle Diffusers: These diffusers spread the essential oil in the air by heating it. The working process of candle diffusers is similar to electric diffusers. People prefer these diffusers because they give your room a luxury feeling and increase the efficiency of aromatherapy. 
  • Terracotta Diffusers: These are simple pots made up of clay without any opening. When you add the essential oil, the clay first absorbs the oil and then spreads it into the air. It takes time for the oil particles to spread the fragrance, however the scent lasts for extended periods.  

Benefits of Oil Diffusers


benefits of oil diffuser


Although this is a single device, it has many benefits for mental and physical health. A few benefits of regular oil diffuser use, are named below: 

  • They increase respiratory health, by reducing respiratory tract swelling and help you recover from a cough or respiratory infection.
  • Essential oils remove the unwanted odors in your home and can replace them with pleasant natural scents. You can have your home smelling like a spa in notime. 
  • Mosquitos and gates cannot bear the smell of essential oils; oil diffusers work as insect impellers.
  • These diffused oils have antibacterial and antiviral benefits, improving your immune system. 
  • During a chest infection, doctors suggest using oil diffusers because they help relieve the nasal cavity.
  • Working as an air freshener, aesthetic device, immunity booster, and insect repeller, an oil diffuser saves your money while giving unlimited benefits.

What is a Humidifier?




The purpose of a humidifier is to increase the moisture level in the air. These devices help to reduce skin dryness; save you from itchy and dried eyes, nose, and skin. Also, these humidifiers keep your furniture and wooden floors away from drying out. 

You can use a humidifier as a diffuser, but you need water soluble essential oils for humidifier.

Types of Humidifiers


different types of humidifier


  • Central Humidifiers: These humidifiers are installed with the HVAC. However, these are a bit expensive but the most reliable and effective option.
  • Evaporators: As shown above,  this humidifier evaporates the water by heating it. If you need a high moisture level, this one is perfect for you.
  • Impeller Humidifiers: This humidifier breaks the water into mist using high-speed rotating discs. Impeller humidifiers are safe for kids and spread cool mist that makes them ideal for hot summer. 
  • Ultrasonic Humidifiers: These humidifiers use vibrations to convert water into mist. With them, you can enjoy both cool and hot mist, according to the season. 
  • Steam Vaporizers: This electronic device heats the water to change it into the mist. This is good for a home without kids because it can burn in case of mishandling. 


Benefits of Humidifiers

 health benefits of humidifier


  • Humidifiers have many health benefits because they add moisture to the air and save you from multiple infections caused by dry air.
  • These devices are not only beneficial for you but also for your home. Humidifiers save your furniture from cracking due to dry air, increasing its lifespan.

Difference Between a Humidifier and an Oil Diffuser



Although both devices are a must for a better home, there is a significant difference between a humidifier and an oil diffuser. The humidifier reduces the risk of infections and has various dermatological benefits, as well as increases the furniture's lifespan by adding moisture to the air. On the other hand, an oil diffuser has various therapeutic benefits, to aid relaxation or energise, whilst also making the surrounding place fresh and livable. 

Moreover, a diffuser uses essential oil, while a humidifier uses water. Furthermore, the humidifier's size is larger than the oil diffuser because the humidifier holds one gallon of water. In contrast, the diffuser can hold one cup of water or less.

Similarities Between Humidifier and Diffuser

These devices have multiple similarities, especially in their operation, as both release water moisture into the air except the nebulizing diffuser. Due to this similarity, you can use a diffuser as a humidifier and humidifier in place of an oil diffuser by adding humidifier essential oils; however, it is not recommended if you want efficient results.

Should I use a Humidifier or a Diffuser?

It depends on the purpose for which you want to purchase any of these devices. For example, if you are looking for something that helps you reduce the air dryness and add moisture to the air, you really need a humidifier. In contrast, if you cannot get enough sleep and want to try aromatherapy, put your hand on a diffuser because it will improve the benefits of essential oil to the max.  

Can a Humidifier be Used as a Diffuser?

Although in the market, you can find a diffuser and humidifier in one that you can use by mixing the essential oil with the water. Also, in the market, you can get a humidifier with essential oil tray. However, it is still not recommended to use one product for both purposes because the humidifier with essential oil options cannot be as efficient as the diffuser. 

So, if you want to add moisture in the air, go for a humidifier or if you wish to aromatherapy, go for the diffuser for optimum results.


Humidifiers and diffusers are similar and different at many points; therefore, you can use a single device. But it is important to know the difference and pick one device according to your need. If you need moisture, keep your hand on a humidifier or if you want a fresh home, then choose a diffuser. I shared with you all types of diffusers and humidifiers, now the choice is yours.

Back to blog