Diffusers emit essential oils containing tiny water droplets into the air to spread an aroma around your room or living space.

We recommend you read this article completely to explore all about humidifiers vs. diffusers.

Humidifier Vs. Diffuser - Breaking Down The Details

When we go through the two devices with a critical eye, we will know that both devices use the same technical working process of emitting liquid into the air, but their output is quite different. Humidifiers are meant to emit water vapors into the air, whereas diffusers are meant to emit essential oils to spread an aroma around your Living area.

In this article, we are going to explore each and everything connected to humidifiers vs. diffusers.

Humidifier Vs Diffuser

At A Glance


All types of humidifiers are classified into two types: the first is Cool-Mist humidifiers, and the second is Warm-Mist humidifiers.

Let's take a look at the functions  of humidifiers:

  • In evaporative humidifiers, a wicking filter is used to draw water from the tank, and they use a fan to create a fine mist.
  • The other type of humidifier is ultrasonic, and it usually comes in two modes:
  1. Cool-Mist Humidifiers use ultrasonic vibrations to turn water into vapor and disperse it into the air.
  2. Warm-mist humidifiers use a heating element for this purpose.

See Also: Humidifier Smells Musty - What's The Reason For Musty Smell?


Different types of diffusers are available in the market and based on different techniques. Some diffusers use a mechanism to diffuse the oil, while others use heat, fans, and water to do the basic work.

Types Of Diffusers

Let’s take a look at different types of diffusers:

Hot oil or wax diffusers

  • Reed diffusers
  • Liquid Wick diffusers
  • Pad diffusers ( Are used to increase the temperature of the room)
  • Water-based ultrasonic diffusers

Most water-based diffusers look just like humidifiers, but they are quite different from each other.


In general, water-based diffusers look like humidifiers, but they are quite different from each other and how they work. Diffusers are aromatic devices and are used to freshen the air, while humidifiers are devices that moisten the air by adding sufficient moisture. Both release vapors into the air; the difference is that humidifiers release water vapor and diffusers release essential oils.

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Benefits Of Using A Humidifier

Here are some pros of using a humidifier; let's look at them one by one:

  • If you often face skin problems like itching, chapped lips, etc., running a humidifier is beneficial.
  • Using a humidifier, you can prevent various health problems, including sinus and respiratory symptoms.
  • By using a humidifier in dry climates, you can extend the life of your hardwood from warping.

Advantages Of Using A Diffuser

Here are some pros of using a diffuser; let’s take a look at them one by one:

  • You can freshen the air by using a diffuser, as the diffuser releases the required amount of oil into the air.
  • Diffusers are quite easy to operate compared to humidifiers as they have a simple working mechanism.
  • You can use the scents you like the most in a diffuser, creating your indoor environment.
  • The diffusers look quite nice and make less noise when working.

Humidifiers Vs. Diffusers: Our Suggestions

If you spend most of your time indoors and often face problems like dry skin and sore throat, we suggest you buy a humidifier because it will maintain the relative humidity level in your house to prevent these problems.

If you are tired of poor air quality, we suggest you opt for a diffuser. Using a diffuser can easily freshen the air and create your indoor environment. You can use them both in the same place at the same time as there is no problem running the diffuser and humidifier as they are good for the indoor environment of your house.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a diffuser be used as a humidifier?

Most people ask whether you can use a diffuser as a humidifier to maintain the humidity level in your room, so the answer is yes! All you need to do to increase the humidity level in your home is run an essential oil diffuser and use essential oils with water which is fine.

Are humidifiers the same as diffusers?

While discussing this, Humidifiers are similar to diffusers, so they are similar in appearance, but their functions are different. A diffuser is only used when you want to freshen the air, and it is done by releasing essential oils into the air. In contrast, a humidifier is used when you want to increase the humidity level in the environment, e.g., A humidifier can maintain relatively high humidity.

Can I use essential oils in a humidifier?

No, you cannot use essential oils with water in your humidifier. According to research done by our team, if you add any type of foreign material to your humidifier along with the water, it can get trapped by the wicking filter and lead to the filter breaking, and possibly May fail. Therefore, it is best not to use any essential oil with water in your vapor filter.

Final Words

To summarize the whole discussion, we can conclude that humidifiers and diffusers are similar in appearance, but their operational functions differ. If you want to increase the air's relative humidity level, you only need to run a humidifier.

On the other hand, if you want to freshen up the air by infusing some nice fragrance, then a diffuser is the best option for you. One thing to keep in mind is not to use any foreign material like essential oils in your evaporative humidifier, as it can cause major damage to the unit.


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