Oil Diffusers VS Humidifiers, Which is Better?

There are many similarities between oil diffusers and humidifiers, making it difficult to choose one over the other as you shop. We are here to help you differentiate between the two and how to apply those differences to make your shopping choice better while increasing your home’s comfort.

A humidifier uses water to increase the moisture in the air of a room. At the same time, an oil diffuser spreads essential oils throughout the air in your home or office, bringing physical and emotional therapeutic effects. Simply put, a humidifier and an oil diffuser operate similarly but have different purposes.

Read on to learn more about the difference between and factors to consider when choosing an oil diffuser and a humidifier.

Oil Diffusers VS Humidifiers

Differences Between an Oil Diffuser and a Humidifier

Do you enjoy taking a full breath of moisturized air that helps you breathe better? Or are you looking to enrich your house with that cozy spa-like scent? Read on to understand the differences.

What Is an Oil Diffuser?

Have you ever walked into a spa and wanted to straight-up pack your bags and move in? That’s the magic of aromatherapy. 

An oil diffuser may look similar to and produces cold misty air or warm moisture, just like a humidifier. However, diffusers come with aromatherapy in mind. They diffuse aromatic essential oils, which is one of the best ways to get your room smelling heavenly while promoting air quality to help you breathe more comfortably in the dry days.

Essential oils have essential properties that are hostile to fungus and virus antioxidants that fight against cancerous cells buildup in your body. Once a diffuser releases essential oils into the air, the droplets make your room therapeutic, strengthening your immune system and leaving you feeling less anxious or stressed.

Imagine your child wakes up in the night with stuffed sinuses, congested chest, and you are not sure of the cause or what to do next. Do not panic. An oil diffuser will alleviate sinuses and allergy before you figure out what to do next.

Although diffusers use essential oils only, there are exceptions. The ultrasonic oil diffuser uses both water and essential oil, not only humidifying your room but also keeping it smelling lovely.

What Is a Humidifier?

A humidifier is a device that increases the humidity of a room. An example is the Vicks humidifier. The air indoors during winter is usually dry due to the effect of our heating systems. You know the feeling. A humidifier breaks the water in its tanks into small, misty droplets using a fan or evaporation process, letting it out into the air. 

Humidifiers have various benefits, like helping your breath better. Humid air moisturizes the dry throat and nose, which in turn alleviates cold and flu symptoms.

Humidifiers release moisturized air into your room, which kills flu viruses. If you snore at night, do your partner a favor and buy a humidifier. Leaving your humidifier on at night will help reduce snoring because moisture provided through the air will keep your throat from drying out.

There are two types of humidifiers; cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers. A cool-mist humidifier sucks water from the tank using a wick filter system. An internal fan blows small droplets of water and mixes them with the dry air passing through the machine, released into the room through the other end. 

Warm mist humidifiers use a heating system instead of a fan. Water converted to steam by the vaporization process is released into your room and is barely visible.

Some humidifiers, though, act as diffusers. Special pads meant for that purpose are used to help with the diffusing process. Dual-purpose humidifiers release cold or warm mist depending on your preference.

Factors to Consider While Choosing Between a Diffuser and a Humidifier

Are you debating on whether to buy a diffuser or a humidifier? If so, worry no more. The following factors will help you make your mind on what to choose.

  1. Purpose

Humidifiers wet dry air while diffusers are more therapeutic. Humidifiers serve the purpose of increasing water content in the atmosphere of your household. In contrast, diffusers use essential oils to bring therapeutic effects and leave your home smelling nice.

  1. Budget

Choose the option that won’t break the bank by sticking to your budget. While a humid room is necessary during winter, aromatherapy is fantastic too.

You can choose a diffuser that also functions as a humidifier. An example is an ultrasonic diffuser that works both as a humidifier and a diffuser, combining water and oil droplets homogeneously to leave your body not only relaxed but also moisturized.

  1. Coverage

One of the key differences between the two systems narrows down to coverage. In other words, their size and allowance for extra features. You should find these specifications on the labels of every system. In this area, humidifiers have a clear advantage over the diffusers.

Humidifiers provide a wide range of choices depending on the room’s size since they can cover a few to several thousand square feet. These systems have a capacity of between a cup of water to tens of liters.

Diffusers, on the other hand, are held down to smaller areas. They work in smaller areas such as single office spaces or medium rooms.

  1. Safety

Warm mist humidifiers use heat to vaporize the water before releasing it to the air. The process releases a lot of heat, leaving the machine heated up. Most of these machines have exterior designs that are quite appealing to curious toddlers or pets. Such systems require extra care, and leaving the system unattended may cause grievous bodily harm.

Nebulizers are a type of diffuser that uses liquid oil instead of heated pads. It uses a vacuum to vaporize the oil. This process does not produce heat; therefore, it is generally safe for your household.

Also, ultrasonic diffusers use a mixture of water and essential oil. The system has a disc at the bottom of its chamber. Vibrations turn the liquid into fine, scented, misty droplets. 

  1. Air Quality

Typical humidifiers have built-in filters that increase the quality of the air you breathe in.

Diffusers, in contrast, mostly lack filters due to the nature of the essential oils. Oil is dense and will quickly block filters if equipped. Therefore, the quality of the air is low.

  1. Influencing Moods

A humidifier will make your bedroom much more comfortable. The humid air reduces irritability, therefore, making you comfortable. It also keeps your breathing system less stuffy, keeping you from snoring. 

Diffusers have a more substantial effect on your mood due to their varying scents, whether sensual jasmine or uplifting orange oil.

  1. Moisture control

Humidifiers produce moisturized air, which is excellent for your skin and refreshes house plants. The sad part is that the condensed moisture finally settles on your floors and furniture, which may cause molding.

On the other hand, oil diffusers do not necessarily control the room’s moisture content, but they help increase the air quality by diffusing natural oil fragrance.

  1. Features

If you’re looking for an option with a variety of features, go for a humidifier. It has more options than a diffuser. The reason is that most humidifiers are larger than diffusers due to their capacities and more space for placing more features. Also, some humidifiers have built-in timers and digital displays.

  1. Maintenance

Humidifiers use water to increase the humidity of air in a room. The vaporized water may condense to some of its components, causing rust. The heating parts also erode quickly. You should take special care when handling these appliances. Also, ensure you use distilled water and any other fitting stated in the manufacturer’s manual.

Oil diffusers use essential oils to bring the sweet-smelling effect in your room. Oil is very dense and may clog systems. You should correctly use diffusers, which can use both water and oil. People who have extreme allergic conditions should use oil diffusers with care.

Diffusers and Humidifiers Serve Different Purposes

Diffusers and humidifiers have different uses and serve specific functions. The choice between a humidifier and an oil diffuser depends on your needs and preferences. A humidifier is fit for dry rooms and skin. An oil diffuser makes you relax and feel more at home.

Need a Shopping Guide?

Here is our reviews on oil diffusers:

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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