What Is The Difference Between Diffusers and Humidifiers

Oil diffusers and humidifiers are two of the most commonly used appliances these days. Although each has its own purpose, people often mistake one for the other. This is probably because both machines do emit vapors that people tend to think that these two are one and the same. But are they? Is there really a difference between a diffuser and a humidifier? What should you be getting?

Difference Between Diffusers and Humidifiers

What is a diffuser?

A diffuser is often mistaken for a humidifier probably because they both emit vapors in the form of a mist. The difference, however, lies in the purpose. With a diffuser, a scented oil of your choice is mixed with water and is placed into the diffuser. When switched on, this begins to produce a mist that releases a particular scent.

The scent that comes from the diffuser is believed to have some therapeutic effect on an individual. It also is said to improve sleep quality.

Diffusers are said to reduce the number of microbes, such as fungi and bacteria, in the air as well.

It is for these reasons that diffusers come highly recommended in maintaining a healthy environment. It is also for this reason that diffusers are widely used and related to aromatherapy.

For additional information on this, you can try searching using the keywords “ways to relax” and “improving sleep quality” to see how a diffuser can actually help.

How do diffusers work?

To know how diffusers actually work, you would have to know what kind of diffuser you are actually working with. The different kinds of diffusers are:
Evaporative diffusers
Heat diffusers
Nebulizer diffusers
Ultrasonic diffusers

Evaporative diffusers

Evaporative diffusers actually work by having oil drops added to a filter or pad. A diffuser fan starts to work once the diffuser is switched on in order to spread the scent coming from the pad or filter.

Heat diffusers

Heat diffusers work pretty much in the same manner as evaporative diffusers. The only difference is that it uses heat to evaporate the scented oil, instead of a fan, in order to spread the scent around.

Nebulizer diffusers

The scent is these types of diffusers is spread using an airjet. The airjet is connected to a tube where the oil is placed. A vacuum draws the oil to the top of the tube where the airjet can then fan out the scent of the oil.

Ultrasonic diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusers are otherwise known as humidifying diffusers. The essential oil is mixed with water in the diffuser. A dish located inside the diffuser then starts to vibrate which cause the water to swirl and disperse the oil that has been added to the water. This action cause the oil to be sprayed into the air in the form of a fine mist.

What does a diffuser do?

A diffuser is not just a mere air freshener. Diffusers help in promoting a sense of calm after a long, tiring day. Diffusers help you relax so that you can actually end your day in one restful sleep. Diffusers are known to aid in fighting bouts of depression as well.

It also can help provide symptomatic relief when you get a severe bout of the flu or colds. There are studies now that seem to show that essential oils from star anise help in eliminating the presence of herpes simplex virus in the air.

What is a humidifier?

Cold weather means frequent us of heating to keep room temperature within comfortable levels. A disadvantage of this though is that the use of heating does increase dryness in the air as well. Decreased humidity may lead to many health problems ranging from cracked lips and frequent nose bleeding to sinus problems and asthma attacks. Humidifiers are then placed in a given area during these times in order to increase the amount of moisture in the air.

Humidifiers are actually of two kinds: warm mist humidifiers and cool mist humidifiers. For homes with infants and children, cool-mist humidifiers are the more preferred types since these are considered to be safer to use when children are involved.

How do humidifiers work?

Humidifiers can either be of two types: evaporative or ultrasonic.

Evaporative humidifiers produce ultra-fine mist by making use of high-frequency vibrations. These vibrate water in the humidifier in order to create these mists that help build the amount of moisture in the air.

How do humidifiers help?

There are many ways by which humidifiers can actually help improve one’s health. Take for example a person suffering from allergies. Allergy sufferers usually feel many symptoms whenever they are in a dry environment.

A very dry environment can affect and irritate the throat and nasal passages. Increasing humidity in the air can provide relief of these symptoms. When it comes to skin problems caused by extreme air dryness, a humidifier can help improve skin condition that may result from dry air such as eczema since moisture is now retained in the skin.

Not only does putting a humidifier in an area improve health. It can also improve the environment needed for houseplants to grow in during dry conditions. Keeping plants inside your home need not only consistent and strong sources of sunlight, but also a good amount of humidity. Humidity levels are often overlooked and this can easily be corrected with the use of a humidifier.

Improving the growth of your houseplants with the help of a humidifier can also help in improving your health! Plants improve the quality of air in your house too which, in turn, can help improve sleep quality and your body’s condition.

So what is the difference between a humidifier and an oil diffuser?

Both of them produce mist. Both of them seem to release moisture in the air. So is one really different from the other?

Main purpose

Humidifiers and oil diffusers are used primarily for two different things. The purpose of humidifiers is to increase the amount of moisture in the air, especially during extremely dry conditions. Oil diffusers serve a more simple purpose though. Oil diffusers are meant to deliver scents that come from essential oils placed in the diffuser.


Despite the purposes of these appliances, both are geared towards improving one’s health. The difference between these two is how they can affect one’s health.

Oil diffusers are meant to address mental health by relieving individuals from anxieties and depression. Oil diffusers are meant to provide an atmosphere of relaxation through the use of scents.

Humidifiers though are meant to address health issues that result from extremely dry conditions. Health problems such as allergies, extremely dry skin, nosebleeds and asthma are addressed partially by increasing moisture in the air. Humidifiers are also known to improve breathing and sleep quality. This is exactly what humidifiers do. Humidifiers increase the amount of moisture in the air so that problems, such as those just mentioned, are addressed.

How about humidifier and oil diffuser combos?

For those who want the best of both worlds, there is such as thing as a humidifier and oil diffuser combo. These combos can provide the relaxing atmosphere that oil diffusers give, while increasing humidity in a given area.

Besides providing a relaxing atmosphere, this combination can also relieve symptoms caused by conditions resulting from extreme dryness in the atmosphere.

The disadvantage of using a combination humidifier and diffuser though is that the humidifier’s function is sometimes diminished when compared to a solo humidifier alone. There are also individuals who may be allergic to scented oils so it is important to take note of this as well.

Having a humidifier, or oil diffuser, or even both in a home may help in improving living conditions. However, one should always keep in mind that the need for any of these really depends on the surroundings and the objective. If conditions really call for the need of such machines, then they definitely can help in improving one’s health and lifestyle.

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