Diffuser VS Humidifier Complete Reviews and Comparison

Diffuser VS Humidifier: What is the Difference?

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Have you ever noticed that the air in your home is dry or carries a musty or old smell? This might be because the humidity levels in your house are not at the right levels.

Lack of moisture in your home could create a number of problems like respiratory problems or skin irritations.

These are all things you don’t want to happen to your body or your home. But how can humidifiers help with the dank smell in your home? Normally it can’t, but with the use of a diffuser, you can freshen the air with essential oils and leave your home smelling wonderful.

Is a humidifier different from a diffuser though? It can be if you are talking about two separate machines. Some high-end humidifiers come with an attachable diffuser but what exactly makes them two separate products? Let’s find out below.

Diffuser vs Humidifier

IMAGE Pros of Humidifier Cons of Humidifier



  • Helps with respiratory problems
  • Can add much needed moisture to your home’s air
  • Can kill common bacteria in the air


  • Can add too much moisture to air
  • Needs to be cleaned on regular basis



  • Can use essential oils
  • Can double as a natural air freshener


  • Doesn’t really clean your air
  • Can be messy to clean the unit


Diffuser with oils

A diffuser is a small machine that is powered by electricity to run a small motor that expels particles throughout the air. Generally, a diffuser is used to add a scent to the air of your home but can also be used with essentials oils that promote good physical and mental health. Your diffuser should have vents throughout the body to release air and a water container that, when mixed with the essential oils, penetrates the air with a soothing scent.

Diffusers are cool air models that allow essential oils or perfumes to penetrate the air of the room. Whereas diffusers are smaller machines and typically only add smell to the room where it is placed. Some people find it beneficial to have a diffuser in each room of the home while others tend to set them up in high-traffic areas (living room, bathroom, etc.)

How Can It Help?

Some studies conducted show that a diffuser can reduce the presence of certain bacteria and fungus in the home. A reduction in the bacteria in your home means a reduction in the amount of health issues you and your family may experience.

The cool air that is expelled from your diffuser can also have a purifying effect, removing unpleasant scents and mites from the atmosphere of the home.

Man Shocked On Seeing Mold

High-end models of diffusers can come with specialty features that enhance the performance of the machine. You can purchase diffusers with lighting systems or built-in music docking stations. This allows the diffuser to be a multi-purpose item, making the cost a little easier to justify.

Models of Diffusers

There are a variety of diffusers on today’s market that are available for consumer purchase:

  • Evaporative – this diffuser uses a filter or pad combined with a small fan to dispense oil through the air and does not require water.
  • Heat – this style uses a filter and pad as well, but combines the oils with heat to release particles.
  • Nebulizers – these use a suction effect to break the oil into small particles and release them throughout the air.
  • Ultrasonic – this would be considered a combination product, as water is used to add particles of oils to the air by the form of a cool mist; damping the air during the same process.


Humidifier on window

A humidifier is a larger machine that has a small motor powered by electricity to increase the moisture in the air of your home. It has vents to release the damp air through and can be purchased in a variety of forms. This damp air can help those who live with respiratory issues breathe easier and can reduce the symptoms of skin ailments.

There is a combination product available that has the functions of a humidifier but can also be used as a diffuser. Most humidifiers come with a detachable diffuser option but should only be used in a cool mist humidifier. If you do find one that expels warm air, it is important to note that the oils can break down the plastic components of the humidifier along with reducing the effectiveness of the essential oils.

How Can It Help?

Humidifiers adjust the level of humidity in the air, reducing the symptoms of respiratory or flu-like issues. It adds the right level of moisture to the air to allow the skin and membranes to absorb a healthy level of moisture.

Proper moisture levels in your home can also prolong the life of the structure itself. Dry wood can lose its shape and cause structural aging. Dry wood will crack and split along the edges, which reduces the support throughout the rooms of the home.

Woman drinking tea reading tablet at humidifier

Humidifiers are designed to run without fancy water or ingredients but can operate using only tap water. Most humidifiers come equipped with built-in filters to remove any bacteria or mites from the water. This is why it is extremely important to clean the humidifier according to the instructions. Without proper maintenance, a humidifier becomes a breeding ground for germs, which are released into the atmosphere to enter our bodies. Who wants that really?

Models of Humidifiers

Like diffusers, there is also a range of humidifiers on today’s market that employ the latest technology to suit your individual needs.

  • Warm Mist – this type of humidifier dampens the air through the use of a small motor and fan to produce a warm mist from the water inside the machine. Caution is recommended with warm mist humidifiers, as burns can be common.
  • Cool Mist – this humidifier works in the same way as the warm mist option, but instead produces a cool mist that is soothing to the skin.
  • Industrial – these models are typically larger than a portable humidifier and can be installed directly into your structures’ central air system. This connection will allow moisture to enter every room of your structure at the same time, creating a balance.
  • Ultrasonic – this style uses ultrasonic vibrations combined with water to create a mist. They can be noisier than other models, so research is a must on the noise levels.


Now that you know the difference between a diffuser and a humidifier, you will be equipped to choose the best product for your home. Make sure to test the levels of humidity throughout your home on a regular basis to ensure that there isn’t too much moisture in the air that can lead to another set of problems. Life can be stressful enough as it is, so you definitely don’t want to add home renovations to the mix.

Aroma oil diffuser and candles on blurred background

Whichever product you choose to purchase, make sure you research both the advantages and disadvantages of the model. Check out repair costs, warranties, trial periods while always choosing a retailer and brand that you trust. Visit other avenues for information like talking to a home hardware expert, chatting with friends and family, or visit online forums to find out what consumers like yourself are finding the best addition to their home.

ultrasonic humidifier in the house. Humidification. Vapor

If you liked this article or found it helpful in any way, please feel free to share! Is there a particular model of humidifier you find works the best or maybe you know the top humidifier/diffuser combos, then let us know in the comments below.

Diffuser VS Humidifier Complete Reviews and Comparison

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