Is a Diffuser a Humidifier?

Is a Diffuser Also a Humidifier?

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In this modern age, it is common to come across new innovations for the home. These inventions are often revolutionary and can serve to enhance our lives in one way or another.

However, there can be so many new products hitting the market, that it can be hard to tell the difference between some of them. Diffusers and humidifiers are one example of such product. Some people might confuse one with the other, but they are actually very different!  Let’s find out how to tell the difference between the two, and what they are both used for.

What is a Diffuser?

What is a Diffuser?

A diffuser is a small device that is made for the use of diffusing or spreading out particles of substances into the air. Most commonly a diffuser is used with essential oils. Diffusing essential oils into the air gives out an aromatic smell, which provides various health benefits to the people who breathe them in.

The way a diffuser works is that the essential oils are added into it, then they are mixed with water in the tank and then released into the air. There is an ideal amount of time for the essential oils to be inhaled by the body. This is usually for a constant 15 minutes, and then intermittently after that. The four most common types of essential oils diffusers are the following:

  • The ultrasonic diffuser
  • The nebulizing diffuser
  • The heat diffuser
  • The evaporative diffuser  

Pros of Diffusers

Diffusers produce a fine, cool mist that purifies the air and calms the mind. This is helpful for people who have dry skin especially. Diffusers are able to rid the room of any bacteria and/or fungus spores that have been hiding undetected.

This will make it easier for people with allergies to breathe better. Diffusers are also good in regards to stimulating energy levels and reducing the amount of fatigue that people feel. Diffusers have been recommended for people who suffer from anxiety and high levels of stress. By allowing the calming oils into your system, it will be easier for you to relax and feel better about life.


Cons of Diffusers

Diffusers are great inventions, but they do come with their fair share of cons. ​Purchasing a proper diffuser will be a bit costly initially. This price will correspond to the quality of the product, so this is why it is a little high. Diffusers are fairly easy to operate, however, they can be noisy when they are turned on. In addition to this, some models do not allow you to adjust the LED lighting to your preference. Due to these two factors, it might be difficult to place the diffuser in your bedroom while you sleep. As well, diffusers should be used with distilled water to reap the ideal benefits.


What is a Humidifier?


A humidifier is a small to medium-sized appliance that is designed to keep the level of moisture in a room constant. Humidifiers are not meant to be used for essential oils, as these will often clog the machine. Humidifiers are often used when someone in the household is ill or is suffering from conditions related to dry skin. When dry air settles in the house, it can start to harm people as well as their possessions. A humidifier will allow water to be evaporated in the air in an efficient manner. The two common types of cool mist humidifiers are the evaporative and the ultrasonic models.

Pros of Humidifiers

Humidifiers are able to solve the issue of dry air in a home. This will prevent the cost of additional damage being done to the house, and to the inhabitants who live there. Humidifiers are great for people who are often sick, as well as those who have asthma or allergies. Humidifiers are easy to take care of. Humidifiers are a common purchase, and so there are many budget-friendly options to choose from. Humidifiers can also operate with regular tap water, which makes it easier to obtain and maintain the optimal water level.


Cons of Humidifiers

Depending on the type of model you have, the amount of maintenance required for the machine will vary. Many humidifiers require the filters to be changed once every week or so. In addition to this, the entire humidifier should be completely cleaned regularly, especially if you use it often. If you want to set up your humidifier in your bedroom to improve your quality of sleep, you might find it noisy and distracting. To solve this issue, many people place their humidifiers in a basement or somewhere that is not used for sleep.


What are the Similarities?

Aroma oil diffuser and candles on blurred background

The similarities of these two machines are that they are both used for various health benefits. They are both good for treating ailments such as allergies and asthma. Both a diffuser and a humidifier are releasing something into the air; one diffuses essential oils and the other expels water particles. These will each produce a type of misty vapor. The vapor of the diffuser will smell of the oils, while the humidifier resulting mist will not have a scent. Also, the two products both contain a water tank. However, the water tank of the humidifier is much larger than that of the diffuser.

The Bottom Line

To summarize, diffusers and humidifiers have very different purposes, and neither should be considered a multi-use appliance. Diffusers are used for spreading essential oils into the air to assist people with their therapeutic benefits. Diffusers are not able to control the level of humidity in the house. Humidifiers are only used for controlling the humidity in the home. They are not designed to diffuse essential oils. Trying to do so may cause expensive damage to your humidifier.

There are different models of humidifiers that people claim can be used for essential oils. Overall though, this is not a good idea and should be avoided. If you want both functions, you should invest in both a separate diffuser and humidifier.

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