Humidifier vs Essential Oil Diffuser

The winter season not only brings a change in the temperature, it brings on some concerns about air quality. This is especially true when it comes to the dryness in the air. Air dryness can cause some serious health problems like skin irritations and trouble breathing. This leads many people to look for air quality solutions like oil diffusers and humidifiers. But, which one do you choose? Here is everything you need to know about the differences between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers so that you can make a clear choice.

Essential Oil Diffusers

Essential oil diffusers serve many different purposes, but mainly they are meant to distribute essential oils into the air. By using gentle heat and steam, essential oil diffusers work to slowly fill your room with natural scents. The warm air that circulates will not only be rich in fragrance, it will also help to add moisture to the air which helps to combat the dryness.

There are a couple different styles of essential oil diffusers available on the market today. From heat sourced diffusers to evaporative diffusers, the science and benefits are still the same. The biggest feature difference is that one generates cool air stream while the other mists a warm oil steam. You can choose which works best for you based on what type of experience you want.

Benefits of Essential Oil Diffusers

The most appealing thing about an essential oil diffuser is all of the benefits you can get out of one product. Here are some of the top reasons why people prefer to use an oil diffuser in their home:

Better for sleep

By combining an air diffuser with key essential oils like lavender, you can have a more productive sleep. Over time you my actually find that you sleep better and fall asleep faster.

Easier breathing

Using an essential oil diffuser can help reduce inflammation which can cause congestion. Congestion blocks airways which makes it difficult to breathe. With the combination of warm air plus essential oils like eucalyptus, you can breathe easier at night.

Keeps the flu away

In the winter months, it is almost impossible to avoid the flu and cold germs circulating. Using essential oils like tea tree and sage can actually help to ward off these seasonal sicknesses.

If you are using an ultrasonic diffuser you can add on all the benefits listed below that humidifiers provide. From a general standpoint, ultrasonic essential oil diffusers function the same way cool mist humidifiers work.

There are many essential oils diffusers with smaller water tank capacities that are capable to providing restorative humidity to a small room. Check the list at the end of this article for a link to those capable of treating spaces upward of 300 square feet.

Interestingly, you would be able to use an ultrasonic oil diffuser in the same way that you would use a cool mist humidifier if you just left out the essential oils. Read on for more detail on the specific benefits of humidifiers.

We have included a functional search bar in the ad below. It has been prefilled with a search term to show products relevant to the content on this page.


Humidifiers are little appliances that turn warm water into vapor. This vapor gently fills up any room and helps to add moisture to the air. Like essential oil diffusers, humidifiers come in many different styles as well. Smaller humidifiers are great for filling up small spaces like baby rooms and bathrooms. Larger humidifiers are available on the market and they do a great job of adding moisture in the air of much larger spaces.

Benefits of Humidifiers

The benefits of a humidifier differ from those of an essential air diffuser because of one big reason. Humidifiers don’t use essential oils. So while you will still get benefits, you won’t be able to customize them the same way that you would with an essential oil diffuser. Here are some benefits that you will see with a humidifier:

Relieve congestion

Much like an essential air diffuser, humidifiers use warm air that works to combat that dryness that can cause congestion. This way you can breathe easier and sleep better.

Heals dry skin

Sometimes in the colder months it seems that no matter how much lotion you use, there is no cure for dry scaling skin. Because humidifiers balance the moisture in the air, your skin is far more likely to heal.

Prevents nose bleeds

The same dry air that cracks your skin can cause nose bleeds. Having some dampness in the air will open up your nose passages and will help to prevent night time nose bleeds.

We have included a functional search bar in the ad below. It has been prefilled with a search term to show products relevant to the content on this page.

Humidifier vs Essential Oil Diffuser

At the end of the day, the differences between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers are small and simple. The most prominent is the use of essential oils. Diffusers allow you to customize experiences and scents by using a combination of different essential oils. This makes diffusers great for not only breathing problems, but for sleeping, relaxation, mood and much more. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use a humidifier in the same capacity either.

Some models of humidifiers do come with a little cup at the top which will allow you to use essential oils. Also, because they are often larger in size, humidifiers can usually fill up much larger spaces with moisture than essential oil diffusers can. Choosing between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers all comes down to personal preference.

All-in-one Humidifier and Essential Oil Diffuser

Here we provide a quick review of an appliance that adequately functions as an essential oil diffuser and a humidifier. Our research and review process pointed us to the Exqline Diffuser as the best option for people looking for a humidifier and essential oil diffuser combo.

The feature we consider the most important is a high capacity water tank (average diffusers have notoriously small water tanks). As we mentioned previously, the capacity of the water tank influences runtime. It has a 1500 mL water tank, just over 1.5 quarts. This diffuser runs up to 20 hours continuously on its lowest setting.

The Exqline has a continuously variable output, meaning you can make very fine adjustments to how much humidity the diffuser puts out by turning a knob. The safety auto-shutoff feature powers the diffuser down if it ever runs out of water. It provides humidification coverage for up to 325 square feet. The aromatherapy benefits extend to 425 square feet.

For more details about the Exqline Diffuser and the URPOWER 1000 ml Essential Oil Diffuser check out the link to this page – We ranked the Exqline as number one and the URPOWER as the runner up.

Further reading

Here is a list of other essential oil product comparisons we have on this site

Oil Warmer vs Wax Warmer – This article goes into some of the similarities and differences between oil warmers, sometimes referred to as oil burners, and wax warmers.

Essential Oil Diffuser vs Candle – Here we contrast the simplicity of using a scented candle with the endless variety of scents you can create with an essential oil diffuser.

Best Type of Essential Oil Diffuser – Looking for some technical analysis of different essential oil diffusers? Check out this article with side by side descriptions of different types of diffusers and what situations each type is best suited for.

Essential Oil Burner vs Diffuser – Dive deep into what you really want out of your essential oil experience. Click here for some insight into do’s and don’ts when it comes to scents and the potential for therapeutic benefits from your essential oils.

Wax Warmer vs Oil Diffuser – Another head to head match up with scented wax warmers. This time it goes up against essential oil diffusers. This is a pretty interesting read if you are looking for solutions for your  home or office.

Essential Oil Nebulizer vs Diffuser – This is one of the most hotly debated matchups in the essential oil world. The main reason is because both nebulizers and diffusers are great choices for your essential oil experience. Because of this, people feel strongly about each of them.

Best Essential Oil Diffuser for a Large Room – We solve a unique problem with these product reviews. Surprisingly few manufacturers provide specifications on the effective area of their diffusers. Check out this article to find out which ones do and our top pick.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *