Diffuser Vs Humidifier – Which to Buy?

There’s so much you can do to improve the atmosphere in your home – and you don’t have to re-wallpaper to do it.

With a simple diffuser or humidifier, you can give your living room a nice refresh with minimal effort and minimal cost.

So if you’ve decided to invest in one, we commend you with your decision. But if you don’t know too much about them, you may be a little unsure of which of the two you would want.

And this article is being put together to address that. We’re going to discuss the differences between these two similar but distinct items, and help you to decide which one would be the best for you to buy for your home.

And without further ado, let’s get straight to it. We’ll start with the basics.

What is a Diffuser?

A diffuser can come in several different forms, but its principal purpose is to diffuse nice, pleasant scents into the air, usually from essential oils.

Types of Diffuser

Although there are several ways to achieve this effect, by using an oil burner or by a small jar of essential oils with reeds to disperse the scent, there are now more effective diffusers on the market that do a better job.

Let’s walk you through the types of diffusers that are trending now.

Nebulizing Diffusers

A nebulizing diffuser works by way of a vacuum which pulls oils to its surface using pressurized air, to diffuse a mist of oil into the air.

Nebulizing diffusers are particularly popular amongst the eco-conscious because they are plastic-free. Moreover, they don’t require any heat or water, which makes them very low maintenance.

Evaporative Diffusers

Evaporative diffusers use a small fan to turn essential oils into a gas that evaporates into the air.

As this oil evaporates, however, it does lose some of its potency and the scent doesn’t linger for very long. And you may overhear the sound of the fan.

Heat Diffusers

A heat diffuser, as you might imagine from the name is one that uses heat to disperse scented oils into the air. There’s no fan involved to turn the oils into a gas, so they’re completely silent. 

Heating the oil can change its chemical properties and affect the intensity of the aroma.

There are also several different types of heat diffuser. You can get candle ones, electric ones, and lamp ring diffusers.

Pros and Cons of a Diffuser

Pros and Cons of a Diffuser


The essential oils that are commonly used in diffusers are thought to have all manner of psychological effects.

For example, lavender essential oil is commonly thought to be relaxing, and thought to help calm someone who may be anxious or wound up.

Other essential oils are known to have medicinal properties. For example, inhalation of a eucalyptus mist can help to ease colds and resolve minor respiratory issues.

Or, more simply, a diffuser can disperse a pleasant scent that overpowers other scents that might be in the air.


Most diffusers are not designed to improve the level of humidity in the room, and are there primarily just to disperse pleasant aromatic scents. (But there are some that do – more on that later.)

What is a Humidifier?

The purpose of a humidifier is to simply add moisture to the air.

You can get two main types of humidifiers. One that releases a warm mist, and one that releases a cool mist. And these in turn come from three different types of humidifier technologies, as follows.

Evaporative Humidifiers

Evaporative humidifiers use a fan to circulate air through a moist wick filter at the bottom of the device.

Then, as you may imagine, this water evaporates into a vapor that is released as a mist. This type of humidifier doesn’t generate heat.

Vaporizer Humidifiers

A typical vaporizer humidifier will emit visible steam into the air, via a quiet fan, and you can often choose between a warm or a cool mist. They use quite a bit of energy and can be hard to clean.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

Ultrasonic humidifiers feature a vibrating metallic diaphragm. The vibrations create water droplets, which are then expelled into the surrounding air. 

Since they do not require a fan, they are often extremely quiet and are great for use in bedrooms where background noise should be minimal.

Pros and Cons of a Humidifier


If you were to invest in a cool mist humidifier, you get a refreshing cool mist, which can be very pleasant in the heat. Likewise, a warm mist may prove to be very pleasant in the Winter.

Humidifiers are known to aid respiratory problems and aid in treating a dry cough.

Humidifiers are also thought to help those with eczema and dry skin.


Not all humidifiers are also diffusers, and they will not necessarily release a pleasant scent into the air.

Do You Need A Humidifier?

The best way to assess whether you need a humidifier is with a humidity tester. A healthy humidity range for an indoor room is anywhere between 30 and 50 %.

If the humidity in your home already exceeds this value, then you don’t really need to invest in a humidifier.

Humidifying Diffusers

If you’re still torn between whether to get a humidifier or a diffuser, why not get the best of both worlds, and invest in a humidifying diffuser.

It’s a combination of the two that not only releases a cool mist into the air, but also releases some really nice scents into the air at the same time.

These diffusers use the ultrasonic technology that we touched upon earlier. This means that there’s no noisy fan to disturb you as you carry on around it, and it doesn’t require any costly electricity.

Wrap Up

So, by this point, you should be a lot more well-informed about all the different types of diffusers and humidifiers out there. And who says you have to choose between the two.

You can have your cake and eat it by investing in a humidifying diffuser.