With the ever-changing weather and poor air quality caused by industrial activities and global warming, which device should you go for? An oil diffuser or a humidifier? What is the difference between an oil diffuser vs humidifier, and which is better?
Humidifiers and diffusers are two devices found in many homes, but people confuse one for the other. Some even believe that they are one and the same. But this is far from the truth. An oil diffuser is not a humidifier, and a humidifier is not an oil diffuser. They are designed to serve different purposes.
Read on to learn a thing or two about what these two devices are.
What is an oil diffuser?
An oil diffuser is a device specially created to diffuse the oil. This device is used mainly by aromatherapists. Ideally, oil diffusers are used to diffuse essential oils for vaporizing. Diffusers have storage tanks into which you place your essential oil and water, so when you switch it on, it distributes the oil into the air in the form of mist. Diffusers are also of different types, namely
They may have different modes of operations, but they are designed to serve the same purpose. When active, diffusers aromatize rooms and give out an enticing scent of the oil in the storage
Benefits of diffusers
Here are some of the benefits of using a diffuser in your home
- The diffused oil improves mood
- The oil purifies the air
- The mist is products is absorbed by the skin, which triggers a relaxing effect. The oil is also good for dry skin as it gives it moisture.
- Diffusers counter the growth and spread of bacteria since most essential oils are antibacterial and anti-microbial.
- You breathe better if you have a diffuser in your home because the oil clears your airways
Disadvantages of Diffusers
- They are quite expensive and rely on essential oils to work, which will further increase operation cost
- The features they have are non-adjustable
- Some models make a little bit of noise when on
- The storage tank is small and requires frequent replenishment to continue working
Diffusers are essentially created to distill and distribute essential oil. However, there are modern devices that diffuse and dehumidify, so if you have such a device, you can enjoy both functions.
What does a humidifier do?
Unlike a diffuser, a humidifier does not work with a diffuser. Rather it is designed to regulate the level of moisture in the air. Moisturizing the air becomes very important during the dry season when moisture levels become very low. And as you know, dry air leads to a myriad of problems like the growth of bacteria, cough, and even dry skin. If you have flu, cold, or a sensitive sinus, dry air may worsen the condition.
So to ensure that there is sufficient moisture in the air for comfort, homeowners install humidifiers in their homes. Most of the humidifiers in the market are made of plastic and do not work with essential oils, especially as these oils are not compatible with plastic, so they are not good for them.
While it is possible to disperse oils with humidifiers, they can’t nebulize the oil the same way a diffuser can. So if you have been using essential oils in your humidifier, you’ve been going about it the wrong way.
However, the good news is that there are humidifier hybrids with diffusion capacity to may go for if you want a device with dual functionality.
Benefits of using humidifiers
- They add moisture to the air
- The warm mist they produce regulates body temperature and improves skin conditions
- They provide relief from common conditions like cough, sore throat, and sinuses.
- A very good device to prevent allergies
- Reduces the potential of asthma attacks
- Reduces snoring in some individuals
- They require little or no maintenance
- Works with water which is readily available
- A low-cost device
Disadvantages of humidifiers
- They make a lot of noise
- It may go bad if an essential oil is poured into the chamber
For your better understanding, here is a table to differentiate oil diffuser vs humidifier
|Function||Moisturize the air||Add fragrance to an interior space|
|Benefit||Reduce dry air triggers||Provides aromatherapy benefits|
|Operation||Works with water to increase humidity||Works with water and essential oils|
|Size||Has a large tank||Has a small tank|
How to use a humidifier
The biggest challenge many people have with humidifiers is that they do not know when to clean them. This is especially true if your device doesn’t have a transparent water tank. If you want to enjoy the full value of using this device, you should know when to clean it and do so properly. Failure to do so will lead to bacteria buildup from the water. We recommend cleaning the diffuser at least once a week if you use it every day.
Another thing you should take note of is the heating element. After working for a very long time, the body may become very hot, and if you are not careful, it will scald your skin. We recommend keeping the device out of reach of your pets and children, so they don’t suffer severe burns.
How to use a diffuser
Diffusers are relatively easy to use. You just add your essential oil and water in their right proportion into the storage, shut it and switch it on after plugging it into a power outlet.
What you should be mindful of are the risk factors involved in using one at home. The essential oils you use should always be mixed with a Carrier oil before pouring into the diffuser. Raw essential oils are quite harsh and will cause everyone in the house great discomfort. In worst cases, they can trigger skin redness or allergic reactions. Diffusers should not be used in homes with nursing mothers, pregnant women, and little children.
Furthermore, if the diffuser is of the heat model, we recommend keeping them out of the reach of children. You may keep yours in a locked cabinet until when you need it.
Oil diffusers vs humidifiers are two different devices that serve different purposes
While an oil diffuser works with essential oils and water to add fragrance to the atmosphere, humidifiers use water to moisturize the air. The one you go for should depend on your need. If you want to enjoy both functions, you may go for a more expensive dual-function device that diffuses oils and dehumidifies the atmosphere.
Oil vs diffuser FAQ
How do I maintain an oil diffuser and a humidifier?
You can maintain your humidifier by using soap and water to clean the storage with a soft sponge. As for diffusers, a mixture is of water and vinegar is what you need. Make sure the interior of the diffuser or humidifier is dry before you use them.
Which device do I need if I want to moisturize the air?
A humidifier is used to add moisture to the air.
Can I use essential oils in a humidifier?
No, you may not unless the humidifier diffusion capabilities. Oil diffusers are purpose-built to diffuse the oil. If you want to moisturize and diffuse essential oils with a single device, we recommend buying a piece of modern equipment that can do both.