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Difference between Humidifier and Diffuser

 Difference Between Humidifier and Diffuser Infographics

You may find the difference between an oil diffuser and a humidifier confusing. Perhaps you understand that humidifiers and diffusers are mist-releasing devices placed in the interiors. You might also know that both devices help improve moisture in your surroundings, preventing conditions like chapped lips and dry skin.

This article will help you learn the difference.

What is a Humidifier?

What is a Humidifier?

It is a device that aims to infuse your home or personal space with sufficient moisture. In terms of mechanics, a humidifier consists of a water reservoir which filters out into a mist and diffuses into the surrounding air. As a result, the level of humidity indoors increases.

What is a diffuser?

What is an Oil Diffuser?

As the name suggests, this device releases essential oils into the surroundings of your home. It is not made to increase the level of moisture like the humidifier. However, there are some models which work as both diffusers and humidifiers. The chief purpose is to spread the scent of the oil inside the diffuser.

 Types of Humidifier

Different Types of Humidifiers

You can buy four types of humidifiers –

  • Evaporative: Based on the simplest mechanic, a wicking filter pulls water up from the reservoir till the water evaporates.
  • Steam-based: It boils the water to allow evaporation. The steam then fills the room, increasing moisture.
  • Impeller-type: This contains a disc which spins and breaks the water into tiny droplets. The droplets are dispersed through the diffuser with a cooling effect.
  • Ultrasonic: The most sophisticated humidifier uses vibrations to make droplets out of water. After turning into mist, the moisture is dispersed into the air.

 Types of Diffuser

Different Types of Diffuser

There are 5 major types of oil diffusers.

  • Ultrasonic: Using the power of high-frequency vibrations, it breaks the water mixed with essential oil into tiny droplets and diffuses them into the air as mist.
  • Nebulizer: Contains a tube for adding the essential oil, drop by drop. Then the air sucks the oil up to the top, finally releasing it into the surroundings.
  • Heat-based: Using heat energy, it breaks the essential oil into particles that diffuse in the air.
  • Reed-type: Consists of a narrow mouth through which the essential oil enters a tall vessel. A vase contains several such reeds. A wicking action pulls the oil to the top, where it evaporates.
  • Evaporative: Uses airflow to disperse essential oil particles into the air.


Benefits of Humidifier

People with respiratory issues will find it easier to breathe with the help of a humidifier.

Dry air is often responsible for dry skin, frequent colds, sore throats and flaky lips. In addition, lack of moisture can even spoil your wooden furniture. Wood tends to crack after warping under a dry atmosphere.

If you live in a colder climate, dry air can increase your heating bills. You see, dry air makes the surroundings colder. As a result, you will end up spending more power on staying warm.

Benefits of Reed Diffusers

These devices have many benefits, such as:

  • They last much longer than other diffusers
  • Their scent is more subtle and elegant
  • Most reed diffusers are free of alcohol, aerosol or other chemicals

Benefits of Essential Oil

Depending on the type, essential oils can have many health benefits.

For instance, lavender, bergamot, and peppermint oils are great for relieving pain. If you want to improve digestion, try some citronella, cedarwood, and lemongrass oil.

Likewise, there are essential oils for many health conditions. 


Safety When Using a Humidifier

You must ensure that your humidifier is regularly cleaned. Unclean humidifiers turn into a breeding ground for bacteria, mildew and mould. Every time you turn the humidifier on, these harmful microorganisms will disperse in the air along with water vapours/droplets.

This will not be a problem if you use a steam humidifier. Since it uses heat to create steam, this type of humidifier is self-sanitizing. But it would help if you still wash the reservoir now and then. Also, beware of touching the humidifier when it is hot. You might get a burn.

Safety When Using a Reed Diffuser

Whether a reed diffuser or any other kind, you must never come in direct contact with undiluted essential oils. These oils are highly concentrated and cause rashes on the skin. Never apply or ingest concentrated essential oils.

When not in use, turn the diffuser off. Too much heating can damage the device. In the worst-case scenario, an unchecked diffuser could also start a fire at home.

 Humidifier Upkeep & maintain

Upkeep and Maintain a Humidifier

As mentioned earlier, keep your humidifier clean and sanitized. Once a week, clear the water from the reservoir and wash it with soap water. Wipe it dry with a clean cloth, or just leave it dry.

To clean the diffuser parts, you can use a mixture of vinegar and water. Make sure you dry the device properly before reuse.

Diffuser Upkeep & maintain

Upkeep and Maintain a Reed Diffuser

Remember to wash the reservoir or filter properly when you change the essential oil. Otherwise, the scents or fragrances might get mixed up, producing an unfavourable smell.


Using Aromatherapy the Right Way

You must figure two things out before undergoing aromatherapy –

  • Do you have any health conditions unsuited for aromatherapy?
  • What do you hope to achieve or solve using aromatherapy?

Once you answer these questions, proceed to learn about this therapy. You can breathe in the mist of essential oils to relax while engaged in a rejuvenating activity, like meditation.


What to look for In-Home Fragrance Products?

The basin of your fragrance diffuser must be removable. This will allow you to clean the device and change essential oils easily.

The type of diffuser you buy will depend on where you plan to use it. For instance, reed diffusers are ideal for bedrooms because there is no flame, and it is silent.

Where to buy home fragrance products in Singapore?

SHIORA is a Singapore brand with expertise in home fragrance products. We believe every home should smell fresh, clean, and welcoming. With organic and natural scent combinations, we have advanced the field of Home Fragrance, curated specially for your home space. Check out SHIORA's Official Website to choose the right scent for your home.



To summarize, both the humidifier and diffuser spread a liquid into the surrounding air. The difference is, a humidifier fills the room with moisture (water vapours) while a diffuser spreads the fragrance of essential oils. 

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