Can an Oil Diffuser Be Used as a Humidifier?

Roots of Being is reader supported. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

Whether it’s the hot season or the cold season, some parts of the world just get incredibly dry during part of the year. That dryness can lead to sickness, discomfort, and unhappiness.

Sometimes you just need to get a humidifier going.

But managing multiple humidifiers in multiple rooms can be annoying. So the question often comes up: “Can an oil diffuser be used as a humidifier?” At this point, you’ll use anything!

In this blog, we’ll discuss whether or not you can use your diffuser as a humidifier. We’ll also look at just what a diffuser does to the air inside your home. 

Can an Oil Diffuser Be Used as A Humidifier? Key Differences

Oil diffusers and humidifiers are quite similar, but only in one specific way. Both devices increase the amount of moisture in the air. The similarities end there, but that means that if you’re wondering, can an oil diffuser be used as a humidifier, the answer is a resounding yes. 

But you do need to understand how both machines operate. 


  • Small machines that hold a tiny amount of water. 
  • Give off a mist of essential oils that fill the room. 
  • Among the most popular models are ultrasonic diffusers, which turn the oil and water into vapor using a vibrating plate.
  • Easy to clean, as there is no area for the water inside to collect. 


  • Large machines that can hold up to a gallon of water.
  • Exist to control the amount of moisture in the area.
  • Essential oils can not be put inside.
  • Harder to clean, as the water inside pools. 

Do Diffusers Increase Moisture?

Essential oil diffusers will indeed increase the humidity inside a room.  But the moisture it adds is not enough to be considered significant. This is because increasing humidity is just a side effect of an oil diffuser, not its sole purpose. A diffuser exists to emit vapors with essential oils. 

To actually get all the benefits of humidity inside your home on a dry afternoon, you’re going to need to buy a proper humidifier. 

Can Essential Oils Be Used in a Cool Mist Humidifier?

You should never put essential oils inside a humidifier, even if you think only a few drops wouldn’t hurt. There are two reasons why this is a mistake. 

First, it just won’t do what you think it will.

Essential oils are meant to be used in diffusers because diffusers are made with them in mind. A humidifier is too strong a machine for essential oils, and they will deteriorate very fast. 

Secondly, cool mist humidifiers pull water out of their tanks before letting off vapor.

You won’t get any of the benefits of the oils after it cycles through water in such a fashion. 

How a Diffuser Decontaminates The Air

You may have noticed that your home smells fresher and you find it easier to breathe after using a diffuser. This is because essential oils have anti-oxidant, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that will keep you healthier. 

When these properties are put into the air through the vapor being emitted, they also have the ability to make one feel more relaxed. They can also help with sinus and allergy issues. 

How a Humidifier Moisturizes The Air

You may notice you have an easier time breathing with a humidifier as well, but this is actually for a different reason. Humidifiers relieve dry skin, but they also have the ability to fight off cold symptoms. 

This is due to a humidifier’s ability to reduce irritation in the skin, throat, and eyes. While a humidifier does not have any anti-fungal benefits, the moisture it emits can fight off viruses. 

It’s All About What You Want

When it comes down to choice, you have to ask yourself what you’re looking for. If you’re looking to feel more relaxed, both a humidifier and a diffuser can help relieve anxiety and stress.

A diffuser does this by emitting essential oils that have calming benefits, while a humidifier makes people feel less anxious simply because the room is easier to breathe in and viruses are kept at bay. 

Of course, you can always split the difference and use both, but the decision will depend on what you want, and maybe a little where you live. 

3 thoughts on “Can an Oil Diffuser Be Used as a Humidifier?”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.