Do Essential Oil Diffusers Humidify? Your Complete Guide To Essential Oil Diffusers

Have you heard that essential oil diffusers can be used as a humidifier? Maybe this has raised more questions and you want to know if it’s true?

Or are you curious about essential oil diffusers and want to know more? Whatever the reason is that brought you here, we have the answers for you! 

Do Essential Oil Diffusers Humidify Your Complete Guide To Essential Oil Diffusers

Finding out if essential oil diffusers humidify or not can be tricky, especially if you are new to the world of diffusers. You head online to find out more but are met with pages and pages of conflicting and contradicting information.

Frustrated and disappointed, you wonder where to turn next or who to trust? How will you ever find the answers you need?

Well, by coming here! Today, we have a complete guide that will tell you if essential oil diffusers humidify or not (see also “The Best Essential Oils For Dryer Balls“). Get ready to become an essential oil diffuser expert and learn all about diffusing and humidifying! 

Humidity Levels In Our Home – Why They Matter

Before we dive into today’s article, let’s first take a moment to discuss humidity levels. Our homes should have a humidity level between 30 to 50%. 

Low humidity levels can irritate your throat and nasal passages and make your eyes itchy and dry. It can also cause dry skin on your face and body. 

Hugh humidity levels can also irritate you! They can promote mold and bacteria growth in your home, leaving you with respiratory issues, allergies, and sinus congestion. 

You must maintain an optimal humidity level in your home to prevent these health issues from impacting you or your family.

And it isn’t just dry climates that need to worry about dry air! If you have wood stoves or other heat sources in your home, these can also lower the humidity in the air. 

If you are unsure about the humidity levels in your home or want to check them, you can use indoor hydrometers or thermometers to measure the humidity.

If you suffer from mold in your home or find the air very dry, it’s worth investing in one!

What Is The Difference Between A Humidifier And A Diffuser?

There are a few similarities and differences between humidifiers and diffusers. It’s best that we explore these before seeing if an essential oil diffuser will humidify the air or not.

So keep reading to find out what the differences and similarities between a humidifier and a diffuser are!


Let’s start with the similarities! There are a few similarities between humidifiers and diffusers that you can check out listed below. 

  • They both use tap water 
  • They both add moisture to the air (water vapor is expelled into the air) 


Humidifiers and diffusers also have a lot of differences that make it easy for you to identify them!

Let’s take a look at diffusers and humidifiers in closer detail so you can see the differences now. 


Let’s start with diffusers which can be identified by the following characteristics. 

  • They are small and made with small water tanks holding 150 to 300 ml of water. 
  • They typically run for up to four hours. 
  • Their purpose is to create a small stream of mist. This is done with ultrasonic technology that breaks essential oils into fine particles. These particles are carried with water molecules into the air. 
  • The most popular type is an ultrasonic diffuser. These are fitted with a vibrating plate in the tank that shakes the water and oils to vaporize them, making it easier to breathe in the oils. 
  • There are no enclosed areas or tubes where the water sits.
  • Diffusers are easy to maintain and clean. 


Now let’s take a look at humidifiers to show you how different these devices are! 

  • Humidifiers typically are larger, with water tanks that can hold 1 gallon. 
  • They work to control a set level of moisture in the room. 
  • Usually, you are not able to add essential oil to the water. There are some humidifiers with an essential oil tray, but it is not standard. 
  • Humidifiers tend to be harder to maintain and clean. 
  • Warm mist humidifiers use a heating element to create a fine mist, making them more expensive than cool mist humidifiers. 

Do Essential Oil Diffusers Humidify?

Let’s get into what brought you here today! Essential oil diffusers will add some moisture to the air. Most essential oil diffusers only add a small amount of water and humidity to a room.

While they do increase the humidity, you can’t consider them as humidifiers due to the little amount of humidity and moisture they add. 

The purpose of an essential oil diffuser is to add small amounts of essential oils into the air.

This is done by the oils riding the water droplets, with a small stream of moisture being released into the air. The amount of water is so small that we can’t consider them as humidifiers. 

But, as always, there is an exception to the rule! Some essential oil diffusers will add enough moisture into the air to be considered a humidifier.

These diffuser humidifier combos aren’t overly common, but are a good choice if you want to add moisture and a wonderful scent into your home! 

They are a fine option for anyone that uses a wood-burning stove in their home. You can add moisture back into the air and have it smelling fantastic too! 

Will A Nebulizer Diffuser Add Humidity To My Room?

No, a nebulizer diffuser will not add humidity to your room. These diffusers do not use water to disperse essential oils and will not add any extra moisture or humidity to your room or home. 

These diffusers are a good way to add a strong scent to your room! Nebulizer diffusers are ideal for any home that already has high humidity levels.

You can still enjoy the scent and benefit of essential oils in your home, without worrying about adding extra moisture into the air. 

You can also use a reed diffuser to add essential oils into the air without adding extra moisture. Reed diffusers are a popular choice for people with high-humidity rooms that still want to enjoy the benefit of essential oils! 

Can I Use Essential Oils In A Cool-Mist Humidifier?

We don’t recommend using essential oils in a cool mist humidifier. Cool mist humidifiers are designed to add lots of moisture into large rooms quickly.

So why shouldn’t you use essential oils with a cool mist humidifier? Well, there are two reasons, let’s take a look at them now. 

First, essential oils are quite strong. When you use them in your cool mist humidifier, you run the risk of them breaking down the non-hospital grade plastic that can cause your humidifier to break or even shorten its lifespan! 

The next reason is that your cool mist humidifier was not designed for essential oils. Cool mist humidifiers work by pulling water from the bottom of a tank and spraying the water out.

The essential oils would sit at the top of your humidifier and not be dispersed until the water is almost empty. 

If you have a large cool mist humidifier, it can take hours for it to empty, meaning you won’t see the benefit of your essential oils! 

Humidifiers With An Essential Oils Tray

As we mentioned earlier, there are some humidifiers that come with an essential oils tray built in.

These humidifiers come with a tray where your essential oils are added. While in the tray, the scent is picked up by the mist and carried through the room. 

While they add the scent to your room, some people believe you miss out on the health benefits and aromatherapy purposes of the oils when you use your essential oils in this way.

Sure, there is a scent in your room, but you won’t get the mist you usually do when you use an essential oils diffuser. 

Can I Use Essential Oils In A Warm Mist Humidifier?

We would not recommend using essential oils in a warm mist humidifier. This is because the heating element can cause the chemical makeup of your essential oils to change. Doing so could cause your essential oils to lose their benefits! 

We think it’s best to keep them out of a warm mist humidifier and opt for a separate diffuser instead.

Can You Use An Essential Oil Diffuser Without Essential Oils?

Yes! If you don’t have any essential oils on hand, you can use your diffuser without them. Doing so will add some extra humidity and moisture to your room without the need for a humidifier. 

When doing so, you will notice that your diffuser will not run as long as a humidifier will. it also will not add as much moisture into the air, as the diffuser doesn’t have the capacity. 

To run your diffuser without any essential oils, simply add the required level of water and turn your diffuser on. It works best in small spaces to add some more humidity or moisture to the room.

In a large room, a small diffuser won’t make much of a difference moisture-wise, but it can make a significant difference in smaller rooms. 

What Essential Oils Diffuser Should I Buy?

There are lots of essential oil diffusers on the market to choose from, but we love the Desert Mist diffuser from Young Living.

Not only is it priced to suit most budgets, but it’s sleek design means that it looks wonderful in any home! 

The diffuser boasts 11 different light settings that can be controlled without needing to use the diffuser function. Our favorite is the romantic candle-like flicker mode.

Even if you aren’t using the diffuser to diffuse your essential oils, the light creates a calming environment for you to relax in. 

There is also a light cycle mode, where the colors transition from one to another beautifully. It’s a great one to have on and forget about! You also have a few different run modes that you can choose from.

There is the high mode where your diffuser will run for five hours non-stop, the low mode, where it runs for eight hours, or intermittent mode, where the diffuser will run for one minute and turn off for another on repeat for ten hours. 

The range of modes allows you to find one that works for you and customize your diffuser to suit! 

The diffuser is super quiet too, allowing you to use it in your bedroom and still get a good night’s sleep! Plus, it doubles as a small humidifier beautifully. It will add plenty of humidity into your room without making it overly wet. 

The diffuser is also safe to use in a baby’s room with a selection of oils. We do recommend that you seek medical advice before putting a diffuser in your baby’s room, just to ensure that it is safe for your baby. 

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! Essential oil diffusers do humidify a room, especially smaller rooms where space is limited. Not only do they add moisture to the air, but your favorite scent and essential oil too! 

However, as diffusers are considerably smaller than humidifiers, they won’t add as much moisture as you might like! Of course, this does depend on the type of diffuser that you purchase. 

Ultrasonic diffusers are a fantastic option for those looking for something similar to a diffuser, as it has the largest amount of water.

Nebulizer diffusers are another good option, especially if you want to maximize the benefits of your oils. However, they are some of the most expensive types of diffusers. 

For smaller spaces, we recommend reed diffusers. They will release mostly the scent of your essential oil and work well in bathrooms (see also “Which Natural Essential Oils Work Better Than Anti-Perspirant For Deodorant?“). 

Make sure you do not add any essential oils to your humidifier unless the manual specifies that you can. Otherwise, you are wasting your precious oils! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Before you leave us today, be sure to check out our brief FAQ section to get the answers to your last-minute questions! 

How Much Humidity Do An Essential Oils Diffuser Give Off?

This varies depending on the size of your diffuser and how much water it holds. Generally, essential oil diffusers will not add much humidity to your room. They will add a little moisture, but in larger rooms, it is usually unnoticeable. 

If you were to run a diffuser constantly in a small room, you would probably notice more moisture, but it does vary from room to room depending on size. 

What Essential Oils Can I Use In My Diffuser?

You can use any oil you want in your diffuser! Each essential oil has a different purpose, so we recommend checking out the uses to help; you decide what oil you want to use. Some of the most popular essential oils that are used in diffusers are: 

  • Peppermint 
  • Sandalwood
  • Lavender
  • Rose 
  • Chamomile 
  • Bergamot 

You can also get essential oil blends which are a combination of oils and other ingredients designed to mimic perfumes, aftershaves, or other scents.

While these are good for adding a new smell to your home, they can come with added ingredients that could irritate you.

We recommend always checking the list of ingredients before making your purchases, or just sticking to pure essential oils. 

Are Essential Oil Diffusers Expensive?

Generally, no. essential oil diffusers tend to be affordable or reasonably priced, depending on the brand you are opting for. You can usually find them at an affordable price online or in homeware stores. 

To get good value for your money, it’s worth purchasing a starter kit. These will usually come with a diffuser and a few essential oils.

If you don’t have any oils already to use it can be more cost-effective to purchase the diffuser this way. Plus, it’s a good way to try a few scents and see which ones you like! 

There are often sales too, so we recommend keeping an eye out for any offers that you can capitalize on!

Are Dehumidifiers Expensive?

Humidifiers can be expensive, but the cost depends on a few factors. First, you need to consider the type of humidifier that you are purchasing.

Warm mist or nebulizer humidifiers tend to be more expensive because of the extra parts in them, like the heating elements. 

The size of the humidifier also determines the cost of the humidifier. Larger humidifiers are great for adding moisture to larger rooms but will come with a heftier price tag.

You will also want to consider the brand of the humidifier as this can push the cost up too. 

When looking for a humidifier, be sure to set your budget beforehand. Consider the type of humidifier you want and the size you need to help you find one that suits your budget and your home.

Mia Greene
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