Can You Use A Humidifier As A Diffuser?

by Bella Martinez March 31, 2021

Can You Use A Humidifier As A Diffuser?

We may have just entered into Spring, yet some regions are still stuck with dry Winter weather. That’s where a humidifier comes in. Yet, some essential oil users have other ideas for creating a more humid environment. 

On the outside, humidifiers may look similar to essential oil water diffusers, thus inviting the question: can I use essential oils in my humidifier? However, when it comes to diffusing EOs in your humidifier, there’s more to it than meets the eye.

In this guide, we discuss all things humidifiers, essential oil diffusers, whether the two are interchangeable and more.

What Is A Humidifier?

The warmer the weather, the more humidity the air can hold. So when the weather dips to chilly temps, the air holds much less moisture. 

A lack of moisture in the air can create a plethora of problems which is why it’s beneficial to have a humidifier that can increase your home's humidity level and the quality of your indoor air.  

Humidifiers can help prevent issues caused by dry air, such as:

  • Bloody noses

  • Eye and throat irritation

  • Dry skin and sinuses

  • Trouble breathing

  • Discomfort 

  • Cracked plaster and drywall

  • Creaky home 

  • Feeling colder than it is

There are different types of humidifiers which each have slightly different mechanisms. 

Evaporative Humidifier

Also known as a cool-mist humidifier, most humidifiers are evaporative. These types of humidifiers have water basins that are filled with cold water. A filter absorbs the water from the basin, then air blows through the filter, thus blowing out fine water droplets into your air.      

Steam Humidifier

Steam diffusers, also known as a warm mist humidifier, work by heating water to a boil, creating a warm mist. Note that they can be hazardous around pets and children because they use high heat and they also are often the least energy-efficient.

Ultrasonic Humidifier

Like our ultrasonic diffusers, ultrasonic humidifiers contain a small plate at the base of the humidifier that vibrates rapidly (also known as ultrasonic vibration), creating a quiet, fine mist. In an ultrasonic humidifier, the water should be changed often so as to prevent bacterial growth.

Impeller Humidifier

An impeller humidifier uses a propelling disc that shoots water through a comb-like structure creating a cool mist. Like the ultrasonic diffuser, the water should be changed often so as to prevent bacterial growth. Distilled water is also recommended.

What Is An Essential Oil Diffuser?

An essential oil diffuser is manufactured to effectively disperse the therapeutic benefits and aromas of essential oils into the air so that you can inhale, enjoy and obtain their benefits. 

Convenient and cost-saving, our diffusers combine highly innovative technology with pure aromatic integrity. Simply add a few drops of pure essential oil, such as Lavender essential oil, or an oil blend to a diffuser and soak in the natural fragrance circulating in the air. The continuous mist of the oil diffuser will have your favorite essential oil scent wafting throughout your home all throughout the day. 

An oil diffuser is a simple way to add aromatherapy to your everyday life. Our collection of sleek unique designs make it easy to add an essential oil diffuser to any room. Match the color or style of your aromatherapy diffuser to any space with our variety of styles or even take it on the go with our essential oil diffusers specifically made for the car. 

Along with style, there are two types of diffusers to consider: passive diffusers and active diffusers. 

Passive Diffusers

A passive aroma diffuser naturally emits essential oil without any help from a stimulus. These diffusers generally offer a less intense aroma output.

Passive diffusers can be used day and night, so long as the aroma is not too intense. These diffusers can be placed throughout your home or space and used continuously. Passive diffusers are recommended for those with aroma-sensitivities or if you prefer continuous diffusion at a lower intensity.

We offer a variety of passive diffusers, including:

Because passive diffusers are less intense than active diffusers, they are preferred for sensitive individuals such as young children, the elderly, those with health concerns and pets. 

Active Diffusers

Active diffusers use a stimulus such as electricity, ultrasonic vibrations, airflow, etc. to emit essential oils. These diffusers offer an intense aroma output.

Our selection of active diffusers include: 

Each active diffuser has its own individual safety tips. For example, ultrasonics such as the Terrazzo and Diamond should be used for 30-60 minutes before turning them off for 30-60 minutes.

With the Aromaride Car Oil Diffuser, ventilation (i.e. cracking open a window) is recommended if the aroma is too intense with or without air blowing through your car’s vents.

And lastly, though it doesn’t require a stimulus to diffuse, the Personal Pocket Inhaler delivers the same amount of aroma intensity as an ultrasonic diffuser in a few, short bursts, and, therefore we recommend the same safety guidelines be followed as active diffusers. 

Can You Use A Humidifier As A Diffuser?

It may seem elementary, but most humidifiers were not created to hold essential oils. In fact, depending on the model, adding essential oils to your device can quickly ruin the air humidifier. 

Due to essential oils’ caustic nature, they can eat and corrode materials including certain plastics. This is an issue for humidifiers made of plastic and other easily dissolvable substances. What’s more is that essential oils (particularly resinous essential oils like Myrrh and Vanilla Oleoresin) can gunk up gears and mechanics, further damaging your humidifier. 

Furthermore, humidifiers are made to cover a certain square footage. What this means is that if you add a few drops of essential oil to a humidifier that is meant to cover 1200 sq ft but you place the humidifier in a 500 sq ft room, you could end up over-diffusing which may lead to complications. In addition, the quality of essential oils can be altered depending on the temperature of the humidifier.

Though it would be convenient to use essential oils in your humidifier, this is one area we don’t recommend killing two birds with one stone. Instead, invest in both a good humidifier and essential oil diffuser. At Edens Garden, we offer a variety of essential oil diffusers for every space, need and lifestyle. Though we don’t offer humidifiers, we believe they are supportive to a healthy lifestyle and a great addition to any home, so long as you keep essential oils out.

Dry Winter Remedies

Along with adding a humidifier to your home, try moisturizing with Edens Garden’s deeply nourishing body oils and carrier oil. Our favorite way to restore much-needed moisture to parched skin, our selection of healing body oils is a dry winter remedy that everyone can benefit from. Find out what our customers are saying about our body oils and carrier oils now. 


  1. Mayo Clinic. “Humidifiers: Air Moisture Eases Skin, Breathing Symptoms.” Mayo Clinic, 14 Jan. 2021,

  2. Brain, Marshall. “How Humidifiers Work.” HowStuffWorks, 27 Jan. 2020,

  3. Turek, Claudia. “Stability of Essential Oils: A Review.” Wiley Online Library, 1 Jan. 2013,

Grab The Essentials Here:

Leave a comment (Comments will be approved before showing up)


Rachel Rhodes

May 25, 2022 at 10:08 am

The amount of moisture that a humidifier puts in the air is so much greater than a diffuser!
However, as the post says, essential oils can – and will – ruin a humidifier. I thought the “two birds with one stone” was a no-brainer, and added some oils to a brand new ultrasonic diffuser. The seal fused shut and I was unable to open the lid. I didn’t realize this was from the oils until I returned it and it happened a second time! A few years later, I tried it again (I thought maybe the first was a fluke, as it was a novelty children’s humidifier), and the exact same thing happened.
So heed the advice – use a humidifier with water only, and use your oils in a diffuser meant for them!


December 13, 2021 at 4:17 pm

I agree with Peggy’s comment. I am simply trying to find out if I can use my diffuser as a humidifier instead of getting a humidifier also. I now know that it’s not a good idea to use a humidifier as a diffuser but still don’t know if the opposite is true.

Edens Garden

April 1, 2021 at 8:44 am

Thank you for your feedback. Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers do add humidity to the air but not nearly as much as a humidifier.


April 1, 2021 at 8:39 am

I use 2 table- top cool mist humidifiers, one LR, one in bedroom, and a diffuser in the LR.. year 2 of this. Makes my skin life much easier in winter in NE Ks.

Peggy Greathouse

April 1, 2021 at 8:39 am

I’m reading the question as “Can you use a diffuser as a humidifier?”
Your response seems like you read it as “Can a humidifier be used as a diffuser?” Please clarify. I would like to know if a diffuser also humidifies significantly. Thanks.

Colleen Eklund

April 1, 2021 at 8:39 am

This article states not to use a humidifier as a diffuser especially with essential oil but never really answers the question of using a diffuser as a humidifier without oils

Renee Allen

April 1, 2021 at 8:39 am

You didn’t really answer the question if you can use a diffuser as a humidifier. Even in the second to last section, you addressed if you can use a humidifier as a diffuser, but not the opposite. I was hoping to read how much moisture an ultrasonic diffuser puts in the air vs. a humidifier, etc., if it helps dry air, dry skin, etc.

Maybe just change the name of the article and that last question to make the subject matter more fitting?