Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier?

To maintain absolute comfort in your room, it’s essential to keep the humidity between 40 to 50 percent. When the humidity drops to 30 percent or lower, it can dry up your skin and nasal passages, resulting in eye and skin irritation and respiratory issues. A humidifier is the perfect little device to add that needed moisture to the air, especially during winter. 

Humidifiers come in various sizes and styles with many different features, including the ability to diffuse essential oils for added aromatherapy. This is a useful feature with many potential benefits to your health when used properly. However, not all humidifiers can diffuse oils.

If you don’t have any issue with low humidity, then what you need is an essential oil diffuser. How does it differ from a humidifier? Which device do you really need? We’ll learn about this and more below. First, you must understand how each of these devices functions.

What Is a Humidifier?

Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier Fetured Photo

A humidifier works to add moisture to the air. There are different types of humidifiers depending on the process used for humidification and the mist produced.

Evaporative vs. Ultrasonic

The most common type of humidifier is called an evaporative humidifier. It uses a wick or filter to absorb water from the reservoir. A fan then blows air through the filter so the water evaporates into the air with almost no visible mist. 

An evaporative humidifier self-regulates to prevent adding too much humidity. They also filter the water, eliminating impurities that can leave a filmy residue on surfaces around the unit. 

An ultrasonic humidifier produces mist using a metal diaphragm vibrating at a high frequency, sending tiny water particles into the air. Built without a fan, an ultrasonic humidifier is best used at night because of its nearly soundless operation. 

Cool Mist vs. Warm Mist

Some ultrasonic humidifiers have cool and warm mist options. A cool mist humidifier releases cool mist to increase moisture levels using either evaporation or ultrasonic technology. A warm mist humidifier has an internal heater that boils water before releasing the warm steam into the air. 

Humidifiers are good for relieving cough and cold symptoms, difficulty in breathing, as well as dry skin and chapped lips due to dry air. Some cool mist humidifiers also work as essential oil diffusers.

What Is an Essential Oil Diffuser?

Humidifier in the room

Essential oil diffusers are electric devices that combine aromatic oils and water into mists. This mist is dispersed into the air to fill the room with a fragrant aroma. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries in many different cultures. Essential oils have many benefits, including creating a relaxing atmosphere enhanced with pleasant scents to help lift the mood.

While the process of producing mist is similar to a humidifier, oil diffusers serve a different purpose—dispersing essential oils. It may use evaporation or ultrasonic technology to blend water and aromatic essential oils and add them to the air in the room. However, it doesn’t add enough moisture to really impact the humidity levels in the space.

Which One Is Better for Diffusing Oil and Why?

For the sole purpose of adding aroma to the air in the room, an oil diffuser is a better option than a humidifier. Diffusers are designed specifically to reduce essential oils into fine mist to mix with the air. Most humidifiers are not so effective in this regard. 

If you need to add moisture to the air, then go with a humidifier, but if you simply want to add fragrance, then a diffuser may be better. To get both functions in one device, then look for a humidifier with the ability to diffuse oils. These humidifiers are typically larger in size than the ordinary oil diffuser.

Green humidifiers

Best Essential Oils to Diffuse in Your Home

Essential oils are extracted from plants with various health benefits. Here are some common natural oils used for aromatherapy and their respective uses.

Eucalyptus oil has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that help boost the respiratory and immune systems. It’s good to keep in hand during cold and flu seasons.

Lavender oil promotes relaxation and calmness, making it an excellent option for stress relief and restful sleep.

Peppermint oil is good for indigestion, heartburn, and nausea. It can also stimulate the mind, soothe the sinuses, and reduce headaches.

Tea tree oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties that are useful for cold and flu symptoms as it fights infections.

Lemongrass oil can help relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. It has a strong citrus scent and its antibacterial properties aid in healing wounds and killing bacteria.

Jasmine oil has a romantic scent thought to have an aphrodisiac effect. Its sweet scent is a natural remedy for improving mood and relieving stress.

It’s important to know which essential oils to use to help boost your mood or relieve symptoms of various health conditions. Try only a few drops at a time to see the effects.

Essential Oils Set

Essential Oils Set

Beneficial and Harmful Effects of Essential Oils

As we have enumerated above, essential oils from different plants have many benefits to your physical and mental health. Not only do they smell great, but adding essential oils to the air can also help for mental clarity, create a calming effect, and relieve symptoms of many medical conditions including respiratory and digestive illnesses.

However, be reminded to use essential oils with care. Read the instructions and use only the right amount in your humidifier or diffuser. Excessive inhalation of these aromas may irritate your respiratory tracts, leading to allergic reactions. If used in a child’s room, it’s best to consult a pediatrician first to make sure the essential oil has no harmful effects on the child.

Essential oils can also clog the humidifier’s filter or evaporator pad, so the humidifier will not produce mist. Furthermore, water and oil do not mix. If the humidifier doesn’t break it down into tiny particles, the oil might stick on the surface of the tank. 

The Best Humidifier for Essential Oils

There are many portable humidifiers that can diffuse essential oils effectively. The following are some of our top choices from the thousands of products in the market today.

Geniani Huron Cool Mist Humidifier

Geniani Huron Cool Mist Humidifier

The Geniani Huron provides almost anything you may need in a humidifier. It has a large 4-liter water tank that can last up to 18 hours to humidify small rooms up to 220 square feet. This ultrasonic cool mist humidifier features a smart humidity sensor and one-button control with a ring light and tank light to indicate the unit’s operation mode and the level of humidity. The top-fill design makes it easy to fill and clean, unlike most other humidifiers. It also has a fragrance tray where you can add a few drops of essential oils.

 Levoit Dual 200S Smart Humidifier

 Levoit Dual 200S Smart Humidifier

Levoit is a popular brand of humidifiers. The Levoit Dual 200S model is a smart humidifier with a 3-liter tank that provides up to 25 hours of soothing moisture in spaces up to 290 square feet. You can choose from the three mist settings with the mist button while Auto Mode uses the humidity sensor to automatically adjust the mist level. This humidifier also connects to your Wi-Fi network to allow you to change the settings from your mobile device or with voice commands. Lastly, you can add essential oils to the aroma pad.

Pure Enrichment PureSpa Ultrasonic Humidifier

Pure Enrichment PureSpa Ultrasonic Humidifier

Pure Enrichment is another well-known brand with a wide collection of ultrasonic humidifiers, but only one that can also diffuse oils. The PureSpa model has a 2-liter tank that can last from 22 to 50 hours in a 350 square feet room, depending on the level of mist. Unlike a few other brands which use knob controls, Pure Enrichment features a simple, one-button control. The sleek and stylish design is a great addition to any bedroom or office.

How To Maintain Your Humidifier

Humidifiers are fairly easy to use and maintain. When operating, place it on a steady, level surface above the ground. Point it to an open area and not directly at you, especially if you’re using essential oils. 

For optimum performance, clean your humidifier at least every week. Rinse the tank every time you refill it to remove any remnants of water, oils, and minerals. Disinfect the tank every week with liquid soap or a vinegar solution. 


Humidifiers work to provide much needed moisture during cold and dry winters. They can help alleviate symptoms and help you breathe and sleep easier. Additionally, some humidifiers have the ability to diffuse essential oils to benefit from the essence of the original plant. However, not all humidifiers are also oil diffusers, just as oil diffusers cannot replace humidifiers. If you need moisture along with the added relief of aromatherapy, then opt for a humidifier with this function. It is perfectly safe as long as you follow the guidelines provided.

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