Can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

Humidifiers are a great way to add moisture to a dry room, but are they good for aromatherapy too? Can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

While humidifiers and essential oil diffusers are slightly different in why they’re used, they both emit vapors into a room. It’s natural to think that you can use an essential oil diffuser like a humidifier or a humidifier like an essential oil diffuser.

But there’s a lot more to it than that. Yes, you can put essential oils in a humidifier but only in certain types of humidifiers. Let’s look at this in more detail.

Can you put essential oils in a humidifier?

can you put essential oils in a humidifier

Yes, you can put essential oils in a humidifier but not in all humidifiers. Some humidifiers come with a separate essential oil tray or aromatherapy box built into the humidifier. This is where you would add your drops of essential oils.

If a humidifier does not have an aromatherapy box or essential oil tray, then you can’t put essential oils directly in the humidifier.

We’ve written about the best humidifiers to use as an essential oil diffuser which you can read here. If you want to use a humidifier like an essential oil diffuser, choose one of the models we review in our guide.

Why can’t you put essential oils in all humidifiers?

Essential oils can clog up a humidifier and cause it to not work properly. Many humidifier manufacturers know that people prefer to use essential oils in humidifiers so now design their humidifiers with an essential oil tray or aroma box so that the oils are kept separate but still dispersed with the vapors.

What is the difference between a diffuser and a humidifier?

An essential oil diffuser is smaller than a humidifier and it’s primary purpose is to disperse vapors from essential oils. A diffuser is used in aromatherapy.

A humidifier is used to add moisture to dry air in a room. Humidifiers are larger than essential oil diffusers and for a humidifier to effectively increase room humidity, they need to be larger and more powerful than an essential oil diffuser.

While essential oil diffusers add some moisture to a room, it’s not enough to make a difference to humidity levels.

Most humidifiers have a built-in humidistat that measures the room’s humidity level and then adjusts the settings on the humidifier so that the optimal humidity level is reached. Essential oil diffusers don’t do this as their main aim is to disperse vapors created from mixing water and essential oils.

Can you use an essential oil diffuser as a humidifier?

You can use an essential oil diffuser as a humidifier however most oil diffusers are too small to make a difference to a room’s humidity levels. If you’re using the diffuser in a small bedroom or other small room, it may add moisture to the air however for most bedrooms and other living spaces, an essential oil diffuser does little more than add essential oil vapors to the air.

Which should I buy: an essential oil diffuser or humidifier?

If you already own a humidifier but it’s one that doesn’t have an essential oil tray, then I recommend buying an essential oil diffuser. But if you don’t have either then I recommend buying a humidifier that you can add essential oils to like these ones.

The advantages of buying a humidifier with an essential oil tray is that you can use the humidifier as a humidifier and as an essential oil diffuser without needing to buy two separate appliances. This will save you money on purchase costs and maintenance costs and you won’t need to clean two appliances! It’s also a great space-saving solution.

One final word

When researching information for this article, we noticed many articles stating that you can add essential oils to any humidifier or that you can’t add essential oils to a humidifier.

With conflicting information, it’s easy to be confused! But thankfully, more humidifier manufacturers are adding essential oil trays to their humidifiers to make it more cost effective for consumers. Can you put essential oils in a humidifier? Yes you can, providing your humidifier has an essential oil tray.