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Diffuser vs. Vaporizer: Which is the Best to Use at Home?

Diffuser vs. Vaporizer: Which is the Best to Use at Home?

Today, there are numerous ways of increasing the amount of vapor in your home. The two most sought-after devices are a diffuser or a vaporizer.

It’s crucial to compare diffuser vs. vaporizer to find out the similarities and differences they both share. That way, you can pick the right one for you.

There are different types and models in the market giving you a wide choice.

What is a Diffuser?

Before you buy a diffuser, it’s essential to know its purpose. A diffuser is a device you use to add moisture to the surrounding area.

Often this moisture consists of vapor and essential oils. Essential oil diffusers are the most popular in the market.

What is a Diffuser

Types of Diffusers

There are four different varieties of diffusers. These include:

  • Nebulizer diffusers
  • Ultrasonic diffuser
  • Heat diffuser
  • Evaporative diffuser

The four types work with essential oils but use different processes to add moisture to the air. For instance, a nebulizing diffuser spreads the oils using pressure and doesn’t need any water.

An ultrasonic diffuser, on the other hand, requires water and a few drops of oils. Once you turn on the device, water and oils turn into vapor, filling the room. It uses vibrations for this process.

The heat diffuser shares similarities to the ultrasonic type. The only difference is the heat diffuser uses heat to turn water and oil into vapor.

Lastly, the evaporative diffusers have fans inside which spread the vapor consisting of moisture and essential oils to the room. The fans move at different speeds depending on the settings you choose.

Who Uses a Diffuser?

As you conduct a comparison between diffuser and vaporizer, you notice several benefits of using the former. A diffuser has different types to choose which doesn’t limit you. If you want pure essential oils without diluting, you can turn to the nebulizing diffuser.

Alternatively, you can use the evaporative, heat, or ultrasonic to spread unique fragrance in your home. The good news is you don’t need to heat the liquid to achieve a lovely smell when using the ultrasonic diffuser.

What is a Vaporizer?

At times you want to turn a liquid into vapor without diluting it. For instance, you can vaporize essential oils for a more intense aroma and relief. That means you skip the water and increase the benefit.

What is a Vaporizer

Types of Vaporizers

A vaporizer is essential, especially when you need relief from the stuffy nose or blocked chest. You can inhale the vapor for immediate effect, which helps you sleep better at night.

There are several types of vaporizers, including:

  • Portable vaporizer
  • Standard vaporizer
  • Forced-air vaporizer

The three share similarities but have differences worth checking out. Today, you can see young people using portable vaporizers. These turn certain herbs to vapor, which you can inhale. The devices are small and easy to carry around.

Additionally, you can buy the standard vaporizer, which heats the essential oils or herbs. Once these turn into vapor, it spreads across the room.

Third, you can get the forced-air vaporizer. Once you turn it on, the liquid turns to vapor. It has a fan inside that starts to dispel and spread it across the room.

Who Uses a Vaporizer?

While comparing diffuser vs. vaporizer, it’s crucial to know who benefits from using each device. A Vaporizer works well if you want a stronger scent without any dilution.

Often people taking medicinal essential oils will use the vaporizer. For instance, when you need to unclog your respiratory system with warm vapor, you can use the vaporizer.

Diffuser vs. Vaporizer Comparison Chart

Ease of UseEasyEasy
Key Features
  • LED lights
  • Different mist settings
  • Timer settings
  • Ultrasonic technology for some
  • Auto shutoff
  • Heat dispelling vapor for others.
  • Less noise
  • Some increase humidity levels
  • Water reservoir
  • Hours of operation
  • Night light
  • Auto shutoff
  • Scent pad technology
  • Humidity level settings
  • Dispels warm vapor for some
  • Can be portable
  • Essential oils
  • Water
  • Heat source
  • Wood, plastic, ceramic, glass, metal
  • Water
  • Essential oils or herbs
  • Plastic, ceramic
Top ProductsPure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser (Amazon’s Choice)Vicks Nursery 1 Gallon Vaporizer
Customer ReviewsMany have 5-star ratingsMany have 5-star ratings

1. Ease of Operation

Ultimately you want a device that simple to use at home. That’s why it’s crucial to note the ease of operation when you compare diffuser vs. vaporizer.


When you get a diffuser, there are different steps you need to complete before you get results. Luckily, these steps aren’t complex and only take a few minutes to finish.

The good news is once you master them, it takes less time to set up the diffuser. While some need water to form a vapor, others like the nebulizing diffuser only require the essential oils.

Check if the diffuser has a manual to guide you through the steps for the first time. Some even have numerous buttons with clear labels to help you understand how to work with different settings.


Vaporizers share similar steps with diffusers. That’s why you have to distinguish the type you want. The only difference is you might not need to dilute the liquids on a vaporizer.

Also, there are some vaporizers you can inhale directly without needing to dispel the vapor into the air. These devices come with a guide to help you understand how to set them up and start using them immediately.

It’s simple to use a vaporizer at home without needing much assistance. There are even smaller versions that aren’t complex for children.

In terms of cleaning, it’s easy to clean a vaporizer by following the instructions on the guide. You only need a few minutes to clean then resume using it.

2. Key Features

Features are the ultimate way to decide between a diffuser vs. vaporizer. You want a device that meets your needs which means you have to compare between the two.


The 4 kinds of diffusers all operate differently. While some need heat to dispel vapor, others use pressure or vibrations to accomplish the same goal. Those diffusers that use heat require a source like electricity.

One feature you notice on all diffusers is the settings buttons. They come in handy when you need to control mist levels and set the timer. Also, there’s the on/off button.

They all share the auto-shutoff feature. Once the water or essential oil runs out, the device automatically shuts off. That prevents any damage to the device if you’re not around.

Those that use water to create more humidity have reservoir tanks. The tanks differ in capacity and are simple to clean in different models.

An additional feature you can get on some of the diffusers is the LED lights. This helps create an ambiance in the room, but you can turn it off when you don’t want any light.

Also, a diffuser is silent. The best make no audible noise which makes it easy to leave on overnight.


Similar to a diffuser, vaporizers can work with or without water. The goal is to dispel as much vapor as possible. You permit the steam to fill the room or you can inhale it directly from the device.

One notable feature is vaporizers are quiet, especially when you turn the moisture into vapor. These don’t make any noise and can be placed in the baby’s room.

The device comes with specific settings, including mist level, to help you figure out the vapor intensity. You can use the manual to master how to use the different settings and achieve the right results.

It’s not impossible to find a vaporizer that also works as a humidifier. It adds humidity to the air while dispensing the essential oils or herbs. That makes it easier to find relief faster.

3. Quality and Materials

What materials do you need to make the two devices work satisfactorily? What are the two made of?


In terms of materials, diffusers are made of wood, plastic, glass, ceramic, and metal. Decide on the kind you like and purchase it.


In terms of material, you can find a vaporizer made of plastic or ceramic. Always check the materials and brand before purchasing to determine its quality.

4. Safety

Safety first! That’s the ultimate goal when you purchase any device. As you put diffuser vs. vaporizer side by side, you notice they share the same safety features.


Not all diffusers need a source of heat to work. But, the majority requires electricity to turn water and essential oils to vapor.

The excellent news is the device comes with an auto-shutoff feature. It activates when the device is on but runs out of liquid. That way, you won’t have to worry about damage to the device and fire hazards.


On the other hand, a vaporizer works similarly to the diffuser. It’s a relatively safe device to use and has the auto-shutoff feature as well. Once the content clears, it turns off, reducing risk significantly.

5. Affordability

Price is another crucial factor that determines which device to purchase. Check your budget before placing an order. Devices with better quality may be costly.

However, some cheaper options serve the same purpose, saving you lots of coins!

Amazon has lots of affordable diffusers that won’t make you break the bank. These have all the essential features you need when you want to use essential oils at home.

However, there are pricier diffusers with additional features available in the market.  These are top brands that have more uses, like humidification.

They tend to be more technologically inclined, and you can control using an app.

Vaporizers cost the same as the cheap diffusers. However, the price of high-end diffusers is way higher than the vaporizer.

6. Top Products

On Amazon, it’s easy to note the top products. The company offers transparent reviews for each device as you compare diffuser vs. vaporizer.


The best diffuser you can purchase on Amazon is InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser. The device has all the features and adds to the décor of the room.

The exterior of the diffuser uses top-quality PP material. It comes with a manual that you can follow as a first-time user.


When picking the best vaporizer, opt for Vicks Gallery 1 Gallon vaporizer. It’s simple to use and disperses steam fast when you need relief.

Since the device is safe to use at home, you can even keep it in the kids’ room.

7. Customer Reviews

What do other customers have to say?

Do they like the device or prefer an alternative?


Customers have an affinity for diffusers because they are simple to use at home. They also have different energy sources depending on the type of diffuser.

The InnoGear Diffuser is the most popular on Amazon. Currently, it has a good rating and numerous customer reviews. These are positive and negative.

One customer commends the device since it dispenses steam as needed. Also, it works well with the bedroom décor.

However, another complains that the device stopped working after a short period.


Vaporizers are popular with customers using medicinal essential oils or herbs. They give a strong scent to help alleviate issues.

A Vicky’s Galley Vaporizer user commended the product for being affordable and still fulfills all their needs.

But, another was disappointed with the length of the cord. It wasn’t long enough to reach the plug.

Final Takeaway

Now you have a clear understanding when comparing diffuser vs. vaporizer.

Do you want to use a diffuser or a vaporizer? Take your time and choose wisely!