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Distilled Water vs Tap Water: Which One Is Better For Your Diffuser?

Your diffuser manual tells you to add distilled water to your diffuser. Distilled water can get pricey. Can you just use tap water instead?

Distilled water or tap water, which one is better for your diffuser? Keep reading to find out!

Should You Use Distilled Water Or Tap Water In Your Diffuser?

This is the old-aged question we’ve all been wondering. Unfortunately, there isn’t a cookie-cutter answer to this question.

You can use distilled water and tap water in your diffuser. But which one SHOULD you use? Below are the arguments that are for and against distilled water and tap water.

Chains of bead diffusers

Distilled Water Argument

If buying distilled water is a normal routine in your household, using distilled water in your diffuser is easy to do. Here are the arguments for and against distilled water.

Distilled Water Argument

FOR Distilled Water

Distilled water is the purest source of water that’s free from impurities and minerals. You don’t have to worry about inhaling impurities from the water vapor.

AGAINST Distilled Water

Distilled water is super expensive water to be used in a diffuser. Also, the mineral-less water doesn’t evaporate as well.

Tap Water Argument

If you live out in the country and get your water from a well, it’s easier and cheaper for you to just use tap water. Here are the arguments for and against tap water.

Tap Water Argument

FOR Tap Water

The natural minerals in tap water allow essential oils to hold onto the particles and disperse them into vapor better than distilled water can. It’s a cheaper option compared to distilled water.


Diffusing tap water in your diffuser releases harmful chemicals, like fluoride. Also, mineral build-up happens faster with tap water, requiring you to clean your diffuser more frequently.

On a personal note…..

I’ve been using tap water for years in my diffusers, and I don’t have any issues cleaning them. I also buy average and cheaper priced diffusers and I don’t have a problem buying a new one every few years.

I’m not sold on the “harmful chemicals” argument because tap water is consumable. I drink tap water every day and haven’t gone to the doctor’s office once.

If you don’t run off city water, then test your well water annually. If you test your tap water every 6 months, harmful chemicals shouldn’t be a problem.

Distilled Water vs Tap Water Pros & Cons

Distilled Water
  • Clean And Pure
  • No Worries About Breathing Impurities
  • Purest Water Form
  • Increases Longevity Of The Diffuser
  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t Vaporize Very Well
  • Can Void Diffuser’s Warranty (Dependant On Products Recommendation)
Tap Water
  • Improved Vapor Flow
  • Vaporizes Essential Oils Better
  • Cheap
  • Easier To Access (Running Sinks Are In Almost Every Home)
  • Mineral Build-Up
  • Residue Is Harder To Clean
  • Can Void Diffuser’s Warranty (Dependant On Products Recommendation)

Is There An In-Between Option Or An Alternative?

Yes! If distilled water is too expensive and you think tap water has too many minerals, a great in-between option is filtered water.

Filtered Water In Diffusers

Filtered Water In Diffusers

Putting filtered water in a diffuser is relatively inexpensive and the low mineral content makes it easier on your diffuser. It’s also way easier to clean!

For a lot of people, filtered water is a great alternative to expensive distilled water and excessive mineral build-up from tap water. This is a great balance between the two.

Waterless Diffuser

Waterless Diffuser

If you still aren’t sure what type of water to use for your diffuser, then maybe buy a waterless diffuser. Yes, there is such a thing!

Check out this article, “Waterless Diffuser vs Water Diffuser,” to learn more about the differences between the two. We also give you a handful of options to choose between.

Examples Of Diffusers That Use Different Types Of Water

To give you an idea of what types of diffusers take what types of water, we’ve compiled a shortlist to give you an idea.

Distilled Water Diffusers

Tap Water Diffusers

Distilled Water Or Tap Water Diffusers

To see a thorough comparison between the Desert Mist diffuser and Dew Drop Diffuser, check out this article, “Comparing Dew Drop vs Desert Mist Diffuser.”

If you choose to put tap water in your diffuser, then you’ll definitely need to know the importance of frequent cleaning and how to clean your diffuser properly. A great article to help you with this is, “How Often Should I Clean My Essential Oil Diffuser.”

The Verdict…

Distilled water vs tap water: Which one is better for your diffuser? The final verdict is to follow the recommended type of water for your specific diffuser.

Though ultimately, it’s your diffuser and you can decide what type of water you want to put in it. Just know the pros and cons before choosing your water type.

Following the company’s recommendations will also prevent your diffuser’s warranty from being voided. If you own a more expensive diffuser, you’ll definitely want to hold onto that warranty!

In Summary

The best type of water for your diffuser will be recommended by the manufacturer of your specific diffuser. If warranties aren’t a big deal to you, then decide which type of water works best for your situation.

Sweet you’ve made it to the end! Whether you go with distilled water, tap water, filtered water, or a waterless diffuser, the decision is up to you.

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