Diffuser vs Air Purifier

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Updated January 11, 2023

When it comes to a diffuser vs an air purifier, there is a lot of clear contrast between the two. Both help with your overall health, of course. They just do so in different ways. Air purifiers will decimate harmful particles in your air. A diffuser serves an aromatherapy function by releasing your favorite scent into the air. Different types of air purifiers provide various benefits, and the best air purifiers are the ones that match your lifestyle.


  • Essential oil diffusers won’t clean your air, but they are fantastic for stress relief, improved sleep, sharper concentration, and much more.
  • An air purifier, especially one with a HEPA filter, is supposed to cleanse your air of airborne allergens and airborne pollutants.
  • It’s best to use an air purifier and essential oil diffuser combo system to get the most benefits and improvement of air quality in your home.

Comparing a Diffuser and Air Purifier

Figuring out who emerges victorious in the diffuser vs. air purifier battle doesn’t take much thought. The truth is that both systems serve different functions in your environment. There is a bit more to it than that, but we’ll get into that below. You might be interested in reading about the difference between an air filter and an air purifier, or about the benefits of an air purifier vs an ozone generator, too. You can also check out our comparison of a Himalayan salt lamp vs an air purifier to see if either is a good option for your needs.

But, read our how do air filters work guide if you need more info on the filter function.

Explaining Essential Oil Scents

The function of essential oil scents is far different than even the leading air purifiers for cigarette smoke. Instead of providing immediate improvement to physical health by removing unwanted particles, aromatherapy offers relief for your mental health. There are different options available, however. For a more hands-on approach, try looking into how a DIY air purifier vs other air purifiers stacks up.

Insider Tip

A great way to get better rest is performing a nightly ritual before bed, such as setting up an oil diffuser with a calming scent to help you relax.

Will Essential Oils Scents Benefit You?

Having your favorite scent constantly present is never a bad thing. Your air purifier beats an open window for good scents any day. Plus, there is always a stylish option available. Some people report that just the act of getting their favorite diffuser ready to use can be therapeutic.

How to Find Your Favorite Diffuser

Figuring out what stylish option is right for you might take some time. Shop around and find something you love. After that, invest in a favorite scent or two. There are tons of choices, too, such as between an ultrasonic diffuser and a heat diffuser.

Explaining Air Purifiers

There are multiple different types of air purifiers on the market. Each one has slightly different air-cleaning functions. All air purifiers are meant to clean airborne particles like mold spores, dust, and dander.

What Types of Air Purifiers will Benefit You

Your lifestyle and budget will both best determine the right system for you. For example, if your sense of smell has alerted you to a less-than-pleasant scent, a carbon filter will work perfectly. On the other hand, those with severe allergies may want to invest in a HEPA filter model. If you have asthma symptoms, you’ll also want a True HEPA filter or an H13 HEPA filter for your device. And, using an air revitalizer can freshen up the air anywhere.

The Best Air Filters for Better Health

An entire series of filters are available for you to choose from. A HEPA filter, which falls under the mechanical filters category, will always be your best bet for better health. The HEPA filter is known for being an aggressive allergen remover. A carbon filter is never a bad choice for those looking to trap odor particles specifically.


Aromatherapy can be great for people, but some scents can be toxic to pets, so make sure you ask your vet whether you have pet-safe scents.


Do air purifiers and diffusers have any benefits?

Air purifiers have been shown to relieve asthma symptoms and allergic reactions significantly. An aromatherapy diffuser helps relieve stress, encourage better sleep, and more. An air purifier and essential oil diffuser combo will have the best of both worlds.

Can I use a humidifier, dehumidifier, and air purifier at the same time?

You can safely use air humidifiers or dehumidifiers right alongside any type of air purifier. Using both is a great way to make sure your indoor air quality remains perfect. In fact, you can find a combo unit in our list of some of the best air purifiers and humidifiers list.

Can water-based air purifiers combat smoke?

Water-based air revitalizers or purifiers can help with the smell of smoke. They’re instrumental in removing tobacco smoke.

Won’t an air purifier counteract the point of an aromatherapy diffuser?

Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the two interfering with one another. Air purifiers only pull in the negatively charged ions of pollutant particles. The essential oil particles are not allergens the purifier is trying to remove.

STAT: In 2016, the aromatherapy brand Nature’s Truth generated about 20.6 million dollars in sales. (source)

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