Are you wondering what the difference is between an air purifier and a diffuser? Perhaps you are wondering which of the two is better suited for your home or office? Let us take a look at air purifier vs diffuser to help you decide. 

What is an air purifier?

An air purifier is a device that will help clean the air for you and improve the air quality. This is an advantage especially if you have allergies or respiratory illnesses.

A good quality air purifier will remove the contaminants from the air such as dust, mold spores, odors, pet dander, and any other pollutants that may fill the air in a confined space, indoors.

If you live with a smoker for example, and you want to make sure that everyone in the house breathes clean air, then an air purifier is a good route to take. They can also be used in industrial processes to ensure clean air during manufacture.

What is a diffuser?

A diffuser is a means of dispersing an essential oil for various purposes. It could be to fill a room with a particular scent or to help induce sleep. It is a great way of getting the essential oil up into the air without having to touch it.

5 Characteristics of an air purifier

An air purifier will do a lot in the way of cleaning the air in your home. Certain key features characterize every air purifier. The quality may differ, as determined by price and brand and also the features it comes with in addition to the generic features.

Whilst keeping the atmosphere in your home clean and safe for your family starts with keeping your home clean and dust-free, it is not the only thing that you can do.

Cleaning can only go so far. You can not entirely get rid of small particles that are invisible to the eye or get rid of odors. You need to go a step further in cleaning the air, and this is where air purifiers come in handy.

Whilst not all purifiers are the same, there are a couple of features that are common across the board. An air purifier will help get rid of allergens and small particles that could get into your lungs, such as cigarette smoke. 

The first characteristic that should be present in an air purifier is a PM2.5 filter. This means that it should be able to filter particles up to 5 microns in diameter. Most mold spores and bacteria are about this size.

The contaminants that you want to get rid of most, are the PM2.5 particles. These are some of the most dangerous because they are small enough to enter your bloodstream and cause serious health issues after time. Evey air purifier needs to be certified to filter out these little pollutants.

The second characteristic to look out for is how it runs smoothly without making noise. If it makes too much noise, then you may never want to turn it on. Looking for a silent air purifier will mean you can let it run in the background throughout the day without disturbing your day or even your sleep.

The third feature to look for is the ease of maintaining the filter. The filter will need to be changed regularly. This is the mechanism that traps the debris that will be in the air and as such, it is bound to get dirty.

Replacing and maintaining the filters means that you get the most efficient performance from the air purifier. 

The fourth feature that ought to be part of your air purifier, is the amount of space that the air purifier can clean. Total room coverage is the necessary information to have.

It would help a great deal if you know the size of the room you will want to place the purifier in, and buy one that can clean the air in that space. Some air purifiers are best used in a single room whilst others can clean the air in an entire house. 

The fifth characteristic that you should look for in an air purifier, is smart device connectivity. A lot of what we do these days is online. You can download or install applications that will remotely control the various devices in the home such as the television.

Having the ability to connect your air purifier to your devices can make your life much easier. If you can activate your air purifier,  without having to walk over to the unit, then this is probably an option you may want to take. 

5 Characteristics of a diffuser

Diffusers are one of the best ways to get essential oils into the room. The great thing about them is that they keep you from having to touch them.

This is an advantage because direct skin contact with pure essential oils is not advisable. Essential oils are used a lot in aromatherapy and they are administered in different ways, diffusers being one of these ways. 

Different types of diffusers can do the trick. You want to make sure that as you go through the different shapes and sizes, you get what you need for the one you pick. Let us take a look at the characteristics that should be a common denominator. 

First, check on how much area the diffuser will cover. Because there are so many different methods of diffusing essential oils, it is important to know the size of the room you want to use it in, so that you also make sure that you get the fragrance through the entire room. 

The second characteristic to look out for is how you operate it. Some diffusers need to be connected to an electric outlet and as such, it is important to make sure that you place the diffuser near an outlet.

Ultrasonic diffusers use heat, but this can be dangerous if you have a toddler running around. As such it is important to have a scope of what you need and also what you prefer, then ask how the diffuser you want to buy works. Evaporative diffusers, for example, need a fan to blow across and disperse the essential oil. 

The third characteristic to keep in mind is the amount of time it takes the essential oil to diffuse into the air. Nebulizing diffusers, for example, diffuse the oils very fast. 

The fourth characteristic to look out for is the purpose of the oil you intend to use with the diffuser. Essential oils have various benefits and it is important to know what you want to use them for. This will determine what type of diffuser you need to get. 

The fifth characteristic you need to check on is if it can run silently and uninterrupted. Because they work in different ways, some essential oils need you to keep a watchful eye on them and be attentive, whilst some can run without needing much attention. Your personal preference will determine this. 

When to use air purifier instead of diffuser

You should use an air purifier instead of a diffuser if you are dealing with allergies or breathing problems. It can also be used if you want to get rid of bad smells.

When to use diffuser instead of air purifier

You should use a diffuser if you want to enjoy the aromas of essential oils. There are also some humidifiers that only work as humidifiers and don’t have any purifying capabilities, so in this case, you would need a humidifier.


Both air purifiers and diffusers humidify the air. They humidify the air by increasing the level of moisture in it, which means that they make your skin and eyes less dry.


The main difference between a humidifier and a diffuser is that humidifiers tend to be used with no oils added whereas a diffuser uses essential oils to humidify the air. Diffusers humidify the air by blowing it through essential oils, which is why humidifiers do not tend to work with essential oils.

Both diffusers and humidifiers humidify the air by decreasing the dew point of humid air (by adding water vapor), thus making your skin less dry.

Can I use air purifier and diffuser at the same time

You can use both humidifiers and air purifiers. A humidifier would humidify the air and then an air purifier will remove humid air that contains humidifying agents like dust, pollen, smoke etc. This is a combination that many people look for in order to get both humidified and purified air.

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