Vaporizer vs Warm Mist Humidifier

Vaporizer vs Warm Mist Humidifier ( 21 Answers-Updated )

Two peas in a pod. Six of one half dozen of the other. Looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, must be a duck…
These are all phrases that remind me of a Vaporizer vs Warm Mist Humidifier compared.

What is the difference between a Vaporizer and a Warm Mist Humidifier?

A warm mist humidifier is essentially the same product as a vaporizer.
Only a Vaporizer typically comes with a chest rub additive to disseminate a soothing vapor into the air.
Both the warm mist humidifier and a vaporizer use the method of boiling water to create steam.
And steam happens to be a warm mist…
A cool mist humidifier on the other hand does not create steam like a warm mist humidifier or vaporizer.
It is a system of basically dispersing a cloud of fine water droplets into the air that are cool or at least room temperature.

Humidifier vs Vaporizer

Cool mist humidifiers according to Mayo clinic offer more relief for congestion and cold symptoms than warm mist humidifiers or vaporizers.
Warm mist humidifier and vaporizer are two appliances that do the same thing. As humidity to the air through the creation of steam. A cool mist humidifier adds humidity to the air by dispersing cool humidity droplets into the air.

difference between Warm Mist Humidifier vs VaporizerWhat is a waterless vaporizer?

Imagine if you combined Vicks vapor rub with a Glade plug-in air freshener,
That’s essentially what a waterless vaporizer is.

If you are looking for a way to disperse Vicks vapor rub into the air without adding humidity through the air,
Waterless vaporizers or an excellent product.
And because most parents do not want to have a machine that is boiling water in their children’s room, waterless vaporizers are an excellent way to help your little ones breathe easier at night.
Warning: Waterless vaporizers may not be safe for infants under 6 months old because they can be too strong and irritate their airways.
Waterless vaporizers can also combine with a cool mist humidifier with no issues.

What’s the difference between a waterless vaporizer and a diffuser?

Both a waterless vaporizer and a diffuser disperse vapors into the air that can be beneficial and help with breathing.
But the difference in price is somewhat significant.
A waterless vaporizer is a convenient plugin that can be refilled easily for a small price. $12.
On the flip side
Although the diffuser itself is usually inexpensive, it does require essential oils to add in order to have something to disperse.
That’s where the real price is.
Some essential oils that are known to be good for colds and breathing like peppermint can run in the $30 range.
Frankincense, another essential oil known for being very beneficial but can run in the $70 range just for the one oil.

Diffuser vs. HumidifierDiffuser vs. Humidifier

Do you get the feeling we’re going around in circles?
Humidifiers and diffusers can share in a few functions but they are made for two different things.
The humidifier is made to add humidity to the air and that is its primary function.
A diffuser is made to disperse essential oils into the air and that is its central purpose.
Where they have commonalities is that they are both made to help you breathe easier.
And there are certain humidifiers that come with a tray to add essential oils making it essentially an essential oil diffuser / humidifier. Essentially…
But though you can purchase a humidifier that can double as a diffuser, not all diffusers can return the favor.
Here is the table comparing ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizers formatted in HTML:

Ultrasonic Diffuser Nebulizer
Mechanism of Action Uses ultrasonic vibrations to break down essential oils into micro-particles dispersed into the air. Uses compressed air to atomize medications into an inhalable mist.
Intended Use Aromatherapy – disperses essential oils into the air. Medical device to deliver medications directly to the lungs.
What They Diffuse Water and essential oils. Medications prescribed by a doctor, like asthma medications.
Particle Size Micrometer range. <5 microns to reach lower airways.
Treatment Effects Provides aromatherapy benefits. Delivers medications deeper into lungs to treat respiratory conditions.
Portability Available in portable, handheld battery or electric models. Available in portable, handheld battery or electric models.
Noise Level Very quiet. Noisier due to compressed air.

Ultrasonic diffuser vs nebulizer

Diffusers come in two different types.
Ultrasonic and Nebulizer.

Ultrasonic diffusers have a water basin that you fill with water and add your aromatherapy oils into.
And just like a cool mist humidifier, it mist the air with tiny droplets of water.
The difference is the water is combined with the scents.
An ultrasonic diffuser can be used as a humidifier simply by leaving the oils out of the water.
A nebulizer diffuser does not use water and since the oils are not diluted in water, the nebulizer diffuser is much stronger.
The takeaway is that if you’re wanting to combine the moisture of a humidifier with the therapeutic and medicinal effects of a diffuser,
The only choice is the ultrasonic diffuser.
What’s the Best choice?
The Ultrasonic diffuser combines all the functions of a humidifier, a waterless vaporizer, and a essential oil diffuser.
Of course, individually these appliances may have their strengths when bought separately, an ultrasonic diffuser who’s the best combination device to get the best out of all worlds.
Do you want us to take it a step further?
There is a device called a “Revitalizer”
A revitalizer is a combination humidifier, essential oil diffuser, and air purifier.
Imagine a humidifier that pulls air into a basin, slushes the water around to clean the air, then releases the air combined with essential oil aroma.
That’s what a Revitalizer is and does.
Still with me?
How about an “Air washer”?
Air washers are air purifiers that can clean the air up to about 250 square feet by using water as a filter.
Air washers are also available with essential oils and double as humidifiers.
But the caveat here is that both revitalizer and air washers supply their own essential oils that are formulated to not gum up any working parts on the machines.
Sum it up
So many machines that are so similar.
Vaporizers, warm mist humidifiers, ultrasonic diffusers, waterless vaporizers, revitalizers, and air washers
all share most of the same functions.

They all add humidity to the air and they all diffuse aromas into the air.
And with the revitalizer and air washer, you also have an air purifier to boot.
As you can imagine, these machines all have their strengths when used individually.
For instance, a vaporizer uses boiling water to create steam. That makes it a much cleaner machine and offers the benefits of steam to help with congestion.
Ultrasonic diffuser vs nebulizerA nebulizer diffuser as an individual product is a much stronger aromatherapy diffuser than an ultrasonic diffuser that is combined with other functions.
And a air washer is primarily an air purifier that can double as a humidifier with essential oil additives.
But as a combination product I would choose an ultrasonic diffuser because it offers a good balance between humidifier and diffuser.
And I would leave the air purification to other technologies that are much better at improving air quality than revitalizers.

Do warm mist humidifiers leave white dust?

Warm mist humidifiers do not release or leave white dust? The reason is, warm mist  humidifiers or vaporizers boil the water to create steam which essentially puts it through a distillation process. White dust from humidifiers comes from minerals and deposits in undistilled water.
Do warm mist humidifiers use a lot of electricity?
Warmest humidifiers or vaporizers compared to other types of humidifiers are the most expensive energy wise. But the initial cost is usually less expensive for a standalone vaporizer that doesn’t combine lots of extras.

Do warm mist humidifiers make the room warm?

Warm mist humidifiers or vaporizers create a sauna type atmosphere around the humidifier that can raise the temperature of the room, making the room feel warm, especially in the area surrounding the humidifier.

Do warm mist humidifiers cause mold?

Warmest humidifiers do not cause mold when correctly used. The purpose of a humidifier is to add moisture to the air when the atmosphere is too dry. Mold is caused by excessive humidity. A humidifier should be shut off when the humidity has reached 32-50%. A warm mist humidifier combined with a hydrometer or used with a hygrometer will not produce enough humidity for mold to take root.

Do warm mist humidifiers breed bacteria?

Warmest humidifiers or vaporizers breed less bacteria than other types of humidifiers because they boil water as a method of creating steam. The boiling process kills most bacteria in the process. But like any appliance that uses water that has a potential to sit, it must be clean regularly and emptied when not in use.

Does a cool mist humidifier make the room cold?

Cool mist humidifiers create a cool breeze directly in front of the humidifier. But the amount of cool mist it creates is not enough to change the temperature or cool off an entire room.

Can you overuse a humidifier?

The way to overuse a humidifier is to keep it running once the optimal humidity in a room is reached. Continuing to use a humidifier when the humidity is already adequate, you risk over humidifying which can lead to mold production and dust mites.

Can a vaporizer cause headaches?

A vaporizer will not cause headaches because it is basically a machine that emits steam.
But some people can be sensitive to the additives like Vicks or eucalyptus because they contain camfor which is a strong methylated smell.

Can I add lemon juice to my humidifier?

Lemon juice is a great additive to put in humidifier water because it will not gum up any parts  and will add a fresh citrus fragrance to the air. It will also aid with hindering mold and bacteria growth and is an excellent natural way to reduce mold and bacteria.

Does a vaporizer increase humidity?

Vaporizers increase the humidity in a room by manufacturing and emitting steam into the air. Vaporizers are also called warm mist humidifiers. The primary function of a humidifier is to increase the humidity in a room.

Can I use essential oil in an ultrasonic humidifier?

You can put essential oils in an ultrasonic humidifier provided the humidifier is outfitted with an oil scent tray. Putting oils directly into the water is not advised because of the chance and likelihood of clogging.

What’s the difference between a Waterless vaporizer and a humidifier?

The difference between a humidifier and a waterless vaporizer is that the primary function of a humidifier is to add moisture to the air in a room. Whereas the primary function of a waterless vaporizer is to disperse medicated aromas is like Vicks into the air. A waterless vaporizer does not add any moisture to the air whatsoever.

What is the healthiest type of humidifier?

The healthiest type of humidifier is a humidifier that:

  • Uses Anti-Mold Materials or is equipped with ultraviolet light
  • Is equipped with a hygrometer and automatically shuts off when the optimal humidity level is reached.
  • Is capable of producing cool mist humidity or warm mist humidity
  • Has an aromatherapy tray to medicinal oils such as eucalyptus

Is warm or cool Mist humidifier best for sinuses?

Both a warm mist humidifier and a cool mist humidifier has their advantages when it comes to helping with sinus relief.
A cool mist humidifier can help ease a dry nasal cavity quickly. But a warm mist humidifier can be used with essential oils that add medicinal properties to the air that aid with sinus relief.
Cool mist humidifiers are usually better for sleeping but also have the greater advantage of producing mold and bacteria which can be an irritant to your sinuses.

Can a warm mist humidifier make you sick?

A warm mist humidifier has a lesser chance of making a person sick because it is able to keep mold and bacteria from growing in it easier than a cool mist humidifier.
Any humidifier has a chance of making a person sick when it is under maintained or has been allowed to have water sit stagnant in it.
Humidifiers require astute attention to maintenance and cleaning or they can become a source of illness and discomfort other than being the relief they are intended to be.
Using a humidifier, regardless of whether it is a warm mist or a cool mist,  when the humidity is already adequate can also add too much humidity to a room which can promote mold and become a source of food for dust mites. Which both are known to be household allergens.

Does a vaporizer help sore throat?

A vaporizer can help a sore dry throat because it adds moisture to the air and dry air can be a big component of a sore throat.
Furthermore, Vaporizers usually have an aromatherapy tray or compartment that you can add a medicinal oil or salve. Many essential oils that provide relief from cold symptoms are menthol based and can be compared to the same ingredients in throat lozenges. Vaporizers can supply a similar type of relief from sore throat.

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Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @