Air Purifier vs. Diffuser - Which One Is Right for You (Full-Range Comparisons)


Air purifiers and diffusers serve different purposes. Diffusers are used to add scents to the air, whereas air purifiers are used to improve indoor air quality.

What are the benefits of those 2 devices, and which one is best for you?

Read this post to find out their differences, pros and cons, pick tips, and the hottest questions to help you decide which one is best for you.

Quickly Get the Lowdown On:

Part 1. Differences: Air Purifier vs. Diffuser

Part 2. Pros & Cons: Air Purifier vs. Diffuser

Part 3. How to Choose: Air Purifier vs. Diffuser

Part 4. The Hottest Questions

Part 1. Differences: Air Purifier vs. Diffuser

According to the EPA, air purifiers with HEPA filters are very effective at removing allergens, such as dust, pet dander, mold, and pollen.

An air cleaner with carbon filters can effectively remove odors like cooking smells, VOCs, pet odors, and more.

A diffuser, also known as an aromatherapy device, is a device that emits fine mists of essential oils into the air, making your room smell nice and aiding in sleep or stress reduction.

Notes: Diffusers do not clean the air as air purifiers do.

Below is the air humidifier vs. air purifier vs. diffuser table.


Air Purifier




Cleans the indoor air

Adds fragrances to the indoor air

Adds moisture to the indoor air



Relieves asthma and respiratory problems caused by allergens

Neutralizes all odors


       Masks odors

Helps you to relax and sleep better



Relieves from dry skin, cracked lips, etc.

Where to Use



Dry places

 When to Use







UV Light


Central humidifiers
Steam vaporizers

Health Hazards

Generate ozone (ionic and UV light types)

Heat can alter essential oils' therapeutic properties chemically (Candle diffusers)




Replace filters every 3 to 6 months


Regularly clean


Regularly clean

Part 2. Pros & Cons: Essential Oil Diffuser vs. Air Purifier

Although both of these devices have some useful features, they both have drawbacks. Below are their pros and cons.






      Air Purifier


 Removes the allergens



 It can not emit fragrances

Neutralizes all odors

Provides relief from  respiratory problems






Helps you to relax and promotes better sleep

It can only mask odors and not eliminate them


Emits delightful aromas

If you are allergic to essential oils, such as lavender, it will cause respiratory problems

        Boosts your mood

Some essential oil diffusers can not be used with pets

Note: If you have pets, make sure the diffuser you use is pet-friendly. Some aromas can cause serious respiratory issues in your pet because their nose is much stronger than yours.

Part 3. How to Choose: Air Purifier vs. Essential Oil Diffuser

Investing in a HEPA air purifier is the most effective way to improve the air quality in your home. A diffuser is the best way to add aromas to your home. Here's a quick rundown of their capabilities.


Air Purifier


Cleans the air



Adds fragrances


Has health benefits


Removes odors and smells


Relieves allergies


#1. Choose an Air Purifier To:

  • Trappet dander and pet fur
  • Combat allergenssuch as dust, pollen, mold, mildew
  • Remove indoor dust particles that tend to accumulate
  • Neutralize household odors from pets, kitchen, andfurniture
  • Alleviate respiratory conditions such as coughs and sniffles

#2. Choose a Diffuser To:

  • Add a gentle aroma to your room
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Mask your household odors

Part 4. The Hottest Questions - Air Purifier vs. Aroma Diffuser

Q1. What Is the Difference Between Air Purifier and Diffuser?

An air purifier removes allergens, smoke, and odors from the air, whereas a diffuser produces a pleasant scent or masks unpleasant odors by adding oil particles to the air.

Q2. Which Is Better Air Purifier or Diffuser?

It depends.

Air purifiers focus on health benefits by removing harmful allergens from the air. A diffuser, on the other hand, simply adds scents to the air.

A diffuser is the best option if you only want to add scents to the air in your room. HEPA air purifiers with activated carbon filters are the best way to improve indoor air quality.

Q3. Is It Possible to Use an Air Purifier and a Diffuser at the Same Time?

It is possible, but not advised.

The two devices serve distinct functions. Air purifiers, particularly those equipped with activated carbon filters, are sensitive to odors. When these two devices are used together, the air purifier can effectively trap evaporated essential oils.

Notes: Air purifier and diffuser combos feature a unique design, which prevents the essential oil from being trapped.

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