Humidifier vs Diffuser – what's the difference?

Humdifier, diffuser, vaporiser, nebuliser – it can be super hard to understand what the differences are – if any! 

These are in fact four different types of devices, designed to be used by quite different groups of people for very different purposes. Let us make it easy for you to work out which device is best for your family. 


are designed purely for aromatherapy and fragrance: they are simply designed to help you permeate an aroma throughout your home. You can use a diffuser just to keep your home smelling fresh and clean (like a reed or plug-in diffuser), or you may use a water diffuser as part of your aromatherapy. 


are usually used by adults specifically when we’re feeling very congested and stuffy: these machines boil the water in their tanks and produce hot steam. You can sometimes add an inhalent blend with ingredients like eucalyptus to a vaporiser, depending on the make and model. Because vaporisers have a heating element and contain boiling water, there is a risk of burns and scalding when using them: so vaporisers are not recommended for use with babies and small children, it’s just too risky. 


are used for essential oils and for some liquid medications: they convert a few drops of liquid into a very fine, breathable cool mist. The Glow Travel Sleep Easy uses a nebuliser to permeate a small space with the scent of your favourite essential oils, so you can bring these comforting aromas with you when you leave the house. Nebulisers don’t use any water so they are easy and convenient to use when you’re out and about. 


are designed for daily use as well as when illness strikes: ultrasonic humidifiers like the Glow Sleep Easy use a vibrating plate to turn cold tap water into fine, cool mist. This cool mist permeates your room and helps you keep the indoor humidity within the healthy levels that promote deeper, easier breathing. Humidifiers can be used to ease symptoms of congestion, asthma and hayfever, as well as to simply balance out any dryness that heating or cooling might cause in your home everyday. There is no heating element, so an ultrasonic humidifier is super safe for your nursery. Humidifiers can be used with plain water, or you can add essential oils for an aromatherapy boost – so they are the best of both worlds! 


Checkout the differences here: 



Glow Sleep Easy Ultrasonic Humidifier 





Gently increases the humidity of your room by adding cool moisture mist to the air 

Disperses fragrance into a room 

Increases humidity in your room by adding hot steam into the air 

Disperses a few drops of liquid into very fine mist for inhalation 


Prevent and ease symptoms of dry skin, dry throat and dry eyes. 

Promote deeper, more relaxing breathing 

Ease symptoms of congestion, cold, flu and asthma 

Delivers aromatherapy without increasing moisture significantly 

Ease symptoms of congestion, cold and flu in adults. 

Waterless, so it can be used if you’re on the go 


Disperses cool mist through the space. 

Can be used with plain, fresh tap water alone or you can add essential oils 

Uses a small amount of water to disperse essential oil into the air immediately nearby 

Boils water to release hot steam into the air. Due to risk of burns and scalding, vaporizers are not usually recommended for babies or children. 

Converts a few drops of essential oil into fine, cool mist without the need for any water. 


One of the largest water tanks on the market, will run for 10+ hours. 

Small tank, often only holds a cup of water or less 

Varies depending on the model 

Mist is dispersed in a small range, great for car travel, camping and pram time. 


We think the cool mist of an ultrasonic humidifier is the best way to support your baby’s healthy breathing every day, and to ease symptoms of congestion if illness does strike. 

You can use the ultrasonic humidifier of the Glow Sleep Easy with plain, fresh tap water with your newborn baby: this will help balance out the effects of heating and cooling systems which can dry out the air. If the air is too dry, this can trigger (or worsen) symptoms of eczema, asthma and congestion, and can make it harder for your baby to take deep, relaxing breaths even when they are fully healthy and well. Babies have very narrow nasal passages and so are very prone to congestion: using our ultrasonic humidifier every day helps keep the nasal passages from drying out, making it easier to drain away congestion and improve breathing. 

As your baby grows, you can also add pure, natural essential oils to our ultrasonic humidifier, so you can get all the benefits of a diffuser plus all the benefits of a humidifier, without any risk of hot water burns from a vaporizer. Check out our oil blends here:  

The ultrasonic humidifier of the Glow Sleep Easy uses a vibrating plate to generate the cool mist – so there is no heating element and no hot water in your baby’s room.  

The Glow Sleep Easy is the safest way to use cool mist humidity to gently support your baby’s deep, healthy breathing every day. Use it with plain water or add the benefits of aromatherapy to enrich your routine, and control it all with one touch via our app! 

Learn More!

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