Best Essential Oils for Humidifier Illustration

The 21+ Best Essential Oils for Humidifier Use (2023)

by | Updated: Sep 19, 2023

Using essential oils in humidifiers can serve a dual purpose: not only do they increase the moisture levels in the air, but they also provide various health and wellness benefits.

From alleviating stress to enhancing sleep quality, the right essential oils can offer a holistic approach to improving your indoor environment.

However, it’s important to choose oils that are not only aromatic but also safe and effective for use in a humidifying device.

In this article, we’ll explore the best essential oils to use in humidifiers, focusing on factors like safety, efficacy, and specific benefits.

Can You Put Essential Oils in a Humidifier?

Yes, you can put essential oils in a humidifier, but it’s crucial to ensure your device is designed for this purpose. Not all humidifiers are compatible with oils, and using oils in a non-compatible unit can lead to damage. Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines and use high-quality, 100% natural essential oils for best results and safety.

Best Essential Oils for Humidifier Vector Illustration

Best Essential Oils for Humidifier Use

  1. Bergamot oil
  2. Black seed oil
  3. Cardamom oil
  4. Chamomile oil
  5. Citronella oil
  6. Eucalyptus oil
  7. Geranium oil
  8. Ginger oil
  9. Jasmine oil
  10. Lavender oil
  11. Lemon oil
  12. Lemongrass oil
  13. Oregano oil
  14. Peppermint oil
  15. Rose oil
  16. Rosemary oil
  17. Sandalwood oil
  18. Tea tree oil
  19. Thyme oil
  20. Turmeric oil
  21. Vanilla oil

1. Bergamot Oil

Bergamot oil, derived from the peel of the bergamot orange, is known for its uplifting and calming properties.

It’s commonly used to reduce stress and anxiety, making it an excellent choice for diffusing in your home after a long day.

Its sweet, citrusy scent also has the added benefit of being a natural deodorizer. However, it’s important to note that bergamot is phototoxic, meaning it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Therefore, it’s best used in a humidifier rather than topically if you plan on being exposed to sunlight.

Our Top Pick
Handcraft Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot essential oil is extracted from the rind of the bergamot fruit and is known for its fresh, citrusy, and floral aroma. It's commonly used in aromatherapy for its calming and uplifting properties.

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2. Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil is extracted from the seeds of the Nigella sativa plant and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties.

In a humidifier, it can act as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, offering potential relief from respiratory issues like asthma or allergies.

The oil has a somewhat spicy and woody aroma, making it a unique addition to any room. However, the scent can be strong, so it’s advised to use it sparingly and potentially blend it with milder oils.

Our Top Pick
MAJESTIC PURE Black Seed Essential Oil

This essential oil is cold-pressed with no additives or dilution, so you can take full advantage of the respiratory benefits.

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3. Cardamom Oil

Cardamom oil is derived from the seeds of the cardamom plant and is prized for its warm, spicy scent. When used in a humidifier, it serves as an excellent respiratory aid, helping to clear congestion and promote easy breathing.

It’s also known for its ability to combat fatigue and improve focus, making it ideal for use in a home office or study space.

Its spicy, exotic aroma pairs well with other oils like lavender and bergamot for a complex scent profile.

Our Top Pick
Artizen Cardamom Essential Oil

Cardamom essential oil is a concentrated oil extracted from the seeds of the cardamom plant through steam distillation. It has a warm, spicy, and slightly sweet aroma and is known for its digestive and respiratory benefits.

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4. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is extracted from the flowers of the chamomile plant and is highly regarded for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties. When used in a humidifier, it can significantly enhance sleep quality and help alleviate stress and anxiety.

The oil’s subtle, apple-like scent is soothing and can make any room feel peaceful and inviting.

In addition to its emotional benefits, chamomile oil is also known to assist in skin health and can relieve minor skin irritations when applied topically.

Given its gentle nature, chamomile oil is generally considered safe for all ages, including children, when used appropriately.

Our Top Pick
HIQILI Chamomile Essential Oil

This chamomile essential oil from HIQILI offers calming and anti-inflammatory benefits, ideal for stress relief and skin care.

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5. Citronella Oil

Citronella oil is obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of lemongrass and is most commonly known for its insect-repelling properties.

When used in a humidifier, it can help keep mosquitos and other bugs at bay, making it perfect for use during the warmer months or in tropical climates.

Aside from its bug-repelling abilities, citronella has a refreshing citrusy scent that can also help reduce stress and lift your mood. However, the scent can be overpowering for some, so it may be best to use it in a well-ventilated area.

Our Top Pick
SVA ORGANICS Citronella Essential Oil

This essential oil delivers a refreshing, lemony aroma that acts as a natural insect repellent while also offering uplifting and stress-reducing benefits.

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6. Eucalyptus Oil

Derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, this oil is a popular choice for respiratory relief. It possesses antiviral and antimicrobial properties, making it effective for clearing congestion and promoting easy breathing.

The invigorating scent of eucalyptus can also help improve focus and energy levels, making it a good pick for daytime use.

Given its potency, it’s advisable to use eucalyptus oil in moderation and perhaps blend it with softer oils like lavender if the aroma is too strong for you.

Our Top Pick
NaturoBliss Natural Undiluted Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil is a natural essential oil derived from the leaves and branches of the eucalyptus tree, known for its distinct fresh, camphor-like scent and potential medicinal properties.
 

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7. Geranium Oil

Geranium oil comes from the leaves and stems of the geranium plant. It is known for its balancing effects on both mind and body.

When used in a humidifier, geranium oil can help regulate emotional swings and alleviate stress and anxiety while also working as an effective natural insect repellent.

Its floral, slightly earthy scent is refreshing yet subtle, making it suitable for blending with a variety of other oils for a complex aroma.

Geranium oil is also renowned for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, making it useful for air purification.

Our Top Pick
HIQILI Geranium Essential Oil

A floral and earthy aroma characterizes HIQILI's Geranium Essential Oil, renowned for its mood-balancing and antimicrobial properties.

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8. Ginger Oil

Ginger oil is extracted from the root of the ginger plant and offers a warm, spicy scent. In a humidifier, it serves as an excellent anti-inflammatory agent and can aid in relieving digestive discomfort.

It’s also good for boosting circulation and alleviating feelings of nausea.

Due to its strong scent profile, ginger oil is best used in a blend with other oils to balance its aroma. Use it sparingly to ensure it doesn’t overwhelm the room.

Our Top Pick
Gya Labs Ginger Essential Oil

Ginger essential oil is a concentrated oil extracted from the root of the ginger plant through steam distillation. It has a warm, spicy, and woody aroma and is known for its ability to aid digestion, reduce inflammation, and relieve nausea.

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9. Jasmine Oil

Jasmine oil is extracted from the flowers of the jasmine plant and is revered for its romantic and uplifting qualities.

When diffused in a humidifier, the oil can help alleviate stress and anxiety, and it’s often used to boost mood or set an intimate atmosphere.

The aroma is floral, sweet, and somewhat exotic, making it a luxurious addition to any living space.

Besides its emotional benefits, jasmine oil is also credited with antispasmodic and antimicrobial properties, although it’s primarily known for its fragrance and mood-enhancing effects.

Our Top Pick
HIQILI Jasmine Essential Oil

Elevate your senses with HIQILI's Jasmine Essential Oil, designed to enhance mood and alleviate stress through its exotic, floral fragrance.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

10. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is one of the most popular and versatile essential oils. Extracted from the lavender plant, it is widely used for its calming and relaxing properties.

It’s an excellent choice for promoting good sleep and reducing anxiety levels.

The floral, slightly sweet scent is widely appreciated and can make any room feel tranquil and serene.

Lavender oil is generally considered safe and gentle, making it suitable for nearly all audiences, including children and pets, when used appropriately.

Our Top Pick
Handcraft Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is a highly concentrated oil extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant through steam distillation. It has a sweet, floral, and calming aroma and is known for its relaxing and soothing properties.

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11. Lemon Oil

Extracted from lemon peels, lemon oil is known for its uplifting and invigorating properties. It’s a great choice for improving mood, concentration, and even for reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The fresh, citrusy scent also has the added benefit of being a natural deodorizer and air purifier, making it perfect for freshening up living spaces.

However, like other citrus oils, lemon oil is phototoxic, so it’s best to avoid direct sunlight if you’ve come into contact with it.

Our Top Pick
Handcraft Blends Lemon Essential Oil

Experience invigoration and mental clarity with Handcraft Blends' Lemon Essential Oil, known for its uplifting citrusy aroma and natural air-purifying properties.

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12. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is derived from the leaves and stems of the lemongrass plant. With its earthy and citrusy aroma, it serves as an effective natural insect repellent, much like citronella.

In addition to deterring bugs, it’s also known for its calming effects and its ability to relieve stress and anxiety.

Some also find it beneficial for pain relief, particularly for conditions like headaches or muscle tension. However, lemongrass oil can be potent, so use it in moderation and consider blending it with milder oils.

Our Top Pick
Siva Organics Lemongrass Essential Oil

Siva Organics' Lemongrass Essential Oil delivers a citrusy, earthy scent that acts as a natural insect repellent while soothing stress and anxiety.

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13. Oregano Oil

Oregano oil is extracted from the leaves of the oregano plant and is highly regarded for its potent antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

When used in a humidifier, it can help purify the air and may assist in combating respiratory infections.

However, its scent is quite strong and spicy, so it’s best used in small amounts and potentially blended with milder oils to soften its impact.

Our Top Pick
SVA Organics 100% Natural Oregano Essential Oil

Oregano essential oil is a highly concentrated oil extracted from the leaves of the oregano plant, which is scientifically known as Origanum vulgare. It is a popular essential oil used in aromatherapy and natural health remedies due to its potent antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

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14. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil comes from the leaves of the peppermint plant and offers a refreshing, minty scent. In a humidifier, peppermint oil acts as a natural decongestant, helping to clear blocked sinuses and improve breathing.

It’s also known for its ability to energize and uplift, making it a good choice for mornings or when you need a midday boost.

Due to its potency, however, it’s advised to use it in moderation and keep it out of reach of children and pets.

Our Top Pick
Handcraft Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is a highly concentrated oil extracted from the leaves of the peppermint plant through steam distillation. It has a refreshing, minty aroma and is known for its cooling, soothing, and invigorating properties.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

15. Rose Oil

Rose oil is derived from rose petals and is often associated with luxury due to its complex scent profile and the large number of petals required for a small amount of oil.

When used in a humidifier, it offers calming and emotionally uplifting effects, making it ideal for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Its floral, sweet aroma can fill a room quickly, so a little goes a long way.

Our Top Pick
HIQILI Rose Oil Fragrance Essential Oil

Capture the essence of romance and relaxation with HIQILI's Rose Oil, a luxurious essential oil with a sweet, floral aroma perfect for calming the mind.

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16. Rosemary Oil

Extracted from the rosemary herb, rosemary oil is renowned for its ability to improve focus and memory retention.

When diffused in a humidifier, it can create an environment conducive to concentration, making it a beneficial addition to work or study spaces.

Rosemary oil also has antimicrobial properties, helping to purify the air. Its scent is woody and herbal, making it a versatile option for blending with other oils.

Our Top Pick
Handcraft Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary essential oil is a concentrated oil extracted from the leaves of the rosemary plant through steam distillation. It has a strong, fresh, and herbaceous aroma and is known for its stimulating and energizing properties.

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17. Sandalwood Oil

Sandalwood oil is extracted from the wood of the sandalwood tree and is known for its warm, woody aroma.

In a humidifier, it can serve as a calming agent that helps to alleviate stress, improve mood, and promote better sleep.

Its scent is both grounding and uplifting, making it ideal for creating a serene atmosphere in any setting. Sandalwood is also known for its antimicrobial properties, which can help purify the air.

Our Top Pick
EVOKE OCCU Sandalwood Essential Oil

EVOKE OCCU's Sandalwood Essential Oil offers a warm, woody aroma that not only enhances a tranquil atmosphere but also possesses antimicrobial qualities.

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18. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree and is well-known for its potent antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

When used in a humidifier, it can help purify the air and combat airborne pathogens, making it a good choice during cold and flu season.

However, the scent is strong and medicinal, so it’s best used in moderation and may benefit from blending with other, softer oils.

Our Top Pick
HIQILI Tea Tree Essential Oil

Boost your home's air quality with HIQILI's Tea Tree Essential Oil, known for its potent antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.

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19. Thyme Oil

Thyme oil is derived from the thyme herb and is particularly potent in antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

In a humidifier, it can be used to purify the air and support respiratory health, potentially easing symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, or common colds.

The scent is strong, spicy, and herbaceous, so it’s best used sparingly and in combination with milder oils to balance its intense aroma.

Our Top Pick
Brooklyn Botany Thyme Essential Oil

Thyme essential oil is a highly concentrated, aromatic liquid derived from the thyme plant (Thymus vulgaris). The oil is extracted from the fresh or dried leaves and flowering tops of the thyme plant through a process called steam distillation. Thyme essential oil has a strong, herbal scent and is pale yellow to reddish-brown in color.

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20. Turmeric Oil

Turmeric oil is extracted from the root of the turmeric plant and is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.

When diffused in a humidifier, it can contribute to a healthier indoor environment by potentially reducing airborne pathogens.

Its warm, spicy, and earthy scent can be soothing yet invigorating. Due to its concentrated nature, use it cautiously and consider blending it with other oils for a balanced aroma.

Our Top Pick
Siva Organics Turmeric Essential Oil

Enrich your environment with Siva Organics' Turmeric Essential Oil, celebrated for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich profile.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

21. Vanilla Oil

Vanilla oil is derived from the vanilla orchid and is widely appreciated for its warm, comforting scent. When used in a humidifier, it can help create a cozy, inviting atmosphere that is ideal for relaxation or social gatherings.

The scent is often used to reduce stress and anxiety, and it can also promote better sleep when used in the evening.

However, ensure that you’re using pure vanilla essential oil, not a synthetic fragrance oil, for the best therapeutic benefits.

Our Top Pick
HIQILI Vanilla Essential Oil

Create a cozy and inviting atmosphere with HIQILI's Vanilla Essential Oil, renowned for its comforting, stress-reducing aroma.

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Remember: Always ensure you’re using high-quality, 100% natural essential oils, and adhere to the safety guidelines for both the oils and your humidifier for the most beneficial experience.

Best Humidifier for Essential Oils

The GENIANI Top Fill Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser is a standout choice for those looking to enhance their living space with the benefits of both humidification and aromatherapy.

Our Top Pick
GENIANI Top Fill Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser

This essential oil diffuser offers a seamless blend of efficient humidification and aromatherapy, featuring easy top-fill design, quiet ultrasonic technology, and a built-in essential oil tray for a holistic wellness experience.

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This 2-in-1 device is thoughtfully designed to make refilling and cleaning a breeze, thanks to its top-fill design.

With a generous tank capacity, it offers prolonged operation, allowing you to enjoy a comfortable environment without frequent refills. Its ultrasonic technology ensures quiet operation, making it suitable for bedrooms, nurseries, or offices.

One of the highlights of this humidifier is its built-in essential oil tray, specifically engineered for even diffusion of your favorite oils. This feature ensures that you not only get to humidify your room but also fill it with the therapeutic aroma of your chosen essential oils.

Advanced settings like adjustable mist output and an auto-shutoff function add an extra layer of convenience and safety.

If you’re in the market for a device that combines efficient humidification with the therapeutic benefits of essential oils, the GENIANI Top Fill Humidifier with Essential Oil Diffuser is an excellent choice.

Precautions for Using Essential Oils in a Humidifier

Using essential oils in a humidifier can offer various therapeutic and aromatic benefits, but it’s crucial to take certain precautions for a safe and effective experience:

  • Check Compatibility: Make sure your humidifier is designed to be used with essential oils. Using oils in a device not meant for them can damage the unit.
  • Quality of Oils: Always opt for 100% pure, high-quality essential oils. Synthetic or diluted oils may contain harmful chemicals.
  • Quantity: Less is more when it comes to essential oils. Using too much can overwhelm the senses and even cause headaches or allergic reactions.
  • Children and Pets: Some essential oils can be harmful to children and pets. Always research and consult with a healthcare provider before using oils in a space shared with them.
  • Ventilation: Ensure the room is well-ventilated, especially if you’re using potent oils like eucalyptus or peppermint, which can be overwhelming in closed spaces.
  • Consult a Professional: If you’re pregnant, nursing, or have underlying health conditions, consult with a healthcare provider before using essential oils.
  • Cleanliness: Regularly clean your humidifier as per the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent mold and bacteria buildup, which can be disseminated into the air when the device is in use.
  • Phototoxicity: Some oils, like citrus oils, can make your skin more sensitive to UV light. Avoid direct skin contact with the mist if you’re using such oils.
  • Rotation: Don’t use the same essential oil continuously for extended periods. Rotate between different oils to minimize the risk of sensitization or allergic reactions.
  • Storage: Store essential oils and the humidifier in a cool, dry place out of reach of children.

Note: By taking these precautions, you can safely enjoy the benefits of essential oils through your humidifier.

FAQs About Essential Oils and Humidifiers

Which Essential Oils Can Be Used with a Humidifier?

Most 100% pure, high-quality essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, and lemon can be used with a humidifier designed for oil diffusion.

However, it’s crucial to consult your device’s manufacturer guidelines to ensure compatibility and to understand the proper procedures for adding oils to your specific humidifier.

What Humidifier Essential Oil is Good for Sleep?

Lavender essential oil is widely recommended for promoting better sleep. Other oils that are good for sleep include chamomile, sandalwood, and bergamot.

These oils have calming properties that can help you relax and improve your overall sleep quality.

Can You Put Any Oil in a Humidifier?

No, not all oils are suitable for use in a humidifier. Only use oils that are 100% pure and high in quality.

Additionally, make sure that your humidifier is compatible with essential oils, as using oils in a device not meant for them can lead to damage.

Remember: Always read the manufacturer’s guidelines before adding any oils.

Is it Good to Leave an Essential Oil Diffuser on While You Sleep?

It’s generally considered safe to leave an essential oil diffuser on while you sleep, especially if the device has an auto-shutoff feature and you’re using oils known for promoting relaxation and sleep, such as lavender or chamomile.

However, everyone’s sensitivity to essential oils can vary, so it’s a good idea to start with a shorter diffusion period and observe how you respond.

What Can I Put in My Humidifier for Congestion?

Eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oils are popular choices for alleviating congestion. These oils contain compounds that can help open up airways and relieve sinus pressure.

However, make sure your humidifier is designed to handle essential oils and always follow the recommended guidelines for oil usage.

Where to Buy Essential Oils for a Humidifier?

Essential oils for humidifiers can be purchased at health food stores, online retailers, and specialized aromatherapy shops.

Always opt for 100% pure, high-quality oils from reputable brands to ensure you’re getting the therapeutic benefits without any synthetic additives or contaminants.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right essential oils for your humidifier can greatly impact your health and well-being. Whether you’re aiming to de-stress, improve your sleep, or even combat common cold symptoms, essential oils offer a natural way to achieve these goals.

Remember to choose oils that are 100% pure and natural, and always adhere to the usage guidelines for both the oils and the humidifier.

By doing so, you can make an informed decision that ensures your indoor air is both comfortable and beneficial to your health.

Written by:

John Landry, BS, RRT

John Landry is a registered respiratory therapist from Memphis, TN, and has a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. He enjoys using evidence-based research to help others breathe easier and live a healthier life.

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