Using essential oils in air purifier : Good or Bad

Imagine transforming your living space into a tranquil oasis, where every breath you take is not only purified but also infused with your favorite natural scents. Welcome to the world of air purifiers with essential oils – a game-changer in creating a serene and healthy environment at home

Imagine stepping into a room filled with the refreshing scent of lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus, all while knowing the air you breathe is purified and clean. This is the allure of using essential oils in air purifiers, a concept that has intrigued many. But can you really combine the pleasant aroma of essential oils with the air-cleansing capabilities of an air purifier?

The answer is YES, but only under certain conditions. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of air purifiers and essential oils, exploring their potential synergy and the precautions you need to take.

precautions while using oil for air purifier

essential oils in air purifier

Here are some precautions to consider while using essential oils in an air purifier:

  1. Use Only in Designated Devices: Essential oils should only be used in air purifiers that are designed to handle them. These devices usually have a special pad or compartment where you can add a few drops of the oil.
  2. Avoid Direct Contact with Filters: Essential oils should not be put directly into HEPA filters or any other parts of the air purifier that are not designed for this purpose. Doing so can damage the device and reduce the efficiency of the filter.
  3. Change Oils Regularly: For most air purifiers, changing out the essential oils every three to four weeks is a good rule of thumb. This ensures that the essential oil’s aroma remains fresh and effective.
  4. Use Quality Oils: Always use high-quality essential oils. Low-quality oils may contain impurities that could potentially damage your air purifier or affect its performance.
  5. Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions: Always read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using essential oils in your air purifier. This includes guidelines on how much oil to use, how often to replace it, and how to clean the essential oil compartment.
  6. Consider Health Precautions: Some essential oils may cause allergic reactions or other health issues for certain individuals, especially when used in a confined space. Always consider the potential health impacts and consult with a healthcare professional if necessary.

Essential tips while using oils in air purifier

  1. You can use air cleaner essential oils in air purifiers that have a special place for them, like an essential oil pad.
  2. Don’t put essential oils straight into the main filters of the air purifier, like HEPA filters. It can harm the machine and make it work less well.
  3. Air purifiers are for making the air clean, and essential oil diffusers are for making the air smell nice.
  4. It’s not a good idea to use an essential oil diffuser and an air purifier at the same time. The air purifier might get rid of the nice smell from the essential oil.
  5. Some good essential oils to use for clean air are Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Citrus, and Ylang Ylang.
  6. Diffusers are better at making the whole room smell nice with essential oils than air purifiers with a special place for the oils.
  7. It’s fine to use a diffuser and a humidifier (a machine that adds moisture to the air) at the same time.

which air purifers are compatable with oils

Yes, there are quite a few air purifiers available that can work with essential oils. I’ve had the chance to try out some of them. In particular, I tested the Levoit LV-H128 and Levoit Core Mini. These are small air purifiers known for their reasonable prices and unique Aroma Pad feature. While there are other air purifiers with this feature, I’ll concentrate on these two models that I’ve personally tested.

The Aroma Pad, where you can put essential oil, is a part of these air purifiers. To use essential oils with these machines, you just need to put a few drops (I usually use 2-3) on the Aroma Pad. You can do this as often as needed during the day. The Aroma Pad is cleverly placed in the middle of the device, just above the filter. This way, the clean air goes through the pad and carries the scent of the essential oils into the room.

I find this Aroma Pad feature really interesting as I’m always excited about new features in air purifier technology. But it’s important to note that this method isn’t as effective as using a separate essential oil diffuser.

In simple terms, I found that you can easily smell the essential oils when you’re near the air purifier. But it doesn’t seem to change the overall smell of the whole room much. I got much better results when I used a separate essential oil diffuser.

oil diffusers and air purifiers

Essential oil diffusers and air purifiers are two different devices that serve distinct purposes, although they both interact with the air in your environment.

Essential Oil Diffusers: These devices are primarily used to spread the aroma of essential oils throughout a room. They work by heating or nebulizing essential oils, causing them to evaporate into the air. The main goal of a diffuser is to create a pleasant, fragrant atmosphere. Some people also use essential oils for their potential therapeutic benefits, such as relaxation or mood enhancement.

Air Purifiers: On the other hand, air purifiers are designed to clean the air. They work by drawing air in from the environment and passing it through a series of filters to remove contaminants such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and smoke. The purified air is then circulated back into the room. The primary purpose of an air purifier is to improve indoor air quality and reduce allergens and pollutants.

The main factor that differentiates these two devices is their primary function: an essential oil diffuser is used to add a pleasant scent to the air and potentially provide aromatherapy benefits, while an air purifier is used to remove contaminants from the air and improve air quality. It’s important to note that while some air purifiers have features that allow for the use of essential oils, their primary function remains air purification.

How Do These Devices Work Together?

here’s a step-by-step explanation of how the experiment was conducted to test the effectiveness of using an essential oil diffuser and an air purifier simultaneously:

  1. Setup: The experiment began with setting up an essential oil diffuser and an air purifier side by side on an office desk.
  2. Starting the Diffuser: Essential oil was added to the diffuser, which was then turned on and allowed to run for 20 minutes. This ensured that the essential oil had enough time to disperse throughout the room.
  3. Starting the Air Purifier: While the diffuser was still running, a high-quality air purifier equipped with a True HEPA filter and a pellet-based carbon filter was turned on at maximum speed. The purpose of this was to see how the air purifier would interact with the essential oil particles in the air.
  4. Monitoring Air Quality: An air quality monitor called the Awair Element was placed in the room to measure any changes in the overall air quality. This device measures various factors including Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and carbon dioxide (CO2) levels.
  5. Observations: After running both devices simultaneously for a while, it was observed that the air purifier neutralized at least 75% of the essential oil smell. This suggests that the air purifier was capturing the essential oil particles from the air, reducing the aroma in the room.
  6. Air Quality Results: Despite the change in aroma, the Awair Element did not report any significant changes in air quality. Similarly, the air purifier’s built-in air quality sensor did not detect any noticeable changes in air quality.

Types of Oils Designed to be used in air purifiers

If you’re planning to use essential oils in an air purifier that’s designed for it (one with an Aroma Pad feature), here are some great choices. These oils don’t just smell good, they can also help clean the air by getting rid of bacteria.

Tea Tree

This oil comes from the leaves of the Australian Tea Tree. It’s known for its cleaning properties and can kill germs and reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that it can get rid of flu viruses in the air and lower the amount of mold in the air for a short time.


This oil is made from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. It’s a natural cleaner that can kill different types of bacteria. It’s also thought to clean the air by getting rid of mold.


This oil is famous for its calming effects. It’s often used in diffusers because it smells good and can help clean the air by getting rid of bad smells. This makes it a good choice for people with allergies.


Oils like sweet orange, lemon, and grapefruit have a lot of limonene. This is a substance that can kill germs in the air. These oils can also help the liver and lymphatic system get rid of toxins in the blood.

Ylang Ylang

This oil comes from the flowers of the Cananga odorata tree, which is native to Southeast Asia. It has a sweet, floral smell with a hint of exoticness. Studies have shown that ylang ylang can help with breathing and fight the effects of air pollution. It’s also good at getting rid of bad smells.

Fir oils

Research has demonstrated that silver fir essential oil possesses antibacterial properties. It has been found to be effective against bacteria such as Escherichia coli, methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Additionally, it has shown activity against Klebsiella pneumoniae. Siberian fir essential oil, on the other hand, has exhibited mild activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus.

Essential oils from Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica) and Siberian fir (Abies sibirica) have also been found to be effective against a range of microorganisms. These include Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus 209р, Micrococcus luteus, Acinetobacter baumanii, and Candida albicans.

Lemon Oil

Essential oil derived from Citrus limon, commonly known as lemon, has demonstrated significant anti-fungal properties. It has been found to inhibit the growth of various fungi, including Aspergillus flavus, Fusarium spp., and Aspergillus niger. Additionally, it has shown effectiveness against Aspergillus parasiticus, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Eurotium herbariorum, Penicillium chrysogenum, Aspergillus carbonarius, and Penicillium verrucosum.

By using these essential oils in your air purifier or diffuser, you can make the air inside your home smell better and be healthier to breathe.

Black Cumin Seed Oil

Essential oil derived from the seeds of Nigella sativa L, also known as black cumin, has shown potent deodorizing properties. It has been found to effectively neutralize methyl mercaptan, a primary contributor to bad breath (source).

Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil has demonstrated strong anti-fungal properties against a variety of fungi. It has been found to be effective against Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus flavus, Candida albicans, Candida tropicalis, Candida pseudotropicalis (Candida kefyr), and Histoplasma capsulatum. Additionally, it has shown potency against Coriolus versicolor, Laetiporus sulphureus, Eurotium spp., Aspergillus spp, Penicillium sp, and Botrytis cinerea.


Can I use an air purifier and an essential oil diffuser at the same time?

While you can technically run both a diffuser and an air purifier at the same time, it’s not usually a good idea. This is because high-quality air purifiers, especially those with True HEPA and carbon filters, can get rid of the smell from the essential oils, making it pointless to use both at once.

Does a diffuser work the same way as an air purifier?

No, a diffuser doesn’t work the same way as an air purifier. A diffuser makes the air smell better by spreading essential oils, but an air purifier cleans the air by catching small particles.

How much essential oil should I put in an air purifier?

Usually, 2-3 drops of essential oil are enough. You can add this amount a few times during the day to make the smell of the oil stronger.

Can I put essential oil straight into an air purifier?

You can only put essential oil directly into an air purifier if the purifier is made to use essential oils (like if it has an Aroma Pad). You shouldn’t put essential oils on the HEPA filter or any other part of the air purifier.

Can I use a diffuser and a humidifier at the same time?

Yes, you can use a diffuser and a humidifier at the same time. Both of these devices add moisture to the air.

Photo of author

The author is an Air purifier expert with overall knowledge of air and ionizers.