Whether you are new to essential oils or simply want to take a closer look at the different types of diffusers available, this quick reference guide will walk you through the 4 main types of essential oil diffusers on the market today.
Ultrasonic diffusers are perhaps the most popular among their oily counterparts. They are very affordable, efficient, and have many great features. This style of diffuser is motorized and has a small disk (covered by water and essential oils) which uses ultrasonic vibrations that break the oils down into very tiny microparticles which are then dispersed into the air through a fine mist. An ultrasonic diffuser does not use heat, which can break down essential components of your oils. Since ultrasonic diffusers use water to create a mist, they also act as a humidifier, which is excellent for many homes.
- Easy to use and usually affordable.
- Doubles as an effective humidifier.
- Creates almost no noise.
- Uses less essential oil.
- Requires minimal cleaning/maintenance.
- Covers small-medium sized areas, up to several hundred square feet.
- Best for use in single rooms.
- Some models have lights that cannot be turned off.
- Only a fraction of the mist released at one time is essential oil (the rest is water).
A nebulizing diffuser is also a motorized style of diffuser which utilizes an atomizer technology that gently moves through the essential oil and disperses whole droplets of essential oils in a fine mist throughout the room. Nebulizing diffusers are popular because they can put a large amount of oil into the air in a short period of time and they cover a large area. Especially for therapeutic effects, this is a very effective method of diffusing your oils.
- Easy to use and requires no water.
- Quick and effective.
- Releases whole oil droplets into the air.
- Covers larger areas up to 1000 square feet (depending on model).
- Optimal for therapeutic use.
- Uses oil more quickly than other styles of diffusers.
- Produces a slight humming sound.
- Usually more expensive.
- Requires more frequent maintenance/cleaning.
- Thicker oils must be diluted before use.
An evaporating diffuser is a very simple and basic way of distributing essential oils into the air around you. An evaporating diffuser uses a motor and works with a fan which blows air through a filter (which has drops of essential oils on it) and blows the air into the room. The way the oil is processed through an evaporating diffuser is that instead of releasing the whole oil into the air, the “lighter” components of the oil are dispersed faster and the “heavier” components are usually dispersed last. This uneven distribution is not ideal for those who wish to have optimal therapeutic benefits from their oils. Rather, this style of diffuser is meant for getting the aroma of the oil into the room.
- Very simple and inexpensive.
- Runs quietly.
- Does not require a lot of oil.
- Requires almost no maintenance.
- Delivers a pleasing aroma of the essential oil.
- The fractioning of the oils lessens the therapeutic effect.
- Only covers a small area of less than 100 square feet.
- Not optimal for aromatherapy.
Instead of using air, water, or ultrasonic vibrations to disperse essential oils into the room, a heat diffuser uses, you guessed it, heat! The oil is gently heated and fills the space with the aroma of your essential oil. This is similar to the process of burning or melting a candle. The benefit to this style of diffuser is that it works quietly and quickly. Keep in mind that a higher level of heat means a stronger scent. Too much heat can be overwhelming, so be sure to use an appropriate level of heat (if your diffuser is heat adjustable). Like with an evaporating diffuser, the oil particles released by the diffuser tend to become fractionated and therefore cannot be relied upon to provide complete aromatherapy. This style of diffuser is more for the release of the essence and aroma of an oil.
- Operates silently.
- Fills the space with a pleasant aroma quickly.
- Usually fairly inexpensive.
- Easy to clean and maintain.
- Heat can damage components of certain oils, making them less effective.
- Covers only small areas.
- Not ideal for aromatherapy.
We hope that you’ve learned a thing or two about the different types of essential oil diffusers available on the market today! As you decide which diffuser is best for you, think about what you want to get out of your essential oils. If you just love the wonderful smell, an evaporating or heat diffuser will work really well! However, if you are interested in the therapeutic effects and health benefits of essential oils, you may want to invest in an ultrasonic or nebulizing diffuser. The size of the space the diffuser will be used in should also be a factor as you make your considerations. No matter which style of diffuser you choose, diffusing essential oils is a fantastic way to incorporate the aroma and therapeutic effects of essential oils into your everyday life.
Thanks for reading!