When we use essential oils - natural oils from plants - for emotional or psychological health, it's know as aromatherapy.

If you want to most effectively disperse these oils into your living space then there is simply nothing better for the job than an essential oil diffuser.

If you make use of one of these wonderful devices, not only will you be surrounded by enticing aromas but you will also maximize the health benefits available.

What Is The Difference Between An Essential Oil Diffuser And A Humidifier?

essential oil diffuser

The first thing to clear up is that a diffuser and a humidifier are not the same thing.

  • A humidifier - sometimes known as a vaporizer - only pumps in moisture to the room or the entire house. This is accomplished by way of a mist of water. They are ideal year-round in drier climates. In more humid regions, they are best used during the winter when it tends to be drier than normal. They do not usually use oils. (There are some models designed for babies which break this general rule.)
  • A diffuser is more localized and introduces essential oils into the space. The oils are 100% essential oils. Diffusers can be made from wood, plastic, ceramic, metal and even glass. Easy to clean and operate, an essential oil diffuser is a inexpensive way to max out the effectiveness of your oils. There are 4 main types of diffuser: nebulizer, ultrasonic, evaporative and heat

The Different Types of Essential Oil Diffuser

Before looking at the overall features of these handy gadgets, we'll briefly break down the 4 standard varieties on the market.


This is the most powerful and arguably the best kind of diffuser.

With a nebulizer, no heat or water is necessary. They make use instead of atomizers much like you would find on a perfume bottle. This kicks out the essential oils and allows you to avail yourself of the full therapeutic effects.

The continual mist of air and efficient method of delivery means that nebulizers are the most popular choice when it comes to essential oil diffusers.

ultrasonic diffuser


Ultrasonic diffusers operate in a similar fashion to nebulizers in that they also give off a very fine mist.

There is a key difference, though. Ultrasonic diffusers use water along with essential oils.

An advantage to the ultrasonic variety is that they are dual-action. You can use this type as a kind of portable humidifier with no oils if you want to moisturize a given area of your house.

The output is slightly less than with nebulizers so do your homework and think about what you most want from your device.

It's also worth noting that you should not use citrus oils in this kind of diffuser. They tend to have a corrosive effect.

evaporative diffuser


This is a very stripped-down and basic form of essential oil diffuser.

A fan is used and blows out air through a pad or filter. The essential oils, as the name of the unit would suggest, evaporate. The downside of this is that the full therapeutic effects of the oils are not realized.

The major advantage is that this style of diffuser is almost silent even if the potency of the essential oils is diminished.

heat diffuser


This variant is cheap and extremely quiet but, as with the evaporative diffuser, you won't extract the full advantages of your essential oils since heat alters the chemistry to some degree.

Heat diffusers also harness evaporation. The better models use a very low-level heat which results in a less overpowering fragrance.

7 Factors To Consider When Buying An Essential Oil Diffuser

  1. Changing Your Essential Oils: If you plan to use different essential oils during the course of a day, opt for a diffuser which makes changing oils simple. With some, you'll need to switch the device off
  2. Timer: Don't rely on a clock or memory. Essential oils are not cheap so buy a diffuser with a timer so you don't waste them. Some models come with pre-set times while others allow you to choose your own time periods
  3. Automatic Shut-Off: If you are concerned about the diffuser burning then select the auto shut-off style and relax carefree
  4. Oil Capacity: If you don't want to be constantly topping up the diffuser, it's wise to look for one with a large capacity for oil
  5. Airflow: This gives you control over how oils are misted out and the timing rate
  6. Cleaning: The last thing you need is a device which is tiresome to clean. The best diffusers require just a little water mixed with detergent or alcohol and you're good to go
  7. Area Coverage: Check out for the square footage which your diffuser will cover. Some can deal with misting oils throughout a house whereas others are strictly limited to a single room. Roll with the one that best suits your needs

Where To Use Your Essential Oil Diffuser

One beauty of a portable device like this is that you can very easily move it around. Where, then, is it best to use your diffuser?

  • In The Bedroom: Since one of the main purposes of using essential oils is to create a calm and relaxing environment, popping it in your bedroom is a smart move. If you have problems sleeping then try using some lavender which might help you edge towards your dreams a little more easily
  • In Your Workplace: As well as creating a gorgeous aroma, essential oils can also assist with concentration while relieving stress. If you have a hectic job then consider taking an essential oil diffuser in to work along with your favorite selection of oils
  • For Your Pets: It's not just people who can benefit from essential oils but animals too. Try piping some fragranced oil in and see how your pets react


As with any product, it pays to do your research thoroughly when it comes to buying an essential oil diffuser.

Study the pros and cons of the different varieties, think about your budget and then buy with confidence.

Just make sure you keep enough money aside to buy a great selection of essential oils too as most diffusers do not come with oils provided!

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