The Differences Between Essential Oil Diffusers

The Differences Between Essential Oil Diffusers

Last Updated on February 2, 2022 by Organic Aromas

If you’re in the market to purchase an essential oil diffuser, you have a pretty big decision to make.

There are many different methods of diffusing essential oils and many essential oil diffusers available to choose from. They range from very inexpensive to quite expensive; they also range from very effective to completely ineffective. And just to throw a monkey wrench into your shopping experience, the most expensive ones might just be most ineffective, and vice versa.

What You Need to Know

With so many choices there are a few things you should know to help you get just the right thing you need. After all, knowledge is power and when it comes to the power of essential oils, the more you know, the healthier you can be.

There are 4 main types of essential oil diffusers on the market today:

  • Nebulizing Diffusers
  • Ultrasonic or Humidifying Diffusers
  • Evaporative Diffusers
  • Heat Diffusers

The best essential oil diffuser is the one that will meet your needs the best, so in order to make the right choice, consider your needs while reading.

Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffusers

Nebulizing essential oil diffusers are often seen as the best type of diffusers for many reason. They do not require heat, water, and contain no plastic, which is a big benefit. It works by using pressurized air and oil. A stream of air blows across a small tube, creating a vacuum that pulls the oil to the surface of the tube where it is blown away in a fine mist. Many of them can be used with timers that can be set for a burst of essence at just the right moment, but you might just choose to fill it and forget it.

Perhaps even more important than the ease-of-use is the way that nebulizing essential oil diffusers distribute the product perfectly. For those who use essential oils for their physical and mental health and wellbeing, or those who practice aromatherapy, this is the type of essential oil diffuser to purchase because it can put a large amount of oil into the air when you need it the most.

the differences between essential oil diffusers

Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffusers

These also create a fine mist like the nebulizer, but they work in a different way, using electronic frequencies to create ultrasonic vibrations that break up the molecules for distribution. These use a mixture of water and essential oil, which means that you’ll be diluting the potency of the essential oil upon use. Plus, because essential oil is corrosive to plastic it needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it running smoothly.

However, there is a humidifying aspect to using this type of essential oil diffuser, so it’s great when the weather turns chilly and dry. Adding moisture to the room is important during cold and flu season. One caveat is that you cannot use any type of citrus oil in this type of unit because it can erode the ultrasonic parts.

Evaporative Essential Oil Diffusers

These work just as you might suspect from their name. As the essential oil evaporates, it is released into the air as it turns from liquid to gas. These models usually use a small fan that blows air past the oil, causing it to evaporate at a faster rate than normal.

One drawback is that as the essential oil evaporates, the lighter components will disperse faster than heavier components, making it difficult to get the complete benefits of the oils. Evaporative essential oil diffusers are typically the least expensive and are good for those who just want a burst of freshness on occasion.

Heat Essential Oil Diffusers

These work in the same way as evaporative diffusers that use a fan to release the essential oils, but they use heat instead. They are relatively inexpensive and quiet, but they can change the chemical composition of your oils when they are heated. Some use higher levels of heat that can make the scent more intense, but this defeats the purpose when you are trying to get essential healing benefits. Lower levels of heat can keep things subtle without changing the compounds too much and still make your home smell good.

Now that you have an idea of what is out there, you can make a better decision and feel good about your purchase.


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  1. This is the most perfect article on the problem at hand. Noise, fire-safety, energy efficiency, and esthetics mean nothing in the light of ultrasound having the capacity to induce prion formation. Why would anyone willingly submit to MORE EMF pollution when something as simple as the nebulizer even eliminates the use of plastics in the design? If I wanted rotating colors I would put up christmas tree lights year-round. I want a safe, functional machine to do a job with no Yuppie frills. Meet those criteria and then even price isn’t a consideration. Thanks

  2. My first time on board and the information is overwhelming. I have not purchased a nebulizer to date because I’m still doing my reseach. Thanks for all the comments. They have gotten me closer to my purchase.

  3. I bought a nebulizer but can’t use it! I get nausea , troath scratch and feel I can not be close to it. It feels is too heavi… concentrated for me. I loved the idea of not being diluted but does not agee with me

  4. I’ve always loved essential oils. With all the new oil companies, it’s tricky to know who you can trust for real quality, ethically sourced, organic oils. So happy to try nebulizer diffuser because if you’re going to burn something that’s gonna make it into your body- this is the way to do it!

  5. When I started looking into diffusers earlier this year I was immediately drawn to the benefits of the Nebulizing type. This was quickly followed by surprise as they don’t seem as popular since I had to hunt to find them. But at least it led me to Organic Aromas.

  6. OMG !!! 5 min ago my first package from Organic aromas arrived. I ordered radiance nebulizing diffuser. I can’t believe the different between this beautiful hand made nebiliziing diffuser and ultrasonic one. In 30 seconds my house was full of wonderful fragrance.

  7. This was SO informative! I have cheap, Ultrasonic diffuser now and I find that I have to use too much oil! I will look into purchasing a nebulizing diffuser!

  8. I’ve been shopping around for a diffuser for a while now but haven’t yet decided on which to buy. This article was very informative and helpful in my decision making.

  9. Love my nebulizer! My raindrop diffuser works its magic throughout the entire house easily. I have had all types of diffusers and this one is hands down the best! Grwat info! Thanks!

  10. Thank you for clearing the differences Between all the “tools”. I am New to the aromatherapy and in front of the decision of what should I buy. This Articles is very helpful. Thanks!

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