Types of Oil Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffusers Guide

Essential oil diffusion is the process of dispersing the aroma of essential oils into the air. Depending on the oils used, oil diffusion can have therapeutic and antiseptic benefits. There are many different types of oil diffusers available to choose from that rely on different methods to diffuse oils. Most diffusers require either heat, electricity, or water, however there are also more simple varieties available. 

Essential Oil Diffuser Guide

Types of oil diffusers

Oil diffusers come in many different styles and varieties that range from simple to complex. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages concerning ease of use, affordability, and effectiveness. Below we’ll take a closer look at each of the different varieties of oil diffusers available.

Nebulizers or atomizing oil diffusers

Atomizing oil diffusers, also known as nebulizers, are arguably the most effective type of oil diffuser. Unlike other diffusers, nebulizers don’t rely on heat or steam, and can therefore diffuse oils in their pure, undiluted form.

Nebulizing diffusers break essential oils down into tiny molecules using an air pump and vacuum. The oils are released into the air in the form of a fine mist. Because the molecules are so small, they are easily absorbed by our lungs and therefore have high therapeutic value.

Ultrasonic oil diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusers are a popular form of diffuser that use electricity to disperse essential oils into the air. The electricity creates ultrasonic vibrations that break the oils down into small molecules. These diffusers require water and some varieties also double as a humidifier.

The main advantages of ultrasonic diffusers are that they are widely available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, and most are very affordable. However, ultrasonic diffusers are generally considered less reliable than other varieties.

Fan oil diffusers

As their name suggests, fan diffusers utilize a fan to circulate air across essential oils. Typically, the oils are placed onto either a tray or absorbent pad. As the air blows across them, the oils are dispersed into the atmosphere.

Fan diffusers come in various shapes and sizes. Larger diffusers work better for larger rooms. Some disadvantages of fan diffusers are that they are often noisy, and the use of disposable pads is wasteful and costly.

Electric heat diffusers

Electric heat diffusers rely on heat to evaporate essential oils into the air. Heat diffusers work well for thicker oils, such as Sandalwood and Patchouli.

Electric heat diffusers can be very effective for dispersing an oil’s aroma into a large room. The main downside of heat diffusers is that the process of heating the oils changes their chemical composition. Therefore, the oils don’t remain as pure as they would with diffusers that don’t rely on heat.

Essential Oil Burner

Candle diffusers

Candle diffusers are a simple form of oil diffuser that use the heat emitted from a candle to gently evaporate essential oils. Because they are so simple, candle diffusers are generally on the more affordable side.

Candle diffusers come in different sizes and styles and can make for a stylish decorative piece for your home. Their main downside, as with all heat diffusers, is that the heat alters the oils’ chemical composition. In addition, extra care must be taken when burning a candle.

Clay oil diffusers

Clay diffusers, usually made of terracotta or sandstone, are another simple and affordable tool for aromatherapy. The diffusers resemble small pots and can make for decorative accent pieces in addition to having therapeutic benefits.

To use a clay diffuser, you simply drop a small amount of oil into the pot. Because the material is porous, the oil will gradually diffuse out into the air. This method is passive and doesn’t require any heat or water. However, the aroma does not last very long.

Lamp ring oil diffusers

Lamp ring diffusers are ring shaped diffusers made of ceramic, terra cotta, or brass. Essential oils are placed into a groove that circles the perimeter of the ring. The ring is then placed around a lightbulb, which heats it up and evaporates the oils. Lamp ring diffusers are effective and inexpensive. However, they rely on heat to diffuse the oils.

Homemade oil diffusers

In addition using the above devices, it’s also possible to diffuse essential oils using materials you likely already have at home. For instance, you could drop some oils onto a tissue or into a bowl of hot water. Homemade oil diffusing methods are easy and inexpensive, however they are generally not as effective as the oil diffuser devices mentioned above.

If you found this guide helpful, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oil diffusion.