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There are four different types of essential oil diffusers to choose from and this article will help you to learn the differences of each of them so you can determine which is best for you. 

How to choose the best essential oil diffusers for your home or office. An essential oil diffuser is an important tool for gaining the benefits of essential oils for aromatherapy. #essentialoils #essentialoil #aromatherapy #diffusers

Essential oil diffusers are important tools used in aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils, plant materials, and other natural oils and substances for their aromatic properties. Aromas can heal, and that is the purpose of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy can also be described as the application of aromatic oils and rubs directly to the skin to alleviate pain.

This does not include perfume oils and other man-made or synthetic products but natural, healing essential oils.

There are dozens of recognized essential oils, and there are several ways you can release their powerful aroma.

Related: How to Identify Good Essential Oils for Different Purposes

The 4 Different Types of Essential Oil Diffusers

Candle diffusers use heat to disperse a few drops of essential oil into the atmosphere. Electric diffusers can cover a very large area, and many times are combined with a negative ionizer to help reduce stress.

You can also simply add a few drops of essential oil to a cup or pot of boiling water to release a therapeutic scent into the air for a short time.

A fan diffuser blows aromas around your room, while lamp rings absorb essential oil and use the heat from a light bulb to deliver the scent.

A nebulizer breaks oil down into its different main components first. It then disperses them separately. Some aromatherapy practitioners believe nebulizers deliver the most therapeutic benefits per drop of oil.

If you are getting into the aromatherapy game you may be confused by the different types of diffusers described above. There are 4 different form factors to choose from. Each essential oil diffuser type has positives and negatives, which are covered below.

Related: How to Blend Essential Oils

Heat Diffusers

Heat diffusers are simple and inexpensive. Technically, they are probably
the easiest to understand.

Some type of heat, supplied by a candle or light bulb in most cases, causes your essential oils to evaporate into the air. Many aromatherapy enthusiasts find that this unevenly breaks down your essential oil.

The simpler components in your oil break down quickly and are released
first, with heavier components coming later.

The downsides to these types of diffusers are that they usually need to be refilled sooner than others, and are high maintenance. They can sometimes damage or even destroy your essential oils if overheated.

They are however very affordable and perfect for travel since they are lightweight and do not make any noise.

Related: Essential Oil Blends for a Calming Atmosphere

Evaporative Diffusers

Evaporative diffusers are equally as simple and quiet as heat diffusers.
You place a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto a collecting pad or filter, and some type of heating element or fan distributes the aroma into the atmosphere.

This “low tech” essential oil diffuser is very easy to use, quiet, and usually rather affordable. But like the heat method used for delivering the benefits of essential oils, it delivers individual components at different times. Not good for a large area.

Some purists believe that evaporative and heat diffusers diminish some or even all therapeutic health benefits that essential oils can deliver. 

Our Essential Oils Uses Chart is a great tool to have on hand to use as an essential oil quick reference guide. In this guide, you’ll quickly be able to see what the benefits and uses are of an oil, how to best apply it and what safety precautions are recommended. Get the chart below.

Humidifying and Ultrasonic Diffusers

A humidifying diffuser, also called an ultrasonic diffuser, will usually require a slightly larger investment than the 2 previously mentioned. There is good reason for that.

These are quiet machines, and you can even purchase models that come with the sound of trickling water like a babbling brook that some aromatherapy enthusiasts find soothing and relaxing.

This also acts as an essential oil humidifier, and you can purchase models that include rotating colored light options. This is not the best bet for a large room and a higher maintenance model than most.

Atomizing and Nebulizing Diffusers

For a few more bucks,  an electronic nebulizing or atomizing diffuser is your best bet. They can fill a large area quickly with an evenly dispersed amount of essential oil.

Heavy and light components of your oil are broken down at the same rate, so you get the most natural product into the air. Most models deliver a humming sound which is pleasing to many.

These are low maintenance models, and you do not have to clean them after every use as with a humidifying or ultrasonic diffuser.

Make sure you purchase a model with a timer. This is because you can become immune to aromas if you consistently use them for more than 15-minute sessions.

Many believe this type of diffuser is the best all-around essential oil diffuser.

Choosing an Electric Aromatherapy Diffuser

You may become confused when searching for the perfect essential oil nebulizer for your space. Any search for aromatherapy diffusers at some online retail website like Amazon reveals hundreds of products to choose from.

How do you know which one to purchase? There are a few things you should look for to make sure you are getting a quality product.

Check Out the Coverage Area

Most essential oil diffusers require anywhere from 3 to 5 drops of oil mixed into the product’s water tank. The aroma is then diffused into the air so you need to know how effective a product is in delivering coverage to the room you are going to be occupying.

Two very similar aromatherapy diffusers may differ in coverage area by as much as 100 square feet or more so it’s important to take note of this in your search.

Understand How Long a Diffuser Lasts

A recent search on Amazon for essential oil diffusers returned 2 nearly identical products. They were virtually the same price, both covered the same area, and they even looked alike.

However, one product lasted 10 hours on 3 to 5 drops of your favorite essential oil, while its competitor only lasted 6 hours.

Knowing how long a single application of essential oil will last is important when making a buying decision.

Personal Preference Is Important Too

To put it rather plainly, some aromatherapy diffusers are downright unattractive. They work great, but you will want to hide them somewhere in your home.

On the other hand, products like the BellaSentials Essential Oil Diffuser run a full 12 hours and are priced the same as similar models.

This product is designed in a bamboo covered disk shape which is visually pleasing to most. Once you understand how long a diffuser will last and what its coverage area is, visual appeal might be the deciding factor when you make a purchase.