Do you enjoy the therapeutic scent of essential oils? Essential oils have gained popularity recently, and diffusing is one of the best and easiest ways to tap into this trend. There are several methods for diffusing oils. With many choices among diffusers, you may wonder what the advantages of the various methods are.
A few things to consider when choosing a diffuser are how long the device will run and how large its reservoir is. Additionally, you’ll want to know the expected distribution area of the diffuser. Will it cover the size of the room you wish to use it in?
Lastly, consider the aesthetic appeal of the diffuser unit. A device that is beautiful, as well as functional, will blend in with your home decor and add to your enjoyment of the diffusing experience. Some units may create more noise than others, which may affect your preference. Price points between various oil diffusers may influence your final purchasing decision too.
Now, let’s explore the various choices in oil diffusers and the specific details about each one.
A fan blows air through a filter in an evaporating diffuser, such as a pad or tissue with essential oils dropped on it. The moving air causes the oil to evaporate quickly, which blows the diffused oil around the room to spread the scent.
The pad’s size that holds the oil will determine how long this unit will provide scent and how large an area it can cover. Adding more oil to the pad will refresh the scent, but you will need to replace the pad to change your scent. Evaporative diffusers tend to be noisier due to the fan, and they use more energy to run. Avoiding the need to add water to the unit is a plus for evaporating units.
Ultrasonic diffusers work by creating ultrasonic vibration through a small disc under the water, causing the essential oil to break up into microparticles. These units only need a minimal amount of oil and are also heat-free.
The unit acts as both a humidifier and a diffuser, which can help in dryer climates but may be a problem if you already live where it is humid. Ultrasonic diffusers are very quiet, making them a great choice in a bedroom or used while sleeping.
Larger rooms are well suited to an ultrasonic diffuser as they have a wide dispersal range. Kitchens, living rooms, or offices are good choices. Most devices will have settings for a run-time varying from two to eight or more hours. This makes running them through the night easier. Many of these diffusers will also have an option for a soft light that may even change color, adding to the diffuser’s ambiance.
If you consider a combination diffuser and night light for a baby’s room, our post “What Color Night Light Is Best For Babies” will help guide this decision.
A nebulizing diffuser breaks the essential oil into tiny particles through a high-velocity pressurized air stream through a jet nozzle. The oil is dispersed into the air in the form of a fine mist. These diffusers do not use heat, water, or plastics.
They do require the use of a larger amount of essential oil. Nebulizing diffusers tend to be more expensive to operate as they use a larger quantity of essential oil, and they also carry a higher price tag. These diffusers can be noisier than other options.
Cleaning a nebulizing diffuser is a bit more cumbersome than other devices. Its small pieces must be cleaned regularly to prevent clogging and to keep it functioning well.
Heat diffusers use a heating element to help essential oils gradually evaporate into the air. Some of these diffusers will also require water. Using heat in this way creates a quite diffusing method.
However, a drawback of using heat in diffusers is that the heat can alter the essential oil’s chemical composition, lessening or altering the oil’s therapeutic benefits. As with evaporating diffusers, the unit’s size and the room size will determine how far the scent will diffuse.
A heat diffuser is very easy to clean. Simply wipe out the basin with a soft cloth soaked in warm water and mild soap.
Ceramic or terra cotta diffusers allow oils to evaporate and disperse into the air. These diffusers work well for personal use in a small area but won’t work well in a large room. Ceramic diffusers do not require any power source and can be used in a vehicle.
Ceramic diffusers are often found in pretty shapes and colors and can be used as a decorative item and fulfill the diffusing function. These diffusers provide a nice accent on a desktop where the user can enjoy seeing and smelling it.
Reed diffusers use small reed sticks that allow the oil to travel up small holes within the reed to scent the room. The reeds are placed into a bottle containing the essential oil. This type of non-electric diffuser works well with light oils that will travel and diffuse faster than heavier oil. Bergamot, grapefruit, and lemon are lighter oil choices, while patchouli and sandalwood are heavier oils.
Reed diffusers will last as long as there is oil in the container. These diffusers require the least amount of maintenance and do not require switching on and off. A reed diffuser will work best in a small space. Consider reed diffusers as an accent in a small bathroom or office.
A candle diffuser uses the heat of a candle to promote the diffusion of oil through the room. These diffusers are not expensive, but the application of heat can alter essential oil properties. Using the oil for a specific therapeutic benefit using a candle diffuser may change the results.
Candle diffusers provide a decorative function and create a soft glow from the candle’s addition to the unit. Be sure to use an unscented candle to avoid clashing with the scent of your essential oil.
Select The Perfect Diffuser
Diffusing essential oils is a great way to reap the health and mood benefits of these substances. Consider the size of your room and your tolerance for background noise when selecting a diffuser. Many diffusers go beyond the distribution of essential oils to provide lighting and a decorative function.
With so many options to choose from, you’ll be able to select a device that meets form and function to provide your home with the pleasing effects of diffusing essential oils.
If you are interested in using other methods to pleasantly scent your home, check out our post, “4 Ways To Use Liquid Potpourri.”