How Do Oil Diffusers Work?

As a gateway to a more relaxing life, essential oil diffusers can mean the difference between a tense version of you and a calmer you! But how does a diffuser work?

Understanding How Essential Oil Diffusers Work

Put simply, essential oil diffusers work by emitting essential oils into the air. This means you can inhale and absorb the benefits into your body, which can aid relaxation but also works wonders for your senses. For example, if you’re looking to relax after a stressful day, it can make all the difference. Most essential oils also send out a pleasant scent into the air when you are using a diffuser which also purifies the air at the same time.

Four Different Types of Oil Diffusers

Each diffuser uses a different process to disperse the essential oils into the air. While each has its own unique benefits, some have their limitations.

  • Ultrasonic (Ultrasonic Vibration)
  • Heat (Heat)
  • Evaporative (Wind/Fan)
  • Nebulizer (Force/Atomization)

Ultrasonic Diffusers

What is an ultrasonic diffuser for essential oils?

An electric, ultrasonic, diffuser dispenses essential oils into the air through vibrations of a plate which causes ultrasonic waves, creating microscopic particles of oils which disperse into the air. The water tank must be filled as directed in manufacturer instructions for each diffuser, then add about 10 drops of essential oils depending on the desired scent and effect of the diffuser; whether uplifting, inspiring, soothing or relaxing. 

Vibrations from the diffuser cause the essential oils to be mixed with water vapour and dispersed as a very fine mist into the air. These diffusers are not particularly noisy, so many people find it is not too distracting to use in an office. Essential oils such as citrus lemon, grapefruit and orange, and peppermint can help you to concentrate! 

Does an ultrasonic diffuser use heat?

No heat is used and because the process of the ultrasonic diffuser is adiabatic, meaning the oil changes states without heat, the oil is intact and not broken down so you can enjoy the benefits of the pure plant goodness. This also makes ultrasonic diffusers a great option in areas with children due to the reduced risk compared to a candle.

Can an ultrasonic diffuser be used as a humidifier?

As an ultrasonic diffuser uses water it can double up as a humidifier. While adding water dilutes the oil which can reduce its potency if you don’t like strong smells and would prefer the oil to last longer, this is a very suitable option.

Heat Essential Oil Diffusers

What is a heat diffuser for essential oils?

The process of a heat diffuser is all about heating essential oils until they evaporate. This is all about choosing the right oil. For example, a thicker oil like Sandalwood can easily evaporate into the air when using a heat diffuser. There are many different types of heat diffusers such as candle heater diffusers, lamp room diffusers, and electric heat ones. Each of them uses a tray next to the source of heat.

What are the disadvantages of heat diffusers?

When you are looking for a cheap and cheerful option, heat diffusers work very well. They disperse the essential oil but because the heat alters the chemistry of the oil it can have an impact on the health benefits of each individual oil.

Evaporative Essential Oil Diffusers

What is an evaporative diffuser and how does it differ from a heat diffuser?

The big difference between an evaporative diffuser and a heat one is that the evaporative diffusers use a fan. Heat diffusers disperse oil via evaporation but an evaporative diffuser generates a wind versus heat approach. This helps the oil to evaporate more effectively.

What are the benefits of using an evaporative diffuser?

An evaporative diffuser holds the oil in an absorbent material like a pad or a wick. This means the oil evaporates in a more controlled method compared to some other diffusers.

Nebulizer Essential Oil Diffusers

What is a nebulizer for essential oils?

Used widely in aromatherapy, a nebulizer is greatly assumed to release the purest form of essential oils. The nebulizer process breaks down the oils into atoms, and similar to a perfume bottle, this means greater dispersion of the essential oils, guaranteeing they will permeate every pore.

How are nebulizers used in aromatherapy?

The great benefit of nebulizers is that they don’t require heat or water. For those looking to work in aromatherapy or have the benefits at home, a nebulizer delivers a very concentrated stream of essential oil. The one downside to this is that it can quickly use up the oil. A nebulizer benefits from being put on a timer to minimise this.

What are the benefits of using an essential oil diffuser?

A great alternative to candles, essential oil diffusers is a perfect way to help you relax. There are so many different scents out there to stimulate or calm you down. For those that struggle to sleep, some calming lavender late at night works wonders. Those that struggle to breathe can benefit from eucalyptus, and those that need to purify the air can use thyme or tea tree. As well as the scents, using a diffuser with water means that it becomes a makeshift humidifier which works wonders for those with dried out airways.