Essential oil diffusers can transform your home into a relaxing sanctuary, particularly when you’re feeling stressed, sad, or in need of a mood change.
If you haven’t used a diffuser before, you may be wondering, just what does a diffuser do?
In short, these fragrant room additions provide a low-maintenance solution to anyone looking to improve their wellness routine.
The diffusers are a great aromatherapy device, as they release different fragrances that can influence your mood, feelings, and energy levels.
We’ll cover more about oil diffusers in this post, including what they are, different types of diffusers, and some of the benefits of essential oil diffusers (see also “Do Essential Oils Expire?“).
What Do Diffusers Do?
An oil diffuser is a product that turns essential oils into tiny particles. The device then releases the smaller oils into the air for a relaxing effect, though this varies depending on the oil you use in the diffuser.
Various essential oils have different effects, like peppermint oil, which is meant to aid stress levels. The diffuser aims to spread the particles in an even concentration.
This shouldn’t be too strong or too weak, as the fragrance should be easy to inhale without being overpowering.
Essentially, people use oil diffusers to fill their environment with smaller, breathable molecules of useful essential oils, giving the room a relaxing, fragrant atmosphere.
You can use different essential oils depending on the mood or tone you want to create.
For example, if you want to feel relaxed after a long day at work, you may use lavender or clary sage essential oil. If you want to feel more energized for the day ahead, you may use lemon, or spearmint essential oil.
Different Kinds Of Oil Diffusers
Oil diffusers are available in four main types: evaporative, nebulizing, heat, and ultrasonic. Each type releases essential oils into the air in a different way, which all have various pros and cons.
To decide which type of oil diffuser may work for you, we’ve listed the different types of diffusers with their advantages and disadvantages below.
Nebulizing Oil Diffuser
Nebulizing oil diffusers use a jet nozzle and a fast, high-pressure air stream to turn essential oil into very small molecules. As the oil is released from the device, it enters the environment through a fine mist.
The mist from the diffuser doesn’t affect the oil’s chemical makeup or fragrance. It simply diffuses the oil at once, instead of in several stages. Some diffusers release the oil’s lighter chemical elements first, then their heavier parts afterward.
The particles are small enough to breathe easily, making the diffuser ideal for aromatherapy purposes.
- Nebulizer diffusers don’t need any water or heat to release oils into the air.
- Nebulizers are usually the most expensive type of diffuser to purchase and use. The devices only need essential oil, instead of heat or water. This means that they use a lot more oil compared to other types of diffusers.
- Nebulizers can also be louder to use than other diffusers, though this may differ between brands.
Ultrasonic Oil Diffusers
This is a popular type of essential oil diffuser that uses electronic frequencies and water to form a fine mist.
A small disk beneath the water’s surface forms ultrasonic vibrations (see also “How To Make Your Own DIY Florida Water“). This makes the essential oils break up into smaller, microparticles.
- Ultrasonic diffusers only require a small amount of essential oil. They don’t need any heat to form a fine mist.
- The device can also perform as a diffuser and a humidifier, which is ideal for anyone living in a drier location.
- Ultrasonic diffusers don’t usually emit much noise, so they are great to use at night.
- Just a small amount of the mist produced by the diffuser is essential oil.
- The diffuser depends on the air quality in your environment to release oil. The diffuser may release more water into the air, which can be a drawback for people living in humid locations.
Heat Oil Diffusers
As the name implies, heat oil diffusers use heat to gradually release essential oils into the air (see also “Complete Guide To Essential Oil Diffusers“).
Some of these models may mix the oil with water, while others need large amounts of heat to release a powerful fragrance.
Higher-quality heat diffusers will only use low heat, as the temperature can affect the chemical makeup of the essential oils in the diffuser.
- Heat diffusers release essential oils in an affordable, silent, and effective way, ensuring that the fragrance spreads well throughout your environment.
- The heat used by the diffuser can change the makeup of essential oils at a molecular scale. This may reduce the effectiveness and aromatherapy benefits of your oil.
Evaporative Oil Diffusers
Evaporative oil diffusers use airflow to release essential oils into the air.
A fan makes air move through a filter, like a pad or tissue which has been treated with essential oils. The airflow makes the oil evaporate rapidly, ensuring the oil is blown around the space.
If you use an evaporative diffuser, the oil will be released in stages. The lighter parts of the oil will evaporate in the beginning, then the heavier parts will evaporate afterward.
- Air-blown diffusion is a low-noise method of rapidly releasing an oil’s fragrance throughout a space.
- Not the most effective method, as all of the oil’s parts won’t be released at once.
Benefits: What Can Oil Diffusers Do?
All types of oil diffusers aim to release aromatic essential oils into the air. Other than a beautiful fragrance, this process has several benefits:
A lot of people use aromatherapy to wind down after a long, hard day. The aromatic fragrances have soothing effects that can make it easier to relax.
You can use your diffuser to release essential oils alone, or with other activities that aid in relaxation.
For instance, using a diffuser while carrying out other activities, like a nice bath, meditation, or a simple yoga routine, can make it easier to feel relaxed.
If you want to do this, look for calming essential oils instead of energizing ones which feel invigorating.
Improves Attention and Focus
Aromatherapy has physical and mental benefits. Choosing an energizing fragrance, like citrus essential oils, can improve your energy levels, making it easier to focus on a task.
When you need to carry out a large task or project which needs your full attention, you can use aromatherapy to release invigorating fragrances into your environment.
You can also use your diffuser to release these scents when you get ready for work every morning. This can tell your body that it’s time to get up and ready for a big day.
Setting aside a few minutes each day to perform self-care, like aromatherapy, can improve your mood.
Other than self-care, oil diffusers have a lot of benefits that can improve your mood, keeping you happy and satisfied throughout your day.
You can use your diffuser to release invigorating scents whenever you feel low or sad.
Aid Skin Inflammation and Redness
Some essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties. These can help improve your skin’s condition and lower redness caused by inflammation. Your skin may look healthier and clearer as a result.
Soothe Painful Joints
Essential oils may help soothe painful joints. Aromatherapy techniques can improve your mood, leading to the generation of feel-good chemicals that aid achy joints.
Your mental perception of pain, particularly joint pain, may decrease. Diffusers can also release relaxing fragrances that encourage better sleep. This also improves joint health as your body needs proper sleep to recover.
Clears Airways For Improved Breathing
Allergies, coughs, and sinus issues can all affect your breathing. Oil diffusers can help keep your airways clear, making it easier to breathe.
Oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree can have cooling effects that soothe sore or inflamed airways.
If you haven’t used an essential oil before, use the diffuser for a short period, and watch out for any adverse reactions as you breathe in the fragrance.
Promotes Better Digestion
Everyone gets an upset stomach occasionally. If you are dealing with symptoms, aromatherapy may aid your stomach issues.
Some essential oil blends can help a variety of stomach issues, ranging from nausea, bloating, and minor stomach pain. They can also encourage healthy digestion by aiding a healthy, regular digestive tract.
Encourages Better Skin
Aromatherapy can be used to promote better skin and nails. If you’re recovering after a minor rash, or feeling too red after a sunny day spent outside, essential oils can help improve the appearance of mild imperfections and irritation.
Promotes Better Sleep
There are lots of things that can keep you awake when you should be sleeping, like anxiety, an upset stomach, or stress.
Trouble falling and remaining asleep is a common complaint, particularly in modern society. Using a relaxing oil in your diffuser before bed can help you wind down and get ready for a good night’s sleep.
Aids Sore and Tense Muscles
Oil diffusers can aid sore and tense muscles in the same way they ease painful joints.
The scent of peppermint oil is known to aid sore muscles and achy joints, while eucalyptus is known for its cooling effects that ease inflammation and pain.
If you have sore muscles after a workout or are strained after sitting down all day in the office, lie down and let your oil diffuser work its magic.
Eases Mood Swings
A lot of women are affected by mood swings during or before their menstrual cycle, or following hormone changes.
If you are often affected by mood swings, you can use your diffuser to release essential oils that encourage serenity and calm. Relaxing aromatherapy oils, like lavender or frankincense, can help encourage feelings of balance and peace.
Safety Tips For Using Essential Oils
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind when using diffusers and essential oils:
- Only use high-quality essential oils from trustworthy brands.
- Always follow the guidelines that came with your diffuser.
- Never use more than the advised amount of essential oil.
- If you are pregnant, consult your medical provider before using essential oils.
- Watch out for asthmatic or allergic symptoms.
- Be wary when using essential oils around small children and pets.
- Clean your diffuser regularly.
The Bottom Line
Oil diffusers can help release the fragrance of essential oils into your home. All of these different scents have the potential to improve your feelings and well-being.
You may find that one type of diffuser suits your preferences more than another, but no matter which one you choose, remember to keep it clean.
Diffusers, particularly models which use water, are prone to dirt and mold buildup.