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What diffuser to select for the most effective use?

How to use

Using a diffuser for your EO is the fastest way on the most effective to have a fragrant home, to relax, to cleanse the air or even to care for yourself. They allow you to take advantage fully and daily of the benefits of EO.
Choosing an EO diffuser can be a real challenge: if simple models can suffice to perfume your home, the diffusers of EO used within a therapeutic framework need to be selected very carefully. Here is a guide that will help you choose the one that suits you best, with its particular pros and cons.

First of all: not a diffuser that burns the oils! EO loose their properties if submitted to heat (above 40°C) and can even become toxic.


There are five types of diffusion methods for EO diffusers:

  • misting or ultrasonic
  • nebulisation
  • gentle heat
  • ventilation
  • The nomadic diffusers

At the end of the post, a summary table comparing



The diffusers by method of misting or ultrasonic


ultrasonic diffuser

Ultrasonic diffusion is a type of cool diffusion that allows one to retain the original fragrance of the EO without deterioration as well as retaining its energetic values.
These diffusers contain within a tablet that vibrates at a very high frequency. The ultrasounds produced by the diffuser allow the transformation of the water and oil mixture into a light mist that spreads in the air.
The vaporizer humidifies the air also, making it less dry and more breathable. Blood oxygen is thus promoted.
Although of a lesser power therapeutically, this technology should not be neglected as it compounds many advantages.





green smileyTHE ADVANTAGES



  • Not noisy
  • Design: often pretty, with the mist rising from it makes the ambiance pleasant. Generally made of plastic, they are not likely to break easily.
  • Easy to clean: with white vinegar against lime scale
  • Less expensive than diffusers by nebulisation, they make a good choice to begin with if you have a small budget and you want to learn about the universe of diffusion without breaking the bank.
    => Diffusion efficient for rooms up to 40m²




  • EO added to water are not projected pure into the air. The active particles of the aromatic molecules will therefore be in suspension in the air for a shorter period of time before falling. As a result, you will have to add some EO regularly.
  • Reliability of the products: often they have a shorter life that nebulisers.
  • They are generally made of plastic, but of course, that is what makes them cheaper.



The diffusers by method of nebulisation



nebulisation diffuserWith the help of vibrations, this procedure allows to separate and diffuse the EO molecules in the form of very fine particles emitted in the ambient air where it stays for longer. A powerful breath of air is propelled on the EO and this triggers the projection of very fine droplets unto the glass surface. These will then escape at the top of the glass and will disperse in the air.

Generally, these EO diffusers are made of a base in which the motor is situated and a glass part for receiving the EO. Often, they are equipped with a button allowing a variation of power.





green smileyTHE ADVANTAGES


  • A more advanced technology of diffusion: within minutes, the molecules of EO are broken up and propelled in the room air.
  • With this cool diffusion, the procedure does not alter the therapeutic qualities of the EO and preserves all its aromas and benefits.
  • Generally, these products are very attractive, come in various shapes and have lovely glass elements. It can become part of your home decoration.
    => Diffusion for large spaces (up to 100m²)





  • The noise: it creates a rather strong vibration and therefore a small noise (this depends on the model).
  • The price: it is obviously on the high end of the choices available in the area of diffusion from both the technological side and the materials used (wood, glass)
  • If you don’t use your diffuser for long periods of time, it will need cleaning to avoid have the oil drying in the mouth of the pump.



The diffusers by method of ventilation



The diffusion by ventilation is a cool method that allows the retention all the benefits of the EO. The breath of air produced by the ventilator propels the micro-particles of oil in the air while going through the zone where they are placed. This mode of diffusion is extremely quick and efficient.


green smileyTHE ADVANTAGES


  • A simple technology allowing the combination of something solid and cheap
  • They are discreet, the sound is almost inaudible
  • Cool diffusion, it preserves the properties of the EO



  • Not very powerful: useful in the car or next to your computer at work (but not to sanitize a whole room).
    => Weak diffusion (for small rooms < 20m²)



The diffusers by method of gentle heat



diffuser gentle heatIt is the simplest diffusion method. Pour a few drops of EO on a small receptacle and the aromatic particles will progressively be propelled through the effect of a regulated heat. It must be known that an EO keeps all its properties as long as the temperature reached does not exceed 40°C (need to check it, therefore).






green smileyTHE ADVANTAGES


  • Simple to use
  • Not expensive and strong
  • No noise (ideal for diffusion at night)
  • Simple maintenance allowing for frequent changes of oil (clean with a cloth and a little alcohol)
  • The gentle heat facilitates the diffusion of the EO without degrading their properties




  • Diffusion is slow
  • Need to check that the heat does not exceed 40°C to avoid the bad side-effects known
  • Does not allow the full extraction of the properties and fragrances of the EO
    => Weak diffusion (for small rooms < 20m²)




The nomadic diffusers



USB DIFFUSERThis is a type of natural diffusion where no electricity is needed. The nomadic diffusers are ideal for small rooms such as bathrooms, WCs or cars. You can take them everywhere!
One example: a USB key diffuser (it works by ultrasound). It does not hear the EO. Therefore you retain all is virtues. It is a must-have.





green smileyTHE ADVANTAGES


  • Diffuses EO in a cool way.
  • Light and practical, it can be used everywhere (in the car, at the office, when travelling, in your cupboards…)
  • Choice of intervals of diffusion
  • Very little maintenance required
  • Simple to use
  • Very affordable





  • You need to be right next to it to smell the essential oils.
  • Diffusion is slow
  • Does not allow the full extraction of the properties and fragrances of the EO
  • => Small diffusion surface (up to 10m²)



You don’t have a diffuser but want to enjoy the benefits of EO

You can simply use a flat pebble from your garden or buy a special designed pebble.

Place one drop of EO on the surface and you will enjoy the benefits of the chosen EO for a short instant before going to sleep.



Things to remember when buying an EO diffuser:

The price

  • It will depend on the various options available on your diffuser (programmer for example) and the materials used.
  • It varies according to the type of diffuser: the devices with gentle heat or with ventilation are cheaper than nebulisers.

The size of the room where you are using your device

  • All diffusers do not have the same capacity regarding the area to cover.
  • The most powerful are always the nebulisers, followed by some devices using ultrasound and finally the diffusers using ventilation and those using gentle heat.

The usage: therapeutic or just an olfactory pleasure

  • For therapeutic purposes: it would be preferable to go towards diffusers by nebulisation because they fraction the molecules of essential oil without heat, thus retaining all their properties.
  • Ultrasonic diffusers have a particular therapeutic interest: the vapour is advised to clear the respiratory tract, which can be beneficial for asthmatics or to soothe colds and other winter illnesses.
  • To make your home fragrant (in small spaces): a gentle heat diffuser or ventilation

The noise emitted by the diffuser

All devices are not equal regarding the level of quietness and this should be considered if you intend to place it in a bedroom or to use it as a tool for relaxation.

  • The quietest ones: the gentle heat diffusers
  • Variable depending on the model: the diffusers by ventilation or by misting.

What to avoid

If one only looks at the price, the result could be that the materials used are of poor quality and/or that the technology is not precise enough. For example, some cheap types of diffusers by misting often have a tendency to leak, which can be dangerous given the electric link.
Furthermore, if you intend to use your diffuser at night, it might make you feel more secure to choose a device equipped with an automatic shut off or a programmer.

The quality of the EO is also paramount (use only pure oils).



In short


Opt for a diffuser by nebulisation if you are looking for:

Diffusing EO with a therapeutic purpose (sickness prevention in winter for example)
A lasting product
A very nice present for someone special
} To be used in rooms of a size up to 100m²


Opt for a diffuser by misting if you:

-are intending to learn more about aromatherapy on a small budget
-wish to create an agreeable olfactory atmosphere
-want to use your diffuser while you sleep (little noise)
To purify the room’s atmosphere
} For a room of 30m² maximum


Opt for a diffuser by ventilation if you wish to:

Enjoy a rather powerful diffuser without spending too much
Have a diffuser needing no maintenance
Install an olfactory atmosphere
Have a simple, easy to use diffuser


Opt for a gentle heat diffuser if you are looking for:

A quiet diffuser to be used while you sleep.
A strong and affordable diffuser to get you started
Creating an ambience rather than looking for obtaining the maximum benefits of the EO
} For a room of 20m² maximum


Opt for a nomadic diffuser if you are looking for:

Using it at work without bothering your colleagues
Remaining discreet and not diffuse at length
Carrying it with you wherever you go

We finish this post with a summary table comparing diffusion modes

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