Essential Oil Diffuser Review


There are many different kinds of Essential Oil Diffusers including nebulizers, atomizers, ultrasonic, heat and evaporative. What is the difference between them and which is right for you?

In this essential oil diffuser review we will also be looking at the USB diffusers which are now very popular for not only using at your desk but also in the car - because most cars have a USB plug which can power a USB diffuser.

Let's now review each of the different types of diffusers.

Nebulizing or Atomizing Diffusers

Nebulizing diffusers work by using an air pump to push pressurised air through the essential oil to create a fine mist of oil that escapes with the air.

An atomizer is newer technology, and transforms the essential oil into a vapor of millions of microparticles - a much finer mist then you would ever get out of a nebulizer. Although an atomizer also uses an air pump, it is generally quieter then the nebulizer.

These types of diffusers are the strongest and most powerful type of diffuser - because there is no dilution of the essential oil.

An atomizer/nebuliser maintains the integrity of the essential oil. It does this in two ways -

  1. There is no heat applied to the oil. Heating an essential oil may destroy the therapeutic qualities of the oil.

  2. It is undiluted - using oil directly out of the bottle. This means there is no issue with mixing it with a liquid like water that may contain contaminants like chlorine or fluoride.

Pros of a nebulizing/atomizing diffuser:

  • Cover the largest area of all of the types of diffuser

  • Bottle attaches directly to the diffuser - so very little maintenance required

  • No water required

  • Programable timers - easily set the on, off and total run times

  • Volume output control - easily set the amount of oil it will use when diffusing

Cons of a nebulizing/atomizing diffuser:

  • Noisey, because they use an air pump

  • Not very good in the bedroom when trying to sleep (because of the noise)

  • Will use more oil then an ultrasonic diffuser when the volume output is set high

Ultrasonic Diffusers

In an ultrasonic diffuser, you fill the diffuser with water, then add the desired number of drops of essential oil to it.

WARNING: If you purchase a cheap ultrasonic diffuser from Amazon your water will heat up, destroying the medicinal properties of the oil in the process.

Ultrasonic designs include fantastic options for children like the DinoLand and Dolphin Reef diffusers - watch the video to see them in action.

Pros of an ultrasonic diffuser:

  • Very quiet, great for the bedroom

  • Uses very little essential oil

  • Child friendly - mist is cool and safe to touch

  • Great variety of ultrasonic diffusers available

Cons of an ultrasonic diffuser:

  • Needs occasional cleaning, including the ultrasonic disc. See our post on cleaning your aromatherapy diffuser for more info.

  • Will last for several hours before needing to be refilled with water and oil

USB Diffusers

There are 2 different types of USB diffusers -

  1. A traditional ultrasonic diffuser that uses water (as detailed above). For example, the ORB USB Diffuser.

  2. A "dry" ultrasonic diffuser that does not use any water. For example, the Travel USB diffuser.

USB Diffusers provide the ultimate in mobile aromatherapy! Even though some USB diffusers use water, like the ORB diffuser pictured above, they are still very portable. The ORB is non-spill, so it is great to have in the car or around kids.

The USB Travel diffuser is so small and compact that it fits in your pocket - very easy to take with you to work each day. Or, plug it into your laptop for on-the-go aromatherapy.

Pros of a USB diffuser:

  • Lightweight, portable, go anywhere, even in the car

  • Available in either water (ORB) or waterless (Travel) options

  • ORB diffuser is spill proof

Cons of a USB diffuser:

  • Only cover a very small area (ie won't fill a room)

Heat/Evaporative Diffusers

Often people get humidifiers mixed up with ultrasonic diffusers. Humidifers "heat" the water to create a steam - which is often hot to touch and potentially dangerous around children.

These should not be used with essential oils if you are wanting any type of therapeutic benefit from the oil. Heating an oil may destroy the medicinal qualities of it that give then oil its therapeutic benefits.

Which diffuser is right for you?

The diffuser that is right for you depends upon where you will be using it, here are some suggestions:

In your bedroom: Ultrasonic

In any type of large room where you need a lot of coverage: Atomizer

On-the-go: USB

Low maintanence: Atomizer

We hope that you have found this essential oil diffuser review helping in deciding what kind of diffuer is right for you.

We have tried many types of inexpensive diffusers from ebay and Amazon and found that they tend to heat up the water when used for several hours. The best essential oil diffusers we have found are the Young Living Diffusers.

Where to purchase a diffuser?

If you are in the USA, click here to view the range of Young Living Diffusers.

If you are in Australia, view the Young Living Diffusers here.

Live elsewhere in the world? Then click here to view the range, and choose your country from the flag selection at the top of the page.

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