What is a Diffuser For Essential Oils?

Maybe you have heard about your friends using essential oils and become interested in their potential uses. Perhaps you, yourself, even use essential oils.

Whatever the case, essential oil diffusers are very nice objects to use, however, before you start looking for a diffuser it is a good idea to first answer the question, “What is a diffuser for essential oils?”

A quick introduction to oil diffusers (vaporizers)

Simply put, in this context diffusion is the process used to disperse the aroma of essential oils. Depending upon the method used, the scent may fill the whole room or maybe just give a pleasant aroma to those within a small radius of the diffuser. If you want to see how basic diffusion works without a lot of tools, apply a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to a tissue. Hold the tissue and place it near a fan, blow on it, or simply hold it and notice that as the tissue moves it releases the aroma of your favorite essential oil.

If the tissue experiment did not fully explain how a diffuser works, try another experiment that will diffuse aroma throughout your entire room. For this experiment, boil two cups of water and then add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil into the pot with the water. The steam, which is evaporation from the water, will carry the aroma of the essential oil throughout the entire room you are in. Unlike a traditional diffuser, however, the aroma will not last very last.

A diffuser for essential oils works much like the tissue and the boiling water with your favorite essential oil. Instead, the diffuser works on a larger scale. The tissue only provided aroma in a very small area whereas a diffuser will generally provide the aroma to a broader area. This is useful because you clearly cannot walk around holding up a tissue or carrying a pot of boiling water all day. This is why you need to learn about traditional essential oil diffusers.

Different types of diffusers

There are a wide variety of different types of diffusers on the market. Choosing the best one for you many times comes down to personal preference and your budget. If you happen to have a small budget lamp ring diffusers may be perfect for you. Also, because lamp ring diffusers are so inexpensive, this type of diffuser if a good choice for those who are just starting out with diffusers. These diffusers are usually made of terracotta or brass. Just like the name implies, this diffuser is shaped like a ring and is placed on a lamp, resting under the light bulb. These diffusers have a grooved edge encircling the entire diffuser. This grooved edge is where essential oil is placed. As the lamp ring diffuser sits under the light bulb, it is slowly heated and dispersed aroma throughout an entire room. This popular mainstream diffuser works much like the experiment with the boiling water and essential oil, although the lamp ring provides aroma for a much longer period of time.

However, this rather simple installation won’t let you take advantage of the essential oils — as they’re altered due to the heat from the lamp.

If you want to diffuse your essential oils without having to use electricity, a terracotta or sandstone diffuser is likely a good choice for you. One of the primary benefits of this inexpensive diffuser is that it can be used anywhere. You can put it on your nightstand to allow you to smell the aroma as you drift off to sleep. You can put the diffuser in your car, allowing the relaxing aroma to keep you from getting tense in bumper to bumper traffic. Alternatively, you can take the diffuser with you on a camping trip, where you just want a little piece of home. These diffusers work very similarly to the lamp ring differences, except they don’t use heat to diffuse. Instead, this diffuser works much like your experiment with the tissue. The negative aspect to this kind of diffuser is that as the essential oil dissipates from the diffuser the aroma becomes less and less intense. If you want the same boldness of the aroma each and every time you use it, unfortunately this is not the right diffuser for you.

The best way to diffuse oils is to use an ultrasonic diffuser. These does not apply heat to the oil, but sound waves — making sure that the fragile oils aren’t altered and that you can take full advantage of the health benefits.

One brand we highly recommend is Young Living (you can read an in-depth review of Young Living Aria here).

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Now that you have learned what a diffuser is and how it works, it’s time to start experimenting. As you learned from your experiments with the tissue and the boiling pot of water, you can make a homemade diffuser. This shows us that the concept of a diffuser is quite simple; it is the application of the diffuser and having the aroma of the essential oil do what we want it to do that can be complicated. As you start experimenting with various diffusers you will start to notice the difference between them. Even before you start shopping for diffusers to use with essential oils, it is a good idea to first find out which essential oils you like. Even a good diffuser can emit a bad smell if you don’t like the essential oil used with the diffuser.

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