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An essential oil diffuser is a device that disperses essential oils into the air using a fan, atomizer, or ultrasonic technology. The essential oils are released into the atmosphere in a fine mist, allowing you to breathe in the therapeutic benefits of the oils.
In order to get the most out of your essential oils, it’s important to buy an essential oil diffuser that best suits your needs.
Diffusers for essential oils come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Some are small and portable, while others are larger and more elaborate. Some are meant to be used in a single room, while others can be used throughout the entire house.
This guide to buying a diffuser for essential oils will help you choose one that’s right for you.
9 Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Diffuser For Essential Oils
1. Type of Essential Oil Diffuser
There are several different types of diffusers for essential oils.
We’re not talking about shapes and sizes here. The different types of essential oil diffusers vary in terms of the way they work and their effectiveness.
Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks. It’s important to do your research and find the type that best suits your needs.
An ultrasonic essential oil diffuser uses ultrasonic vibrations to create a cool, fine mist of essential oils and water, which is dispersed into the air. You inhale the molecules and the aromas naturally when you inhale. An ultrasonic device is the best essential oil diffuser for you if you’re looking for a nice balance of effectiveness and price.
A nebulizing diffuser is hands down the best diffuser for essential oils. These devices don’t use any water. They use an inbuilt pump to create a fine mist of concentrated essential oils. Nebulizing diffusers are the most expensive but they are the most effective because you inhale concentrated vapors. A nebulizing diffuser is the best option for you if you want to get the maximum benefits of aromatherapy.
Passive diffusers disperse essential oils into the air through absorption and evaporation. Aromatherapy jewelry and reed diffusers are two types of passive diffusers. Aromatherapy jewelry offers a convenient way to get the benefits of essential oils while you’re out and out. Reed diffusers look gorgeous and are great to use in smaller spaces.
2. Coverage Area
Coverage area is the second most important factor to consider when looking for the best diffuser for essential oils. Coverage area refers to the area over which the diffuser can ‘throw’ the mist. Diffusers vary considerably in their coverage area.
A diffuser with a larger coverage area is not necessarily better than one that has a smaller coverage area. Don’t use that as a basis for comparison.
When it comes to coverage area, what’s important is to consider where you’re planning on using your diffuser. If you’re going to place the device on your work table or in your yoga room, you need to buy a diffuser with a smaller coverage area. You don’t want to get a large-coverage diffuser that will scent up the whole space unnecessarily.
On the other hand, if you want to run the diffuser in the living room, bedroom, or dining room, you’ll need a device with a larger coverage area. For a really spacious living room or bedroom, you may need to look for a diffuser that’s designed for large spaces.
3. Diffuser Size
Diffusers can range in size from small and portable to large, gigantic devices. When buying a diffuser for essential oils, think about where you’ll place it.
A small-sized device is versatile in that you can place just about anywhere – on a small corner table, a narrow shelf, a small bedside table, or your work desk. The only thing you may need is an accessible plug point, that too only if you’re using an ultrasonic or nebulizing diffuser. You don’t need a plug point for an evaporative, USB, or heat diffuser.
You will a large essential oil diffuser for a large room but before you buy one, think about where you’re going to place it. Proximity to a plug point is important when buying a large diffuser for essential oils.
You don’t want the electric cable to be trailing across the room. The style of the diffuser is also important. Look for one that complements the décor and existing accessories of the room.
4. Run Time With Timer Options
Essential oil diffusers vary significantly in terms of operation time. Basic models have a fixed, continuous run time of about 5 hours on average.
The more advanced models have an intermittent diffusing feature, which extends the capabilities of the device. You can control the settings to diffuse mist at intervals of 10, 20, or 30 seconds. This allows the scent and the mist to disperse into the room gently so you’re not overwhelmed by the continuous stream of scented mist.
5. Automatic shutoff
This is not a mandatory feature to look for when buying a diffuser for essential oils but it can make the world of a difference. It is only relevant for ultrasonic essential oil diffusers.
The auto-shutoff feature is designed to switch the device off automatically when the water goes below the recommended level. The diffuser can overheat and break if you keep running it with too little or no water.
An auto-shutoff diffuser prevents it from overheating and breaking prematurely, which can be expensive.
I find this feature especially useful when I’m using my diffuser at night. The device automatically shuts down when the water level is too low. I don’t have to stress over switching it off before I go to sleep.
6. Noise Level
I didn’t think much of this when buying my very first diffuser for essential oils. Don’t make that mistake. Noise level matters.
Depending on the type of diffuser you choose, it may be fairly quiet or quite loud. Most operate with a low, continuous hum that works like white noise in the background and won’t disturb your peace and tranquility. In fact, the low continuous hum can be almost soothing. However, some of the bulkier devices have large fans that can be annoyingly noisy.
If you plan on using the diffuser in a bedroom, then you definitely want to look for a quieter model. Look for one that says ‘whisper quiet operation’.
If you plan on using your essential oil diffuser in a living room, office, or other public space, the noise level doesn’t really matter. You’ll need to use a large device in these spaces and they usually tend to be noisier when operating.
7. Power or Vapor Output
This feature regulates how much mist the device emits and releases into the atmosphere. The higher the vapor output, the stronger the aroma. While a higher output may be necessary in a large space, it can be too much in a smaller room.
If you know that you’re placing your diffuser in a large space, look for a device with a greater vapor output. For a smaller room, a low-powered device will work just fine.
I don’t really pay too much attention to this factor when buying a diffuser for essential oils. Instead, I control the fragrance by changing the concentration of oil in the water.
I use less oil when I want a gentler fragrance for a smaller space such as when I’m using it while working.
8. Reservoir Size
This is another feature that I don’t pay much attention to. The reservoir size doesn’t affect the effectiveness of the device. The only thing it affects is how often you will need to refill the reservoir. A smaller reservoir will need more frequent refilling than a larger tank.
This is only relevant to ultrasonic diffusers, which use water in the tank.
The best essential oil diffuser for you will depend on your lifestyle and personal preference. Buy a diffuser with a large reservoir capacity if you need to run the device for longer periods of time. Or if you don’t want to be bothered to refill the water very often.
As I said, I don’t bother with this feature. Instead, I focus on buying an essential oil diffuser with an auto shut-off feature. When the device shuts down, I know the water is over and I refill it.
Aesthetics matter! Buying an essential oil diffuser that complements your space can create a harmonious, serene ambiance. An essential oil diffuser that clashes with the décor of your space will do the opposite.
Think about where you will be placing your diffuser and consider the overall ambiance of the space. There are no right or wrong choices when it comes to the material of the device. The best material is one that you like the look of best.
Diffusers for essential oils are made from a wide range of materials from ceramic, and porcelain to wood and plastic. Those made from plastic tend to be the cheapest, while ceramic and porcelain diffusers are more expensive. Devices made from wood cost somewhere in between.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your physician before using essential oils. See Full Disclaimer here.