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7 Types of Essential Oil Diffusers [with Images]

If you are into aromatherapy, then you most likely have heard of an essential oil diffuser. You may have even used or currently own an oil diffuser, but just in case you do not and would like to learn more about them, here is all you need to know about them before you invest in the best diffuser for you. This article will cover seven different types of essential oil diffusers, their benefits, and their pros and cons, but before we get to the seven different diffusers, here is a little background information you should know about oil diffusers and essential oils.

What is an Essential Oil Diffuser?

An oil diffuser is a tool used to disperse essential oils into the air. The tools do this by breaking pure essential oils into micro molecules. When the micro molecules are dispersed into the air, they are inhaled. From there, they travel into the respiratory system and then into the bloodstream. There are several types of tools people use to disperse oils into the air, which we will cover in a bit. People do this to take advantage of the benefits of aromatherapy that come with using a diffuser. These benefits are claimed to enhance a person’s mood while creating positive effects on the mind and body. Here are five types of potential benefits that stem from essential oils:

1) Sleep Therapy

Need help falling asleep or staying asleep? Diffused oils have properties that help people fall asleep quicker and sleep better throughout the night. Consider using lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile to help you fall asleep.

2) Appetite Suppressant

Oil diffusers can help people curb their appetites. This is especially helpful to someone who is trying to lose weight. Peppermint oil is said to help with this matter. That would make sense since chewing gum is also a method used to suppress someone’s appetite. 

3) Fighting Congestion and Mucus

Have you ever had a stuffy nose then walked into a room and a certain scent helped you breathe again? Well, this benefit can be pretty obvious because that is what some essential oil scents can do for someone who is congested. If you are suffering from this issue, consider using eucalyptus tree oil. It is the same active ingredient that can be found in Vick’s Vapo-Rub.

4) Enhancing Your Cognitive Function

Do you have a hard time focusing? Some essential oils are said to help improve cognitive function. Many of the oils carry adaptogenic qualities. These qualities are said to help relieve you from stress and give you energy when you are feeling worn out. Consider using cedar wood, lavender, vetiver, frankincense, and more.

5) Pain Relief

Many essential oils are even used to relieve pain. This can be pain from overworked muscles after the gym, a headache that just will not go away, or aching joints, but there are different oils that work best for different sorts of pain. For example, peppermint oil is best if you have foot pain, but if you have a leg cramp, sage may work better.

Different Types of Diffusers

Now for the fun part! Here are seven different types of essential oil diffusers. They are not in any particular order.

1) Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffusers

nebulizing diffuser for essential oil
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Nebulizing diffusers are very popular because they do not require heat or water, and they are not made out of plastic. This diffuser has a motor in its base and a glass cylinder or bottle that connects to its top. They work by using pressurized air and oil. When the stream of air blows across the tube of the diffuser, it creates a vacuum that forces the oil, which is now tiny molecules, to the tip of the tube where it is blown out into the air as a mist. This diffuser may not be the best model to use while sleeping because of its loud motor, and its maintenance can be more difficult than other diffusers, as it is harder to clean. The glass can also be very expensive to replace if it is broken, but overall it is a great diffuser to have if it fits what you are looking for.


  • It does not require heat or water, and it is not made out of plastic
  • It does a great job turning the oil into tiny molecules so you can get the most out of your essential oils
  • It is very portable
  • Most are equipped with a timer
  • It does not dilute the oils
  • Can be used as a diffuser or humidifier
  • Great for small and large spaces


  • It is loud
  • Glass is expensive if broken
  • It is hard to clean

2) Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

ultrasonic diffuser for essential oils

Much like the nebulizer diffuser, the ultrasonic diffuser also creates a fine mist, but the ultrasonic uses electronic frequencies to create ultrasonic vibrations. A small disk vibrates rapidly as it sits in water that is infused with oil. These vibrations break up the oil into tiny molecules and then distribute them through a tube. Since this diffuser requires water in order to use, the potency of the essential oils will be diluted once it is dispersed into the air, and since the oils will be diluted, heat is not required when turning the water into vapor. It is also made out of plastic, so this device is prone to corrosion and should be cleaned regularly in order to keep working properly. This is a great opportunity for someone who does not need a lot of oil to be discharged into their room.


  • Uses a small amount of essential oil
  • Does not require heat
  • Can be used as a diffuser and humidifier
  • Works well in large spaces as well as small


  • Prone to collusion
  • Requires water in order to work
  • It dilutes the potency of the essential oils
  • Must be cleaned regularly to work

3) Evaporative Essential Oil Diffuser

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If you choose to use one of the two diffusers that have already been listed, you may begin to notice it takes a little while for the oils and their scents to fill up the room, but if you are looking for a diffuser that will get your oils into the air quickly, then you may want to consider getting an evaporative diffuser. These diffusers are simple but yet advanced. This device uses a material that will absorb the oils such as a pad or a thin filter. Once the oils are placed on the material, a small fan quickly blows them into the air. This allows the oils to evaporate and be dispersed into your room a lot quicker than any other diffuser. This also allows the scent to spread or be noticed a lot sooner, but there is a downside to using this method. The lighter components of the oil are dispersed into the air first leaving the heavier components of the oil behind. This causes the distribution of the oils being released into the air to be off-balanced, and since the fractioning of the oils may become interrupted, this diffuser is less effective at emitting essential oils into the air. It also consumes more energy and is loud compared to other diffusers. 


  • This device is simple and advanced
  • It does not require water or heat
  • It disperses essential oils into the air a lot faster


  • This diffuser is not the most effective at emitting oils in the air
  • Users will not experience the full beneficial properties of the oils
  • Potential fractioning of the oils
  • This device is loud
  • Consumes a lot of energy

4) Heat Essential Oil Diffuser

heat diffuser for essential oils
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Heat diffusers work similarly to evaporative diffusers, but instead of using a fan to disperse oils into the air, they rely solely on heat to get the job done. There are different types of heat diffusers. The most common heat diffuser is the candle diffuser. There are also lamp ring diffusers that are set directly on top of the light bulb of a lamp. The heat from the light bulb or candle is used to distribute the oils into the air. You can also acquire an electric heat diffuser or a stream inhalation diffuser. Heat diffusers are also very inexpensive, but there are some drawbacks to using one. Just like evaporative diffusers, heat diffusers have the potential of fractioning the oil, but they are a lot quieter, as they do not make any sounds. Unfortunately, they are not the most favorable method of diffusion, as the therapeutic properties of essential oils can be affected by the heat. Heat can change the chemical properties of the oil, causing the benefits of essential oils to become futile. It is best to get a heat diffuser that works with very low temperatures to avoid the modification of the oil’s properties. 


  • This is a silent diffuser
  • It is very inexpensive
  • Some heat diffusers do not require or consume a lot of energy


  • Potential fractioning of the oils
  • Potential for modification of oil properties
  • Oils are dispersed into the air a lot slower

5) Ceramic Essential Oil Diffuser

ceramic diffuser for essential oils
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Ceramic oil diffusers are made out of clay, and they allow the essential oils to disperse into the air through evaporation. When a drop or two of the oil is placed onto the terracotta or ceramic, the clay will draw the oils onto its porous surface. The oil will then evaporate into the air. Some people may use a candle to help the oils disperse quicker, but as mentioned above in the heat diffuser section, using heat can cause the oil’s chemical properties to change, and you will not receive all of its therapeutic benefits. Others may use a ceramic diffuser that uses electricity to work. Depending on which ceramic diffuser you choose, these types may have a plastic diffuser with a ceramic cover. You can also get a ceramic diffuser with a glass cover. This diffuser is also not ideal for larger areas or outdoor spaces, but if you have a smaller space, this diffuser may be a great option. 


  • These diffusers are durable
  • Easy to maintain or clean
  • Very quiet
  • Does not require energy or power


  • Potential for modification of oil properties
  • Oils are dispersed into the air a lot slower

6) Reed Diffuser

reed diffuser for essential oils

Reed diffusers are similar to ceramic diffusers. They rely on capillary action to pull the oil through cohesion. The oil is then dispersed into the air through evaporation, allowing the scent of the oils to fill your room. This diffuser is also not ideal for large rooms or outdoor spaces. It is more suitable for a small personal space. They also do not require electricity to work. They are often used with rattan sticks that have small tunnels that allow the oil to travel up the stick and be distributed into your room. This oil diffuser works better with lighter oils such as lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot. It is also easier to clean. 


  • Does not require electricity to work
  • Great for bedrooms or small spaces
  • Easy to clean


  • Does not work well with heavier oils
  • Does not work well in large spaces

7) Electric Essential Oil Diffuser

ellectric diffuser for essential oils

Last but not least, the electric diffuser, of course, only works when connected to an electric supply. Some electric diffusers use a fan to disperse the essential oils into the air without heat. There is a little motor at the base of the diffuser with a fan. When you place oil onto a pad or into the water on top, the fan blows the oil and causes it to evaporate. If your electric diffuser requires water, there is usually a plastic container that holds the water. You will then add a few drops of oil into the water and place a plastic cover with a small opening on top. Once the diffuser is on, the motor and fan will run, causing the water and oil to disperse into the air, turning into mist. 


  • These diffusers can be easy to clean
  • They are quiet
  • Some come with a timer and LED lights
  • The oils are dispersed into the air quickly


  • This diffuser may require water which means the oils will be diluted
  • Requires electricity
  • Some are made out of plastic

So there you have it, your guide to help you choose which oil diffuser is best for you. If you are looking to begin taking advantage of all the benefits of aromatherapy, this is a great start for you!