Which Essential Oil Diffuser Should I Use?


A Guide to the Different Types of Essential Oil Diffusers

Using an essential oil diffuser is an easy, convenient, and mess-free way to take advantage of the benefits of essential oils. Want to fill your home with the aroma of essential oils? Try an essential oil diffuser. Need to fill your workspace or office with uplifting, energizing aromas? Try an essential oil diffuser. Looking for help creating a calm environment to help your kids fall asleep? Try an essential oil diffuser.

There are dozens of ways to use an essential oil diffuser to create a custom environment for you or your family. But which essential oil diffuser is best? Keep reading to learn everything you'll want to know before buying an essential oil diffuser.

Types of essential oil diffusers

There are four different types of diffusers, including:

  1. Nebulizing essential oil diffusers,
  2. Ultrasonic essential oil diffusers,
  3. Heat essential oil diffusers, and
  4. Evaporative diffusers. 

Each diffuser has its own unique method of getting essential oils into the air so you can experience the benefits of aromatherapy. But how do you decide which one will work best for you? To help you determine which to choose, we’ve broken down how each diffuser works and listed some pros and cons for each.

What is a nebulizing essential oil diffuser?

A nebulizing diffuser breaks down the essential oil into tiny particles through the use of a high velocity, pressurized air stream and jet nozzle and does not use water or heat. When the oil is released from the diffuser, it goes into the air in an ultra-fine mist. The fine mist created by the nebulizing diffuser does not alter the chemical composition or the scent of essential oils. It diffuses the entire oil at once instead of in stages, whereas some other diffusers release the lighter chemical components of an essential oil first and the heavier components later. With a nebulizing essential oil diffuser, the particle size is also small enough to be easily inhaled and used for aromatherapy.

  • Pros of a nebulizing diffuser: Nebulizers use no heat or water, yet disperse the entire oil into the air for optimal aromatherapy. 
  • Cons of a nebulizing diffuser: Because nebulizing diffusers use only the essential oil (no other substance such as water or heat to assist in diffusing), they use much more oil than other diffusers. This makes nebulizers a more expensive type of diffuser to use, and it can also be more expensive to purchase than other diffusers. Additionally, some models of nebulizing oil diffusers are noisy in comparison to other diffusers.

What is an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser?

This popular type of diffuser uses water and electronic frequencies to create a fine mist from the essential oil and water. Ultrasonic vibrations are created by a small disk under the surface of the water which causes the essential oil to break up into tiny micro particles.

  • Pros of an ultrasonic diffuser: Ultrasonic models only use a small amount of essential oil, and no heat is used to generate the mist in an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser. This method can also act as both a diffuser and a humidifier, a helpful feature if you live in a drier climate. There is very little to no noise associated with ultrasonic diffusers, making them perfect for nighttime use.
  • Cons of an ultrasonic diffuser: Only a small fraction of the mist is essential oil, and the ultrasonic diffuser mist depends upon the air current of the room to disperse the essential oil. If you already live in a more humid place, you may not want to use a diffuser that adds more moisture to the air.

Using an essential oil diffuser can help you to create an ideal atmosphere in your home with the inviting aroma of essential oils.


doTERRA has many different options for ultrasonic diffusers. Each one has plenty to offer depending on your needs, such as the portability of the Pilot™ and Roam™ essential oil diffusers, the beautiful illumination of the Laluz™ or Lumo™ essential oil diffusers, the sleek design of the Volo™ essential oil diffuser, or the humidifying benefits of the Dawn™ Aroma Humidifier.
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​​​​​​​To find the ultrasonic diffuser that’s right for you, check out all the essential oil diffusers doTERRA offers by clicking below:

Meet Our Diffusers

What is a heat essential oil diffuser?

As the name suggests, heat diffusers use heat elements to help drops of essential oils on a gently heated plate gradually evaporate into the air. Sometimes heat essential oil diffusers use oil mixed with water, but many use heat as the only medium. Some heat diffusers use very high levels of heat to cause a stronger aroma, however the best heat diffusers use very low heat to avoid drastically changing the chemical constituents of the oils being diffused.

  • Pros of a heat diffuser: Diffusing with heat is an economical, efficient, and silent way to spread the aroma of an essential oil throughout the room.
  • Cons of a heat diffuser: Using heat can change the properties of essential oils at a molecular level. This means that the aromatic benefit of an oil may lessen or change entirely.

What is an evaporative essential oil diffuser?

Evaporative diffusion uses airflow to spread the aroma of essential oils into an area. A fan blows air through a filter, such as a tissue or a pad, that is lightly saturated with essential oils. The aggravated air causes the oil to evaporate quickly, and the air with the evaporated oil is blown into and around the room.

  • Pros of an evaporative diffuser: Wind-blown diffusion is a quiet way to quickly spread an essential oil’s aroma throughout the room.
  • Cons of an evaporative diffuser: When you use an evaporative essential oil diffuser, the essential oil diffuses segments; the lighter essential oil components evaporate first, while the heavier components evaporate last. Because every component of the oil is not diffused at the same time, this diffuser is not ideal for aromatherapy. 

Regardless of the essential oil diffuser you choose, the aromas of essential oils have immense potential to influence you and your environment for the better. In the end, each of these methods of diffusing will help you enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy in any space.
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Need some tips for cleaning your essential oil diffuser? Learn all our tips and tricks for getting a spotless diffuser by clicking below: 

Make it Spotless


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