One of most popular ways to enjoy essential oil is by scenting the air, using an aroma diffuser. But how do you select an aroma diffuser that is suitable for your needs?
As a daily essential oil user and a researcher in the field of aromatherapy technology, I have used most types of aroma diffusers. I have summarised my experience and research results from interviews with other aroma users in this blog post:
1. Evaporative Diffuser
Examples of this type of diffuser are reed diffusers (as illustrated), or diffusers that use scented beads. This is the most hands-off diffuser available because you do not have to do anything, just leave it to nature to evaporate the delicious aroma into the air.
However, most evaporative diffusers need extra materials such as the reed or beads, which influence oil purity and in some cases may interact with the essential oil chemistry. Some reed diffusers also add extra chemicals onto the oils, so that the aroma can travel up the reed sticks more quickly. Without the help of fan or sufficient air flow, it is hard for aroma from evaporative diffuser to spread in your room.
2. Heat Diffuser
Examples of this type are burning diffusers that come in pretty glass containers, or candle diffusers that heat up essential oil. While heat diffusers are very popular in spas, partly because of the warm glowing light, they are in my opinion the most dangerous type of aroma diffuser. Dangerous because it involves open fire, and the heat also changes the molecular makeup of essential oil. Essential oils are very delicate, and in the pure form they have many benefits for the human body and mind. However, with heat, the delicate intricate molecules get destroyed. These diffusers may smell nice, but they really waste the goodness of essential oil.
3. Humidifying/Ultrasonic Diffuser
Ultrasonic diffusers use water as medium for the essential oil, and you can spot them in most electronic/lifestyle shops from their distinctive cool mist. Some of them even come with speakers and mood light. Ultrasonic diffusers add humidity into the air, making them the perfect choice for dry regions or constant users of air conditioning. However, this added humidity can also cause problems starting from moldy furniture, wet stains and clammy feeling especially for regions with humidity. This type of diffuser also needs frequent water refill and cleaning. With the high volume of water needed to diffuse essential oil, usually ultrasonic diffusers have a larger size, and can spill easily.
4. Nebulizing Diffuser
Nebulizing diffusers pump air to blow and transform the essential oil into fine vapor. It does not require water or heat, allowing nebulizing diffusers to preserve the purity of essential oil. This diffuser is perfect for frequent users of aroma, or people who want to benefit from the therapeutic properties essential oils, beyond the nice smell. The drawback of this diffuser is that it has somewhat more noise than other diffusers, which may bother some in a quiet bedroom, but otherwise would be barely noticeable.
As a strong believer of therapeutic effects of aromatherapy, I believe that the benfits come from the intricate molecular makeup of essential oils, directly extracted from nature. Preserving purity of essential oil is my top priority, which is why nebulzing diffusion is my preferred way of diffusing essential oil.
As for my brand Aromeo's smart aroma diffusers, we selected the nebulizing diffusion method to be the basis of our technology, to come together with flexible manual and app control. But knowing that other types of diffusers are more suitable for some users, such as ultrasonic type for dry regions/weather, we plan to keep designing innovative new solutions by giving a twist to users' favorite technologies. Stay tuned!
About the Author
Hi! I'm Michelle, founder of Miscato Limited (Aromeo Diffuser), a wellness technology company. I'm from Indonesia and currently living in Hong Kong. Contact me any time for topics related to wellness, personal care and mental health. I'm always interested to exchange ideas and meet new people :)