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How to Diffuse Essential Oils
Chelsea S. • March 9, 2016

Scent is powerful.

Scent is linked to memory and emotion, which is one of the reasons aromatherapy and essential oils have exploded in popularity over the last few years.

There are numerous ways to take advantage of the benefits of essential oils, but one of the most popular is to diffuse them.

Simply put, diffusion distributes essential oil molecules into the air.

Once in the air, you inhale the molecules and nerves send them directly to the brain.

Diffusing is a quick, easy and safe way to sniff up the benefits of essential oils. Plus, diffusing essential oils is a natural way to freshen a room – no sprays or candles made with synthetic chemical fragrances.

Diffusers can range from simplistic to advanced.

Some methods are inexpensive and can be made at home, while others require a power source.

They all achieve the same general purpose (diffusing essential oils), but with different methods. You should pick the method that best fits your needs.

One final note – although some methods listed here use heat to help distribute the scent of essential oils, many sources caution that heating the oils mutes their benefits. It may be beneficial to invest in a heat-free method.

Ultrasonic Diffusers

Although the price tag on these can be quite high, ultrasonic diffusers are really the best of the best.

Ultrasonic diffusers combine the benefits of humidifiers, atomizers, and diffusers to break down a mixture of water and essential oils into microparticles that are dispersed into the air.

No heat is used, which maintains the integrity of the essential oil.

Ultrasonic diffusers also work quickly, unlike other diffusing methods which can take hours to begin dispersing essential oils into the air.

The Best Ultrasonic Diffusers for Essential Oils

Reed Diffusers

You’ve likely seen reed diffusers before – little jars of scented oils with reeds sticking out of them.

The reeds slowly soak up the liquid in the jar and the essential oils are distributed out the tops of the reeds.

They work more slowly than ultrasonic diffusers but they are an economical option.

To use a reed diffuser, you simply have to mix a few drops of essential oils with a carrier oil or water and a splash of alcohol, then sit back and let the reeds do their work.

Once the reeds are saturated with oil, they’ll no longer diffuse, so you’ll have to replace the reeds every so often.

The Best Reed Diffusers for Essential Oils

Room & Car Diffusers (Using Pads)

This method is a cost-effective way to diffuse, with the caveat that these diffusers use refill pads that you will have to re-purchase.

Add a few drops of essential oils to the pads and plug them into an outlet to use—simple as that.

These kinds of diffusers use low levels of heat to distribute essential oils into the air.

The Best Room & Car Diffusers for Essential Oils

Pendant Diffusers

Possibly the best way to keep essential oils with you all day, every day!

Similar to room diffusers that use pads, many pendant diffusers use pads inside a stylish pendant that you wear around your neck. However, these don’t use heat to distribute essential oils.

Other versions of pendant diffusers use terra cotta instead of pads. The disadvantage to these is that you have to re-apply drops often, but the advantage is that you get to enjoy essential oils wherever you go.

The Best Pendant Diffusers for Essential Oils

Fan Diffusers

Instead of using heat to distribute essential oils, this method uses a fan. Again, these diffusers tend to use pads to hold the essential oils.

As a bonus, a small fan diffuser can be taken with you anywhere.

The Best Fan Diffuser for Essential Oils

  • Aura Cacia Aromatherapy Pocket Diffuser

Candle & Warmer Diffusers

These types of diffusers use heat to gently warm a mix of essential oils and water.

There are numerous versions of this simple type of diffuser, and many of them can be made in your own home.

The Best Candle Diffusers for Essential Oils

What's your favorite way to diffuse essential oils? Do you have any essential oil diffusing tips?