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How Essential Oil Diffusers Work

How essential oil diffusers work - Oil Diffuser Shop

Essential oil diffusers work by dissolving essential oils into the air to be inhaled and enjoyed. As an added benefit, most essential oils also create a pleasant smell when used in a diffuser.

There are four commonly sold models of essential oil diffusers that use different mechanisms to break down the oils and distribute them into the air.

1. Evaporative (Wind/fan)
2. Ultrasonic (Ultrasonic vibration)
3. Nebuliser (Force/atomisation)
4. Heat (Heat)


Evaporative diffusers use a fan to evaporate the oils, which are usually held on an oil wick or filters to allow the air to pass through. This style of diffuser can be more effective in a larger space. As they don’t use heat, they are suitable for all temperatures.


Ultrasonic diffusers make use of ultrasonic vibrations to break down the essential oils into microparticles, allowing the oil to be dispersed as a very fine mist, mixed with steam, into the air. These are very quiet devices and well suited to environments such as offices where noise may be a distraction. Again, as they don’t use heat, they are suitable for all temperatures, including air-conditioned spaces.


Nebulisers break down the oils by force, spraying them out as an extremely fine mist. This makes them ideal for oils that are intended to be inhaled directly as they produce a very strong and concentrated form of oil mist.


A heat diffuser heats the essential oils until they evaporate into the air. These can be a great option in the cooler months but some customers find that the extra heat given off can become an issue in the warmer Australian climate. They can range from traditional designs such as simple pots heated with tea lights to more complex modern diffusers. This style of diffuser is best suited to heavier oils.

Depending on the essential oils you intend to use and the environment you intend to use them in, different oil diffusers may be appropriate for your needs. If you would like some advice on the best oil diffuser for you, please contact us for more information.