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One of the most common questions among the users of therapeutic essential oils is about which aromatherapy diffuser to choose for essential oils. With so many diffusers for oils on the market, it can get overwhelming trying to figure out the differences and finding the best oil diffuser for you and your needs.

Simply put, no matter which diffuser you pick from our list, they’re good. It really depends on what you are looking for and what features are important to you. Some people only need a simple diffuser, while others have more specific requirements, such as a diffuser for a large room, or are more wary of noise.

Our top picks – Click to read more reviews of individual models

To understand which diffuser for essential oil will serve your needs best, it is wise to look at how to use each diffuser and the unique benefits that it may offer.

Why is there such a big difference in price?

If you’ve been browsing around on our website, you may notice that the prices can be quite different. Some diffusers will cost you a little over $20, while others might set you back hundreds of dollars. Like with most things in life, there’s a reason for the different prices.

Different Brands

Young Living

See our complete reviews and comparisons for Young Living here.


Find out complete reviews and recommendations for doTerra diffusers here.

Different types of oil diffusers

Currently, there are four main categories of diffusers that one can get in the market, and they all have their pros and cons. These are:

  • Nebulizing/Cold Air Diffusers
  • Ultrasonic/Humidifying Diffusers
  • Evaporative Diffusers
  • Heat Diffusers

Nebulizing/ Cold Air Diffuser

A nebulizing diffuser operates very similarly to how a perfume automatizer works. Air is forced into a small tube which pushes the essential oils in a separate tube to rise. As the oil rises, more air is introduced to atomize and break up the oil into microparticles. These new particles continue to rise to the top of the diffuser, and it is blown by a gust of air to create a fine spray. As long as the air blows on top of the tube, the oil continues to be dispensed into the air in the room.


  • Fast acting. It is the best choice for those who do not want to wait too long.
  • It is easy to control. Most models have timers that can be set to dispense for just 15 minutes or less every hour. This means you only use as much oil as you want.
  • It delivers the most complete therapeutic properties of the oils.
  • The essential oil released into the air are concentrated since they do not require any mixing with water.
  • No heat is used and is completely safe.

Ultrasonic or Humidifying Diffusers

This type of oil diffuser works in a manner that is very similar to the nebulizing diffuser by creating a mist of the oil. However, to achieve this, the ultrasonic diffuser uses vibrations produced by a disk placed under the liquid. The vibrations are created by an electronic frequency on the disk.

Since the vibrations produced are very fast, the liquid is quickly broken into micro-particles that are then released as a fine mist into the air. The transformation of the liquid into vapor employs an adiabatic process which does not require any heat. To make it easier for the oil to vaporize, the oil is usually mixed with water.


  • Only needs small amounts of oils and can last for hour
  • Does not change the chemical make-up of the oil through heating
  • The vibrations create a sound like the trickling of water during the operation of the diffuser. This can be very pleasing and soothing to the ears.
  • It is the best type of diffuser for those who wish for smaller amounts of oil in the air within any given period.
  • This diffuser is less expensive that the nebulizer, making it affordable to most people.
  • It also serves as a humidifier which can be useful in cold months.

Evaporative Diffusers

The operation of this type of diffuser is quite basic in that it uses a fan to release the oil into the air. The fan is fitted with a form of pad or filter that has been soaked in the essential oil. As the fan rotates, the oil is released into the air, thereby saturating the room. This quickly spreads the oil’s scent into the room. Some evaporative dispensers simply work by being exposed, and the oil naturally evaporates into the air.


  • Provides a slower more relaxed means of diffusion, for those who wish to take their time during aromatherapy.
  • Best for cars and smaller rooms because of the slower pace in which they release oils.
  • Most diverse. Many evaporative differs come in different models including bracelets, necklaces, or even pens. This makes them very portable and easy to use everywhere.

However, it should be noted, that these diffusers are not as useful in delivering as many of therapeutic properties of essential oils as the other diffusers above.

Heat Diffusers

This is the last and fourth type of diffuser currently available in the market. Their operation process is similar to the one used with evaporative diffusers. However, instead of using a fan, they use heat to achieve the diffusion. You can think of them as an essential oil burner.

Each type of heat diffuser may vary depending on the level of heat that is used to vaporize the oils. While some use very high temperatures, other only need low heat which is enough to release subtle aromas. Many people prefer low heat diffusers to minimize the chance of changing the chemical components of the oils used.


  • Uses the least amount of oil, especially when using low heat diffusers.
  • They are very silent even when in full operation, lowering any chance of distraction, common with other diffusers.
  • Virtually silent, if not completely silent. This means there will be no distractions compared to the other diffusers.
  • The best option for spreading aromas throughout your house or space.
  • Considered the best option for a cheap diffusers because of the low cost

Which type is right for me?

Now you know a little more about how each diffuser works and what to expect from them. While they are different, all four types of diffusers are beneficial for lovers of natural living.

To choose the best oil diffuser and the essential oils to use with it, you may want to consider the specific benefits that you are looking for. Check out our handy infographic below that tells you the main differences between ultrasonic and nebulizing essential oil diffusers.

Benefits of using an Essential Oil Diffuser may include:

  • Better sleep after a hard day of work.
  • Mood elevation as the essential oils soaks into your body
  • The healing properties some oils have in relieving pain
  • Improved cognitive functions for more productive work
  • Fighting sickness by boosting your immune system and the air around you

Don’t forget to check out where you can buy an oil diffuser and what aromas that are right for you (I recommend that you try a few different ones).