In simplest terms, a diffuser is a device that converts water and/or oils into a fine mist that is then dispersed into the surrounding air.
So is it a tool or is it a device that promotes better health? The answer is--both.
Several types of diffusers exist, so let’s take a look at the different kinds, how they work, and the benefits and drawbacks of each.
The most common type is the ultrasonic diffuser which can be used simply as a humidifier to add moisture into a dry environment. These are helpful especially in closed heated rooms where the heat system tends to excessively dry out nasal passages.
However, most users of ultrasonic diffusers add essential oils to the water to gain added health benefits.
Positive aspects of ultrasonic diffusers are that they are generally inexpensive and can be used as either basic humidifiers or as essential oil diffusers.
Nebulizing diffusers do not require water and are used to atomize the essential oil particles into the surrounding air.
The result is a more concentrated form of the essential oils being dispersed into the air. Negatives are the higher cost of acquiring the diffusers and the added cost of keeping the device supplied with pure essential oils, as they are not diluted with water.
Evaporative diffusers operate pretty much as their name implies. An absorbent pad inside the diffuser is soaked with essential oil which then evaporates into the air.
Some of these devices are equipped with a small fan to hasten the speed and spread of the evaporative particles into the air.
Though this type of diffuser is usually rather inexpensive, drawbacks are that they are only useful in small spaces and that the absorbent pads for the oil and the batteries for the fan must be periodically replaced.
Heat diffusers use some type of warmth to vaporize the essential oils into the air, the most common and least expensive being those that utilize a small candle to provide the warmth.