How do the essential oil diffusers work? 

Oil diffusers are the craze right now and a few minutes browsing through the benefits of essential oil diffusers reveals why. Oil diffusers are therapeutic thanks to the aromatic properties of the different essential oils added to the water in the diffusers. 

From research and the experiences of others, essential oils help to ward off diseases, boost the immunity, treat and manage respiratory conditions, improve sleep, lower stress, and even reduce snoring. The essential oil diffusers yield these benefits while killing bacteria, mold, and viruses. You might also want to consider essential oil diffusers as they are safer than scented candles or incense. 

With all these benefits, wouldn’t you want to get an essential diffuser at your home? But, before you do, an understanding of oil diffusers.  


Using a Aroma Diffuser with the Essential Oil Jasmine
Essential Oil Diffuser

The essential oil diffusers work by dispersing essential oils into the air. The dispersed oils in the air are inhaled and also absorbed into the body. Also, the emitted oils have pleasant scents which leave the room smelling great, while killing bacteria, viruses, and mold. 

It, is, therefore clear that the main mechanism through which the essential oils reach the body is through diffusion from an area of high concentration to areas of low concentrations.  

To understand how the diffusers work, we have to look at the different types of diffusers on the market. There are four types of oil diffusers, and they all disperse the oils into the air through different mechanisms. 

  1. Ultrasonic oil diffusers.  
  1. Heat diffusers 
  1. Evaporative diffusers 
  1. Nebulizing oil diffusers 

The ultrasonic diffusers disperse the healing essential oils into the air as negative ions. The name ultrasonic comes from the ultrasonic vibrations that break down essential oils into microparticles that can be inhaled and absorbed into the body. 

The microparticles releases are dispersed as a fine mist that is mixed with steam, and the air. 

The ultrasonic diffusers are filled with water, and then the essential oils are added to the water. The oils remain on the surface of the water. 

Through ultrasonic vibrations, the sound waves that vibrate at a low ultrasonic frequency, a frequency that the human ear cannot detect, cause the agitation of the water. The agitation causes the separation of the water particles. The separation makes the water particles negatively charged. Negatively charged particles are less dense than water, and so, the water rise up the diffuser and the particles are seen as mist. 

The essential oils are dispersed into the air with the negatively charged water particles.  

The upside of this dispersion mechanism is that the ultrasonic vibrations don’t create a lot of noise. The diffuser will not interrupt sleeping, working or relaxing.  

The other reason for ultrasonic diffusers is that the essential oil dispersion process doesn’t require any heat – it is adiabatic. Since there is no heat applied, the integrity of the essential oils remains intact. Therefore, you get all the benefits of the essential oils. 

The ultrasonic diffusers are the most common diffusers on the market because you can also use them as humidifiers because the diffuser uses water in its essential oil dispersal process.  

Why Aroma Oil Diffusers?

If you are looking for an oil diffuser to release the purest form of essential oils, then you could get this nebulizing oil diffuser.  

Why is that? Well, the diffuser breaks down the essential oils into atoms by some forces. It uses the Bernoulli’s principle of fluid dynamics.  Air current gets forced through a small tube, and the velocity is increased with the pressure at the exit point reduced.  

The pressure difference creates some suction which causes the upward rising of essential oils. As the oils rise, a stream of pressurized air bits the essential oil causing the atomization of the essential oils into microparticles which fill the glass reservoir. 

In the glass reservoir, the tiny air particles rise, and then they are emitted out of the glass into a waterless mist which is released into the environment. 

All the remaining particles of the essential oil return to the bottom of the diffuser creating a cycle which repeats until all the oil gets used up. 

The nebulizing essential oil diffuser doesn’t use heat or water, but it delivers a concentrated and a pure stream of essential oils. Since the oils dispersed are pure and highly concentrated, the nebulizer is the best choice for aromatherapy. 

It also runs quietly, and it doesn’t make any messes.  

There is a catch though – you have to place the diffuser on a timer to prevent the oils from quickly running out

Essential Oil Diffusers and how the evaporate

Like heat diffusers, the evaporative oil diffusers disperse the essential oils through evaporation. However, the two are different in that the evaporative oil diffusers use a fan that generates wind versus heat for oil to evaporate into the air.  

While the oil in the heat diffuser is on a tray, the oil in an evaporative oil diffuser is in an absorbent material like a wick or a pad. Wind causes the evaporation of the oil in a controlled manner. 


While some diffusers work better than others, it is clear that these diffusers, especially the nebulizing diffusers are suitable for use for aromatherapy. Note that the heat diffusers cause chemical changes in the structure of the essential oils and they may not be the best if you are looking to reap all the benefits of essential oils.

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