Top 2 Nebulizing Diffusers for Aromatherapy

Welcome to the wonderful world of diffusers! It is a fantastic way to expose yourself and your family to the healing properties of essential oils. It is also a HUGE step up from our parents’ favorite, the old Glade plug-ins.

When I first started my essential oil journey, I thought I would buy a diffuser along with the standard peppermint, lemon, lavender combo, and be on my merry, essential oiling way.

Then I got on Amazon.

So. Many. Choices.

It was confusing, frustrating, and a bit daunting for something that was supposed to be so healing for me.

In this article, you will learn about the differences between the nebulizing diffuser and the ultrasonic diffuser, how they work, and hopefully some guidance on what diffuser is best for you.

I will also touch on some of the top-selling diffusers, where you should put your diffuser in your home, and the possibility of making your own diffuser.

What is a nebulizing diffuser?

As I was piecing together my definition of a nebulizing diffuser, Chad Pegura from Organic Aromas already invented that wheel for me. He defines the nebulizing diffuser as:

“A nebulizing diffuser works as a perfume atomizer. A small air pump blows air across a small tube, creating a powerful vacuum that pulls the essential oil from the bottom of the tube to the top in a fine spray. Nebulizing diffusers also have airflow controls that allow you to determine the amount of essential oil released into the air.”

Unlike an ultrasonic diffuser, a nebulizing diffuser does not use water. It uses straight essential oils meaning you are getting a more concentrated exposure to the healing properties of the oil(s) that you are using. That is a massive benefit of the nebulizing diffuser.

The downside to that is, if you are planning on using the diffuser all day, you will need to set a timer to make sure it does not run out of oil. Running your nebulizer dry could potentially damage the device.

How do ultrasonic diffusers work?

Ultrasonic diffusers are quite different than nebulizing diffusers. These diffusers require a tank to hold the water needed for the oils to be dispersed by the vibrations created in the base by the motor.

Ultrasonic diffusers are convenient as most of them have a timer you can set and let it run anywhere from four to ten hours. With that said, there are a couple of downfalls to these diffusers.

To start, you are using water to dilute the essential oil, therefore, weakening its healing properties. These diffusers also require more maintenance since water and plastic are involved. You’re looking at the possibility of mold and fungus being diffused into the air if you are not on top of keeping it clean.

Don’t get me wrong; I still use an ultrasonic diffuser for my son or myself, mainly if we are sick. Also, we want something running all night without having to get up and refill it in the middle of the night. When I run a high-quality oil like Young Living or doTERRA in an ultrasonic diffuser with the door closed, I still experience a noticeable difference in health and feel better in the morning.

I am mindful to keep it clean, using 90% rubbing alcohol to get the “glued” oil off the base and to keep it mold-free. It also does help me stretch out my oils when I’m down to my last few drops and need to make it stretch!

Difference Between an Ultrasonic and Nebulizing Diffuser

The differences between the two are this: the ultrasonic diffuser uses water and less oil. They typically come with timers so you can set it and forget it. Like a crockpot for your essential oils.

You will need to clean it to keep it free from mold, fungi, and bacteria. If you don’t feel that your oils are “working,” remember that when you are using water, you are diluting the essential oils. Therefore weakening its healing properties.

Another thing to remember with the ultrasonic diffuser is, it is putting not just the essential oil aroma into the air but moisture as well. If allergies are something you struggle with within your home, you may want to consider a nebulizer if you are trying to keep the humidity to a minimum.

On a personal note, I live in a modest house with my son and two dogs. When we are sick or when there is an allergy flare-up, I will run an ultrasonic in my room, his room, and in the living room at the same time. I am reasonably sensitive to the climate in the air, and I do not experience a noticeable humidity increase.

The nebulizing diffuser uses zero water requiring less maintenance but does require you to use more oils. You will need to set your timer to add more oil when it runs dry. The neat thing about the nebulizer is you are getting the full healing properties of your essential oils. Additionally, with most models, you can control the amount of oil that is distributed into the air.

Medical Nebulizers

If you choose to continue to Google, you will likely run across some medical nebulizers. These are typically reserved for distributing medications for asthma, chest infections, and other respiratory conditions. These nebulizers come with a mask that is strapped to the face for maximum inhalation of the medicine. It is NOT recommended to use essential oils in these masks and should be reserved for medical intervention, instruction, and use.

Heat Diffuser

You may also run across a heat diffuser. I have not tried nor do I recommend this diffuser due to the simple fact that heat ruins oils. It changes their chemical compositions, and they lose their healing properties as the heat breaks down the elements into a useless blend.

Lastly, there are also evaporative diffusers which I do not recommend. These diffusers literally and purposefully evaporate your oils.

How to Best Use Diffusers

Using a diffuser is not the most challenging thing you will ever accomplish by far. However, a few minutes of forethought is helpful so you can fully enjoy the benefits of your oils!

Perfect Placement

Location is everything. Most diffusers do not cover more than a 300-600 square foot area. Be sure to check the coverage area stated by the manufacturer before purchasing so you know what you are getting. Of course, your HVAC unit will pull some of the aromas to the other rooms in the house, not enough to pull maximum healing properties along with it.

So, pick a spot! Like I mentioned before, I have three diffusers in a relatively modest house. Mind you, I am annoyingly sensitive to smells, and with a young man and two dogs in the house, I am always running the diffusers.

A substantial majority of people choose the kitchen to help with neutralizing garlic or fish smells as well as it is a popular gathering place in most people’s homes. If you have a smaller kitchen or it is a higher than usual traffic area, consider somewhere else where it may not be as likely to get knocked over.

Young Man Sitting Relaxing On The Couch Y2Gdla6 1024X683 1 - Nebulizing Diffusers

This exact situation has happened to me, so this is why I chose the living room.

The living room is one of my favorite places as my diffuser is aesthetically pleasing and is an extension of my kitchen. I have it on the entertainment bureau in the corner. It is inconspicuous enough and out of the way.

My advice is to put it where you spend the most time. Be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight, and off of any devices that generate heat such as a cable box, television, or stereo. High temperatures can change the properties and aromas of your oils, so keep it cool.

Cleaning the Machines

When using either the ultrasonic diffuser or the nebulizing diffuser, it is recommended you keep them both clean and free of “oil gunk” by using 90% rubbing alcohol.

It depends on how your specific diffuser opens up but with the three different brands I have used, I take a cotton makeup round, wet it with the rubbing alcohol (not soaking wet), and wipe out the base and the rest of the inside of the tank.

You may need to use a cotton swab if you have a nebulizing diffuser as you will need it to clean the tubing.

Precautions for Nebulizers

Also, when using a nebulizing diffuser, it is important not to use any blended oils that contain a carrier oil, even if it’s fractionated. These diffusers are meant to handle the composition of pure essential oils only. You will run the risk of damaging or permanently breaking your diffuser should you run a carrier oil in the system.

How Much Essential Oil Do I Use?

This question feels like the “what’s for dinner?” question of the essential oil world. And the answer isn’t so black and white.

If you are new to the essential oil world, start with just two drops. This is also a good idea if you have small children or the elderly in the home as they can be more sensitive to new smells.

Also, start with a gentle, single oil like lemon or lavender to test the waters.

If you are comfortable with using oils, go ahead and try five. You will see as you read on, I go a little heavy on the drops. This is my personal preference, and it is what my family tolerates and enjoys.

It is different for everyone, so start with a little and move into your newfound hobby.

The next thing to consider is, are you using a nebulizer or an ultrasonic diffuser? You will need less oil more frequently with a nebulizer, and you will need water if you are using an ultrasonic.

With the ultrasonic diffuser requiring water, you will want to fill to the line suggested by the manufacturer. As well as, take note in the instructions if you can use tap water or if distilled is required and follow the instructions. Furthermore, note to see if the directions give a temperature.

I have had one diffuser manufacturer requiring cool water, another room temperature but have had two requiring warm water. So again, be sure to read the instructions on the specific brand of diffuser you choose to purchase.

It really depends on you. How strong of a scent do you want? Is there an oil you prefer more of than the other?

It really depends on you. How strong of a scent do you want? Is there an oil you prefer more than the other?

It will also depend on what oil you are using; how many you are blending, and if you are using a nebulizer or an ultrasonic diffuser. My general rule of thumb is no more than 10-12 drops total if I am blending and using my ultrasonic diffuser. If I am using some of my favorite single oils like lavender, peppermint, lemon, frankincense, or rose, I only use five to six drops

If I am blending my daily go-to of lavender, lemon, and peppermint, I will use three to four drops of each. Then I usually add an extra drop or two of peppermint if I am particularly stuffy.

Top Nebulizing Diffusers

The Aromatherapy Therapy Diffuser by Solum Lux Vitis [3] is a professional grade diffuser with a hand-blown, glass nebulizer, real wood for the base, no LED lights, as well a 900 sq. ft radius and a four-hour timer. Clearly an updated version of the older or less expensive nebulizing diffusers!

The InnoGear 200ml [4] is one of the ultrasonic machines that I have used daily for the last three years and is one of the top-rated diffusers on Amazon. As a former teacher, I was on a strict budget but needed something practical and inexpensive for my classroom. At only $23, I couldn’t resist, and I haven’t had a problem with it ever. Also, it has LED lights, four different timer settings, and is one of the quietest of the diffusers that I have purchased.

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is defined as “the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind, and spirit. It seeks to unify physiological, psychological, and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process.”

What that fancy definition is saying is that if you are already using essential oils to help with your energy or healing, you are practicing the art of aromatherapy!

Whether you choose the ultrasonic diffuser or the nebulizing diffuser, it will be like having your own aromatherapist in your house at all times.

You get to pick and choose which oils to diffuse and in what combination based on the way you are feeling at the moment. That is the most personalized way to honor yourself and your body.

The combinations of oils that you can blend and diffuse is infinite. The best part about this is you get to discover what works for you. What makes you feel better? What smells turn you off? What didn’t seem to help at all?

When you ask yourself all of these questions, you are getting to know yourself better than you did before. So much of life is figuring out what we want through discovering what works for us and more importantly, what we know does not work for us.

One of my favorite go-to blends that I may have mentioned once or five times is lavender, lemon, and peppermint. This blend works amazingly well at night preparing for sleep, helping with breathing when sick and calming allergies.

To be honest, this is what I run in my diffuser every day, all day. My house always smells like a spa, and it keeps my son’s allergies down to a minimum, and if I run it in his room, he has no allergy issues at all.

Is it possible to make a DIY electric essential oil diffuser?

In short, yes. Anything is possible. When I researched how to make an electric oil diffuser, I came across several DIY instructions that make it possible. This would be a great science fair project for your kiddos, but I am not sold on leaving a DIY diffuser on while I am away from the house or asleep at night.

To encourage science exploration here is one of the links I found for you to create your own. Please use caution as you are dealing with electricity and never attempt without the supervision of an adult.

Now, if we take the electricity out of the equation, this opens the door for several different kinds of DIY diffusers.

What Works Best for You

Regardless of the type of diffuser you use, the fact that you are using one to better your health and the health of your home is commendable. A twenty-dollar diffuser beats 20 dollars in plugs-ins, air fresheners, and other artificial sprays in a heartbeat. Not to mention the fact you still have a diffuser long after the grocery store scents have dried up and been thrown away.

A diffuser is a way to keep your home smelling amazing, a unique support system to your health, and far easier on the planet than always throwing away packaging from the short-lived, artificial scents.

Whichever you choose, I hope it is the right fit for you and your home. If you’re anything like me, over time, you will end up with both, going back and forth depending on what feels right for you.

Happy diffusing friends!

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