Nebulizing Diffusers

If you are interested in the therapeutic benefits of inhaling essential oils into your lungs, then nebulizing diffusers are the best choice. This is because nebulizers break up pure essential oil into a fine mist and propel it into the air. These droplets are so fine that they can remain suspended in the air for a few hours and these diffusers can quickly cover a large area. The recommended usage of a nebulizer is to run it for 10 minutes a few times a day. Some units come with timers, while others can be plugged into a timer.


  • No heat is used so the properties of essential oils are not altered
  • Particles are fine enough to remain suspended in the air for a few hours after use
  • Oil particles are undiluted
  • Quickly fills an area with essential oil molecules
  • Is said to “clean” the air of bacteria, viruses and fungi, and one study even found inhibited bacterial growth on surfaces
  • Good method for inhalation of essential oils
  • Highly fragrant


  • Utilizes a pump (like an aquarium pump) so there is a low hum during use
  • Cannot be used with essential oils that have been cut with carrier oils
  • Cannot be used with essential oils that are thick as they will clog the device
  • Oil left for long periods may thicken and clog the device (due to evaporation, essential oils are quite volatile)
  • Requires periodic cleaning
  • Can be costly

Click here to see my favorite nebulizing diffusers

Ultrasonic/Vaporizing Diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusers disperse fine particles of essential oil into the air without heat. These diffusers also release water vapor into the air. Ultrasonic frequencies break up the oil and water into tiny droplets. Because the oil is mixed with water, the amount of essential oil released into the room is less concentrated than with a nebulizing diffuser.


  • Less concentrated than nebulizer (may be an advantage or disadvantage)
  • No heat so properties of essential oils not altered
  • Quieter than nebulizer
  • Some very attractive designs available
  • Price can range from moderate to high
  • Adds moisture to air, which may be an advantage in dry environments
  • May be able to use thicker oils-please check manufacturer’s recommendations


  • Less concentrated oil dispersed in the room
  • Needs to be cleaned regularly
  • Extra moisture released into the air may be disadvantage in wet climates