What is the Best Way to Diffuse Essential Oils? (And What You Need to Know About Choosing Essential Oils)
I've been using essential oils for many years now, and I LOVE them---as long as they are of excellent quality. But did you know I nearly stopped using them when I first learned about essential oils? Yep. I did.
You see, there is a LOT of information out there about what is the best way to use essential oils, not to mention the quality of the essential oils themselves.
I'll bet you agree....
Confusion is NOT a good thing. Right? And especially when you are using powerful substances like essential oils, you want to know you are doing it right.
There are many ways to use your essential oils, and here are some of them:
You can use them topically (on your skin), you can inhale them, you can ingest them (so some people advocate---NOT me), and you can diffuse them in a wide variety of ways. These are the most common ways to use essential oils.
Now, all these methods will work well for different reasons. However, my favorite way to use essential oils is in a diffuser. I've been through MANY diffusers in my time, and I'll be honest: They're not all the same. NOT at all.
On a quick side note: If you’ve ever wondered which essential oils you should keep in your house, you can get me free guide on the top 5 essential oils and how to use them. Just complete the form at the end of this article to get your copy!
FTC and product disclosure: There may be affiliate links scattered throughout this article and if you click through to make any kind of purchase I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils
What is diffusing any way?
When you diffuse an essential oil or blend of essential oils, the molecules from the particular oil(s) enter the air. Then you breathe them in, and they work their wonders on your body and mind! It's really as simple as that.
Essentially, the essential oils are diffused into the air around you, and by breathing in the molecules, you get the health benefits!
However, not all methods of diffusion are created equal. Here is a quick rundown of the most common ways to diffuse essential oils:
This is my own term, by the way, and it just means that you drop a few drops of essential oil on a cloth, tissue, cotton ball, or other porous object and allow the scent to permeate the area. Using essential oil jewelry falls in this category too.
No heat or agitation is involved, and the essential oils naturally evaporate into the air. This method generally only works in very small spaces, in my experience, as in---right next to you.
Some methods of diffusion use a gentle heat source. These include using tea lights or the lighter in your vehicle to diffuse drops of essential oils. There are other heated methods, as well, but these two are the most common.
The bad thing about using heat is the molecules may be altered, potentially affecting their effectiveness. You know, heat damages things, and essential oils are no exception.
Ultrasonic Diffusers, or Evaporative Diffusers:
This type of diffuser uses water as a solvent and provides a cool mist using agitation of the water and essential oil mixture. These work well, as long as you purchase a high quality type. I've purchased inexpensive ones as well as diffusers that cost over $100, and there is definitely a difference in how well the diffuser works---as well as how long it lasts. An ultrasonic diffuser is kind of like a tiny humidifier.
When you inhale the essential oil molecules from this type of diffuser, you are breathing in essential oils that have been mixed into a mist with water vapor.
Although these ultrasonic diffusers are good, there is even one more type I love even more:
Nebulizers are the top of the line in diffusers, in my opinion. I've had a total of three over the years, as they generally run in the range of $100 or more.
Nebulizers do not use water or heat to help release the essential molecules into the air. Instead, they work by agitating the drops of essential oils into a super fine mist that is made up ONLY of the essential oil droplets. This creates quite a concentrated scent of essential oil in the room.
I've found that nebulizers cover a much greater area than the other styles, too. In fact, my upstairs is around 900 square feet, and the one I'm currently using is more than enough for the entire area!
Here's a bit more about my experiences with nebulizers and what to watch out for:
My first one was an el-cheapo, I have to admit. I just didn't want to spend the money on it, so I found one that didn't cost very much. It got gummed up really fast, and quit working within about two months.
I should have paid attention to the Misty Principle, but I didn't and thus, suffered the consequences. I was disappointed to say the least.
The second nebulizer I tried was a little better, but it vibrated like crazy and was LOUD. Like, it sounded like something you'd find in the "Love" Store, lol---NOT a great thing in your living room, or anywhere else in my opinion. It worked well, but I didn't use it very often because of the noise it put out.
My Favorite Nebulizer of ALL Time
This last one I purchased recently is WONDERFUL! I cannot tell you how much I love it! I can't believe the quality, and the price was well within expectations too. This beautiful little machine puts out the mist like a champ, is SUPER quiet, and is also lovely.
I think a nebulizer would make a perfect gift for anyone interested in essential oils and wanting to improve their health. (And I believe in giving gifts to yourself, too! :-)
And if you are going to choose a nebulizer, why not choose a pretty one?
And Just Real Quick: How Do You Know How to Choose a Good Essential Oil Company, Anyway?
Competition in the world of essential oils has become fierce in the past few years, as more and more companies jump on the bandwagon. This is both good and bad.
It’s good because more competition will hopefully spur companies on to create better products with sustainability in mind.
On the other hand, it’s also more difficult for the consumer to determine exactly what IS a good company?
There HAD to be companies out there, I just knew, that would provide a high quality product at a decent price point. Right?
If you get my newsletter, you know that I've been doing research on essential oils, and I have discovered some companies that fit my criteria for essential oils: 1) NOT an MLM; 2) organic options; 3) Kid Safe lines or at least specified; 4) tested by third party companies; and 5) priced reasonably.
Currently (and I will keep updating this article as I discover other great companies), my favorites are Rocky Mountain Oils and Plant Therapy. I happen to be an affiliate for both of them, but I personally purchase their essential oils all the time.
I also love the essential oils from Starwest Botanicals, especially for soap and body products where you have to use a higher quantity than just drops.
The two biggest MLM essential oil companies (DoTerra and Young Living) also have very high quality essential oils, but they are priced rather high, in my opinion. I do purchase from DoTerra occasionally.
Another company I just discovered through my aromatherapy course work is Pompeii Organics. I’m not an affiliate, but they are definitely a good company.
Final Thoughts on Diffusing Plus Choosing, and Using Essential Oils
Back to diffusers: If you are just getting into essential oils, I don't blame you for going for the ultrasonic style diffuser first. That is what most people do, as they are the most common and easy to find, plus they are less expensive.
However, if you are serious about using essential oils for your health, I highly recommend a nebulizer. And after the experiences I've had, I'd further recommend a nebulizer of high quality.
It's difficult to know where to buy your essential oils, how to use them when you are just beginning, and also how to best diffuse them.
Honestly, it takes time, diligence, consistency, and some research, but once you start your essential oil journey, and feel the health benefits, you will never turn back.
And if you are interested in furthering your use and knowledge about natural health alternatives, essential oils definitely deserve your attention.
Hopefully, this article was helpful for you. I know when I first started using essential oils, I was so frustrated I almost gave up because I just didn't have enough accurate information. I also started out with some really poor quality diffusers, to the point I thought they didn’t even work!
At least, I hope this gives you a place to begin your essential oil journey.
Do you have any questions or comments? I'd love to know what you think! Leave your thoughts in the comments section, and I'll be replying!
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
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