When it comes to all natural living, essential oils and essential oil diffusers are tools you simply can’t ignore.
Made using flowers, herbs, fruits, and spices, essential oils harness the essential compounds of each ingredient. Since these oils are widely used in aromatherapy, it’s no surprise that they contain the key perfumes of these ingredients too.
Using Essential Oils
Essential oils are widely used topically in healing salves and massage oils. This is because their compounds can be absorbed through the skin. Since some oils can irritate your skin, it’s important to mix them with a carrier oil such as coconut or almond oil before applying.
Under the guidance of a certified naturopath, it’s also possible to ingest oils by diluting them in a tall glass of water.
Among other things, essential oils can be used to balance out your mood, relieve pain, improve digestion, and promote sleep.
The most popular way, by far, to enjoy oils is by inhaling them.
When inhaled, essential oils are typically combined with water to create a healing mist that is easier for your lung tissue to absorb.
They’re also often present in shower melts and bathroom pendant diffusers.Traditionally, they may also be used thanks to tea light diffusers or reed diffusers. Popular scent options include cold and flu mixes, relaxing oils or energizing combinations.
Nowadays, technology has given us many more options to enjoy these oils.
Best Essential Oil Diffusers
With all these products on the market, how do you know which machine to choose?
Diffusers vs. Nebulizers
These two technologies are by far the most widely available, so which is best?
Essential oil diffusers use vibration and heat to turn a bit of water and oil into an easy-to-breathe mist. As such, it also lightly humidifies the room in which it’s placed. Some also have soothing lighting and the option of intermittent mist release.
Ultrasonic diffusers achieve all of this without heat, which makes it much more popular. Most diffusers also have a built-in light and timer. However, they have to be cleaned and refilled after each use, naturally.
Unlike other diffusers, nebulizers don’t require any water. Instead, a few drops of essential oils are placed inside a small compartment and compressed air transforms the oils into a fine mist (1). Some even have the ability to hold a full bottle’s worth of oil.
Air moves in the nozzle of the nebulizer to create a vacuum that sucks up the essential oils in the reservoir. They then hit the surface of the glass of nebulizer and is released in as a small stream of mist (2). This means that the oils aren’t exposed to any heat at all, which can alter their chemical composition. The machine also doesn’t create any humidity, which can be an upside for some.
Nebulizers are more effective at filling a room than diffusers. Ideally, they should only run for 15 minutes an hour to avoid overwhelming the senses.
Nebulizers aren’t limited to household use: they also come in the form of personal inhalers that are also used to treat asthma and other conditions (3). What’s not to like about that? It can be a huge advantage for people suffering from anxiety disorders or chronic stress as they can have access to their healing oils on the go. However, the air compressor does create a bit of white noise and the machine can be quite expensive, which is a downside to some.
What To Look For
If you’re interested in adding a nebulizer to your home, here are a few things to consider:
- Find something portable: Consider something with a detachable power cord or a rechargeable battery if you travel regularly. You should be able to move it around the house as you please.
- It should be easy to wash: If you’re often using different oils, it’s important to clean your diffuser regularly.
- Area of coverage: compare models to find one that can service your entire bedroom, living room or office.
- Speed: Who wants to wait an hour to smell their favorite oils?
- Automatic power: Your diffuser should automatically turn off when the oil is depleted.
- Intermittent release: choose a nebulizer that can switch between steady release for an hour or so or intermittent release to enjoy your oils as you sleep.
- Materials: Pick a glass nebulizer for better safety and durability of your device.
Curious? All the essential oil technologies mentioned above can be found online, in health food stores, or in specialized homeware shops. Be sure to follow package instructions and use high-quality essential oils for best results.