An aromatherapy diffuser is a popular way of using aromatherapy. However, there are several different types of diffusers on the market, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. And there are also some safety considerations for diffusing essential oils, depending upon where you are diffusing essential oils and who is present.

This article is a quick introduction to the most popular types of diffusers, some of the issues associated with them, and you’ll find a few easy recipes to try at the end, formulated by a certified aromatherapist.

Basic Aromatherapy Diffusers

Not so long ago, the most basic type of aromatherapy diffuser was a candle diffuser.

These types of diffusers consisted of ceramic type trays/holders, with a space underneath to place a small tealight candle. You filled the top tray up with water and added a few drops of your favorite essential oil. The heat from the candle warmed up the water and diffused the aroma of the essential oils into the room.

There were a few problems with this type of diffuser.

The tray often ran dry of water and burned up the essential oils. Oils and water don’t naturally mix so the essential oils tended to sit on top of the water. And there was also the safety aspect of an open flame, especially if you had pets or little ones in your home.

You can still find these types of aromatherapy diffusers – like this one available on Amazon.

I recommend purchasing one of the more common electric aromatherapy diffusers if you want to use it for more therapeutic purposes vs. aesthetic purposes.

Ultrasonic Electric Aromatherapy Diffusers

An ultrasonic electric aromatherapy diffuser is probably the safest type of diffuser available. You add the essential oils (or the essential oil blend) to a glass container.

Each type differs, so refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific details on how to do this. Once you switch it on, the diffuser pushes out all of the different-sized essential oil molecules into the air.

Some electric diffusers have lights as well to add to the ambience. You can also set a time for the diffuser to run, so that you don’t forget about it, or set it for a certain time to fall asleep to.

Nebulizing Aromatherapy Diffusers

A nebulizing aromatherapy diffuser is probably the “premium” of aromatherapy diffusers and is most favored by clinical aromatherapists for therapeutic use.

This type of diffuser turns the essential oil molecules into micro-sized units, unlike the standard electric diffuser.

It forces air into the essential oils, through an air pump. The result is a fine vapor mist of micro-sized molecules. The essential oil blend is dispersed more readily into the air and it is advantageous for conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, coughs and colds.  

This premium diffuser is really sylish and would look great when diffusing or not.

Aromatherapy Diffusers On-the-go

Some aromatherapy diffusers are portable and small enough to take with you on-the-go. Their effectiveness might be limited (when compared to a nebulizing diffuser, for example) but it is worth giving them a try, especially if you are always moving around.


A traditional plug-in car diffuser works from the cigarette lighter outlet. Add a couple of drops of your chosen essential oil to one of the pads (supplied with the diffuser) and plug it into the outlet to diffuse the essential oils.

Another type of car diffuser is the “cupholder” diffuser. Essentially, this is a portable size diffuser that fits into the cupholder of your car and acts much like a mini version of a regular diffuser. It is powered by the socket in your car.

Caution: Do not diffuse relaxing essential oil blends while driving which may cause sleepiness or impair judgment.

In addition, take into consideration your passengers – especially babies, children, pets, pregnant women, and/or seniors – and do not diffuse contra-indicated essential oils around them.


There are many different types of jewelry pendants, necklaces, and bracelets which incorporate some type of aromatherapy “diffusion.” Many include a small disc or bead that is used to “disperse” the essential oils.

Jewelry designers are getting more creative in how to add an aromatherapy element to their pieces, so check each one out, ask questions, and make sure you know how it works before purchasing it.


Diffusing aromatherapy via your computer uses the same type of technology that is used through USB ports in cars.

Simply plug in the USB to disperse the essential oil aroma. The design of the diffuser to disperse the essential oils varies.

Where To Use Aromatherapy Diffusers

Aromatherapy diffusers can be used in many places. These are some of the most popular places in which aromatherapy diffusers are used. Make sure to check the cautions section which follows as well:

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