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What is a Diffuser [Beginner’s Guide]

What is a Diffuser [Beginner’s Guide]

A question that many aromatherapy enthusiasts ask is, "What is a diffuser?" A diffuser is an appliance used to disperse essential oils into the air, allowing users to reap their therapeutic benefits. Over the years, diffusers have grown in popularity, becoming an essential tool for enjoying the benefits of aromatherapy.

In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the world of diffusers, exploring what they are and how to use them. We will also cover the different types available, why you might want one, and the potential health benefits associated with using a diffuser.

What is a Diffuser?

In short, a diffuser is an appliance that disperses essential oils into the air. It works by dispersing tiny droplets of oil into the air, which evaporates quickly and can fill a room with the desired aroma. A diffuser's main function is to maximize the benefits of essential oils, as larger droplets don't evaporate quickly and can affect the intensity of the aroma.

Most times, a diffuser might be mistaken for an air freshener, but they're quite different. Air fresheners contain synthetic fragrances and chemicals that can cause skin and respiratory irritation, whereas diffusers mostly use natural essential oils for therapeutic benefits.

Unlike an air freshener, a diffuser looks more like an appliance, usually taking the form of an electronic device that is plugged into a wall outlet. However, some have been known to resemble small art pieces.

Diffuser Types Infographic

Uses of Diffusers and Common Misconceptions

Diffusers are primarily used in aromatherapy, which is the practice of using essential oils for therapeutic benefits. Diffusing essential oils can help improve your mental and physical wellness by reducing stress and improving sleep, among other things.

One common misconception is that diffusers can be used to improve air quality. This isn't entirely true, as diffusers are primarily used to disperse essential oils into the air, not to remove pollutants. There are separate devices designed specifically for air purification.

Diffuser Usage

Benefits of Diffusers

In this section, we will discuss the benefits of using a diffuser:


Relaxation and Stress Relief

We all experience stress, and many turn to essential oils for relief. Studies have shown that aromatherapy can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine. 

Cortisol is a hormone that our body releases in response to stress and other triggers, like anger. By diffusing essential oils with calming properties, like lavender or chamomile, you can reduce your cortisol levels and help manage your stress levels.

Improved Concentration and Focus

Whether you're studying for an exam or trying to stay alert at work, diffusing essential oils like peppermint can help improve concentration and focus. Research has shown that the scent of peppermint can reduce fatigue and increase alertness and mental performance.

Better Sleep Quality

Diffusing relaxing essential oils in a bedroom before going to sleep can help support a good night's rest. Essential oils like lavender, chamomile, and valerian are known for their calming properties and ability to induce relaxation.

Diffusers for Good Sleep

How Does a Diffuser Work?

Types of Diffusers

Diffusers are generally classified into four categories: nebulizing, heat, evaporative and ultrasonic diffusers.

Nebulizing Diffuser

A nebulizing diffuser uses a small, powerful motor to create a mist of essential oils that disperses throughout the room. It works by forcing the oil through a narrow tube at high pressure, causing it to break down into an ultra-fine mist and disperse into the air.

Nebulizing diffusers do not humidify because water is not used. As a result, these diffusers are generally smaller than ultrasonic diffusers. The main advantage of using a nebulizing diffuser is that it disperses essential oils much faster and at a higher concentration than an ultrasonic diffuser. Therefore, nebulizers are usually not in use as long as ultrasonic diffusers.

Ultrasonic Diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusers work by breaking up essential oils into tiny micro-particles and dispersing them into the air. This is done by using a diaphragm that vibrates at an ultrasonic frequency, creating a mist of microscopic droplets. The mist created by ultrasonic diffusers is usually much finer than nebulizing diffusers, and this type of device also requires the use of water, which helps add humidity to a room. Most ultrasonic diffusers are also equipped with intermittent or continuous modes, allowing you to control the length of time your oils will be dispersed.

Evaporative Diffusers

Evaporative diffusers use a fan to disperse essential oils into the air. These diffusers work by blowing air over a pad or filter that's been saturated with essential oil. The resulting mist of tiny particles is then released into the surrounding area, providing quick relief from stress and other ailments. Evaporative diffusers tend to be less expensive than other types and are best used in smaller spaces.

Heat Diffusers

A heat diffuser is a device that slowly evaporates essential oils using heating elements, spreading the fragrance in your room. To start the evaporation process, the essential oils are put in a tray near the heat source. The diffuser is then heated either by electricity or a candle, which in turn heats the tray and causes the essential oil to evaporate.

Heat diffusers are cost-effective and energy-efficient, so you don't need to worry about a significant rise in your electricity bill. Moreover, it operates quietly, and you will only notice the pleasant scent that gradually fills your room.

Heat diffusers are also great for essential oil blending, as the slow heating process helps bring out the aroma of each oil. Additionally, they are safer than other diffusers since there is no risk of heat-related damage to essential oils.

Types of Diffusers

How to Use a Diffuser

Using a diffuser is a great way to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of essential oils in your home or office. Here are step-by-step instructions for using a diffuser:

  1. Start by adding water to the diffuser reservoir, following the manufacturer's instructions (usually around 100ml). Make sure that you do not overfill the reservoir.
  1. Add several drops of essential oil, or a blend of oils, to the water (5-10 drops). You can experiment and increase or decrease this amount depending on the size of your space and the desired intensity of the scent.
  1. Turn on the diffuser and adjust any settings, such as time duration or mist intensity.
  1. Enjoy the therapeutic aromas of your favorite essential oils in your home!
Lelior Scents


Using an essential oil diffuser is an effective way to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of essential oils in your home or office. There are several types of diffusers available, so it's important to understand each one and how they work before selecting the best type for you. Once you have chosen the right diffuser, using it is quite simple. All you have to do is add water and essential oils, turn it on, and enjoy the therapeutic aromas!

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Drops Of Oil Should You Put In An Oil Diffuser?

A common question when beginning a diffuser session is how much essential oil to use. The answer is subjective and ultimately up to personal preference. It is suggested to use 5-10 drops of a single oil or 2-3 drops for each oil when combining multiple oils for a blend. Through experience, you will discover a suitable amount for your diffusing preferences.

Are Diffusers Safe?

Yes, diffusers are generally safe to use. However, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and not overfill the reservoir with essential oils. Also, always ensure your diffuser is kept away from small children and pets.

What Does A Diffuser Really Do?

A diffuser is a device used to disperse essential oils into the air. The essential oils are broken down into tiny particles that enter the air, providing therapeutic benefits and an amazing aroma to areas in which they are used.

What Are The Benefits of Essential Oil Diffusers?

Essential oil diffusers can have many benefits, such as creating a relaxed atmosphere, improving air quality, boosting your mood and energy levels, improving sleep patterns, and reducing stress and anxiety levels. They can also potentially help to reduce the effects of allergies or asthma.

How Do Diffusers Work?

How does a diffuser work? Essential oil diffusers work by dispersing essential oils into the air. The essential oil is broken down into tiny molecules, which enter the air and provide therapeutic benefits to those nearby. Depending on the type of diffuser, this is accomplished either through evaporation or heating elements.

Can Diffusers Make You Sick?

No, diffusers are generally safe to use. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions and not overfill the reservoir with essential oils.

Is It Ok To Sleep With A Diffuser On?

Yes, it is generally safe to sleep with a diffuser on. However, some people may find the scent of essential oils too strong or distracting during sleep. It's best to experiment with different oils and adjust the settings on your diffuser to find a balance between achieving therapeutic benefits and having a restful night's sleep.

What Are Some Tips For Using A Diffuser?

Here are a few tips to get the most out of your essential oil diffuser:

  • Start with only a few drops of essential oil and adjust as needed.
  • Consider investing in multiple diffusers for different rooms or areas in your home.
  • Keep the room ventilated when using a heat-based diffuser.
  • Clean your diffuser between uses to prevent any build-up of essential oil residue.
  • Use high-quality oils for the best results.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions for use and maintenance.

Do Diffusers Make Your House Smell Good?

Yes, diffusers can make your house smell good. Depending on the type of essential oil used and the strength of the diffuser's settings, they can provide an uplifting aroma to any room.

Can You Use A Diffuser Without Oil?

No, diffusers cannot be used without essential oils. They are designed to disperse the essential oils in order to provide therapeutic benefits and a pleasant scent. Without essential oils, the diffuser will not work properly.

Make Your Space Smell Good

Enhance your home, office, or living space with irresistible luxury fragrances from Lelior. Experience the power of scent with top-of-the-line diffusers, fragrance oils, room sprays, and more. Our hand-made products are paraben-free, cruelty-free, and made of all-natural ingredients. If you have any questions regarding finding the right scent or scent system, feel free to write us at info@lelior.com.

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