What are the Best 10 Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils?

What are the Best 10 Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils?

It hasn’t been that long since I was first introduced to essential oils, but I’ve been hooked almost from day one.

Smelling is most directly linked to our primal brain. You probably recognize this: you get somewhere, it smells of something familiar, and immediately all kinds of memories from the past come back.

There are several ways you can use essential oils, but my favorite is diffusion. And yes, you can diffuse essential oil without having an ‘official’ diffuser.

In this article, I’ll tell you 10 ways to diffuse essential oils. By the way, only organic, non-GMO essential oils are good enough for me. There are too many counterfeits on the market.

I also pay attention to the packaging. A plastic bottle poses too much risk of plastic particles in the oil and contributes to the already too large mountain of plastic waste.

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Why is it important to buy good quality?

Lavender field

Did you know that there is more lavender essential oil for sale than is possible on the basis of the lavender that actually grows?

1 liter of essential lavender oil contains 100 to 200 kilos of flowering lavender. So you understand that a bottle of oil for a few euros at the supermarket can hardly be natural lavender, let alone organic.

Also, invest in a good quality diffuser once you are sure you want one. Try other ways to diffuse the essential oil first, if you aren’t certain yet.

Related: The Risk of using Artificial Fragrances and a Better Way to Smell Nice

10 Ways to diffuse essential oils

Direct inhalation of essential oils

Direct inhalation from the hands

The easiest method is to put a few drops in your non-dominant palm, gently rub 3 times with the other palm, hold your hands in front of your nose, and inhale. Start slow, with 1 drop, and if you respond well to that, increase the number of drops to 3.

The nice thing about essential oil is that it is not greasy, like regular oil. When I use tea tree oil, I rub my hands after inhaling on my chest to clean them without worrying about staining my clothes.

Direct inhalation from paper or textile

Moisten a tissue, paper towel, cotton pad, or handkerchief with 1 to 3 drops and hold it close to your nose.

It also works well to apply drops to your pillowcase before going to sleep.

Rub in the pure essential oil

You can apply it directly under your nose or if the scent is too strong for you, on your hands or wrists.

Essential oil is very concentrated, so I would like to point out again that you should start slowly with 1 drop. Most people (and pets too) respond well to essential oil, but some are allergic to it. You want to notice that in time.

Massage a mix of carrier oil and essential oil

An essential oil can be mixed very well with so-called carrier oils. Use vegetable oil for this, such as olive oil or sunflower oil. Most brands of essential oils have a suitable special oil of their own.


Terracotta ornament

Unglazed small pots or ornaments absorb the essential oil and slowly release it into the room.

The fragrance will be more subtle than with either of the other methods. Not only because the diffusing process is slow, but also because we quickly get used to scents and then don’t notice them anymore.

Place or hang the terracotta form on the windowsill or somewhere in a draft to promote spreading the fragrance.

Diffusing with a fan

Put a few drops on a textile hand fan. Tie a cotton ball moistened with a few drops to the ceiling fan or a wall fan. Or hang a terracotta ornament in front of a fan.

Spray with an atomizer

Ultrasonic Bamboo Diffuser

Mix your favorite essential oil with some water and use an atomizer to spray the fragrance into your room or kitchen. The diffusing of essential oil is ideal to expel cooking smells.

Aroma lamp

Some aroma lamps work with a tea light, others use electric light. They all have a platform above the candle or lamp on which you have to pour some essential oil.

To be honest, it surprises me that every brand of essential oil recommends this method and offers different models because essential oil loses its qualities due to heating.

Humidifier or vaporizer

This method also evaporates by heating, so I have the same doubts as with the aroma lamp. However, a humidifier is ideal for maintaining humidity, so if you use it for that, you can add a few drops of essential oil for the scent.

Even though essential oil loses some of its qualities when heated, it is never dangerous to warm it. Unless you use low or artificial quality.

Ultrasonic diffuser

These diffusers use sound of a frequency that is too high for our human ears to hear and produce a fine mist. They are available running on electricity, batteries, or USB.

You can use tap water to fill the diffuser and let the drops seep in, but filtered water may be better depending on where you live.

Due to the wide choice of models, a diffuser can be used at home, but also in the car or when traveling.

Related: Natural Organic Essential Oils and How to Use Them

Tips to choose the right diffuser for essential oils

USB Diffuser
  • What power supply do you want? An electricity plug, batteries, USB connection, or a car charger (12V plug) for motor home or caravan;
  • Where are you going to use a diffuser? If it’s in the car you will choose a different size from one you are putting on a dedicated spot in the house;
  • In a smaller one, it is easier to switch fragrances, yet it has to be refilled more often;
  • Is the diffuser easy to clean?
  • Are different time settings available? Since we get used to scents very quickly, it is best to interrupt the diffusion time regularly;
  • Does it switch off when the reservoir is empty?
  • Will the diffuser produce noise?
  • Do you want a light with it? The models with light usually have different colors of light that you can either choose separately or in a sequence.

The best ways to diffuse essential oils

I myself have 2 preferences from these 10 ways to diffuse essential oils: inhaling from my hands and an ultrasonic diffuser. But you see, we are all different, so maybe you have or develop a different preference.

Fragrances and essential oils are healing. Aromatherapy is often used today. And diffusers can play an important role in this. So why not get a diffuser today and let the wonders of essential oils comfort you.

Which method of diffusing do you like most? Let us know in the comment box below.

8 thoughts on “What are the Best 10 Ways to Diffuse Essential Oils?”

  1. Thank you Hannie for an interesting article. I’m a big fan of essential oils as I do believe they have great effect not only on health but also on mood. I had no idea that there are so many ways to diffuse them. Of course, I knew a few of them but ultrasonic diffuser is something completely new for me. It looks very promising, and I’m looking forward to testing it in practice.

    • Thanks, Cogito, marvelous that you are also a fan of essential oils.
      Yes, it truly is amazing there are so many ways to diffuse them, yet, I have discovered that once I start listing and organize things, it almost always turns out to deliver much greater lists than I expected on forehand. πŸ™‚

      An ultrasonic diffuser is great to have. I use mine in my room for health purposes but at times I put it in the kitchen because it removes cooking smells in no time.

      It is remarkable how often I now see one on the counter in a shop. The store owners have clearly discovered the benefits as well!

  2. Essential oils are great for influencing our moods as you have said.
    Our senses have memories and this makes it easy for us to slip into a relaxed state or an alert state quickly and easily when taking a whiff of our favorite oils.

    I have not used a diffuser before but can understand the benefits of getting one. Thanks for the list of questions that we can ask ourselves first to ensure that we buy a diffuser that will be suitable for our requirements.

    Have a great day πŸ™‚

    • Marvelous that you love essential oils and know the benefits too, Andrew. They indeed bring back memories very easily.

      It’s good there are many more ways to diffuse essential oils. A diffuser, and especially a quality one, makes it easier. That is true. I use inhaling the oils from my hands just as often as the diffuser. The advantage of inhaling from my hands is that I can change the bottles super easily. Where the diffuser has the same scent for quite some hours. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your reaction, and you have a great day too.

  3. I use an ultrasonic diffuser that I got as a birthday gift, I can’t imagine living without one now. It’s compact, easy to fill and the mist leaves no trace on the furniture or on the floor. Not a fan of aroma lamps.

    • That’s great, Laura. Yes, the ultrasonic diffusers are fantastic. I use mine every day as well. πŸ™‚ And like you, I don’t like the aroma lamps either. Apart from the fact that it’s not good for the oil to heat it, for some reason, I don’t like the smells it gives.

      Thanks for your comment and take care.

  4. Hi Hannie, That is an article after my heart. I love essential oils, and I love to do it the same way you do it, rubbing in my hands or pulse and an ultrasonic diffuser. Also, I use it for my washing in the washing machine and my cosmetics, using a carrier oil, or butter, like shea butter. It is certainly the better perfume because it is healthy. However, we need to be aware that essential oils are powerful and have a strong effect. Have you ever tried to put a drop of oil into your hands and rub it carefully through your hands? It smells gorgeous! I love the roses and use them for my hair and skin. Rose oil is outstanding for dry, mature skin.
    People can heal themselves using the right essential oils.
    Thank you for your beautiful article! Maybe you would like to write about skincare and essential oils. πŸ™‚

    • Marvelous, Sylvia, it’s great you also use essential oils so much. I have never heard of shea butter, but I saw in the info it’s vegetable. Do you only use it for cosmetics?

      So far, the only articles I wrote about skincare are the ones about coconut oil and the one about tea tree essential oil: What are the Uses of Tea Tree Essential Oil and its Magnificent Benefits.

      I hardly use anything for cosmetical purposes, making it harder to write something sensible about it. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for your comment and stay healthy.


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