Image Name Essential Oil Vaporizers vs Diffusers: Which Should I Choose?

Essential Oil Vaporizers vs Diffusers: Which Should I Choose?

When it comes to reaping the benefits of our favorite essential oils don’t you want to it’s nice to know which devices will serve our needs the best. The reason why it is called aromatherapy is due to the fact that a great many benefits that come with our essential oils are given to us through the aroma, which is the scent.

So, a lot of times, the best way to enjoy your oils is to smell them. This can be done in several ways, two of them being either through diffusion or vaporization. So, let’s put them up against each other and find out, essential oil vaporizers vs diffusers, which fits your needs the most?

Essential Oil Vaporizer & Diffuser Comparison



  • Moisturizes the air
  • Vape pens are convenient and easy
  • Vaporizer/Diffusers bring the best of both to one device
  • Some come with fun lighting options
  • Some come with interval timing options
  • Works with essential oils
  • Comes in several types
  • Breaks down essential oils for inhalation
  • Can work as humidifier depending on the type
  • Helps bring many of the benefits of aromatherapy to the breather
  • Comes in many shapes and styles
  • Not enough research has been done on vape pens
  • Vaporizers that boil water are dangerous
  • Vaporizers that boil water may harm essential oils
  • Unsafe to use around certain pets
  • Some may not moisten the air



A diffuser on a wooden table surrounded with flowers, compress stamps, and small crystal balls; at the back is a blurred image of a young woman's leg

Diffusers are devices in the world of aromatherapy that serve as a vehicle for us to inhale our favorite essential oils. There are many ways these scents can be diffused, but the general idea is pretty much the same. The compounds in the oils move through the air and we inhale them, eventually relaxing, focusing, or deodorizing the room, depending on the oil you choose to diffuse.

Types Of Diffusers

Generally, diffusers fall under one of these four main categories.


Terracotta diffuser in white background

This type of diffuser is exactly what it sounds like, the oils evaporate and then move through the atmosphere to your olfactory organs. Several items fall under this category and some of them are more obvious than you might think. They include cotton balls, facial tissues, handkerchiefs, reeds sitting in an oil filled bottle, and a terracotta mold that hangs on the wall.


Burner Diffuser with candle inside in white background

There are terracotta rings that you soak in oil and placed on a light bulb. This is just one example of a diffuser that uses heat as a means to get the oil molecules in the air. There is a controversy over heating up oils and whether or not it alters their chemical compounds and ultimately ruining its benefits.


ASAKUKI 500 ml Premium Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser in white background

You may recognize this type of diffuser. It has a water reservoir that has a small metal disk at the bottom. You fill it with water, add some of your anxiety-relieving oils for your meditation room, and then you plug it in and choose a setting. This popular type of diffuser utilizes sound waves to break up the water and the oils into a cool mist for inhalation.


Cold diffuser in white background

This type is considered one of the best ways to diffuse your essential oils because it doesn’t require any water nor heat. That way, the molecules that are broken up are true, unadulterated essential oils and their benefits. These are typically made of glass and wood, and it works when pressurized air creates a vacuum that breaks the oils into a mist for inhalation.

Benefits Of A Diffuser

Each essential oil comes with its own unique set of benefits via aromatherapy. Some of them ease anxiety by balancing cortisol, the stress hormone. Others help us focus and stop letting our minds wander. Some oils lift you up, others help you sleep, some get rid of foul odors, and others clear your stuffy nose.

There are three ways in which one can use essential oils: inhalation, topical use, and ingestion. Of those three avenues, inhaling is arguably the most popular choice among aromatherapy fans, probably because they smell so good.

Concerns About Diffusers

Child breathing the mist from a humidifier

There are guidelines for diffusing essential oils, as there is with most things in life. It’s important that you read the directions and follow the instructions given with your product. In general, it is recommended to diffuse no more than thirty minutes per interval and to make sure you don’t diffuse for a few hours in between.

If you suffer from a respiratory issue, are pregnant, nursing, or have any serious health issue, you consult a healthcare professional before diffusing any oils. Some pets like cats, dogs, birds, and reptiles do not react well to certain oils so, again, research the oil before diffusing around them or do it in a room they don’t have access to. This goes for children too.


vaporizer, 2 bottles of oil in dark wooden background

Next, we have a machine that has the same idea in mind as the diffuser. In fact, there are times where it merges with the ultrasonic diffusers, which we will cover closer in a moment. A vaporizer is a machine that boils water to the point of mist and ejects it, moisturizing the air. But it’s also a pen that oils are heated from and inhaled.

Vaporizers are also one of the many options in multifunctional devices. Let’s take a look at them all.

Vaporizer Pens

pen-vaporizer in white background

This type of device works as an e-cigarette or a vape pen used for oils. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. There is a compartment where the essential oils are kept, and underneath is a device that heats the oils and creates a mist, which you then inhale. It seems that men and women both love to vape, and using essential oils are just another way you can reap its benefits.

Heat Vaporizer

warm-mist-humidifier in white background

This is also known as a “warm-mist humidifier.” Water is heated to boiling, and the mist is dispersed in the air. These oils are typically not used in this type of vaporizer because the heat might alter the composition of the oils and diminish their aromatic benefits. Plus, this type of device is not safe to use around children because the water is boiling and can cause a severe burn.

Multifunctional Devices

AKASUKI diffuser in white background

There are machines on the market that work in an all-in-one kind of way. Like this model by ASAKUKI, there are devices that diffuse, humidify, and vaporize at the same time. Ultrasonic technology is typically the power source behind these cool mist machines, and they come in all sizes with dozens of setting options and lighting schemes.

Benefits Of Vaporizing

Vaporizing essential oils via a vape pen is a simple easy way to reap the many benefits of the oil. For example, you can take a few puffs of an anti-anxiety blend and feel a bit relaxed. This is the intention of the vaporizing pen.

I personally think you might miss out on the great smell but benefits are benefits. Heat vaporizers will add moisture to the room as well as those multifunctional devices. The latter will bring ease to your anxiety and focus when you feel cloudy.

Cautions of Vaporizing

Close up humidifier releasing mist

The jury is still out on the effects of vaping essential oils via a pen brings. Heat vaporizers that boil water are dangerous because one might get burned, and the method might alter your favorite scents. As for the multifunctional devices, they have the same cautions as the diffusers we listed above. Stick with intervals that don’t last longer than 30 minutes.


No matter how you get the oils into the air for inhaling, we know that we love to smell our oils. When it comes to these two channels that we can choose between, it all depends on the needs you are looking to fill and the benefits you are looking to reap. Both diffusers and vaporizers can get the job done, but some of them come with greater risks than others.

It’s good to know what the options are so that you can make an educated decision about what is best for you and your loved ones. If you diffuse or use a vaporizer, we would love to hear your opinion. Leave us a few lines in the comment section below.

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