portable essential oil diffuser

Picking a Portable Essential Oil Diffuser

A portable essential oil diffuser is the technological advancement that has enhanced the use of essential oils as therapeutic fragrances.


The Practice of Aromatheraphy

The use of aromatics is the precursor to aromatherapy. Dating back to at least 3500 BCE, perfumes and fragrances were used in religious ceremonies, and by healers to affect the outcomes of many ills at the time. Primitive concepts of diffusing scents by soaking porous clay, then letting them naturally spread can be seen as the beginnings of diffusing essential oils.


Aromatherapy, sometimes referred to as essential oil therapy, uses the extracts of plants as a promoter of health and wellbeing. Rather than ingesting medical agents made from the plants, the thought was that as one of the five senses, the olfactory system was recognized as an important factor in delivering healing properties to the body.


The Father of Aromatherapy

Known as the father of aromatherapy, René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French scientist experimented on himself with lavender essential oil after a laboratory burn incident.


His use of antiseptic oils to treat soldiers was part of his work in developing recognition of not only the term, aromatherapy, but also its application to treating mental, and physical diseases with the fragrances of essential oils.


He detailed his theories and conclusions in a book in which the word aromatherapy was first published. His book entitled, Aromathérapie, les huiles essentielles, hormones végétales, is considered in the field to be the foundational tome on the subject.


René-Maurice Gattefossé, used basic diffusion methods to spread the scents of the essential oils. He recognized that diffusion could be increased with heat. His diffusion choices were limited to that which was known, immersion, heat, and boiling water with drops of oil in it. Today many diffusion methods are available to everyone.


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Portable Essential Oil Diffuser: The Various Types



If you are looking for essential oil diffusers to compliment your aromatherapy routine at home, we have listed the different types of aromatherapy essential oil diffusers to know which one is best for you. 

The Personal Pendent Portable Essential Oil Diffuser

Among the more personal aromatherapy diffusers are pendants made of porous terra cotta. Based on the centuries-old processes of diffusion aromatics, a few drops of essential oil are placed on the terra cotta pendent aromatherapy diffuser.


It is then exposed to a passive heat source such as sunlight or the warmth of a nearby fire. The essential oil fragrance will be activated by the heat source and spread throughout the area.


These personal space passive terra cotta diffusers can be used at home, in work areas, and even in cars with a wide range of aromatherapy essential oil diffuser made to hang from rearview mirrors.


Although referred to as a personal diffuser because of their size and shape, some are meant to stand on tables or other flat surfaces. They are also the basis for the next step up in personal aromatherapy diffusers using heat.

best essential oil diffusers

Tea Light Diffuser 

The Tea Light Diffuser is another of the original portable essential oil diffuser . Instead of the roaring cave fire of 3000 BCE surrounded by clay soaked in fragrances, the tea light diffuser ranges from a very personal size to small room size.


These were designed as a small, curved terra cotta tray suspended above a tea light. The tray or reservoir is filled with water with a few drops of the selected essential oil added. The lit candle which also provides a glowing ambience heats the water to disperse the fragrance.


Designed for small personal spaces it begins the aromatherapy debate about diffuser vs humidifier. As the first portable essential oil diffuser designs to use evaporating water, it opened the door to use essential oils in humidifiers that add moisture to the air.

Water Diffusers

The latest water diffusers for medium spaces like a single room are the Ultrasonic diffuser. These wonderfully quiet Ultrasonic Water Diffusers require about 3-4 drops of essential mixed with their approximately three-ounce water capacity.


Ultrasonic vibrations and a cool mist humidifier are used to disperse the essential oils. Most have settings that include constant or intermittent. Based on some of the same concepts as humidifiers their main purpose is to diffuse a fragrance. 

Diffuser vs Humidifier

portable essential oil diffuser

The ultrasonic essential oil diffuser should not be confused with humidifiers. Although some humidifiers can disperse essential oils, it is necessary to read the instructions that come with each model. A diffuser vs humidifier is not a clear comparison.


An ultrasonic diffuser is made to disperse essential oils which are heavier than water. A water-based diffuser can be used without essential oils added and it will add humidity to the room, but it is not a humidifier.


When comparing a diffuser vs humidifier, they are for the most part, not interchangeable devices. The humidifier, designed to release a very fine mist to add humidity to the room air may not be able to disperse the heavier essential oil.


The best comparison of diffuser vs humidifier is how each works. A diffuser uses a nebulizer or fan to spray the water with essential oils directly into the air. A vibrating disk breaks the oil up into smaller particles enabling it to leave the portable essential oil diffuser in the water mist.


Humidifiers for the most part blow water through a filter. Essential oils can damage all the parts of some humidifiers. The filter can be clogged, the fan mechanism can be mucked up and the tank could corrode from the build up of undispersed essential oils.


Manufacturers have recognized that people want to disperse essential oils with their humidified air and have begun to manufacture humidifiers that do just that. Be sure to read the specs and instructions if you want to use a humidifier instead of a diffuser.


The quick tip in the search is look for ultrasonic humidifiers which are most likely to have the ability to diffuse essential oil. Remember that there is a difference between a diffuser vs humidifier, use both according to enclosed instructions. 

Best Essential Oil Diffuser for Large Space

For large offices, waiting rooms, or home spaces the best essential oil diffuser for large space is one with multiple settings. It is not the size of the holding tank that is most significant, it is the settings on the diffuser.


Essential oil diffusers work with various settings such as heavy or strong mist settings that can cover an area of up to 500 feet. Beyond that, you will need to use those that are designed to be the best aromatherapy essential oil diffuser for large spaces with larger reservoirs and multiple release speeds. Multiple diffusers can also be used when equally spread out in a large space.

Portable Essential Oil Diffuser: The Various Types

The earliest method of soaking porous rocks with scents and leaving them around has now advanced to using ultrasonic water-based and nebulizing essential oil diffuser. There is a method to disperse essential oil fragrances safely, easily, and uniformly in every space. From personal space to large spaces, a portable essential oil diffuser is ready for any space.