Essential Oil Burner vs Diffuser

essential oils

In this article we’re going to go over some of the differences between an essential oil burner and an essential oil diffuser. Most people who use essential oils for their therapeutic benefits will be looking for an essential oil diffuser. This is because diffusers will disperse the oil into the air without using any heat. A burner on the other hand almost always uses a candle usually a tea light to heat up the oil. Once it’s heated up it diffuses it’s scent throughout the room, just like a candle. For those looking for therapeutic benefits from essential oils, this can be a big turn-off. Any time you heat an essential oil you risk damaging the molecules in it. If you’re looking for the therapeutic benefits from essential oils, you want the oil undamaged as it diffuses into the air.

Essential oil burners are still great for adding an interesting ambience to your room. They look really nice and the soft lighting from the candles are perfect for dark corners that might not get enough light. Essential oil burners that use tea lights are great because you don’t need to plug them into the wall. You can easily set them on a higher shelf or cabinet that is out of the reach of pets or children.

The links below are great examples of essential oil burners. The first one is a minimalist design with a 100 ml capacity for your essential oils. The oil dish is removable which makes cleaning very easy. Alternatively, you can check out the second essential oil burner that is constructed from a single piece.

These links will take you directly to the product listing on Amazon.

Singeek 100ML Ceramic Tea Light Holder, Essential Oil Burner

Ivenf Ceramic Tea Light Holder, Aromatherapy Essential Oil Burner

When you were using an essential oil burner it is possible to customize the smell that you want the oils to add to your room. Since you can use varying amounts of different kinds of essential oils the possibilities are endless. Essential oil gift sets come in packages that have anywhere from 6 to 24 different essential oils. If you wanted to you could even combine them in a way that reflected the season outdoors. For example you could look for things like nutmeg and cinnamon to use in fall and maybe a lighter, fruit scent for spring and summer.

Custom Scents

Essential oil diffusers also have the same options when it comes to customizing the oils that you use. The main difference is that they do not heat the oils in order to diffuse them into the air. If you have an ultrasonic diffuser it will combine the oil with water and add a silent vibration to that mixture. That causes the mixture to turn into a mist and disperse into it room. This is exactly the same way a cool mist humidifier works. There are also essential oil diffusers that work the same way nebulizers do. They compress air and use that compressed air to turn the oil into a mist. This way you don’t need to dilute the oils with water.

Essential Oil Burner vs Diffuser

The other main difference between essential oil diffusers as an entire category and essential oil burners is that you need to plug an essential oil diffuser into the wall. While this might not be a huge inconvenience it is something to consider.

These links will take you directly to the product listing on Amazon.

Singeek 100ML Ceramic Tea Light Holder, Essential Oil Burner

Ivenf Ceramic Tea Light Holder, Aromatherapy Essential Oil Burner

Wax Warmer vs Oil Diffuser

essential oils

Aromatherapy can improve quality of life, especially for people who suffer from chronic health conditions.

While aromatherapy takes shape in many different ways, some of the most prominent ways are through massage therapy and at-home oil or wax warmers.

However, you don’t even have to really practice aromatherapy itself to reap the benefits of warming deliciously-scented wax or diffusing oils.

A nice wax warmer or oil diffuser in your home will do just the trick. Here’s everything you need to know in order to find out which one is best for you and how to choose the right one.

The Differences Between Wax Warmers and Oil Diffusers

This might come as a surprise, but wax warmers aren’t the same as oil diffusers. They both allow aromas to fill whatever room or space they’re in, but they do so in different ways.

What Are Wax Warmers?

The name is pretty self-explanatory here, just as it is for oil diffusers, but the actual function can still be confusing to some people.

Wax warmers use a candle or a lightbulb to heat candle wax. You’ll often find that there is a dish somewhere on top of the warmer and a bulb below it.

You simply put a little cube of wax melts into the dish and let the bulb heat it until it releases the aroma.

Typically, electric wax warmers are safer as they use a bulb to heat the wax. This means no open flame!

If you have children or pets or simply don’t want the potential safety hazard of an open flame in your home, then a wax warmer is the way to go.

Depending on the kind of warmer you have, it might include a decorate LED light under the warmer plate that adds to the design and overall aesthetic.

You can, however, opt for a warmer with a candle. While it might be a little more dangerous, you don’t waste energy by plugging it in to warm the wax.

Other benefits include the fact that you don’t have to worry about looking for an outlet or about the unsightly nature of a cord.

When to Choose an Electric vs. Candle Wax Warmer

As mentioned, there are pros and cons to each. The decision really comes down to your personal preferences.

You can use the same kind of wax for each, so if you even want to switch back and forth between the two, you can!

The main difference is the heating method.

Electric wax warmers heat via a bulb. You need to plug the warmer in for it to work.

Candle wax warmers heat via the flame from the candle. You won’t need to plug anything in, which gives you a little more flexibility regarding where you’ll place the warmer and where the aroma can diffuse.

There aren’t conclusive studies that show one or the other is better regarding air pollution.

Depending on the brand that you choose and the kind of wax you are melting, you might notice a difference in intensity of smell, which can cause adverse side effects in people.

However, that doesn’t really depend on whether or not you choose an electric or candle wax warmer.

What Are Oil Diffusers?

Oil diffusers use oil instead of wax! While that might seem obvious, it’s important to know why that makes a difference.

Essential oils tend to have more therapeutic benefits than wax, which is often why people might prefer them. The aromas don’t really change, but the method of diffusing the scents do.

There are, for example, two different types of oil diffuser:

  • Nebulizer: These use compressed air to break essential oils into tiny pieces. These tiny little particles then get released out into the air in the form of a soft mist.
  • Cool Mist Humidifier: These use essential oils mixed with water. Ultrasonic vibration turns the water and oil into a mist that diffuses into the air.

Pretty cool, right?

Because neither of these diffusers uses heat, it often means that the aroma is more concentrated. It also means that there’s no risk of accident or injury due to an open flame or hot wax!

It’s also important to note that even though oil diffusers use a more complex process to diffuse aromas, most of them work silently. This means that you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of essential oils in peace.

When to Choose an Essential Oil Nebulizer vs. Cool Mist Humidifier

Like wax warmers, you have a choice! However, unlike wax warmers, there isn’t that much of a difference between oil diffuser types.

A good essential oil nebulizer should have a few key features. Our top choice is the Nebulizer Diffuser for Essential Oil Aromatherapy by Two Scents. Some key features include:

  • Rechargeable Battery: This one works up to 50 hours on one charge
  • Durability: This diffuser from Two Scents doesn’t use glass like other nebulizers
  • Leak Prevention: If you happen to tip the diffuser over, the entire diffuser turns off to prevent leaks
  • Wide Coverage Area: Enjoy aromas within a radius of up to 650 square feet
  • Adjustable Output: You need to be able to adjust the intensity of your essential oil aromas and you can with this diffuser

Essential oil nebulizers have one leg up over other oil diffusers in one area. Because they don’t use water, it means that you’re diffusing pure concentrated oils.

This results in a more intense aroma and higher quality benefits from the essential oils themselves.

If, however, you’re more into cool mist humidifiers, then you’ll likely feel that way because of one main benefit: it doubles up as a humidifier!

If you live in a colder area or experience really cool, dry winters, then a cool mist humidifier can be a great option for you as it humidifies the room while diffusing essential oils.

This can help with indoor air quality and ensure that you’re enjoying the healing benefits of different types of essential oils while purifying your air, too.

Which One Wins: Wax Warmers or Oil Diffusers?

Again, it really comes down to your personal preferences! It’s important to understand that the biggest difference is the fact that wax warmers use wax and oil diffusers use essential oils.

You can use essential oils with wax warmers, but it requires that you mix coconut oil or some other similar substance to get the right consistency.

This means that it’s possible to use essential oils with wax warmers, but it will require you to do just a little extra work than what you would have to do if you were to use a diffuser.

If you’re still on the fence, then here are a few things to consider about each one.

Why Use a Wax Warmer

Scented wax melts and warmers are great if you are looking for the aesthetic of a candle but also want to enjoy the aromatherapy benefits that come with heating the wax itself.

High-quality wax melts are key when it comes to getting the most out of these aromas. Opt for a brand that provides you with non-toxic and safe wax melts.

This will ensure that the aromas you are breathing in are safe for your whole family, and you can even enjoy other benefits as some brands have essential oil-infused melts.

You’ll want to opt for wax warmer if you like to change scents frequently. Because you’re not dealing with potentially messy oils, they’re easier to change than diffusers.

It’s also easier to gauge the amount you need. Wax melts tend to come in small little cubes. All you have to do is pop a cube onto the warming plate and let it melt.

This convenience might be a good reason to choose a warmer over an oil diffuser.

Some fans of wax melt also note that it’s easier to customize your scent by mixing waxes. Vanilla and espresso can create a tasty latte aroma, for example, while you can mix pumpkin, vanilla, and sandalwood together for a fall spiced pie scent.

Why Use an Oil Diffuser

Oil diffusers are better suited for larger spaces. Nebulizers especially are great for larger apartments, offices, or bigger spaces.

In fact, most models of nebulizers can diffuse essential oil aromas up to 1,000 feet. This is often why they’re more expensive than wax warmers and even cold mist humidifiers.

You should opt for an oil diffuser of any kid if you’re looking to get more therapeutic benefits out of your aromatherapy.

While wax warmers also tend to gain more attention for their stylish nature and variety of designs, oil diffusers are becoming more stylish each year!

The standard teardrop-shaped diffusers now feature a variety of LED light colors, which can add to the unique, calming effect of the oils themselves.

While you might be able to mix more varieties of wax melts together for unique scents, there are plenty of mixtures and concoctions available when it comes to diffusing essential oils as well.

Combine white fir, cypress, and evergreen for a man cave scent or wild orange, cinnamon, and ginger for a fall spice aroma perfect for autumn afternoons.

Not only that, but these mixtures all have some therapeutic benefits. It’s not just about a great aroma when it comes to oil diffusers!

Fans of both nebulizers and cool mist humidifiers tend to note that the natural mixtures of essential oils often smell better than that of wax candles or warmers.

Why? Because you’re not heating or burning anything, therefore you get a stronger, more natural smell.

Choosing the Right Wax Warmer

Okay, so you’ve decided that a wax warmer is better for you. Great! Now it’s time to choose the right brand and style.

Consider the following:

  • Do you have small children or pets in the home?
  • Are you more concerned about style and design or about functionality?
  • Are you worried about the smoke that comes from using a candle?
  • Do you need variety with your scents?

If you are more concerned about safety, then it’s best to go with an electric wax warmer. These don’t have open flames and will pose less of a safety risk than candle wax warmers.

If you would like more variety, then you’ll want to focus more on the actual brand.

Scentsy, in general, is known for being one of the best brands when it comes to wax warmers. ScentSationals is another great brand that we trust and tends to offer a wider variety of themes and styles.

Both kinds of warmers come in plenty of different styles, sizes, and designs. So, when it comes to making the decision in those areas it comes down to individual warmers and which style you like best!

Choosing the Right Oil Diffuser

Choosing the right oil diffuser comes down to two things. Are you trying to diffuse the aroma in a large space, and do you need the added benefits of air humidifying?

If you are looking to purify and humidify your air, then you’ll definitely want to look for a cool mist humidifier oil diffuser.

Brands that serve this particular model really well include URPOWER and Exqline. They both make some of the best cool mist essential oil diffusers on the market today.

Two Scents is the brand you’ll want to go with if you want an essential oil nebulizer.

Remember, these are better for people who don’t want their essential oils to come in contact with plastic and for people who don’t need to diffuse oils in an extremely large area.

Great models of essential oil nebulizers that we have tried and love include:

Organic Aromas Aromatherapy Diffuser

Nebulizing Diffuser for Essential Oil Aromatherapy by Two Scents

Sofia Waterless Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser

ArtNaturals Aromatherapy Essential Oils 8 Pack

Getting the Most Out of Your Aromas

Using wax warmers and oil diffusers are a great way to indulge a bit in aromatherapy. Choosing the right one will ensure that you get the most out of your scents.

Wax warmers are stylish and great for people who want to mix various scents together to create unique aromas.

Essential oil diffusers are great for people who want the added therapeutic benefits of essential oils and for those who need to diffuse aromas in a larger space.

The ultimate decision is yours, but if you need more help, take a look at all of our articles on essential oils to find out more about each kind of scent and diffuser.

Essential Oil Nebulizer vs Diffuser

essential oils

People use essential oils for a variety of reasons like relief from cold and flu symptoms and relaxing before they fall asleep. There are also a number of ways to infuse the air in your space with your essential oil of choice. Here in this article we write compare the differences and similarities between using a nebulizer or a diffuser. Toward the end of the article we highlight important reasons an ultrasonic diffuser is a better choice than a warm mist diffuser.


Nebulizers use a few different methods to get oils suspended in the air so they can more easily diffuse into the room. The majority of nebulizers designed for use with essential oils use air pumps to turn essential oils into a mist. This process is called atomization.

While the nebulizer is compressing the air, some people will notice a buzzing or humming sound. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s statement and see how noisy you should expect the air compressor to be. Almost all manufacturers will advertise silent or nearly silent operation. We recommend checking the comments section to make sure that matches what users are experiencing.

Diffusers on the other hand, are almost entirely silent. There may be the occasional sound of water moving through the appliance but this is rare. This is because diffusers suspend the essential oil in water and then agitate the water the same way humidifiers do. The next section of this article explains this in more detail.

We have included a search bar in the ad below to help you find relevant products based on the content of this page.


Since nebulizers do not use water to get their essential oils into the air, they will not change the humidity. Diffusers always use water to help move essential oils into the surrounding air. If you plan to use essential oils in your home during the winter or live in a dry climate a diffuser is the best choice you can make. On the other hand, if you are already using a dehumidifier or live in a humid climate an essential oil nebulizer makes the most sense for you.

Ultrasonic vs Warm Mist Diffuser

Warm mist diffusers heat the water in order to turn it into a mist while an ultrasonic diffuser uses tiny, unobtrusive vibrations to produce mist. This is an important difference to be aware of because some essential oils are very sensitive to heat. Warm mist humidifiers have the potential to alter the essential oils and reduce the benefits you were expecting.

Nebulizers do not heat the oil during the atomization process. Keeping the oils at room temperature ensures that their physical and chemical properties will remain unchanged by heat. To compare methods for using essential oils it is only fair to match ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizers. Warm mist diffusers may not be appropriate for all types of essential oils. However, some oils have high tolerances to heat and this is not an issue.

Essential Oil Nebulizer vs Diffuser

Further reading and other comparisons

Check out our other article here where we do an in depth comparison between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers.

Humidifier vs Essential Oil Diffuser

essential oils

This article covers information about the similarities and differences between humidifiers and essential oil diffusers. Let’s get to it!

Common Features

Humidifiers and essential oil diffusers are designed to positively impact air quality.

Both types of appliances add humidity to the air which has a host of benefits. Properly humidified air helps keep airways moisturized and comfortable, cuts down on dry and cracked skin, and even helps protect wooden furniture and home fixtures.

While humidifiers add plain water, diffusers spice it up with essential oils. These oils can add some relaxing aromas to the air. You might notice diffusers anywhere from waiting rooms to yoga studios.

The main feature humidifiers and essential oil diffusers share is the ability to add moisture to the air.

Essential Oil Diffusers vs Humidifiers – the Differences

We listed out a few benefits to adding moisture to the air but didn’t say much about the benefits of essential oils. Besides having great smells, there is tentative research indicating their antibiotic properties.

One main difference between essential oil diffusers and humidifiers is their size. Diffusers are available in very small sizes, some as small as 300 mL, or 10 fluid ounces.

A big upside to this small size is the space it saves. One of our favorite essential oil diffusers actually fits in the 300 mL category. The VicTsing Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser is one of the most popular diffusers on the market today. It has an appealing woodgrain finish and accent LEDs with a variety of color options.

If you’re looking for a more budget friendly version then check out the Inno Gear Diffuser. It also comes in two different woodgrain finishes. However, most people go with the white version that allows you to change the colors with integrated LEDs.

One of the more novel essential oil diffusers on the market today is the Pure Enrichment PureGlow Crystal. It combines an essential oil diffuser with a Himalayan salt lamp. I know this might sound like Dr. Frankenstein’s first attempt at interior design but it really does have a streamlined appearance.


Humidifiers are little appliances that turn warm water into vapor. This vapor gently fills up any room and helps to add moisture to the air. Like essential oil diffusers, humidifiers come in many different styles as well. Smaller humidifiers are great for filling up small spaces like baby rooms and bathrooms. Larger humidifiers are available on the market and they do a great job of adding moisture in the air of much larger spaces.

Benefits of Humidifiers

The benefits of a humidifier differ from those of an essential air diffuser because of one big reason. Humidifiers are generally not designed to be used with essential oils. So while you will still get benefits, you will not be able to customize them the same way that you would with an essential oil diffuser. Here are some benefits that you will see with a humidifier:

  • Relieve congestion – Humidifiers add water to the air that works to combat that dryness that can cause congestion. This is similar to how taking a warm shower helps with congestion. Adding much needed moisture to help loosen mucus and restore your airways.
  • Heals dry skin – Sometimes in the colder months it seems that no matter how much lotion you use, there is no cure for dry skin. The main cause of this is the very low moisture levels in the air. Cold air is not able to hold as much absolute humidity, which is different from relative humidity. The exact details of the physics go beyond the scope of this article. If you are looking for a very technical read, check out this article.
  • Prevents nosebleeds – The same dry air that cracks your skin can cause nose bleeds. Sometimes dry air gives people nosebleeds because the capillaries inside your nose are very close to the surface of the skin. Once this skin cracks it is very common for it to bleed for a short time.

Drawbacks of Humidifiers

Here we list out some of the downsides to owning and operating a humidifier. Try not to worry though, we provide the best solution to each of these problems so you can have a great experience with your humidifier.


  • Poorly made humidifiers, especially cheap ultrasonic humidifiers, can make a lot of noise
    • Solution: Look for highly recommended humidifiers. We carefully select the humidifiers we recommend. There is no reason to settle for a noisy humidifier.
  • They require regular maintenance to reduce the build up of mineral deposits.
    • Solution: If you want to avoid the regular cleaning as much as possible then use distilled or filtered water in your humidifier. These types of water have little to no mineral content.
  • The vast majority of humidifiers are not compatible with essential oils. Using oils in them can actually cause damage.
    • Solution: If using essential oils is important to you then look for a high capacity essential oil diffuser with a large water reservoir. Alternatively, check out our reviews of humidifier diffuser combos.
  • They can accumulate bacteria and viruses in thir reservoirs if not properly maintained.
    • Solution: Check out the next section!

Essential Oil Diffusers

Essential oil diffusers serve many different purposes, but mainly they are meant to distribute essential oils into the air.

By using gentle heat and steam, essential oil diffusers work to slowly fill your room with natural scents. The warm air that circulates will not only be rich in fragrance, it will also help to add moisture to the air which helps to combat the dryness.
essential oils
There are a couple different styles of essential oil diffusers available on the market today. From heat sourced diffusers to evaporative diffusers, the science and benefits are still the same. The biggest feature difference is that one generates cool air stream while the other mists a warm oil steam. You can choose which works best for you based on what type of experience you want.

Benefits of Essential Oil Diffusers

The most appealing thing about an essential oil diffuser is all of the benefits you can get out of one product. Here are some of the top reasons why people prefer to use an oil diffuser in their home:


  • Better for sleep – By combining an air diffuser with calming essential oils like lavender, some people notice they fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  • Easier breathing – Using an essential oil diffuser can help reduce inflammation which can cause congestion. For treating congestion, essential oil users often turn to eucalyptus or camphor oil for their diffusers.
  • Keeps the room smelling fresh – In colder weather it may not be practical to open the windows depending on where you live. This lack of air circulation can leave certain rooms a little stuffy and stale.
  • Enhances the mood of the room – While you are waiting for the weather to warm up you can stay comfortable with the pleasant scents of your favorite essential oil.
  • They often come with LEDs that can change colors to add to the décor and vibe of the room.

Downsides of Essential Oil Diffusers

Here we list some aspects of diffusers that may be undesirable depending on what you want to use them for


  • Diffusers come with the added cost of essential oils.
  • Some models do not have the option to turn off the LED which can be too bright to use at night. We help you sort through this and recommend models that have this option.
  • Generally, they have smaller water reservoirs than regular humidifiers.
  • The wrong diffuser can be very noisy with an annoying humming noise.

Try not to be discouraged by this list of cons though! We carefully curate the essential oil diffusers we recommend to make sure you buy exactly what you are looking for.

If you decide to use an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, you will also have the added benefits of properly humidified air. Earlier we talked about the way ultrasonic diffusers dilute essential oils in their water tank before turning the mixture into a mist. This mist lets the diffuser add water to the air the same way a cool mist humidifier does.


We covered a ton of information in this article! There were several product recommendations and a lot of advice on what to look for if you want to do some of your own research. The rest of this article is a set of links comparing essential oil diffusers to a list of other appliances like nebulizers and oil burners that influence the air quality and comfort of your space.