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:
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.