Now, I wouldn’t say that I have a chronic sleeping disorder, but I have had my days of ups and downs and when stress hits, I do not get much quality sleep. And not having enough sleep is a major blow to my productivity the next day. So, I’ve started searching for all sorts of solutions including medication, music, aromatherapy, exercises, food and beverage, heck, even a new pillow, you name it, I’ve tried it.
One of the most expensive investments that I have had to put in in order to get a good night’s sleep is having the right essential oil. When I was much younger and had less financial freedom, I have got my hands on all sorts of cheap essential oils. But as time goes, I started buying better essential oils and for all of you who have been on the same quest searching for the quality stuff, you know what I mean when I said that they were a pretty heavy investment *wink* They are literally liquid gold!
And with good essential oils, come the next set of investment – and that is getting the right diffuser so that the oil can do its job – whether it is to make you happy, or make you calm and relax, and finally drifting off into a good night’s sleep.
I started by getting an ultrasonic aroma diffuser which also acted as a humidifier. It required water to be added in order for it to function. I thought it was the best, as it does not require the burning of any candles, therefore fewer safety hazards. It worked like a charm, I slept like a baby, and the evaporated water kept my skin hydrated in the air-conditioned room. But one day, me being a klutz all my life, I accidentally knocked it over and it somersaulted to the floor. Yup, you guessed it, water was everywhere!
Then I started thinking, surely there must be another type of diffuser that does not involve any burning nor water! I mean, technology would have made it possible, right? So thus began my journey into the realm of nebulizer diffusers. What a nebulizer diffuser does is that it breaks down the essential oil particles and release the atoms into the air, without changing its original chemical structure or composition. Compare that to the ultrasonic diffuser that I have already owned – the essential oils were diluted when it is mixed with water.
The atomised essential oil that are released by the nebulizer diffuser are small enough to be absorbed by the body and lungs almost immediately, thus providing a better healing effect compared to the ultrasonic diffuser, where the essential oils are released through evaporation together with the water, which all it does, really, is to give a fresh aromatic scent to the environment that you are in.
So I’ve gotten my hands onto a brand new set of nebulizer diffuser recently to test it out. After doing all my homework about it, I know those nebulizer diffusers are all made of glass, well at least the top part of it, so I was quite worried about it being broken in transit. But thank goodness the packaging was good and everything arrived intact.
I opened and laid all the components of the device on the table and noticed that it was made up of only 4 parts. Simple enough for a bimbo like me to figure out how to put it together without referring to the operation manual. The package contained:
- Wooden base
- Glass hemisphere
- Atomisation nozzle cap
- Power cord
The entire underside of the base was fixed with non-slip rubber material, unlike my tall ultrasonic diffuser which only had 3 little rubber studs. The weight of the wooden base gives a very firm and solid foundation to what would be a fragile glass hemisphere sitting on top.
I am not sure if the glass hemisphere is handmade as it was not stated anywhere on the packaging, but it was solid enough to hold without having to worry that a strong grip is going to shatter it into a million pieces. It was probably built with the end in mind, knowing that one would need to exert a tiny bit of force to push the glass sphere into its wooden base, and also take it out for cleaning and maintenance later.
The little round atomisation nozzle cap was not in a perfectly round shape, and I had to turn it around a little to find the right angle to slot it into the nozzle, but it was no rocket science really. I later found out that they actually highlighted this in the manual. I set it up really quickly and then referred to the manual on how much essential oil to fill. The instruction on the manual says to pour 10 – 15 drops of essential oil into the glass hemisphere.
Now that’s when a wee bit of challenge comes in. There would not be such a challenge if you own an oil dropper. But, I do not have one. All the essential oil bottles that I have, comes with a tiny flat white plastic at the opening that controls the amount of oil coming out of the bottle. I never had an issue with the ultrasonic diffuser as I have always just tilt the bottle, give it a light, controlled tap, and I can count the number of drops that go into the “water tank” of the diffuser as the surface of the tank was much larger. The challenge with the nebulizer diffuser’s nozzle is that it is a small hole, slightly smaller than a normal essential oil bottle opening. Adding to that is that the nozzle is also at an angle.
So what I had to do was to tilt the whole diffuser upwards, so that the nozzle was straight up without the cap, before I can pour the essential oil in. There were a couple of drops lost in transition, and trust me, it was painful to watch that liquid gold slipped away, but other than that, it was pretty alright.
I plugged it in and set it to work right away. On the manual, it was stated that the essential oil will start diffusing after 15 – 20 minutes, but in actual fact, I could feel it just about a minute after turning it on. The little devil was diffusing nicely in my living room. I could even smell the scent faintly in the dining area as I walked around the house. If I were to compare that to the ultrasonic diffuser, the latter’s coverage is not as wide. So that’s another plus point.
While the glass half-orb was diffusing, the built-in multi-coloured light bulb was also dancing happily, rotating through the 7 rainbow colours, starting with white, followed by red, orange, amber, green, teal, blue and purple. The light emitted was a beautiful soft glow that will not interfere with sleep at night.
On the other hand, I was more concern about the humming noise it was making, on whether it would actually disturb me from a good night’s sleep. But I switched the knob on to a few different settings and noted that the noise was louder when it was switched to a higher setting for a stronger output. The noise should not interfere too much if it was on the lowest setting, which then meant you will have to pour in more than the recommended 15 drops of essential oil, in order for it to diffuse properly. For me, the 15 or so drops lasted for about 2 hours on a low setting, with 3-minute intermittent stops for every 5-minute operation. But it could be longer, but I could not tell for sure as there was no indication of whether it was running low on oil. In any case, the manual stated that it should not operate for more than 3 hours at any given time. So to be safe, I did not exceed the recommended time. In comparison, with the ultrasonic diffuser, at least I could tell that it is running out when the water level is low.
Next comes the cleaning process. According to the manual, the nebulizer diffuser will need to be cleaned only with medical alcohol to avoid a clogged capillary and it should be done once per week. Now that could potentially be a problem if the user did not know where to get the medical alcohol. But thankfully, it can be easily obtained from any community pharmacies in your neighbourhood. The good thing about this is that the medical alcohol will ensure that all bacteria are wiped out as it is antiseptic in nature. Another plus point is that the user need not worry about accidentally pouring water into the wooden base where all the electronics are, as one is required to remove the glass hemisphere from the wooden base completely before the cleaning process starts. But do handle with care as we are dealing with glass here after all. On the contrary, the ultrasonic diffuser had a much easier cleaning process where the user just needs to rinse the water tank with warm soapy water, and it would be ready to go for its next run. But do note that the water tank is attached to the base where all the electronics are, so one has to be extra careful that water does not accidentally get into the electronics, otherwise, he or she can say bye-bye to the diffuser.
So there you have it. Comparing both, side by side in a summarised diagram below:
Conclusion – I’m very big on natural healing and being safe. I would, of course, go for the best if money is not a concern. But the reality is that we all work with limited resources in this world. So, if cost may be an issue, then the ultrasonic diffuser is probably your next best choice.
Interested in getting a nebulizer diffuser yourself? Click here.
A word of caution: Because the nebulizer diffuser breaks down the essential oil particle to be absorbed quickly by the lungs and body, therefore, it is important to ensure that your essential oil is 100% pure. Do not be penny wise but pound foolish and go for the cheaper option, as you would have no idea what you are inhaling into your body.