Aromatherapy Burners

Aromatherapy burners are used to diffuse the scents of essential oils in a room. There are many types of aromatherapy burners and their benefits are got mainly via inhalation of the oils. The basic principle is that the oil in the burner is heated using various methods and this then diffuses into the atmosphere. Inhaling this provides many physiological and psychological benefits. Different essential oils provide different benefits. Synthetic oils are only used for their perfume and do not provide any health benefits. Lighter molecules of essential oils first disperse and the heavier molecules are released gradually. So, if a combination of orange and rose oils is used, the orange will get dispersed first and the rose oil later.

Benefits of Aromatherapy Burners

Since burners diffuse essential oils, their benefits are enjoyed through inhalation. When we inhale the aroma of essential oils, it quickly enters the brain and helps to de-stress it, release tension headaches, alleviate depression and treat a range of emotional problems. This is because the essential oil vapors enter the nasal passages and then on to the brain’s receptors cells. Some of the vapors enter the lungs and therefore help in the treatment of chest congestion, colds, coughs etc.

Types of Aromatherapy Burners

Aromatherapy burners are also called diffusers, vaporizers or lamps. There are traditional burners with candles or electric ones. The basic principle of all burners is to vaporize essential oils. Here are some types of burners available in the market.

Traditional Aromatherapy Burners

A traditional burner has a flat base with a space where a candle can be placed and a bowl on top where water is kept. The base is usually made from metal or ceramic. The burner has a tiny open space underneath for the candle to fit in. These burners are available in various shapes and sizes and can even be a part of home décor with beautifully carved holders.

Essential oil (few drops) is added to the water, and the candle is lit. This provides the heat that diffuses the aroma of essential oils into a room.  Advantage is that it is not expensive and you do not need to spend on electricity. Disadvantages include greater dangers of fire hazards if the candle burner is left unattended and heat can destroy some of the essential oil constituents.

aromatherapy burners

Lamp Ring Aromatherapy Burners

These are made from brass or terracotta, shaped like a ring and with a standard light bulb fitted underneath. A grooved lip on top of the stand contains the essential oil. The heat from the bulb warms the lamp ring and diffuses the oil. These burners are inexpensive but can create problems with the bulb. If oil gets into the bulb, it can break. Specific size bulbs are required.

Electric Aromatherapy Burners

An electric burner is made usually from ceramic and has a night light over which is a small bowl filled with water. Add at least 12 drops of essential oils in the water bowl. Now, switch on the night light. The heat from the light will evaporate the water and vaporize the essential oil. The room will soon be filled with a lovely aroma of the oil you have used. 

The advantage of electric aromatherapy burners is that they can provide fragrance to a large area depending on the size of the burner and the essential oil used. Thicker oils like patchouli and sandalwood are diffused more efficiently when an electric burner is used. A disadvantage of electric burners is there is the possibility of heat destroying some of the therapeutic benefits of essential oils.

Precautions when using aromatherapy burners

  • Make sure burners are not kept on unsteady tables or in places where they can be knocked over. Do not keep near flammable materials. 
  • Do not leave the burner unattended but always put out the flame or switch off electricity before going to bed. Do not use pure essential oils without dilution. Place the burner in a larger ceramic bowl with water so that if it gets knocked over, the flame is contained.
  • Keep aromatherapy burners away from flowing curtains and loose paper. Do not let the water in the burner evaporate completely. Instead keep adding more warm water frequently. If you add cold water, ensure the bowl is cool otherwise cold water added to a hot bowl can crack it. Make sure you read all relevant instructions before using essential oils – especially contra-indications if any.


Diffusing essential oil aroma using aromatherapy burners is a great way to enjoy the fragrance of these oils and their therapeutic and psychological benefits. You have a wide range of burners available. So go ahead and fill your home with the natural fragrance of these wonderful oils.