All About Clay Essential Oil Diffusers

What Are Clay Diffusers? 

Clay diffusers (also called ceramic diffusers or terracotta diffusers) are small, round disks made with terracotta clay that diffuse essential oils without electricity.

They don’t push essential oils into the air like ultrasonic diffusers do.

Instead, these diffusers use terracotta’s innate properties to slowly and naturally release essential oils. 



How do Clay Diffusers Work?

While ultrasonic diffusers vaporize essential oils and push them into the air, terracotta diffusers use a process called passive diffusion.

Basically, it uses terracotta clay’s naturally porous texture to absorb and release essential oils.

When terracotta is fired in a kiln, water escapes the wet clay, leaving tiny little pockets (or pores) like in a sponge.

When essential oils are used on clay diffuser disks (like our Terracotta Diffuser Disks), the oil collects in these little pockets.

As time passes, the oil that was pooled in the clay’s pockets evaporates, or is slowly released into the airwhich then releases the essential oil’s aroma. 



What Makes Clay Diffusers Different from Ultrasonic Diffusers? 

First, ultrasonic diffusers use electricity. Clay (or terracotta) diffusers don't. 

While there are definitely energy-efficient ultrasonic diffusers, (like Stadler Form’s ZOE diffuser) clay diffusers are a tough act to follow. 

After all, the only mechanism that drives diffusion is the clay itself. This simple difference makes terracotta diffusers the most sustainable diffuser option out there.  


Are Clay Diffusers Good? 

Clay is a naturally occurring, abundant material and terracotta clay requires a lower kiln temperature to bake than most other clays.

While most clay diffusers have a fairly energy-efficient manufacturing process, this means terracotta disks require the least energy—even among other clay diffusers.

Basically, terracotta diffuser disks are made with 100% biodegradable materials and use a fraction of the energy used to create ultrasonic diffusers. 



What is the Best Essential Oil Diffuser?

While it's pretty clear why we love clay diffusers, sustainability isn’t everything for everyone. It's certainly not the only thing to consider when choosing the best essential oil diffuser for you.

The zero-waste possibility of a terracotta diffuser disk may be appealing to some people (Ten Leaves diffuser disks come in 100% recyclable paper packaging).

But honestly, ultrasonic diffusers are much stronger than terracotta diffusers.

While this makes clay diffusers great for places like the car, shared spaces or your bedside table, they often aren’t the most effective choice for larger rooms. 

Feel free to check out our blog on ultrasonic diffusers and their benefits for more info. 



How Do We Make Clay Diffusers?

Here at Ten Leaves, each handmade clay pendant and diffuser disk is carefully air-dried and then kiln-fired over the course of several weeks. 

Trust us, we struggled for a long time and tested countless methods to make our diffusers. So we hope you understand if we can't give away all our trade secrets. 

And while we're not fans of vanity, we are proud of the hard work, time and artistry that goes into making our terracotta clay diffusers. 

We'd love for you to try one of our clay diffuser disks or clay diffuser pendants and see the results yourself! Shop our full collection of diffusers here


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