The Bubbling Sound of Ultrasonic Diffusers

by Sarah Heironymus

While there are many health advantages of our cool mist diffusers, we are sometimes asked about the sound they make during operation . There are 2 sounds produced by the machine 

1. A whirring motor sound

2. A bubbling water sound

During the day, the sound is often undetectable but in the still of night, the sound can seem amplified. Some customers find it relaxing, like the sound of a babbling brook, while others simply find it distracting in an otherwise quiet bedroom.

In terms of the water bubbling sound, it is not unique to the Lively Living range of diffusers. It is a feature of all diffusers and humidifiers which use ultrasonics to generate mist from water. 

Ultrasonic diffusers work by a small spinning disc in the motor which causes ripples and vibrations in the water – as a result of this agitation the water bubbles. These vibrations break down the water into micro-molecules and creates a cool mist. The mist particles carry the essential oils out into the air in your living space. 

There have been studies completed on the technical reason that water creates a noise when it hits the surface of water, if this is of interest to you the full paper is here – study conducted by Cambridge University Engineering Department’s Acoustics Laboratory by Phillips, Agarwal, & Jordan.

To summarise, this investigation has used modern high-speed video techniques for the first time, synchronised with microphone recordings in air and hydrophone in water to demonstrate that the oscillation of an entrapped air bubble is the key driver for both the underwater sound and the characteristic airborne ‘plink’ or drip..

While there is no easy solution to those who find the bubbling noise disruptive in their environment, we would suggest to perhaps try placing the diffuser further away from your head when you sleep – if you have it right on your bedside table. Our bigger range of cool mist diffusers cover a range of about 25sqm and the mist particles remain suspended in the air for hours.

Another possible option is to consider purchasing either the Aroma Elm or Aroma Dream that possess the low or high mist options as using the lower mist setting will lessen the energy output, reducing the bubbling phenomenon.

We hope this information helps you understand the functions of an ultrasonic vaporiser, and that you can enjoy the health and sleep benefits of purified mist and essential oils.