One of the best ways to use essential oils is to diffuse them in your home, car, or office. Diffusers help to scent your home and can improve meditation and aromatherapy. You can use them to help achieve more restful sleep or invigorate your mornings. Essential oil diffusers come in several different varieties and customizable controls make it easy to tweak them to suit your needs.
Finding a diffuser can be hard when there are so many options. We’ve broken down the main differences between diffusers and selected our favorite options for 2018. Check them out below to find one that works for you.
Types of Essential Oil Diffusers
There are four kinds of diffusers, but only two types that should be used for essential oils. The main essential oil diffusers are known as ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizing or humidifying diffusers.
Ultrasonic diffusers are the most popular thanks to their efficiency and ease of use. These types of diffusers feature a large water reservoir where essential oils are added. A built-in vibrating unit turns the water and oils into a fine mist. Theses types of diffusers are quiet and often only feature a soft whirring noise. The scent of essential oils are more subtle in these units than in nebulizing diffusers since they are diluted.
A nebulizing diffuser emits essential oils by subjecting them to compressed air. This results in an essential oil mist that is not diluted with water. Nebulizing diffusers produce a stronger scent and tend to be more expensive than ultrasonic varieties. Nebulizing diffusers also emit oils in intervals to minimize the strong scent associated with continuous sprays.
Best Essential Oil Diffusers
Best Value: URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser
This essential oil diffuser is a top seller on Amazon. It offers the perfect combination of high quality diffusing at an affordable price. The simple white plastic design stands out from the complicated designs of fancier diffusers. This diffuser has a medium-sized water reservoir that provides 7 hours of continuous steam. It offers settings for seven different colors and features a built-in automatic shutoff option. It’s the perfect choice for someone who wants simplicity and efficiency in a diffuser.
Best for Large Spaces: Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser from Organic Aromas
The Raindrop diffuser offers a stunning silhouette that adds beauty as well as essential oils to any room. The diffuser features a handmade wood base and hand-blown glass in a delicate teardrop shape. This diffuser has can release essential oil blends in spaces larger than 800 square feet. It’s large capacity makes this diffuser the best choice for diffusing oils in large rooms or across multiple spaces. The volume switch controls the release of essential oils and the unit features an auto shut-off switch along with timer settings for customizable use.
Best Overall: Innogear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
This essential oil diffuser comes equipped with a continuous mist setting that helps to moisten air. It’s a good choice for hydrating skin during the cold winter months and in small spaces that can get stuffy. This aromatherapy diffuser is also portable so you can take it with you from home to office or on the road when you travel. This aroma essential oil diffuser is equipped with color-changing lights to reflect your mood. The LED lights are bright making this a good choice for use as a night light in a child’s bedroom. It’s also extremely quiet, ensuring restful relaxation without distractions. The cool mist humidifier has a run time of three continuous hours or six hours on intermittent mode.
Best Budget Travel Pick: Aromafier Classic
This palm-sized fan diffuser is great for travel or taking your essential oils on the go. You can plug in the unit using a USB cable or run it with 2 AA batteries when you can’t connect to a power source. This aroma diffuser weighs just 0.25 pounds and can scent a space up to 100 square feet in size. The unit features a built-in light in a soft blue hue. Mount one in your car to relax during your commute or plug it in to your computer in the office for a stress-free workday.
Best for Home Décor: Better Homes and Gardens Antique Copper Tabriz Cool Mist Ultrasonic Diffuser
The beauty of this aroma diffuser means you’ll want to prominently display it as part of your décor. The unit features an exquisite copper exterior and delicate metalwork design. Built-in mood lights add a touch of pizzazz to this essential oils diffuser. There are several lighting options so you can customize colors to suit your home décor or change it on a whim. This ultrasonic cool mist diffuser features a large water tank with a capacity of 100 mL. It features a run time of 8 continuous hours and automatically shuts off when the reservoir is dry.
Best For Long Use: Jasmine Aroma Diffuser from Stadler Form
The Jasmine ultrasonic aroma diffuser was designed by Fabian Zimmerli—one of five in-house designers. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in business and has design a wide range of products from tea kettles to chocolate bars. His goal is to design a product that is functional while highlighting simplicity and beauty. The Jasmine is no exception. This essential oil diffuser transforms an ordinary room into an aromatherapy oasis in minutes. The gentle fragrance stream lasts up to 24 hours when used on interval mode. The six vibrant light colors help match décor or improve the mood whether you’re diffusing tea tree oil or lavender oil. Swiss engineered and designed, this unit offers simple elegance and low maintenance.
Best Real Wood Diffuser: Ultrasonic Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser from Now Health Group
This ultrasonic humidifier features a real bamboo wood grain finish that adds a natural touch to any space. This bamboo essential oil diffuser features 2 timer settings and runs for up to 7 continuous hours. The unit diffuses oils uses a cool steam system that preserves the integrity of essential oils. It’s quiet, easy to clean, and features an automatic shut-off so you don’t have to worry if you left it on when your sprinted out the door to work. The ultra-fine mist can cover 400 square feet, making it a perfect choice for living rooms and bedrooms.
Best for Home Spa: VicTsing Aroma 400 mL Essential Oil Diffuser, Cool Mist Humidifier
This aromatherapy diffuser is at home in any spa or massage room with its elegant vase-like structure. The unit features a natural wood grain finish and seven LED lights to suit mood and ambiance. The diffuser features 4 timer settings for customizable use and a low noise level to offer a soothing, quiet aromatherapy environment.
Best Non-Electric Diffuser: Ivenf Ceramic Tea Light Diffuser
This diffuser uses heat from scented candles to diffuse essential oils in smaller spaces. All you have to do is add one spoonful of water and 5 to 10 essential oils. Light a candle in the bottom compartment and enjoy the fragrant oils as they scent your home. The sturdy ceramic build adds a touch of beauty to your décor. The chiseled cutouts throw light against the walls for a magical experience. Make sure to extinguish the candle as these diffusers don’t feature auto-shut off modes.
Best High End Diffuser: Young Living Aria Ultrasonic Diffuser
If you want the crème de la crème of ultrasonic diffusers, this is it. The diffuser boasts a solid maple base and striking glass dome to diffuse essential oils. It features multicolored LED lights and built-in soothing sounds. You can play 12 minutes of relaxing music through the built-in speakers or plug in a music device using the AV cord. As a bonus, you get free 5 mL samples of tangerine and peppermint essential oils when you buy this diffuser from the manufacturer. The unit features a mist mode and wood remote control that allows you to control settings from anywhere in the room. The glass bowl is also dishwasher safe so you can clean it regularly without a lot of hassle.
How to Clean Your Diffuser
Essential oil diffusers should be cleaned every few days to prevent oils from building up or becoming stagnant. Most oil diffusers come with cleaning instructions. In general, use a non-fragrant dish soap to rinse the unit. Always wipe down the part where you place the essential oils when switching to a different oil.
We recommend not using tap water when diffusing oils. Minerals and chemicals in the water can be released in the air and alter fragrances of essential oils. Instead, use spring water or distilled water when diffusing oils. This also helps prevent build up of minerals in the water reservoir, making it easy to maintain cleanliness.