I have a confession to make…I’m addicted to my essential oil diffuser. I’ve tried out tons of different models and it’s been fun matching them to different rooms based on their look, output, and noise level.
There are many different ways to use essential oils, but diffusing them remains a popular way to scent your home, mask odors, and cleanse the air. Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve negative emotions and boost immunity by killing airborne germs and bacteria. Having a dependable diffuser in your home is a must when you have small children or for when you need to let go of a stressful day. They have been an essential addition to every room in my house for this very reason and I’m confident you will find great value in owning one yourself.
The question is, where do you begin?
How to Choose The Best Essential Oil Diffuser
In recent months it has become overwhelming to sift through all of the options now available when looking to buy the best essential oil diffuser for your home. It seems like every company imaginable is jumping on the aromatherapy bandwagon to get a piece of the spotlight, many of which put aside quality for quantity. Now it’s more important than ever to make sure you know which diffusers truly stand the test of time and that’s where this nifty little guide comes in.
What is an Essential Oil Diffuser?
First things first, in case you’re new to aromatherapy we’re going to go over a few of the basics concerning diffusers. The most common question I come across is “what is an essential oil diffuser?”, which is a very good question indeed!
An essential oil diffuser is a small device that most often uses water and ultrasonic vibration to vaporize essential oils into the air. These essential oils contain amazing benefits that are good for general health and mental wellbeing.
Is a Diffuser the Same as a Humidifier?
Not necessarily. A humidifier is often much larger than a diffuser because it is meant to saturate the air with water. A diffuser can’t hold nearly as much water. This is because the disk that vibrates ultrasonically in order to produce mist is not powerful enough to get through more than 150ml at most. A good humidifier can hold a few liters of water and the mechanism for get it dispersed is more powerful.
There are diffusers that can double up as a humidifier like this one, but generally they don’t put out much humidity. You should also never add essential oils to your humidifier unless it is made specifically for that use. You might ruin it on accident!
The Types of Essential Oil Diffusers and My Favorites for Each
There are four main categories of essential oil diffusers available. Each one is different and offers different ways to disperse essential oils into the air; each with its pros and cons.
Nebulizing diffusers do not need water to help disperse essential oils into the air. Instead they use a system similar to that of a perfume atomizer which pulls the essential oil through a tube as air blows across it. The air flow disperses the essential oil away from the nebulizer in a very fine pure mist.
Using a nebulizing diffuser is considered the most therapeutic way to diffuse essential oils as you can easily and very quickly saturate the air with a large amount of essential oil. This type of diffuser is usually much louder than other diffusers because of this reason and they also use essential oils at a higher rate than others. However, if you are looking to treat a certain ailment like allergies or a cold or flu, this type of diffuser is an amazing way to help combat them quickly and efficiently.
1. Raindrop Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser
This nebulizing diffuser is surprisingly quiet and is super easy to use and clean because there is no need to attach an essential oil bottle to the device. Instead, you just add the essential oils directly into the glass vessel which are then ultrasonically diffused into the air. It can saturate up to 800 sq ft and has a wonderfully useful interval cycle installed that releases essential oil for 2 minutes and then turns off for 1 minute. This cycle repeats for 2 hours before it automatically shuts off. This diffuser also changes color while in use which is very relaxing to watch. This company also has a second option with the same specs but a different look that you can get here.
2. Advanced Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser by doTERRA
This nebulizing diffuser works by attaching an essential oil bottle directly to the unit. This is great if you want to diffuse a very specific oil for a long time but can be a pain when you want to diffuse something else. It does have 2 quick change attachments which makes things a little easier. If you have one or two things in mind like keeping the air fresh in your house, using it for sleep formulas, or to treat specific ailments then this diffuser is a great one to set up and forget.
One thing that’s really nice about this diffuser is how much control you have over how long it runs and how much output you need. Be careful though, since the essential oil bottle is directly attached it can be very easy to use up a whole bottle of oil in a very short amount of time. It is also noisier than most other diffusers. The one great place to use this diffuser is in the bathroom since it can scent the whole room very quickly. You can get this diffuser here.
Like nebulizing diffusers, ultrasonic diffusers create a fine mist that is released into the air except that the vapor is produced by a small disk that vibrates very fast underwater. These ultrasonic vibrations are what break up the essential oil on the water’s surface into super fine microparticles which are easily dispersed throughout the air and absorbed by our bodies. The only down side is citrusy essential oils can corrode the diffuser over time and you should only use purified water if you want your diffuser to really last.
This type of diffuser also helps to slightly humidify the air and uses a small amount of essential oil compared to other diffusers. They can also run for hours until the water is used up.
1. InstaNatural Aromatherapy Diffuser
This modern looking diffuser is a great option for the bedroom or an office because it’s simple, quiet, and efficient. It can run up to 5 hours covering 250 sq ft which is perfect for personal spaces. It has a lovely blue glow that can be switched off at night. All you need is 3-5 drops of essential oil to get the full benefits of this no frills diffuser.
2. URPOWER Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser
This diffuser is one of my favorites because it has a massive 500ml water tank, which is way bigger than any other diffuser I have found in the same price range. What else is nice about this diffuser is it directs the vapor flow and has a really handy timer option for 60, 120, or 180 minutes as well as options to control vapor flow. Left on, this diffuser will run for 10 hours and has lovely mood coloring that can be switched off. I really love this diffuser and I think it’s perfect for the living room and kitchen areas. I have used it in my bathroom and guests really love it! In my opinion, it’s probably the best essential oil diffuser available.
This type of diffuser is really really basic and generally quite inexpensive. Basically a fan blows over or through a pad that you apply essential oils to. The air is then scented with essential oil as it passes through the pad and into the room.
While this method is fine for scenting a room, it’s never used as a therapeutic approach because the heavier less volatile components of essential oils will get left behind on the pad. This increases the longer you run this diffuser so you get less and less of the full profile as it runs. Another common diffuser that is technically considered an evaporative diffuser are diffuser pendants and necklaces. They’re great for bringing the scent of essential oils with you while you’re on the go and make lovely statement pieces to wear with your outfit.
1. SpaRoom Aromafier Diffuser
This diffuser is compact and inexpensive and is nice to bring to work to have your desk without the risk of spilling water. It uses micro-absorbent pads to disperse essential oils and can also operate with two AA batteries, a USB cable, or AC adapter making it perfect for travel. The only downside is you only have three pads so if you want to try different scents you would need to get pad refills.
This is another evaporative diffuser that uses pads. Its design is a bit more fun compared to the SpaRoom version and is a nice addition to your work space or while studying at school. It has a relaxing color transit cycle and hooks up easily to your computer via a USB cable. You can also run it with three AAA batteries. Unfortunately this is no longer available 🙁
3. Diffuser Necklace
These handmade diffuser necklaces are perfect for that special someone. They come in four different colors; jade, natural, earth blue, and turquoise. Each one is made to order and comes on a 20 inch long brown or black cording. They’re super fun to wear and they hold scent for hours! I just love them!
Lastly there are heat diffusers which are the kind you may be most familiar with. Heat diffusers use heat instead of airflow to disperse the scent of essential oils into the air. They tend to produce a stronger smell and the essential oils evaporate the fastest using this method. If you’re not careful you can alter the chemical make-up of essential oils by using too much heat on them. They are not good or recommended for therapeutic use. However, if you are looking for a completely silent dispersal of essential oils into your home and also enjoy candles, then this may be the method for you as they offer a wide variety of elegant styles.
1. Porcelain Tear Drop Oil Warmer
This is a lovely piece to showcase at the center of the dinner table or in a bathroom. You can add a small amount of water to the tear drop reservoir and add a few drops of essential oil before lighting a tea light candle underneath. The scent will be strong so if you are sensitive to strong scents you may want to go with a different diffuser option. I find it perfect to use while soaking in the tub.
2. Windrose Soapstone Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
Windrose offers a wide variety of carved soapstone options to suit every room. I love the color variations and unique look each handmade piece has. If you love candles, then you’ll love how these look! Get a similar soapstone diffuser here.
For more great essential oils articles look below:
This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure and disclaimer.