The Best Aromatherapy Diffusers (Reviews)

by CHS | Last Updated: May 7, 2020

What is the best aromatherapy diffuser to buy? Two years ago, when I was shopping around for a diffuser for our home, I didn’t know the first thing about about diffusers. Fast forward to now and I can easily tell you how they work and what to look for.

I remember trying to decide what size of diffuser to buy and being frustrated because not all manufacturers indicated the area coverage for their products. On hindsight, this is most likely because of some user-side variables like how much mist you set it to, what type of oils you’re using, and even air circulation in the room. Still, I tried to capture this information as best I could and I hope you can be guided by that. I’ve indicated below if the information is other than from the manufacturer.

Also, to avoid repetition, I just want to mention that none of these diffusers get hot, or even warm. The mist is produced not by boiling water but through ultrasonic technology. I talk about it in detail in my UrPower aromatherapy diffuser review here.

Reviews of the Best Aromatherapy Diffusers

Here are some of our favorite aromatherapy diffusers on the market today. Remember that when choosing a diffuser, you will need to consider its features and how well it will fit your needs.

Best Small Aromatherapy Diffuser: Homeweeks

Homeweeks Diffusers, 100ml Colorful Essential Oil Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Mode,Auto Off Aroma...

Product Detail

This small diffuser is an excellent choice for frequent travelers or people who want to bring the diffuser to and from work.

It’s fitted with a 3.4-ounce water tank, which isn’t much, but it can run up to three hours in continuous mode. If you want it to last longer, set it to the intermittent mode, and it can run for up to six hours.

When water runs low or finishes, the diffuser will automatically shut off to avoid damage or dry burn.

The entire diffuser lights up in a range of colors—it can even rotate colors if desired. This can be good or bad, depending on where the diffuser will be located. If you plan on keeping it in the bedroom during the night, be prepared for a light show.

The smooth and cool mist will raise the humidity slightly. However, it won’t heat the water or the device, so it’s safe to use around children—just make sure it’s out of reach.

Pros

Cons

Sale
Homeweeks Diffusers, 100ml Colorful Essential Oil Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Mode,Auto Off Aroma...
5,915 Ratings
Homeweeks Diffusers, 100ml Colorful Essential Oil Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Mode,Auto Off Aroma...
  • ►HOMEWEEKS 100ML MULTIFUNCTIONAL PORTABLE DIFFUSER--Can be used as Aromatherapy Diffuser, Humidifier or Night-light, You can bring it on...
  • ►SIMPLE AND HUMANIZED OPERATION--The diffuser shuts off automatically when the water/oil level is too low or time is up,which can ensures...
  • ►ADJUSTABLE MIST MODES AND STEADY MIST--It runs 3 hours in continuous mode, or over 6 hours in intermittent mode (30 seconds on, 30...

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Best Diffuser With Ionic Technology: Viva Naturals

No products found.

Product Detail

Not only does this diffuser spread a mist of essential oils throughout the room, but it also helps to purify the air. It’s fitted with ionic technology that helps to keep dust and other airborne allergens to a minimum.

Furthermore, the cool mist will effectively humidify the air without raising the indoor temperature. You can set it to continuous mist or intermittent mist. It also features a lights-only setting where it won’t release any mist but will continue to light the room.

As the water runs low, the auto-shutoff function will prevent dry burn by turning the device off. This feature enables you to go to sleep without having to worry about turning it off during the night.

The diffuser features seven vibrant LED lights that double as night lights. You can even set it to cycle through the colors for a vibrant therapeutic session. Speaking from experience, all aromatherapy diffusers with this same design are a hit with young children who love to watch the different colors and pattern displays.

Pros

Cons

No products found.

Still Working After 2 Years: UrPower 2nd Gen

URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable...

Product Detail

The UrPower 2nd gen is quite sentimental to me because it was the very first aromatherapy diffuser I’ve purchased. It was popular, the reviews were good, and it was very affordable. I remember being very impressed that for a little under 20 bucks, I had a product that was very useful.

At the time, we had just moved to a new place. Our new home had windows that didn’t open wide enough, and it was a bit cramped. I was waking up with a dry throat, my allergies were rampaging, and I felt overall unwell. I started working and sleeping with this little diffuser and almost immediately felt better. You can read the full review here. I put in a lot of pro-tips and reminders that are useful for anybody buying a diffuser for the first time.

And yes, it’s still working. I’ve definitely gotten what I’ve paid for it several times over.

Pros

Cons

Sale
URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable...
  • URPOWER New Version: The URPOWER Ultrasonic Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser is an upgraded version. The 2nd generation produces more mist than...
  • Please use 100% pure essential oils with no corrosivity, Ultrasonic aroma essential oil diffuse is safe and does not harm the essential oil...
  • Outlet shouldn’t be inserted cord that exceeds the maximum voltage. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give your...

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Best Overall: VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser

VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ml Oil Diffuser with 7 Color Lights and 4 Timer, Aromatherapy...

Product Detail

The VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser comes with two mist settings including strong and standard. When in standard mode, it can run for up to 10 hours with an output of a little under 2 ounces per hour.

The tank can hold 10 ounces of water. Simply lift the top and add water and essential oil to the tank. When the tank is running low on water, the device will automatically turn off to avoid dry burn.

You can set the timer to suit your needs. It comes with four options, including one, three, and six hours, as well as continuous mode. Keep in mind that it might not be able to run for six hours straight if in high mode—high mist can last between four and six hours.

This is also a cool-mist humidifier. This means it produces a cool mist that raises the humidity slightly without raising the temperature. It’s ideal for use in smaller rooms between 215 and 323 square feet.

I’ve chosen the VicTsing diffuser as the best overall because it ticks all the boxes in terms of features. It works as advertised, and customers overwhelmingly agree that it’s a good buy.

Pros

Cons

VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser, 300ml Oil Diffuser with 7 Color Lights and 4 Timer, Aromatherapy...
  • Perfect Gifts: The aroma diffuser features super modern wood grain, like a decorative piece. It is good choice to use this lovely diffuser...
  • 2 Mist and 4 Timer Setting. There are 2 options of mist for you to choose from: strong and standard mist. Also 4 Timer: 1H, 3H, 6H and...
  • Auto Off Function: Designed with waterless auto-off function, this aromatherapy essential oil diffuser will turn off automatically when runs...

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Best Diffuser With Free Oils: Pure Daily Care Gift Set

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Gift Set - 400ml Ultrasonic Diffuser with 20 Essential Plant...

Product Detail

This diffuser comes as a luxurious gift set for you to keep or give to a loved one. It features a 13.5-ounce tank, seven light modes, a timer, and more.

It utilizes wave diffusion technology to atomize your favorite essential oils and create a fine mist that spreads throughout the room. You can set the timer to one of three options, including one, three, and six hours.

When the water runs out, the device will turn off automatically thanks to the auto-shutoff function. The diffuser is made of BPA-free plastic and features a wood-grain design with subtle light details.

Although it’s one of the higher-priced diffusers, you do get good value for money. The set includes 20 top-quality essential oils that are free of fillers and additives. Each bottle contains 10ml of EO.

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Gift Set - 400ml Ultrasonic Diffuser with 20 Essential Plant...

Some of the oils include:

Pros

Cons

In my case though, I actually prefer more subtle scents because of my allergies.

Sale
Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Gift Set - 400ml Ultrasonic Diffuser with 20 Essential Plant...
  • PREMIUM ESSENCE DIFFUSER - Our Essence Diffuser has a 400 ml capacity and uses state of the art wave diffusion technology to atomize...
  • ANCIENT FORMULAS PROVEN RESULTS - Our oils are formulated using the highest quality plants, such as lavender from France, Indonesian Cumin...
  • TOP 20 Pure Essential Oils - Our 20 oils included are lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, orange, peppermint, lemongrass, jasmine, nutmeg,...

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ETL-Certified Aromatherapy Diffuser: Everlasting Comfort

Everlasting Comfort Essential Oil Diffuser - 400 ml - Super High Aroma Output with Cleaning Kit -...

Product Detail

The beautiful vase design and dark color are what immediately attracts users to this diffuser. It’s fitted with a 13.5-ounce water tank and can mist for up to 13 hours. It comes with three timer settings, including one, three, and six hours. You can also set it to continuous mode; however, how long it lasts depends on the setting.

When on high, it has an output of 1.7 ounces per hour, and when on low, it has an output of 1 ounce per hour. It’s incredibly quiet when on low mist mode, which is ideal for nighttime use.

It includes seven bright colors that you can set to suit your mood. You can also set it to rotate between the colors or turn them off altogether—excellent for people who enjoy sleeping in a dark room.

All electrical components of this diffuser are ETL-certified by Intertek, which ensures not only quality but also safety and reliability. This, combined with the auto-shutoff function, will help to keep the diffuser running for longer. (1)

Pros

Cons

Sale
Everlasting Comfort Essential Oil Diffuser - 400 ml - Super High Aroma Output with Cleaning Kit -...
  • AROMATHERAPY DIFFUSER - Everlasting Comfort is here to help recreate the high-end spa experience in the comfort of your home. Our aroma...
  • LARGE CAPACITY WITH VARIABLE MIST OUTPUT - When creating our ultrasonic diffuser, we wanted to make sure it would last through the night....
  • SOOTHING 7 COLOR LED LIGHTS - To further enhance the essential diffuser oil's soothing qualities, we added LED lights with 7 color options...

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Best Affordable Diffuser for Large Space: Homasy

Homasy Essential Oil Diffuser, 500ml Aroma Diffuser Humidifier for Large room with Timer, Fragrant...

Product Detail

Fitted with a 17-ounce water tank, this diffuser can run for up to 11 hours on high mode and 20 hours on low. It’s suitable for rooms up to 480 square feet, excellent for a small living space.

It uses an atomizer plate that oscillates up to 3 million times, resulting in a superfine cool mist. It effectively humidifies your living area and, because the mist is so fine, it’s quickly absorbed through the skin.

You can set the timer to one of three options, including one, three, and six hours. This is ideal for nighttime use as you won’t have to worry about waking up to turn it off. If it runs out of water, the auto-shutoff function will ensure the device won’t be damaged by dry burn.

During the night, you can set the diffuser to sleep mode; it will then operate whisper-quiet with subtle light. When in sleep mode, the device emits up to 1.3 ounces per hour.

The entire diffuser is made of BPA-free plastic. Because it’s a cool-mist humidifier, it doesn’t contain any heating elements, making it a good choice for a kids’ room.

It’s somewhat larger than what you might expect, so find a suitable area to place it in. A small bedside table might not be big enough to accommodate it.

Pros

Cons

Homasy Essential Oil Diffuser, 500ml Aroma Diffuser Humidifier for Large room with Timer, Fragrant...
  • 8 COLOR ATMOSPHERE LIGHTS: Fully Light transmission plastic design lets the color looks wonderful and provide you a romantic atmosphere....
  • 500ML DIFFUSER, IDEAL FOR LARGE ROOM. Homeys 500ml essential oil humidifier atomizer plate oscillates 3, 000, 000 times offering fine cool...
  • LOW NOISE & SLEEP MODE. Thanks to the exclusive noise-reducing technology, the noises of bubble and fan are effectively reduced and...

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Best Design: Diffuserlove Ultrasonic Cool Mist

Diffuserlove Ultrasonic Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser 550ml Dark Wood Grain Aromatherapy...

Product Detail

This is a four-in-one diffuser that humidifies the air while distributing your favorite essential oils throughout the room. Additionally, it also produces a significant amount of negative ions that effectively purify the air by removing airborne particles.

The aromatherapy diffuser features a large tank that can hold up to 18.6 ounces as well as three timer settings—including one, three, and six hours. The diffuser operates at no more than 35 decibels, so it can be used in the bedroom during the night. During night use, you can opt to keep the lights on as a nightlight or you can turn them off for a darkened room.

The cool mist is super fine and will quickly be absorbed through the skin—add a minty essential oil, and you have the perfect cure for a cold.

The sleek dark-colored wood-grain design should go nicely in any room. It features a very subtle strip of colored LED lights, which you can change to your preference. It’s perfect for people who aren’t too enamored with big LED displays.

Pros

Cons

Diffuserlove Ultrasonic Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser 550ml Dark Wood Grain Aromatherapy...
  • 【 Multifunctional Diffuser】4 IN 1 function Aromatherapy Diffusers : Humidification, Aromatherapy, Purity air, Night Light. You can...
  • 【 Sleek Black Aspect 】Simple, fashion, health, environmental protection, set an ultrasonic aromatherapy machine, effectively remove the...
  • 【 Whisper-quiet and Moisturizes 】 Aromatherapy diffuser adopted ultrasonic technology, run steady and noiselessly(<35db), perfect for...

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What Is an Aromatherapy Diffuser?

what is an aromatherapy diffuser

Also commonly known as essential oil diffusers, aromatherapy diffusers are compact devices that distribute scents through various methods. There are different types of diffusers, including:

All of the diffusers I’ve chosen for the above list are ultrasonic as I believe this is the most effective and the safest to use.

How Does An Aromatherapy Diffuser Work?

An ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser is equipped with a ceramic plate base that breaks down the oil-infused water into micro-molecules so that they get dispersed into the air as negative ions and a cooling mist.

The essential oils added to the water add to the efficacy of the device as EO is known to be very beneficial for the mind and body. Studies have shown that specific oils aid in boosting energy levels, digestion, immunity, focus, and even improving certain skin conditions.

For example, peppermint is excellent for when you need a boost of energy, and lavender will help you de-stress. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, lavender can help you to relax and eventually fall asleep. (2)(3)

For aromatherapy to be effective, the oils should be inhaled or absorbed by the body. This is where ultrasonic diffusers are highly efficient since they break the oils down into an absorb-able  mist. On top of that, some devices produce an even finer mist that’s easier for the body to absorb.

Who Would Benefit from One?

Anyone who is sensitive to scents and who respond to pleasing smells would benefit from an essential oil diffuser. In the home, it combats the smell of lingering food, smelly laundry, and sweaty teenagers.

It provides a fresh, clean scent throughout the home, and even has the surprising benefit of helping children fall asleep more easily. Yes, even the fussy ones!

Adults and elders who experience trouble sleeping find that using an essential oil diffuser helps them fall asleep faster and with more ease.

best aromatherapy diffuser under 30

Diffusers are also useful in office spaces, waiting rooms, and consulting areas.

Is Diffusing Essential Oils Safe for Your Lungs?

is diffusing essential oils safe for your lungs

If you have no underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma, diffusing essential oils is perfectly safe. In saying that, if you do have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you have to choose your oils wisely.

Studies have shown that eucalyptus essential oil can help to relieve asthma and COPD. Eucalyptus essential oil contains a specific ingredient known as cineole. A study in 2013 showed that this ingredient has antimicrobial effects on certain bacteria that cause respiratory illnesses. (4)

Furthermore, eucalyptus is an anti-inflammatory that stimulates the immune system. This means it destroys the bacteria that’s triggering COPD symptoms. (5)

Lavender is another oil that has proved beneficial for people suffering from asthma. A study done on mice showed that lavender actually suppressed inflammation of mucous within the respiratory system. It has also been shown to help ease bronchial asthma. (6)

Now, although essential oils are natural, that doesn’t mean they’re safe to use. In fact, some oils, such as cinnamon, lemongrass, and cloves, have been shown to irritate mucus membranes, meaning they can aggravate your symptoms.

Safety Tips When Diffusing Essential Oils

safety tips when diffusing essential oils

If you have a respiratory illness such as asthma, always diffuse your oils in an open or well-ventilated space. Diffusing oils in an enclosed area will intensify the scents, which could trigger a few symptoms if you have asthma.

Some people are more sensitive to essential oils than others. If you start to feel nauseous, or experience headaches when using a diffuser, it may simply be that you need to decrease the amount of essential oil you’ve used. Use fewer drops and see if it helps. If it doesn’t stop your symptoms, you may have to discontinue its use entirely.

Moreover, if you’re using essential oils as a treatment, the session shouldn’t exceed 60 minutes at a time.

If you’re enjoying your diffuser at home or at the office, consider others around you who are likely to inhale the oils. Certain essential oils are highly toxic to pets, especially cats.

Some pets might experience allergic reactions. With pets that have asthma or other respiratory diseases, exposure could be fatal.

Cats, in particular, can develop irritated and watery eyes as well as dermatitis. Some of the oils that have been shown to aid us, such as eucalyptus and lavender, are toxic to cats. (7)

Lastly, be careful not to use EO with corrosive properties as it may damage the diffuser.

How Do I Choose an Aromatherapy Diffuser?

No products found.

With such a wide choice available on the market, it can become overwhelming. Although most diffusers aren’t budget-breakers, you still want to get good value for money. Here are a few things to consider and look for when buying:

1. Room Size

Where is the diffuser going to be used the most? Some diffusers are only able to function well in a small, closed space, whereas others are able to distribute the scent to a larger area.

Now, the majority of electronic aromatherapy diffusers are most effective in smaller rooms—such as a bedroom, bathroom, or office. If you place a small diffuser in a large open space, don’t expect it to reach all corners.

It might need to run continuously for an extended period to even be noticeable unless you’re next to it.

Naturally, a larger room requires a larger device. Larger diffusers will emit more mist per hour compared to smaller devices. Moreover, for large spaces, an evaporative diffuser might be a better option because it disperses at a higher intensity compared to ultrasonic models.

2. Tank Capacity

The tank capacity will determine how long your diffuser can run before needing a refill. In this case, a larger tank is beneficial since you won’t have to refill it as often.

However, the larger tank does mean you’ll have a larger device, which could interfere with placement options.

Smaller tanks will require frequent refills, especially if you’re using it often. In saying that, this also means the water and oils are always fresh since they won’t be sitting in the tank.

3. User-Friendliness

Essential oil diffusers should be quick to fill, easy to operate, and a breeze to clean. Unfortunately, not all diffusers fit these requirements.

Filling the Tank

Most diffusers have the water tank at the bottom, which means you simply lift or unscrew the top and fill the reservoir. However, others have the tank within the top, meaning you have to fill it and then flip it over to attach it to the base. This can be a challenge and often ends up in a mess.

Operation

Many diffusers today come with a number of handy features (we’ll look at these in a minute). However, due to the compact design of most aromatherapy diffusers, there isn’t room for more than a few buttons.

Many diffusers feature only one or two buttons; one for mist and one for the timer. This means if there’s a light option, this will either be controlled by the mist or require multiple or long presses.

For people who appreciate simplicity, choose a diffuser with a button for each featured setting. This way, it’ll be easier for you to figure out how to use each setting and get the most out of the diffuser.

Cleanliness

As you’re adding oil and water to your diffuser, not all of the oil is going to break down. This can lead to a build-up of residue inside the tank and even the spout. If it isn’t cleaned, it could slowly clog the diffuser, making it less effective.

Electric diffusers are generally small in size; they can, therefore, be tricky to clean properly. The diffusers that allow you full access to the tank are typically easier to clean. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual to see how your device should be cleaned.

It’s crucial to not use harmful chemicals or solvents to clean your diffuser unless absolutely necessary. If there’s a residue left by the chemical, it could be diffused into the air that you breathe.

Instead, you can soak the diffuser tank in white vinegar for a few minutes. Vinegar is acidic and will help to break down the oils and residue—plus, it’s natural, so you won’t have to worry about it being diffused.

4. Features

Aromatherapy diffusers often include different features to improve your experience. Here are a few handy features we like:

Time to Relax

best aromatherapy diffuser for small rooms

When it’s time to relax or de-stress, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to your diffuser and slip into something comfortable. We love aromatherapy diffusers, and we’re sure you will too.

The overall best aromatherapy diffuser is the VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser. It has a compact design with a good size tank and a long runtime. Furthermore, it’s easy to operate and clean.

References

  1. ETL Listed Mark; intertek.com
  2. Li, Z., Wu, F., Shao, H., Zhang, Y., Fan, A., & Li, F. (2017). Does the fragrance of essential oils alleviate the fatigue induced by exercise? A biochemical indicator test in rats. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2017.
  3. Koulivand, P. H., Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the nervous system. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine2013.
  4. Fischer, J., & Dethlefsen, U. (2013). Efficacy of cineole in patients suffering from acute bronchitis: a placebo-controlled double-blind trial. Cough9(1), 25.
  5. Juergens, U. R. (2014). Anti-inflammatory properties of the monoterpene 1.8-cineole: current evidence for co-medication in inflammatory airway diseases. Drug research64(12), 638-646.
  6. Cats and Essential Oils, canadianveterinarians.net