What Is the Best Diffuser for Essential Oils?

The global essential oil market is expected to reach nearly $12 billion by 2022. Do you have your own stockpile of oils at home?

Whether you prefer calming oils to help you wind down, citrus scents to wake you up in the morning, or a little of both, there's no denying their power and potential.

However, in your quest to source the purest and most potent essential oil blends, have you considered how well your diffuser is working? Not all are created equal, so we're sharing the features to look for as you browse!

girl resting on spa treatments

Types of Essential Oil Diffusers

The health and wellness market is filled with different types of diffusers, each designed to meet a unique need. While it's nice to have a variety, this can make shopping for a new one a little challenging. Let's break down the most common types to know. 

Nebulizing Diffusers

Unlike the others on this list, nebulizing diffusers do not use any heat or water. Rather, they atomize essential oils using a system of specially-designed tubes. This enables the scent's chemical composition to remain intact, even as it's delivered into the air as a fine mist.

As a result, nebulizing diffusers tend to deliver stronger scents than other models and are preferred by those who are using their diffuser primarily for aromatic benefits only. They're especially well-suited for citrus oils.

These diffusers diffuse all of your oil at once, whereas others offer a slower release that occurs through stages. While this can deliver an array of therapeutic benefits, it's important to note that this model also requires more oil than other diffusers, as the oil isn't blended with any other substance. As such, these are often found at a higher price point and aren't as convenient for everyday use.

In addition, most nebulizing diffusers are made of glass and can be more expensive than others. They are also more fragile, more prone to clogging, and take a longer time to clean.

Ultrasonic Diffusers

If you're used to filling up a vessel, adding a few drops of your favorite oils, and plugging your diffuser into the wall, you're likely using an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser.

As the oil mixes with the water, the machine's electronic frequencies turn it into a fine mist that sprays evenly into the air. Those frequencies are created by a tiny ceramic disc positioned under the surface of the water. As it vibrates, the disc causes the oil to break into microparticles that are small enough to travel upward and out of the machine. 

As these machines only use a small amount of oil, they are designed to help your home collection stretch longer. In addition, they work absent of any heat, which makes them a safer option if you have pets or small children in the house.

One caveat to keep in mind, however, is that they can slightly increase the humidity levels in your room. If you already live in a humid climate, you may want to consider a diffuser that doesn't add more water into the air. 

Looking for an eye-catching example? Check out our high-output Wood Essential Oil Diffuser. With only a few drops, you can fill your entire room with your chosen aroma for up to 13 hours, thanks to its 400mL tank! Designed in the shape of a flower vase, it's a gorgeous addition to any room and blends seamlessly with your decor. For this reason and many others, it's consistently one of our best sellers in the shop!

Heat Diffusers

As their name implies, heat diffusers use a heating element to break the essential oil up into microparticles and help it evaporate into the air. These machines are usually available at an economical price point and run at near-silent volumes. However, while they can be efficient, they are not always consistent.

For instance, some heat diffusers require you to drop the oils into a vessel of water, while others don't use water at all. Then, you'll find that some will heat the oil to a very high temperature while others will stick to lower temperatures. In this regard, lower temperatures are preferred, as they are less likely to alter the chemical composition of the oil.

In addition, heat diffusers that become too warm can change the oil at its molecular level. In turn, this can lessen the therapeutic benefits that it provides and can even alter its aroma.

Evaporative Diffusers

If you need to quickly spread the scent of oils throughout a room, a wind-blown evaporative diffuser can do the trick. These machines use direct airflow to encourage oil droplets to dissipate in the air. This means if you have company over and you need to make the environment feel as cozy and welcoming as possible, you can do so in just a few seconds.

To set up the operation, you'll simply add a few drops of oil onto a special type of filter or pad. Then, the fan will blow directly into that surface, causing the oil to quickly evaporate.

As it does, it mixes with the air around it and the fan blows that air into the room. While this approach can be effective, it does disperse the oil in segments. Due to their molecular weight, the lighter components of the oil will evaporate first and the heavier oils will evaporate toward the end. 

Splitting up the oil's components in this way can take away from its therapeutic effects just slightly, but if you're only seeking aromatic benefits, this model is suitable. 

What to Look For in a Diffuser

While it helps to know the different types of diffusers, it's important to understand that you might prefer a different model than your friend or colleague, and that's OK!

Before you begin shopping for a new one, it helps to write down a list of your must-have features. This way, you can sort through the many different options and find the one that's best suited for your needs.

Water Reservoir

If you're eyeing an ultrasonic diffuser or any type that mixes your oils with water, check to see how much water the reservoir can hold. As you'd expect, a smaller reservoir won't be able to run as long and you'll need to refill more frequently. If you plan to run yours all night, you'll need one that is capable of keeping up!

In addition, a larger reservoir will also disperse the aroma into your room at a greater frequency. This makes it ideal for enhancing any space in your house!

Safety Features

Most diffusers today come equipped with safety features, such as automatic shut-offs. These are incredibly important, especially if you have small children or pets in your house. Unfortunately, it's all too easy for tiny hands or paws to swipe your diffuser off a shelf or bedside table.

If the unit does not require heat, this might only result in a wet mess. However, heat-powered diffusers can pose a fire hazard if they become knocked off their base. Another benefit of automatic shut-off devices is that you can conserve your oils when you're not in the room to enjoy them. You'll also save on electricity!

Adjustability

Sometimes, you want to really infuse your entire room with a strong and powerful scent. Other times, you might only want a faint whisper of an aroma. You shouldn't have to choose between one or the other. 

Look for an essential oil diffuser that allows you to manually control how much or how little mist you output into the air around you. This way, you can move it around to different rooms depending on your needs. 

Noise Level

As we've mentioned, different diffusers will create varying levels of noise each night. If you're someone who requires a little white noise to fall asleep, you might not want one that advertises near-silent operation. On the other hand, someone else might consider this a major benefit!

If you plan to use your diffuser to help you sleep, relax or focus at work, look for one that does not make much noise when it's plugged in.

Ease of Maintenance

Before you invest in a new diffuser, read a few online reviews to learn more about its maintenance and upkeep. The one you're considering might look great, but if it requires hours of soaking, scrubbing and sanitizing each week, it's not worth the hassle. Today, most diffusers are easy to keep sparkling clean without the use of harsh chemicals or laborious procedures. 

As you're browsing, look for user feedback on whether it's easy to use or more of a burden than it's worth. Also, take note of any issues concerning water leaks, as that's one defect that can completely ruin the use of your new machine. 

Light Features

Did you know that they make humidifiers that can double as a night light? Especially if you plan to use an ultrasonic model in your child's room, this can be an incredible feature and unexpected bonus!

A few essential oils that are safe and recommended for use around your little ones over the age of five include: 

  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Ginger
  • Orange

Try adding a few drops into their diffuser right before bedtime to help them ease into a restful night's sleep. When you're choosing a model for their room, look for one that offers a few different light settings. While bright, colorful lights can be beautiful, many are too intense to work as a sleep aid. See if you can find ones that allow you to dim the light for a more gentle, subdued effect.

Timer Settings

Do you love the idea of falling asleep to the soft hum and soothing mist of a diffuser? While certain blends can help ease you into dreamland, you might not want your unit to run all night long.

In that case, look for one that allows you to set a custom timeline before you head to bed. Many will run for eight to 12 hours intermittently, meaning that they'll turn off for short periods of time in between sessions to help conserve energy.

Running your diffuser around the clock might sound like a good idea, but consider how much oil you'd have to keep adding! Diffusers with timer settings allow you to conserve as much of your oil as possible while still enjoying all of the benefits they provide. 

Budget

Of course, you'll also need to keep your budget in mind when shopping for a new essential oil diffuser. Depending on what you're looking for, you can find diffusers that range from small and economical to oversized and extravagant.

While there isn't a right or wrong answer, remember to consider the full investment, not just the diffuser. Sure, you might get a great deal on a bigger model, but you'll need to add more oil to notice the effects. At the same time, a smaller model might be less expensive, but you'll have to refill it on a more frequent basis. 

Choosing a Diffuser For Your Essential Oil Blends

living room oil diffuser

Ultimately, the type of diffuser you choose is up to you. The best one for your home will depend on a variety of factors including your lifestyle, the members of your household, how long you plan to run the diffuser, and why you're using essential oil blends in the first place.

For the best of all worlds, we recommend an ultrasonic humidifier. This model maintains the integrity of your oil and doesn't diminish its chemical constituents or therapeutic effects. For more products designed to turn your home into the oasis it was meant to be, feel free to shop all of our collections online. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our team

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