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Which Essential Oil Diffuser Should You Buy in 2019? A Comprehensive Review of The Best Ones Out There

An oil diffuser can be used for aromatherapy, but it’s also a safer and re-usable scented candle.

However, not all oil diffusers on the market are worth the investment. Some are priced too high for what you’re getting, while others have drawbacks such as limited capacity, poor design or just overall low quality.

The best oil diffusers from the very cheap ones to high end models read our complete reviews and see the top rated models

The effects of essential oils have been known for thousands of years, but now we see that modern science can also verify a lot of the claims, i.e. it’s known that essential oils are impacting the brain and nervous system.

What is really the difference between the hundreds (or thousands?) of oil diffusers on the market today?

In this article, we’ll compare and see which diffuser is truly the best choice for 2019. 

What have we considered when testing different models?

When reviewing products, it’s always hard to find one winner – the best one – for all purposes. This is also why we’ve done some more in-depth tests for specific uses, such as essential oil diffusers for large rooms and open spaces. We decided on a few important features, such as:

  • Price of the diffuser vs. the quality
  • Water capacity
  • Runtime
  • Design
  • Brand and reviews from third-party websites
  • Customer support
  • Noise level
  • Additional features such as adjustable strength and timer

Our top picks – The best oil diffusers out there

#1 Urpower 2nd Generation 300 ml Aromatherapy diffuser

The top essential oil diffuser in our test is from Urpower. It has a great value for the price (it’s one of the cheaper models, yet it’s very capable). It’s also portable enough to move around the home, or even bring to yoga and the office. It works well in rooms up to 200 sq ft. It’s an ultrasonic diffuser, so it uses water and sound waves to diffuse the essential oils into the air, and with the 300 ml tank it can be used for up to 8 hours before you need to refill it. The design is clean, and all though a low price point, it doesn’t look “cheap” like many of the diffusers in this price range does.

If you’re looking for a nebulizing diffuser, keep on reading though. #9 will be perfect for you.

#2 InnoGear 200 ml Oil Diffuser

Using the most recent ultrasonic technology, this is a great choice at a very good price. Instead of using heat, ultrasonic devices will break down the essential oil into small molecules and diffuse them into the air.

The design is good, with a wood grain finish and 7 different lighting modes. The water reservoir is 200 ml, which is around average. InnoGear also has a 2 year warranty, so you’re covered if you have any issues.

$ 35.42

#3 Urpower 700 ml Oil Diffuser

It’s a bold design, and quite large, so it may not be for everyone. You can change the backlight between 7 different colors, or turn it off completely, and the cube shape makes it easy to put on a shelf.

A benefit is the large water reservoir of 700 ml. This gives you around 20 hours or running time, before you have to fill up more water. So there’s no problem running it overnight!

Another benefit is that it’s very silent. The auto shut-off function makes sure that the diffuser stops when the water reservoir is empty.

#4 doTerra Petal Diffuser

This device from doTerra is heavier and appears to be built better. You an cover up to 330 sq ft, and with the soft ambient backlight, it blends well into any decor.

This model is also completely silent. Literally, we can’t hear any sounds coming from the device when it’s running. Perfect for the bedroom!

It also works well in the bathroom or in high humidity.

With the water reservoir you get about 8 hours of running time before you need to top it up.

The only reason we’re not ranking this one at the number one spot is the price. doTerra is more of a high-end brand, and this is reflected in the price. You can’t go wrong with this one!

Top pick: High-end Models
doTERRA Petal Diffuser

$ 69.99

#5 doTerra AromaLite Diffuser

Another great choice from doTerra! It’s compact and portable, but still holds a decent amount of water giving it up to 8 hours runtime. It’s easy to clean, and we’ve had our test model now for more than 2 years and it’s still running great!

Another nice feature is the dimmable backlight. I like to keep mine at the dimmed setting, and it makes it look almost like a candle burning.

You can easily over 500 sq ft with this one.

Again, doTerra has a slightly higher price tag.

$ 49.99

#6 URPOWER Aromatherapy 300ml Wood Grain Diffuser

Another good model from Urpower. I’m personally not a huge fan of the design here, so it’s one of the main drawbacks for me. But hey, that’s me, you might love it.

The reservoir holds 300ml of water, which is plenty, and should last you about ten hours. If you need a longer running time, check out the 700 ml model above (also from Urpower).

Another cool feature is that you can run it with just water (no essential oils), to moisturize dry air. I haven’t tested this feature though.

The features are very similar to other Urpower models: automatic shut off, LED mood light and BPA free plastic.

Like with all Urpower models, the price is a big selling point.

$ 13.99

#7 Now Foods Ultrasonic Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser

Another diffuser in wood grain finish. However, I have to admit, the finish on this one looks more real than the other ones and the quality does feel better. It’s not real wood though, but BPA free plastic.

It also has a rotating light. You can set it to one color, or let it fade between blue, red and green color tones.

It’s said to cover about 250 sq ft, so it’s great for the bedroom or office.

Re-filling the reservoir is a little bit more involved than some other models from i.e. Young Living, but overall it’s a great diffuser.

You will get around 8 hours run time with a full reservoir. One drawback is that there’s no auto shut-off function. Rarely will it be a problem though, as it will still stop once the water reservoir runs out.

#8 Young Living Rose Shaped Oil Diffuser Reviews

If it wasn’t for the price, we’d put this one at #1. It’s a great product, acting as a humidifier, atomizer and air purifier.

Young living is one of the most recognized brands in the industry, and they have a reputation of delivering top notch products. Like I mentioned above, I’ve had my young living oil diffuser for 2 years now, and it hasn’t failed on me or shown any signs of wear at all.

You can set this diffuser to several different modes. I.e. it can run for 30 seconds, take a break and run again, or run continuously. This prevents it from sending out a too strang fragrency, and will save on your essential oils (and also give you a longe rrunning time).

The small size makes it easy to fit into any room, or event take it with you. Some might say it’s a drawback, as a small diffuser is easier to knock over.

It’s also very silent.

$ 199.99

#9 Organic Aromas Opulence Diffuser

I’ve had this one in my office for more than a year, and it’s still running great. A bit pricy, but you can also see it in the design. You have knobs of metal, and it gives you that heavy quality feel.

Unlike some models made in plastic, you’ll find white ceramic and glass here. Minor details, but it looks more exclusive.

The design is more neutral – which some of you may prefer over a more loud colorful design.

Like with young living, you can either run it in continuous or cycle mode.

If you really want to fill a large space, such as a yoga studio or a large living room, we recommend this one! It will easily cover 800 sq ft.

Since it’s a nebulizing diffuser, you don’t need water nor heat. You’re diffusing pure essential oils, which I know many also prefer.

#10 Organic Aromas Aromatherapy Raindrop Nebulizing Oil Diffuser

Another nebulizing diffuser from Organic Aromas. It’s elegant and chic, and similar to their opulence model. Personally I do prefer the design of Opulence over this one.

This is one of the few models on the market using real wood (not plastic immitation), so naturally the price is higher. If you want something that feels solid and exclusive, I really recommend that you check out either this on or Opulence, depending on which design you prefer.

Technically, it’s very similar to Opulence. They both cover up to 800 sw ft, they use nebulizing technology (not ultrasonic) and they have an auto shut-off, cycle and continous mode.

The basics: What is an essential oil diffuser?

There are two main kinds of oil diffusers on the market. nebulizing and ultrasonic. Ultrasonic diffusers create a mist of water and essential oils – they humidify the air in addition to create a nice smell. Nebulizing diffusers, on the other hand, atomize pure essential oils, giving a more concentrated stream of oils.

In addition, there are evaporation (wind/fan based) and heat (like a candle) oil diffusers, but they aren’t very popular and not covered that much on our website.

Read this guide before buying!

There’s an overwhelming amount of oil diffusers on the market today. We could say hundreds, but more likely there are thousands of models as multiple brands may sell essentially the same variant made at the same factory.

This guide will make it much easier for you to pick the best one! So, let’s dive in:

Ultrasonic diffusers

This type of oil diffuser works in a manner that is very similar to the nebulizing diffuser by creating a mist of the oil. However, to achieve this, the ultrasonic diffuser uses vibrations produced by a disk placed under the liquid. The vibrations are created by an electronic frequency on the disk.

Since the vibrations have a very high frequency, the liquid is quickly broken into micro-particles that are then released as a fine mist into the air. The transformation of the liquid into vapor employs an adiabatic process which does not require any heat.

To make it easier for the oil to vaporize, the oil is usually mixed with water.

Benefits of ultrasonic

  • Only needs small amounts of oils, and can last for an hour
  • Does not change the chemical make-up of the oil through heating
  • The vibrations create a sound like the trickling of water during the operation of the diffuser. This can be very pleasing and soothing to the ears.
  • It is the best type of diffuser for those who wish for smaller amounts of oil in the air within any given period.
  • This diffuser is less expensive than the nebulizing kind, making it affordable to most people.
  • It also serves as a humidifier which can be useful in cold months.

Nebulizing diffusers

A nebulizing diffuser operates very similarly to how a perfume atomizer works. Air is forced into a small tube which pushes the essential oils in a separate chamber to rise.

As the oil rises, more air is introduced to atomize and break up the oil into microparticles.

These new particles continue to rise to the top of the diffuser, and it is blown by a gust of air to create a fine spray. As long as the air blows on top of the tube, the oil continues to be dispensed into the air in the room.

Benefits of nebulizers

  • Fast acting. It is the best choice for those who do not want to wait too long.
  • It is easy to control. Most models have timers that can be set to dispense for just 15 minutes or less every hour. This means you only use as much oil as you want.
  • It delivers the most complete therapeutic properties of the oils.
  • The essential oil released into the air is concentrated since they do not require any mixing with water.
  • No heat is used and is completely safe.

Which one should I choose?

We generally recommend our readers to go with ultrasonic oil diffusers, as they offer great value at a low price point. If you want a stronger scent and higher concentration, go for a nebulizing model, but be prepared to pay more.

What do you need to know before buying?

Once you’ve read our guide above and decided to invest in an oil diffuser, there’s not that much you need to know. Most of the time, they’re plug and play, and the manual will answer most of the brand and model specific things to consider.

Below we’ve included some general guidelines on how to operate and maintain your oil diffuser.

Cleaning your diffuser: In a wet and warm environment, which an oil diffuser will provide (all though the ultrasonic ones don’t really provide heat), bacteria and mold could thrive. Every few runs, remember to empty it out and clean it with cotton swabs. Clean the glass parts in warm water with dishwasher soap.

You only need a few drops of oil: When you buy essential oils, the bottles may look small. However, you need a very little amount, no matter the type of diffuser you’re using. About 4 to 10 drops will do.

Safer than candles: Unlike candles, ultrasonic diffusers do not create heat, and there’s no smoke. A candle may tumble off the table, and cause a fire, but also a candle burns with a flame and creates dangerous gasses.

An oil diffuser is a better way to relax and make your home smell nice.

Benefits of essential oils and aromatherapy

Many Americans are now “re-discovering” essential oils. Diffusers, as we know them today, have been on the market since the 80s, and in the last 5-10 years gained a lot in popularity.

However, the concepts of essential oils and aromatherapy are not new. They’ve been well known since early civilizations in Egypt, Greece and the Far East.

Modern science has investigated a lot of the claimed benefits, and many of them have been proven also scientifically.

Some examples of this are patients with depressions who have been treated with citrus oils. The trials showed that the essential oils improved hormone levels and the immune system. This again led to improved mood.

Other tests have shown that using aromatherapy has decreased pain and stress in patients.

Another example is Lavender oil, which can help your sleep quality. Peppermint oil can alleviate nausea and increase alertness and focus.

Need a primer on exactly which essential oils to use? Read below:

  • Tea tree or lemon oil during the cold and flu season
  • Eucalyptus and Douglas fir to clear airways
  • Bergamot, grapefruit and orange oil for a fresh “garden smell”
  • Spearmint, peppermint, lemongrass, and citronella to keep bugs away on a hot summer day
  • Increase focus in the office with peppermint, cinnamon, and rosemary
  • Thyme, rosemary, marjoram, lavender or peppermint will help you relax and relieve stress and headaches
  • Use cedarwood and lavender in the bedroom to help you sleep better

Common questions and answers

Is there a limit to the room size?

Each diffuser will give a description of how big of a space they’re meant for. Take a look at what size space you’re going to put your diffuser, and narrow down your choice from there. We have a separate article on essential oil diffusers for large rooms.

Most of the models in our test range from 300 sq ft up to 800 sq ft. Naturally, you can use them in a larger space. They’re just average numbers, but it’s based on the intensity that people generally prefer. On most models, you can also adjust the device to cycle (i.e. 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off), or reduce the intensity, until you find the setting that’s right for you.

Where can I use it?

Oil diffusers can be used in any room of your home. They can also be used in your office and your car. There are portable diffusers that you can take with you when traveling for your hotels. If you’re looking for a portable solution, you can also try MonQ, which are essential oil inhalers (almost like vapes, but with no nicotine).

Are essential oil diffusers safe for children and pets?

Yes, they too can safely enjoy the benefits of an essential oil diffuser. If you go for a nebulizing or ultrasonic model, there’s no heat, so even if they would knock it over (being parents ourselves, we recommend putting it out of reach), there wouldn’t be any hazard.

We’ve covered essential oils for cats (and another article for dogs) if you want to read more on pets and essential oils.

Are cheap models “just as good”? What do I get if I pay slightly more?

Sometimes price reflects quality, but not always.

Earlier there were only a few manufacturers of oil diffusers – most of which also produced essential oils.

More competitors have arrived on the market, and prices have gone down.

Yes, you can now get a good oil diffuser for as low as 25$. You may sacrifice some design and build finish, but if that’s not important for you, none of the diffusers in our test are bad. The bad ones didn’t even make the cut to the top 10.

If you’re looking for a specific design or finish, you may want to pay more. I.e. the oil diffusers from Young Living and Organic Aromas use ceramic, real wood and metal, where others use plastic.

The more expensive models we’ve tested, have a better design and build, but it’s really up to you.