The 9 Best Essential Oil Diffusers for Daily Aromatherapy

We recommend the Sierra Modern Home Smart Ultrasonic Diffuser & Humidifier.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Essential Oil Diffuser
Photo: amazon.com

Whether you use them for their fragrance or potential health and skincare benefits, essential oils are best enjoyed using a diffuser. "A good diffuser is the quickest and easiest way to reap immediate benefits [of essential oils]," says Sahabat Amiler, organic soap maker and essential oil specialist.

When it comes to choosing the best diffuser for your needs, Amiler says that it really comes down to personal preference, style, and budget. We researched dozens of diffusers, evaluating them on type, runtime, capacity, and price. Our top pick, the Sierra Modern Home Smart Ultrasonic Diffuser & Humidifier, is a great all-around product at a reasonable price that has a long run time of 12 hours and can even be managed by your smart device.

See more of our top diffuser recommendations below and keep scrolling for answers to all your diffuser questions. And of course, be sure to talk to your doctor before using essential oils for any health-related reasons.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall Diffuser: Sierra Modern Home Smart Ultrasonic Diffuser & Humidifier

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Also available at Walmart.

Who it's for: People who want a totally customizable smart diffuser at a good price.

Who it isn't for: People who want more than two mist settings.

This clever little diffuser from Sierra Modern Home is our top pick for many reasons. In addition to the fact that it's a smart device, meaning it can be operated from your phone or tablet, it has a large tank capacity, a long runtime of 12 hours, and LED color lights that can be set to any shade of the color wheel. The lamp can be set on just one color or you can have it slowly and smoothly alternate between colors for more ambiance. Though it's made from plastic, it convincingly looks like wood from a few feet away and comes in two shades—light or dark wood—to go with every home decor style.

Just a few drops of essential oils are needed to make a medium-sized room smell great in a matter of minutes. This diffuser features a more advanced vaporizing technology that won't damage the essential oils during the diffusion process, meaning you get a fresher and more prominent scent that will last longer. You can turn it on and off via your phone, as well as control its intensity and the color and brightness of the LED light. You can even schedule it and set several timers for it throughout the day for it to operate automatically. The price is extremely reasonable, and it looks great too.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: 12 hours
  • Coverage: 270-430 square feet
  • Tank Size: 400 ml
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 11 x 8 inches

Best Budget Diffuser: Urpower Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Who it's for: People with smaller rooms who don't want to spend too much.

Who it isn't for: People who want a diffuser for medium to large rooms.

This diffuser is a customer favorite due to its low price and two handy mist settings that will either diffuse in 30-second increments (for about six hours) or continuously until it runs out of water (up to three hours). Even though it's made of durable plastic, it has a faux wood exterior in one of three tones to blend in with any home's decor. While these three "wooden" models only have a very small light that changes color, it's not strong enough for the diffuser to be used solely as a lamp. However, this unit also comes in a modern blue lamp version which fully lights up, providing a cool and serene glow.

This model is the second version of this diffuser; the first version was also a popular budget pick, but it didn't have as much of a powerful mist as this new-and-improved upgrade. Its 100 ml tank means that it doesn't have the longest runtime and will need to be refilled if you want to continue diffusing. It does, however, have an automatic shut-off function that shuts the machine down as soon as it senses that the water has run out, so you can basically set it to work and then forget about it. It's a pretty basic unit but, for the price, it gets the job done and delivers a nice even scent to small rooms.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: 6 hours
  • Coverage: Small rooms
  • Tank Size: 100 ml
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 12 x 5 inches

Best Splurge Diffuser: Vitruvi Stone Ultrasonic Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Also available at Nordstrom and West Elm.

Who it's for: People who want a high-end diffuser available in muted colors.

Who it isn't for: People who want to spend much less than $100 for a diffuser.

Undoubtedly the most popular high-end diffuser, this attractive unit uses ultrasonic vibrations to diffuse the essential oils so that they keep their integrity for longer. While most diffusers on the market have a very "plastic" look and feel to them, this model is made from porcelain with a matte ceramic finish that makes it look less like a device and more like an expensive ornament that you'll be proud to keep on display.

For those who don't like colored lights, the Vitruvi Stone offers a warm light that can be used whether the diffuser is in action or not. The unit gives you the option to choose between a four-hour or an eight-hour timer to diffuse your favorite oils, depending on whether you have it on continuous use or set to diffuse the scented mist in increments. Its easy twist-off cover makes it a breeze to clean between uses, and it comes in a variety of subtle yet stylish colors including black, white, sea green, and terracotta. It may be more expensive than most other options, but its style, functionality, and durability make it totally worth it.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: Up to 8 hours
  • Coverage: 500 square feet
  • Tank Size: 90 ml
  • Material: Porcelain, plastic
  • Dimensions: 3.42 x 7.08 inches

Best Smart Diffuser: Donatello Smart Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a multifunctional diffuser for their nightstand.

Who it isn't for: People who don't want to keep their diffuser out on display.

This cool little multi-use gadget from Donatello is one of the handiest diffusers you can find. Doing triple duty as a diffuser, time and date clock, and weather clock (both displaying the indoor temperature and outside weather), this device has a modern white and wood design that looks great in any room. Once you sync it up to WiFi, it'll show the accurate time and temperature, but you also have the option of turning the display off—if, for instance, you have it next to your bed and like to sleep in complete darkness.

It emits a cool mist and is extremely quiet, even on the stronger mist option of the two available settings. Fully operational from your mobile phone, this smart diffuser provides a totally hands-free experience via its app, apart from when you physically have to refill the water and oil. Speaking of refilling, it has a lid on the top that easily pops out allowing you to simply pour the water and oil in, without needing to take the whole machine apart to do so as with some other models. There's also a 12-month warranty for extra peace of mind.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: Up to 9 hours
  • Coverage: 215-430 square feet
  • Tank Size: 200 ml
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 13 x 5 x 7 inches

Best Diffuser for Large Rooms: GX·Diffuser Essential Oil Stand Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Who it's for: People with large rooms.

Who it isn't for: People with children or pets who could potentially knock it over.

This floor-standing diffuser is basically a piece of furniture—a very modern and attractive piece of furniture with Spanish cedar wood legs and a white basin. Best for those with larger spaces who take their aromatherapy seriously, this diffuser has an enormous water capacity compared to the tanks on smaller tabletop diffusers, so it can go on and on for over 30 hours before you'll need to top it up. If you do leave it on all day, it will automatically shut off once it detects that the water has run out.

Providing a spa-like experience, this unit has three adjustable mist settings, emits a cool mist that won't warm up your space, and also has a calming ambient light with seven color settings. At around 13 inches tall, it's not exactly massive, but you'll still need some floor space to accommodate it—meaning that you'll have to take extra care if you have kids or pets so that they don't accidentally knock it over. You could also put it somewhere higher up, perhaps on a table or side unit, though at 11.1 inches wide, it's too big to fit on an average shelf.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: 30+ hours
  • Coverage: 320-645 square feet
  • Tank Size: 1000 ml
  • Material: Plastic, wood
  • Dimensions: 11.1 x 11.1 x 13.11 inches

RELATED: The Best Air Purifiers for Cleaner Air and What to Look for When Buying One

Best Portable Diffuser: InnoGear Car Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a diffuser they can take on the go.

Who it isn't for: People who are not likely to use an oil diffuser anywhere other than at home.

Whether in the car, at a hotel, or even in an office cubicle, the small InnoGear diffuser allows you to diffuse oils wherever you go. Its small build (under five inches in height and weighing only 0.29 pounds) means it will take up minimal space in your luggage and can even fit in your handbag (as long as it's empty, of course). This to-go diffuser doesn't get hot to the touch, provides a cool mist, and is made from BPA-free plastic.

It even includes two misting modes—continuous and intermittent that can run for up to three hours—and several colors for the LED light, which is soothing enough to be used as a nightlight. Designed to operate via the car's USB port and slot right into your ride's cup holder (it's only a little larger than a soda can), this little device is ideal for road trips—just pop in a couple drops of lavender oil, plug it in, and you're good to go.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: 3 hours
  • Coverage: Small rooms or a car/van
  • Tank Size: 50 ml
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 2.44 x 4.92 inches

Best Design Diffuser: Jack & Rose Aromatherapy Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want a unique, stylish diffuser they can display.

Who it isn't for: People who prefer a minimalist style.

For a more unique diffuser you'll be proud to have on display, this marble option with a metallic rose gold rim and legs is available in four funky colors including green, light blue, and pink. Suitable for use in large rooms thanks to its powerful mist and 500 ml tank that can reach an area of almost 500 square feet, this machine can be used for up to 20 hours on one of its three timer settings. It won't overheat so is fine for use during the night, and it will automatically shut off when it runs out of water.

Sure to garner many compliments from visitors, this attractive diffuser is extremely quiet but produces a strong foggy mist that adequately disperses your essential oil scent throughout the space. Like some other models, it also features a seven-color light, but the main thing that differentiates it from other diffusers is its original, '70s-inspired style and its larger water tank that doesn't need refilling as often. Just note that it comes disassembled so you have to set it up yourself, which entails making sure to put the correct legs in the proper slots.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: 20 hours
  • Coverage: 480 square feet
  • Tank Size: 500 ml
  • Material: Marble, plastic
  • Dimensions: 3.15 x 3.15 x 1.57 inches

Best Nebulizing Diffuser: ArOmis Nebulizing Aromatherapy Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Also available at Uncommon Goods.

Who it's for: People who want a purer essential oil experience.

Who it isn't for: People who want a strong and powerful mist.

Since nebulizers do not require the use of water (or heat) to operate, this nebulizing diffuser by ArOmis uses only essential oils and allows you to get a stronger dose of your favorite aromatherapy ingredients every time you use it. As a result, the mist isn't as strong as that from a water diffuser, but its gas-like emission is strong-smelling and sufficiently gets around a medium-sized room. It is strongly advised, however, to only use 100 percent pure essential oils that are fine-filtered and do not contain plant material in order to avoid clogs and corrosion and ensure the product's longevity.

This model, which comes in 12 unique styles, is super easy to use and put together—simply attach the hand-blown glass vase to the natural pine wood base, plug it in and turn the power on, and drop in a few beads of oil. With no plastic in sight, this professional-grade device is built with high-quality materials and clearly looks and feels superior to most other diffusers on the market, making it deserving of being prominently displayed. The company also provides stellar customer support as well as how-to videos and thorough instructions, so even though you're paying extra, you're getting a superior machine that is built to last.

Product Details:

  • Type: Nebulizer
  • Runtime: 4 hours
  • Coverage: 320 square feet
  • Tank Size: n/a
  • Material: Glass, wood
  • Dimensions: 11 x 3.5 x 7 inches

RELATED: The 5 Best Humidifiers, According to Our Lab Tests

Best Diffuser Lamp: Pure Enrichment PureGlow Crystal Himalayan Salt Lamp Diffuser

Essential Oil Diffuser
amazon.com

Also available at Target, Walmart, and Williams Sonoma

Who it's for: People into salt therapy.

Who it isn't for: People who want a smaller diffuser.

Offering all the benefits of a salt lamp and an essential oil diffuser in one stylish device, this PureGlow Crystal machine by Pure Enrichment is ideal for those who want to get more out of their device than just oil diffusing. Combining aromatherapy with halotherapy—a salt treatment involving inhaling air with tiny salt particles—this innovative device provides a truly unique and soothing experience. This two-in-one diffuser includes 100 percent pure, hand-crafted, pink Himalayan salt rocks, a heated base to heat up the rocks and activate the salt therapy, and a water tank for you to add your favorite essential oils to.

This patented-technology diffuser has a sleek and minimalistic white design, and five ambient light settings so you can adjust its brightness. It also comes with a good company-backed warranty so if anything should happen to it, you'll be covered for five years.

Product Details:

  • Type: Ultrasonic
  • Runtime: 12 hours
  • Coverage: 160 square feet
  • Tank Size: 160 ml
  • Material: Plastic
  • Dimensions: 8.75 x 7 x 7.5 inches

Final Verdict

Our top diffuser recommendation is the 2-in-1 Sierra Modern Home Smart Ultrasonic Diffuser & Humidifier, which can be voice-controlled or operated by a phone or tablet. It has an impressively long runtime of 12 hours, looks great with its faux wood design and light, and is reasonably priced.

How to Shop for Diffusers Like a Pro

Type

In addition to essential oil diffuser combos, i.e., lamp/diffuser, humidifier/diffuser, there are four main types of diffusers. These differ based on the way that they disperse the essential oils into the air.

  • Ultrasonic: These types of diffusers use ultrasonic vibration to create microscopic oil particles that are dispersed into the air. Since no heat is used, the oils last longer, smell stronger, and have no chance of burning. These are not advised for already humid rooms as the water mist will only add to the humidity problem.
  • Nebulizing: Though nebulizers usually have a bit of a learning curve, they are popular with many aromatherapy enthusiasts as no water is required and the stream emitted from them is comprised of pure essential oils. To create the fine mist, this machine uses a high velocity, pressurized air stream that is released through a jet nozzle.
  • Heat: With heat elements that evaporate the oils and release them into the air, heat diffusers should be used with caution and on low settings as they could end up burning the oils. Some heat diffusing units use a mix of oil and water, but others just take the oil straight. These models are typically economical but, judging from the lack of good heat-operated diffusers on the market and the plethora of ultrasonic technology units, they are starting to be phased out and replaced with their ultrasonic counterparts.
  • Evaporative: These diffusers work by placing the essential oils on an absorbent pad in front of a fan in order to get the scent around. Like heat diffusers, evaporative models tend to be affordable and quiet, but they have, for the most part, been replaced with safer and more advanced ultrasonic options.

Tank Size and Runtime

The tank of an ultrasonic, heat, or evaporative essential oil diffuser is the container that holds the water. Nebulizers do not need water to operate and therefore have no tank. The tank size is only relevant in relation to how long the machine can run without having to be refilled. A smaller tank's water contents will evaporate quicker than a large capacity one; however, this is also a matter of whether it's on a high or low setting. The tank size also does not determine how much area a diffuser can cover—this is instead dependent on the diffuser's power.

Style

Diffusers come in several different materials, colors, and designs. The most common material for a diffuser is plastic (most are BPA-free), and these also tend to be the most economical options on the market. However, ceramic, marble, rattan, and glass diffusers are also available. Some models feature funky lighting with adjustable settings, and/or interesting shapes and stylish exteriors designed to be displayed. Most diffusers are discrete and small in size (up to around eight inches in height) and made to sit on a shelf or a table, but much larger freestanding or table-style diffusers with legs are also available. These are usually best for larger spaces and are typically more expensive.

Questions You Might Ask

What are the benefits of a diffuser?

A diffuser is the best way to enjoy the benefits of essential oils. Aside from making your home smell nice, oils can be used for certain purposes—for example, lavender oil can help relieve stress and insomnia. Most diffusers also act as lamps (with multiple color options and brightness settings) that provide a relaxing atmosphere for better sleep or everyday relaxation.

How much benefit you can get from an essential oil diffuser also depends on the quality of the essential oils, according to Amiler. "Make sure you buy 100 percent essential oils and not synthetic oils or perfume mixtures," she says. "Though there are many cheap options on the market, it's worth spending that little bit extra on pure and organic oils that will provide maximum benefit."

How do you clean essential oil diffusers?

To ensure you keep your essential oil diffuser in tip-top shape after every use, there are a few simple steps you can take to clean it about once a month. To start cleaning an essential oil diffuser, be sure it is unplugged, and fill it halfway to the water mark with a mix of water and 10 drops of pure white vinegar. Then run the diffuser for about five minutes for the liquid mixture to clean within the diffuser. When it's finished, drain it completely, and touch up any corners or hard-to-reach spots with a cotton swab dipped in white vinegar. Some diffusers come with their own specific cleaning instructions so always be sure to read the manual.

Are essential oil diffusers safe to use around kids and pets?

While you should always be cautious when diffusing oils around pets and children, some essential oils should be outright avoided. When it comes to children, you shouldn't diffuse essential oils at all around infants under six months old, and you should not use Idaho tansy, hyssop, sage, wintergreen, camphor, eucalyptus, and peppermint around kids under 30 months old. If you do use essential oils with kids in the house, an ultrasonic diffuser is the best type, and should be used for a maximum of 60 minutes at a time with at least 60-minute intervals between uses. Remember to always talk to your doctor before you use any essential oils around your children.

If you have pets, there are several essential oils you should never diffuse. These include tea tree oil, wintergreen, eucalyptus, and peppermint, as well as several others. Check the Pet Poison Helpline for complete info—they have specific recommendations for both dogs and cats.

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Kat de Naoum, who has over 10 years of commerce writing experience. Kat is also the Commerce Editor-at-Large at Thomas-Xometry, the leading US online platform for supplier discovery and product sourcing. For this article, Kat spent hours researching and testing diffusers, spoke to Sahabat Amiler, organic soap maker and essential oil specialist, and researched and considered factors such as each diffuser's size, material, style, diffusing technology, and price.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles