Diffusing essential oils is one of the best ways to enjoy all these natural wonders have to offer. It allows you to effectively have the oils working for you constantly wherever you are. Diffusing allows the aromatic and therapeutic properties of the oils to go to work while you get on with life.
The best essential oil diffuser will vary for depending on personal preference, usage and environment. There are several types of diffusers for essential oils and it may be that you decide on a few different models for a range of situations.
Some are more portable, require no water and can quickly fragrance a small space. While others require water and are better for larger spaces. Further, the way in which they disperse the oils varies which can slightly reduce the therapeutic effectiveness of the oils. This may not be a concern if you are primarily interested in the aromas.
To help decide which is the top essential oil diffuser for you, I have put together this list of the best on the market, along with an outline of the types of models available. From this, you will be able to start enjoying the smells of essential oils very soon.
But first, let’s get an understanding of diffusion and how diffusers work.
What You Need To Know About Diffusing Essential Oils
1. How Diffusion Works
Diffusion is a process that puts a fine mist of essential oils into the air, making them available for inhalation. Once dispersed, the oils can remain suspended for several hours and go to work freshening and improving the air quality.
As we breathe in the oils, they go to work on our mind, body and spirit by delivering a host of emotional and therapeutic benefits. These benefits will vary depending on the blend of oils used in the diffuser.
2. Why Diffuse Essential Oils
Diffusing essential oils is one way to make the properties of the oils available to our mind and body. Essential oils can also be inhaled and applied topically. Watch the video below to better understand why you should diffuse essential oils.
The fine mist from diffusion allows us to inhale the oils. Because our sense of smell is directly linked to the brain through the olfactory system, this is a powerful way to affect memory, emotions and hormones through the olfactory system. The incoming aromatic molecules enter the body via the nose with every breath and will enhance emotional wellness, relax or rejuvenate.
Inhalation also allows the essential oil molecules to enter the respiratory system. From here they are carried into the bloodstream and circulated to every cell of the body. Within the cells, the essential oils can activate the body’s ability to heal itself and improve health.
Apart from the benefits directly to our bodies, diffusing essential oils can help to reduce airborne chemicals, kill bacteria, reduce fungus and overall greatly improve the air quality.
3. Types of Diffusers
The best types of diffusers maintain the chemical makeup and therapeutic qualities of essential oils. Those that require an intense heat source e.g. light bulb ring, candle, can alter the essential oils and as a result are not ideal.
The recommended diffusers for essential oils are:
Evaporative (or fan) – air is blown over a pad containing the oil to create a mist
Nebulizer – burst of air breaks the oils into a fine mist of smaller molecules
Humidifier – vibration and air vaporize oils combined with water to create a cool mist
Ultrasonic – ultrasonic vibrations convert oil mixed with water into a fine mist
Each of these works slightly differently with some requiring water (humidifier, ultrasonic). Evaporative diffusers are the most portable and some models can run on batteries. While nebulizers are considered the best in terms of maintaining therapeutic benefits, they are the most expensive.
The most popular diffusers on the market are ultrasonic because of their affordability and the wide range of choices available.
4. Essential Oils to Diffuse
All essential oils can be diffused either alone or in combination with others. However, some of the more viscous oils e.g. myrrh, sandalwood can make some diffusers difficult to clean and are better avoided in those models.
When first starting to diffuse oils, it is best to start with those that have a variety of benefits and will form the basis of any aromatherapy kit. These include lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint and geranium.
Extending from this consider what you are trying to achieve with your diffusion. Is it to give your memory a boost? Fight coughs and colds? Or simply to make the house smell great? There are so many wonderful blends to experiment with and try. Keep it simple to start with and get more adventurous as your experience develops.
5 Best Essential Oil Diffuser Reviews
There are quite a few 100ml options that are popular but the InnoGear model is the top rated aromatherapy diffuser.
Its portability, ease of use and good looks make it a great diffuser for any small to medium sized room including bedroom, office, dining room, spa, study and kitchen.
The diffuser can be operated in a 6 hour intermittent (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) or 3 hour continuous mist mode at the press of a button.
The third mode is to have the mist off. If this mode is selected you can still use the device as a colour changing light. Further, the light can be set to dim or bright – ideal for a night light.
Alternatively, if you don’t want the lights on, you can choose to operate in mist mode with no lights.
The unit will automatically shut off once the water runs out.
Another great diffuser from InnoGear that offers a completely different style. Featuring a wood grain look, it is a beautiful design that fits perfectly with any decor.
There are 4 timer (1hr/3hr/6hr/on) and 2 mist (weak/strong) settings so you can set the diffuser to suit your circumstances.
Regardless of the setting, once the water runs out the unit will automatically shut off making it safe for night time use. You can set and forget safely.
Featuring 7 light colours with 3 settings – one colour continuously, a gradual fade between colours, or completely turned off. The design makes it perfect for low light rooms giving a relaxing ambience.
With a 200 ml tank, the unit is easy to fill and also helps to humidify the air. The ultrasonic technology ensures it works away quietly in the background for hours. Pop in your favourite essential oils and enjoy.
This diffuser is the ‘big boy’ on the list at a large 500ml water tank capacity that allows the unit to run for up to 10 hours.
Using ultrasonic technology it acts as a diffuser, ionizer, purifier and humidifier while ensuring maximum benefit from your favourite essential oils.
The URPower 500ml can also be used without essential oils as a stand alone humidifier, which in some cases may be preferable.
A timer allows you to set the diffuser to mist for 60, 120 or 180 minutes. Alternatively it can just be turned to ‘ON’ and will operate until the water runs out. Then it automatically shuts off.
7 light colours are available and they can be allowed to change continuously or fixed to one colour for soft illumination. The light function can also be switched off.
Finally, there is a choice between high or low spray intensity depending on the level of aroma or humidification required. If you want the best diffuser for essential oils in a large area, over a long period of time, this unit is a great choice.
Inspired by nature, this URPower diffuser combines all the benefits of ultrasonic diffusion with good looks.
The unit is powerful enough to disperse a scented fine mist up to 269 sq. ft. and run for up to 10 hours on a full tank of water.
The natural wood grain look is enhanced by 7 colour changing lights that can be switched on, off or allowed to gradually change.
You can set it to match the mood and decor of any space – home, office, study, nursery, spa, living room etc.
There is a timer that allows the unit to run for 60,180 and 360 minutes or simply set it to run continuously. The unit will shut off automatically once the water runs out, making it perfect for use in bedrooms at night.
Although its the smallest diffuser in my top 5, the ZAQ Noor is no lightweight when it comes to delivering all the benefits of essential oil diffusion.
The 80 ml tank provides room coverage of 200-300 sq. ft. for up to a period of 4 hours. A perfect option if you want to use different oils during the day.
The attractive pyramid shape of the ZAQ Noor has a vibrantly coloured point that can be set to multi colour, one colour or off. There is also a choice of base colours.
With its ultrasonic operation, the diffuser operates silently in the background to deliver maximum benefit from the essential oils. It also shuts off automatically once the water runs out, so it doesn’t matter if you forget it’s on.
This attractive little diffuser is a great choice for foyers, reception areas, office cubicles and small studios.
Diffusing essential oils is a wonderful way to enjoy their many benefits. There is really no limit to the combination of oils you can use to increase overall health and wellness.
Diffusing essential oils can do many things including improve your mood, stay focused, beat off nasty coughs and colds or cleanse your environment. Apart from that, they smell great and is diffusing is something you can enjoy every day.
There are lots of diffusers available so take the time to choose the right one for your situation. Like many people, you may end up with a few different ones for use in different areas. The list I’ve put together above gives you a range of the best and most popular on the market.
There is definitely something here for everyone, so pick the best one for you, grab your favourite brand of essential oils, and start diffusing!