As alternative therapies gain steam, essential oils have wafted into the spotlight. Volatile, potent compounds extracted from plants by distillation or expression, essential oils are immensely versatile. These natural aromatic chemicals have plentiful applications, from scenting homes and aromatherapy to self-care rituals and therapeutic applications.
To learn more about these powerful compounds, we turned to Jade Shutes, founder and director of education for The School for Aromatic Studies, who says, “Essential oils have a wide range of therapeutic benefits. Essential oils can support emotional well-being, reduce inflammation in the skin, enhance immunity, support wound healing, respiratory and digestive health, and much more.” Essential oils can be inhaled, applied topically after dilution, or popped into a diffuser or humidifier to infuse your home with fragrance.
With more essential oil brands to choose from than ever before, we did the research for you. We took a look at a wide variety of different essential oil companies, comparing different brands based on their product selections, quality of ingredients, third-party certifications, and pricing. Our top picks include brands like Plant Therapy, Vitruvi, and Pura D'or, among others. Ahead, discover our choices for essential oil companies that fit every budget and need.
Wide array of affordable oils
Kid-safe and Pet & Pony Safe options
USDA organic and Leaping Bunny certified products
Generous return period
Not all oils are certified organic
Some oil scents are softer and harder to discern
Your search for high-quality and affordable essential oils without additives, adulterants, or dilutions stops at Plant Therapy, a brand whose wide selection is worth a sniff. These essential oils are sourced from reputed suppliers and are third-party tested and supported by GC/MS reports, so you can be assured of their quality. Plant Therapy products are also Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free. Some—but not all—of the essential oils are USDA organic certified. Ultimately, the oil selection is unbeatable in value and quality.
Planet Therapy’s offerings cover the entire caboodle, including tailor-made kid-safe and Pup & Pony Safe selections. Apart from essential oil sets and samplers, you can buy body care, household, CBD products, and even essential oils in bulk, along with other doodads at this one-stop site. Plant Therapy sells direct-to-consumer, keeping prices competitive, and many oils are available for less than $10. If you’re not satisfied, you can return the oils, even after 90 days.
While the bulk of Plant Therapy's essential oils are USDA Organic certified, make sure to check the label while browsing. Not every product bears this key certification. Additionally, some users mention that certain oils carry softer, harder-to-smell fragrances–but that's a detail that really comes down to personal preference.
Attractive packaging and design
Natural, filler-free ingredient blends
Vegan and cruelty-free
Siblings Sara Panton and Sean Panton sought an alternative to traditional home scents chock-full of toxins, so they bottled and labeled Vitruvi’s first few essential oil collections by hand. This effort blossomed into a design-forward brand that creates not only essential oils but also humidifiers, natural home fresheners, and diffusers, including the highly stylish Vitruvi Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser. The brand’s essential oils are made with natural ingredients and are free of fillers, diluting oils, synthetic fragrances, or unnatural additions. They’re sourced from over 20 countries, including France and Madagascar.
We love the elegant, minimal packaging for the vegan, cruelty-free essential oils. The bottles are UV-protected, printed using plant-based ink, and bundled in biodegradable packaging that can be recycled and reused. Vitruvi’s oils make perfect gifts; you can pick single oils or blends with dreamy names such as Slow Dance, a grounding aroma with notes of fir, cedarwood, and pine wafting through. Shop online, or buy from retailers such as Anthropologie and Nordstrom.
It's worth noting that Vitruvi's essential oils are designed with the intention of pairing them with the company's line of diffusers. So, if you're looking for a broad selection of oils for various uses, these may not fit the bill. However, they are quality products made without fillers–two critical perks for any essential oil brand.
Rocky Mountain Oils
Committed to sustainability
90-day return policy
Broad product line
Not all oils are certified organic
Michael and Phoenix’s struggle to find quality essential oils without a membership led them to found Rocky Mountain Oils. The company retails pure, authentic, and unadulterated GC/MS tested and independently verified essential oils directly to customers in amber glass bottles. The brand’s broad collection includes singles, blends, kits, organic oils, kid-safe oils, roll-ons, and other options—meaning there’s something for every kind of essential oil enthusiast.
Committed to sustainability, Rocky Mountain Oil is in the process of switching to sustainable packaging and has even initiated a bottle recycling program. Regular customers can benefit from the Rocky Mountain Oil rewards program, which earns you points on purchases and referrals. What’s more, the company offers a 90-day hassle-free return policy, even after using the products. Nose through the extensive list of best sellers, including a fresh lavender and a tart lemongrass, and find your new favorite scent.
While Rocky Mountain Oil's product line is broad and includes a wealth of choices for different users, the oils are more expensive. And not every oil is certified USDA Organic. However, if you want variety, sustainability, and kid-friendly options, this is a brand worth shopping!
USDA organic certified
Attractive box sets
Lack of transparency in testing
Popular hair, skin, and body care brand Pura D’or is also home to an aromatherapy lineup. Working with professional certified aromatherapist Mikki Anderson, the limited selection of essential oils is ethically sourced from family-run farms and small distilleries. The products are USDA certified organic, Leaping Bunny cruelty-free, and vegan. However, the brand hasn’t made quality test results available as other brands have.
While Pura D’or offers a few basic essential oils in 4-ounce bottles, such as tea tree, lemon, lavender, cedarwood, ylang ylang, and more, it’s the brand’s nifty and affordable essential oil kits that we really like. You can choose either the box sets featuring 10 or 16 10-milliliter bottles of essential oils for dabbling in aromatherapy or boosting your vitality.
The biggest potential drawback to Pura D'or essential oils is the lack of transparency in product testing. However, since the brand carries multiple key certifications from third-party organizations, you can rest easy knowing the oils have been vetted by the USDA, Leaping Bunny, and more.
Part of a member-owned co-op
Large product selection
Widely available at popular retailers
Give back policy
Not all oils are USDA certified organic
If you’ve popped into your local Target or Whole Foods, chances are you’ve seen Aura Cacia’s essential oils on the shelves. Aura Cacia has been a part of a member owned co-op since it was founded in 1982, putting its employees, growers, and the community at the forefront of its operations. Aura Cacia’s sustainably sourced oils are verified for purity with GC/MS testing, and they’re free of synthetic colors, fragrances, and preservatives.
The brand’s product selection boasts an impressive variety of single and blended oils, USDA certified organic and premium oils, all starting at reasonable prices. You can also shop a collection of diffusers, mists, and bath and skin products for adults and kids. To boost your mood, try the Uplifting Kit with a selection of four citrusy oils (namely lemon, lime, grapefruit, and sweet orange oil) that’s a refreshing and invigorating gift.
Although the essential oils offered by Aura Cacia are affordable and you'll find a wide selection to shop, just keep in mind not every oil or blend is USDA Organic certified. Many are, but if this is important to you, make sure to double-check before buying.
Over 250 single oil and synergy blends
Ethically and sustainably sourced
Grace Martin’s Edens Garden got its start in 2009, and this young company has sold over 20 million bottles of essential oils to date. Partnering with global farmers and distilleries, in little over a decade the brand has built an impressive portfolio of over 250 single oil and synergistic blends for you to choose from, for therapeutic use as well as aromatherapy. The essential oils are ethically and sustainably sourced, GC/MS batch tested for quality, and don’t contain synthetics, fragrances, fillers, or toxic chemicals.
Apart from the broad array of medicinal and feel-good blends and products, Edens Garden gives you an option to pick and choose to create your own sets. While the brand’s oils are slightly pricier than its counterparts, this women-led company has a strong giving back program, called Seeds of Goodness, that supports nonprofit organizations such as The Angel House, a rescue for abandoned children, and Feeding America, which provides over 4 billion meals annually to those in need.
Saje Natural Wellness
Committed to sustainability
Available in stores
Saje’s holistic and worry-free wellness ethos is behind its purposeful collection of essential oils, home (including natural cleaning kits), skin and hair care products. Saje states that its essential oils are all-natural, and free from parabens, SLS, artificial colorants, synthetic fragrances, and fillers—all of which is supported by a GC/MS analysis. Committed to sustainable business practices, a majority of Saje’s kits are made from recycled water bottles. The company also believes in giving back to the community and supports NGOs such as The Little Market.
Newbies can try the wellness concoctions available in beautiful amber-hued roll-ons, such as flu season hero Fortify; the tackler of niggling aches Pain Release; and Saje’s first-ever formulation, the best-selling Peppermint Halo, a soothing blend of peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lavender to nix stiff shoulders and a throbbing head. Saje's oils and oil blends do run more expensive than most other essential oil brands, but the rave customer reviews and many different perks of these "clean" products make them worth the price, if you want to shop a brand committed to wellness and sustainability.
Non-GMO and cruelty-free
Not all oils are certified USDA organic
Fragrances can fade quickly
A household name for natural products and dietary supplements, Now Foods was founded by Elwood Richard in the 1960s with the intention of creating affordable, high-quality nutritional products. Today, the brand’s vast catalog includes pure essential oils (though there are some exceptions, like the synthetic jasmine, which is labeled such), blends, and USDA organic-certified essential oils.
The brand’s in-house state-of-the-art laboratory and experts verify the findings of external quality tests. You can trust that the oils are non-GMO, cruelty-free, and vegan, and are sold through many retailers, including Amazon. You can download the brand’s Purity Specification Guide to ferret out more information. Buying in bulk on discounted prices from essential oil vendors helps keep the oils affordable. You can also pick up no-frills diffusers, kits, and roll-ons.
Not all of the essential oils offered by NOW Foods are USDA Organic certified, so double-check the details if you want to make sure you're getting a third-party tested variety. Additionally, some customers note that the fragrances of the brand's oils can dissipate quickly, meaning they may not be the strongest. However, if you're sensitive to strong scents, that isn't a bad thing!
Hand-crafted essential oil blends
Certified B Corp
On the pricier side
Doesn’t retail single essential oils
Since they first started practicing aromatherapy in the 1970s, Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey fell in love with essential oils. Wishing to help others explore the sensorial world of essential oils, they opened the first Aromatherapy Associates store in 1985, specializing in handcrafted intentional and purposeful blends created by a master blender from the company’s London-based laboratory. For instance, Deep Relax is a restorative blend of grounding vetiver, soothing chamomile, and relaxing sandalwood that will lull you to sleep.
Aromatherapy Associates’ blends are natural, made from sustainably sourced ingredients from natural environments, such as lavender from the Alps. The oils are free from synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, sulfates, parabens, and mineral oil, and they aren’t tested on animals. Aromatherapy Associates is a certified B Corp, meaning there’s a special emphasis on the people and planet before profits. This includes using recyclable and reusable packaging, giving back to the community, and using renewable energy at the company’s headquarters.
The one downside to shopping Aromatherapy Associates' essential oils? You won't find any single oils, only blends. However, if blends are more your speed, you'll find plenty to try–and plenty of variety to suit every need.
Garden of Life
Certified USDA organic, non-GMO, and vegan
Certified B Corp
Carbon neutral company
When it comes to responsible business practices, nutritional supplement company Garden of Life ticks the right boxes. With a wide range of wellness products, the company carries relevant certifications such as B Corp and Carbon Neutrality. Though Garden of Life offers a small selection of essential oils, these products are USDA organic-certified, non-GMO, and vegan.
A great place to start is the brand’s essential oil starter kit, which features the most popular picks like lavender, peppermint, lemon, and tea tree essential oils. You can use these oils for a range of purposes, be it for meditation, a body massage, or for DIY home products.
Vast selection, including hard-to-find oils
Internal quality testing
Committed to sustainability
DoTERRA is a multi-level marketing essential oil company and one of the bigger players in the marketplace, selling pure, responsibly sourced essential oils, albeit for a higher price. To assess the quality of its oils, doTERRA has instituted an internal standard of quality, the Certified Pure Tested Grade protocol, along with third-party testing.
The company’s repertoire of essential oils is vast, with hard-to-find scents, such as the rose oil, where 10,000 rose blossoms are plucked to create 5 milliliters of precious oil priced at a pocket-emptying $366.67 (though there is a wholesale discount). Apart from the oils alone, doTERRA offers a whole smorgasbord of offerings, including skin and hair care products, supplements, diffusers, and other accessories to keep you hooked. Just note that you'll need a membership in order to buy doTERRA's products.
Mountain Rose Herbs
Certified Fair Trade, USDA organic, non-GMO, and zero-waste
Wide production selection
Slow shipping time
High shipping costs
Mountain Rose Herbs had humble beginnings as a herb retail shop and mail order company, but it now operates from a sprawling 12-acre campus in Eugene, Oregon. Here, you’ll find essential oils backed by a slew of certifications. Mountain Rose Herbs carries credentials as a fair-trade organization with organic and non-GMO products, all of which are produced at a zero-waste facility. (Just note that not all of the brand’s essential oils are certified organic.)
The depth of the brand’s catalog spans not only essential oils but also teas, herbs, and spices, bath and body products, and much more. We love the simplicity of the kits, such as the Lovers Essential Kit with five organic oils, including ylang ylang and Australian sandalwood. If you’re in the mood to splurge, shop for the rare-to-find pure oils, such as Jasmine Absolute and Vanilla Absolute, which cost well over $1,000 for four ounces. But it’s the price you pay for rarity and perfection.
You'll also want to note that Mountain Rose Herbs does have a slower-than-typical shipping timeframe. It can take weeks to receive your order, particularly if you're purchasing hard-to-source oils. You should also factor in the cost of shipping, which isn't free. Ultimately, though, these details aren't dealbreakers–especially when it comes to a wide product selection and high level of sustainability.
Revive Essential Oils
Verified natural ingredients
100-day return policy
Only available online
Oil fragrances can be somewhat diluted
A well-priced, quality alternative to pricier brands, Revive keeps costs low by selling directly to customers through its website. The oils are wildcrafted, and Revive states that all are free from pesticides, additives, adulterants, fillers, synthetics, and dilutions, with a supportive GC/MS verification. You’ll find a solid selection of oil options, including kits and various bottle sizes.
Revive Essential Oils created its own versions of popular blends as well as signature blends for you to pick from. An easy option is to pick up the starter kit, which includes 10 full-size bottles and an ultrasonic diffuser. Revive also offers a generous 100-day return policy, and you can return even opened bottles of essential oil for a full refund.
One-stop-shop Plant Therapy is our top pick because it’s where you’ll find all of your needs covered with a broad selection of easy-on-the-pocket essential oils. If you wish to splurge, we also like Aromatherapy Associates and its selection of handcrafted masterful blends.
What to Look For in an Essential Oil Brand
You need to consider several factors while shopping for quality essential oils, especially in the absence of industry standards, says Jade Shutes, founder and director of education for The School for Aromatic Studies. While researching brands, look for the common and scientific name of the botanical on the label, whether the method of production is specified, from where in the plant has the oil been extracted from (flowers, leaves, stems, roots, or fruits), the color of the bottle (preferring amber, blue, or green), the brand’s commitment to sustainability and the reputation of the company, among other criteria.
A great place to start your search for quality essential oils is the list of ingredients on any given bottle. You can look at the ingredients used by specific brands or take a closer look at what’s inside an individual bottle. This is key, as it’ll allow you to determine what, exactly, the oil is made with. Pure essential oils, which tend to be the most expensive, have nothing beyond the oil itself. However, many oils can come with unexpected surprises, like fillers, water, and additives. For the most natural options, look for short ingredient lists and brands that offer full transparency around what’s inside every bottle of oil.
Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry Testing
“Batch specific Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) testing is essential to show that there is no adulteration and to highlight the purity of the tested essential oil,” says Marge Clark, founder of Nature's Gift Aromatherapy and author of “Essential Oils and Aromatics.” Rigorous and independent third-party GC/MS testing helps analyze the chemicals that constitute an essential oil; it also helps you understand what, exactly, goes into various oils and blends. Thus, look for the test reports so you can make an informed decision before purchasing.
Certifications offer additional insight into essential oil brands and their products. For example, an organic certification such as USDA organic indicates that an essential oil is made almost entirely from organic ingredients and free from fertilizers and pesticides. Other third-party certifications to consider include PETA’s Vegan & Cruelty Free certification and Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free certification. Another common certification is Non-GMO, which means the essential oil was produced without genetic engineering and its ingredients are not derived from GMOs.
Scent is no minor detail—it can make or break an essential oil! You want to seek out oils that give off pleasant fragrances and choose products that smell nice to your nose. But it’s not always as simple as choosing a singular scent that you already know and love. Essential oils can be blended together, either in a single bottle or inside a diffuser for a more customized mix. To get an idea of which scents complement each other, starter kits and prepackaged blends are a great place to start and seek out some inspiration.
Are essential oils helpful?
Essential oils can yield several potential benefits beyond simply boosting your mood. Some essential oils are said to have antibacterial effects, while others can potentially reduce pain, such as headaches and joint pain. They may soothe even minor burns, including sunburns, and tackle niggling skin concerns. “They also have a wide variety of emotional effects, ranging from easing insomnia and soothing anxiety and depression," says Clark.
How do you use essential oils?
Essential oils can be used in myriad ways. Add a few drops to diffusers, dabble in DIY laundry detergents and home cleansers, or massage it onto your skin. Essential oils do need to be diluted to prevent possible adverse skin reactions and toxicity. Shutes recommends diluting them with a carrier oil, unscented cream or lotion, or aloe vera gel. “For adults, a 2.5 percent dilution is good. This means adding a total of 15 to 20 drops of essential oil into one fluid ounce of carrier liquid or cream. For children under the age of 5 and over the age of 3, use a 0.5 to 1 percent dilution.”
How do I choose an essential oil brand?
Depending on your needs, you can shortlist brands by considering their quality and reputation, the variety of oils available, the frequency and quantity of your usage, the sizes available, whether they are kid- or pet-friendly, and if they’re food grade. Clark goes a step further and recommends looking for companies with membership of professional associations, such as the Alliance of International Aromatherapists or the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy.
How do you know if essential oils are good quality?
“Place a drop of essential oil on a clean white sheet of blotting or watercolor paper. The essential oil should evaporate completely within a 24-48-hour period, leaving no stain (unless the essential oil is colored, as is the case with some citrus oils and German chamomile) or reminiscent aroma,” says Shutes, adding that this basic test works well on highly volatile oils such as citrus oils, but not with viscous essential oils like vetiver and sandalwood.
You can also add a drop of essential oil to water. “If the water becomes discolored or turns milky, then it has been diluted with water and an emulsifier has been used to keep the essential oil and water together,” she says.
Finally, Shutes recommends using your sense of smell. “Our sense of smell is often underrated as a tool in determining the quality of an essential oil, but it is perhaps the most powerful tool we have.” With practice, you can strengthen it. “For instance, first smell an excellent-quality essential oil, then immediately smell a questionable or low-quality essential oil. There should be a distinct difference in the quality and effect of the aroma,” she explains.
What oils should one keep at home?
Shutes recommends the following:
· Lavender: An all-around beneficial essential oil for first aid, luscious lavender promotes sleep, helps heals wounds, and supports healthy skin
· Eucalyptus globulus or Eucalyptus radiata: Great essential oils for cooler months, these freshly scented oils support immunity
· Peppermint: A strong, minty oil, peppermint is used to boost energy, ease aches and pains, and traditionally, to support the digestive system
· Sweet orange: A calming yet uplifting addition to your home kit, sweet orange can enhance emotional well-being
· Tea tree: The microbial tea tree oil is a forerunner in a first aid kit, treating zits, insect bites, and much more
· Rose or neroli: Though pricey, these delicate floral oils can support emotional well-being during periods of high stress or grief
· Frankincense: A comforting, aromatic oil to allay turbulent emotions and relieve skin concerns
Why Trust The Spruce?
Neeti Mehra writes about sustainability for The Spruce. As a researcher and consultant, she has edited three magazines during her career covering a broad range of topics. She is committed to sustainable, slow, and mindful living. She personally uses essential oils as a mood booster and particularly enjoys tea tree, rosemary, lavender, and lemongrass, using them in baths, a diffuser, or applied on her skin after diluting them.
For this article, she researched and shortlisted reputed essential oil brands based on their offerings, transparency, reviews and other key criteria. To get a complete perspective, she also spoke to experts Jade Shutes, founder and director of education, The School for Aromatic Studies, and Marge Clark, founder of Nature's Gift Aromatherapy and the author of "Essential Oils and Aromatics."