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Who doesn’t love the soothing scent of essential oils wafting through their home? There are numerous benefits to using essential oils for aromatherapy, and it’s easier than ever to make your home a serene, soothing retreat thanks to these essential oil diffusers.
What to Look for in an Oil Diffuser
There are two main types of oil diffusers: ultrasonic and nebulizing. Both versions create a fine mist, but they work a bit differently. Ultrasonic models — the cheaper option — create vibrations that break the essential oils down and distribute the individual molecules into the air. Nebulizing models distribute more potent, undiluted essential oils into the air using pressurized air.
Capacity and time
Ultrasonic models require a mixture of water and essential oils, which allows them to run for longer — approximately 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Since nebulizing models use only essential oil, they should be run for shorter periods (about 10 minutes at a time).
Both types of models benefit from regular cleaning, but ultrasonic essential oil diffusers are more difficult to clean since they use both water and essential oils. Water makes the machine more susceptible to mold, and tap water can leave calcium deposits inside the machine.
We've researched the best picks and found essential oil diffusers that look as great and work well to make your space feel more tranquil and relaxing.
Best Overall: VicTsing 300ml Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser
The VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser is stylish, affordable, and effective, making it one of the best options on the market today. It comes in three faux wood finishes, and it features two mist settings and 15 lighting modes.
This aroma diffuser can hold up to 300 milliliters of water and will last up to 10 hours on its lower setting. The mist output is 50 to 70 milliliters per hour, which is perfect for smaller spaces of up to 300 square feet. The diffuser has seven soothing colors and bright or dim options for each, and there are four timer settings—1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, or continuous.
Plus, the unit has an auto-off function that shuts it down when it runs out of water. Reviewers say the VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser is contemporary and elegant, and the vast majority are impressed at how well it can diffuse scents.
"The diffuser is generally quiet while misting. That said, it is significantly louder when using the strong mist setting; we found it sounds similar to a laptop’s cooling fan."—Brie Dyas, Product Tester
Runner-Up, Best Overall: InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
If the wood finish of our top pick isn’t your style, you also can’t go wrong with the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, which has a simpler look. This top-rated ultrasonic model has a smaller 100-milliliter capacity, as well as seven light colors.
The InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser can run for three to four hours on continuous or six to eight hours on intermittent mode. Each of the seven light colors can be set to bright or dim, and the unit automatically shuts off when it runs out of water. The unit operates silently, and reviewers call it “small but mighty,” writing that it’s easy to use and surprisingly powerful.
"The diffuser releases steam at a slight angle, and we found that this helped scent the room much quicker than diffusers that release the steam in a more upright manner."—Brie Dyas, Product Tester
Best Lighted: URPOWER 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser
You can experience soothing scents and gentle light with the URPOWER Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser. This model features seven soothing colors that you can cycle through, as well as a 300-milliliter water tank that can run for up to eight hours per fill.
This essential oil diffuser is best for rooms up to 200 square feet, and it has four timer settings—60 minutes, 180 minutes, 360 minutes, or continuous. You can choose to have it cycle through its colors or select one fixed color, and happy buyers say the light is soothing and improves the ambiance of the room.
"We tested this diffuser with two drops of a citrus-based essential oil, and it made the whole room smell like we’d just cut up oranges."—Brie Dyas, Product Tester
Best Waterless: AromaAllure Essential Oil Diffuser
Don’t want to be constantly refilling the water tank of a diffuser? Then you need a waterless model, such as this one from AromaAllure. This oil diffuser uses a fan to disperse the scent from your favorite essential oils—no heat or water necessary. In fact, you don't even need a plug, so this diffuser can easily travel with you or sit on a surface without an easily available outlet.
This diffuser needs two AAA batteries, or can be used with the included USB power cord. Then, add a few drops of your favorite oils to the microfiber pads, replace the wooden cap, and switch on the diffuser. The diffuser comes with three microfiber pads for three separate fragrance blends, but if you like to switch it up often, you can buy separate pads, as well.
Best Budget: Better Homes & Gardens 100ml Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser
One of the great things about essential oil diffusers is that they’re quite affordable, and we love the appearance of this budget-friendly Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser from Better Homes & Gardens. This model has a 100-milliliter capacity that lasts for up to four hours, and it's surprisingly stylish with its Moroccan scroll-inspired exterior.
This aroma diffuser adds humidity to the air with its cool mist, and it features a color-changing LED light for ambiance. Reviewers rave about the performance of the Better Home & Garden Aroma Diffuser, saying it’s “the coolest thing ever” and will match virtually any decor. Plus, you can’t beat the affordable price.
"While the instructions suggest using four drops of essential oil, we quickly found that was far too much scent for our medium-sized room. After opening the windows and letting everything air out, we started again with just a single drop."—Julie Hershman, Product Tester
Best Design: Stadler Form Jasmine Aroma Diffuser
This battery-powered aroma diffuser makes a chic addition to any room. The Stadler Form Jasmine Aroma Diffuser boasts both continuous and intermittent settings, and it can run for up to 24 hours in interval mode. It’s small and lightweight, and this product comes in several pretty colors.
The tank on this diffuser is 100 milliliters, and you can charge it via a USB cord. Reviewers say it’s a great option to put in your bedroom or office, and many note the design is much sleeker than other oil diffusers.
Best Splurge: Vitruvi Stone Diffuser
If you’re looking for a stylish, reliable diffuser and don’t mind spending a little extra, the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser is definitely the way to go. This beautiful model is made from porcelain, and it can run for three hours on continuous or more than seven hours on intermittent mode.
This oil diffuser has a 90-milliliter water tank, and the simple, stylish design will blend right in with your decor. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s ideal for rooms up to 538 square feet. It will automatically turn off when it runs out of water, and according to reviewers, the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser is elegant and well-made.
"Though this diffuser is rated for large, 500-square-foot spaces and the instructions recommend using 10 to 15 drops of essential oil, we found that was way too much. Two to three drops was all it took to disperse a subtle, relaxing scent."—Julie Hershman, Product Tester
Best for Large Spaces: Exqline Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser
Small essential oil diffusers are really only useful in one room, but if you have an open floor plan or other large space, you need a model like the Exqline Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser. Not only is this product powerful enough to diffuse scents over 450 square feet, but it also has a large ½-gallon water tank that delivers long-lasting operation.
This essential oil diffuser doubles as a humidifier, and it can run for 10 to 20 hours per fill. It has seven light options, including bright and dim settings, and you can adjust the humidity level to suit your needs. Plus, the operation is virtually silent, making it ideal for use in your bedroom at night.
Reviewers absolutely love this essential oil diffuser from Exqline, writing that it lasts for quite a long time per fill and looks extremely attractive. Many also love that it serves as a humidifier, helping to combat dry skin and other common issues in the winter.
Best for Car: InnoGear USB Car Essential Oil Diffuser
If you’ve ever wished you could make your car smell a little better with the help of essential oils, you’re in luck! This portable essential oil diffuser from InnoGear is designed especially for cars—it fits right into your cup holder and can be powered via a USB cord plugged into your car’s auxiliary power outlet (you will need a compatible adapter, but they’re inexpensive).
This oil diffuser comes in white and black, and its small 50-milliliter water tank lasts about three hours on continuous mode and six hours on intermittent. It lights up in seven colors, and the unit will automatically shut off when it runs out of water. Reviewers say it’s an amazing car diffuser, as it fits perfectly into a cup holder. Plus, it’s quite affordable—a small price to pay for a better smelling vehicle.
For an oil diffuser that’s stylish and affordable, we love the VicTsing 300ml Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser. It comes in three different finishes, and it features two mist settings and 15 lighting modes. The InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser is a close runner-up though, although it has a smaller water capacity.