The Best Essential Oil Diffuser of 2020
An essential oil diffuser is an amazing addition to any space. They are great for cleansing the air in your bedroom, bathroom or kitchen, humidifying the air in your space and bringing elegant aromas to your nose wherever it goes.
Diffusers are also great for use in commercial spaces like spas or massage therapy clinics. Wherever you are looking to add some fresh scents and clean air, there will be a diffuser designed for you.
There are tons of options out there to choose from so it can be difficult to make a decision. Our buyer's guide should outline everything you need to look for, which also includes reviews of the top diffusers on the market for you to choose from.
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Our Top Pick for 2020:
Asakuki 700ml Wi-Fi Diffuser
While it may not have some of the more luxurious look as some of the other models on our list, the Asakuki 700ml is hands down our top choice. Asakuki produces a well-made diffuser that performs exactly as you'd expect.
It's simple to use, and has a feature no other diffuser on the market has: Wi-Fi control. You can set timers for on/off with the app, so that it fits your schedule.
The 700ml water capacity is the biggest you can get, so that you're not constantly refilling it, the main problem with most other diffusers.
Great Features + Affordability
When it comes to your health, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one person, may not work for another.
The Asakuki is incredibly versatile, and that's why we like it so much. It produces enough vapor to fill up even a larger room, and it does so quietly - no annoying sounds that will keep you up at night. The 700ml capacity gives you a runtime of 14 hours or more!
It comes with a great app to set timers to your schedule with Wi-Fi, and can also be voice controlled with Alexa. Best of all? It's still available for less than $40.
2020 Runner Up: Revive Diffuser
Revive 100ml Diffuser
This classy diffuser has a sleek design, made of beautiful ceramic. It will easily cover any large room up to 300sqft, has a soft ring light around the base and is BPA free.
It'll last you 4-5 hours on continuous mode, and up to 8 hours in intermittent. It's beautifully designed, easy to use, and won't break the bank.
And, AromEssential readers can get 10% off by using the code AROM10 at check out. No brainer!
Get 10% A Revive Diffuser & Essential Oils
Use code AROM10 at checkout at Revive-EO.com for 10% off your entire order!
Our Top Pick from 2019: VicTsing 300ml
After testing dozens of diffusers, ultimately our favourite from last year was the Victsing 300ml model. With a beautiful wood design and a simple 2-piece construction, it is the most user friendly diffuser we have tested. The 300ml reservoir will run up to 8 hours - far more than any other smaller model - and you don't have to constantly refill it. Plus the actual humidification and spread is unparalleled. If you don't feel like you need the capacity and Wi-Fi compatibility of the Asakuki, and want to save a couple bucks, this is a great alternative.
The 8 Best Diffusers
Ranked & Reviewed
1. Asakuki Wi-Fi 700ml Diffuser
The Asakuki 700ml diffuser has literally everything you could possible want in a diffuser, making it our undisputed top choice of 2020. It's almost like they took all the flaws from last year's top pick, the VicTsing, and improved on every one of them, and then for good measure, added a few features too.
First and foremost, this is the only diffuser we're aware of that includes a free app with Wi-Fi control. You can set custom timers for on/off so it fits your lifestyle. And, it can be controlled using Alexa due to its compatibility with Amazon Echo.
Of course none of these features matter if it doesn't work, but this is one of the most powerful diffusers we've seen to date. If it's humidifying too much, the mist output can be adjusted, using the buttons on the front, or even using Alexa. The LED can cycle through the 7 colors, or you can setup a custom program using the app. The diffuser itself also has two color options, the natural wood grain style pictured above, and also a white wood grain option.
Whatever your needs, this diffuser has got you covered. If we had to pick out a single downside, it's definitely got a larger footprint than many other diffusers on the list, but it makes up for it in the water capacity. The most annoying thing about a diffuser that stops many folks from using it is the constant refilling - which isn't an issue with the Asakuki. 700ml of water means it's running for more than 12 hours, vs 3 hours with some smaller diffusers. You can see why this is our pick for the best essential oil diffuser of 2020!
2. VicTsing Wood Grain Diffuser
The VicTsing (open to suggestions on how it's actually pronounced) wood diffuser is an option we were pleasantly surprised by. We typically shy away from any faux wood grain products since they tend to look cheap or kitschy, but we actually found even up close, the device looks really classy and would fit into most spas, offices or homes.
This Victsing diffuser has a much larger reservoir than most any other you can get your hands on at 300ml. This is a huge and often overlooked factor in diffusers but it means the diffuser's run times are much longer - we can get 10 hours of use out of it without refilling!
As well, the humidification and spread is unparalleled to any other diffuser we've tested - save the Organic Aromas Nebulizer (below) due to a difference in technology used - mist shoots out of the top spout visibly more than any other diffuser we've tested. The other great thing about this device is that it only has two components - the base/reservoir and the lid.
Some diffusers on this list have up to 4 or 5 pieces. To refill, you just lift the lid and fill it. But, nobody's perfect and there are two small issues we've noticed. Because the walls of the reservoir are so shallow, it is more prone to spilling out the sides than other models since the lid does not fit on snugly with any type of o-ring or gasket to seal it. It's only a problem when you are moving the device when the reservoir is full.
Otherwise, we love the large reservoir since it can operate for much longer without needing to be refilled. The other (minor) issue is that while the device has an auto-shut off when empty, if you were using the the LEDs (which rotate through colours or you can select from a bright or dimmed option of 7 colours) they won't turn off with the diffusion. It must be the wide base and larger motor because it's slightly louder than some of the other models on the list. This was our best essential oil diffuser for 2019, and you can see why: functionality and affordability paired together.
3. Vitruvi Stone Diffuser
Our second best pick of diffusers is the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser. To begin with, it is undoubtedly the most aesthetically pleasing diffuser available. The handcrafted ceramic design is gorgeous, and fits in well with any spa, office or home. It's often touted as one of the best essential oil diffusers due to the premium look and feel.
It's a little thinner than we expected but it looks great and the feel of the material is authentic. And, the ceramic lid actually functions to quiet the bubbling that you do hear in ultrasonic diffusers, making it perfect for use at night or during meditations.
100ml capacity isn't the largest on the list, but it's definitely enough to run for around 7 hours in interval mode, so you don't need to constantly refill. The rubber feet prevent slipping and sliding, and the heaviness of the ceramic prevents the chances it's going to tip over and spill if you happen to bump into it.
The soft white light is soothing, and you can always turn it off if you don't want to. The mist diffuses steadily from the top with great coverage - around 600sqft! The mist is extremely fine and produces lovely aromas with any essential oils you choose to diffuse.
4. Organic Aromas Raindrop Nebulizer
The Organic Aromas Raindrop nebulizer is the only nebulizing/atomizing choice on our list. In contrast to the other ultrasonic diffusers, the Raindrop does not use any water to diffuse the essential oils throughout the room, just pure essential oils.
A small jet of air is blown across a tube that holds the oils to disperse the oils into the air in tiny droplets. This produces a superior aroma to ultrasonic diffusers, but without the humidifying benefit of the water also being diffused.
The raindrop has a beautiful construction with wood and glass materials, but if you have children or pets it may be too fragile to be in your home, depending on where it will be in your space.
It also comes with two pipettes that you use to fill the reservoir with pure oils. If you don't like the rotating colors of the LED, you can just switch it off using the touch button at the back of the model. If you want superior aromatherapy coverage, and to get the absolute most of your essential oils, this is the one for you.
5. UrPower Essential Oil Diffuser
To be completely honest, this UrPower diffuser completely surprised us - in a good way. We actually weren't expecting much from this small, somewhat plain, plastic unit, but it sure packs a punch with its diffusion, and the simple design actually lends itself quite nicely to most settings, and is surprisingly one of the best essential oil diffusers you can buy.
As you can see from just the one picture, the mist produces is substantial, producing a beautiful aroma with whatever oils you choose to use. It's quiet while running, and the LEDs produce a nice soft glow.
You can choose a rotating option that smoothly transitions through the 7 colours, a static option on any colour you choose, or just have the light off. It's a little smaller, but the squat stature lends nicely to avoid being knocked over.
It's also nice that while some diffusers have multiple pieces under the cover to assemble, this is just a two-piece design. It's not quite as beautiful as the Vitruvi or as powerful as the Organic Aromas, but as fathis is a great budget option for smaller spaces.
6. DōTERRA Petal Diffuser
dōTERRA is an extremely popular brand of high quality essential oils, and so it's only fitting they produce a similarly quality nebulizing diffuser.
The Petal is dōTERRA's offering that meets (though not exceeds) all your requirements for an ultrasonic diffuser. The two-part design is great, for us, the least amount of moving pieces the better.
Some folks have made the comment that the lid can be a little cumbersome to remove, since the magnets hidden under the cover behind the logo can keep it on snug, and the plastic can be hard to grip. It's really not that bad though, and if that's the major sticking point, I think that's a success on dōTERRA's part.
We don't love the all-plastic design, but the soft pink/purple base with the matte finish is actually more pleasant and inconspicuous in person than you expect. The light is soft, and you can always turn it off if you'd prefer.
As far as performance, it's got above average diffusion strength, and a well-sized reservoir. It's a great affordable option although aesthetically, it's not our favourite.
7. Pilgrim Teo Diffuser
From the premium brand, Pilgrim, comes the ultrasonic diffuser, the Teo, an absolutely beautiful device with some awesome diffusion capabilities.
The textured wood base and ceramic top are so aesthetically pleasing making this diffuser one that should fit into any and all styles of decor. The device doesn't have the largest diffusion coverage but it does produce a great aroma due to the tiny droplets the device converts.
There are a few design notes that prevent us from having the Teo higher up the list though. The rubber top of the internal component pokes out the top of the ceramic cover and the lid itself didn't fit snug onto the base. You can see in the picture where the light is escaping, it was actually manufactured so that the lid/cover is not plumb at the bottom.
The button design and quality isn't ideal either, and the buttons can stick a little, which is a little annoying. Otherwise, the soft glow the LED produces is calming and subtle so it's still a great option. And, although they're not rubber, the Teo has little foam feet that help prevent it from sliding around on your surface. The Teo has some great features but also a few drawbacks, hence its position at number 6.
8. Young Living Dewdrop
While we were pleasantly surprised by a few devices on our list, unfortunately we felt a little underwhelmed by Young Living's Dewdrop diffuser. Compared with the other models we've reviewed, the Dewdrop is fairly "bare bones" with very few features.
As you can see, there is just a single button on the diffuser, that turns the device on or off of it's 4hr run cycle, and also powers the light on or off. The design and materials are eerily similar to the dōTERRA Petal, which makes us think it's made by the same manufacturer, but lacking all the great features the Petal includes.
The cool blue LED is a little bright for our taste, and not our favourite hue of blue, so we preferred to run it with the light off. We liked the larger 180ml reservoir, and the diffusion coverage was quite impressive with good aroma. But we can't help but feel like there should be more to this unit. It's still a good affordable option, but we would have liked some more features for the price point.
What We Look For
in an Essential Oil Diffuser
With so many different options on the market, it can be hard to know where to start! But after several weeks of research, we've got a pretty clear idea of what makes a great diffuser. To start, we read individual user reviews and complains on the larger online stores. We also referred to online communities, and got feedback directly from individual users. We cross-referenced this feedback with manufacturers claims, and familiarized ourselves with studies performed by the scientific community. With all of that, we were able to identify several key features we'd be grading all of these products against.
They say that you can't judge a book by it's cover, but this isn't always true. While visual appeal isn't the most important feature to have, diffusion is about stimulating the senses and creating at atmosphere that can nurture the mind and body. We found that when a diffuser was particularly attractive, consumers were more forgiving about it's shortcomings. And when something was lacking in the looks department, users found that using it was much less satisfying.
Clean, modern designs tend to be the most popular choices. Many models also provide some form of lighting, although it's entirely subjective as to what is pleasing and what is obtrusive. In addition to the actual appearance, certain design features such as rubber feet that prevent slipping and spilling to be crucial when deciding which diffuser is superior.
Diffusing a particularly potent oil overnight can do more harm than good, with some users reporting headaches or other minor forms of discomfort. In most situations, manufacturers recommend that you only diffuse oil for up to an hour before taking a break. But with other oils, you'll want to diffuse them throughout the day to get the desired effects. Not only does timing depend on the oil you're using, but it also depends on your needs. Some people use oils for focus, and may diffuse all day while they study. Others just want 30 minutes or so while they fall asleep.
With this in mind, we're looking for two things. We want to recommend diffusers that, if desired, can be run for long periods of time. But they should also have a built in timer, to have them automatically diffuse on the schedule that you feel is best. Automatic shutoff's for low oil level or high output are a bonus.
Having to constantly refill your diffuser can be a real pain. Ideally, we'd like to recommend products that have a large enough capacity that they don't need to be refilled any more than once in a 24 hour period.
On the flip side, they should be precise enough that consumers can opt to use only a small amount of oil for a short period of time, when desired. Of course, there are always compromises to be made. If you're the type of person who likes to put a few drops of one of your favorite oils and then change it up in a half hour, you're probably not going to want to go for a diffuser that takes several hundred millilitres. That being said, it's not too hard to strike a balance between the two.
A good diffuser does more than just vaporize your oil. It should spread the aroma around the entire room, distributing it as evenly as possible. A diffuser with a very small range might be alright in a New York apartment, but it's certainly not going to cut it in a large, open-plan rancher house. We like models that can cover a lot of floor space - 100 square feet at the least. On the flip side, if you take a diffuser that's meant to fill up a massive room and place it in a small space, the aroma could be overpowering. So whenever we see a model with impressive output, we also want to make sure that there is a way to dial it down when necessary.
People use aromatherapy to improve their general well-being. If you're looking to get a more restful sleep, then it would seem a little contradictory to use a loud, obnoxious machine wouldn't it? On the flip side, maybe you're looking to improve stimulation and mental alertness. If that's the case, you don't want to have any unnecessary distractions. A small amount of noise is expected, but a good diffuser should operate as quietly as possible.
These can be complicated little machines, and nobody wants to spend their hard-earned money on something that is just going to fail after a few months. A long warranty with a flexible policy shows that manufacturers stand by their products. It shows that they believe it to be well made and durable. While we'd all like to avoid it, equipment failure is always a possibility. And a warranty is your guarantee that the manufacturer stands behind their product and is willing to make things right if any unexpected issue happens to occur.
Frequently Asked Questions (and answers!)
If you've made it this far, you probably aren't quite sure which option best suits your needs. As with any decision you make regarding your personal health, it's always important to understand both your own needs, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of all the choices out there. We've answered a lot of questions at AromEssential, and we've written up several articles to help you learn more.
What is a Diffuser?
If you're new to the world of essential oils, diffusers and aromatherapy, this is a great question! Diffusion is literally defined as "spreading something more widely." In the case of essential oil diffusers, they spread essential oils around a space such as your bedroom, living room or office! Diffusers come in all shapes, sizes and types but they all have that common feature of spreading aroma and water vapour throughout a room. In this guide, we're going to be taking a look at our favorite diffusers so that you can understand the differences between them. But if you're looking for a more general understanding of what they do, you can find a more detailed explanation here.
Why Should I Diffuse My Essential Oils?
Because they are made from all-natural ingredients, there are many ways to use oils safely. Some can be used topically - applied directly to the skin to treat a rash or muscle pain. Others can be used internally, with a rich culinary history of people adding them to their food like any other ingredient. But aromatic usage is, by far, the most common.
At some point, you've probably experienced how smells can bring back memories. Whether you're walking past a favorite restaurant or going through and old box of childhood belongings, just the tiniest whiff can bring back vivid recreations of memories that we once thought were lost. In terms of evolution, smell is one of our oldest senses. It's heavily wired into our brains, and can be used to elicit profound emotional and physical responses.
Some people spray natural oil tinctures on their clothing or furniture, while others dab it on themselves. But when used as a liquid, the effects of these products are always restricted to a specific area. Diffusing allows you to break them down and release them into the air. You can think of it like incense, without any of the fumes or toxins released by combustion.
What are The Benefits?
Most people choose to diffuse essential oils for health reasons. Depending on how you use it, you can see significant improvements to both your mental and physical health. Aromatherapy has been used for years to improve sleep quality, reduce mental fatigue and stress, and improve memory and cognitive function.
Berkeley Wellness, a health and wellness blog run by the University of California Berkeley reaffirms the benefits of many essential oils like tea tree oil for for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory use. However, they also state the risks of ingesting these oils, as well as using them properly around pets and children who can have adverse affects. With essential oils, quality, purity and the safe use according to the labels and health professionals is essential (pun fully intended).
Properly made and refined, all-natural oils have also shown to improve breathing, which in turn reduces blood pressure and increases oxygen levels in the blood. Of course, this isn't a miracle cure. You need to be mindful of your goals, and use these tools properly to help you meet them. Check out our in-depth guide to learn more about the benefits of diffusion.
How Do They Work?
All diffuses work by releasing essential oils into the air. But how they accomplish that task depends on what type you have. Nebulizing diffusers, for example, use a small coil inside of an atomizer to break the oil into teeny tiny airborne particles. Other types use heat to evaporate the oil, or small vibrations to create a mist. For more information, read our complete explanation on how different types of diffusers work.
How do I use my Diffuser?
Operation can vary from model to model. But the basic principle stays the same. You start by selecting the type of oil you want to use. Then, you will generally fill the diffuser with clean, room temperature tap water to the fill line (although ideally you will used filtered water, tap water is just more convenient).
From there, just add a few drops of your favorite oil to the water, and you're ready to go! that being said, every model is a little different. And you may want to treat the diffuser a little differently depending on your specific objectives. For more information, check out our guide: How to use your diffuser - step by step.
What Kinds of Diffusers Are There?
It's generally accepted that there are four main types of diffusers: nebulizing, ultrasonic, evaporative and heat diffusers. Each comes with their own set of benefits and drawbacks, which we outline in this full guide here. We've also included a short summary of each type below for your convenience!
Nebulizing diffusers are often considered the superior and preferred style for one main reason: they don't require the essential oils to be diluted before using. A jet of air is blown over the oils in your diffuser emitting them in a fine mist directly into the air providing superior spread of aroma and effectiveness.
Ultrasonic diffusers work a little differently, though still result in the essential oil of your choice being misted into the environment. Ultrasonic diffusers typically use a small disk that rotates and vibrates rapidly (ultrasonically) inside of water with your essential oils infused within it. The vibrations produce tiny droplets that disperse into vapor that spreads through the air. The soft and quiet bubbling noise produced is also appealing to some. If you think ultrasonic diffusers may be the best choice for you, we've put together a list of the best ones here.
Evaporative diffusers are much less common than the others and in our opinion, much less effective. Evaporative diffusers use a small fan that blows onto a filter or similar material that has been soaked or infused with essential oil and disperses the oil and aroma around the room as the liquid evaporates from the fanned air. However, the oils may fractionate and release the components at different times, possibly disrupting the therapeutic effects and the aroma release.
A heat diffuser is quite similar to an evaporative diffuser. However, instead of a fan blowing air to disperse the oils, they use heat to evaporate and disperse the oils into the air. They are quieter than the other types, however they also run the risk of fractionating the oils and providing inconsistent diffusion. Infused candles are also a basic example of heat diffusion.
Couldn't I just use a humidifier?
Although the effects may seem similar, diffusers and humidifiers serve very different purposes. For most applications, they are not interchangeable. A humidifier is basically just diffusing large amounts of water, which is ideal in very dry climates. Many diffusers only work with concentrated oil, and don't increase the humidity at all! Others (such as nebulizers, for example) are somewhere in the middle. They do release water vapor, but they produce a less concentrated aroma. If you're not sure what you need, read our article for more information on the differences between them.
What are the Best Essential Oils to Use?
The oils you end up choosing for your diffusion will vary. What works for one person isn't necessarily going to work for another. What are your goals? Why did you decide to get into oils? Are you using it therapeutically, or simply aesthetically?
If you are looking to relieve symptoms like congestion and other respiratory issues, Eucalyptus oil is a great choice. Cedar wood by contrast has anti-fungal and insecticidal properties to cleanse the air in your space. Lavender is soothing and calming and used as a sleep aid. If you are just looking for a way to bring a pleasant and humidifying aroma into your home, then a blend of oils such as Rosemary, Pine and Frankincense is a great combination. Choose your oils around what you want them to do, and also of course, your personal taste in aroma.
However, you'll often find it's easy to find essential oils, but difficult to choose what company to buy from. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and especially with something so intimate to your health as essential oils, you want to make sure you're buying from a trusted and reputable brand. Our article reviewing all the Best Essential Oil Brands should help you choose the right company to support.