An essential oil diffuser is one of those devices that you didn't know you were missing, until you have it. Essential oils and aromatherapy are an emerging trend with the science to back it. There are a multitude of benefits associated with diffusing essential oils, and the primary way to get these benefits is by using an ultrasonic diffuser.
Ultrasonic diffusers are devices that vibrate a tiny disk extremely fast (ultrasonically) to create tiny little droplets of water with essential oils captured within. There are hundreds of these products littering Amazon and other storefronts, so it can be overwhelming to choose. We've reviewed dozens and dozens and narrowed down our list a top 7 list, and the Teo was one of them.
Read on to find out how we rank and reviewed all these diffusers, and what we think of the Pilgrim Teo!
If you're spending money on a device or appliance that is going to sit and be on display in your home, it's going to need to look good, and fit in! It may seem trivial that we put design & appearance first on the list but to us they are the two most important factors: Form, and Function. We look for great design features that not only look good, but also serve a purpose.
Depending on what you plan to use your diffuser for, you want to have some flexibility in how often the mist from your diffuser is emitted. Many models have different timers up to 3 hours long, interval modes that mist then rest at minute intervals, or just a continual emission function.
The capacity of the water reservoir - typically measured in milliliters - is another important feature to consider. Smaller models take up less space, but often have less capacity and are therefore required to be refilled more often. It's a give and take sorta thing!
Next to appearance and design, for us the coverage and aroma performance is the most important feature to consider. Does the aroma of your chosen essential oil actually fill the space you're trying to fill? Or can you only smell - and get all the therapeutic effects - when you're standing right beside it?
Because some of these products can be cheaply made as a way for the manufacturers to cut their costs, the internal components of these diffusers are not all equal. Some just run loud, and others are much quieter and that's just the long and short of it. Sometimes it's a light humming, or light bubbling. Regardless, if you're using it in an office or in your bedroom, you want to make sure you can stand the noise it's giving off.
Most of the diffusers we see on the market have a fairly standard 12-month warranty associated with them, but some may have shorter or longer coverages, so it's something to consider!
Now that you know what we look for in diffusers, let's get to our review of the Pilgrim Teo!
The Teo is a perfect example of a diffuser that the company - Pilgrim in this case - put some good thought into the design. The Teo has some extreme visual appeal that we are super happy with.
The beech wood base looks amazing in all settings and will definitely fit in with all surfaces and styles. The ceramic top has a nice weight to it, and the lined texture looks so chique with the base. When the soft yellow LED is on, it produces a really nice glow through the cover that looks so cozy - we absolutely love the look of it when on.
While it certainly looks great, there are a few areas of the design that we didn't really love. For one, the cover doesn't actually fit flush to the base - whether this is just our model or if they all are like this, we don't know.
As well, the buttons from our model were a bit sticky, and we didn't love the choices made there for button style and manufacturing.
The last little thing we weren't the biggest fans of was the internal components. As you can see above, there is a small emitter lid to put on top of the reservoir, and then an additional rubber tip to put between the plastic lid and the ceramic cover. The rubber part then sticks out through the ceramic cover. It's not super noticeable, but still seems like a bit of an oversight from the design team.
The "instructions" for use (button labels) are hidden underneath the ceramic cover which is actually an amazing feature - keeping the exterior of the diffuser clean of any writing which is really nice.
The feet of the Teo aren't anti-slip rubber like some models we've reviewed, but they are a firm layer of thin foam which will protect any surfaces you leave it on. This is a must-have for any of our diffusers since we want to protect our wood furniture from any scratches.
We also don't love the way the power cord is attached, but overall we like the look of the Teo as a whole.
The Teo has a pretty standard set of operating time functions - 1hr, 2hr, 3hr, and continuous. The labels for each mode are under the cover, which again we love keeping the writing from the outside.
The left button cycles through the misting settings, and the lights indicate the mode selected.
Capacity isn't a strong suit of the Teo, being just over 100ml at 110ml. It's actually pretty standard for most diffusers out there, it was just a bit surprising for such a large diffuser to actually have such small internal components and a small capacity. 110ml is still enough that you aren't constantly refilling it, and unless you're stepping up to a 300ml model, you won't find too much else.
The actual square footage that the diffuser's mist will reach is one of the most important aspects to consider. In this regard, the Teo is pretty average in this area. It's designed to fill a room around 250 square feet, so not a huge room, but still decent. We found we needed an extra drop or two to get the same amount of aroma as some of the other diffusers we've reviewed. It seems to just produce a little less mist than most others.
The noise produced by a diffuser is another important factor to consider, since we often tend to use them in bedrooms, offices or spas. The noise produced is often either an audible hum of the rotating disc, or a light bubbling noise of the water and oils being converted to vapour. Overall, the Teo produces very little noise, seemingly a combination of the thicker wood base and ceramic cover.
A product's warranty is always something we look for when we are shopping around for a new device or appliance like diffusers. It's important to know that if something goes wrong you'll be covered, and that the manufacturer stands behind the quality of their product. Like most diffusers you can get online or in stores, the Teo has a fairly standard 12-month limited warranty.
The Teo is one of those diffusers that almost everyone who comes over to your home or office and sees it, will comment on how sharp it looks. It really does excel in the looks department, with the combination of white ceramic and light beech wood base.
But while it may look incredible, the capacity is average, the coverage is average, and unfortunately the build quality seemed slightly below average, with our model we ordered having a sticky button, and a ceramic cover that at the bottom where the cover meets the base that was slightly warped and didn't quite sit flush.
It runs quiet, it's quite affordable, and while some models use LEDs that produce a kitschy bright glow, one of the best parts of the Teo is how it looks with the light on, with a nice warm yellow glow. While it does have some flaws, we ultimately would recommend the Teo to anyone looking for a beautiful diffuser to fit into a modern space but still only give it 3.5 stars.
As you may have come to the same conclusion as us, the Teo is a diffuser that looks great, but may not stack up performance-wise as some other models out there. If you want to check out some other options, here's our Top 7 list of 2019 look through and maybe you'll decide on one of those instead!
Caring for a diffuser is actually quite simple. We typically recommend using filtered water if possible - since some trace minerals from tap water may build up on the walls of the reservoirs and caps causing an unattractive cloudy look, or altered smells. We clean ours monthly - but there's nothing wrong with doing it more frequently - by placing a few milliliters of vinegar in a full reservoir of water and diffusing for around 5-10 minutes. Then, just rinse with water and wipe out with a clean cloth and you should be good to go.