Best Oil Diffusers of 2018

An oil diffuser can positively affect overall mood and wellbeing. Our shopping guide is here to help you find the best oil diffuser so you can experience the benefits of essential oils.

Essential Oil Diffusers: There's Something in the Air!

The right scent can instantly affect mood. It can help restore your calm or uplift your spirit. That's the basic concept behind aromatherapy: Aromatic oils, when inhaled, can positively impact wellbeing. If you've ever lit a scented candle or burned a stick of incense to relax at the end of a long day, you may have experienced this benefit yourself.

But scented candles and burning incense pose fire and safety hazards, particularly if you have small children or pets in your home. Enter the essential oil diffuser, an alternative to candles and incense that can provide aromatherapy benefits without all the risks.

With an oil diffuser, you can fill your home with the warm, soothing fragrances of your favorite essential oils. Not only can the diffused oil boost your mood, it can make your home feel more inviting. There are many oil diffusers to choose from in today's market, so which should you choose?

At BestReviews, we performed deep product research on the market's top oil diffusers. If you're ready to buy an essential oil diffuser, check out our recommendations above to get started. For general tips on choosing an oil diffuser, continue reading our shopping guide.

For safety reasons, avoid directly inhaling the oil droplets from an essential oil diffuser.

What Are the Benefits of an Essential Oil Diffuser?

Like scented candles or incense, essential oil diffusers release pleasant fragrances into the air that may boost your mood and even improve your health and cognitive functioning. These fragrances can reduce stress and help you relax.

Candles and incense are thought to do the same, but a diffuser is a safer option because there's no open flame. You don't have to worry about melted wax spilling onto your furnishings either.

Essential oil therapy may have other benefits too. Though not scientifically proven, the following claims have been supported anecdotally by many oil diffuser users.

● Using antimicrobial essential oils such as sage, lemon, rosemary, and tea tree oil in your diffuser can help keep your home healthy by killing the bacteria and germs associated with influenza and other illnesses.
● Some essential oils can boost your immune system, helping you fight off illnesses when you're exposed to them.
● Some oils, such as lemongrass, rosemary, and clove oil, can help prevent insects from entering your home. Using the right oils, you may be able to successfully ward off house flies, fruit flies, moths, and even mosquitoes.


Essential Oils for a Good Night's Sleep

Do you have trouble sleeping? Placing a bit of chamomile, lavender, or clary sage essential oil in your diffuser can help you drift off at night.

Types of Essential Oil Diffusers

All oil diffusers turn essential oils into vapor that is then dispersed throughout the room. However, the method used to vaporize the oil differs depending on the type of diffuser you're using.

Nebulizing Oil Diffusers

A nebulizing oil diffuser works like a perfume atomizer. It doesn't require heat or water to operate; instead, it draws oil out of a container and breaks it down into fine particles that are dispersed into the air. Because the oil is undiluted when it's broken down, a nebulizing oil diffuser provides a very potent scent.

If you have health issues that you hope to treat using essential oils, a nebulizing diffuser is the best option because it releases a steady, continuous stream of diffused oil into the air.

Ultrasonic Oil Diffusers

An ultrasonic oil diffuser uses ultrasonic vibrations to break down oil particles into a fine mist. The mist is safe and easy to inhale. However, unlike a nebulizing diffuser, an ultrasonic diffuser incorporates water into the process, so the oil is diluted slightly.

An ultrasonic diffuser is a good option if you want to treat health concerns with essential oils. And because an ultrasonic diffuser uses water, it also functions as a humidifier, which allows it to add moisture to the air during the cold, dry winter months.

Evaporative Diffusers

An evaporative diffuser uses blowing air to quickly evaporate essential oils into the atmosphere. As a result, it can be somewhat noisy. Notably, the oil is fractionated during the evaporation process, which somewhat diminishes the oil's therapeutic effects.

Heat Diffusers

A heat diffuser operates in a similar manner to an evaporative oil diffuser, but instead of using a fan to evaporate the oil, it uses heat. As a result, it operates very quietly. However, the composition of the oil can change when heat is applied, and you may not receive the full benefits of the oils.

Evaporative oil diffusers and heat oil diffusers aren't as effective as nebulizing and ultrasonic diffusers. However, they're good choices if you just want to add a pleasant fragrance to the air or practice short aromatherapy sessions.

Essential Oil Diffuser Features to Consider

Once you've decided which type of oil diffuser you'd like to own, you've got a few more decisions to make. Do you want an oil diffuser designed for a small room or a larger space? Are there other features that would make the oil diffuser safer or easier for you to use?

Diffusion Area

Some essential oil diffusers can diffuse oil to larger areas than others. If you want your oil diffuser to cover a large space, it's important to choose a model that's able to disperse oil at a great distance.

Nebulizing diffusers typically offer the largest diffusion area, so they may be the best option if you want an essential oil diffuser for your living room or master bedroom. In smaller spaces, ultrasonic, evaporative, and heat diffusers would all work well.

Auto Shutoff

If you plan to use your oil diffuser at night to help with insomnia or other sleep issues, an auto shutoff feature is essential. This feature automatically turns off the diffuser once it completes its programmed cycle or the oil runs out. This is crucial because leaving an oil diffuser on unattended (or when there is no oil left inside) can pose a fire hazard.

Without an auto shutoff feature on your essential oil diffuser, you'll need to turn the appliance off manually when the oil runs out.

Programmable Timer

A programmable timer can be a handy feature to have on an oil diffuser. It ensures that the diffuser turns off for safety reasons, and it allows you to control exactly how the diffuser cycles on and off.

For example, with a programmable timer, you can set the diffuser to run for 15 minutes and then shut off for 15 minutes. This helps prevent you from overexposure to oils that could irritate your nasal passages.


A High-Capacity Diffuser is Essential for All-Night Use

If you plan to sleep with an essential oil diffuser on for an entire night, you'll want a high-capacity model. If you only want to relax for a bit with your oil diffuser at the end of a long day, a smaller-capacity oil diffuser would probably suffice.

How Much Should I Pay for an Essential Oil Diffuser?

Essential oil diffusers vary in price based on what they have to offer, but you can typically expect to pay between $15 and $150 for a good one

  • For a nebulizing essential oil diffuser, expect to pay between $25 and $130.
  • For an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, expect to pay between $20 and $45.
  • For an evaporative essential oil diffuser, expect to pay between $40 and $50.
  • For a heat essential oil diffuser, expect to pay between $15 and $30.
Some essential oils are thought to have antimicrobial properties. Diffusing an antimicrobial oil such as sage, lemon, or tea tree oil may help minimize bacteria and germs in your home.

Tips and Tricks for Using an Oil Diffuser

  • If you're not sure which oils to use in your diffuser, choose a premade essential oil blend. You can find essential oil blends for a variety of specific purposes, such as promoting energy or relaxation, or inducing sleep.
  • Always use high-quality essential oils in your diffuser. The oils should be stored in dark glass bottles to prevent them from breaking down.
  • If you're new to diffusing, begin with just one or two drops of essential oil. That will help prevent the scent from overwhelming your senses.
  • Pay attention to the recommended diffusing time on the oil bottle. Some oils are so potent that they should only be diffused for 20 to 30 minutes. Others can be diffused for an hour or two.
  • Some oil diffusers will live longer if you use filtered water. Check the manual to see if that's the case for yours.

Nebulizing essential oil diffusers provide a stronger concentration of oil and have a larger range than other types of essential oil diffusers.

Oil Diffuser FAQ

Q. How much oil can an essential oil diffuser hold?
A. Most essential oil diffusers vary in capacity from 75 milliliters to 500 milliliters. The capacity that's best for you depends on how you plan to use the diffuser. For example, if you plan to sleep with the oil diffuser on for the entire night, you'll want a high-capacity model. If you only want to relax for a bit at the end of a long day, a small-capacity oil diffuser is probably all that's needed.

Q. What's the benefit of an essential oil diffuser that features a light?
A. The soft lighting that some oil diffusers are equipped with is meant to help calm, relax, and soothe. Most lighted diffusers have a switch that allows you to turn off the light if you don't want it on.

Q. How do I clean my essential oil diffuser?
A. Always consult the manufacturer's instructions to determine the proper cleaning procedure. In general, most oil diffusers can be cleaned with mild dishwashing soap, water, and a cotton swab. You may need to occasionally disinfect your oil diffuser with alcohol, peroxide, or vinegar to keep it clean and fresh.

Some essential oils, such as ginger, chamomile, eucalyptus, clary sage, and bergamot, are believed to help alleviate pain. Running them through your diffuser can help soothe a headache or painful joints.

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