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Essential oil diffusers are, well, essential for self-care. While they moisturize the air and add humidity to dry environments, helping with chapped lips and dry sinuses, they also allow us to engage in aromatherapy. This ancient practice promotes wellness and relaxation through aromas. And these dispensers are easy to use: just fill the reservoir with water, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils, and set the timer. Some diffusers come with soothing ambient lighting, doubling as a nightlight. They come in various sizes, models, and designs, at various price points. We’ve rounded up the best essential oil diffusers for a range of needs.

How we chose the best essential oil diffusers

We looked at several factors when considering what to look for in the best essential oil diffusers. We looked at operation time so you’d have options for how long you used your diffuser. For example, if you use your diffuser at bedtime, you’d want one that can run for at least 8 hours. 

We also looked at vapor output and coverage area. If you are using your diffuser in a larger space, like an office, you’ll want a diffuser that has a more generous vapor output so you can enjoy your essential oils to the fullest extent.

The design was a factor, as well, since your diffuser will be doubling as a home decor item. Noise level was also a concern. We didn’t want to offer any diffusers that would disturb you while you’re trying to relax. We also considered product safety, ease of use, and reviews when making our recommendations. We’re fans of smelly in a good way gifts and only want you to have the best!

The best essential oil diffusers: Reviews & Recommendations

Peppermint, lavender, tea tree, sandalwood, sage, and cinnamon are some of the most common essential oils used in aromatherapy. Studies show inhaling essential oils can help with sleep, and research has also shown that lavender essential oils, in particular, can have relaxing effects on the nervous system. So, if you’re ready to slow down and take a deep inhale, these are our favorite essential oil diffusers.

Best overall: Pure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser

Pure Daily Care


Why it made the cut: This is the best overall essential oil diffuser, which has a generous vapor output and comes with 10 essential oils at a reasonable price point.


  • Runtime: 6 hours
  • Material: Wood
  • Capacity: 400 milliliters


  • Reasonable pricing
  • Comes with 10 essential oils
  • Multiple settings 


  • Can’t choose the oils
  • May leak

This BPA-free, wood grain design ultrasonic essential oil diffuser has it all, with 10 essential oils thrown in for good measure. Who doesn’t love convenience? Plus, these oils are sourced from the highest quality plants all around the world and are filled in 10-milliliter amber jars to prevent spoiling.

The Essence Diffuser offers lots of settings, features, and capabilities. It has a 400-milliliter capacity, which can be used in several different-sized rooms, with four timer settings for added versatility. It also has seven ambient light modes with two intensity settings for 14 different light combinations. It shuts off automatically for safety and comes at a competitive price point.

Best smart: PURA Smart Home Fragrance Device Starter Set

Jen McCaffery


Why it made the cut: This diffuser is easy to use and features essential oils created by master perfumers.


  • Runtime: 2 hours
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 10 milliliters x 2


  • Expertly created oils
  • Plug-in model is easy to use
  • App lets you control intensity and duration of scent


  • More expensive
  • Some may not want to use an app to run the device

PURA has brought essential oils into the modern age with its smart diffuser. Just pop two of the included essential oils (Linens & Surf and Pacific Aqua) from this starter into the diffuser and plug it in. PURA’s app will guide you through the setup and let you choose the intensity and duration of the aromatherapy session. I found it very easy to set up and appreciated the subtle scent of Pumpkin Chai that wafted through my apartment.

Once you’re set up, PURA lets you choose refills based on type of scent, brand, season, and even the mood you’re looking to create. You can pick from dozens of essential oils created in partnership with brands like NEST New York and Brooklyn Candle Studio, including Amalfi Lemon & Mint, Red Currant, Maui Mango, and Tinsel & Spice.

Best budget: URPOWER 2nd Version Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser



Why it made the cut: The second-generation Urpower diffuser offers several key features for a budget-friendly price.


  • Runtime: 6 hours
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 100 mL


  • Inexpensive
  • Whisper-quiet
  • No filters required
  • Auto shutoff for safety


  • On the smaller side
  • No brightness control for the light

Adding features without adding dollars, the second-generation model for the Urpower essential oil diffuser is an absolute steal. This model produces more mist than the previous version, so you get even more humidity and essential oil smell throughout your space. 

With 100 ml of reservoir space, this is a smaller model but offers plenty of power for up to 6 hours of misting. It features two adjustable mist settings: continuous and intermittent (30 seconds on and 30 seconds off), with a whisper-quiet operation that won’t annoy you. The auto-shut-off feature protects the diffuser from burning when waterless and is made from high-quality plastic that is durable and long-lasting. 

Best for large spaces: ASAKUKI 700ml Premium



Why it made the cut: With 700 milliliters of reservoir space, this premium essential oil diffuser is perfect for large spaces. 


  • Runtime: 20 hours
  • Material: Plastic
  • Capacity: 700 milliliters


  • Large reservoir
  • Lightweight
  • Auto shut off
  • Easy to clean


  • Oil use can cause clogging
  • Requires frequent washing

This 700-milliliter diffuser offers a whopping more than 20 hours of operation, with a strong vibration frequency that creates for thicker mist and denser humidifying. It features two levels of ultrasonic misting: continuous or timed: 1 hour, 3 hours, or 6 hours. Go ahead and hit continuous use without fear since there’s an auto shut-off feature for added peace of mind.

This essential oil diffuser weighs a little less than 5 ounces, making it super lightweight for such a powerful product. One of the cooler features is the seven different LED colors you can use with or without the diffuser. Use this diffuser in a living room, office space, or a larger bedroom. Be sure not to overfill over the MAX line—it can cause leaking!

Best design: Vitruvi Stone Diffuser



Why it made the cut: This gorgeous design is sober, cool, and modern, offering chic decor with strong humidifying power. 


  • Runtime: 8 hours
  • Material: Plastic, ceramic, porcelain
  • Coverage: 500 square feet


  • Cool design doubles as decor
  • Comes in several colors
  • Made from high-quality porcelain 


  • Pricey
  • Heavier than other models

If decor is as important to you as humidity, the gorgeous, sleek, and minimalist design from Vitruvi offers that modern take you’re looking for. Because it’s so refined and neutral, it can easily complement a variety of home decor styles.

It features two run times: continuous 4 hours and intermittent 8 hours, and is crafted out of the highest quality porcelain with a matte ceramic finish. While those materials mean more weight than their plastic alternatives, it also makes for better eye candy. There’s also an optional LED light to double as a nightlight.

Best for sleep:  Pure Enrichment PureSpa

Pure Enrichment


Why it made the cut: This whisper-quiet diffuser is so soothing you won’t notice it working as you drift off to sleep. 


  • Runtime: 10 hours
  • Material: Plastic
  • Coverage: 250 square feet
  • Capacity: 120 milliliters


  • Ultra quiet
  • BPA-free materials
  • Auto shut-off
  • Nice design


  • Color changes, cannot select a single color
  • Not great for large spaces

No more waking up with a dry nose and throat! If you need help window down before bed, a soothing essential oil diffuser can offer you relaxation and comfort. Perfect for your bedside table or nightstand, this ultrasonic BPA-free diffuser turns your favorite essential oils into a dreamy cool mist. 

The 4-ounce water tank will last you 8-10 hours (a full night’s sleep) so you can enjoy fragrant air all night long. It’ll shut off automatically when the water runs low. The PureSpa Deluxe essential oil diffuser features a simple, single-button control for both misting and lighting. Tap once to turn the mist on, twice for mist and light, and third to turn the whole thing off. 

What to consider before buying the best essential oil diffusers

While any diffuser can reduce odor and boost the humidity of your space, there are a few key factors you should keep in mind when making your final selection. 

Types of essential oil diffusers

  • Reed. Reed diffusers are evaporative and usually come with rattan sticks. The essential oil penetrates the sticks and scents your environment. These tend to work better with lighter oils, like lemon and bergamot. 
  • Candle. These diffusers use candle heat to disperse the essential oil. While they’re cheaper, they are not ideal because the heat can mess with the oil’s properties
  • Nebulizer. With a motor and glass cylinder, nebulizers work by breaking down the oils into tiny molecules. We don’t recommend these types of diffusers as much because they are noisy, more expensive, and hard to clean. 
  • Ultrasonic. We recommend ultrasonic diffusers most for general use. Ultrasonic diffusers work by creating vibrations through electronic frequencies in water. Then, they release a fine water mist into the air. There are many affordable options, and they tend to be the most quiet. 

Method of use

Are you planning on using your diffuser while working from home, or do you want to experience aromatherapy while you sleep? The way in which you use your diffuser can determine which type you could get. While a compact pick with a short run time is well-suited for day-to-day use, a larger capacity diffuser can have an extended run time and not lose steam as you sleep. If you do plan on using a diffuser while you rest, you’ll also want to look for one that runs with minimal noise. 

Room size

As some diffusers are equipped with a larger tank, run time and coverage area, it’s good to choose one that suits your room of choice. We recommend measuring the square footage of your space and comparing it to the coverage area on the product descriptions. Generally, diffusers with larger tanks can cover greater areas. 

Coverage area

This has to do with the physical size of the diffuser and intensity of the vapor output. If you are looking for maximum output to cover a large area, remember that this may be a bulkier-looking item. A typical room-sized diffuser is around 6 x 4 x 4 inches.

Operation time and settings

Many diffusers come with a range of operating times such as 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours, etc. Some will stay activated until the water runs dry. This is important to consider depending on how you plan to use your diffuser. 


Make sure your steamer comes with burn-proof features like auto shut-off and a leak-proof nozzle. It’s also important to consider the safety of the essential oils you use in your diffuser. They should never be ingested. Some people may have allergic reactions to them, and, in rare cases, they may even be poisonous. It’s very important to keep them away from children.

Reservoir capacity

The smallest diffusers are usually around 100 milliliters, while larger diffusers for offices, yoga studios, or spacious home use can fill up to 1,500 milliliters. There’s clearly a large range, but most home-use diffusers have a reservoir capacity of around 300 to 500 milliliters to give you a better idea.

Noise level

Sometimes, diffusers can make a slurping sound as they vaporize water. Some larger items can also make a hissing fan sound. If you’re choosing a diffuser for sleep or relaxation or are easily disturbed by noise, this is something to consider. 

Special features

There are diffusers that come with a whole host of accessories, from remote controls to colorful LED lights and even music. You can also find diffusers that come with a tray of essential oils to get you going. It just depends on what you’re looking for and how much you’re willing to spend.


Q: How much does an essential oil diffuser cost?

The cost of an essential oil diffuser ranges from about $123 for a premium option like the ceramic Vitruvi Stone Diffuser to about $19 for the budget-friendly URPOWER 2nd Version Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser.

Q: Can I use any essential oils in my diffuser?

Yes, you can use a range of essential oils in your diffuser. Just make sure they don’t have any fillers, additives, or perfumes, as they can impede your diffuser’s ability to disperse the oils or clog up your machine. Be sure not to use any other oils besides essential oils, though, like cooking oils—these will clog up your diffuser and won’t offer you that lovely aroma therapeutic effect. 

Q: How much oil should I put in my diffuser?

A few drops should suffice. You can always add more, but once you’ve added too much—your room will stink! Some people also report getting headaches if the oil smell is too strong. Start slow and add more if you think you need it.

Q: What type of water should I use?

While you can use tap water, if you want to be very safe—distilled or purified water would be the best bet to prevent clogging.

Final thoughts on the best essential oil diffusers

There’s no need to make a trip to the spa when you can have a custom aromatherapy session right from home. You can create essential oil blends tailored to you, improve sleep quality and introduce a relaxing scent to any room. Our favorite is the Pure Daily Care Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser because it comes with 10 essential oils while still being affordably priced.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.