Last updated: January 7th, 2017
Stress is the most common factor that prevents people from falling asleep and getting adequate rest. Aromatherapy is a great way to turn your brain away from negative and stressful thoughts. With the help of the best aromatherapy diffusers, your room will be filled with calming scents from beneficial essential oils. Keep reading to see my picks for the best essential oil diffuser.
Orbis Lux Merus Glass and Wood
VicTsing Ultrasonic Aromatherapy
Calily Eternity Ultrasonic
You may have some very good reasons to be stressed out, but your sleep is important. Soothing your mind into a peaceful place will put those stressful thoughts on the back burner and allow you to fall asleep quickly.
There are many different types of diffusers. It is my opinion that the ones that work best are the ultrasonic or nebulizer-style diffusers. For the sake of this guide, I will only review these heat- free aromatherapy diffusers.
There are more benefits associated with using aromatherapy essential oil diffusers than just putting your mind into a calm and restful place.
Table of Contents
What Are The Best Essential Oil Diffusers?
There are a lot of top essential oil diffusers you can buy, many with great ratings. Below, I have compiled a list of some of my favorites.
Orbis Lux Merus Glass and Wood Aromatherapy Diffuser
This Orbis Lux Merus is the top of the line when it comes to nebulizer diffusers. It is a beautiful piece of work that will enhance the design of any room.
Function meets form with this diffuser. It works as good as it looks.
Soft curves and and a smooth finish highlight the beech wood base. It holds a hand-blown glass body that is as elegant as functional. The use of all-natural materials so that no plastic comes in contact with the oil is something that I value, and maybe you will too.
Not only does that keep your air quality good, but also it keeps the unit from corroding. Even though this is expensive as far as aromatherapy diffusers go, it will last a long time.
A very nice feature that justifies the high price of this diffuser is the adjustable aroma intensity. Some oils are very strong, and it is great to be able to tone them down. Other oils may have a delicate aroma and need to be turned up a notch.
Most diffusers have a timer, but not many have an intermittent timer like this one. You can set the timer to diffuse for 10 minutes and then shut off for ten minutes. This helps prevent an aroma from becoming overpowering as well as conserving your oil.
This diffuser is able to fill a 900-square-foot room with your favorite scent. If it took batteries making it more portable, that would make this a "can’t miss" diffuser if it fits in your budget.
This is a very quiet nebulizer that won’t disturb your sleep or interfere with other sounds in your room like music or TV.
There aren’t many bells and whistles that come with this diffuser. It doesn't play music or do a light show. It just works great as an aromatherapy tool that will help you sleep.
- Beautiful Design
- Adjustable Intensity
- High price
It is well known that soft-colored lights can help set your mind to sleep. The VicTsing ultrasonic diffuser not only effectively fills your room with your favorite essential oil to help you sleep but also sets a sleepy mood with it’s LED lights.
The faux wood design lends an elegant and natural ambience to a room. It will fit into just about any decor.
Of course, it’s more about how it works than how it looks.
This aromatherapy diffuser effectively humidifies, purifies, and scents the air in your room creating the perfect environment to aid you in falling asleep. Just a few drops of essential oil added to the 300 ml of water that the chamber can hold, will produce up to 10 hours of aromatherapy.
Once the water is gone, it will automatically shut off. This is a great safety feature that comes in handy in case you want to have the machine run all night. There is a timer function, as well.
You can program it to shut off automatically at 1 hour, 3 hours, or 6 hours.
One of the benefits of using an ultrasonic diffuser like this one is that you don’t need to use much oil. Since some oils can be expensive, this is a great way to extend your supply. They are also whisper quiet. There’s no running motor in this unit, so you won’t even notice it’s on. Your sleep will not be disrupted due to the noise level.
If you like having lights available to help settle your mind before going to bed, then having a diffuser like the VicTsing is ideal. It has seven subtle lights that can be set to change or to stay a steady color depending on your preference.
The one drawback with this diffuser is that it won’t fill a large room. It’s perfect for a bedroom but, if you live in an open-concept home or have a large living room, it comes up short. Luckily, they are inexpensive, so you can always buy two if you need to fill a large space. For a single bedroom, this is the best essential oil diffuser.
- Natural wood look and design
- 300 ml water chamber
- Very quiet operation
- Seven unique LED colors
- Auto shut off
- Made of plastic, not wood
- Not the best for large spaces
Aptoyu Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
Good things come in small packages. This little aromatherapy diffuser rises above its class by providing eight hours of essential oil aromatherapy without taking up much space.
If you like having LED lights on in your room when going to bed, then this is just the ticket for you. Almost the entire unit lights up creating a nice atmosphere. The lights are subtle, and not bright, so they won’t be distracting.
Set the lights to change or stay a solid color. A timer will shut the lights off if you don’t want them running all night. You can even set the light to bright or dim. A great option is to put this in a child’s room who needs to use a bright setting as a nightlight.
Essential oils are not inexpensive, so having a machine that doesn’t use too much oil really helps the wallet. Five drops of oil can last up to eight hours. With the intermittent setting, the mist pulses every 30 seconds. It provides 30 seconds of mist, then it pauses for 30 seconds.
If you are using a particularly intense oil and don’t want to overpower your room, set the mist to low, and it will produce less mist. If you have a more subtle scent, you can put it on high, and it will produce more mist and bring the most out of the aroma. Since every oil is different and different people react differently to the aromas, it is a wonderful option to customize your mist levels.
The only drawback to this diffuser is its size; it won’t fill a large room. It is perfect for a small to medium-size bedroom, however.
- Eight continuous hours of use
- Intermittent mist option
- Great for a single small room
- Seven LED lights
- Auto shut off
- Made with lower quality materials
- Higher chance of malfunction compared to more expensive options
doTERRA Petal Diffuser
One of the most popular and effective aromatherapy diffusers on the market, doTerra gets rave reviews for how well it can fill a large room. From the fine mist it produces to the strength of the aroma, it stands above many of its competitors.
Though this diffuser if lightweight, it is built sturdy; this is apparent as soon as you hold it in your hands. It just feels solid and well built. It should come as no surprise, then, that it will last for years.
This diffuser is so easy to use which is ideal when you are trying to just get to bed and don’t want to fidget with settings. You can turn it on for 1, 2, or 4 hours. One drawback is that the longest it can be kept on is the 4-hour timer option. In addition, there isn't an auto-shut off if you want to just leave it on continuously until it runs out of water.
The mist this diffuser emits is much finer than most of its competitors. That helps spread the aroma from your essential oil much more quickly and means it can fill a large space.
It also won’t pool up water around it’s base as some of the cheaper models on the market tend to do.
This diffuser works great as a nightlight as well. It only has one color, white, but it is a nice soft white.
Its design is minimalist and very discreet. It blends into the room without really being noticed. It’s base is not too big, so it doesn’t take up too much room on a night table or bedside.
- Ultra fine mist
- Very quiet operation
- BPA free plastic
- Optional LED
- Four-hour maximum run time
- Small water chamber for the price
Calily Eternity Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser
There are some diffusers that just look so appealing the therapy starts before you even turn it on! Just looking at this unit by Calily puts you in a calm and meditative mood due to it’s elegant and unique design.
Modern, yet elegant, the design of the Calily diffuser will look great in any room. It has an interesting honeycomb texture that works very well with the soft LED lights. The lights work well as a mood enhancer and can be quite mesmerizing. The only downside is that, to set up your favorite color to stay steadily on, you have to wait for the light and then press a button to keep it on. It’s not a deal breaker, but it is a funny way to set a light.
This is a slightly larger unit, but it’s base has a low profile, so it doesn’t actually take up much space. Its size is in its height.
A potential drawback of this aromatherapy diffuser is that it doesn’t handle much water. Luckily, it doesn’t really need much. The water chamber is only 100 ml capacity and only lasts 4 hours, but the strength of the mist means the aroma will last for hours even after it is shut off.
In fact, the mist is so strong that it can be used as a humidifier even if you don’t use any essential oils in it. The fact that it does such a great job at humidifying a room, while at the same time providing much-needed aromatherapy, makes it a must have if you live in a dry environment.
For those that suffer from dry sinuses or a dry throat, you can’t go wrong with this diffuser.
If your bedroom is large, the Calily diffuser will fill your room quickly. Open-concept rooms are usually difficult to fill effectively with aroma. That is not the case with this excellent diffuser.
- Strong humidifer
- Whisper quiet
- Elegant design
- Auto shut off
- Fills large spaces
- Only lasts 4 hours
- LED color buttons can be clunky
Smiley Daisy Essential Oil Diffuser
Although this diffuser doesn't have much in terms of flair or customizable features, it is still a great purchase. The Smiley Daisy does a fantastic job by just focusing on providing exceptional aromatherapy.
When you really don’t care about how many customizable features there are on your aromatherapy diffuser, and you just want it to work, rest assured the Hibiscus works like a dream.
The mist is very strong. You don’t need to use too much of your essential oils to fill a very large room. The mist is very fine and goes quite high up in the air. This is how it is able to fill large rooms. The mist carries the vaporized essential oil very efficiently.
If you are in a smaller room or are using a particularly strong oil that you don’t want to dominate, you can set the mist level to low. This setting will gently fill the room and also conserve your oil since it won’t use as much.
The only real drawback of this diffuser is the fact that it has a very wide base and takes up significant space.
- Large water chamber, 350ml
- 6-7 hours of continuous use
- Auto off
- Can fill a large room
- Quiet and sleek, looks like art
- Not easy to open
Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser By Aennon
Nebulizing diffusers like this one by Aennon are ideal when you need to fill a large room. Since there is no water needed, you get the pure essential oil in the air.
Nebulizer-style diffusers usually have three drawbacks. Though they work much more efficiently than ultrasonic diffusers, they are expensive, sometimes loud, and use a lot of oil. I am happy to report that the Aennon nebulizer diffuser has none of those drawbacks.
It is approximately the same price as many of the higher-end ultrasonic style diffusers. It only needs a few drops of oil for many hours of use, and it is extremely quiet compared to its peers.
There are none of the usual complaints associated with nebulizer diffusers with this one.
One of the biggest pros with this diffuser is the fact that it can be used with a power cord or with a rechargeable battery. Now, you can put it wherever you need it without worrying about the cord.
It has a couple of other unique features as well. If you have kids or pets, you will love the auto-shut off feature when the unit is tilted. If it gets knocked over, it won’t continue to run.
It also has a timer feature in which it mists for a set amount of time, 30 seconds up to 90 seconds, with 120 seconds in between bursts. Since nebulizer diffusers don’t use water, the aroma can be powerful. Using this feature can customize the intensity of the scent.
Though not as quiet as an ultrasonic diffuser, it is one of the quietest nebulizers. It works at 50 decibels. A person whispering is around 33 decibels, and the sound of a humming refrigerator is around 60.
To use this nebulizer, you simply attach your essential oil bottle right to the unit. Bursts of air will vaporize the oil and send it into the air. Set the timer to shut off when you like. Set the vapor level according to how strong you want the scent. The higher the level, the stronger the scent. Beware, though, as the higher level will also use more oil; however, it still uses a lot less oil than any other nebulizer.
Since no product is perfect, the only potential negative I can find with this product is that it will leak if the o-ring is not in all the way. That is an easy thing to prevent, however, by simply making sure the o-ring where the bottle attaches to the unit is all the way in when you change oils. Taking a few seconds to check this will prevent any leakage.
The small profile and rechargeable battery make this an ideal diffuser for any room.
The Aeonnon comes with an empty bottle that can be filled with your favorite essential oil that then attaches directly to the machine. You can use any 10 ml bottle with this unit, however.
- Auto shut off to avoid spills from tipping
- Up to 50 hours of continuous use
- 1000 square foot usage range
- Rechargeable battery allows it to be mobile
- A small number of units have defective batteries, but are easy to exchange for a new model
How Do Essential Oil Diffusers Work?
The nebulizer works like an old-fashioned atomizer spray. Remember the bottle of perfume your grandmother used to use with the hose and pump? That’s called an atomizer. The nebulizer diffuser works in the same way. A bottle of essential oil is attached to the diffuser. Air is blown over the the bottle of essential oil and atomizes the oil, creating a mist of fine, airborne particles that get spread through the air.
This is generally the most effective way to fill a room with the beneficial essential oils.
The one drawback is that they are a bit on the loud side. If you have it on while trying to sleep, it might be distracting. Luckily, they are so effective at vaporizing the oils that it doesn't need to be kept on very long. Fifteen minutes will likely be enough to fill a room and keep it fragrant for many hours.
They also go through oil more quickly than other types of diffusers.
Ultrasonic diffusers work in much the same way cool mist humidifiers work. The essential oils are mixed with water in this case.
Without using heat, an ultrasonic frequency creates vibrations that disturb the surface of the water and vaporize it along with the oil. The oil and water are then dispersed throughout the air.
This type of diffuser is great when you are living in a dry environment. They aren’t as effective as a regular humidifier, but you will notice the difference in air quality when using an ultrasonic diffuser.
An ultrasonic diffuser is not quite as efficient at getting the most oil into the air as a nebulizer since it uses water. The oil is not as concentrated.
How To Choose The Best Essential Oil Diffuser
What to look for in an essential oil diffuser will vary from person to person.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind that will make it easier to find the diffuser that will work best for your needs.
How big is the room where you need the aromatherapy?
Some of the aromatherapy diffusers that I reviewed are great for large rooms where others aren’t. Before you buy your diffuser, consider the size of your space where you need it to work.
Where will it be used?
Is there an outlet nearby? If not, you might want the Aennon that has a battery so it can go anywhere.
Will it be in a child’s room? You may want an auto off feature so you don’t have to shut it off in the middle of the night.
If your night table is small, you also need to consider how big the base of the unit is. Check the specs to make sure you will have enough space on your table to accommodate the diffuser.
Do you need to humidify the air?
If so, then you probably shouldn’t get a nebulizer since it doesn’t use any water. Of course, a way around that is to use a nebulizer along with a separate humidifier. Another option is to purchase the Calily ultrasonic diffuser that doubles as a humidifier.
How long do you want the diffuser to stay on?
If you want the diffuser on for just a short time before you go to bed, the water capacity on an ultrasonic nebulizer doesn’t need to be very large.
If you want it to work through the night, make sure you get one that not only has the water capacity, but also works continuously or at least has an auto-off feature when the water is gone.
Do LED lights help you fall asleep?
Some people love having a soothing nightlight to help them fall asleep. Others are distracted by it. If you are a person who could use lights then, instead of getting a nightlight, choose a diffuser with LED lights.
How To Clean An Essential Oil Diffuser
To make sure you are getting the proper aromatherapy from your diffuser, it is important to keep it clean.
Residue from your old oils can go rancid and end up negating any of the benefits you were expecting from your diffuser. You could also be adding mold and mildew to your environment which also cancels out any benefits.
Keeping your diffuser clean is easy and ensures it will stay in working order for a long time to come.
If you are cleaning an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser, follow these easy steps:
- Fill the water chamber about halfway with distilled water.
- Add 10 drops of pure white vinegar.
- Let the diffuser run for 10 minutes to let the vinegar do its work within the diffuser.
- Turn off the diffuser and dump out the water and vinegar.
- Use a cotton swab dipped in vinegar to clean the crevices that might collect mildew.
- Rinse out with clean water.
- Dry off with a paper towel.
Do this once a week or every other week at most. It only takes a few minutes and will ensure you are getting the most out of your diffuser and essential oils.
How To Clean A Nebulizer Diffuser
A nebulizer diffuser is much easier to clean.
- Remove the lid.
- Remove the glass vase.
- Wipe with a paper towel.
- Remove the O-ring and wipe down with a towel.
- Make sure O-ring is properly inserted.
This takes even less time than cleaning an ultrasonic diffuser. This should be done anytime you are swapping out oils or refilling your essential oil bottle. There could be residue from the previous oil that will conflict with the new one.
A potentially important consideration when using essential oils in a diffuser is that some citrus oils can damage the plastic parts of your diffuser. For some reason, they can also clog some of the parts of your diffuser. Check with the manufacturer to make sure it is ok to use these citrus oils as some plastics don’t react to it.
Other Benefits Of Aromatherapy Diffusers
Did you know that dust particles in the air are also affecting your sleep? A diffuser will fill the room with essential oils that have an ionizing effect. The negative ions from the mist attach themselves to the positive ions of the dust and neutralize them. Keeping your environment dust free can relieve allergies and a dry throat, both of which can affect your sleep.
There are two different kind of cool mist aromatherapy diffusers, nebulizer and ultrasonic.
During the winter, a closed room can allow bacteria to breed like wildfire. Many essential oils have antibacterial properties that will purify the air. Getting rid of the bacteria present can prevent colds and other ailments that greatly affect your sleep and productivity in the winter.
The best essential oil diffusers use no heat and emit a cool mist to help humidify your room. Dry air can lead to a dry and sore throat along with dry sinuses which make it hard to sleep.
Finally, diffusers are able to utilize all of the elements of the essential oil that provide maximum benefits. Using candle diffusers, or other types that heat the oil, emits only the most volatile elements and leave behind some of the more difficult-to-diffuse molecules. You will notice the same oil smells much different than it does when you use other diffusers.
Best Essential Oil Diffuser Final Thoughts
As you might have learned by this point, there are so many great reasons to use an essential oil diffuser beyond calming your mind to sleep.
Eliminating the odors in your house with a diffuser makes for a much more pleasant environment to live in. Allergies can be alleviated, and bacteria can be virtually eliminated.
Your sleep can be impacted by any of these things which is the reason you should take a holistic approach to your sleep and well-being by reducing the chances that these things will keep you from getting the sleep you need.
If you are asking yourself, “Does aromatherapy really work?” then take the advice from this best essential oil diffuser review and try one out. Most have a warranty so, if you don’t get any benefit from one, simply send it back.
After seeing my sleep and mood improve with the use of a diffuser, I don’t think you will be sending it back! I hope you've enjoyed our best essential oil diffuser reviews. If you don't see one you like, leave a comment and we can check it out!