We updated this article in August 2022 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive research done by our team.
What if easing your anxiety and giving your mental health a boost could be as simple as taking a deep breath? With aromatherapy—an alternative form of holistic therapy—you may be able to do just that. And what better way to benefit from aromatherapy than filling your home with the best essential oil diffusers on the market? By harnessing the power of essential oils and using them with the best essential oil diffusers, you can be on your way to rest and relaxation in no time.
“Smell is mediated by the olfactory nerve, which is wired directly into the limbic system—the brain’s emotional processing center,” Leland Stillman, M.D., from Tampa, says about the benefits of essential oils. “This system talks to the rest of the brain, particularly the brainstem, which controls our vital functions.” In other words, your sense of smell can have an impact on your body's response to stress.
Whether you’re in search of migraine relief with peppermint essential oils or want to reap the benefits of lavender essential oils to soothe anxiety, PMS, and more—you’ll likely need an aromatherapy diffuser to spread scents around your home. Here’s an overview of the types of essential oil diffusers, and our picks for the best essential oil diffusers on the market right now.
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How we chose the best essential oil diffusers
We tested some options out for ourselves and scoured the internet for top-rated picks—each with nearly five-stars or over 1,000 reviews—that have a variety of styles and specialties to meet everyone’s unique needs to bring you the best of the best.
Our top essential oil diffusers
URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier
It’s easy to see why this device has amassed more than 75,000 excellent reviews on Amazon. For less than $20, you get an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser that doubles as a cool mist humidifier and night light with a six-hour programmable run time and automatic shut-off. Plus, you can customize your mist mode to either continuous or intermittent. Seven color-changing lamps allow you to choose the shade you find most soothing. You’ll score a great diffuser for great value, but be sure to keep your decor in mind if you're avoiding something that'll stand out too much.
An Amazon customer who suffers from chronic sinus pressure headaches says this essential oil diffuser and humidifier helped her breathe better: “Thanks to my regular use of this with a combo of peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemon essential oils, I haven’t needed to take the pseudoephedrine every four hours nor do as many saline rinses.”
Asakuki Premium Essential Oil Diffuser
Best for large rooms
At 500 milliliters, this easy-to-clean ultrasonic diffuser’s tank is larger than many other options on the market, which means fewer trips to the sink to refill it. Two mist modes, three timed intervals (continuous and intervals of 60, 120, or 180 minutes), and seven colored light options mean you have plenty of ways to tailor your aromatherapy experience every time you turn it on. Amazon customers like how easy it is to use and how much water it can hold, reducing the number of times you need to refill it. But some reviewers complained it may not last as long as others.
“Such a small amount of oil can fill your room with scents from relaxing to energizing,” says one Amazon reviewer. “This diffuser has a timer and an auto shut off, so you never need to worry about it running dry which could damage the unit.”
LEMON + Co. Cool Mist Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser
With its wood-grain finish and sleek transparent top, this diffuser adds an earthy chicness to any room. But it offers more than just good looks. A water capacity of 150 milliliters and running time of up to 10 hours and still compact with a detachable cord so you can easily move it around the house, or even from home to office. This is especially important because this particular diffuser may not fill larger rooms. It’s both a diffuser and a humidifier, so it’ll require water and attention to the levels indicated inside the device.
PureGuardian Ultrasonic Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser
Best for small spaces
This device is a humidifier and diffuser hybrid with a lot of personality. It holds 100 milliliters and is ideal for a yoga nook, bathroom, or office. Amazon reviewers say the light can be quite bright, which makes it a fun guide in the dark, but something to keep in mind if that’s bothersome. The water reservoir is also treated with Silver Clean Technology to keep it bacteria- and odor-free. If your daily moment of zen is important to you, this one is a great pick to keep in your favorite space and add aromatherapy to a meditation practice.
One Amazon customer says: “The design is sleek and compact. I like that it has an auto-off function, which is great for when I use it at night. It will automatically shut off when the water and oils run out.”
Vitruvi Stone Essential Oil Diffuser
This minimalist-inspired diffuser blends in as decor, and its heavy ceramic material makes it look and feel luxe. An optional LED light emanates a candle-like glow, it can run for up to eight hours and has an automatic shut-off function. Be aware this is one of the pricier options.
“It looks like a lovely little vase, not too modern, not too classic. It functions flawlessly and really puts out a nice amount of aroma,” one Amazon shopper writes. “I am so impressed, I bought a second one for my office.”
Saje Aroma Om
This sleek and stylish diffuser is as effective as it is pleasing to the eye. With options to mist for 6 hours intermittently or 3 hours continuously and an automatic shut-off feature, it requires minimal effort for maximum relaxation. This diffuser also can be used as a night light with the optional LED feature.
“I love the Saje oil diffuser because it fits in with my décor and is so so quiet,” says one Prevention editor. “It also fills up the room effectively despite its small water container.”
EQUSUPRO Ultrasonic Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser
Like a work of art, this essential oil diffuser infuses a decorative touch to your living room or bedroom with a cozy vibe. We love that it comes in seven soothing LED lights, which you can program to stick to a fixed color or have them alternating. It's also extremely quiet and emits a continuous mist in your home while you work or sleep. Plus, it auto shuts off when the water content is low, but it has a smaller reservoir that may need to be refilled more often.
One Amazon customer says: “I love the changing colors and how you can keep it stable on one color. It diffuses the essential oils very well. I smell it throughout three rooms. Very happy with the lovely pattern as well.”
Weftnom Waterless Portable Essential Oil Diffuser
Best evaporative (waterless)
If you don’t want to deal with constantly filling up your diffuser with water (yes, spills can occur), a great option is a fan-operated evaporative pick. While ultrasonic diffusers are easier to come by, evaporative diffusers like this one are super portable and rechargeable by USB. Add soothing lavender oils to pads and the fan will do the rest—without the need to plug it in. Go from room to room or even bring it along for a car ride, but you may want to consider if it’s worth taking the time to charge your diffuser.
One Amazon customer says, “It is very very quiet. You can barely hear it. It puts out a nice concentrated aroma but not too much. It doesn't overwhelm you. I really like everything about it and will likely order more.”
Exqline 1500ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser
Best run time
With a super large capacity and long running time, you’ll get almost a half gallon of water and up to 20 hours of fresh scents in your home. The diffuser is ultra-quiet and fills very large spaces with relaxing smells while also acting as a humidifier in your home. Be aware it is quite large, so it may not be the best for small spaces.
One reviewer said, “My husband and I are obsessed! We love this diffuser. We put peppermint and eucalyptus mint and it puts us to sleep really fast.”
ALS Aroma Diffuser
This essential oil set not only includes a large, thoughtfully designed ultrasonic diffuser, but ten pure essential oils as well such as lavender, eucalyptus, cinnamon, and more. The diffuser holds about 18 ounces of water with various options for mist, continuity, and LED light colors.
“This is by far one of my favorite things in my house. Everything about this item is great,” writes one five star reviewer. “It's very easy to use, the lights are a nice touch, and the aroma can be smelled in 2 of my largest rooms in the house. I love the way it looks, and the different settings it has as far as length of the run time.”
SURBON Himalayan Salt Essential Oil Diffuser
This decorative essential oil diffuser will literally uplift the energy in any room. Through its advanced ultrasonic technology, it disperses essential oils in a fine mist that spreads quickly but isn't too overpowering. This makes it easier for people to take in the scent and reap its benefits. It also has seven soothing soft LED lights (and a remote control) that you can cycle through or set to one color. The bonus is that it automatically shuts down when the water in it runs out, but it may be a bit bright for some who want to use it at night.
One Amazon customer says: “It’s a quiet and nice-looking oil diffuser. It works quietly. It immediately gives a nice smell to the room. The illumination is very eye-catching and relaxing at the same time. Looks very stylish.”
Types of essential oil diffusers
Nebulizing diffusers: These are best for those diffusing oils for internal support, such as issues with pain or using essential oils to soothe sunburns. These diffusers disperse molecules quickly without altering the chemical composition of the oil, therefore retaining the powerful benefits and potent aroma. They don’t require heat or water but use up more oil than other types of diffusers.
Ultrasonic diffusers: The most common type of aromatherapy diffuser, these devices require water to disperse a concentrated oil that’s controlled in aroma and potency. They work wonderfully to support dry air since they act as a humidifier and a diffuser—perfect for winter, or air-conditioned and windowless rooms because they purify the air you breathe while holding essential oils. These are ideal for those using oils that are diffused for emotional support, such as issues like insomnia, anxiety, and memory.
Evaporative diffusers: These use a filter or pad for essential oil distribution and a fan to circulate the essential oils. Evaporative diffusers aren’t the quietest of the bunch, but the fan allows the oil to evaporate more quickly and circulate the oils throughout the room.
How to choose the best essential oil diffuser
Run time. Look for diffusers that have the power to last for the length of time you’re looking for—whether just an hour for a quick meditation or all day long for a better-smelling home.
Sound. If you have a sleeping baby or want a distraction-free home office, you’ll probably want to look for an essential oil diffuser that’s as silent as you can get. On the other hand, if you find a little background noise calming, then one with a bit of sound couldn’t hurt.
Safety. Do you plan to be away at any time during the product’s run time? Consider an item with an auto shut-off safety feature for extra peace of mind.
Arielle Weg is the associate editor at Prevention and loves to share her favorite wellness and nutrition obsessions. She previously managed content at The Vitamin Shoppe, and her work has also appeared in Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Cooking Light, MyRecipes, and more. You can usually find her taking an online workout class or making a mess in the kitchen, creating something delicious she found in her cookbook collection or saved on Instagram.