The 10 Best Essential Oil Diffusers of 2023
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The 10 Best Essential Oil Diffusers of 2023

Apr 16, 2024

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Verywell Health / Kristin Kempa

Whether you're seeking stress relief or relaxation, the use of essential oils may help you experience the benefits of aromatherapy. You can use these oils during a massage, in a warm bath, or simply by smelling the contents of a bottle. But Alison Seponara, MS, LPC, a Pennsylvania-based licensed professional counselor and anxiety healer, says that one of the best ways to use essential oils for anxiety relief and relaxation is with a diffuser.

There are a variety of essential oil diffusers on the market, and while they may look different, they're all designed to spread a therapeutic aroma throughout the room. Dispersing the oils in the form of breathable mist, diffusers are a safe and popular alternative to synthetic air fresheners and scented candles.

We researched dozens of essential oil diffusers and evaluated them for reviews, safety, design, value, coverage area, capacity, mist output, and additional features. Each essential oil diffuser chosen is determined to be the best based on these factors. A social work and psychotherapy expert on our Medical Expert Board reviewed the claims in this article around the types of essential oil diffusers and how to use them.


Diffuser and humidifier

Control mist output


Scent may not last

Must clean regularly

Lid must be completely removed to refill

The most significant feature of this diffuser is the exceptionally large water tank. With a capacity of 1,500 milliliters of water, the Exqline diffuser can run between 10 to 20 hours, depending on the mist setting. Plus, the 270-degree knob allows for a much greater degree of control over the level of fragrant mist and humidity emitted.

This BPA-free unit functions as both a humidifier and an aromatherapy diffuser, humidifying rooms up to 325 square feet and diffusing essential oils in spaces up to 450 square feet. The whisper-quiet diffuser also features seven different lighting options to conform to different environments and times of the day.

Price at time of publication: $40

Key Features

Dimensions: 5.7 x 5.7 x 9.5 inches | Capacity: 1,500 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 20 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Diffuser and humidifier

Remote control operation

360-degree nozzle

Warm or cool mist

Difficult to clean extension wand

Warm mist is not very warm

This ultrasonic humidifier features the best of both worlds. The duo-unit humidifies the air with both cool and warm mist options, while the essential oil tray adds versatility. Choose to dispense essential oils while humidifying the room, or use the features independently.

Notably, this humidifier runs for up to 25 hours with auto-shutoff when the water tank is low. The 360-degree nozzle provides maximum coverage for spaces up to 200 square feet, and settings are easily adjustable with the compatible remote control.

The tall, sleek silhouette is designed to sit nicely on a tabletop or on the floor. The unit is also armed with clean tank technology, which helps protect the tank from growing mold and mildew.

Price at time of publication: $54

Key Features

Dimensions: 6.3 x 6.3 x 28.94 inches | Capacity: 2,000 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 25 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Color changing LED lights

Four timed misting modes


Better for small spaces

Must refill frequently

This budget-friendly diffuser is easy to operate with only four steps to get started. Simply fill the water tank, add a few drops of essential oil, connect the unit to a power source, and set the mist and lighting to the desired settings. The mist controls offer three timers, along with continuous mode. Seven colored LED lights also provide aesthetic versatility to any space.

Inspired by nature, this ultrasonic diffuser features a wood-grain coating that subtly fits into any room, and it operates both as an essential oil diffuser and a humidifier. The Tagital 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser runs quietly for up to nine hours and automatically shuts off when the water tank is empty.

Price at time of publication: $24

Key Features

Dimensions: 6.70 x 6.70 x 5.00 inches | Capacity: 300 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 10 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Wireless remote control

Different timer settings

Nightlight function

High and low mist modes

Buttons may wear over time

This 3-in-1 essential oil diffuser not only dispenses your favorite scent but also functions as a nightlight and humidifier. It comes with a wireless remote control so you can manage settings from over 16 feet away.

Housing a 1,000-milliliter water tank, this diffuser runs for up to 23 hours in low mist mode. Choose from multiple timed intervals and adjustable mist modes for a personalized experience. The seven LED light settings allow the unit to be used as a night-light, or several functions can be combined for a multi-sensory experience.

Price at time of publication: $42

Key Features

Dimensions: 7.8 x 7.8 x 4.7 inches | Capacity: 1,000 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 20 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Attractive silhouette

Candle-like glow

Multiple neutral colors

Low capacity water tank


If you're searching for a high-quality, high-performing essential oil diffuser that's both attractive and effective, look no further than the Vitruvi Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser. This sleek diffuser is made out of fine porcelain with a gorgeous matte ceramic finish. It also has a BPA-free plastic base. Choose from two settings including a continuous four-hour mist, or intermittent misting for eight hours.

This model boasts an automatic shutoff feature, which is triggered once the diffuser is out of water or battery. Since it’s cordless and weighs only a pound, the Vitruvi Porcelain Essential Oil Diffuser is the perfect decor piece for bedside tables, dressers, and desks. For best results, the manufacturer recommends using 20 to 25 drops of essential oil.

Price at time of publication: $123

Key Features

Dimensions: 3.4 x 7 inches | Capacity: 90 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 8 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Easy to use

Portable and compact


No intermittent mode

Best for small spaces

Small water tank

No larger than a smartphone, this handy, compact diffuser fits seamlessly into a purse, backpack, or cup holder for diffusing on the go. It has a cord organizer built into the bottom, and it can be plugged into a USB port or powered using an external battery. The Soicare Car Diffuser has an auto-shutoff feature, it's double-sealed, and it automatically shuts off if tipped over—keeping all devices safe and dry.

This simple, two-button design is easy to operate and runs for up to six hours when filled with water. The mini diffuser features seven color-changing light modes that beautifully line the rim.

This BPA-free ultrasonic diffuser is the ideal travel companion and is popular for use in the car, office, bathroom, and even in small bedrooms. Choose from black, white, pink, and turquoise.

Price at time of publication: $18

Key Features

Dimensions: 2.99 x 2.99 x 5.04 inches | Capacity: 60 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 6 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Easy to use

Fills room quickly

Aesthetically pleasing

May be too loud

Needs a lot of oil

Nebulizing diffusers provide a fast-acting aroma that’s often viewed as the most effective way to diffuse essential oils while maintaining their purity. Avoid water, heat, and plastic with the Aromis Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, which comes with a hand-blown glass diffuser bottle and top, a natural wooden base, and a power cord.

This diffuser is user-friendly and it quickly and evenly fills rooms averaging 800 square feet with therapeutic scent. For intermittent diffusing, use the built-in timer to diffuse every ten minutes for four hours. All Aromis products come with a one-year warranty and the company offers U.S.-based service and replacement parts to keep your unit running like new for years to come.

Price at time of publication: $130

Key Features

Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 4 inches | Capacity: 20-40 drops of essential oil | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: 4 hours | Type: Nebulizing


Alarm clock

Bluetooth speaker

Diffusing timers

Clock may be too bright

Must remove lid completely to refill

Discrete buttons

The ultrasonic Daroma Alarm Clock Essential Oil Diffuser is a sleek pick that also functions as an alarm clock, a Bluetooth speaker, and a mood or nightlight to simplify your countertop space. Choose to display the time via a digital display that uniformly blends right into the wooden speaker.

For times when you wish to humidify the air without scent, this unit can be used solely as a humidifier. The compact, square diffuser features a wood-grain base with user-friendly buttons to control music, light, and mist output—including 1-, 3-, and 5-hour timers.

This quiet ultrasonic diffuser breaks down essential oils and water into an ultra-fine mist to create a relaxing, fragrant environment. The Daroma Alarm Clock Essential Oil Diffuser is offered in light and dark wood grain with seven color-changing LED light settings.

Price at time of publication: $37

Key Features

Dimensions: 3.6 x 3.7 x 2.0 inches | Capacity: 300 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 10 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Pairs with smart devices

Allows you to set timers and schedules

Seven lighting modes

Complicated Wi-Fi setup

Can’t use Alexa to adjust mist levels

The Smart Diffuser by Sierra Modern Home uses silent, ultrasonic technology to emit an ultra-fine, aromatic mist. Connect via Wi-Fi and control the diffuser from your smart device including turning it on and off, setting timers and schedules, adjusting the mist intensity, and LED lighting. It's also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Choose from a variety of lighting options and power the diffuser on and off via voice command or through the companion app. The Smart Diffuser by Sierra Modern Home features a 400-milliliter water tank delivering up to 12 hours of continuous mist.

Price at time of publication: $60

Key Features

Dimensions: 8.94 x 6.85 x 6.73 inches | Capacity: 400 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 12 hours | Type: Ultrasonic


Playful exterior design

Four lighting modes

Long run time

No remote control

No digital display

Aromatherapy is generally safe for kids, as long as it's administered safely and with supervision. This kid-friendly essential oil diffuser from SpaRoom dispenses a gentle stream of fragrant mist throughout a child's room. With variable mist control, it’s easy to adjust the output.

Running up to 24 hours, the OceanMist Essential Oil Diffuser offers both continuous and intermittent modes, and it covers rooms up to 299 square feet. The unit also offers auto-shutoff for safe use. This brightly-colored exterior showcases an assortment of animated sea creatures, along with a color-changing aquarium light show.

Price at time of publication: $34

Key Features

Dimensions: 4.3 x 4.3 x 7 inches | Capacity: 300 milliliters | Auto Shutoff: Yes | Run Time: Up to 24 hours | Type: Ultrasonic

To select the best essential oil diffusers, we interviewed two experts to get their advice on what features to look for and what to avoid.

Based on their recommendations, we conducted extensive research to find the best diffusers on the market today. We included ultrasonic, evaporative, nebulizing, and heat diffusers in our search, as well as a variety of sizes and timer settings. Finally, we selected products that feature quiet and simple operation.


The most common type of essential oil diffuser is an ultrasonic diffuser. This method uses ultrasonic vibrations to break down the mixture of water and essential oils to produce a cool, fine mist that simultaneously humidifies the air. Alison Seponara says she prefers this method of diffusing as it only requires a small amount of essential oil to envelope one’s space in a lasting scent. She adds that ultrasonic diffusers are often very easy to operate.


As the most powerful, fast-acting mode of defusing, a nebulizing essential oil diffuser uses pressurized air to emit a fine mist—which translates into releasing the oils in their purest form.

This method is often utilized for therapeutic benefits due to its potency. On the other hand, nebulizing diffusers do come with a bit more noise, often producing a humming sound.


Evaporative essential oil diffusers disperse fragrant oil through evaporation. This type of diffuser comes in two styles, both with and without a fan.

The traditional evaporative diffuser contains a pad or filter to house the essential oils and an internal fan to circulate the oil particles throughout the room. The simplified version comes without a fan and relies on natural airflow to disperse the fragrance. Evaporative diffusers are generally budget-friendly and are ideal for smaller spaces.


As the name suggests, a heat essential oil diffuser heats the oil until the particles evaporate and disperse into the air.

The most effective heat diffusers use low levels of heat to slowly and evenly evaporate the oil molecules into the air. The heating source may come in many forms including electricity, a candle, or a lamp ring (similar to a ring light). Each style uses a tray to hold the oil near the heat source. The downside to this method is that heat can change the chemical properties of the essential oil and in some cases, limit the benefits.

Timers allow users to run the diffuser for a set amount of continuous or intermittent run time without having to manually start and stop each session. This also helps conserve oil. For those who like to diffuse at night, setting a timer before falling asleep is helpful so that the diffuser doesn’t run all night long. Not only is this a waste of oil but it’s not recommended to diffuse for extended periods of time.

Having an auto-shutoff feature is a must-have for safety reasons along with preserving the longevity of the diffuser. Auto shutoff kicks in when the water tank is low to protect the diffuser from burning out.

When considering an essential oil diffuser, think about the size of the room you plan to use most for diffusing. For optimal results, the room's size should align with the diffuser's area coverage range. Another key metric to consider is capacity. The larger the reservoir or water tank, the longer the diffuser will run without needing a refill.

On the other hand, if you enjoy defusing a different scent each session, you may benefit from a diffuser with a smaller capacity.

Consider the noise level associated with each type of diffuser. If you’re someone who enjoys diffusing at night or while doing work, a silent or whisper-quiet model might be your best bet. For the most part, ultrasonic and heat diffusers are quiet, while nebulizing diffusers tend to produce the most noise of the bunch. Some fans on evaporative diffusers come with a slight soundtrack.

The general guidance surrounding essential oil quantities for diffusing suggests starting slowly until you get used to a scent and know how your body reacts.

The number of drops you put into a diffuser depends on the unit’s size. Diffusers under 100 milliliters require three to five drops, a 200-milliliter unit requires six to ten drops, a 300-milliliter unit requires nine to 12 drops, and a 400-milliliter unit requires 12 to 15 drops.

If you’re using more than one essential oil, divide the total number of drops needed by the different scents. For instance, a 200-milliliter unit may be filled with three drops of lavender essential oil and three drops of bergamot—not six of each.

Before the first scrub down, always check a diffuser’s cleaning protocols to ensure its longevity. Get acquainted with the unit’s layout—like the placement of the reservoir’s drainage outlet—to avoid getting water inside any electrical parts. It's also important to note that while some people like to clean with vinegar, some manufacturers state that doing so will automatically void the warranty of certain models.

For optimal performance and longevity of an ultrasonic diffuser, empty and dry out the diffuser’s water tank after each use and give it a quick wipe down using a microfiber cloth. For a deeper clean, use the tiniest bit of plant-based dish soap in the water reservoir. Then rinse with water and let the parts air dry. Next, dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and glide over the ultrasonic chip or plate to remove any excess oil. Some people prefer to wipe down the base and lid with a baby wipe.

To clean a nebulizing diffuser, use a dropper to add a few milliliters of rubbing alcohol to the reservoir. Turn on the diffuser for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the liquid out and let it air dry. If the diffuser has a quick-change top, simply soak the top in rubbing alcohol for 30 minutes to an hour and let it air dry.

For evaporative diffusers, if the pad is reusable, ideally wash it between uses. Clean the tray with warm water and plant-based dish soap using a soft, microfiber cloth. Also, use the cloth to gently dust the fan blades. For a heat or electronic essential oil diffuser, after the unit cools, use this same method to clean the tray and wipe off the heat plate.

In general, aromatherapists suggest running an essential oil diffuser for 30 minutes at a time. One of the dangers of leaving it on all day is that the oils can cause sensitivity or allergic reactions in some cases. Seponara says she prefers to diffuse for an hour at a time, which is easy if your diffuser has a timer. She adds that she often runs her diffuser a couple times each day.

For pet owners, Tina Wismer, DVM explains that in many cases, it's ok to use an essential oil diffuser for short periods of time in a secured area. Wismer is a Senior Director of Toxicology at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. "With inhalation from using an essential oil diffuser, the concern is more about respiratory irritation than exposure to a specific scent," she said.

Diffusing should be avoided around cats and dogs with a history of asthma or respiratory problems as well as around birds, which are known to have extremely sensitive respiratory tracts. In addition, small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs may not be able to move away from the aroma and can intake high amounts of vapor.

Wismer advises pet owners to “pet-proof” each designated diffusing space. If your pet has been in direct contact with essential oils and is experiencing health issues, contact your veterinarian or call APCC’s hotline at (888) 426-4435.

Emily Stone is a Chicago-based journalist specializing in wellness and lifestyle content. She researches and reviews products for Verywell Fit, Verywell Health, and Verywell Mind. As a health and wellness writer, she is all about clean, green products and is passionate about seeking out reliable, honest brands.

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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. How Aromatherapy Can Help Children.

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