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. "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.
No matter the type of essential oil you use—peppermint, lavender, citrus—you'll 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 ones on the market right now.
3 types of essential oil diffusers
Having a general understanding of the few different types of essential oil diffusers can help you sift through the options. Cost, portability, aesthetics, simplicity, and cleaning are all things to consider when buying an essential oil diffuser.
These are best for those diffusing oils for internal support, such as issues with pain or skin irritation. 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.
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,, and memory.
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.
Essential Oil DiffuserURPOWER amazon.com
1. Best Overall: URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser and Cool Mist Humidifier
It's easy to see why this device has amassed more than 30,000 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.
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."
Essential Oil DiffuserViva Naturals amazon.com
2. Best Value: Viva Naturals Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser
What's great about this ultrasonic diffuser is that it relies on less essential oil than other diffusers and vaporizes without using any heat. Its ionic technology also helps improve air quality by minimizing allergens and dust in the surrounding areas. Like other diffusers on this list, it also has seven LED lights for any kind of mood you're in, whether you're want to perk up in the morning or settle down at night.
One Amazon reviewer says: "It is basically a mist humidifier and helps keep moisture in your home. My house smells like heaven. The citrus oils are great in the daytime, and peppermint and eucalyptus when stuffy cold season hits."
Cool Mist Humidifier Ultrasonic Essential Oil DiffuserVicTsing amazon.com
3. Best Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser: VicTsing Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser
With its three wood-grain finishes, this diffuser adds an earthy chicness to any room. But it offers more than just good looks. A water capacity of 300 milliliters and running time of six to eight hours makes this device great for filling large areas, but still compact with a detachable cord so you can easily move it around the house, or even from home to office. Further customize your experience with two mist modes (standard and strong). It's both a diffuser and a humidifier, so it'll require water and attention to the levels indicated inside the device.
"This is the first time using a diffuser and so far I love it," one Amazon customer writes. "This one is easy to set up and clean. The little bit of white noise it emits is unnoticeable in my living room, and in the bedroom, it is quiet enough to aid in relaxation and sleep."
Nebulizing Essential Oil DiffuserOrganic Aromas amazon.com
4. Best Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser: Organic Aromas Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser
If you're looking for your essential oil diffuser to give off as powerful a scent as possible and aren't concerned about the device doubling as a humidifier, then this nebulizer diffuser is a great option. This stylish device requires no water and no heat, and pumps essential oils into the air for one- to two-minute intervals for up to two hours. Optional mood lighting and a whisper-quiet design ensure you'll feel relaxed in no time.
One Amazon customer says: "It is beautiful as well as very powerful. My entire house smells wonderful. I am thrilled with this purchase. If you love diffusing oils, this is the only way to go."
Aromatherapy Essential Oil and Diffuser Gift SetArtNaturals amazon.com $39.94
$27.95 (30% off)
5. Best Diffuser With Essential Oil Set: Art Naturals Essential Oil and Diffuser Set
This is a great buy if you don't quite know where to begin with aromatherapy. This Art Naturals diffuser comes with three essential oils to kick off your aromatherapy practice. The compact diffuser has three mist settings—one hour, three hours, and a continuous mist. The oils include peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and eucalyptus, which are a great starting point for essential oil newbies. Consider this as a gift idea, too—it works great in the bathroom to provide a soothing, spa-like experience.
One Amazon customer says: "Beyond worth it! Loved the packaging. Extremely simple and works amazing! I used this during labor and it was amazing. Three months later and it still works great!"
Premium Essential Oil DiffuserAsakuki amazon.com
6. Best for Large Rooms: Asakuki Premium Essential Oil Diffuser
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.
"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."
SPA210 Ultrasonic Essential Oil DiffuserPureGuardian amazon.com $59.99
$38.46 (36% off)
7. Best for Small Rooms or Offices: PureGuardian Ultrasonic Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser
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. 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."
Ultrasonic Essential Oil DiffuserNOW Solutions amazon.com
8. NOW Ultrasonic Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser
If you're looking for a simple diffuser to start your aromatherapy practice, this ultrasonic tool is great for everyday use. It comes with two settings for one hour and two hours, plus rotating LED lights that can be controlled to suit your mood. It's bottom-heavy, so it's safe to move around without having to worry about it tipping over. The real bamboo exterior gives the device a natural look, and it's a great gift idea—even for men.
"I have used this diffuser nearly daily for four months," says one Amazon reviewer. "It is by far the quietest diffuser I've encountered. It's attractive, gives off essentially no light, and is super easy to operate and clean."
Ultrasonic Cool Mist Essential Oil DiffuserQUSUP amazon.com
9. 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.
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."
Gather Ultrasonic Aroma DiffuserEllia amazon.com
10. HoMedics Ellia Gather Diffuser
Not only does the Ellia produce a strong, soothing mist, but it also has a built-in light that changes colors and plays a library of relaxing sounds. Each diffuser comes with a remote to help you adjust the the light, sound, and level of mist. It also comes with three sample essential oil blends with scents that'll help you relax, focus, or brighten your mood.
"I just purchased my second Ellia diffuser," one Amazon customer says. "This is the best diffuser I have ever owned, and I have purchased many. It diffuses to a large area with a long run time."
Essential Oil Diffuser and HumidifierRound Rich amazon.com
11. Round Rich Upgrade Whisper-Quiet Essential Oil Diffuser and Humidifier
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 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.
One Amazon customer says: "This little ceramic pineapple is beyond adorable and very well made. I love the color choices and it is very attractive in our living room. The stream of steam is small and thin. It does gain momentum once it has run for at least 20 to 30 minutes."
Essential Oil DiffuserAnsin amazon.com
12. Ansin Essential Oil Diffuser
Built with four different timed settings—auto, one hour, three hours, or five hours—and seven LED lights, placing one of these essential oil diffusers in your living room, office, or bedroom will immediately make you breathe better. And thanks to its ultrasonic technology, it provides a quiet and continuous mist.
Amazon customers appreciate that its large size can hold more water than compact diffusers. One says: "It holds more water than other ones do and will literally last all day. It lets out a great deal of scent with the oils. I have purchased others, but I prefer this one due to the size."
Essential Oil DiffuserPurSteam amazon.com $49.99
$29.99 (40% off)
13. PurSteam Essential Oil Diffuser
The wood grain finish in this essential oil diffuser makes it blend into your home decor easily. Safer to use than candles, it offers a variety of mood lighting and works quietly to diffuse a relaxing scent around your home.
One Amazon customer says: "I really like this diffuser. It sets a great ambience in the room, making me feel relaxed. On top of that, it looks really nice and goes well with my decor."
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These Essential Oil Diffusers Will Make Your Home Smell Amazing, Source:https://www.prevention.com/life/a20498058/best-essential-oil-diffusers/