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A thousands of years-old, cross-cultural practice, essential oil therapy — also called aromatherapy — is an alternative medical treatment that involves the use of aromatic essential oils. Essential oils are extracted from parts of the plants with curative properties believed to boost mood and health. By inducing feelings of relaxation, relieving anxiety, and reducing congestion, essential oil therapy can also promote restful sleep.
Of the many essential oil therapy techniques practiced today, using an essential oil diffuser is among the most effective, convenient, and enjoyable. An essential oil diffuser is a device that disperses the therapeutic aroma of essential oils throughout the air in a room. Purchasing the right diffuser may have a major impact on your essential oil therapy experience, determining oil potency, accessibility, and more. To find out how to purchase the best diffuser for your needs, review top essential oil diffuser reviews, as well as shopping tips and special considerations, below.
An ultrasonic diffuser, the Breathe Essential uses ultrasonic vibrations to distribute a fine mist of water and essential oils throughout a room as large as 350 square feet. With four time settings options, the Breathe Essential can diffuse essential oil vapor continuously for one, three, six, or 10 hours. The Breathe Essential also includes a high mode which will diffuse mist in larger concentrations for a maximum of six hours. The diffuser comes with a waterless auto-off safety function that will shut the device down when it runs out of water. This diffuser also doubles as a regular humidifier if you do not add essential oil to the the water tank.
At 5.5 x 6.5 inches and less than 22 ounces, the Breathe Essential is on the larger size (a mini Breathe Essential 4.25 x 4.5 inches in size with six hours of diffusing time is also available). The Breathe Essential Diffuser comes in a universal wood-grain design and eight LED colored lights. Lights can be cycled through, set on a dim or bright version of any single color, or turned off. Reviewers agree the Breathe Essential is fairly quiet and easy to set up, operate, and clean.
The latest essential oil diffuser from Urpower, a consumer electronics manufacturer, the Urpower 2nd Gen Diffuser is a portable ultrasonic-style diffuser. The Urpower 2nd Gen Diffuser features 300 milliliter water tank that offers up to 8 hours of continuous diffusing for an area between 100 and 150 square feet. The machine features four time settings offering 60, 180, or 360 minutes of continual diffusing, as well as an unlimited “on” setting. Also included with the device is a safety function that will deactivate diffusing if water runs out.
The sleek and futuristic-looking Urpower 2nd Gen diffuser illuminates with light that can be set to green, yellow, pink, and light blue, red, white or “off. At 3.1 x 5.5 inches and 10.9 ounces, the device is relatively light, compact, and portable.
Yet another ultrasonic diffuser, the InnoGear 2nd Version Diffuser is a new creation from InnoGear, a company specializing in diffusers and essential oils. The upgraded device boasts features like safety water-off function and seven sensory boosting LED lights. The InnoGear 2nd Version diffuser also serves to humidify and purify to combat flu and cold germs. With its portable size and 100 milliliter tank, the InnoGear’s coverage area is relatively limited– between 100 to 150 square feet — making it best fit for small spaces.
The device includes two time settings: continuous diffusion for two to three hours or six to eight hours of intermittent diffusion. At 5.5 x 3.9 inches and 7 ounces, the product is light, but somewhat larger than other portable models we’ve seen. It’s ultra-low price and track-record of excellent reviews made it our choice for best value essential oil diffuser 2020.
With its hefty, 1,500 millimeter water tank, the Asakuki Large Room Essential Oil Diffuser earned our pick for Best Diffuser for Large Rooms. The larger-than-average tank can cover between 300 and 450 square feet of space for up to 20 hours of continuous diffusing.
The ultrasonic-style diffuser features a 360-degree rotating mist outlet that releases 200 to 250 milliliters of cool mist per hour into the air. The Asakuki Diffuser also includes a safety function that turns the diffuser off automatically once the tank is empty. Further, it comes with seven LED mood lights that can be set to single-color or cycle mode. At 5.7 x 5.7 inches and three pounds, the diffuser is large and heavier than most but virtually silent.
Our choice for the oil diffuser with the best settings, The Essential Wellness Oil Diffuser is an ultrasonic oil diffuser with a variety of handy functions. As an ultrasonic-style diffuser, the device can also be used as a humidifier. Its large, 300 milliliter water tank offers up to 10 hours of continuous diffusing for an area of up to 215 square feet.
The diffuser includes four timer settings, including a 60-minute, 180-minute, 360-minute, or continuous setting. Once the set time has elapsed or the tank runs dry, the diffuser will shut off automatically. In addition to the time settings, the The Essential Wellness Oil Diffuser comes with a variety of light functions, including on, fixed, or cycle. Colors include white, green, purple, pink, blue, yellow, and red. Finally, at 4.3 x 4.3 inches and 11 ounces, the diffuser is designed to be both portable and whisper-quiet.
For all our recommendations, choosing the best essential oil diffuser ultimately comes down to your unique goals and personal preferences. To help you choose the right model, we’ve explored the different styles of diffusers and their pros and cons below.
Essential oil diffusers have grown in popularity over the last decade as public attention has turned to holistic therapies, ayurvedic medicine, and self-care in general. Recent research from the medical community has underscored the therapeutic benefits of essential oils on mood, sleep, and overall health. Although further investigation is needed, studies to date suggest that essential oils may be a powerful tool in treating mild sleep issues.
There are a variety of techniques for harnessing the positive benefits of essential oils, including sprays and facial steaming. Diluting essential oils with a diffuser is one of the quickest, simplest, and most enjoyable ways to do so. Essential oil diffusers are electronic devices that spread the oil’s therapeutic aromas throughout the surrounding environment to be easily absorbed by the body. Once the aroma is inhaled, smell receptors activate and interact with the brain and nervous system in a way that can affect emotions and health. The interaction may depend on the type of essential oil that has been defused; lavender, for example, can help calm the nervous system by reducing blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Bergamot, for another, is thought to reduce anxiety and stress.
Today, there are four primary types of essential oil diffusers on the market. We’ve defined essential oil diffuser styles and outlined potential benefits and drawbacks below.
Ultrasonic diffusers rely on electronic frequencies to create vibrations and disperse a fine mist of water and essential oils into the air. Ultrasonic diffusers are preferable because they produce vapor using ultrasonic vibrations rather than heat, which can compromise the benefits of essential oils. Because ultrasonic diffusers release a mixture of water and essential oils, they also serve as a humidifier for dry air. In addition, many ultrasonic diffuser models can automatically turn on and off to control essential oil distribution and ensure user safety. This variety of diffuser is relatively quiet, durable, and inexpensive.
A variety of diffusers may rely on heat to diffuse essential oil throughout the air. Examples of heat diffusers include candle burners, electric heat diffusers, lamp rings, and steam inhalers. Although quiet and inexpensive, heat from these diffusers may alter the chemical composition and compromise the health benefits of essential oils.
Similar to perfume atomizers, nebulizer diffusers deliver powerful bursts of aromas into the air. Using an atomizer, the device breaks down essential oils into tiny molecules and distributes them throughout the atmosphere in droplet form. Because nebulizer diffusers don’t dilute the oils with heat or water, the devices are able to emit a stronger concentration of essential oils into the air than many other types of diffusers. And by breaking them into ultra tiny molecules, nebulizer diffusers may facilitate the absorption of essential oils into the body. However, this type of diffuser tends to be more expensive, more fragile, and noisier than other varieties. In addition, nebulizer diffusers may use up oils faster than other diffuser models.
Using a fan, evaporative diffusers transform oils from liquids to gas and disperse components throughout the air. With this type of diffuser, essential oils are dropped onto a pad or filter beneath the fan to be distributed. Evaporative diffusers can dispel oils quickly and are generally less expensive than other kinds of diffusers. However, the evaporative method can be unbalanced, releasing lighter oil components quicker than heavier ones and thus disrupting the therapeutic benefits. Because of this fractioning, evaporative diffusers may function best as personal diffusers and in small rooms.
In addition to type, there are a number of other factors to consider when shopping for an essential oil diffuser. We’ve discussed key considerations below.
From origins in ancient Egypt, essential oils have grown into a $12 billion international industry. The use of essential oils, also known as aromatherapy, is a type of natural, alternative medicine associated with a number of benefits. While further scientific study is needed to truly understand aromatherapy, millions of people utilize aromatherapy to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and promote many other types of healing.
The practice of aromatherapy involves using highly concentrated extracts from different plants believed to help physical or psychological wellness. To access the purported benefits, users often inhale or apply essential oils directly to the skin. To inhale essential oils, users may use an essential oil diffuser, add a few drops to boiling water to create a facial steamer, or rub them onto their hands and inhale the aroma.
The benefits associated with essential oils may depend on the type of oil used. We’ve explored some of the most common types of essential oils and their associated benefits below:
Though more research is merited, essential oils are thought to help sleep in a variety of ways. Scents like jasmine, lavender, clary sage, sweet marjoram, and bergamot are thought to promote relaxation. Others, such as thyme, eucalyptus, and clove, can help reduce snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Introducing these scents into your bedtime routine through the use of an essential oil diffuser or other method can also help train your mind to associate certain aromas with sleeping.
While many oils promote relaxation, others — like lemongrass and tangerine — are associating with energizing effects and should typically be avoided at bedtime. It’s worth noting that various essential oils have different effects on different people, so it’s advisable to experiment with different scents to find one that works best for you.