Deciding which diffuser is most suitable for your needs can be confusing. These small units used to diffuse essential oils come in many models and styles. Essential oils have many health benefits such as improving sleep, increasing energy and uplifting mood. Using a good diffuser is key to getting the most benefit from them.
My interest in essential oils has begun recently as I started looking for more natural ways to improve my health. This triggered a need to look for a good diffuser. I was amazed to find how many there were to choose from, making a decision fairly difficult. In the process of my research, five diffusers made it to the top of my list.
The four different types of diffusers – ultrasonic, nebulizer, evaporative or heat – all function differently and each one has its pros and cons. A nebulizing diffuser dispenses a heavy concentration of oils but it is expensive, consumes more energy and has a higher noise level. Essential oils work best when they are used cold which means evaporative and heat diffusers are less effective therapeutically. When weighing up all the different criteria, it became evident to me that an ultrasonic diffuser was the best option for my needs.
What to look for in an essential oil diffuser
The design of a diffuser is probably the first thing that catches your eye. You can choose from a great variety of shapes and sizes. The tank capacity of a diffuser determines how long it runs. If you want one with a lengthy running time, you will need to look for one that holds more water in the tank. Some diffusers can be set to run continuously or intermittently. An intermittent setting allows the water and oils to last longer. You will also need to find out the area coverage – do you want to use it in a small or large space? Some diffusers allow you to adjust the airflow to high or low. You will also need to consider noise level. Many diffusers are whisper quiet and you will hardly hear the buzz or the sound of water trickling whilst others are noisier. Light settings are another important factor. On some diffusers you can even choose brightness levels, ranging from very dim to very bright. Automatic shut-off means that the unit shuts off when the water tank is empty. Warranties and guarantees are provided by most manufacturers. The warranty is often for a year and most of them offer money back guarantees if you are not satisfied with the product. Find out how easy a diffuser is to use and to clean. The last thing you want is to struggle to fill and clean your diffuser, especially if you want to use a variety of different oils.
Design: This ultrasonic diffuser is made of durable BPA-free plastics. It has an angled top for more control of the mist and comes in soft, glowing colours. It’s portable so you can even take it with you when travelling.
Tank capacity: 100ml (3.38 ounces)
Mist Settings: A three-touch power button gives you the option of turning on the mist by itself, turning on the mist with the color-changing light, or turning off both.
Running time: Lasts for about 7 hours.
Noise level: It is nearly silent when running with a barely audible whir and occasional soft dripping noises from condensation falling back down from inside the cover.
Lights: It has soft color-changing long-life LED lights. The changing lights slowly fade and rotate between white, green, blue, red and purple.
Automatic shut-off: Yes.
Ease of use: It has only one button so it’s really simple to use. To fill the tank you simply lift off the the top, add water to the level on the tank and then add your essential oils. An adapter, measuring cup and user manual are included.
This Pure Spa aromatherapy diffuser is backed by Pure Enrichment’s industry-leading 60-day money back guarantee for defective parts/products. You are also able to register your product on their website too so you get the latest updated information.
- no beeping sound with auto shut-off so it won’t disturb your sleep.
- Simple one touch button with three operating modes makes it easy to use.
- Good aroma diffusing coverage and running time.
- Unlike other diffusers, you cannot set the Pure Spa diffuser on one solid color of your choice.
Design: This portable, ultrasonic diffuser is made of strong durable BPA free plastic and has an aesthetically pleasing candle-like shape.
Tank capacity: 120 ml (4.05 ounces)
Mist Settings: Continuous or intermittent mode. When changed to intermittent, oil and water is released at 30 second intervals.
Running time: It works for 3-6 hours, depending upon whether continuous or intermittent mode is used.
Noise level: It is very quiet and makes no gurgling sounds.
Lights: The long-life LED lights come in 7 colours and a button allows you to set the light to run through each color, set at one color, or turn the light off.
Automatic shut-off: Yes.
Ease of use: It is easy to open by twisting the globe in order to fill the tank. It has clearly defined lines of water levels on the tank and comes with a measuring cup to ensure that you don’t overfill it. An A/C adapter and a user’s manual are also included.
- inexpensive and yet comes with some features that you find on more expensive diffusers.
- You can choose to have the lights cycling, or settle on a particular light to set a certain mood.
- 2 working modes – constant misting and intermittent misting
- the extra 20ml tank capacity (other compact diffusers have 100ml tank capacity) adds some extra running time.
- It makes a beep when it turns off automatically (some people find this disturbs their sleep)
- Even if you turn off the mood lighting, the indicator light remains on (this can also be a distraction for some).
- It’s run time may not be sufficient for some needs.
This is a best-selling diffuser on Amazon with over 5,000 reviews.
Design: This minimalistic, curved diffuser with a large tank is made from BPA-free plastics.
Tank capacity: 500ml (17 ounces).
Mist settings: Press the mist button and then choose a timer setting from 60 mins, 120 mins, 180 mins or ON. There is a high/low setting to set the mist to disperse for a greater or less intensity (one beep for high, two for low).
Running time: The continuous mist runs for 8 to 10 hours and when set on low it runs for longer.
Noise level: It operates quietly but does make a bit more noise when the water level is getting low.
Lights: The LED lights come in 7 different colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and pink. Press the light button to turn on the LED light and the color will change automatically. Press it again to fix the color. Press it again to change color. If you need to turn it off, long press the button for one second.
Automatic shut-off: Yes.
Ease of use: Setting up is easy. Simply open up an outer and inner lid and fill. It has a clearly marked water line in the tank and the side on which to drain the tank is also marked to avoid getting water in the air intake on the opposite side. If there is no water in the tank, the unit will not come on. You need to remember to plug in the power adapter before you put in the water. An adapter, user manual and a measuring cup are included.
- 5-in-1 operations. It’s not only a diffuser but also a humidifier and can operate without oils. It purifies the air and acts as an ionizer to provide negative ions. Finally, it can be used as a night light.
- With its capacity it is able to cover a wide area with a strong mist and run for a long time.
- The timer is helpful when you don’t want to run the diffuser all day or all night.
- Normally the diffuser works very quietly but it can make a bubbling sound when the water level gets low.
- The large tank needs more maintenance.
This is another Amazon best seller with over 3,000 reviews.
Design: This diffuser has a low key zen style. Its natural outer shell is crafted from exotic bamboo wood. It will add to the serenity of any interior and the other materials used are BPA-free.
Tank capacity: 160 ml (5.41 ounces)
Mist settings: It has four working modes: Continuous mist (yellow)/ interval mist (red)/ 2 Hrs mist time (blue) / 1 Hr mist time (green).
Running Time: It runs for up to 8 hours in continuous mode or 16 hours in interval mode.
Noise level: Very quiet.
Lights: It has 7 LED lights (purple, dark blue, red, orange, yellow, green, light blue). On first press it cycles through the 7 colors, a second press fixes it on one colour and a third press turns the light off.
Automatic shut off: Yes
Ease of use: Easy to set up. The lid is lifted off to fill up the tank. You have to be be careful not to fill the tank above the maximum line or mist might be insufficient. Comes with adapter, measuring cup and manual.
- It doesn’t beep when it shuts off automatically.
- Aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- Great for nighttime use as the lights only show in a small strip and on top. It provides a little bit of light but not enough to keep you awake, unlike some other diffusers.
- It does not have a low output setting for the mist – it is either a strong mist or intermittent puffs.
This new product is rapidly becoming a popular choice for many who appreciate its appearance and how well it functions.
Design: Its bamboo finish gives it an elegant appearance. The wide, flat shape means it does take up more surface area than some other diffusers.
Tank capacity: 350 ml (11.83 ounces).
Mist settings: The mist setting is on the right side. The first time you press it, it is in high mode. If you hit the button again, it changes to low mode.
Run time: Up to 8 hours in high mode or 12 hours in low mode.
Automatic shut-off: Yes
Noise level: Quiet – produces a slight hum while operating.
Lights: The 7 rotating colour-changing LED’s can be turned on/off or stopped on your favourite colour. Press it once and it starts rotating colours, press it again to stop it on a specific colour and a third time to switch it off.
Ease of use: The inside of the tank lacks an obvious fill line, so you must measure your water prior to filling. An adapter, user manual and measuring cup are included.
- the attractive finish fits in with most decor.
- huge tank with predictably lengthy running time.
- when it runs in lights-off mode, no light at all is emitted from the device.
- colour-cycling LED’s are very soft and unobtrusive when trying to sleep.
- bonus with your purchase – BellaSentials The Healing Power of Essential Oils eBook
- Its main disadvantage is its cost. This is more expensive than many other diffusers.
- It is not as portable as its peers.
- You have to measure the water before filling it due to lack of obvious fill line.
As you can see, each diffuser has its pros and cons. I liked the aesthetic appeal of the Innogear Bamboo diffuser and the Bellasentials diffuser was the one I thought would fit in best with my decor. The appeal of the URPOWER 500ml lay in its large tank capacity and running time. I liked the fact that the PureSpa was so simple to use and it was compact and portable. The Radha was also inexpensive and yet it came with some features found on more costly diffusers.
Eventually I settled on the Bellasentials despite the higher price. I found it the most attractive of all the diffusers and liked the fact that it had a long running time. However, my main reason for choosing it was because I want to use it in my bedroom and I am very sensitive to light and noise when trying to fall asleep.