As a bonus, I feel like I get the AromaFuse’s ability to diffuse in larger spaces and for long amounts of time. For an update in 2018, we tested four additional diffusers, this time prioritizing diffusers that look nice. It produces a fine, almost invisible, stream of mist. While researching this guide, I saw blog post after blog post—often on sites that had the word wellness in their name—about what essential oils can do for your health. Art Naturals' Deluxe Sleep 'n Slumber Oil Diffuser is made from wood-grained casing for a classic, warm look, but don't let its simple exterior fool you. The Asakuki includes seven options for light colors with two brightnesses each, or you can run the unit with no light at all. That's because the Ellia is capable of so much more than a strong mist. The Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser from the popular Japanese retailer Muji costs more than the competition yet doesn’t offer any clear benefits. The brands vary so that you will get a nice comparison. Muji’s diffusers are similar in design to many of the inexpensive models we looked at, though they don’t give you the option to change the light to a different color. It uses an internal fan to disperse scents all around your home and is lightweight and compact enough to move from room to room. The EPA says that it’s perfectly safe (PDF) to use tap water in an ultrasonic humidifier (which puts a lot more water into the air than a diffuser). It comes at a great price, but we’re skeptical about the positive customer reviews since at the time of testing Fakespot gave them a D grade, which then became an F. It also has a very large footprint at 168 mm, or 6.6 inches. Between the smaller size, the elegant appearance, and the annoyance of the two lids, we think this diffuser could be a good fit if you don’t expect to use it on a daily basis and would prefer something attractive that you could display on a shelf or mantel as a functional complement to your decor. But all that noted, “if you don’t have a specifical allergy,” Koyama said, “for most people I don’t think it will cause a problem.”. It still offers color-changing LED light, but in a gentler, subtle strip through the center. He placed the diffusers and the nebulizer on his bedside table (a typical location for these things), with the particle counter a few feet away on the headboard. With as strong a stream of mist as our pick, this diffuser has a larger tank you won’t have to refill as often. When any nebulizer is on full blast, it produces a buzzing sound. It lights up in seven colors and has LED lights that are a bit more subtle than our top pick, and it’s just as quiet. If your top priority is a strong smell, go with a nebulizer. The InnoGear 500ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser is one of the largest out there, and seems to mimic the design of the large Muji diffuser. That’s more cleaning than nebulizers with fewer glass parts would require—and a more difficult overall cleaning process than ultrasonic picks—but we think the appearance, price, and low noise levels of the Raindrop 2.0 more than make up for the chore. The lights on this diffuser are dim compared with those on our top pick and runner-up, and there’s no cool mist to stare at. Its minimalistic design delivers a continuous stream of your favorite purifying scent in any room while keeping safety in mind. If you're looking for a multitasking option, you've found it. One more note on the topic of cleanliness: We used tap water while testing the ultrasonic diffusers, even though many people and some companies suggest using distilled water because the minerals in tap water get propelled into the air along with your oil. More than 80 percent of Bed Bath & Beyond reviewers have given it four stars or above, and one in particular comments that it's "affordable, yet the quality does not suffer.". Some have high design aesthetics, making them a cool addition to your home decor. If you're in need of some scent-induced R&R, Cyber Monday 2020 is the best time to buy an essential oil diffuser. Final Thoughts on the Best Essential Oil Diffuser. A diffuser will also make any bath feel a little fancier. The Urpower 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser is a simple white plastic cylinder in a field crowded with funny shapes and (very) faux wood. And unlike some other diffusers, this model doesn't just cycle through colors over and over — you can choose one color (sleepy blue, perhaps) to glow all night long. Nebulizing works by atomizing the oil itself into a fine mist, removing the need to dilute with water, thus allowing for the strongest scent possible. Certain oils like wintergreen, camphor, and tea tree can be harmful to small bodies if they ingest as little as a teaspoon, according to Berkeley Wellness. Serene House's Astro Diffuser offers three different timer settings, so go ahead and set this baby to run for 120 minutes if you tend to be restless at bedtime. This oil diffuser is designed to be easy, powerful, and portable enough for anyone. Most units produce mist at a fraction of the rate that this one does. The question is: Does any of this matter? To begin with, it is undoubtedly the most aesthetically pleasing diffuser available. To discover everything that could possibly be annoying about a diffuser design, I rotated them through every location I could think of: kitchen counter, living room next to the litter box, guest room, bookshelf, atop the toilet tank, on a coffee table in my bedroom while I slept. stream of vapor powerful enough to fill any room with subtle scent, but the wooden slatted casing is so eye-catching that you'll want to give it the place of honor on your shelf. Ad Choices, 21 of the Best Essential Oil Diffusers to Make Your Home Smell Amazing. Read on for the full top 20 list. Unlike other nebulizers, it has neither a ton of buttons to mess with nor too few options to control your experience. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. If you have a bird, skip the diffuser altogether: Birds’ lungs are sensitive. Minimal lighting and a small footprint help the Vitruvi blend in better than its orb-like competitors. The test space was Wirecutter senior staff writer Tim Heffernan’s roughly 200-square-foot bedroom, and he measured how the machines affected the number of airborne particles using the same Aerotrak 9306 particle counter that he uses for our guide to air purifiers. If you want to try a different scent than the two that come with your diffuser, Gurunanda has quite the expansive selection. Here’s a detailed explanation of the difference. If you want your place to smell nicer, a diffuser is a solid alternative to candles. The Raindrop 2.0 has a dial to control the amount of mist that comes out. The sound it made in our tests was higher pitched and softer. Unlike many nebulizers, the Aroma-Ace comes with two atomizers, so you can switch oils without having to clean the system. Wirecutter staff writer and resident pet expert Kaitlyn Wells spoke to experts about how to diffuse oils if you have furry family members (with caution!). The Homedics Ellia Diffuser isn’t your average diffuser. Of all the diffusers we looked at, the 100 mL Stadler Form Mia Aroma Diffuser is the most understated and design-conscious, with a matte finish, no mood light, and just one button. He closed the windows and shut off his apartment’s ventilation system during the tests, and filled the diffusers with distilled water, to ensure that no dissolved minerals made it into the air and affected the results. Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts that are distilled to capture the plant's natural essence and scent. The Raindrop runs for two hours, dispersing oil intermittently, and an automatic shutoff helps avoid overdoing the smell. It costs £90 at John Lewis, looks stylish thanks to its white casing and rose gold trim, and it has an instant effect using just five-ten drops of oil. It lights up in seven colors, offers a timer function, and has LED indicator lights that aren’t as distractingly bright as those on much of the competition. An essential oil diffuser uses heat, sonic vibration, or steam to transform the oil's aromatic molecules into pure vapor or micro droplets that can be distributed through the air. We eliminated dozens of diffusers that didn’t meet our criteria and eliminated a few more (with glowing Amazon reviews) after running the URL through Fakespot, crossing off any with a Fakespot rating below a C. This left us with 13 diffusers to try firsthand in our first round of testing. We’ve added notes on a new round of testing that measured how diffusers and nebulizers affect indoor air quality. Because it's reliable, diffuses for up to seven hours, and has an extremely impressive output, reviewers have given the Gurunanda Honeycomb Diffuser a near five-star rating. The plastic is a bit shinier, too. It has an option to run in intervals, 10 minutes on and 20 minutes off, for 24 hours. According to New York City-based acupuncturist, Mila Mintsis, you can tell a brand sells high-quality essential oils if it specifically says it's considered safe for internal consumption. InnoGear Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser The diffuser runs through seven shades of soothing LED light that gently glow through its frosted glass cover for an added chillout effect, and reviewers report that it produces a satisfyingly strong amount of steam for its small stature. They both have a faux-wood base, which some people will find a little tacky. Want your bedroom filled with sweet-smelling vapors all night long? It puts out a strong stream of mist, has a larger capacity and smaller footprint than much of the competition, and, while affordable, has a clean design that looks better than others at its price. But this model costs a couple dollars more and has a slightly smaller tank. The buttons beep when you press them, and you have to hold down the mist button for a second before the stream of mist begins. Likewise, if you have pets, keep essential oils out of reach from them, too, and diffuse them with caution. If you want the Raindrop 2.0 to run longer, you have to reset it, but two hours should be long enough to scent a room and have the fragrance last a bit. I spent four weeks using a selection of ultrasonic diffusers and nebulizers around my apartment. Both the Asakuki and Urpower diffusers have three timer options to run for one, two, or three hours. ", Due to its silent ultrasonic diffusion method and its white ceramic exterior, the Airome Ultrasonic Harmony Diffuser is both quieter and more attractive than most other models. The modern style would be an awesome addition to any space. These five things were the most-purchased Wirecutter picks in December. It runs intermittently for two hours on about 20 drops of oil. Best of all, the multiple settings and nightlight functions can be controlled with two simple buttons. These five useful things were the most-purchased Wirecutter picks in May. Also, one Amazon reviewer notes that the LEDs are strong: “Wow the lights are like a lighthouse beacon in the night.”. The two lids, one plastic and one stone, are annoying to remove to refill the unit or clean it out. While the biggest danger comes when owners apply oils to their pets (which you should not do at all), you’ll want to avoid putting certain oils in the air too. I paid attention to the noise level from nebulizers. This 500 mL model is nearly identical to the Asakuki. Ultrasonic diffusers are the more popular type in part because they’re more affordable and they put out a more subtle scent, using a vibrating diaphragm to turn a solution of water and oil into fine, cool mist. Both light up in seven colors, have a timer similar to our pick’s, and are easy to wipe out between uses. A small ring around the bottom can light up, for some subtle mood-setting. The oils were added in the quantities recommended by the manufacturers. There are two main takeaways from our findings. The marble pattern and contemporary mesh detailing set it apart from other diffusers, and it offers two mist settings as well as two lighting options. As we note in our humidifier guide, however, tap water can produce a fine, white dust near the device. We tested the Welledia Pleasant Essential Oil Glass Nebulizing Diffuser with Bamboo Base and Color LEDs because it’s one of the nicer-looking nebulizers available. These amazing diffusers require only some water and a few drops of your favorite blend to turn your home or office into a stress-relieving oasis — just make sure you pick up some quality essential oils while you're at it. Choosing the best oil diffuser for you. It’s also just pleasant to look at. This unit is able to offer great coverage for large spaces, and it features a variety of options that allow you to control how long it runs and how much mist it puts out. Essential oil diffusers, on the other hand, often have artistic designs and decorative elements that combine form and function. Allure may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. First, the nebulizer showed a much greater increase in particulate levels in the air than the diffusers. *At the time of publishing, the price was $120. All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. It has an option for intermittent diffusing as well as a timer—a combination that we didn’t see on any other ultrasonic diffuser. The Urpower 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser produces a stronger stream of mist than most diffusers we tested. I read and viewed dozens of blog posts, reviews, and YouTube videos to get up to speed on the available kinds of diffusers and brands, and I tested 17 different diffusers and nebulizers. It certainly has a lot to offer. These are the nebulizing, ultrasonic, heat, and evaporative diffusers. Most diffusers contain a small reservoir which you'll need to fill with water. We observed the diffusers running side by side to visually compare the size and height of the streams of mist, the key factors in how well they ought to distribute oils. If you want to fall asleep while using this diffuser and are a very light sleeper, the noise might be too loud, as it was for this Amazon reviewer. The unattractive design also doesn’t seem as easy to break as the glass nebulizers we tested. However, a model at this size also takes up more space. (In fact, the bases of the two diffusers are nearly identical.) The Urpower produces a strong stream of mist, lasts longer between refills, looks better, costs less, and has a smaller footprint than similar competitors. (Diffuser World sells a “silencer” attachment that is supposed to dampen the sound, but we found it didn’t work that well.) One of the easiest (and most pleasant) ways to achieve these benefits is through aromatherapy, where these concentrated oils are breathed in, allowing them to stimulate the olfactory system in the brain. This model’s cylindrical white plastic design was one of our favorites in a field filled with strange shapes and very fake plastic wood, taking up half the footprint of many other models (including some with smaller tanks). That said, if you’re looking for a nebulizer that doesn’t include any glass components, the Aroma-Express is effective, and it’s less expensive than your other options. Photo: Michael Hession, You can set the Urpower 300ml to run for an hour or two, or until it runs out of water. Best for Small Rooms: PureGuardian Ultrasonic Cool Mist Essential Oil Diffuser This device is a humidifier and diffuser hybrid with a lot of personality. The most frequent complaint about essential oil diffusers is how small they are; most can only run for a few hours and fill a 200-square foot space with scent. The fill line isn’t clearly marked inside, either, and the unit is made of faux-wood plastic. Three years after we first tested it, it’s still the best on the market. The stream of mist is stronger than that of most other small, stylish diffusers, though not as strong as our top pick’s, and the Vitruvi only runs continuously for three hours on a single fill. © 2020 Wirecutter, Inc., A New York Times Company, Urpower 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser, Urpower 500ml Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, Organic Aromas Raindrop 2.0 Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser. According to reviewers, it's surprisingly small (holding about one cup of water), yet "puts out a nice amount of oil" and "lasts most of the day.". One Allure editor loves to keep it on her desk with a few drops of the Everyone Relax essential oil blend, which is great on particularly stressful days. The best essential oil diffuser of 2019: The InnoGear Upgraded 150ml diffuser. This compact model is the most attractive diffuser we recommend, but its smaller tank doesn’t last as long and its stream of mist isn’t as powerful as our pick’s. Choice of timed settings You can set this diffuser for one hour, or the whole night on a conitnuous, waterless auto-off setting, which means you can drift off … (Here’s a detailed explanation of the difference.) The LED indicator lights are small and placed on the back of the unit, making this the best choice if you’d like to run the diffuser in a dark space. This diffuser has an option for intermittent diffusing, which our pick lacks; on this setting it can run for seven hours. It also has a built-in, color-changing light, unique honeycomb design, and comes with two preselected essential oils to get you started. If you’re switching oils, clean it between uses. The Breathe Essential Oil Diffuser gives you a whopping 16 different LED light options to choose from — plus, the ability to adjust the level of brightness so you can tailor it to your mood. At that size, you have a lot more design options, and we felt we could recommend something more attractive than this model’s plastic finish—that led us to the Vitruvi, our also-great pick, as well as several other stylish small diffusers we considered and dismissed. In addition to the ability to run until it’s empty (and then automatically shut off), the diffuser has three timer options to run for one, two, or three hours, a common but not universal feature. However, we don’t think these features are worth the price for most people. One of these essential oil diffusers can keep your space smelling good for 53 hours straight, and another operates via voice control. I personally don’t like this setting as much, as the continuous stream of mist makes for a nicer ambience. No studies explicitly look at the effect of using an essential oil diffuser on symptoms of asthma, write experts on the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology’s website. This design also may make it a little harder for kids to open the diffuser and mess with the water, but it also means it’s harder for adults. The water rapidly evaporates and, as a result, does not show up in the particle counts; what’s left over are the relatively sparse oil droplets. As expected, all the machines raised the number of fine particles in the air—after all, they work by doing exactly that. 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