What is the best essential oil diffuser?

Let’s talk diffusers.  Diffusing essential oils is one of the best ways to receive their therapeutic benefits.   When we inhale essential oils, they go straight to our brain and are sent directly to other parts of the body to regulate and moderate.  There is a tremendous amount of science behind it, actually.  When you diffuse essential oils you can expect to experience the following benefits:

  • Cleanse the  air
  • Impact the mood
  • Assist with focus & concentration
  • Support relaxation
  • Boost the immune system
  • Create netative ions (create feelings of peace and well-being)
  • A great smelling home!

What is the best essential oil diffuser?

There are many essential oil diffusers on the market ranging in price and function.  Essential oil diffusers are specifically designed to break the essential oil into small particles and disperse it into the air. What you put into the air enters your lungs. Be mindful of essential oil quality.  If an essential oil is cut with synthetics and chemicals, you will be inhaling this into your lungs.

Do not confuse a humidifier with an essential oil diffuser.  If a device isn’t designed to use essential oils, I would advise against doing it.  For one thing, it could possibly break down the plastics of the machine.

There are four types of essential  oil diffusers:  ultrasonic, evaporative, nebulizing and heat.

  1. The ultransonic diffuer creates a fine mist and sends tiny oils particles into the air.  Generally you add water and the water and oils are  distributed into the air.  This is particularly good in drier winter months because moisture is added to the air.  Because a small amount of oil is added to water, these are very economical to run.  Some may have timers.
  2. Nebulizing diffusers do not use added water.  The diffuse the straight oil which is broken up into super tiny molecules.  Because this type of diffuser disperses the entire oil into the air and breaks it up into much smaller particles than other diffusers, this is type of diffuser has more therapeutic qualities.

I am not going to get into heat and evaporative diffusers as they offer much less therapeutic value.  Stick to a nebulizing or ultrasonic.  I’ve picked six popular diffusers.  I own 4 with the exception of the Whisper and Aroma Ace but feel confident in reviewing those as well.  I’ve read a great deal about them and know several people who have both.

Essential Oil Diffuser Reviews

UPDATE:  On May 21, 2014, I updated this post.  Click here to see my latest recommendation.

essential oil diffusers review



Cost Type Pros Cons
1.Aroma Ace

$173.27 R*

$129.95 W*

Nebulizing Very therapeuticSturdy Moderate noiseSlight difficulty in swapping and combining oils
2. Well & jet


Nebulizing Very therapeuticModerate noiseAir flow controlEasy to combine oils


Glass is fragileRequires cleaningModerate noiseTubes are not aesthetic

Difficult to swap oils

3. Whisper


Ultrasonic Nearly silentEasy to CleanAuto shut-offTimer with 6 settingsSturdy Adds moisture to the air
4. Lotus

$119.93 R*

$89.95 W*

Ultrasonic Nearly silentEasy to CleanAuto shut-offTimer with 2 settings

Attractive & unique


Adds moisture to the airLight cannot be turned off
5. SpaVapor


Ultrasonic EconomicalQuietEasy to cleanOn/off light control Frequently breaks
6. Lowe’s


Ultrasonic EconomicalQuietEasy to cleanDifficult to find


Frequently breaks, often within days


A few notes:

When diffusing, the therapeutic benefits linger in the air for 4-6 hours after the machine has stopped running.  So, you really don’t need a diffuser that runs for 8 hours continually.

*denotes retail and wholesale

The bottom line….there really is not a “best diffuser.”  It’s all about what works best for you.

I’ve seen a few other really cool diffusers out there but haven’t heard any personal reviews.  Here are a few of my favorites and, likely, I will pick up one or two of these in the future.  What can I say?  I’m a junkie!

This Zaq Noor diffuser is adorable.  I love the whimsey.

The Aroma Lumin has a nifty look also.

All of the Puhzen diffusers are amazing.  They make high-end diffusers (including the Lotus).   My dream diffuser is the Yun Five Scents. Isn’t it gorgeous?

So, which diffuser do you want?  If you are interested in the Lotus or Aroma Ace,  check out the info here to get wholesale pricing.  And, of course, pick up a few essential oils to diffuse while you’re at it.  😉


UPDATE:  On May 21, 2014, I updated this post.  Click here to see my latest recommendation.  


This post was shared at Modern Alternative Health.

(This post contains Amazon affiliate links.  I get a small commission if you purchase via the link.  I only recommend products that I trust, love, and would use for my own family.)


  1. says

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am a doTERRA consultant, and I am looking for nifty business cards. I saw your business card, but how do I order them?
    also, is this your website? I like it, and am considering building a separate website for my doTERRA business separate from my music therapy business (which has a very nice website). Did you build this yourself?
    please let me know how I go about ordering business cards!

    • Stephanie says

      I created my own business cards and had them printed. So they aren’t something that can be ordered, really. And, yes, I did create my own website. I highly recommend WordPress and using a framework like Thesis or StudioPress. If you don’t want to commit the time to doing it yourself, there are a number of web development peeps online who will create a nice looking site in the $500 range. Check Etsy. Some great stuff there!

  2. says

    Hi Stephanie,
    These are beautiful diffusers. Have you done a post on wearable diffusers? If you do, check out the ones we’ve been making since 2003 – and sell worldwide! They are the most economical, go-everywhere diffusers on the market! :-)

  3. girlsmama says

    Hi Stephanie!

    I just go the Zaq Noor diffuser. My question is the best place to put it? I have it on the kitchen counter, but it seems to not go out into the air very much. Should it be up higher? Any thoughts? Thanks!

    • Stephanie says

      I think it will be fine anywhere you put it. I just keep mine on a table in the living room. Often, you can’t smell it much while you are in the home. But once you leave and re-enter, the smell hits you. So good!

    • Stephanie says

      You are welcome! doTerra just released the new AromaLite diffuser. I really need to update this post. The AromaLite covers 1,000 square feet, has an off/on light and will run for up to 6 hours. I have one and LOVE it. Plus, it’s small and great for travel. Super quiet, too. It’s my new #1 pick!

      • Darcy says

        Stephanie, I have great room area and I need coverage for it. I just can’t swing the Aroma Ace yet, but if you had to choose between the LOtus and the AromaLite for a kitchen/living/dining room area, which would you go with? Thanks! Very helpful post, and I have been drooling over the same Puhzen diffuser for a long time. Some day…sigh…..

  4. Chris says

    Hey Stephanie, thanks for this info! Very helpful! Which diffuser would work the best for larger areas? Are there any that would do “whole house” work? Thanks!

    • Stephanie says

      Hey! Both the Whisper and doTerra’s new AromaLite both cover 1,000 square feet. The AromaLite just came out in October so it isn’t included on this post. I have one and love it. It has an on/off light switch, covers a large area and is small and portable. I highly recommend it!

      • Ashley says

        Hi! I am looking into picking up the Aroma Lite but had a question. Do you insert a full bottle of EO like the Aroma-Ace? How long does a full bottle of EO last in one of these diffusers? Just trying to figure out how costly it’ll be to purchase the diffuser and then how often I’ll need to repurchase bottles for the diffuser?

        • Stephanie says

          The AromaAce uses a full bottle. And you can control the output. But as it diffuses oil at full strength, you will use more oil. With the AromaLite, you fill it with water and add just a few drops of oil. It runs for 4 or 8 hours. It does add more humidity to your home (not a lot) but it MUCH more cost effective.

  5. Tiffany Bradley says

    Hi Stephanie, I am trying to decide on which diffuser to purchase. I have seen the word “atomizer” used in the description of some diffusers. Is this the same as ‘ultasonic’? Is it important or just a way for the company to market? Do you have any experience with the MIU COLOR diffuser or the ElioX diffuser? Thank you, Tiffany

    • Stephanie says

      Hey Tiffany. There are a few types of diffusers: heat, nebulizing, humidifying (ultrasonic). THe nebulizing is the most therapeutic because it breaks the oil up into very tiny pieces and disperses it well. Most nebulizing diffusers run straight oil and are, thus, not the most cost efficient for everyday use. I have a nebulizing diffuser but I really only use it when we have a major issue in the home. For daily use, I prefer my ulsonic diffusers. The doTerra AromaAce is a nebulizing diffuser. And, no< i really haven’t heard of the 2 that you mentioned. Just be sure to look at coverage area and type. Also, check out reviews on Amazon. Good luck!

  6. Sally says

    What would you recommend for someone who uses a CPAP every night? Even with the CPAP I am desperate for better sleep and wonder if lavender aromatherapy would help me relax. Any suggestions?

    • Stephanie says

      Hey Sally! I have a friend who uses a CPAP. She started using the blend, Breathe. The first time she tried it, she texted me the next morning and told me it was the best sleep that she had in a long time!

      • Heather says

        How do you use the oils with a CPAP. I read where one person put a drop on the filter. Is that the best way?

          • Stephanie says

            Hey. Honestly, I’m not that familiar with a CPAP. But I’ve been told the intake valve. I’m just not sure what that means. Sorry.

        • Norma says

          The intake valve is where the filter is. I put 2 drops of breathe on the outer side of my filter and it really helps me whenever I have any nasal congestion.

  7. Noortje says

    Hi Stephanie,

    I am new to essential oils so still learning and there is soooooo much to learn! I want to buy a diffuser but not sure what my best option would be when I also want to use it for my kids (2 and 4 years old) and my dog.

    Any advice? Thanks so much!!!

    • Stephanie says

      I have several diffusers and I am very partial to the AromaLite. It covers 1,000 square feet and has an on/off light switch. That’s my preference. :)

  8. Rebecca says

    Hey Stephanie,
    What are your thoughts on glass vs plastic? We’re always cautioned to only use oils in glass, but it appears that many diffusers are all plastic. I have the aroma ace and have really enjoyed it. I would like to purchase another diffuser that’s less costly, but don’t want to be diffusing plastic into the air.

    • Stephanie says

      Good question. I think the citrus oils are more prone to break down plastic. I know that many of the diffusers are BPA free and are designed of a “sturdier” plastic. But, yes, I think that is always an issue. With the AromaLite, for instance, you are adding a few drops of oil to a considerable amount of water so the likelihood of toxins breaking down is less. Make sense. Plus, so many items with essential oils come in plastic, right? Items at your local drug store (shampoo, etc) as well as Onguard toothpaste, lotions, etc. I think dilution is better. I do have a nebulizing diffuser that is all glass and metal. You could always go that way if the plastic is a huge concern.

    • Wendy says


      I fully agree with your concerns. Even though I have not diffused full citrus oils (maybe in combo oils with Young Living) in my diffuser, one can see the oils have been eating the plastic lid! Truly wish someone would come out with a good quality oil/water glass diffuser. How hard could it be? Keep asking…maybe someday we will get someone’s attention. (oh…and the BPA free plastic is worse, there are many other very dangerous ‘plastic’ chemicals that are far worse than BPA…do not be fooled)


      • Stephanie says

        Wendy, if you have concerns, you can always stick with the well and jet. Those are simply metal and glass. No plastic touches the oils. Personally, I’m o.k. using a diffuser that is primarily filled with water and just adding a few drops of oil. It’s less concentrated but also less likely to bind to any plastics.

  9. sarah mcclain says

    I just got my aroma lite diffuser- I see you love yours and wanted to ask how much oil you use in yours? I don’t feel like I really smell mine very much opposed to my sil has the lotus and you can smell the oils when u walk in the door? Maybe Im not adding enough?

    • Stephanie says

      I usually add about 8 drops. Yes, the Lotus does smell more strongly. I generally add 5 drops to my Lotus. So that’s 5 drops to be dispersed in one hour as opposed to 8 drops in 8 hours. It makes sense that the smell would be less potent. The benefits are still there though. You can always add more oil, of course. Also, if you leave the house and come back in, the smell is always more powerful than if you are diffusing and already used to it.

  10. sarah mcclain says

    Thanks for the reply. I guess I associated stronger smell- stronger benefits lol Ur right thought its there its there. Thanks!

  11. Tara says

    Hi, I love this post. I am trying to decide between the Aroma Lite and the Whisper. I am a birth worker and have not seen either of these in person. I was looking at the lotus but I would really like the ability to turn the light off. This would need to travel well and fit in my birth bag which I have heard both of those two would. What is your opinion on which is better of the two? Or is there a different one you would recommend for a birth worker?

    • Stephanie says

      I LOVE my AromaLite. It’s efficient, small and very portable. And the on/off light is a must. I think it travels very well. Do you use doTerra? If you do, then the AromaLite is about the same price as the Whisper and I would totally go with that one. If you don’t have a doTerra account, let me know and I can hook you up.

      I had a very cool experience in using the oils with my niece during her delivery. It was awesome.

      • Amy says

        Okay, you sold me on the AromaLite. I just ordered mine today. Thanks for the info!
        BTW, I didn’t see anywhere that it’s ultrasonic. Do you know? I hope so.

    • Stephanie says

      Hey Beka, I knew that YL carried them but had no idea of the price. When it’s time for that diffuser, I may just contact you. Have you heard any feedback on it?

  12. Lora says

    HI, I have never owned a diffuser but love cleaning with EO’s. We are in the process of finding out whether our new home has mold. Which type of diffuser would you recommend for diffusing Thieves Oil? Curious of the Aroma Lite, however, wondering if a diffuser that doesn’t require added water would be better at killing any mold bacteria in the air. Any comments would be appreciated! Thanks

    • says

      Here’s the website of research on Thieves and mold. It is pretty effective – the biggest problem with mold is that if you don’t get it all, it will come back with a vengeance.
      My first time diffusing I used Thieves (apparently rather strong and rather long) and when I spoke with my YL lady she laughed and said that, well, at least I wouldn’t have any mold!
      I used an ultrasonic (diluted) diffuser and while I haven’t used a nebulizing one, I don’t plan to as the cost doesn’t seem to equal effectiveness (imo). Good luck – mold is nothing to mess around with! It can cause all sorts of health issues that can be hard to pinpoint back to mold!

  13. Danielle says

    Hi Stephanie,
    Loving the site, very helpful.
    So I take it you prefer the AromaLite 😛 hehe
    Just wondering because it can cover such a large area would it be safe to run it in a babies room with the door shut? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks :)

    • Stephanie says

      I would feel very comfortable running this in a child or baby’s room. I don’t think it would be overwhelming at all. I love the AromaLite. Diffusing is the best and easiest ways to use with the little ones. Thanks for the compliment.

      Let me know if you have any questions at all. We have a great $50 in free oil promo that runs through August 15. :)

    • Stephanie says

      Hey! I’m clueless about the AromaSoft. I have used and experimented with probably 15 different diffusers and, honestly, I can say that my very favorite is doTERRA’s AromaLite. It carries scent over a very large space. Sometimes, you get what you pay for.

  14. Tori says

    Hi Stephanie!

    I am trying to pick a diffuser. I have decided that I definitely want an ultrasonic one. I looked at the well and jet one but it seemed a little complicated. I was wondering if there is a simpler one that doesn’t have any plastics.


    • Stephanie says

      Hey Tori. Yes, well and jet IS more complicated! But that’s about the only kind I’ve seen that doesn’t have plastics. The nebulizing diffusers don’t have many plastic parts that touch the oils, only the little tube that inserts into the bottle. If you are avoiding plastics, you could consider that. I do know that many plastic diffusers these days are BPA free, if that makes a difference.

  15. Samantha says

    Hi! I bought the Lotus Diffuser without really researching, but I am an avid manual reader, and I learned where the button to turn off the LED light is. I’ll consider the AromaLite for my next purchase, but I noticed a lot of reviews keep saying you can’t turn off the light, when you can… the button on the back base turns it off.

  16. Ashley O. says

    How do you like the Aroma Lite?
    I heard that it’s great because it can last 8 hours.
    Please tell me the pros and cons!! If you have time.


  17. Stelios says

    Hi Stephanie, and thank you very much for your post which I found very helpful!

    I am interested to buy the most quiet diffuser possible, actually to help me sleep. I am noise sensitive and currently own the ‘Soto’ diffuser by madebyzen (are you familiar with it?) – this is reasonably quiet, but not quiet enough to keep it operating while I sleep. I wanted to ask you which of the ones you recommend is the quietest? It seems the Whisper and the Lotus are both very quiet, and perhaps the Aroma Lite also? I’d be grateful indeed for your view regarding which is the most quiet among these.

    Thank you in advance for all your help, I appreciate it!

    • Stephanie says

      Hey! I think that the AromaLite is my quietest diffuser. There is no gurgling or machine noise, really. Some of the others create a machine type noise. I think the AromaLite might be your best bet. Try diffusing wild orange and Roman Chamomile. Great combo!

      • Stelios says

        Thank you, Stephanie, that’s very helpful and I appreciate it! I will go for the AromaLite. I’ll also try diffusing wild orange and Roman Chamomile as you suggest! Thanks again, you’re a sweetheart!

  18. Jennifer Pascoe Price says

    Help please! I have enough glass diffusers and reeds to refill. Could you give me some idea of base oils or alcohols to get me started.

    Thank you,


    • Stephanie says

      Hey Jennifer. I generally use essential oils diffusers and have never used reed diffusers before. Sorry, I’m not of much help.

  19. says

    Hello,I am Cici,the manufacturer of aroma diffuser. We have the newest model,the biggest aroma diffuser in the world. You can have a see our website.If you are interested,you can contact me anytime.Thanks!

  20. Nikki says

    Hi there, I am new to e/o and have been researching diffusers. Are citrus oils not to be used in ultrasonic diffusers?

    • Stephanie says

      Nikki, if you have a higher quality diffuser, you can use the citrus oils. They are generally made with a better quality plastic. :)

  21. says

    Hi Stephanie, This is wonderful article. Many thanks for supplying these details. I’m going to pick a diffuser that suitable for using in the bed room? What should I choose?

    • Stephanie says

      Hey! If you bedroom is small, you have a TON of options as most cover the 200 square foot range. I would suggest looking for something that had an on/off light and ran for several hours. I love the AromaLite. :)

  22. marilyn says

    I am looking at salt lamps as well as diffusers and wondering how they work together and if you recommend using both. How would that work if I did that. I’m totally new to both but very interested. Thanks so much.

    • Stephanie says

      Hey Marilyn. I use salt lamps but have not ever used oils on them. I think you could. But the oils tend to flash off quickly so the scent might not linger. I need to play around with mine and see. I love the glow of the salt lamps. very pretty.

  23. says

    I just pirchased the NOW Solutions Ultrasonic Diffuser and it has no warning about using citurs oils and even includes recipes that contain lemon, orange and grapefruit. I am currently running Lemongrass and Lavender in mine–so nice!

    • Stephanie says

      Most diffusers won’t have a warning. And a good quality diffuser should be capable of diffusing citrus. I’ll have to try lemongrass and lavender. That sounds interesting!

  24. Peanuts says

    Since oil and water do not go together why put essential oil and water in a diffuser?

    • Stephanie says

      In most cases, oil will clog and break a diffuser. The diffuser will break the oil down into super tiny molecules that is easily dispersed and carried in the water. That’s a great question.

  25. says

    I am using the GreenAir vapor, so far, so good! I am not having any issues with the mister, but have not tried to run it until it runs out of water or time. I don’t use the disco lights because I feel it would be distracting on my desk. My girlfriend sells doterra oils and the oils work great in it. I use peppermint and lemon during the day.


  1. […] Last year, I did a post on essential oil diffusers.  I have used essential oil diffusers for many years and know how confusing it can be to pick one out.  Especially, if you are a researcher and into details.  That would be me.  If you want to read the original post and the essential oil diffuser reviews, check it out here. […]

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