Choosing The Best Essential Oil Diffuser: What To Look For

Choosing The Best Essential Oil Diffuser - What To Look For

Our readers often ask us “Which is the best essential oil diffuser?

Though there are many details that you must look into, we suggest you first take note of the following…

  • What Size Is The Room You’re Going To Use It In?
    For large areas, we recommend using ultrasonic devices. These devices use water for dispersing the essential oils. The most popular ultrasonic diffusers cover from 200 to 300 sq ft, while heavy duty devices may offer up to 500 sq ft coverage
  • How Long Do You Want Your Diffuser To Operate Until It Runs Out?
    If you’re searching for a diffuser to provide long working hours, we would recommend nebulizers and ultrasonic diffusers with a water capacity larger than 250 ml. These types can provide 5 to 10 hours of constant vapor without a refill
  • What Additional User Features Are You Looking For?
    You may prefer a device with additional options. Most high-quality diffusers have built-in LED lights, auto-stop function, and timers. LED lights can provide you with a therapeutic visual atmosphere while you can use the timers to set the amount of oil you want in the air. Almost all diffusers will automatically shut off once the water has been used. There is no buzz or alert noise to disturb you
  • What Noise Level Do You Want?
    If you are sensitive to extra noise while relaxing or attempting to sleep we would recommend an ultrasonic diffuser. This type does not contain any moving mechanisms and is very quiet

When you are searching for the best essential oil diffuser, you need to understand the difference between the various types on offer.

There are four different technologies applied to diffuse essential oils into the air.


Nebulizer Diffusers

How It Works

Nebulizing requires neither water nor heat to diffuse the oil into the air. A special atomizing process produces the oil mist and blows it into the air. Atomizing diffuses liquid oils into small particles and mixes them with air. As a result, you get a strong concentration of essential oil in the air producing the best therapeutic use


  • Attach directly to the essential oil bottle
  • No water or heat required
  • Releases concentrated essential oil mist into the air
  • Perfect for long overnight usage


  • Compared to ultrasonic diffusers it can produce higher levels of noise
  • Consumes essential oils faster than other devices
  • More expensive than most essential oil diffusers
  • Does not come equipped with LED lights

Ultrasonic Diffusers

How It Works

Ultrasonic technology involves mixing water with essential oils during diffusing. During this process, essential oils are mixed with water before they are actually diffused into the air


  • Dual-functionality by adding moisture in the air as a humidifier during dry winter months
  • Consumes less essential oils during the process
  • Quieter than nebulizers making them ideal for sleeping
  • Less expensive than nebulizers


  • As the oils are initially dissolved in water, their concentration in the air is lower. This means that the healing power is less than with nebulizers
  • Requires routine and thorough cleaning
  • Some models have LED lights that you cannot switch off
  • You can’t use citrus essential oils in this type of diffusers as citric acid may ruin the diffusing element

Evaporative Diffusers

How It Works

Evaporative technology scatters the essential oils with the help of a fan blowing onto a essential oil soaked filter. In other words, the fan speeds up essential oil drying and increases their concentration in the air


  • Optimal for small areas or single rooms
  • Inexpensive compared to other models on the market


  • The lighter components are diffused quicker than the heavier ones cutting down on therapeutic value
  • Short running times due to fast evaporation

Heat Diffusers

How It Works

Heat diffusion technology applies heat to evaporate essential oils into the atmosphere. The vapor that is produces brings you a higher concentration with a warm mist of essential oils


  • Cheapest type of diffuser that you will find
  • Saves a lot of space due to compact size


  • Similarly to evaporative diffusers, they portion out essential oils in the air decreasing their therapeutic effect
  • May overheat the essential oil which will result in chemical changes of the essential oils combination

There are a variety of options when choosing the best essential oil diffuser. Each type, as we have described, can offer specific advantages. It is important that you research properly before purchasing. By using this guide as a platform, you can buy the best essential oil diffuser with confidence.

Last Updated: 07/2016

Leia Chester

Editor at Essential Oil Diffuser Judge, I embrace natural living and aromatherapy with a focus on essential oils.

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