There are so many essential oils diffusers on the market today. It feels like everyone and their grandma is marketing diffusers. It can be really hard for a newbie to know which diffusers work the best (and last the longest!) This essential oil aromatherapy diffusers review will hopefully clarify the picture a little bit, and help guide you in what features you should look for when purchasing an essential oil diffuser.
Types of Diffusers
The most common aromatherapy diffusers are cold mist aromatherapy diffusers and nebulizing diffusers. They range in cost from about $20 to almost $300. Each type works on very similar principles, so your first step is to decide whether you want a cold mist diffuser (the most common and less expensive) or a nebulizing diffuser (more expensive but better for larger rooms).
Cool Mist Diffusers
Cool mist ultrasonic diffusers create a fine cool mist of a mixture of water and the essential oil(s) of your choice. They also serve a humidifying purpose, which is wonderful during the dry winter months in many parts of the country. Ultrasonic diffusers are generally less expensive than nebuluzing diffusers and include a wide variety of styles, shapes and materials. Some light up, and some have quite unusual shapes. Some have a wood base, and some use plastic.
Cool mist diffusers need to be cleaned occasionally, which is a simple enough task. They also tend to be better in smaller rooms as the mist scent is not as concentrated. For this reason, they are not as effective in larger rooms or rooms with high ceilings, unless you place multiple diffusers around the room.
Dew Drop Diffuser. This is my top choice of aromatherapy diffusers for rooms up to 325 sf. It has a wide enough base so that it doesn’t tip over, it has an optional glowing light, and produces a steady and plentiful mist. Another bonus is that for a cool mist diffuser it needs cleaning quite infrequently. It is also very sturdy-I have dropped mine (or the cats have knocked it over) about 5 times and it keeps on ticking. In the event it does break, the manufacturer, Young Living will replace or fix the diffuser, no questions asked. Superb customer service. It comes with two free bottles of oils–one Peppermint and one Tangerine.
The cost is $83.88 retail or $63.75 if you are a wholesale member of Young Living. (Note: this diffuser is included in the Premium Starter Kit if you choose to become a wholesale customer. The entire kit of 11 essential oils, including the Dewdrop Diffuser, is just $160). If you would like to buy this for $83.88 as a retail customer, simply visit this link and join as a retail customer, and then search for item #5330 and add to cart.Then go ahead and check out.
Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser. This is one of a number of very, very similar cheap diffusers sold on Amazon that come out of China. I feel like there must be a factory over there that changes each diffuser very slightly and imprints a different logo on each one. Regardless, they are all around the same price, and function similarly. They are not meant for large rooms–I use the two I own in my bathrooms, which are quite small. They also don’t last forever, so if you want to choose an eco-friendly, long-lasting option, this is not your best bet. I would say they last on average from 4-12 months before starting to make a weird whirring noise–which is really annoying. I won’t be buying them again once the two I own kick the bucket. However, when they do work, they work just fine.
Rainstone Diffuser. This is a gorgeous and sturdy diffuser is made from purple clay, and is a lot more attractive than most of the diffusers out there.
It comes with a remote control, a timer allowing you to run the diffuser for various intervals ranging from 1 to 8 hours at a time, and automatic shut-off. It has five separate optional subtle light colors and a negative ionizer. It also comes with two free bottles of essential oil (Peppermint and Tangerine).
It costs $223.36 retail and $169.75 if you are a wholesale Young Living customer. As with the Dewdrop reviewed above, you can choose this diffuser as part of your Premium Starter Kit, making the price significantly lower. If you would like to purchase the Rainstone as a retail customer, please visit this link and set up an account as a retail customer. Then search for item #5331 and add to cart. Then go ahead and check out.
Nebulizing diffusers differ from cold air diffusers in that they use NO water. This means that the vapor they emit is more dense and fragrant than cold air diffusers, but it also means that they go through oils at a much faster rate. Rather than emitting a water and essential oil mixture, they emit microfine droplets of essential oils directly into the air. They are great for larger rooms or those situations where you need a more intense experience, such as battling mold when using Thieves essential oil.
Aroma-Ace. The Aroma-Ace is a very sturdy, heavy, workhorse of a diffuser. It is not the most attractive machine out there, but it is very long lasting and is the best-selling nebulizing diffuser on the market. It does NOT have auto-off capability or timers, which I consider to be its greatest negative. Without those features, the Aroma-Ace (and the identical Advanced Aromatherapy Diffuser) will just keep going and going until..your entire bottle of oil is gone.
That said, the Aroma-Ace produces a very good scent and easily fills the entire downstairs floor of my open-floor plan home in about 15 minutes. You can set it so it will turn on for a certain number of minutes (say 5 minutes) and then turn off for a certain number of minutes, and alternate back andforth. You can also set the density of the mist from low to high. The Aroma Ace is louder than other diffusers; I compare it to the sound of a fish tank pump. If that sound bothers you, this isn’t the diffuser for you. I wouldn’t recommend its use in a bedroom for that reason.
Herba Terra Cold Air Nebulizer. This is a good choice for a very large room, and is more efficient than the Aroma-Ace in terms of the amount of oil it uses. Unlike the Aroma-Ace, it has a timer that can be set it for 1, 4 or 8 hours. The shell is aluminum. The entire device is manufactured in Japan and constructed in China. It comes with a remote control which, to my eyes, looks a little bit cheap but allows you to set the density of the spray, the amount of oil consumed and how long you want it to run for. Without this remote, the diffuser will work but you will not be able to set the different options. Unlike the Aroma-Ace listed below, this nebulizing diffuser is completely silent. It gets very good reviews on Amazon, with some people considering it the gold standard for nebulizers.
One thing I dislike about this diffuser is that the manufacturer suggests you keep the 100 ml bottle at least a quarter full. The problem with that is that most essential oils come in either 5 ml or 15 ml bottles, so it would be a challenge to keep the machine at the right level. And of course, you need to pour back any unused amount into the original bottle before swapping out an oil. In addition, the diffuser is tall and thin, which, if you have pets or kids you recognize might be a problem–too easy to topple over!
That said, this diffuser uses much less oil than its leading nebulizer competitor, so if you are in the market specifically for a nebulizing diffuser, this one is quieter and more efficient than the Aroma-Ace.
Learn More About Essential Oils
Essential oils are a really important addition to any healthy living arsenal. If you haven’t already begun using essential oils and are interested in their ability to affect your digestion, mood, sleep and other vital body functions. I highly recommend reading one of these introductory books:
Essential Oils for Beginners by Althea Press
Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Sonoma Press
Essential Oils Natural Remedies by Althea Press
For those who have some familiarity with essential oils and are ready to delve deeper, check out the following books, all of which I have found helpful in my journey towards healthy living.
Releasing Emotional Patterns with Essential Oils by Carolyn Mein D.C.
Essential Oils And Cancer: How To Effectively Use The Right Essential Oils To Confuse And Kill Cancer Cells by Nancy Ducharme (she has a follow up book as well).
Evidence Based Essential Oil Therapy by Dr. Scott Johnson
The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt
Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails by Dr. Scott Johnson
Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit by Gabriel Mojay (this is one of my all-time favorites)
Word to the wise: Many of these books are available to Kindle users for FREE if you join Amazon Kindle Unlimited with a 30-Day Free Trial. I joined Kindle Unlimited about 6 months ago and not only are there a ton of really good books that you can borrow for free for an unlimited time, there are tons of good kids’ books like Harry Potter available for free. It’s not expensive and you can cancel at any time.