Everything You Need to Know About Essential Oil Diffusers

Diffusing essential oils is known as aromatherapy.  Using an essential oil diffuser allows you to reap the health benefits of essential oils, plus it makes your space smell great!

I have an oil diffuser both on the nightstand in my bedroom and on my office desk at work.

  • At home, I mostly diffuse oils to help me get a good night’s sleep and to make my house smell great.
  • At work, my office mates and I diffuse essential oils that promote focus, reduce stress and anxiety, kill germs, help with headaches, and sometimes we just pick a blend based on scents that we like.

Health Benefits of Aromatherapy

Some of the health benefits aromatherapy is known for are:

  • Reduce anxiety
  • Ease depression
  • Increase energy
  • Strengthen your immune system
  • Speed up healing
  • Eliminate headaches
  • Improve cognitive performance
  • Promote sleep and relaxation
  • Reduce some types of pain
  • Support digestion
  • Increase circulation

To learn more about the benefits of essential oils, read my Essential Oils Beginner’s Guide.

It’s also worth noting that along with being a healthier alternative to scented candles, diffusers also provide the benefit of being much more cost-effective. You can diffuse a wide variety of essential oils and they will provide benefits at a much lower cost.

Essential oil diffuser

(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)

How to Use an Essential Oil Diffuser

Diffusers are  quick and easy to use. Simply:

  • Add the appropriate amount (specified in instruction booklet) of water to your diffuser
  • Add the recommended amount of essential oil (usually around 5-6 drops)
  • Press the power button and you’re ready to go. Generally there’s only one button and you press it multiple times to scroll through the light and intermittent options.

It’s that easy! Be sure to read the  instructions that come with the specific model you purchase.

Selecting the Best Diffuser for You

With literally thousands of diffusers available on the market- what should you look for? Here are some features that you should consider when deciding which model will best suit your needs.

7 Features to Consider When Purchasing an Essential Oil Diffuser

Essential oil diffuser and two bottles of essential oils

1 – Ultrasonic

There are a wide variety of essential oil diffusers available on the market– the vast majority of these diffusers are ultrasonic, which means that they vaporize and distribute the oils via vibrations, without the need for using heat.

Using heat to diffuse essential oils can interfere with the integrity of the compound, therefore ultrasonic diffusers are a safe alternative.

2 – Intermittent Setting

Most essential oil diffusers have an intermittent setting that is particularly helpful for night use.

The intermittent feature automatically puts the diffuser on hold every 15 minutes or so, assuring the blend will last all night long. Sometimes I turn on the intermittent option, other times I just let it go constantly. My diffuser lasts at least 6 hours when running constantly, and that I feel like I reap sufficient benefits in that time.

3 – Automatic Turnoff

The auto turnoff feature is extremely important to me. Once the water/oil mixture is gone, the diffuser automatically turns off the mist.

However, the light feature continues until it is turned off manually. That is perfect for when also used as a night light. Because it makes a great night light, a diffuser with a light  would also be perfect for a child’s room.

4 – Lighting Options

You can also get diffusers with additional features such as lighting. The colored lights are subtle, soothing and just gorgeous. In a child’s room, the light feature can also serve as a calming nightlight.

The light feature on some diffuser models gives you the option to have the lights scroll through the various colors, and it may help you to relax. If you have one color that you particularly like, there’s usually  the option of choosing a static color.

I generally turn the light option off before going to sleep because I prefer a dark room, but the diffuser mist continues to run.

4 – Noise

I’ve used at least 8 different models of essential oil diffusers, and every single model ran very quietly.  You should barely even hear a diffuser running.

5 – Quality

Essential oils can have a corroding effect when used on plastics, therefore a low-quality diffuser won’t last long. A high-quality product will use polypropylene or a similar strong material to ensure your diffuser will last.

6 – Room Coverage

Keep in mind the area of the space you’d like to cover when sourcing your diffuser. If you’re looking to fill a yoga studio, your requirements will be very different from someone who is using their diffuser in a tiny room. Be sure to check the product for this information before purchasing to avoid disappointment!

7 – Price

Essential oil diffusers range in price, but it is vital to find a diffuser with features that are right for you. Generally you can get a decent diffuser for $20-$30, depending on the features you want.

Look at prices when you’re ready to purchase. Often as the brand gets ready to update their models, they have great sale prices. The quality of all the brands I received on Amazon are very comparable, so watch those prices!

My Recommendations for Best Diffusers

Amazon is a great source for both diffusers and essential oils. Check out this list of Amazon’s best selling oil diffusers.

I always read the customer reviews to help me decide which diffuser will fit my specific needs. In my experience, Amazon has quality diffusers that are often on sale for incredible prices.

URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser

Long ago I purchased Amazon’s #1 seller, the URPOWER diffuser.

I use this diffuser for aromatherapy and it works great for me. The diffuser holds 100 ml of water, which is a good size for a smaller room such as a bedroom. I mostly use it at night to get the benefits of aromatherapy while I sleep.

Although URPOWER continually updates its product line, this style diffuser will always be available.

It’s the perfect size for a bedroom or office. This particular diffuser model is too small for a living room as the scent (and health benefits) would get lost.

It is super easy to use. I used the measuring cup (that’s included) the first few times, but quickly became comfortable just eyeing it. There’s no guessing games – it’s very obvious where to pour the water, place the lid, and how to turn it on. The electrical cord is generous in length.

Four drops of any essential oil in 100 ml of water is plenty, although I tend to add a few extra drops. It has worked perfectly and I use it almost every night.

URPOWER also has larger essential oil diffusers that are better for larger areas:

(Click image to view on Amazon)


Avaspot brand is another brand of diffusers that I have used personally and find they are very good quality.

This Avaspot diffuser is a good choice for a larger room because it holds 250 ml of water. Using the intermittent mist setting, it can work for about 8-10 hours. If using the continuous mist setting, it will work for about 6- 8 hours.

The Avaspot diffuser also states that  even “without oils, use the diffuser as a humidifier, suggesting it can add moisture to your room air which is good for eliminating dry skin, chapped lips and dry sinuses. I suggest you be mindful of the size of room because I can’t imagine it would be as effective as a regular humidifier in a large room.

How to Clean an Essential Oil Diffuser

It’s important to maintain your diffuser regularly to keep it from getting gunky and not working efficiently. Regular maintenance, which I try to do at least once per month, is easy and will help your diffuser last a long time.

5 Steps To Clean an Essential Oil Diffuser:

  1. Fill the water reservoir with about 1/4 cup of water.
  2. Add 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar.
  3. Run the diffuser for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Unplug the diffuser and empty reservoir.
  5. Wipe clean with a soft cloth and gently use a cotton-tip near the sensor.

Diffusing Essential Oils For Sleep & Relaxation

Diffusing essential oils that promote sleep and relaxation is my favorite reason for using a diffuser.

About 10 minutes before going to bed, I start the diffuser. Usually I use a blend of essential oils that promote  good sleep plus has a nice aroma. By time I go to bed,  the bedroom smells wonderful and I can start receiving maximum benefit from the oils.

My favorite essential oils for relaxation.
(Click image to view on Amazon)

RELATED POST: 21 Useful Essential Oil Blends for Relaxation

Ahhh, Aromatherapy

Finding a good essential oil diffuser is a big step toward getting greater benefits out of your essential oils – both in terms of health and overall enjoyment. I  use a diffuser on a daily basis and admit I’m hooked on aromatherapy.

LEARN MORE ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS: Browse my Pinterest board dedicated to essential oils.

Do  you use a diffuser? Let me know in the comments what you think about diffusers and aromatherapy.

Essential oil diffuser

4 Replies to “Everything You Need to Know About Essential Oil Diffusers”

  1. I love my diffuser. My husband and I travel with it and our essential oils so that we can always make sure the rooms we are staying in “smell right.”

    1. Yes! I used to have a mini diffuser that I took to hotels. I’ve gotten out of the habit of traveling with a diffuser, so thanks for the gentle reminder.

    1. Glad to help! I know we both are big fans of essential oils. I’m sitting here now with my new diffuser making my room smell great and bringing me joy

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