The 4 best essential oil diffusers that will make your home smell amazing

Four different diffusers on a brown wooden entryway dresser
Kenedee Fowler/Insider

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

There are several ways to make your home smell wonderful, such as a scented candle, wall plug-in, air freshener, or a popular one that's preferred by many: an essential oil diffuser.

A diffuser is a device that holds drops of essential oil and disperses the oil and its fragrance into the air. Most diffusers use ultrasonic waves and require water to dispense oil, but nebulizing diffusers don't require any water.

Whether you're looking for a diffuser that will have your home saturated with fragrance or are just dipping your toes into the aromatherapy world, we have recommendations for the best essential oil diffusers. For this guide, we tested nine diffusers to see how easy they were to use and how well they dispensed oils. Read more about our testing methodology at the end of this guide as well as different types of diffusers and their features.

Before you start diffusing, it's important to know that inhaling pleasant scents all day can have an effect on your body. "You can end up inhaling too much or interacting with it too much if it diffuses all day or all night, which can cause irritation," says Amanda Lattin, dean of aromatherapy at the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

Read more about how Insider Reviews tests and research home products here.

The best essential oil diffusers in 2022

Best essential oil diffuser overall: Asakuki 500 mL Premium Essential Oil Diffuser, $25.99 on Amazon
The Asakuki Diffuser is perfect for rooms of all sizes, has a large water tank, and can be controlled anywhere in the house with its remote.

Best budget essential oil diffuser: Urpower 2nd Generation Essential Oil Diffuser, $14.99 on Amazon
The Urpower 2nd Generation Diffuser is cheap, easy to use and clean, and has a strong mist stream despite its small size.

Best smart essential oil diffuser: Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser, $44 on Pura
The Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser is customizable and diffuses scents well in any size room with its adjustable fragrance intensity.

Best waterless essential oil diffuser: Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser, $98 on Organic Aromas
Though pricier than most diffusers, the Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser strongly dispenses essential oils and leaves large rooms smelling great.

Best essential oil diffuser overall

A white lit-up essential oil diffuser with a brown bottom and a white small remote next to it placed on a wooden desk
Kenedee Fowler/Insider
$25.99 from Amazon
Originally $35.99Save 28%

The Asakuki is perfect for most size rooms, has a large water capacity, and can be controlled from anywhere in the house with its remote.

Pros: Large water capacity and long run time, diffuses well in rooms of all sizes, remote feature, mist setting

Cons: Takes up more space than most diffusers

For an essential oil diffuser that checks off all the boxes, the Asakuki is the one. Lattin says when shopping for an essential oil diffuser, an important feature to consider is a timer for a customized run time, and the Asakuki has just that. 

One of my favorite features of this ultrasonic diffuser is its included remote. I'm able to set a timer, change the LED lighting, and control how soft or powerful I want the mist to be. 

What really makes the Asakuki stand out against the other diffusers, though, is its 500 mL water tank. The Asakuki's large tank means you won't have to refill it frequently. In my testing, I ran it for a full 16 hours before needing to refill the reservoir. Another plus for this diffuser is how easy it is to clean. I simply diffused like normal with water and a few drops of white vinegar. 

The Asakuki diffuses oils well in rooms of all sizes without being too overpowering. It filled up my 180-square-foot bedroom and my 220-square-foot living room, which has a 25-foot-high ceiling. 

The only downside of this diffuser is its 6.6-inch diameter. Most of the diffusers we tested are more slender. I recommend placing it on a wide surface such as a side table, desk, or counter. 

Best budget essential oil diffuser

A small white essential oil diffuser on a white nightstand with a houseplant behind it
Kenedee Fowler/Insider

The Urpower 2nd Generation Diffuser is cheap, easy to use and clean, and has a strong mist stream despite its small size.

Pros: Affordable, automatic shutoff, seven LED lights 

Cons: Shorter run time

The Urpower 2nd Generation Essential Oil Diffuser is small but mighty and you get all of the benefits of an essential oil diffuser without spending a lot of money. If you're someone who doesn't care for fancy features, this 100 mL diffuser nicely saturates small rooms with essential oils. 

Despite having a 100 mL maximum water capacity, the Urpower has a run time of six hours, which is longer than some diffusers we tested that have a larger reservoir. Although this diffuser isn't the fanciest, it has seven LED mood lights and automatically shuts off after its run time is complete.

The instructions don't specify how to clean the Urpower, but water and a few drops of white vinegar worked well for me.

Best smart essential oil diffuser

A side-by-side image of a white plug in diffuser with two scented oils inserted on one side and the same white plug-in diffuser with a pink LED light around it plugged into a wall outlet.
Kenedee Fowler/Insider

The Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser is customizable and diffuses scents well in any size room with its adjustable fragrance intensity.

Pros: Useful  app feature, adjustable LED lighting with color wheel, adjustable fragrance intensity, and long run time

Cons: Expensive scents sold separately

The Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser is a plug-in diffuser that works exclusively from the Pura app, which allows you to adjust the fragrance's intensity and set a schedule for when you want your Pura to diffuse. The app was super easy to use with its detailed step-by-step instructions and connecting the Pura to my WiFi took less than a minute.

It felt great not having to worry about cleaning this diffuser because it's completely waterless and uses heat to diffuse oils. You can choose from more than 100 fragrances, but the downside is that the diffuser is only compatible with Pura's essential oils vials. If you aren't sure which fragrance to choose from, the company offers a fragrance quiz that will match you with a few scents based on your answers. The vials cost between $8 to $14.

For my tests, Pura sent me two fragrance samples that I tested for a month: volcano and coconut calm. With the Pura Diffuser's adjustable fragrance intensity, both scents diffused well in rooms of all sizes.

Everyone in my house was amazed by how I could control this smart diffuser from anywhere, even from outside of the house. With its ease of use, convenient app features, LED color wheel lighting, and amazing fragrances, this is by far the best smart diffuser.

Best waterless essential oil diffuser

A waterless essential oil diffuser with a glass reservoir and a light brown wooden base placed on a white mantle
Kenedee Fowler/Insider

Though pricier than most diffusers, the Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser strongly dispenses essential oils and leaves large rooms smelling great.

Pros: Strong mist, long-lasting scent, glass reservoir instead of plastic (which can break down over time)

Cons: Expensive, cleaning takes a bit more effort

Nebulizing diffusers aren't the most affordable, but they are worth it because they diffuse solely essential oils. With ultrasonic diffusers, "essential oils just sit on top of the water, so the diffuser is making it to where droplets of water are coming out, and there are little bits of essential oils riding on those droplets of water," said Lattin. With a nebulizer, a stream of pressurized air hits the essential oil and it is ultimately released into the air as a mist of very small particles. 

With the Organic Aromas Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser being my first waterless diffuser, I didn't know what to expect. Lattin says a few drops of essential oil in a nebulizing diffuser goes a long way. Although the brand recommends adding 20 to 25 drops, I took Lattin's advice and added 4 drops of essential oil inside the glass reservoir. 

Even though Organic Aromas says its diffuser can cover up to an 800-square-foot room, I raised the intensity level just a bit, and within seconds I could smell the essential oils throughout my entire 2,924-square-foot home. This waterless diffuser has a two-hour run time, but given how strongly it dispenses oils, this is more than a sufficient amount of time. Plus, I could still smell the fragrance lingering once the diffuser automatically shut off. 

Cleaning the Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser was simple but took some time due to how strong the oils are. I removed the glass pieces, placed them into a bowl of hot water and dish soap, and repeated this process until I couldn't smell the essential oils as strongly. Once the pieces finished soaking, I rinsed them off with water and let them completely air dry before reassembling. 

What else we tested

A group of five different diffusers on a dark brown wooden entryway dresser
Kenedee Fowler/Insider

What else we liked

Vivitest Ceramic Diffuser ($42.99): The Vivitest was neck and neck with the Asakuki for the best diffuser, but with its smaller water capacity, lack of features, and higher price, we chose the Asakuki as the overall best essential oil diffuser. If you're someone who is looking for an aesthetically pleasing diffuser and don't mind refilling the reservoir often, this stone diffuser is a great option.

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser ($92.25): Although the Vitruvi is a nice diffuser, there are other larger,  stronger, and similarly designed diffusers with significantly smaller price tags, such as the Vivitest Ceramic Diffuser. It diffuses essential oils well in small- to large-size rooms. The diffuser is simple with three built-in buttons, a four and eight-hour timer, and an LED light option. 

Colossal App-Enabled Diffuser ($44.99): The Colossal App-Enabled Diffuser is an excellent diffuser, but the setup process wasn't as smooth as the Pura. The instructions weren't detailed enough, and it wasn't easy to connect the diffuser to phone and WiFi. The diffuser can be controlled from across the room with its supported app and can also be controlled manually from the device. You can set how long you want it to diffuse, change its display color, and more. This smart diffuser has a maximum run time of 10 hours and holds 300 mL of water.

Kumi Stone Diffuser ($49): The Kumi Stone Diffuser works well in small- to medium-size rooms, has a night-light, and is suitable for those who don't need a long-running diffuser. It diffuses essential oils nicely, but it only holds 90 mL of water and has a run time of three hours. 

What we don't recommend

Canopy Humidifier with Aroma ($125): This 2-in-1 humidifier and waterless diffuser is beautifully designed and has a long run time of 36 hours with its 2.5-liter water tank, but it doesn't diffuse essential oils strongly enough. After an hour, the oil drops had completely absorbed into the aroma puck. 

Our essential oil diffusers testing methodology

Nine essential oil diffusers placed on a dark wooden table
Kenedee Fowler/Insider

To test the diffusers in this guide, I ran each one in different size rooms over a span of two months. I observed how well they diffused oil, their ease of use and cleaning, and their water capacity. I also interviewed Amanda Lattin, dean of aromatherapy of American College of Healthcare Science, about essential oils and diffusers.  

Below are the criteria we used to determine the best essential oil diffusers. 

Ease of use: After unboxing the diffusers, I made a note of how easy or difficult it was to set up each one. For the app-enabled smart diffusers, I noted how quickly I was able to connect the diffuser to WiFi and my phone along with how user-friendly the app was. Most diffusers require water and a few drops of essential oil and will start up with a click of a button. For ones that require more effort, I considered whether their performance outweighed the extra effort.

Ease of cleaning: Along with ease of use, I made note of how tedious or simple it was to clean each diffuser. 

Run time and water capacity: I filled each diffuser to its maximum water capacity and noted how many hours it diffused the oils and how often I had to refill the diffuser. For nebulizing diffusers, I considered how much time was needed to diffuse oils throughout a room.

Strength of essential oils in each diffuser: I kept track of how many drops of essential oils I added to each diffuser based on its recommended amount and noted how strongly the fragrance dispersed from each diffuser. I also observed how long the oil's scent lasted in the room once the diffuser stopped running.

Square footage covered: To test the strength of each diffuser, I ran each diffuser in my 180-square-foot bedroom; 220-square-foot living room, which has a 25-foot-high ceiling; and my 200-square-foot office. 

Types of essential oil diffusers and key features

When it comes to essential oil diffusers, there are three types of dispersing methods as well as several important features you should know about.

  • Ultrasonic diffusers: These diffusers use a high-frequency vibration to disperse an oil and water mixture. They are a good choice for enclosed areas with low humidity, acting as both humidifiers and oil diffusers.
  • Nebulizing diffusers: These require no heat or water and disperse just essential oils. They produce a more potent scent but use much more oil than other types of diffusers.
  • Evaporative diffusers: With this type of diffuser, essential oils are placed on a filter and circulated by a fan. No water is required.

Once you've settled on a diffusing method, the choices are nearly endless when it comes to features like settings, coverage area, and aesthetic appeal. Some things to consider before you make a purchase:

  • Automatic shutoff: This feature prevents damage if an ultrasonic diffuser runs dry.
  • Lighting: Many models have an LED light feature. Read carefully to determine the color of the light and whether it can be manually controlled if you don't want it on all the time.
  • Intensity: Are the diffuser settings continuous, intermittent, or both? Nebulizing diffusers produce a stronger output than other models.
  • Capacity and coverage: If you choose an ultrasonic diffuser, the water capacity can range from around 3 to 32 ounces. In general, the larger the capacity, the more square footage it will cover. 
  • Timers: A timer can help you control short or continuous runs and prevent damage if the diffuser is accidentally left on too long.

Essential oil diffusers FAQs

What are essential oils?

According to Lattin, essential oils are extracted from a specific part of a plant, such as the flowers, seeds, roots, peel, bark, or leaves. She says to be wary of inexpensive oils as those are often made of synthetic perfumes.

"Genuine essential oils have the common name like lavender and the plant's Latin name, so you'll see both on the bottle," Lattin says. "They have information about where the essential oil was produced, like which country it's from, when it was made, and oftentimes they will have links where you can look at the analysis report of that essential oil." 

How do you clean an essential oil diffuser?

After using your diffuser, it's important to clean the device regularly to avoid any erosion of the plastic parts. Lattin says plastic diffusers are likely to erode more quickly than glass or ceramic diffusers

"If the parts inside the diffuser are plastic, then over time, the essential oils will erode them because the leftover oils are going to sit on that plastic," Lattin said. "It would be important to look at the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning the diffusers and also when to replace them."

Most of the diffusers I tested included directions to clean the reservoirs with white vinegar, water, and dish soap after one or two uses. 

Are essential oils harmful to babies and children?

John Hopkins All Children's Hospital recommends taking precautions when using essential oils around children but notes that they may have some benefits. Never apply concentrated essential oils directly on a child's skin and store them securely out of reach. In children under 30 months old, peppermint oil may cause seizures. Read labels closely to ensure you are using pure oils rather than synthetic formulas.

Are essential oils harmful to pets?

According to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC), concentrated essential oils can be dangerous to pets, whether they consume them or their skin comes into contact with them. Always keep these oils safely stored away from pets, and contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet has come into contact with concentrated oils and shows unsteadiness on their feet, depression, low body temperature, vomiting, depression, and/or diarrhea. 

When it comes to an essential oil diffuser, the APCC recommends only using the diffuser for a short period of time and out of reach from your pets. They also advise against using a diffuser in your house if you have birds, due to their sensitive respiratory tracts.

Check out our other fragrance and odor-control guides

various candles in clear holders with pink, red, blue and green labels - best candles diptyque

Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

You can purchase logo and accolade licensing to this story here.

Disclosure: Written and researched by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our partners. We may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at

Close icon Two crossed lines that form an 'X'. It indicates a way to close an interaction, or dismiss a notification.