As seen in:
ZAQ
LiteMist, Color-Changing
MIU COLOR
Ultrasonic, 7-Color
BriteLeafs
2-in-1 Ultrasonic
Now Foods
Ultrasonic
Greenair
Instant Healthful Mist Therapy
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Good

Pastel LED lighting. Contemporary teardrop design. Ultrasonic cold mist generation is effective and safe.

Large tank capacity. Seven color choices. Also acts as a light diffuser and ionizing humidifier.

Strong, quiet motor (2.4 MHz). Aesthetically pleasing. Includes complimentary lavender oil.

One-button control. Could also serve as a personal humidifier.

Straightforward design. Six-color LED light display.

Bad

Small water capacity; only four hours of operation at a time.

Made of plastic. Package includes no essential oils; these must be bought separately.

Smaller tank (100 ml) makes it more practical as a diffuser than a humidifier.

Small tank capacity; requires frequent refills.

No timer on the unit.

Bottom Line

Effective, safe ultrasonic cold mist generation and an appealing design make this diffuser the best available.

A flexible, room-enhancing product with multiple functions and user options.

A soothing, multifunctional diffuser with an affordable price.

This simple, one-button diffuser is valued by owners for its heavy mist and pleasant aromas.

Simplistic in design and low in price, this affordable diffuser gives the most value for the least amount of money.

How we decide
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Products received from manufacturers
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Models Considered
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Hours Spent
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Experts Interviewed
203
Consumers Consulted

Best Essential Oil Diffusers

Aromatherapy is a popular form of homeopathic therapy. It's based on the theory that different aromas can have beneficial effects on our bodies, minds, and spirits. There are several methods commonly used to disperse these aromas, including the use of scented candles, smoke-generating incense, and essential oil diffusers. With an oil diffuser, the consumer mixes a few drops of concentrated essential oil with water in the reservoir. The diffuser sends a very fine scented mist into the room.

We compared dozens of essential oil diffusers. From our research, we compiled a shortlist of top contenders. Each of these products delivers on both the technical and therapeutic aspects of aromatherapy.

Products we Considered

ZAQ
LiteMist, Color-Changing
MIU COLOR
Ultrasonic, 7-Color
BriteLeafs
2-in-1 Ultrasonic
Now Foods
Ultrasonic
Greenair
Instant Healthful Mist Therapy

Considerations

Design Features

Essential oil diffusers are just as much about art as they are science. As such, an important consideration is overall aesthetics. Some essential oil diffusers employ special lights to create a pleasing visual environment during aromatherapy sessions. Some are designed to be functional pieces of sculpture, blending in with other meditative elements in the room. In addition to aesthetics, we also explore some of the more technical aspects of essential oil diffusers, such as capacity and versatility.

Ease of Operation

In this section, we consider each top contender's ease of operation, from the oil blending process to the quality and longevity of the finished product. Proper maintenance is important when using essential oil diffusers, especially when transitioning from one oil blend to another. A quality diffuser should also feature quiet operation and intuitive, user-friendly controls.

Additional Features

Many essential oil diffusers do one thing well: they create micro-sized droplets of oil-infused water. However, some models also perform other tasks outside of aromatherapy. We note those additional features in this section. We also mention any instructional materials or other useful products included in the original packaging and any helpful add-ons that could be purchased separately. Because finding the proper essential oil blends for diffuser use is important, we also note any challenges that users may face.

Price

All essential oil diffusers use roughly the same technology to disperse their contents into the air, but differences exist in the aesthetics of each product. High-end diffusers tend to emphasize form as well as function. Often, these products employ soft pastel lighting and/or minimalist art work. Other models might be more functional than decorative, but they're still capable of delivering therapeutic aromas. In this section, we discuss each contender's retail price in more detail and offer advice on how to get exactly the level of service you desire from an essential oil diffuser.

Considerations

Design Features

ZAQ Dew Multi Color Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

The ZAQ Dew Litemist Essential Oil Diffuser is an ideal example of form and function working together. The contemporary teardrop design provides a stable base and a stylized dispersal nozzle. A detachable power cord (110 volts) delivers enough power for an internal ultrasonic motor to convert distilled water and a few drops of essential oil into a cold, fog-like mist. The ZAQ Dew also includes four LED lights that display multiple pastel colors during the oil diffuser's estimated four-hour running time.

MIU COLOR® 500ml Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

The MIU Color Aroma Diffuser has the appearance of a scented candle, but it actually performs several different functions. It's an ultrasonic oil diffuser with a generous tank capacity, but it's also a light diffuser and ionizing humidifier. A 500 ml tank allows up to 10 hours of continuous essential oil diffusion or humidification. A six-foot AC adapter provides power to the ultrasonic motor. The unit also features a 60/120/180 minute or continuous timer. Satisfied owners report no unpleasant sweating or pooling with the MIU COLOR diffuser.

BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

The BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser looks like a tall scented candle with a stylized rendition of a flower for additional artistic interest. It is billed by the manufacturer as an oil diffuser/humidifier combination, but its smaller tank (100 ml) and 2-3 hour run time makes it a better essential oil diffuser than humidifier. Owners choose from three LED light colors, each of which has a high/low intensity control. A detachable power cord provides energy to the ultrasonic, 2.4 MHz motor. In terms of power, this motor sits at the top of the ultrasonic power scale for essential oil diffusers.

Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser

The Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser's soft conical form fits right in, aesthetically speaking, with most of our other top contenders. The mist generated by the diffuser's ultrasonic motor (7 MHz) is dispersed through the opening at the top of the cone. Satisfied users report that this mist is actually denser and more aromatic than that of other oil diffusers they've used in the past. However, the unit's four-ounce tank capacity may have a noticeable impact on its run time. The manufacturer claims a total operation time of 7-8 hours, but the average run time reported by many users is closer to 2-3 hours. A standard power cord (110 volts) supplies energy to the internal ultrasonic motor, which in turn breaks down the oil and water into micro-droplets. No heat is generated by the diffuser, and if no liquid is detected, the motor shuts down automatically.

Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy

While other essential oil diffusers take a more sculptural approach to their design, the Greenair Spa Vapor Instant Healthful Mist Therapy model looks like a small piece of salon equipment. The BPA-free plastic base has a chrome-like top and an adjustable dispersal spout that provides a directional misting pattern. A small ceramic disk, hidden in the bottom of the unit's tank, generates a very fine ultrasonic mist from warm tap water. This is one of the few essential oil diffusers that actually discourages the use of distilled water, since the ultrasonic motor and disk require some mineral content for optimal operation. Customers appreciate the Greenair's six-color LED light display and water capacity of 150 ml.

The ZAQ Dew Multi Color Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser includes four LED lights that display multiple pastel colors during therapy sessions.
Considerations

Ease of Operation

ZAQ Dew Multi Color Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

A single control button selects all of the operation modes for the ZAQ Dew Essential Oil Diffuser. Depending on the user, this may or may not be a good thing. One press of the button turns the ultrasonic wave generator on; additional presses control the cycle of the lights and the on/off setting. While users can turn off the lights for nighttime use, the control button itself contains a noticeable blue light that cannot be turned off during operation. We appreciate the soothing qualities of the LED light display and the unit's overall quietness, but we do wish the ZAQ Dew's container held more than 2.7 ounces of water at a time. Four hours of operation between refills is not especially convenient for all users.

MIU COLOR® 500ml Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

With the MIU COLOR oil diffuser, there are straightforward controls for every element, from the intensity and color of the lights to the amount of cold mist dispersed into the room. All seven lights have high or low settings; this flexibility adds a considerable amount of ambiance to any room. Unlike some other contenders, the intensity of the oil-infused fog can be switched between low and high. This could be a very useful feature if the MIU COLOR is located in low-traffic areas. A timer option allows owners to select a 60/120/180 minute cycle or continuous operation. Because of its larger capacity (500 ml), we estimate the MIU's total operating time between refills to be approximately 10 hours.

BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

Operation of the BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser is as easy as filling a flower pot with water and hitting a power switch. The user adds a few drops of essential oil to the water tank and the ultrasonic motor does the rest. Four timer settings are available: 30, 60, 120, and 180 minutes. If the tank runs out of liquid at any point during the cycle, the ultrasonic motor shuts off automatically. Lighting options are controlled with a separate switch, so it is possible to operate the oil diffuser without them. The unit's motor is exceptionally quiet, and the candle-like design should fit in well with any room decor.

Like the ZAQ Dew, all of the Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser's basic functions are controlled with one button. The first push activates the ultrasonic motor and turns the lights to an evolving pattern. A second press locks in a selected light color. One more push turns off the lights but leaves the oil diffuser on. The fourth and final push turns off the entire unit. This single-button arrangement does streamline the start-up and shut-down process, but it may be a little confusing at first. The intensity of the lights and mist cannot be adjusted, but owners say that the preset levels of both elements are very satisfying. The Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser could also be used as a nightlight or a personal humidifier.

Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy

Operating the Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy unit is fairly straightforward. Users pour a few ounces of warm water into the tank and add a few drops of their preferred essential oil. One button on the front controls the on/off setting; another controls the light display. Users can cycle through all of the colors or turn them off completely. There is no timer control on the unit itself, but the Greenair will shut itself off when empty. If citrus-based essential oils are used, the tank and mist delivery tube should be cleaned thoroughly between sessions. The unit can also act as a miniature humidifier when filled with plain water. The result of this, however, is not quite as therapeutic as that of a dedicated nebulizer or room humidifier.

A single button controls all of the ZAQ Dew Essential Oil Diffuser's functions.
Nina
Expert Consultant
Nina
Gourmet Chef, Health Care Executive

Nina is a longtime gourmet chef, interior designer/decorator, and events planner. She has accomplished all of this in addition to maintaining a stellar career as a healthcare executive, where she helps alter the course of people’s lives via preventive care and healthy living. Nina’s hobbies include learning new recipes, planning and executing amazing dinners to impress local chefs, and hiking around the world.

Considerations

Additional Features

ZAQ Dew Multi Color Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

The ZAQ Dew Essential Oil Diffuser does not arrive with many additional features, including the actual essential oils. However, there are numerous essential oil kits on the market that would work well with the ZAQ Dew. (Note: the use of citrus-based essential oil is discouraged by the ZAQ Dew manufacturer. This is a common recommendation for many diffusers on today's market.) In order to select the best essential oils for any diffuser, we recommend that consumersstudy the theory behind aromatherapy and shop accordingly.

MIU COLOR® 500ml Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

The MIU COLOR Aroma Diffuser does not arrive with its own selection of essential oils, but those items can easily be purchased separately. Because the unit is made of plastic, the use of citrus-based essential oils is discouraged. What we admire most about the MIU COLOR Aroma Diffuser is its versatility. Other oil diffusers may contain LED lights, for instance, but the MIU COLOR allows users to change the intensity of those lights. Other models may be promoted as humidifiers or vaporizers, but the MIU COLOR's generous tank provides hours of therapeutic hydration and negative ion generation.

BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

The BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser arrives with a complimentary 10 ml bottle of lavender essential oil. This scent is a very popular choice among beginning aromatherapy enthusiasts! Because the BriteLeafs 2-in-1 is made of plastic, it's important that owners only use approved essential oils in the diffuser. (Citrus-based essential oils can be corrosive to plastic, and other types of essences may not work well, either. It's always good to research this before you buy.) We appreciate the BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Aroma Diffuser's use of graphic art to enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser

The basic Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser does not include any additional accessories, but customers could select an upgraded package that includes a choice of essential oils. We give high marks to oil diffusers that also work well as diffused light generators or room humidifiers, and the Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser certainly does both. The unit's ultrasonic motor is exceptionally powerful for its size, and it creates a "heavier" form of therapeutic mist than many other models on the market. We only wish it had a longer run time between refills, but this is not an insurmountable problem.

Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy

The Greenair Spa Instant Healthful Mist oil diffuser may not arrive with a supply of essential oils, but sampler kits can be ordered separately. The unit's six-color light display creates a meditative mood during aromatherapy sessions. It can also be used as a nightlight without turning on the diffuser. We urge users to invest in cotton swabs (or similar materials) to keep the unit clean, especially if they plan on using citrus-based essential oils.

The Greenair Spa Vapor's six-color light display creates a meditative mood during aromatherapy sessions.
Considerations

Price

ZAQ Dew Multi Color Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser

At $49, the ZAQ Dew Essential Oil Diffuser is on the pricier end of the spectrum, but this additional investment proves itself to be worthwhile over time. Ultrasonic cold mist generation is considered by many aromatherapy practitioners to be healthier and safer than the use of heated nebulizers, scented candles, and incense. That's because heat can break down the essential oils before diffusion, and smoke can create harmful byproducts. A cool ultrasonic oil diffuser like the ZAQ Dew, especially with its soothing light display, is a much better way to go.

MIU COLOR® 500ml Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

At a retail price of $35, the MIU COLOR Aroma Diffuser sits squarely in the mid-price range of our top contenders. However, it has additional functions and features that rival some high-end models. Many aromatherapists agree that proper lighting plays an important role during therapy sessions. The MIU COLOR offers seven beautiful color choices, each with a high/low control. Other oil diffusers in this price range often have tanks with limited capacity, but the MIU COLOR Aroma Diffuser features a 500 ml tank capable of producing 10 hours of oil-infused mist or therapeutic room humidification.

BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser Ultrasonic Humidifier

The BriteLeafs 2-in-1 Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser's retail price of $25 makes it an attractive choice for those who want a stylish aromatherapy appliance without the spa-grade price tag. One important consideration with oil diffusers is aesthetics. The BriteLeafs 2-in-1's tall candle shape and stylized floral graphics will blend into just about office or home decor! We also applaud the BriteLeafs 2-in-1 for its four-setting timer system, a feature not always found on essential oil diffusers. As a bonus, owners can use plain water to create therapeutic humidification. This truly is two useful machines in one!

Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser

The entry-level Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser's retail price of $30 is more than reasonable. The unit's ultrasonic motor (7 MHz) is exceptionally powerful, and it's capable of delivering a much finer mist than the standard 2.4 Mhz motors found on other models. The machine's soft conical form blends well with almost any room decor, and its diffused lights enhance the environment of any room. Although it may not have the longest run time between refills, the Now Foods Ultrasonic Oil Diffuser's advanced cold misting technology delivers deeper levels of aromatherapy in its allotted time. In general, customers are pleased with this product's performance.

Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy

The entry-level Greenair Spa Instant Healthful Mist essential oil diffuser boasts features that rival models costing twice as much. While it may not have the same sculptural design elements as the ZAQ Dew or the BriteLeafs 2-in-1, the Greenair Spa diffuser has a professional and streamlined appeal of its own. At only $25, commercial users can afford to purchase several of these units and place them in public spaces such as waiting rooms, restrooms, and meeting rooms. The right blend of essential oils can put clients in a more receptive mood or calm patients before their appointments. Indeed, it makes more economic sense to fill a small, unobtrusive appliance with water and essential oil than it does to invest in an expensive, short-lived chemical room freshener.

The entry-level Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy diffuser offers features that rival models costing twice as much.

Best of the Best

Some oil diffusers offer a high liquid capacity but don't deliver a therapeutic level of aroma into the room. Others feature an impressive array of lights, but these lights detract from the overall aromatherapy experience. Our selection of the best essential oil diffuser came down to an appropriate balance between form and function.

The ZAQ Dew Multi-Color Litemist Essential Oil Diffuser is the Best of the Best. From its Zen-like design and intuitive, one-button operation to its ultrasonic cold mist generation, this appliance is the most effective choice on the market.

Owners find that the ZAQ Dew's unobtrusive teardrop design blends securely and aesthetically with just about every type of room decor. Its soothing, multi-colored light display enhances the ambiance of any room and contributes to the success of the aromatherapy experience. The ZAQ Dew's run time is four hours, which is not as long as some of its competitors. But, while other oil diffusers may have a greater capacity, there is a difference between an all-day air freshener and a true aromatherapy device like the ZAQ Dew. If you want to recreate a professional aromatherapy spa experience at home, the ZAQ Dew Essential Oil Diffuser is the one to own.
Best of the Best
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From its Zen-like design and intuitive, one-button operation to its ultrasonic cold mist generation, the ZAQ Dew Multi-Color Litemist Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser is the most effective choice on the market.

Best Bang for your Buck

While high-end essential oil diffusers may feature the aesthetics of modern sculpture, it is a diffuser's performance and value that matter most in the end. Among our top contenders, the Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy oil diffuser has the capacity and design features most aromatherapists want at a price that won't break the bank. The Greenair's cold mist generator and directional spout also make it an excellent choice for home use.

Because the Greenair is priced affordably, an industrial customer could potentially buy several Greenair units and place them in multiple areas for mood lifting and air freshening purposes. Imagine, for example, the calming effect a lavender essential oil diffuser could have on clients in a waiting room! The Greenair diffuser could also be placed in restrooms and employee break rooms for just pennies a day. Home users can trade their potentially hazardous plug-in room deodorizers and scented candles for an inexpensive Greenair diffuser and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy as well as room deodorization.

Even if you don't have the budget for a high-end essential oil diffuser, you can enjoy the Greenair's soothing, six-color light display and effective diffusion of essential oils in your home or workplace. With a straightforward design and an appealing price of just $25, we wholeheartedly declare this product to be the Best Bang for Your Buck.
Best Bang for your Buck
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The Greenair Spa Vapor + Advanced Wellness Instant Healthful Mist Therapy oil diffuser has the capacity and design features most aromatherapists want at a price that won't break the bank.
The team that worked on this review
  • Michael
    Michael
    Creative Lead
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Editor
  • Ann
    Ann
    Operations
  • Jimi
    Jimi
    Product Analyst
  • Kriti
    Kriti
    Data Scientist