Top 5 Things to Con­sid­er Before Buy­ing a Diffuser

Olanrewaju Sodiq

Aromatherapy (also called Essential Oil Therapy) is an age-long practice. This formerly-traditional method of using essential oils for therapeutic purpose is quickly becoming a rave and diffusers are currently at the forefront of it all. Of course, you would want to know more about diffusers before buying one.

Diffuser Buying Guide

And because more people are beginning to realize the promising health benefits of essential oils and buying diffusers to use them, both the essential oil and diffuser markets have witnessed a significant spike in growth over the past couple of years.

Asides from providing pleasurable scents to the environment, studies have shown that some common essential oils help boost energy levels, aide digestion, improve focus, boost immunity, treat certain skin conditions, and lots more.

To benefit from essential oils, however, they have to be inhaled into the body. And of the most popular (and most effective) device that breaks down the aromatic compounds of essential oils into an inhalable form is an electronic diffuser.

Diffusers are available in local convenience stores, malls, online, etc. Before you buy one, however, there are some things you should know.

1. Types of Diffusers

Before heading to the store to buy a diffuser or paying for one online, you first have to decide what kind of diffuser you want. Diffusers come in different types based on how they break down essential oils.

Majorly, you'd find four types of essential oil diffusers out there:

1. Ultrasonic Diffusers

These types of diffusers require you to mix just a few drops of your essential oils with a large quantity of water. This mixture is then broken down into a finely-scented and easily absorbable mist by the constant (but subtle) vibrations of the diffuser's ultrasonic plate.

And because they use water to function, ultrasonic diffusers double as humidifiers because they also break down the water in their tanks into atmospheric moisture, thereby raising the relative humidity of the environment where you use them.

URPOWER 500ml 5-in-1 Essential Oil Diffuser

This URPOWER Ultrasonic Diffuser comes with a 500ml tank that can run up to 10 hours without refilling. It also comes with remote control for easy usage.

One downside of ultrasonic diffusers is that, compared to other types of diffusers, they usually do not disperse an intense concentration of the essential oil into the atmosphere — because they have been largely diluted with water. They, however, are powerful enough to put out scented misted that is sufficient enough to eliminate unpleasant odor in your space.

Ultrasonic diffusers are the most common types of diffusers out there in the market.

3. Heat Diffusers

Like ultrasonic diffusers, these types also require users to mix their essential oils with water. It then heats up the water + oil mixture, breaks it down into a fine mist, and disperses into the atmosphere.

Diffuser Buying Guide 02

Heat diffusers are cool, but they aren't as efficient as other types. That's why you won't find a lot of them out there.

That is because heat breaks down the chemical compounds of essential oils, thereby rendering them less effective. You would have to use more essential oils with heat diffusers (than you would with other diffusers) to get the best out of your oils — which is wasteful.

3. Nebulizing Diffuser

These are the most powerful type of diffuser you can buy — in terms of the concentration of oil they disperse.

If you need to quickly and sufficiently circulate a large room with the scent of your essential oil, nebulizing diffusers are your best bet. They most have glass tanks/reservoirs and do not require you to mix your oils with water.

Organic Aromas Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser

This nebulizing diffuser by Organic Aromas is one of the best out there. In addition to its eye-catching design, it features a touch-sensor light switch and a glass oil tank that is resistant to corrosion by essential oils.

Add the essential oil bottle to the device and it disperses it into the air using its atomizer. Again, the fragrance intensity from these diffusers is usually high. That means they exhaust the oil quicker than other types of diffusers.

You would only want to use this type of diffuser for only a little period because they saturate a room real quick.

4. Evaporative Diffusers

These diffusers make use of a fan to disperse your oils to the atmosphere. Here's how they function.

The essential oil is first absorbed by a material (called a pad or wick) in the diffuser. Afterward, airflow from the fan dispels the oil's scent and other components into the air. Like the Nebulizer, these diffusers also dispense the oil quite fast.

And while you might have to put up with the noise from the fan during operation, the affordability of these diffusers should be worth the compromise.

2. Room Size

Diffuser Room Size New

Size is another thing to put into consideration. How big is the room you want to use the diffuser in? Is it a small bedroom? Or a medium-sized living room? Or perhaps, a large office space?

The bigger the room is, it could take longer for a diffuser to fill up with the essential oil's scent. If you need a diffuser for a large space, you should purchase an ultrasonic diffuser with a big water tank. Alternatively, a Nebulizer or Evaporative diffuser would do. That is because they can disperse a higher intensity of the oil aroma/scent at a given time.

If you already purchased an ultrasonic or heat diffuser with a small tank, there's no need to buy a new one. You can raise the scent intensity from the diffuser by simply increasing the portion of oils you mix with the water.

For small rooms and spaces, say bedrooms or office cubicles, you should shy away from evaporative diffusers. That is because the noise from the fan could interrupt your sleep or distract you at work. You'd want to purchase a quiet diffuser with decent dispersal of scent.

3. Oil Types

Diffuser Buying Guide

What type/flavor of essential oils do you plan to use with your diffuser? What oils are your favorite? These are important things to put into consideration because you cannot use any oil with your diffuser.

Essential oils vary in their viscosity (read: thickness) and chemical composition. Some oil fragrances (citrus oils like lime or lemon, for example) are believed to have the capability to corrode the metal and plastic parts of some diffusers. Some dense essential oils have also been reported to leave a residue that could clog up a diffuser.

Be sure to read the manufacturer specifications on the types of essential oils, blends, and fragrances that are compatible with whichever diffuser you choose to buy. If there isn't any, be sure to go through the product review section to see if any buyer/user has complained about a particular oil type.

4. Ease of Cleaning

Diffuser Buying Guide 03

It doesn't matter the quantity of oil you add or dilute in your diffuser. It's almost impossible for the diffuser to break down all of it. That means there will be oil residue sticking to some parts of your diffuser.

For any diffuser, you intend to buy, ensure that cleaning it is just as easy as adding oils to it. Additionally, be sure to read the manufacturer's recommended guidelines on cleaning your diffuser; you don't want to use harmful materials or solvents to clean it.

5. Other Features

When shopping for a diffuser, you should look out for features that make it easy to use. Some of these features include:

1. LED Light

Diffuser Buying Guide 04

Diffusers with indoor nightlight help beautify your living room and bedroom. Some diffusers come with as many as seven different colors of customizable LED lights. If you are all about aesthetics, you should look out for these diffusers with single or multiple-color indoor lights.

2. Timer

A diffuser with a timer makes it super easy for you to control oil usage and duration of the operation. It also lengthens the lifespan of the device — ensuring it only works when needed.

If it takes an hour to fill up your room, you can set your diffuser to run for an hour. You won't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off.

3. Waterless Auto-Shutdown

If you leave your diffuser to continue operation when the (water or oil) tank is empty, you risk damaging it. And because it is quite stressful to monitor the oil/water level of the device often, a diffuser with auto-shutdown is recommended.

Product Recommendations

1. InnoGear 500ml Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

InnoGear Wood Grain Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser

InnoGear is a leading manufacturer of essential oil diffusers, and this Wood-Grain ultrasonic diffuser from the company is one of the best out there. The wooden exterior is visually pleasing and can boost your home and office interior. It also comes with 7 different colors of customizable (dim and bright) LED light.

With about 4,500 reviews (71% 5-star) on Amazon, the InnoGear Wood-Grain Ultrasonic diffuser costs $25.99 and offers good value for money. It features four (4) different timer settings, two customizable mist dispersal levels (Strong and Weak), and waterless auto-shutoff.

2. URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser

URPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser

For the starter of aromatherapy, we recommend the URPOWER Essential oil diffuser. You should also get this if you need to diffuser oils in small rooms (kids bedroom, office cubicle, etc.). The 7 LED lights can be programmed to stay on or switch intermittently.

Other highlight features of the URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser include auto-shutdown, adjustable mist dispersal settings, and a 100ml tank which can run up to 8 hours when filled.

The URPOWER diffuser sells for $15.99 and is available in four different color variants — Yellow, Brown, White, and Grey & White.

3. BlueHills Premium 1Liter Essential Oil Diffuser

​BlueHills Premium 1000 ML XL Essential Oil Diffuser with Remote Timer

If you need a diffuser for a large room or a product that can diffuse your essential oils for really long hours, you should check out the Bluehills Extra-Large (XL) diffuser. The device's 1 Liter tank, when filled to the max, can run over 24 hours non-stop.

You'll also love the remote control; it allows you mist level, set timers, and program the 7 different LED lights. There's also a safety auto-shutoff feature which discontinues operation when the diffuser's tank is empty. The Bluehills 1L essential oil diffuser costs $38.99.

Buy What's Right For You

Buying anything without being sure whether or not it's what you need could end up being a total waste of time, money, and resources. Before you invest a diffuser for your home, spa, office, or yoga sessions, be sure to put the above factors into consideration before making a buying decision.

Next up: Buying a humidifier anytime soon? You should check out some vital features to look out for in the article linked below.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Sodiq has written thousands of tutorials, guides, and explainers over the past 3 years to help people solve problems relating to Android, iOS, and Windows devices. He also enjoys reviewing consumer tech products (smartphones, smart home devices, etc.) and previously worked with GearBest in that capacity.