Best essential oil diffusers 2020: fill your home with mood-boosting scents

Invest in some at-home aromatherapy with one of the best essential oil diffusers

Best essential oil diffusers: Homedics Ellia Dream Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Aroma Diffuser
(Image credit: Homedics)

Welcome to T3's guide to the best essential oil diffusers. The power of fragrance shouldn't be underestimated, and luckily, it's now possible to indulge in a little aromatherapy in your very own home. And we don't mean carpet-singeing incense sticks or cheap plug-ins that fill your living room with a nasty chemical fug. Today's best oil diffusers are compact, stylish and portable, powered by hi-tech motors to silently fill your home with mood-enhancing scents.

A well-chosen scent can have a huge impact on your mood. Many of us are spending a lot more time than usual in their homes at the moment, so it makes sense to invest in making your home as welcoming and calming an environment as possible. Oil diffusers turn your home into a makeshift spa, and can fill any room with soothing, energising or healing aromas, depending upon what you need. 

An aromatherapy oil diffuser could be just the thing to turn your living room-turned-home-office a calming haven after the working day is over (for more soothing purchases, check out our guides to the best candles or the best massagers)

According to numerous studies, essential oils can help to promote feelings of calm, relaxation and general wellbeing. The best oil diffusers are a great way to disperse these replenishing scents around your home with zero fuss or mess, and without adding any nasty toxins or particles into the air that could worsen your indoor air pollution.  

A growing number of businesses have started to harness the science of scent to elevate their customers' experience. Several high-end hotels have started to use diffusers to disperse custom-blended scents in their lobbies and spas, while various cruise lines now use bespoke fragrances in public areas. Even destinations are getting in on the act – tourist boards representing several cities and regions, including York, have created their own custom-blended scents in the past.

Black Friday 2020
The holiday sales are also a great time to pick up all kinds of gadgets on the cheap – and with any luck, that'll include some of the best essential oil diffusers. Our dedicated price tool will automatically pull in the lowest prices, including any offers, from all reputable retailers. We'll be reporting on the very best deals across Black Friday and Cyber Monday too. 

 Choosing the best oil diffuser for you

Most diffusers contain a small reservoir which you'll need to fill with water. You'll then add a few drops – usually between two and five – of essential oil, before turning the diffuser on (for a guide to which scent to choose, explore our guide to the best essential oils). 

A fan will then turn the water (which contains the oil) into a mist, dispersing it throughout your home. However, some diffusers have a small pad instead of a reservoir. The essential oil is simply sprinkled onto this pad, before being dispersed by the fan. Diffusers powered by USBs, which are often designed to be portable, are most likely to have pads instead of reservoirs.

What scent should I use?

It's worth purchasing at least two different oils to start with – ideally a relaxing one, made with ingredients such as lavender, and an energising one containing livelier notes such as citrus or spice. Some of the most powerful scents include lavender, which has been proven to activate our brains' GABA receptors, which in turn inhibit anxiety-producing brain signals. 

And then there's lemon, grapefruit and orange – countless studies have shown that citrus scents can aid concentration by increasing our ability to focus. Jasmine is a great one, too – a recent study conducted by scientists at Germany's Ruhr University found that smelling jasmine enhanced the effects of the amino acids which decrease our 'fight or flight' responses, increasing a sense of calm. 

Finally, remember that you can use any brand of oil with any diffuser, but if you're using a diffuser which has a pad, rather than a reservoir, you'll need to change the pad whenever you change the scent.

 The best oil diffusers to buy now 

best oil diffusers: Stoneglow Modern Classics Perfume Mist Diffuser

(Image credit: Stoneglow )

1. Stoneglow Modern Classics Perfume Mist Diffuser

The best aromatherapy oil diffuser right now

Reasons to buy
+Ultra quiet+A range of time settings+Stylish design+Customisable fragrance

Stoneglow is known for its beautiful candles, and its Modern Classics Perfume Mist Diffuser is its first foray into diffusers. This elegant, vase-like creation features four timer settings (ranging from 30 minutes to four hours), combined with an optional illumination setting allow it to be used in any room for any occasion. This mains-powered diffuser is also incredibly easy to operate – the ceramic lid simply twists off to reveal a 100ml reservoir, which is one of the largest we've seen in a diffuser of this size. Choose from four different neutral tones, to match your decor.

Best oil diffusers: VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser for Aromatherapy

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. VicTsing Essential Oil Diffusers for Aromatherapy

The best oil diffuser for calming scent on a budget

Reasons to buy
+ Lots of colourful light options + Good for large spaces + Different steam options 

One of the top devices on our list of the best oil diffusers is also one of the cheapest. The VicTsing Essential Oil Diffuser is great for diffusing scents into larger spaces with its 300ml volume. It also has different mist settings for denser, more heavily-fragranced mist and higher mist. For example, you might want this as you’re doing yoga but you might opt for lower, subtler mist as you sleep or work. This oil diffuser also has a built-in lamp with different colours to choose from, as well as a timer or auto-off function. Or, if you have it on continuously, it’ll make your home smell lovely for up to 10 hours.

best oil diffusers: MUJI Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser

(Image credit: MUJI )

3. MUJI Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser

The best oil diffuser and night light in-one

Reasons to buy
+ Great minimal design + Highly effective + Wide choice of Muji-branded oils 

One of the mostly highly-rated oil diffusers available, the Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser from MUJI is a reliable device that can fill a room with powerful yet soothing scents within 10 minutes. It's our top pick for the best oil diffuser because it sports a number of different timer options, including 30 minutes, 60 minutes, 120 minutes and 80 minutes, and also works as a calming night light. We love the design of this oil diffuser from MUJI because it's in keeping with the brand's well-designed, functional and minimal aesthetic. This also means it will suit all kinds of homes and is small enough to sit on a shelf or coffee table (although there's now a large version available, ideal for bigger spaces).

Best oil diffusers: Neom

(Image credit: Neom)

3. Neom Organics Wellbeing Pod Diffuser

A stylish oil diffuser for long-lasting fragrance

Reasons to buy
+ Reliable brand + Stylish design + Added light 

Neom is famous for its candles, which means it's a trustworthy option for the best-smelling experience for your home too. As such, the stunning Neom Organics Wellbeing Pod Diffuser would make a perfect gift for those who have already bought into the brand. This diffuser delivers a long-lasting 12 hours of fragrance to fill your home with great scents within minutes, as well as having a light option too. With a distinctive design and glass casing, it's also one of the most stylish options on our list of the best oil diffusers.

Best oil diffusers: Homedics Ellia Dream Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Aroma Diffuser

(Image credit: Homedics)

4. Homedics Ellia Dream Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser

An affordable oil diffuser with plenty of light options

Reasons to buy
+ Many different light colours + Works as a humidifier +Affordable

You don't need to spend a fortune to get one of the best oil diffusers for your home. This option from Homedics is a simple, rounded design that will fit in all kinds of spaces. You can use it solely as a humidifier if the air in your home is dry, but it works best when a few drops of essential oils are added bringing moisture and great fragrance to large spaces. It has a light, like many of the other diffusers on our list, but we like that this one can cycle through a number of different colours.

Best oil diffusers: Ellia Gather

(Image credit: Ellia Gather)

5. Homedics Ellia Gather

A full sensory experience with scent, light and sound

Reasons to buy
+ Plays sounds + Different light colours + Distinctive design 

If you're looking for a diffuser that stands out from the crowd, this distinctive device from Ellia with a rounded ceramic design is for you. The Ellia Gather oil diffuser provides a full sensory experience for your home. It has quick scent-diffusing that lasts up to 10 hours, a colour-changing lamp and it includes a speaker too in order to play soothing sounds, including waves, as you relax. Unlike some of the other oil diffusers on the list, the Elia Father comes with two 2ml bottles of pure essential oils to get you started.

best oil diffuser: This Works Travel Diffuser

(Image credit: This Works)

6. This Works Travel Diffuser

A budget-friendly diffuser that's refreshingly easy to use

Reasons to buy
+Great value+Stylish design+Simple, one-touch controls

This is This Works' second travel diffuser, and its sleek, pebble-like shape will instantly appeal to those with a penchant for minimalism. The diffuser, which has a USB connection, is surprisingly quiet, dispersing scent quickly and efficiently from the second it's turned on. The best bit? It will continue to work (for up to four hours) when unplugged, too.

The only downside is that it relies not on a water reservoir, but on refill pads, to which drops of oil are added. Only two are provided, and the accompanying instructions warn that these pads shouldn't be used with more than one scent of oil. However, replacements are relatively cheap – just £5 for three.

best oil diffusers: Neal's Yard Remedies Liv USB Aroma Diffuser

(Image credit: Neal's Yard )

7. Neal's Yard Remedies Liv USB Aroma Diffuser

A compact, portable diffuser, ideal for scenting small spaces

Reasons to buy
+Portable design+Waterproof connections for added safety+Comes with its own carry case

Neal's Yard Remedies' diffuser is perfect for regular travellers – it comes with its own carry case, and waterproof connections provide extra security against both suitcase spills and condensation build-up. Despite its compact size (90mm x 73.5mm) and the fact that it's USB-powered, it still packs a punch in the scent stakes, providing up to four hours of fragrance. It's also one of the more colourful diffusers – once plugged in, the upper section scrolls through different illuminated hues, and a button on the side allows you to choose your favourite.

Best oil diffusers: Diptyque Baies Hourglass Diffuser

(Image credit: John Lewis)

8. Diptyque Baies Hourglass Diffuser

This luxury oil diffuser is a must for Diptyque fans

Reasons to buy
+ Looks stunning + Great gift + Uniquite design 

If you're buying an oil diffuser for a loved one as a gift, or fancy splashing out on some luxury for your own home, then the Diptyque Baies Hourglass Diffuser could be just the thing. This option doesn't work like the other oil diffusers on the list – instead of a quick and constant stream of fragrance-filled steam, you'll get a slower and more natural scenting process. This diffuser releases its fragrance over time as it's turned over. It's perfect if you're after a subtle, constant fragrance for a room. The styling is pretty special, too.

Best oil diffusers: Innogear Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser

(Image credit: Innogear)

9. Innogear Real Bamboo Essential Oil Diffuser

This essential oil diffuser has a gorgeous, all-natural look

Reasons to buy
+Great design+Different diffusing settings+Safe auto-off mode

If you like the look of natural products in your home rather than anything too futuristic or minimal, then the best oil diffuser for you is this device from Innogear, which is made from bamboo. It offers four different diffusing settings to suit you and your home, including continuous mist, interval mist, a 2-hour mist timer or a 10hour mist timer. There’s also an auto-off mode if the device detects there isn’t enough water left to diffuse your oil. It’s not just one of the best oil diffusers for ensuring your home smells divine, but this device from Innogear also has seven colour-changing LED lights to create the perfect relaxing environment within your home. 

Best oil diffusers: Tenswall Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffusers

(Image credit: Tenswall)

10. Tenswall Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser

The best oil diffuser for scenting large spaces

Reasons to buy
+Works well in big rooms+Unique design+Different timers to choose from

If you have a large room that you want to ensure smells lovely all of the time, then you're going to need one of the larger capacity best oil diffusers to match, like this one from Tenswall. This unique-looking oil diffuser pushes out your favourite essential oil scents to big rooms of up to 40-square-metres. It also has a range of different timer settings depending on your needs, including 1-hour, 3-hours, 6-hours and continuous diffusing. It will last up to 10-hours so is a great option for big spaces that don’t need constant care and attention, like large living rooms, reception areas or even small businesses.