We’re officially a year into the COVID-19 pandemic (yes, really), and with Americans’ stress levels reaching record highs since last spring, it’s reasonable to assume that people are in need of new ways to relax and unwind—or even just falling back to basics that might have been long overlooked. This is where essential oils—concentrated plant extracts with a variety of reported benefits—can come in.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their therapeutic and healing nature. They come from the leaves, stems, or roots of plants that are known for their health properties. While there isn’t a ton of robust clinical research on essential oils, different varieties reportedly come with different perks—lavender, for example, is beloved for its calming properties, while rosemary and peppermint are often used for focus. “For some, adding essential oils to their daily routine is just what they need to help alleviate or take the edge off of their stress,” says Taz Bhatia, MD, an integrative health and wellness expert.
The easiest way to use essential oils is to smell them, either by applying them on the skin with a carrier oil or by diffusing them into the air, aromatherapist Amy Galper previously told Well+Good. (Ingesting them can be risky and is rarely recommended by experts.) If you use an essential oil diffuser, you’re able to let the aroma fill your space, which can make your home super cozy and restorative.
There are many different types of essential oil diffusers, such as ceramic diffusers, candle diffusers, wood stick diffusers, and ultrasonic and electronic diffusers. Ultrasonic and electronic diffusers are the most common picks for their ease of use and versatility. Here are five of the best essential oil diffuser options that herbalists and functional medicine practitioners love to use themselves and recommend to their clients. With the press of a button, you’re ready to get your relaxation on.
Experts share their picks for the best essential oil diffuser on the market:
1. NOW Ceramic Stone Diffuser, $45
“One of my favorite diffusers is the Ceramic Stone Diffuser. It is quiet, easy to clean, BPA-free, runs up to 14 hours, and shuts off automatically,” says Dr. Bhatia. It also has a sleek design, so it’ll fit right in with your home décor. “[Now’s] ultrasonic diffusers use vibrations for diffusion instead of heat—this creates an ultra-fine mist, which helps to maintain essential oil integrity and holistic properties—and you only need tap water and your favorite essential oils – no purified or distilled water needed,” she adds, making it easy to use even for essential oil newbies.
Shop now: NOW Ceramic Stone Diffuser, $45
2. Homedics Uplift Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, $20
“Diffusers from Homedics are compact and easy to use for travel,” says Dr. Bhatia (you know, when travel is safe again someday). In addition to diffusing your essential oil of choice, this model also provides a bit of humidity (great for super dry climates) and there’s a color-changing light that will give off a radiant glow in your home for extra soothing calm. This model runs for up to 12 hours, which is pretty good.
Shop now: Homedics Uplift Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, $20
3. Saje Wellness Aroma Om Deluxe Stone Diffuser, $130
“This one I’ve gifted to people for holidays and birthdays,” says Kelsey Patel, certified Reiki master and motivational speaker. “I specifically like [Saje’s] Aroma Om Deluxe Stone diffuser because it lasts for up to 22 hours and has an automatic shut off.” The larger water tank means it’s great for larger rooms, too. It is on the pricier side, but if you’re devoted to essential oils (or just want something that looks super chic), this pick is for you.
Shop now: Saje Wellness Aroma Om Deluxe Stone Diffuser, $130
4. Vitruvi Teracotta Stone Diffuser, $97
This one is great because it’s a nice soft stream and has a fresh, clean look, says Patel, while being slightly less expensive than the Saje option. It’s made from matte ceramic, so it’ll look like a statement piece in your home alongside your other decorative times, countertops, and artwork.
Shop now: Vitruvi Teracotta Stone Diffuser, $97
5. ECO Bliss Diffuser, $75
This ultrasonic mist diffuser has a variety of mist and lighting features to choose from, so you can switch things up based on your mood. “The natural look with the bamboo base and glass cover, plus the nightlight option, is great for styling and getting its benefits,” says Patel. The company’s products are also vegan and cruelty-free, meaning that none of its essential oils or related products were ever tested on animals or use animal-based ingredients.
Shop now: ECO Bliss Diffuser, $75
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