The Best Home Fragrance Diffusers You Can Buy Right Now
The past couple of years have taught us many lessons, but a lighter one among them is how to turn our homes into oases where we can unwind and stay safe. We’ve shared some of our own favorite safe-space additions like weighted blankets and comforters, but few things create the ambience that an aroma diffuser can. There are several different kinds, from electric or ultrasonic to reed and nebulizer (we’ll explain), and all function by dispersing fragrance or essential oil molecules into the air. Some diffusers use heat to warm the fragrance and encourage evaporation, similar to the way a candle does. However, oil diffusers are safer to leave unattended and can be just as beautiful as candles, if not more so, depending on your style.
Everyone could use a little extra zen these days, so we’ve gone ahead and tested over 20 oil diffusers across a range of brands, function types, and aesthetic styles and rounded up the most impressive of the bunch.
The Best Oil Diffusers
- Best Overall: Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser
- Best Budget-Friendly: Casaluna Reed Diffuser
- Best Luxury: AromaTech AroMini BT Nebulizer
- Best for Small Spaces: Voluspa Reed Diffuser
- Best for Large Spaces: Vitruvi Stone Essential Oil Diffuser
- Best Customizable: Canopy Diffuser
- Best Smart: Pura Smart Home Fragrance Diffuser
- Best Multitasker: Himalayan Salt Lamp Oil Warmer
What to Consider Before Buying an Oil Diffuser
The oil used with a diffuser is arguably the whole point of using the device, but there are actually quite a few things that differentiate some diffusers from others. A diffuser’s features and type can make or break the way an essential or aroma oil is released and the atmosphere that’s created. Before we get into what the types are, though, we’ve outlined the features worth noting when it comes to oil diffuser shopping. Each feature is followed by one or more prompting questions to help us determine our priorities. Even better — the list of diffuser types in the next section notes which of the below features each one caters to the most.
- Aesthetics: Are you looking for something worth displaying or discreet enough to hide within your decor?
- Atmosphere: Do you want a multi-functioning diffuser, such as one that’s also a nightlight? Do you need something completely silent?
- Safety: Are power cords an issue for you? Do you want something you can confidently leave unattended?
- Functionality: Would you prefer to see your diffuser at work or simply smell the difference? Are you using your diffuser for aromatic or wellness purposes? Do you have a fine fragrance you don’t want combined with water for diffusion?
- Longevity: Are you hoping to use your diffuser for years to come with little maintenance?
- Ease of use: Do you want something that requires no or minimal setup? Would you want your diffuser to come with its own fragrance oils?
Types of Diffusers
While many of us are familiar with reed and electric diffusers (the latter including different types of its own), there are a couple on our list that, admittedly, we learned about in our research. For each type below, we included the features it prioritizes most, making it easy to determine which one may be best for you.
- Ultrasonic: One of the most common electric diffuser types, ultrasonic models are filled with water, topped with essential oil, and use vibration to break up oil molecules and disperse an evenly scented mist into the air. Electric ultrasonic diffusers prioritize reliable, long-lasting functionality and the longevity of your aroma oils, as they are diffused with water.
- Stone or ceramic: Without the use of power, water, or heat, these porous materials are simply topped with essential oil and disperse the fragrance increasingly subtly over time. Passive, dry, and silent diffusers like these are the safest to use and lend to a meditative atmosphere. They are extremely easy to use as well.
- Nebulizer: Those who prefer a stronger scent released over a shorter period of time should try a nebulizer. It instantly turns aroma oil particles into a fine mist without heat or water, delivering a burst of fragrance that dissolves into the surrounding area. Nebulizer diffusers prioritize functionality in favor of fine fragrances or essential oils for wellness as well as longevity, especially as an investment, when cared for properly.
- Fan: Another electric or battery-powered option, these diffusers push fragrance into the air by way of an internal fan. Fan diffusers prioritize aesthetics and functionality, allowing pure oils to diffuse into the air without water.
- Reed: One of the most popular passive diffuser options, these are fragrance-filled vessels with wood or wood-like sticks that absorb liquid from the bottom and carry it upwards, releasing fragrance into the air. The reeds can be rotated after some time for an even more potent fragrance release.
- Misting: Electric diffusers that don’t use ultrasonic vibration to combine the oils and water in their reservoirs just mist the concoction into the air unevenly, releasing a strong aroma at first with less and less payoff over the use period.
How Much to Spend on a Diffuser
A diffuser’s cost usually begins with the work it does, and nebulizers are among the priciest for their ability to atomize oil particles (watching one is a bit like witnessing a science experiment). For this reason, nebulizers can cost anywhere from $200 to close to $1,000. There are also many passive, powerless, and waterless diffusers, such as ceramic and reed models, which have a design, materials, or fine fragrance that warrants their higher value. These can go from $40 up to hundreds of dollars.
While there’s no shortage of budget-friendly options, shopping for one without testing it first can prove that some just aren’t worth the amount they’re sold for. This is why we’ve tested across a variety of price points, and we found that some of our least expensive diffusers, around the $15 to $30 range, beat out some of the most expensive ones we tested.
We recommend determining your priorities from the list of features we detailed in our What to Consider section with the addition of price point. This formula could lead you to your perfect diffuser.
What We Look for in an Oil Diffuser
We have three priorities from the above list of functions that we think define a great overall diffuser.
- Safety: Is it electric? Is it ceramic or stone? Does it have sharp corners or edges? Do openings snap closed? Is it easy on the hands?
- Aesthetics: Is it attractive? Does it lend to a specific decor? Is it discreet or does it make a statement?
- Ease of use: How easy is setup? Does it require a full setup with each use? How many steps are involved?
The Best Oil Diffusers
Best Overall: Muji Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser
Tried and true, the ultrasonic diffuser from Muji is as reliable and chic as minimal, high-performance diffusers get. I’ve used the Muji diffuser for years with very minor (or even somewhat neglected) upkeep, and it still diffuses any aroma or essential oil like the day I first tried it. It starts diffusing immediately once the button is pressed, filling even the biggest spaces in whatever home I’m in at the time (up to 500 square feet). Its internal light, which has two brightness settings when on, gives off a warm, ambient glow. It allows for 30 minutes to 180 minutes of diffusion with multiple other lengths of time in between. In terms of reliability, longevity, diffusion functionality, range, and appearance — being both chic and discreet — this one by Muji is our best overall diffuser winner.
- Electric and ultrasonic
- 2 ambient light settings
- 4 diffusion time settings
- Oil not included
- Usable with any essential or aroma oil
- 3″ x 3″ x 5.5″
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for one reliable diffuser to use for years; those who prefer minimalist decor.
Good to Know: Give your Muji diffuser a good rinse with mild soap after every few uses (ideally after each one) to free it of residue buildup, especially between using different essential oils or aromas.
Best Budget-Friendly: Casaluna Reed Diffuser
Testing for high-performing, budget-friendly diffusers involved the trial and error of multiple electric, reed, and dry diffusers. Ultimately, Target’s Casaluna reed diffuser came out our winner. Casaluna’s delicate, non-artificial-smelling scent selection and minimal, brandless bottle design elevate it past anything we expected to be priced under $30. “Not only is the container super cute,” AT commerce intern Grace Cooper agreed, “but I immediately fell in love with the scent. I REALLY love this diffuser and will absolutely be purchasing another one.” New to reed diffusers, Grace was skeptical of this one’s scent payoff. “I have a pretty big apartment with very high ceilings, so I thought the diffuser would do best within my bathroom or bedroom, since those are smaller areas. However, within 24 hours, I could smell the scent as soon as I walked in the door and throughout the apartment. I usually go for the candles when I’m at Target, but for only $15, a second diffuser is definitely on my list for my next haul.”
- Non-electric and waterless
- Glass vessel with wood reeds
- Includes fragrance oil
- Includes 8 reeds
- 3.5″ x 3.4″ x 3.4″
Who It’s Best For: Those not wanting to spend too much on a home fragrance; those who want multiple diffusers throughout their home; those who want to easily restock.
Good to Know: Casaluna has three diffusers which come in different colors and an accompanying fragrance for use with its vessel and reeds.
Best Luxury: AromaTech AroMini BT Nebulizer
Luxury diffusers, to us, should be compatible with fine fragrance without watering it down or diffusing too much too quickly. They should lend to a space’s overall decor, even elevating it, and be an experience worth having while using. We found the best luxury diffuser in AromaTech’s AroMini BT, a whisper-quiet oil nebulizer with Bluetooth compatibility. Its gilded, 100 percent recycled aluminum exterior makes the AroMini stand out in a space, especially when accompanied by AromaTech’s own amber bottles of essential oil blends. It functions free of heat and water, cold-diffusing the brand’s scents directly from their bottles (which are inserted into the AroMini) and providing undiluted olfactory and therapeutic experiences. It’s also a Bluetooth compatible diffuser, so you can conserve energy and oil by scheduling scent releases on your phone and customizing the diffusion intensity at any time. It has coverage capability in up to 1,000 square feet of space, making a single AroMini all you may need for diffusion throughout even the largest spaces in your home.
- Cordless. waterless, and heatless nebulizer
- Available in 2 colors
- Use with AromaTech oil blends recommended; 120 ml oil bottle required
- Oil not included
- 2″ circumference x 12″
Who It’s Best For: Those with modern home decor; those who want the purest diffusion of essential or aroma oils; those willing to make the initial investment and continue purchasing AromaTech’s oil blends.
Good to Know: AromaTech recommends using their own aroma oil blends, which are sized and blended specifically for use in the brand’s proprietary nebulizer.
Honorable mentions: AT commerce director Mark reveres Dr Vranjes’ fine fragrance reed diffusers, especially in his favorite fresh fig leaf scent Fico Selvatico or spice-forward Chinotto Pepe, and has garnered significant praise from his house guests on the memorable, beautiful, subtle scents. Those in search of a luxurious dry oil diffuser, a treat for themselves, or a gift for someone else should grab something from the Italian perfumer.
Best for Small Spaces: Voluspa Reed Diffuser
Tight spaces require a fragrance that’s subtle enough not to overpower the room. Voluspa’s reed diffuser is our top pick thanks to its thinner reeds, which offer a more subtle aroma payoff and a quicker absorption rate. This particular scent’s eucalyptus and white sage profile is fresh and light, giving a smaller space just enough fragrance without being overpowering. “I was so pleased with this reed diffuser,” AT commerce managing editor Ivy says of the Voluspa diffuser. “The bottle was gorgeous — a very chic opaque white for my eucalyptus and white sage scent. It would go perfectly in any room and blend seamlessly with any decor.” She appreciated the thinness of the reeds, not only for their ability to fill the space with a subtle scent, but because “sturdier, blockier reeds can sometimes make the diffuser look more functional and service-y and less like natural decor, and these were longer than your average reed and wispier, giving it a little more of an elegant edge.” Ivy used one in her kitchen and in her bedroom, which are far apart. “The smell definitely lingered in a pleasant way, but doesn’t overpower from room to room,” she says.
- Non-electric and waterless
- Glass vessel with wood reeds
- 15 reed sticks included
- Available in 4 scents
- 7.25″ x 4″ x 2″
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a subtle fragrance in a single room; those who want an elegant, low-maintenance diffuser.
Good to Know: Voluspa was founded by husband-and-wife duo Troy and Traci Arntsen, known for their works in home fragrance. Rather than turning a best-selling fragrance into a reed diffuser, Voluspa’s designers understand the dynamics of aroma blends and diffusion at home — which is how they’ve earned such a loyal fan base internationally.
Honorable mention: We love Snowe‘s reed diffusers for their unique and robust aroma profiles and the subtle scent payoff they give, making them perfect for small bedrooms or office spaces. Snowe will be releasing their new diffuser vessel designs in October (with the same scents we already love), just in time for seasonal decor changes and holiday gifting.
Best for Large Spaces: Vitruvi Stone Essential Oil Diffuser
With its ability to float your choice of fragrance across 500 square feet and look elegant while doing it, the Vitruvi Stone Essential Oil Diffuser is our winner of the best diffuser for large spaces. This Vitruvi diffuser uses ultrasonic vibration to combine oil and water within its BPS-free plastic reservoir and diffuse a scented mist evenly throughout a larger area. The porcelain exterior of this Stone diffuser model allows it to double as decor, making it a discreet — yet visually pleasing when noticed — addition to your home’s design.
- Electric and ultrasonic
- Porcelain cover and BPA-free plastic reservoir
- 6-foot-long power cord
- 2 diffusion time settings
- 3.5″ x 7″
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a versatile diffuser; those who want to use their own aroma or essential oils; those who want something with a long diffusion time.
Good to Know: Vitruvi offers a one-year warranty, so your beloved diffuser will be covered in the event that anything should happen to it within that timeframe.
Best Customizable: Canopy Diffuser
What if you want to control how much fragrance is diffused or even how? Canopy has our award for the best customizable diffuser for its ability to release aroma dry with its removable ceramic stones and aroma pucks or electrically with the addition of its cord-powered fan, which has three speed settings. Depending on the oil, the size of your space, or the atmosphere you want to create, being able to make subtle adjustments is remarkably helpful and what sets Canopy apart. “The diffuser is small enough to fit perfectly in a corner of my bathroom counter,” AT assistant shopping editor Britt says. “I’ve never used a stone diffuser before and was excited to try it since I’ve only ever had water and mist diffusers. There’s a fan inside the Canopy Diffuser with three speeds, and even on its lowest setting, the fragrance is spread out very well throughout my narrow bathroom. I love this diffuser! It’s opened my eyes to waterless diffusing.”
- Electric fan-powered and non-electric dry ceramic
- USB-C power cord included
- Oil sold separately or with subscription
- 4″ x 4″ x 4.2″
Who It’s Best For: Those who want a single diffuser that works in multiple spaces of different sizes; those who prefer waterless diffusion.
Good to Know: The Canopy subscription, which delivers three aroma pucks and three aroma oils every 45 days, allows you to put less effort into keeping your home scent consistent or even try out new ones regularly.
Best Smart: Pura Smart Home Fragrance Device
The Pura Smart Home Fragrance Diffuser, an app-controlled diffuser plug-in for the modern age, takes the cake for best smart diffuser. It can hold up to two diffuser oil cartridges at a time, allowing you to switch between them. Setup takes all of three minutes and happens in the app, which connects to your Pura via Bluetooth and knows when you’ve inserted your fragrances. From here, you can customize your fragrance strength at any time, including scheduling changes of your choice while you’re away from home. It has an ambient nightlight as well that can be any hue on the spectrum, from vibrant magenta to pale blue. You can control your home’s ambience all within the app as well as shop all Pura products and scents — getting aroma refills couldn’t be easier.
- Electric and Bluetooth app-controlled plug-in
- Contains 1 to 2 fragrances simultaneously
- Smart LED ambient nightlight
- Usable with Pura oil cartridges only
- 3.7″ diameter and 1.7″ depth
Who It’s Best For: Those who want full control of aroma diffusion, even from afar; those who prefer app-controlled or smart home devices.
Good to Know: Pura has a plethora of fragrance cartridges that you can easily shop directly within the Pura app, including in-house blends, seasonal releases, year-round favorites (looking at you, Capri Blue), and designer collaborations. We love the ones made with Brooklyn Candle Studio!
Best Multitasker: Himalayan Salt Lamp Oil Warmer
This Himalayan salt lamp oil diffuser has a small vessel at the top and uses its light bulb to warm and disperse fragrance into the air. Salt lamps can have have powerful, positive effect on your health and wellness, but this one adds another level of multitasking by being a diffuser. We found this salt lamp to be our winner of the best oil-diffusing multi-device for it’s striking, high-quality look and feel as well as its ability to add a subtle scent to our spaces or even be a tool for essential oil aromatherapy.
- Electric and warming
- Himalayan salt and wood frame with metal oil vessel
- Lightbulb included
- Oil not included
- Usable with any essential or aroma oil
- 8″ x 5.5″
Who It’s Best For: Those who want discreet aroma diffusion; those who want a diffuser and night-light or ambient light in one.
Good to Know: You can place your essential oils directly on the lamp’s Himalayan salt surface as well to boost aroma diffusion and even clean its surface, the texture of which can trap dust particles over time.