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Best essential oil diffuser 2022: Focus, relax and soothe your senses

Caroline Preece Duncan Robertson
28 Jul 2022
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Help improve sleep and concentration with a beautiful essential oil diffuser

The popularity of essential oils, and in turn essential oil diffusers, has increased significantly over the last few years. It isn’t hard to work out why: the wellness movement has inspired positive change in many people’s everyday lives and these little vials of oil can play a big part in that. When used in tandem with one of our recommended essential oil diffusers, they’re a great alternative to scented candles or chemical-laden air fresheners.

While even the best essential oil diffusers won’t cure ailments or illnesses, they can help to promote relaxation and ease stress. What's more, using a diffuser means you don’t have to apply oils directly to your skin to enjoy the benefit of a relaxing fragrance, which is ideal if you suffer from sensitive skin.

Whether you’re interested in a diffuser because of its potential stress-relieving properties or you just want to create a serene atmosphere at home, read on to discover the best essential oil diffusers we’d recommend.

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Best essential oil diffuser: At a glance


How to choose the best essential oil diffuser for you

Are essential oil diffusers safe to use?

Yes, but there are some guidelines that you should follow to protect against any adverse reactions, such as keeping oils diluted so that they’re no more than 5% concentration. You should also perform a patch test to ensure you’re not allergic to the ingredients in any oils before adding them to your diffuser.

What functions or extras do I need to get the most out of my essential oil diffuser?

Diffusers on their own are extremely cheap to run, with many also featuring a timer that switches off after an allotted period. This means you can turn it on at night, set the timer and not worry about it still running come morning.

Some also come with a customisable light function, which produces a warm glow in a colour of your choice. If you enjoy soothing lighting, we'd suggest choosing a model with this option as it really adds to the relaxing atmosphere already created by a diffuser.

Then there are the oils themselves, which can be picked up for relatively little money, either as single bottles or as part of a set. This 16-piece set, for example, is very affordable and features a whole range of aromas that can be used on their own or even mixed together to create a signature scent. If you’re only after something to help you sleep, this lavender oil could do the trick.

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The best essential oil diffusers to buy

1. AirWick Air Freshener Essential Oils Starter Kit: The best budget diffuser

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

If you’re thinking about purchasing an essential oil diffuser, but you’re not sure you’re ready to commit to paying £30 or more, this diffuser from AirWick is a good introduction to the world of essential oil diffusion.

Unlike the other diffusers on our list, the AirWick diffuser doesn’t have a water tank to which you add drops of essential oil. Instead, you simply slot one of AirWick’s essential oil refills into the diffuser and this, AirWick claims, provides up to 45 days of continuous scented mist (on the lowest setting). For just £10 you get a diffuser and one peony and jasmine-scented refill bottle.

Of course, if you decide that the essential oil life is for you, you may wish to upgrade eventually to a more expensive diffuser. While the AirWick diffuser might be a good entry-level option, you're restricted to using the brand’s own refill bottles and frequently replacing them isn’t very cost-effective.

Key specs - Auto shut-off? Yes; Maximum continuous operation: 45 days (on lowest setting); Power: 3 x AA batteries

2. The White Company Electronic Diffuser: The best stylish essential oil diffuser

Price: £70 | Buy now from The White Company

It’s not the cheapest option, but this minimalist diffuser, designed with a ceramic cover, is perhaps one of the most beautiful. It’s easy to use and, once filled with water alongside a few drops of essential oil, will release a scented mist at the touch of a button.

You’ve got a choice of timer settings: 60, 120 and 180 minutes, at the end of which the diffuser will automatically switch off. The White Company recommends pairing the diffuser with its wide selection of fragrance oils, such as the Calm Fragrance Oil or Lime & Bay Fragrance Oil. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a diffuser for travel, check out the Portable Electronic Diffuser.

Key specs - Auto shut-off? Yes; Maximum continuous operation: Unspecified; Power: Mains

Buy now from The White Company


3. Neom Wellbeing Pod Diffuser and oil bundle: The best luxury diffuser

Price: £115 | Buy now from John Lewis

The Neom Wellbeing Pod diffuser is the most expensive entry in our roundup. Designed to be paired with the brand’s range of luxurious essential oil blends, it humidifies the air while "delivering the perfect scent in minutes". You can set the timer to between one and three hours, or let it run continuously, and a low-energy LED emits a soft, warm glow.

£110 will get you the diffuser, plus one 10ml bottle of essential oil (on its own, the diffuser costs £90). This particular bundle comes with Neom’s De-Stress oil, a blend of 24 different essential oils including lavender, jasmine and Brazilian rosewood (other blends include Bedtime Hero, Calm and Relax and Boost Your Energy). Much like the Wellbeing Pod itself, these oils aren’t cheap. But if you’re looking to splash out on some scented luxury, Neom doesn’t disappoint.

Key specs - Auto shut-off? Yes; Maximum continuous operation: Unspecified; Power: Mains

Buy now from John Lewis


4. Asakuki Wi-Fi Smart Diffuser: Best diffuser you can use as a nightlight

Price: £33 | Buy now from Amazon

This Asakuki diffuser is surprisingly heavy duty: it has a hefty 500ml water tank for less frequent refilling and a quoted 16-hour running time from a full tank, as well as several mist nebuliser modes. If you’re looking for something that can double as a bedside nightlight for kids who struggle to get to sleep at night, the Asakuki also has a rounded top that creates a cooling glow from internal LED lights that can be controlled via an app.

If you or your kids have a hard time settling down at bedtime, simply swap in some lavender scented oils, pick your favourite lamp colour, dim the lights, and drift off to sleep. What’s more, if it’s in the kid’s room, the app controls will even let you shut things off without entering the room and potentially waking them up. And not to worry, if you forget to switch it off, there’s a convenient safety auto-switch that stops any overheating that may come from an empty water tank. If you’re worried about size, it also comes in a smaller version.

Key Specs – Auto shut-off: Yes; Maximum continuous operation: 16 hours; Power: Mains

Buy now from Amazon