The Best Essential Oil Diffusers for Sleep

See which essential oil diffusers will help you get a great night’s rest.

By Loren Bullock

Essential oils are one of the most time tested remedies for a good night’s sleep. The easiest way to keep those scents in your system is to put them in a diffuser and run it overnight. An essential oil diffuser is a mechanical device that takes essential oils and disperses them throughout the air so that they are easily inhalable. The scent will circulate, keeping you relaxed and calm throughout the night—not to mention your room will smell amazing. If you have no idea where to start looking, check out our list for the best diffusers of 2019.


Our Picks for the Best Essential Oil Diffusers

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Best Overall Performance: Vitruvi Stone Diffuser

The Vitruvi Stone Diffuser is a simple, easy-to-use ultrasonic design. This ceramic diffuser is made out of porcelain and has a matte finish. It is also easy to clean: simply twist off the ceramic top and wipe the inside.

The Stone has two settings: continuous and interval. It runs for 3 hours on a continuous mist and 7 hours in intervals. Not only is this an aromatherapy diffuser, but it also doubles as a humidifier with 2.3 fluid ounces per hour. Whether off or on the Stone has a light feature that exudes warm, colorful lights you can turn on or off.

Though it has one of the smallest capacities at 100mL, it has one of the biggest ranges, diffusing up to 540 square feet—that’s bigger than an average living room. The Vitruvi Stone’s power cord is 6 feet long, so it can be placed virtually anywhere in the room. And if you’re worried about longevity, Vitruvi will replace your diffuser if anything goes wrong for one year after purchase.

  • Price: $119
  • Dimensions: 8.5” x 7.5” x 4.5”
  • Reviews and ratings: 3.6 out of 5 stars, 69 Amazon reviewers

The Most Bells and Whistles: Ellia Gather Diffuser by HoMedics

If you’re looking for a diffuser that has a little bit of everything, plus a little more, the Ellia Gather is for you. This ultrasonic design runs for a whopping 10 hours of continual use and 20 hours on intermittal. That’s enough time to wind down before bed, have a long, restful sleep, and wake up with it still running—that’s a long time for a diffuser with a 200mL water capacity.

This diffuser doubles as a humidifier and runs quietly, so your sleep isn’t distrubed. The large water tank is easy to clean, and the diffuser automatically shuts off when the water level is too low, so you don’t have to worry about getting up in the middle of the night. And if there are any malfunctions, the Gather comes with a 1-year limited warranty.

The Ellia Gather is made of a combination of ceramic and wood-grain that results in an intricate, basket-weave design. It comes with 3 essential oils: Orange, Tune In, and Fight It, and a remote control that changes the color emitted and controls which relaxing sound you prefer.

  • Price: $99.97
  • Dimensions: 8.62″ x 7.72″ x 7.36″
  • Ratings and Reviews: 3.9 out of 5 stars, 22 Amazon reviewers

Best Value: Asakuki Premium Essential Oil Diffuser

Price does not necessarily indicate power, and the Asakuki Premium proves that. With a 500mL tank, this is the largest ultrasonic essential oil diffuser on the list. It covers a 270-320 square footage and runs anywhere from 10-16 hours, depending on setting. The Asakuki Premium has 4 timer settings: continuous and intervals of 60, 120, and 180 seconds. Each setting is whisper-quiet and has an auto-off safety switch when the water level runs out.

This aroma essential oil diffuser toggles between ultrasonic and nebulizer modes. In the ultrasonic mode, it doubles as a humidifier and keeps the air quality at 50% humidity. It is made of the same hard plastic baby bottles are: high-grade, safe, quality-controlled, and eco-friendly.

The Asakuki is easy to clean, and comes with 7 colors (with dark, light, and light only functions). With the most generous return policy, the diffuser comes with a 1-year warranty and a 6-month money back guarantee.

  • Price: $22.99
  • Dimensions: 6.6” x 6.6” x 4.8”
  • Ratings and Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars, 4,501 Amazon reviewers

Best Range: Organic Aromas Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser

The Organic Aromas Diffuser is the most unique diffuser on the list because it is the only nebulizer, which just means it doesn’t require water or heat—the only substance in the air is pure essential oil. Because there is no water mixed in, the fragrance of the essential oil is atomized into millions of mirco-particles, making a strong fragrance that can fill an entire apartment.

While most nebulizers make a loud humming noise, the Organic Aromas diffuser runs quietly, so it won’t disturb sleep. This nebulizer diffuses essential oils on an interval of 1-2 minutes and can run for up to two hours before it automatically shuts off.

The beautiful design on the Organic Aromas diffuser is made of 100% plantation hardwood. It is painted with water-based lacquer. The night light attached to the diffuser is an LED rainbow carousel and has an on-off switch; it shines through the hand-blown glass.

Organic Aromas offers a 1-year warranty with free parts and services.

  • Price: $99
  • Dimensions: 5” x 9”
  • Ratings and Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars, 412 Amazon reviewers

Types of Diffusers

As you may have noticed looking at our list, there is more than one kind of aroma essential oil diffuser. They vary in the way they break down the oils into air particles and how they disperse these particles into the air.

Ultrasonic Diffusers

Ultrasonic diffusers are the most common type of diffuser and are generally what you imagine when you think of an essential oil diffuser. Ultrasonic diffusing uses water to spread the concentration of the oils into the room. Often times ultrasonic diffusers can also be used as humidifiers or air purifiers in dry rooms because they project moisture into the air.

Nebulizer Diffusers

Nebulizer diffusers use atomizers to break down essential oils and disperse them. Because there is no water or heat involved in the process, the oils aren’t diluted and are in their purest form, making them more potent. Nebulizers are perfect for large rooms because they are so strong.  As powerful as this machine is, it doesn’t run as long as an ultrasonic aroma diffuser and can clog with thicker oils.

Evaporative Diffusers

Evaporative essential oil diffusers make use of fans to distribute essential oil particles across the room. These tend to be quite noisy, so they aren’t recommended for sleep unless you’d like to substitute one for a noise machine.

Candle and Lamp Diffusers

These are also known as heat diffusers because they heat the essential oils to disperse the scent into the room. Candle diffusers use flame heat and lamp diffusers use lightbulb heat. These don’t always have the best health effects due to the altered chemical composition of the oils and can be dangerous with small children around.

How to Use a Diffuser

Diffuser use depends on type:

Ultrasonic: Remove the decorative top and fill the tank with water. Then, drop your desired essential oils into the waterreplace the top, and press start.

Nebulizer: Simply drop the essential oils of your choice into the glass piece attached to the diffuser, and turn the side handle on.

Evaporative: Place essential oils onto the tray or pad, then place that base into the diffuser and turn on.

Candle: Drop essential oils onto the tray, and then light the candle.

Lamp: Add drops into the lamp ring, then place the ring on the light bulb. Make sure the oil doesn’t drip on the bulb.

What to Consider

With so many kinds of diffusers and special features, there is a lot to consider while buying. Here are some things that should factor into your decision.

Run Time

Run time is how long a diffuser can stay on and dispersing before it shuts off or runs out of oil. Total run time can range from 2 hours to 24 hours. Diffusers can run continuously, meaning they never stop dispersing essential oil particles, or they can run on interval, meaning they turn on and off for a specified amount of time. Setting your diffuser on interval makes it run as long as it can.

Range

Range is how far the essential oil particles and scents can stretch across a space. Do you have a smaller bedroom? Then you should look for an essential oil diffuser with a smaller range. Do you want to put your diffuser in the living room? Then look for a diffuser that can reach more square footage. Nebulizers have the best range because the oils are at their strongest potency. Evaporative diffusers have the worst range because the fan is gentle.

Capacity

Capacity is the amount of water an ultrasonic diffuser can hold. The greater the capacity, the longer the run time because it takes the diffuser longer to get through the water. Lower capacities allow you to get a stronger smell with less oil.

Cleaning Ease

Because what comes out of diffusers goes into your lungs, keeping them clean should be a top priority. Ultrasonic diffusers can grow mold from water build up, and nebulizers and heat diffusers can clog. See if the diffuser you want mentions cleaning ease before purchase. After purchase, study the cleaning instructions to keep your diffuser running for its entire lifespan.

Price

Prices for diffusers range from $15 to $150. The type will heavily influence price: heat diffusers are the cheapest and most easily accessible; nebulizers are the most expensive and the most delicate. Ultrasonic diffusers typically run the gamut.

Design

Diffusers come in a variety of colors and designs and can really tie a room together. They may have a marble look, a wooden exterior, or even resemble a lava lamp. Many diffusers have an LED light with different color options as well.


Summary

Essential oil diffusers are a great way to utilize essential oils that help you sleep, keep your bedroom lit at night, and even freshen up a room. Ultrasonic is the most common, but nebulizers are the most potent. Use a diffuser to sleep peacefully with the smell of lavender, ylang ylang, or peppermint dancing under your nose all night long.


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