Simple Guide to Using Your Essential Oils Diffuser (and Which Diffusers are the Best)

Simple Guide to Using Your Essential Oils Diffuser (and Which Diffusers are the Best)

OK, in this post I’m going to cover the following points on Essential Oil Diffusers.

  • How to use an Essential Oil Diffuser
  • The best Essential Oil Diffusers
  • Some great recipes for a few common aromatic scenarios

I get a lot of questions about this so I thought this would be the best way to answer them all at once in one convenient blog post!

How to Use Essential Oil Diffusers

Using diffusers is easy! It’s really about how much oils to use and what oils to use when and for what purposes. I’ll get into some recipes in a minute.

First of all, there are several different types of diffusers:

  • Nebulizer Diffusers
  • Ultrasonic/Humidifying Diffusers
  • Evaporative Diffusers
  • Heat Diffusers

Nebulizer Diffusers
Nebulizing diffusers are generally considered the most effective type of diffusers. They do not need water or heat to get the essential oil in to the air and they work by using an atomizer to create a fine mist of airborne particles of essential oils and blowing them in to the air. Nebulizing diffusers keep a near-continuous stream of essential oils in the air.

These generally attach directly to your bottle of oil so getting a stream of aromatic goodness flowing is as easy as turning them on since usually no water is required. However, they also use the oil more quickly which, depending on your frequency of use and the oil, can get pricey pretty quick. They are also usually much louder than ultrasonic and evaporative diffusers.

Personally I don’t think this type of diffuser is worth the higher price. I also don’t like that it doesn’t use water. I think the water vapor helps with absorption and over time as you use a diffuser that does use water, it also seems to get more into your house so the aromas linger longer.

Click here for a popular example of a nebulizer diffuser on Amazon. I do not include these in my list below because I just don’t think this is the way to go. You turn these on for 15 minutes and you get a strong aromatic dose and then that slowly dissipates.

Ultrasonic/Humidifying Diffusers
Ultrasonic diffusers work similar to nebulizing diffusers by creating a fine mist but the difference is that ultrasonic diffusers use water so they kind of double as a humidifier. They are also less expensive than nebulizing diffusers.

This is the type I recommend and the type covered in the list below. Why? Mainly because of the fact that it does use water and therefore the diffusing can be done over a much longer period and you get a more sustained experience as a result. It’s the same amount of diffusing of the actual oil just spread out over time with the added bonus of humidity.

Evaporative Diffusers
Evaporative diffusers use a fan to blow air from the room through a porous pad that has essential oils applied directly on it. The air causes the oils to evaporate and the evaporated oil is blown into the room. Pretty straightforward.

This is fine and all but similar to the nebulizer style diffusers, this requires more oils to keep the aromatic experience going over a longer period of time. I like the experience so I want it to last. This type of diffusing also doesn’t use water and, as I mentioned above, I like water for a few reasons.

Heat Diffusers
As the name implies, this type uses heat to diffuse the oils. While some heat diffusers use high levels of heat to produce stronger smells, the best heat diffusers will only use very low levels of heat that produce more subtle aromas. This is important because high levels of heat can actually alter the chemical constituents of the oils and have an impact on their health benefits which is bad. This is the main reason I stay away from heat diffusers. I just want to know that I am getting the full, unaltered oil into the air and then into and onto me and my living space. I am very confident that happens with ultrasonic and humidifying diffusers which is why the list below is all about that type of diffuser.

The Best Essential Oil Diffusers

Before I get into the list of diffusers, I want to be totally transparent about this list. I have only used a few of these. But I did a bunch of research to decide which one I should get and talked to several people that have used other types as well as the ultrasonic and humidifying types.

Ultimately, I got the doTERRA Petal Diffuser because it was recommended to me by someone who has been using diffusers much longer than me and because I am a doTERRA customer and Wellness Advocate so I got the discount on it which made it competitive with most of the diffusers I cover below.

This list is basically all the highest rated diffusers on Amazon plus the ones that I have tried and liked or know others have tried and liked. All you have to do now is pick one instead of going through Amazon and trying to figure out which of the like 120+ different diffusers is best. You’re welcome. 🙂

doTERRA Petal Diffuser

doTERRA essential oil diffuserAs I mentioned this is the diffuser I chose. It is the primary diffuser in our house. We use it almost every night in our bedroom before going to sleep.

I love this diffuser because it’s simple, it has a timer on it that you can set at 1 hour, 2 hours, or 4 hours. We will often set it at 4 hours well before bedtime and then reset it to 4 hours before going to bed. I love that because it makes me feel like I am going to bed in on a cloud of aromatic wellness. It also has a light on it that you can turn on or off depending on your mood which is nice but we don’t actually use that very often.

The white top half comes right off, you fill up the inner reservoir to the red mark, put in a few drops of oil, put the top on, and select your hour setting. It’s very easy to use and quick to get the oils diffusing.

It has 4.3 stars out of 5 on Amazon so don’t just take my word for it, check out some of the reviews on Amazon and decide for yourself.

MOKOQI Wood Grain

I am seriously considering this diffuser but haven’t yet bought it because I have the doTERRA one. I like the fact that it says it can “run continuously for 10 hours”. I don’t know if I really believe that but at a minimum it’s top setting is 6 hours and I can definitely see that happening. On one hand that could add up to a lot of oils over time but I also know how much better I sleep when I diffuse lavender consistently at night when I go to sleep.

In any case, you can see it’s a very nice looking product. It also has an excellent customer review rating on Amazon (4.8 out of 5 stars) which is really saying something in this case given that over 500 people have submitted a rating. That is consistency if I’ve ever seen it. The customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

Side note that VicTsing makes a diffuser as well that is very similar and priced about the same with a similar star rating on Amazon.

Foneso Model with 7 Color Changing LED Lights

Personally I don’t like the looks of this diffuser and the color options are not attractive to me but it’s priced well and has 1, 3, and 6 hour diffusing options which is attractive to me. I am thinking about getting a different diffuser that has a 6 hour capacity.

It has a 4.8 star rating out of 5 on Amazon and the vast majority of the customer reviews are excellent.

Foneso Model with Breathing Light, Adjustable Mist Mode

This is another one by Foneso that really isn’t my style but is also priced quite well and has a great customer star rating on Amazon (4.8 out of 5).

It’s different from the previous one in looks, obviously, but it also can work for up to 10 hours on a low mist setting which I really like. I am not clear what the “breathing” LED light is about but based on some of the customer reviews, it sounds like it cycles through different colors. Again, on this one the vast majority of customer reviews are really good.


This one I think would be great for a child’s room doubling as a health benefiting diffuser and humidifier as well as a night light!

It labels itself “large capacity” but it’s actually 50mL less than the Foneso models above. I think it’s still larger than the average but wouldn’t personally call it “large capacity”.

The drawback to this one is that it only has 30, 60, 90, and 180 minute settings for diffusing. I know you can do the math but that’s only up to 3 hours. Like I mentioned above, I have been using oils for a few years now and I am already looking to “upgrade” to a diffuser with a 6 or 8 hour capacity so that I can diffuse through the night.


Last but not least is the QUOOZ Lull which I personally like a lot just by the way it looks. 🙂

It’s star rating is slightly lower than most of the ones above (4.6 out of 5) but I included because it’s been reviewed by over 2,000 people so the rating is strong to say the least.

It’s also on the higher end of the price range but I think you are paying a little extra for style in this case. I mean just look at it compared to most of the others above.

Essential Oil Diffuser Recipes

  • The following blends are meant to be used in a humidifying diffuser.
  • Make sure to follow the manufacturers directions on your diffuser.
  • If you don’t have one of the oils called for in the recipe, you can still try the recipe without it.

Focus Diffusing Blend

Increases alertness. Great when you need a “pick me up”.

Fresh and Clean Diffusing Blend

A bright, fresh and welcoming aromatic experience.

  • 2 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil

Seasonal Relief Diffusing Blend

Keep clear breathing and healthy immune response during allergy months. Apply to the bottom of your feet if you feel allergy symptoms too!

Citrus Bliss Diffusing Blend

Great in Spring and Summer just before parties as it really creates a fresh and clean aromatic experience.

Bug Repelling Diffusing Blend

This combination is specifically formulated with oils that most bugs don’t like too much.

Fall Bliss Diffusing Blend

A great autumn time aromatic experience.

Sleepytime Diffusing Blend

This is one my husband loves as he has a hard time slowing down at night.