The best essential oil diffusers – 5 lovely buys to bring the spa home

Buy the best essential oil diffuser to create a calming spa-like atmosphere in your home – and to make your rooms smell nice

Best essential oil diffuser: The White Company Electronic Diffuser in living room
(Image credit: The White Company)

If you are buying the best essential oil diffuser for your home – whether to be in your bathroom, home office or living room – then we can help make this decision an easy one. We have tried, tested and loved a range of essential oil diffusers to assure you on which ones are worth the money.

What is an essential oil diffuser? You probably already know this, but an essential oil diffuser works to convert a mix of water and essential oils into a fine mist. This fine mist will envelop your home to deliver lovely smells and a calming ambience. Certain essential oil diffusers feature a built-in light to double as a lamp, while others can play sound for a spa-like experience.

Much better performing than a candle, and safer, an essential oil diffuser can be displayed with pride in your home, and it will have your guests questioning how every room smells so lovely. Keep scrolling for our top five essential oil diffusers to buy in 2021.

See our best home fragrance guide for more smell recommendations – from candles to diffusers and room sprays.

The best essential oil diffusers

The best essential oil diffuser: Ellia Adore diffuserLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Ellia)

1. Ellia Adore diffuser

The best essential oil diffuser you can buy

Specifications
Colour: Black
Water capacity: 150ml
Timer?: Yes – 6 hours or 12 hours
Sound?: Yes
Light?: Yes
Control: Remote
Accessories: None
Reasons to buy
+Remote control from afar+Auto shut-off+Easy to use+Looks great+Doubles as a lamp+Plays sounds+Minimalist design
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't come with oils or water jug

The Ellia Adore essential oil diffuser is our number one pick for several reasons, but mostly because it is both practical and stylish – it boasts all of the features you need in an essential oil diffuser. Use it for six hours continuously, or 12 hours intermittently – your choice. We use it in our living room, daily, and we love it.

Design
With a rounded, frosted glass design, this essential oil diffuser is consciously crafted with a wooden base. It hides all of the eyesore features of the water tank and since it's remote-controlled, it doesn't have any buttons – minimalist...

How to use
Press the power button on the remote to start the water flow, the lightbulb button so that it lights up and the music button for sound. To turn it off, press and hold the power button. You can also use this remote to switch between music, adjust light intensity, set the diffuser to stay on one colour light, and to set a timer.

Features
With a timer function, a colour-changing (and dimmable) light and a library of sounds, the Ellia Adore comes with a remote control so that you can change these features from afar.

Good to know
This essential oil diffuser doesn't come with oils included, so you'll need to buy these separately. When refilling this diffuser, there is a max fill line to prevent leaking or overflowing. Lastly, when the water runs out, this essential oil diffuser will automatically turn itself off for safety reasons.

The best essential oil diffuser for a bedroom: MADE BY ZEN Luminarie Aroma Mist Diffuser

(Image credit: Made By Zen)

2. MADE BY ZEN Luminarie Aroma Mist Diffuser

The best essential oil diffuser for a bedroom

Specifications
Colour: Gold
Water capacity:
Timer?: No
Sound?: No
Light?: Yes
Control: Buttons
Accessories: Water jug
Reasons to buy
+Lovely design+Dimmable light+Compact+Discreet buttons+Auto shut-off
Reasons to avoid
-Hard to reach buttons-No timer control

There's no denying that this Made By Zen essential oil diffuser doesn't look the part with a lovely metal case – we think it would go perfectly on a bedside table. It can also be used as a dimmable night light.

Design
This gold metal diffuser is lovely looking and compact. In fact, it could easily be mistaken as a lamp if it wasn't for the hole at the top that lets the mist out. Though there are buttons on its base for controlling, these are smartly hidden.

How to use
This essential oil diffuser is slightly more basic than other ones, in terms of features, that is. There are two buttons at the base – one for controlling the mist, and the other for the light. Press the light button once to turn it on, and again to dim the light. Press a third time to turn it off. As for the mist button, press it once for a constant flow, or if you press it again, it will activate intermittent misting – 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off. When the water tank becomes empty the machine will turn itself off, though the light function will stay on.

Features
With two mist options – constant or intermittent – and a dimmable light setting, this diffuser isn't as techy as other options, though it will still do the job. All while looking lovely, too.

Good to know
Though this essential oil diffuser doesn't have a timer function, it will turn off when the tank becomes empty. The buttons are nice and discreet for those who would rather it pass as a light than a diffuser. It also comes with a small water jug for easy filling.

The best essential oil diffuser for small homes: The White Company Electronic Diffuser

(Image credit: The White Company)

3. The White Company Electronic Diffuser

The best essential oil diffuser for small homes

Specifications
Colour: White
Water capacity : 100ml
Timer?: Yes – 60 mins, 80 mins or 120 mins
Light?: Yes
Sound?: No
Control: Buttons
Accessories: No
Reasons to buy
+Will blend into any space+Auto shut-off+Doubles as a light+Small and unobtrusive
Reasons to avoid
-Smaller water tank capacity-Can't change light intensity-Doesn't come with any accessories-No sounds

Bestselling for good reason, The White Company's essential oil diffuser gets all of the ticks from us – in the looks department and when it comes to features, too. It has three timer modes and can be used for 60 minutes, 80 minutes or 120 minutes. Due to its smaller 100ml water tank, we suggest using it in a smaller room or home.

Design
With a white ceramic case and wooden base, this diffuser would fit in seamlessly in any style home – particularly Skandi-style ones. It's also small enough to squeeze behind books or a photo frame, should you want to hide it away.

How to use
With two onboard buttons, one to turn on the light and the other to start the mist, this essential oil diffuser is very easy to use. A red light will indicate which timer setting it's on (if any). 

Features
This essential oil diffuser has both a timer – with three settings – and it doubles as a light. 

Good to know
This essential oil diffuser does not come with any accessories such as a jug for refilling, or oils. Also, unfortunately, the light intensity cannot be adjusted.

The best essential oil diffuser for sleeping: NEOM Wellbeing Pod Essential Oil Diffuser

(Image credit: NEOM)

4. NEOM Wellbeing Pod Essential Oil Diffuser

The best essential oil diffuser for sleeping

Specifications
Colour: White
Water capacity: 100ml
Timer?: Yes
Light?: Yes
Sound?: No
Control: Buttons
Accessories: No
Reasons to buy
+Low energy LED light+Timer function – 3 modes
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't come with any accessories-Expensive for what it is

Use this NEOM essential oil diffuser to help you get to sleep – it has three timer settings from one hour to two hours and three hours. Rest assured it will turn off after the selected time, or if the water tank is empty. Use the built-in night light to help you sleep better, too.

Design
With a patented ceramic cover, the Wellbeing Pod is admittedly plain looking – though it does feature a rose gold trim. You can also see the NEOM logo on the cover, and it has a plastic base with onboard buttons for easy controlling. We wouldn't say this is the best looking essential oil diffuser out there – it's easy to spot what it is.

How to use
With buttons on this diffuser's base, press the light button to turn on the night light and the mist button to start diffusing. Press the mist button again to adjust the timer accordingly.

Features
With a handy timer that has three settings from one to three hours, the Wellbeing Pod can also be used as a night light. It has a low-energy LED lights inside that can be used as a night light, whether the diffuser is misting or not.

Good to know
We think this essential oil diffuser is expensive in comparison to other options, especially since it doesn't include any essential oils.

The best compact essential oil diffuser: John Lewis & Partners House Ultrasonic Diffuser

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

5. John Lewis & Partners House Ultrasonic Diffuser

The best compact essential oil diffuser

Specifications
Colour: White
Water capacity: 100ml
Timer?: Yes
Light?: Yes – only around the base
Sound?: No
Control?: Buttons
Accessories: Water jug
Reasons to buy
+Colour changing light – 7 settings+Auto shut-off+Comes with water jug for filling+Compact
Reasons to avoid
-Basic looking

If you want a small essential oil diffuser that's easy to hide, or a white one that can blend in with your decor, then the John Lewis & Partners House Ultrasonic Diffuser is it. It even has a timer setting and it can be used for up to three hours – its light is also colour-changing.

Design
The John Lewis & Partners diffuser is perfectly plain which works well since it's colour-changing. With a basic white ceramic cover and a plastic base, this gives all of the power (and looks) to the colour light you choose. It's also nice and small if you want to just use it as a diffuser and hide it away behind some books. Alternatively, it's compact enough to fit on a small side table or thin a console table.

How to use
Use the buttons on the base to control the light and timer – keep pressing them to change. The coloured light will indicate whether this essential oil diffuser is set on a timer, and how long for.

Features
Though basic looking, this John Lewis model is surprisingly feature-packed. It has a timer setting from half an hour to three hours, as well as seven light colour options.

Good to know
Included in the box comes a small water jug to make refilling this diffuser an easy job. 

Where to buy oils for your essential oil diffuser?

Neom essential oil bottles

(Image credit: NEOM)

You can buy essential oils pretty much anywhere, from Amazon to John Lewis and The White Company. When buying some essential oils for your diffuser machine, you'll want to make sure they are 100 per cent pure with no additives. Here are a few suggestions: 

What to consider when buying an essential oil diffuser?

When buying an essential oil diffuser for your home, you'll want to consider a number of things. 

Firstly, the majority of these diffusers have a timer function, but it's always best to double-check. This way you can turn yours on with peace of mind – should you forget it's misting upstairs while you are downstairs, it will turn itself off. Also, you'll want to be mindful whether your new essential oil diffuser has an auto shut-off mode. If it runs out of water before the timer is up, this mode turns the machine off to prevent overheating or damage. Another feature they usually boast is that they can double-up as a light – some are dimmable, others you can change the light colour while the majority have just one light option. Very few essential oil diffusers can also play sounds to add to the spa-like experience, or to help you drift off to sleep.

The larger your room or home, the larger you would ideally like the water tank capacity to be. This will make for less refills. When it comes to control, an essential oil diffuser will either be remote-controlled, or it will have on-board buttons. We prefer the former for obvious reasons. Some diffusers will include accessories in the box, from a smaller water jug to fill your essential oil diffuser with ease, to actual essential oils for adding to the water.

Annie Collyer

Annie is the UK Shopping Editor at Livingetc, with the majority of her time spent advising you on what to buy for your home – whatever the season, or the latest trend. Whether that be a design classic floor lamp for your cinema room, a comfortable new chair for your home office, or a high-quality exercise bike for your home gym. She's also our fitness guru, with hands-on experience with some of the best home gym equipment around. Otherwise, you can find her forever painting the walls and reorganising the furniture inside her modern London flat, or going on long walks with her pug.