January 30, 2023


Delighting home maniacs

10 best aromatherapy diffusers to give your home a sense of calm

10 best aromatherapy diffusers to give your home a sense of calm

The pleasing mist of vapour delivered by a diffuser can alter our emotional state (iStock/The Independent)

Aroma diffusers scent the home and add an element of spa-style serenity to your living space.

These plug-in devices work without heat or flames, using ultrasonic technology to plume wafts of essential oil into the air.

The pleasing mist of vapour delivered by a diffuser can enhance wellbeing by altering our emotional state and transforming our moods.

Aromatherapy oils have the ability to calm nerves, boost energy, aid relaxation, and more.

By moving your diffuser from room to room, and experimenting with the effects of different essential oils and mood-balancing blends, you can get the benefits of aromatherapy while going about your day.

To rate our selection, we spent time inhaling the heady mist of these home diffusers – seeing how well they dispersed the scents into the air, along with whether they looked nice popped on a side table or shelf. These are the ones that we suggest you try.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

Neom Organics wellbeing pod essential oil diffuser: From £90, Neom Organics

Neom Organics is renowned for natural, wellbeing-boosting aromatherapy fragrances and what better way to diffuse them through the air than with this wellbeing pod, which can be bought with or without the essential oil blends.

As with most of the diffusers we tested, it works by adding water to the inner tank along with several drops of oil and then plumes of humidifying vapour are released from the top. We loved that an auto shut off makes it super safe, and that it could be used as a nightlight even with the mist switched off. When tested with Neom’s Scent to Sleep essential oil blend, this pod soon became our bedside table essential as we wound down to the relaxing scents of lavender, sweet basil and jasmine. The ceramic cover with rose gold trim gives this diffuser a stylish, premium finish and it comes in a beautiful box too, making it a great one for gifting.

Buy now

Homedics dream ultrasonic diffuser: £39.99, JD Williams

At first glance, this white, plastic diffuser is pretty basic. Plug it in and get it going, though, and it performs just as well as the more expensive ones in our line-up. The steady stream of mist scents the room nicely, and a colour-changing light gives an ambient glow, without being irritating. We liked being able to choose the intermittent 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off option, lasting for 12 hours, or a continuous mist that shuts off after six hours when it runs out of water. This one was road-tested by a teen and although she noted the noise was a little “gurgly”, she found it particularly nice to have as part of her nighttime routine.

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Neal’s Yard Remedies Esta aroma diffuser: £57.50, Neal’s Yard Remedies

The Esta diffuser wouldn’t look out of place in a Scandi spa with its lovely bamboo cover and gentle bubbling sound – and the wellness experience doesn’t end there. Use with one of Neal’s Yard Remedies’ legendary botanical essential oils and you have aromatic therapy at the touch of a button. You take off the top to add the water and essence, and the lid’s nightlight gives a soft, relaxing glow. There’s an intermittent, 30-second mist setting, and it turns off automatically when the tank is empty. We tried this one with Neal’s Yard Remedies’ woman’s balance oil blend and enjoyed the gentle, relaxing vapour that quickly scented the room.

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Rituals perfume genie: £99, QVC

Living up to its name, this wireless diffuser is shaped like a genie’s lamp and looks elegant on a shelf or side table as it gently works its fragrant magic. Unlike other diffusers that require water and oil, this works by popping in a Ritual fragrance cartridge – available in six atmospheric scents that each last for up to 270 hours. What really won us over though is how it’s controlled. Download the app and you can remotely schedule the days and times that the diffuser turns on, as well as changing the perfume strength according to the size of your room. Coming home to an already lush-smelling living room certainly makes its price-ticket worth it.

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This Works scent well diffuser: £55, This Works

We were excited by this portable option as it meant we could get all the wellbeing benefits of aromatherapy, while on the go. The scent well diffuser is small but effective so is travel-friendly or even great to whip out in the office; it’s charged by USB, so can be plugged into a laptop to power-up. And it’s incredibly easy to use: add a few drops of oil into the top, press the side button, and you have an aromatherapy-infused mist to give you an energy pep, add a sense of calm to your space, or to help you sleep. It switches off after an hour too, which is a nifty feature if you leave it on while nodding off.

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Muji large aroma diffuser: £89.95, Muji

If you’ve ever stepped inside a Muji store, it’s likely you’ll have noticed this diffuser misting up the shop floor. And it’s a bestseller for several reasons. The neutral, minimalistic curved shape blends discreetly into any décor and with a large 350ml tank, it’s a good choice for scenting bigger rooms. The timer settings are handy – you can run it for 30, 60, 90 or 180 minutes, and we liked that it also doubles up as a side lamp with a dimmable option on the light. Want to spend a little less? Go for Muji’s smaller diffuser at £59.95, or the portable version that’s even cheaper.

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Diptyque hourglass diffuser: £128, Diptyque

The hourglass diffuser is almost too beautiful to be a functional item but highly functional it is, effortlessly filling the room with one of Diptyque’s delicious signature scents. This diffuser isn’t electrical – making it unique to the others, so we found it great to position where there’s no plug access or if you just don’t want to see a tumbling lead from your device. But how does it work? You turn over the hourglass and the perfume dribbles through the diffuser channel and delivers scent into the air, lasting for months. You can then buy a fragrance refill to use the diffuser again. It’s certainly budget-busting, but a very sophisticated way to have a nice smelling home. We figured it would make the ultimate gift for someone interiors obsessed, or if elegant scents are your thing, a glorious treat for yourself.

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Made By Zen vitra scent diffuser: £58, Amara

When it comes to ultrasonic diffusers, Made By Zen knows its stuff, selling a range of decorative devices that both fragrance the home and reduce dryness caused by central heating. We loved that the geometric glass Vitra diffuser looks like a stylish nightlight with its ambient glow. It’s easy to use – add water and essential oil for a subtle waft of scent that can be used in intermittent mist mode too. You can also use just water to get the humidifying benefits.

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Puressentiel plug-in gentle heat diffuser: £25.10, Puressentiel

This is a completely different offering from the ornamental aroma oil diffusers, but super-handy nonetheless. Flip the lid, put drops of essential oil in the diffuser’s metallic pan and plug into a socket point. It then pumps a gentle mist into the air, shutting off after eight hours of use. We tried it with Puressentiel’s air-purifying blend of oil and it managed to rid the kitchen of strong smells after cooking. For when you want a discreet, but powerful boost of aromatherapy around the house, this is a mini diffuser must-have.

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Moodo smart home fragrance creation: £169.95, Moodo

This diffuser set is for those serious about their scents – and their tech. It isn’t cheap, but for a seamless home fragrance experience, it’s a super-smart pick. Moodo’s wifi connected system can be loaded with four fragrances at a time from a choice of 10 wellbeing-enhancing, eco-friendly capsules. It then delivers a scent on demand by downloading the app and setting a schedule, or by syncing up with your home tech hub; Moodo is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. We loved that the app suggests fragrance combinations or you can play around blending your own bespoke smells according to your mood.

Buy now

The verdict: Aroma diffusers

Neom’s Wellbeing Pod gets our Best Buy badge: it’s a stylish looking diffuser that delivers on both style and scent – use with Neom’s expert blend of oils for maximum benefit. The Homedics Dream diffuser deserves a bravo for being great value for money and we also love the portability of the Scent Well diffuser by This Works.

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