Best electric diffusers: 9 diffusers to boost wellbeing and fragrance the home | The Sun

Best electric diffusers: 9 diffusers to boost wellbeing and fragrance the home | The Sun

December 15, 2022

There are many ways that we can make our homes feel more relaxing and inviting, and fragrance is one of the most effective, which is why we decided to review the best electric diffusers.

Scented candles are obviously one of the most popular ways of making our homes smell nice, but they can be expensive and only last a week or two. Another option you may not have considered before is an electric diffuser.

Electric diffusers work in a very similar way to reed diffusers by infusing fragrance into the air. The main point of difference is that they’re used with essential oils rather than alcohol-based oils while creating a more powerful scent and a constant stream of mist.

They’re also loved for their therapeutic benefits and the sense of calm they bring to a space. You can also buy electric diffusers for every kind of need – from decorative diffusers that look beautiful in a living space, to more compact options with timers for the bedroom, and even travel diffusers for the car.

To get started with an electric diffuser, you simply plug it in, fill the small vessel with water inside and add around 5-10 drops of oil into it. You then cover it up with the decorative vessel and start the mist.

To find the best on the market, we tried out a number of electric diffusers over a three-week period considering value for money, design, and their ability to fragrance a room.

Read on to find out which ones made it to our tried-and-tested roundup of the best electric diffusers.

Best electric diffusers at a glance

  • Best overall electric diffuser: Neom Wellbeing Pod Luxe
  • Best for the bedroom: Rituals ‘The Ritual of Jing Sleep’ Aroma Diffuser
  • Best luxury electric diffuser: Diptyque Electric Wall Diffuser
  • Best budget diffuser: Sharp Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser
  • Best electric diffuser for travel: Alexandra Kay Pure Essential Oil Mini Diffuser
  • Best for making a statement: Absolute Aroma Blossom Ultrasonic Diffuser
  • Best electric diffuser for the car: Homedics Ellina Open Your Senses Travel Diffuser
  • Best electric diffuser for gifting: ESPA Winter Aromatherapy Collection 
  • Best electric diffuser for children: The Glow Dreaming Children’s Diffuser

Neom Wellbeing Pod Luxe

1. Neom Wellbeing Pod Luxe, £129 from Amazon – buy here

Neom’s Wellbeing Pod Luxe was a standout amongst the many electric diffusers we tested.

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First of all, it looks beautiful with a white ceramic vessel and handy remote control that allows you to control the mist intensity, light and alternating breathing modes.

The breathing mode is designed to help guide you through a moment of relaxation as it slowly brightens for seven seconds and dims down again for 11 seconds. The idea is that by mimicking this with your breathing, it helps to regulate your breathing.

We tested it with Neom’s ‘Moment of Calm’ essential oil which fills a room nicely without being overpowering. The ceramic cover is also made from a bespoke gravure ceramic while the base is made from upcycled wood.

This makes it a lovely addition to a table or worktop and one that we were very proud to have out on display.

The Wellbeing Pod Luxe is the largest electric diffuser in Neom’s range so is a great choice for a larger room or space. It can also be set to provide 1-4 hours of fragrance or up to 12 hours of continuous mist.

Pros: It has several timer options and an option to leave the mist on continuously.

Cons: It is expensive at £129 but does feel more special than most that we tested.

Key specs – Mist settings: 2; timer: yes; Auto-shutoff: yes; Lamp: yes

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Rituals ‘The Ritual of Jing Sleep’ Aroma Diffuser

  • Rituals ‘The Ritual of Jing Sleep’ Aroma Diffuser, £42.50 from Rituals – buy here

Rituals are one of our favourite wellbeing brands, and its products have that spa-like quality that makes even a quick shower feel luxurious.

We tried its ‘Ritual of Jing Sleep’ aroma diffuser that emits a cloud of fragrance that lasts for 10 minutes – enough to transform your sleeping space into a tranquil haven.

But unlike the other diffusers we tried, this model doesn’t need water. Just a fragrance bottle that you click into place at the base.

Fragrance is where Rituals really excels, and this diffuser combines relaxing lavender with sandalwood to clear and focus the mind. The scent was powerful but amazing and contains enough fragrance for 50 10-minute cycles. You simply buy a refill when it runs out.

The box also comes with a QR code that you can scan on your phone and be taken to a 10-minute guided meditation which we thought was a really thoughtful touch. It makes a perfect gift for a friend or loved one who deserves some ‘me time’, or just a nice treat for yourself.

Pros: The fragrance is by far one of the nicest we tried, and it fills the room really quickly.

Cons: We would like an option for the mist to last longer than 10 minutes as it is so addictive.

Key specs – Mist settings: 1; timer: yes; Auto-shutoff: yes; Lamp: yes

Diptyque Electric Wall Diffuser

  • Diptyque Electric Wall Diffuser, £95 from Diptique – buy here

French fragrance brand Diptyque is well known for its amazing perfumes and candles, so we were excited to try its new electric wall diffuser.

It’s quite possibly the prettiest wall diffuser we’ve ever seen with a decorative gold grill front that you’d be proud to display anywhere in your home. To add the fragrance, you lift off the front and insert a cartridge of a scent of your choice.

Once it’s plugged into a mains socket, you tap the front of the grid for the internal fan to kick start and the fragrance to start being diffused.

We found that you do need to tap it a few times before it started working (which didn’t feel very glamorous) but once it did, it quickly filled the room with fragrance.

Our favourite place to plug this diffuser in was the hallway where it filled the space with the smell of one of Diptyque’s signature scents 34 Boulevard Saint Germain.

Pros: Decorative design looks far prettier than cheaper diffusers.

Cons: The diffuser fragrance doesn’t smell as good as the Diptyque perfumes or candles.

Key specs – Mist settings: 1; timer: no; Auto-shutoff: yes; Lamp: no

Sharp Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser

  1. Sharp Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser, £39 from Amazon – buy here

At the less expensive end of the spectrum is Sharp’s Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser. Easy to use, we set it up in a matter of minutes, adding water to the 200ml tank and a few drops of our favourite essential oil (you can use it with any oil of your choice).

Once it’s turned on, it lights up to create a glowing candle effect which feels very calming while creating a continuous fine mist for up to 36 hours. You turn it on and off with the two front buttons and dim or switch off the LED light altogether.

We loved the cosy atmosphere this diffuser created in the kitchen and how effective it was at diffusing scent. All in all, it’s a good budget option that would work in a living space or bedroom.

Pros: Creates a cosy glow that can be turned on and off.

Cons: Plastic construction feels cheaper than ceramic diffusers.

Key specs – Mist settings: 1; timer: no; Auto-shutoff: no; Lamp: yes

Alexandra Kay Pure Essential Oil Mini Diffuser

  • Alexandra Kay Pure Essential Oil Mini Diffuser, £20 from Green People – buy here

If you travel a lot for work, you probably get fed up with living out of hotel rooms and suitcases. This hand-held mini diffuser from Alexandra Kay is a small touch that can help to make any space feel a little more homely and tranquil while offering you a moment of calm.

Small enough to fit in a handbag, it has a small water vessel inside that you add a few drops of Alexandra Kay essential oil before closing up and pressing the front button to start the mist.

The diffuser delivers 8-10 cycles of diffusion which last 60 seconds each. We were actually quite surprised at what a great mist and scent it created for such a small little device.

It also charges up with a USB cable so you could even leave it on your desk at work or home office. It may be mini, but it works really well.

Pros: The mini size fits in a handbag yet creates a good mist and fragrance.

Cons: It feels quite basic in design.

Key specs – Mist settings: 1; timer: no; Auto-shutoff: yes; Lamp: no

Absolute Aroma Blossom Ultrasonic Diffuser

  1. Absolute Aroma Blossom Ultrasonic Diffuser, £28.99 from Amazon – buy here

We really loved this Absolute Aroma Blossom Diffuser, and it was a firm favourite during testing.

Featuring an LED lighting display, it runs through a variety of soft colours, or you can select your favourite and choose to keep that one on continuously. The diffuser also offers the option to choose between continuous, two and four hours of fragranced mist.

We gave this diffuser extra brownie points for its low-energy consumption and child-friendly design. This means that you can use it in a children’s bedroom with a few drops of lavender oil if you want to help them drift off to sleep. It’s also great value for money at under £30.

Pros: Changing LED light display creates a lovely showpiece and calming atmosphere.

Cons: The oils that come with the diffuser are a little medicinal.

Key specs – Mist settings: 1; timer: yes; Auto-shutoff: yes; Lamp: yes

Homedics Ellina Open Your Senses Travel Diffuser

  • Homedics Ellina Open Your Senses Travel Diffuser, £24.99 from Currys – buy here

We have to admit that we’ve never thought about using a diffuser in the car before, but that was until we tried the Ellina from Homedics.

It’s powered by a USB which you plug into the car and fits neatly in a standard cup holder. As soon as it’s plugged in, it creates a powerful mist that doesn’t take long to fill a small space.  

It runs continuously so we left it on for about 10 minutes before turning it off. That was all we needed for the car to be beautifully fragranced.

We think this would be particularly good if you have dogs and want to eliminate the odour, or you go on a lot of long car journeys and want to make your drive a little more pleasurable. It also has a colour-changing light which creates a cosy feeling in the car when it’s dark.

Pros: Creates a powerful mist very quickly and emits fragrance well.

Cons: We found it a bit tricky to carry the diffuser filled with water to the car along with or bag and the kids.

Key specs – Mist settings: 1; timer: no; Auto-shutoff: no; Lamp: yes

ESPA Winter Aromatherapy Collection 

  • ESPA Winter Aromatherapy Collection, £69 from ESPA – buy here

ESPA’s Winter Aromatherapy Collection really raises the game with its electric diffuser and accompanying Christmas oils.

It comes in a luxurious white presentation box, and the included Frankincense & Myrrh diffuser pod – combining cedar wood, rose and orris – was one of the nicest fragrances we tested.

The diffuser itself is really easy to use and releases a fragrant mist that’s created with an ultrasonic wave. It also lights up with a warm LED and is topped with a hand-made matted glazed ceramic.

As this is packaged so nicely and offers a little something special, we think this would make a lovely Christmas gift. It can also be used with any other oils from ESPA after the festive period.

Pros: Fragrances smell really good and different to the usual aromatherapy oils.

Cons: The vessel is quite small, so you have to refill it with water and oil after a couple of hours.

Key specs – Mist settings: 2; timer: yes; Auto-shutoff: yes; Lamp: yes

The Glow Dreaming Children’s Diffuser

  • The Glow Dreaming Children’s Diffuser, £64.95 from Glow Dreaming – buy here

This children’s diffuser is ideal if your little one struggles to stay asleep or relax before bed.

It features a glowing red LED light (that’s apparently used by NASA to help astronauts sleep) and comes with a medicinal grade oil that helps to relax muscles and calm the mind.

It also doubles up as a humidifier with cool mist technology and plays pink noise that studies show helps to create a peaceful sleeping environment.

Of course, this all sounds very impressive, but did it make a difference? We used it in our baby’s room when they were feeling a little under the weather and they slept through the night. We now use it all of the time so we’d say that’s a resounding yes.

Pros: It’s a humidifier, diffuser, pink noise and LED light machine all in one!

Cons: It needs to be placed on a flat surface, preferably be at eye level, no more than a metre away from where your child is asleep. Make sure you have a suitable plug socket and suitable spot before buying.

Key specs – Mist settings: 1; timer: yes; Auto-shutoff: yes; Lamp: yes

How does an electric diffuser work?

Electric diffusers have a vessel inside that you fill with water and add a few drops of essential oil to.

The diffuser is then plugged into the mains electricity and breaks down the oils before dispersing a fine mist.

There are different types of electric diffusers including heat diffusers which use heated elements to warm up the oil and water before evaporating the scent into the room, and ultrasonic diffusers which create ultrasonic waves to disperse a mist.

Nebulising diffusers, on the other hand, don’t need water as they create a high-pressure air stream to diffuse a mist. These types of diffusers, such as the one we tested from Rituals, tend to create a more concentrated fragrance.

Can you put perfume in an electric diffuser?

No, you shouldn’t put perfume in an electric diffuser.

They’re designed to be used with essential oils which are safe for all.

Can you use reed diffuser oil in an electric diffuser?

No, this isn’t advised.

This is because reed diffuser oil has a different composition from essential oils and contains alcohol, water, and oil.

Are electric diffusers safe for dogs?

Yes, electric diffusers are safe for dogs if you follow a few simple rules.

First of all, check that the essential oil you intend to use is safe for dogs.

You should also make sure the vessel is well out of the way of the animal to avoid spillages (and them drinking any spilt water).

Where is the best place to buy electric diffusers?

You can buy electric diffusers in many retailers online and in-store, and they’re available in a range of price points from around £20 all the way up to £120+.

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