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Diffusers have been heralded as an easy way to unwind at home, soothing our perpetually anxiety-addled senses and somehow making our bathroom feel like a spa (even when there’s a toddler banging on the door). It’s no wonder that Google searches for them are up 60 percent lately. But as soon as you start perusing through the multitude of options, buying the right diffuser can feel a smidge overwhelming. Where do you even begin? Which ones are worth buying? Should I get a classic reed diffuser, an electric model or a smartphone-enabled one, so I can control my scents without getting off the couch? I totally get it. That’s why, over the past two months, I’ve been obsessively testing essential oil diffusers all over my home.

In doing so, I’ve learned a few things:

  • It’s all about the water-to-essential oil ratio
    Diffusers use a mix of water and essential oil, which are released as vapor in the air. Each diffuser has its own recommendations for how many drops you should use, so be sure to follow those guidelines. (If you buy a reed diffuser, the ratio is already there, so there’s no mixing on your part.)
  • The size of your space matters
    The top complaint I’ve heard about diffusers is that the scents are too subtle to notice. Often, the real problem is that you’re using one mug-sized diffuser to infuse an entire open floorplan. You may need two diffusers for large spaces, and in general, the bigger the room, the more drops of essential oil you’ll need to really smell the scent.
  • There’s a difference between humidifiers and diffusers
    You may be going, “well, duh,” but given the roughly 1,200 people who Google this every month, I know I’m not alone. Diffusers release essential oils to make your home smell better. Humidifiers boost the moisture in the air, alleviating dry skin and congestion. There are a few that do both (one of which made this list).

With that in mind, I rated each diffuser on the strength of the scent it produced, its ease of use, its durability, functionality and, well, how good it looked on my nightstand, console table and bathroom counter (because why not just use a candle if the thing’s an eyesore?). Here are the best essential oil diffusers I’ve tried.

RELATED: Here’s Why a Psychologist Says You Should Invest in a Diffuser

1. Best Smart Diffuser: Pium

  • Value: 13/20
  • Strength of Scent: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 20/20
  • Aesthetics: 17/20
  • Durability: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 89/100
After a few minutes of being surrounded by a scent, olfactory fatigue sets in, and you stop noticing it. Not so with the Pium Smart Diffuser, which alternates between three complementary fragrances, so the room always smells fresh. I’m usually wary of any product with its own app—they often take up a ton of space on my phone and crash constantly—but I’ve had zero issues with Pium’s. It lets you adjust the intensity of each scent and set the diffuser on a schedule, so it automatically turns on and off. It’s kind of awesome to wake up to an energizing, citrusy scent, and when I’m ready to turn in, find that my bedroom is filled with a relaxing, musky fragrance.

The only downside is that the essential oils come in special capsules, so you have to go through Pium directly to order refills. Thankfully, that’s not too often; after one month of daily use, my first round of capsules is still holding strong.

$189 at Amazon

2. Sleekest Diffuser: Vitruvi

  • Value: 14/20
  • Strength of Scent: 19/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 20/20
  • Durability: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 90/100
In a world of bulky plastic diffusers, Vitruvi stands out for its modern, matte ceramic exterior. It couldn’t be easier to set up: Add 10 to 20 drops of your favorite essential oil to the canister, top it to the fill line with water, place the porcelain cover on top and turn it on. One tap diffuses the scent for three hours straight; a second tap lets it run intermittently for seven. The scent fills a 500-square-foot room easily, making it great for most apartments and master bedrooms.

$97 at Amazon

3. Most Discreet Diffuser: Pura Starter Kit

  • Value: 15/20
  • Strength of Scent: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 17/20
  • Durability: 16/20
  • TOTAL: 87/100
The award for scents that received the most compliments from everyone in my pod? The Velvet Wineberry and Vanilla Chiffon fragrance capsules that came in Pura’s Diffuser Starter Kit. This plug-in is a little bulky, but it’s ideal for hallways and bathrooms, where you may not have the counterspace (or desire to display) a full-blown diffuser. Like Pium, Pura uses an app to set the intensity of each fragrance and schedule when they diffuse the scent into the room. Unlike Pium, it’s virtually noiseless. Oh, and starting this August, you can snag a set featuring Capri Blue’s cult-favorite scent, Volcano.

BUY IT ($63)

4. The Best Diffuser for Kids: Baby Dream Machine

  • Value: 18/20
  • Strength of Scent: 16/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 19/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Durability: 19/20
  • TOTAL: 90/100
I know what you're thinking: Why would I need a diffuser in a kids' room?! Well, (1) a relaxing scent can help you both chill out when the bedtime routine seems neverending. And (2) the Baby Dream Machine can actually help with that whole bedtime routine conundrum in the first place. It's a multipurpose device that delivers on all fronts: diffuser, humidifier, night light, pink noise (a mix of high and low frequencies considered more balanced than white noise). You can also switch the night light to a red light, which the brand says helps your body produce more melatonin. In my experience, it made the sweet little bear-shaped device look slightly sinister...and made my toddler just want to play with it. But after a few weeks' use, I've been impressed: It really helps signal bedtime to my daughter, offering a subtle scent that never overpowers the space.

BUY IT ($109)

5. Coolest Reed Diffuser: Feya Candles

  • Value: 19/20
  • Strength of Scent: 15/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • Durability: 16/20
  • TOTAL: 84/100
When you’ve tried one reed diffuser, you’ve tried them all, right? Not quite. The setup is pretty standard: add reeds to the bottled oil blend, and the scent will travel up the reeds. The end result is far more subtle than electric diffusers, and once it’s going, you can’t turn it off…unless you take out the reeds and screw the cap back on. But it is the most affordable diffuser you can buy and a 5-ounce diffuser usually lasts for three to four weeks. In Feya’s case, the fragrances are delicate and nicely balanced—like White Tea & Ginger, which gives a room a fresh, clean vibe—and a portion of proceeds help provide clean water to communities in need. (Pro tip: To keep the fragrance going strong, flip the reeds every week or so.)

BUY IT ($24)

6. Best Travel Diffuser: Saje Roam

  • Value: 17/20
  • Strength of Scent: 20/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 17/20
  • Durability: 15/20
  • TOTAL: 86/100
You’ll want to retire your car’s pine-tree-shaped air freshener after trying this diffuser. It’s powerful enough to use in small rooms at home, but comes with a car outlet adapter, so you can run it while you’re on the road, too. The matte black finish is sleek, and whether you let it run continuously or intermittently, you’ll get compliments on the scent for hours after it has run its course (at least I did). The only downside? The water chamber is open, so you have to keep it upright in a cup holder and empty it out before tossing it in your bag, lest you risk a spill.

BUY IT ($60)

7. Cutest Diffuser: Smoko Lil B Dumpling

  • Value: 18/20
  • Strength of Scent: 16/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 18/20
  • Aesthetics: 18/20
  • Durability: 15/20
  • TOTAL: 85/100
C’mon, just try not to smile when you look at this little dumpling. He looks like he belongs in a Pixar movie! This diffuser bills itself as a mini humidifier too, and with the steady stream of vapor it emits, it could work in small, enclosed spaces. While most diffusers recommend anywhere from 10 to 25 drops of essential oil added to its water reservoir, Smoko suggests using two to three. And you know what? The scent is still there. As a diffuser, it’s so powerful that a little goes a long way. When filled, it can mist for eight hours before the reservoir runs dry. The only challenge, for me, was keeping my toddler away from it. She was so enchanted she kept wanting to pick it up and hug it. Seriously.

BUY IT ($45)

RELATED: The New Gain with Essential Oils Detergent Smells More Soothing Than a $68 Diptyque Candle

8. Most Innovative Diffuser: Skeeter Screen Patio Egg Diffuser

  • Value: 18/20
  • Strength of Scent: 8/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 19/20
  • Durability: 18/20
  • TOTAL: 80/100
If your goal is to make your home smell good, this isn’t the right diffuser for you. If you’re sick of swatting away mosquitoes and hate the smell of citronella candles, you’ve found your match. The ceramic egg can sit on a table or hangs from the included woven holster. The matte finish and macramé-esque hanger make it look like an Anthropologie find, but what’s even more impressive is how it kept mosquitoes (mostly) at bay all day. I still spotted the occasional pest, but I stayed bite-free the entire weekend I used it.

Because the egg uses a special blend of essential oils to repel mosquitoes, you can’t use any of your own essential oil in it, meaning you’re limited to one vaguely lemongrass-y scent.

BUY IT ($20)

9. Best Humidifier/Diffuser Combo: FridaBaby 3-in-1 Humidifier with Diffuser and Nightlight

  • Value: 17/20
  • Strength of Scent: 17/20
  • Quality/Ease of Use: 17/20
  • Aesthetics: 16/20
  • Durability: 14/20
  • TOTAL: 81/100
Any parent knows that first year of daycare = constant sniffles. So, when the doctor recommended we invest in a humidifier, I selfishly looked for a model that could double as a diffuser. Bonus: This one also works as a nightlight, either displaying a soft blue hue or transitioning between colors, like the world’s calmest rave.

As a diffuser, it’s superpowered, filling a room with the essential oil of your choice, even if it’s running solidly for 12 hours straight. As a humidifier, it’s best for smaller bedrooms because unless you’re sleeping right next to it, you won’t notice much of a difference in the air.

My one caution about the FridaBaby model is its durability: After two weeks of use, my first one simply stopped working. Thankfully, customer service was quick to replace it, and after several months of use, the new one is functioning just fine. It may have been a fluke, but it made me question how well it'd run long-term.

$48 at Amazon

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