I’m often asked what type of essential oil diffuser is best.
People are curious about why glass diffusers are better than plastic.
And they want to know which is the best waterless essential oil diffuser.
That’s why today I’ll be reviewing aromatherapy diffusers that don’t use water.
Let me tell you about the different kinds now.
- What Is a Waterless Diffuser?
- Nebulizing Diffusers
- Evaporative Diffusers
- Heated Diffusers
- Safety While Diffusing Essential Oils
- Nebulizing or Atomizing Diffusers
- Recipe to Welcome the Day
- Opulence – Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser by Organic Aromas
- Aromatherapy Diffuser – Wood and Glass Nebulizer by Aromis
- Two Scents Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser
- UONE Aroma Essential Oil Nebulizing Diffuser
- PtahTex Big Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser
- DIFFUSER WORLD Aroma-Ace Essential Oil Atomizing Diffuser
- GuruNanda World’s First Waterless Plug-in – Natural Mist – Essential Oil Diffuser
- Kevinleo Aroma Oil Diffuser Scent Air Machine
- Evaporative Diffusers
- Edens Garden Charcoal Ceramic Bloom Diffuser
- AromaAllure Waterless Portable Mini Oil Diffuser for Car, Office and Closet
- Portable SpaRoom Diffuser for Essential Oils
- 2PCS RoyAroma Essential Oil Diffuser Stainless Steel Locket with Vent Clip + 12 Felt Pads
- Plant Therapy Tree of Life Aromatherapy Diffuser Locket (Gold or Silver)
- DYWISHKEY Wood Rattan Reed Sticks, Reed Diffuser Sticks (50 Pcs)
- SpaRoom Mini Forestations Wooden Reed Diffuser
- 10 Sun Pendant Style Terra Cotta Aroma Diffusers
- Oil Warmers
What Is a Waterless Diffuser?
I’ll begin by telling you what a waterless diffuser isn’t. It isn’t an ultrasonic humidifier.
Ultrasonic diffusers that produce cool mist from a water tank are inexpensive and popular.
But there are two cons.
First, they add moisture to the air. That’s not always desirable if you live in an area with high humidity.
Second, most of what they diffuse is water vapor. The aroma of the essential oil isn’t very concentrated.
For therapeutic benefits, I recommend a waterless diffuser. You’ll reap the benefits of inhaling pure essential oils.
The best-known kind of waterless diffuser is a nebulizer. It atomizes the essential oil and disperses the tiny particles into the air.
Generally, it has a glass reservoir. That’s because glass doesn’t interact with the essential oils. The oils won’t break down the glass like they do with plastic.
You’ll need to clean the reservoir with alcohol. Thick oils like sandalwood might clog some types of nebulizers unless you thin them first.
Evaporative diffusers come in different styles.
You’re probably familiar with reed diffusers: a narrow-necked glass bottle with sticks poking up out of it.
There are clip-ons for your car vents or visors and jewelry lockets with felt pads inside.
Or you might see terra-cotta or sandstone evaporative diffusers.
Also, some use fans and a felt pad to disperse the aroma.
You’ve seen candle warmers. There are also electric or candle-powered essential oil heat diffusers.
I’m less keen on heated diffusers because they could alter the chemistry of the essential oil.
But generally speaking, they merely warm the oil, not cook it.
As you can see, there are several types of waterless diffusers to choose from as you shop.
You may decide to purchase more than one as each type may serve a different purpose.
Safety While Diffusing Essential Oils
You’re aware that essential oils are very concentrated. It’s best to diffuse them where you have good ventilation.
Even if you stop being able to sense the aroma, you’re still inhaling the particles. This is a phenomenon called olfactory fatigue.
Waterless diffusers emit concentrated essential oil vapor. Limit your aromatherapy sessions to 15 minutes when you’re in close proximity to the diffuser. Otherwise, don’t run the diffuser for more than an hour at a time. Then take a break for an hour before you resumed (1).
If you have pets, make sure they can leave the area where you’re using the diffuser.
And please don’t diffuse oils for prolonged periods in the presence of small children. Be cautious about which oils you choose to use.
Now let’s talk about the different types of diffusers you can enjoy in your home, car, office, and more.
Nebulizing or Atomizing Diffusers
Nebulizers, also called atomizing diffusers, are worth the investment if you’re serious about aromatherapy.
These are my favorite types of diffuser as they emit pure essential oil as a fine mist.
Feel free to diffuse single oils or blends. Just follow the directions for how many drops the manufacturer recommends.
Organic Aromas Nebulizing Pure Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser
This attractive nebulizer has a touch sensor light switch. But you don’t need to turn on the rainbow-colored mood light to use the diffuser.
Unlike some, this model is very quiet. You have to get up close to hear it humming.
Once you turn it on, it diffuses for 2 minutes, then turns off for 1 minute. It continues in this fashion for 2 hours, then shuts down automatically.
It’s built with a glass reservoir mounted on a plantation hardwood base. The base is painted with water-based lacquer that doesn’t off-gas chemicals.
The manufacturer offers a satisfaction guarantee and a one-year free parts and service warranty.
Try out the diffuser with this aromatic recipe.
Recipe to Welcome the Day
Set the tone first thing in the morning with this blend of oils. Diffuse it for 15 minutes before you go to work.
- 3 drops peppermint
- 3 drops orange
You may also enjoy a variation on this theme. Try 3 drops each of lemon and spearmint instead.
Opulence – Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser by Organic Aromas
Here’s another option from Organic Aromas. You can choose from a variety of beautiful bases and different shades of glass. Each one stands about 9 inches tall.
The company offers a satisfaction guarantee and a 1-year free parts and service warranty.
They recommend using thin essential oils only and avoiding carrier oils and thick oils like those made from tree resin.
Aromatherapy Diffuser – Wood and Glass Nebulizer by Aromis
Here’s a nebulizing diffuser with a hand-blown glass reservoir. It’s available with a variety of different wooden bases to match your décor.
Depending on how you dial up the intensity, it can fill a space up to 30 ft.²
There is a timer that lets it run for 10 minutes on, then 10 minutes off. After 4 hours, it will shut down.
Two Scents Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser
This nebulizing diffuser can fragrance large rooms in just a few minutes. It’s recommended for rooms up to 850 ft.².
In case you’re wondering how a waterless diffuser like this one works, you’ll need to think about a fish tank. If you’ve ever had an air stone in your aquarium, then you’ve had a pump similar to what’s inside the base of the diffuser.
The pump forces the essential oil to atomize by hitting it with a powerful stream of air. The shape of the reservoir aids in this process.
The blown-glass reservoir concentrates the vapor so that it emerges as a fine mist. It’s illuminated by a customizable LED light.
For the base, choose from light or dark-colored hardwood or a ceramic base. The wooden ones are painted with a water-based lacquer.
The manufacturer offers a one-year warranty. In the package, you’ll get an adapter and cord, a manual, and 2 reusable droppers.
UONE Aroma Essential Oil Nebulizing Diffuser
This attractive nebulizer uses 15 to 20 drops of essential oil at a time. The conical reservoir is hand-blown glass illuminated by color-changing lights.
If you set the timer, it runs quietly for 2 minutes on, then rests for a minute. After 2 hours, it shuts off automatically.
The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 2-year factory warranty.
PtahTex Big Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser
Let’s switch gears and look at a different kind of nebulizing diffuser. There’s no glass reservoir here.
The modern design is comprised of a durable aluminum alloy with a golden sheen. You’d never know that this is a diffuser.
It runs on a rechargeable battery and has three modes of operation. Just 10mL of essential oil should last for about 100 hours of aromatherapy.
The first mode is 20 minutes of continuous diffusion. The second is 1 minute on, then 2 minutes off. And the third is 1 minute on, followed by 4 minutes off. The last two modes feature automatic shut off after 4 hours.
The manufacturer offers a 1-year limited warranty.
DIFFUSER WORLD Aroma-Ace Essential Oil Atomizing Diffuser
Have you ever used a nebulizer for medication? That’s what this diffuser looks like.
Although the design isn’t Zen-like, that’s okay as it’s all business. It’s made for the therapeutic application of essential oils. As such, it would be ideal for either a spa setting or home use.
This model can cover up to 1500 ft.².
The design allows you to screw-on a new bottle of essential oil into the atomizer. There’s no need to fiddle with pipettes or droppers to fill the reservoir.
It’s made in the USA, and it comes with a 5-year manufacturer warranty.
GuruNanda World’s First Waterless Plug-in – Natural Mist – Essential Oil Diffuser
Don’t bother with the Glade plug-ins when you can enjoy pure essential oils instead.
This plug-in is straightforward to use and runs off a USB outlet or the included AC adapter.
All you need to do is mount your favorite essential oil or blend by screwing on the bottle. Then press the button to turn on the diffuser.
Kevinleo Aroma Oil Diffuser Scent Air Machine
How about a waterless diffuser that can run for 2 years at a time?
This model comes with a remote control that allows you to adjust how often it works and for how long. You can also choose how much essential oil to use.
When the oil runs out, it’s simple to refill.
Save electricity and batteries by using an evaporative diffuser instead.
This type of diffuser won’t fragrance a very large area. They’re best for vehicles, bathrooms, closets, and other small spaces.
Edens Garden Charcoal Ceramic Bloom Diffuser
This cute little diffuser slowly wicks pure essential oil up from the stoneware base. It evaporates into the air over time.
You’ll need to use a minimum of 5 mL of oil each time you refill it.
Edens Garden says it can spread the aroma up to 500 ft.².
They offer a variety of different colors to suit your preference.
AromaAllure Waterless Portable Mini Oil Diffuser for Car, Office and Closet
This miniature diffuser is perfect for your desktop or your cup holder in the car. It runs on either AAA batteries, or you can plug it in the included USB cable.
It’s a fan diffuser that’s very quiet and has a discreet light when it’s running. Although the little fan is running at 2000 RPM, the manufacturer says the noise level is under 15 dB.
It comes with 3 microfiber pads that you can saturate with essential oil.
Portable SpaRoom Diffuser for Essential Oils
Here’s another battery-powered personal diffuser with a small fan inside. It requires 2 AA batteries or a USB connection.
Users say that it’s good enough for small rooms. The aroma on the pads can last up to 3 or 4 days.
2PCS RoyAroma Essential Oil Diffuser Stainless Steel Locket with Vent Clip + 12 Felt Pads
Put a few drops of oil on the felt pad, then insert the pad in the locket. The locket clips onto your visor or your air vent to perfume your car.
Replacement felt pads are inexpensive and easy to find online.
The package includes two lockets with either a sunflower or tree of life design.
Plant Therapy Tree of Life Aromatherapy Diffuser Locket (Gold or Silver)
Skip the perfume and wear this locket instead.
Essential oil manufacture Plant Therapy offers this personal solution that you can wear like jewelry. It’s available in either gold or silver.
The locket is made of surgical-grade stainless steel to avoid irritating the skin. It comes with a 23-inch adjustable stainless steel chain.
In the package are 5 felt pads. Just add 1 drop of your favorite essential oil to start enjoying the aroma.
DYWISHKEY Wood Rattan Reed Sticks, Reed Diffuser Sticks (50 Pcs)
I was going to include one of the many reed diffuser kits for sale. But they usually include a customized fragrance oil. That oil is not the same as using pure essential oil, and in some cases, may contain unhealthy ingredients.
I’d recommend purchasing these rattan sticks instead. Then you can clean an old glass diffuser or recycle a vase to make your own waterless diffuser.
The trick is to flip the sticks over every few days to renew the aroma.
They are absorbent and pre-treated to prevent mold and mildew growth.
SpaRoom Mini Forestations Wooden Reed Diffuser
For a more permanent and eye-catching solution, check out this wooden diffuser. It’s available in leaf or tree shapes.
Inside the wooden cup base is a frosted glass bottle that holds the essential oil.
Once filled with 20mL of oil, it should last for a month before needing a refill.
10 Sun Pendant Style Terra Cotta Aroma Diffusers
You could hang simple terra-cotta pendants like these in your closets or around the house. Choose from designs imprinted with the sun, leaves, or lotus flowers.
Handmade terra-cotta diffusers absorb the essential oil. They work best if you allow them to warm up in sunlight.
The final category is oil warmers. These range from ones that use candles to those that plug into the wall or mount on a lamp.
Singeek 100ML Ceramic Tea Light Holder
Here is a ceramic bowl suspended on a bamboo base. You can pour a few drops of essential oil into the bowl and put a tea light candle underneath.
If you add water to the bowl along with the oil, the aroma lasts longer. (Of course, then it’s no longer a waterless diffuser!)
As a massage therapist, I’ve used a set up like this to warm massage oil, too.
CANDLE WARMERS ETC Pluggable Fragrance Warmer
This pluggable oil warmer runs off electricity like a commercial plug-in. It has an incandescent bulb that heats the oil and serves as a nightlight.
Instead of essential oil, you can also melt scented wax in the clear glass dish.
I hope you discovered one or more waterless diffusers to try today.
They allow you the pleasure of enjoying undiluted, pure essential oils. It’s a therapeutic experience unlike any other.
Let me know in the comments below where you’ll be using your new diffuser.
1. https://tisserandinstitute.org/safety/safety-guidelines/ accessed October 10, 2019