Making our homes a sanctuary has never been more important than it is now, and it all comes down to creating the right environment.

One of the keys to this is the scent that fills the air – you can’t see it, but it will have a profound impact on how you feel in your space.

Air fresheners can smell pleasant, but they can also contain harmful chemicals that really should not be entering our bodies. Thankfully, electric diffusers produce a similar result in that they fragrance a room, but without the harsh ingredients. Add essential oils and you not only get beautifully scented air but also the holistic benefits of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plant extracts, such as the flowers, leaves, bark and berries, to enhance the health of the body, mind and soul, says Jenya Di Pierro, a naturopath and herbalist who is the founder of Cloud Twelve.

“Aromatherapy is particularly balancing because when molecules from the essential oils reach the brain, they affect our limbic system (the part of our brain that deals with key complex concepts such as emotion, behaviour, motivation and memory),” she adds.

Improved sleep, boosted immunity, and reduced stress and anxiety are among the benefits and different oils have different properties, so they can be selected depending on what is needed at the time. Di Pierro explains:

“For example, most people know about the calming effects of lavender, used to enhance relaxation and sleep. Other great examples are lemon balm, which can help to relieve stress, enhance the production of endorphins and lift anxiety, and marigold helps to support the skin by improving the action of sebaceous glands, reducing damage caused by free radicals, healing lesions and calming inflammation of the skin. The best of aromatherapy is combining different oils to increase the array of benefits and really target symptoms holistically to ensure the best results.”

As well as filling your space with delightful aromas, essential oil diffusers have evolved considerably in recent years and most can now be considered design pieces in their own right. We tried out two types – ultrasonic and cartridge.

The latter work using a refill that is slotted in, while ultrasonic models simply require the addition of water and a few drops of your favourite essential oil. Either way, they will deliver a splendid aroma that will boost your mood and wellbeing.  

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HoMedics ellia gather ultrasonic essential oil diffuser

This beautiful diffuser may be for the home, but we would say it is salon-grade quality. The natural colours and enchanting ceramic and wood design would look great in any decor scheme and the remote control means one can operate it without moving a muscle.

As well as filling the room with a subtle yet noticeable aroma for up to 10 hours to uplift and soothe when we tested it with lemon myrtle essential oil, the gather plays a choice of spa-esque music tracks and gives off a colour-changing glow for maximum tranquillity even in the face of life’s daily chaos.

The verdict: Aromatherapy diffusers

The natural design and outstanding features of the HoMedics ellia gather, as well as its ability to fill a room with a beautiful scent make it our highest-rated diffuser. We also loved the simplicity and elegance of the Aromatherapy Associates home diffuser so feel it deserves a mention among our top picks, as does the Dimplex electronic aroma diffuser for allowing us to wake up to the soothing effects of aromatherapy every day.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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