Why It Might Be Time to Ditch Your Candles for Essential Oil Diffusers

Check out the health benefits and see which products we love.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from links included in this article.

June 16, 2018

While we love some candles, they’re not always practical. Most apartments and dorms don’t allow open flames. They can be dangerous if you have mischievous pets. Even candle burners, which remove the flame factor, can be risky since accidentally knocking into them can mean painful contact with hot wax and hard-to-clean messes. Plus, some candles contain harmful chemicals that, when burned, release toxins into the air. Yikes. If you love aromatherapy and filling your home with smell-good scents, breathe easy. There’s a healthier alternative that perfectly aligns with the slow living trend, which emphasizes wellness, that we're seeing in home design this year.

“Wellness is becoming an integrated part of our lives and is directly reflected in what we purchase for our interior spaces,” said HGTV Home Design Director Nancy Fire. “In my home, as well as my design studio, I use a doTERRA diffuser with essential oils.”

BUY IT: doTERRA, $93.33

Never heard of a diffuser? You’ve probably seen them online or in big box home stores. Diffusers plug into an outlet or USB port and puff out air. It’s kind of like a tiny humidifier, but you add an essential oil to the water to fill a room with a specific scent.

“Homeowners are ditching candles for essential oils for many reasons,” said Fire. “Many are cost-effective, safe around kids and pets, no nasty chemicals and you can control your fragrance output. Since diffusers do not require a flame, you can keep place them virtually anywhere.”

Fire mentioned that customization is a big draw, too. With a diffuser, you’re not locked into one scent until the candle is finished. You can change up scents depending on your needs. “We all know that at 3 p.m. we need that peppermint lift,” she said. “And before bedtime, my lavender oil is truly essential, no pun intended.”

If you want to switch to essential oils in your home, check out some of our favorite products.

Essential Essential Oils

If you’re starting your essential oil collection from scratch, it can be pricey. But Whole Foods sells natural and 100% organic essential oils through their 365 value line. You can find popular oils from lavender to tea tree in the whole body section, but, if there’s not a Whole Foods near you, you can order oils on Amazon.com, Whole Foods’ parent company. The eucalyptus oil is great to have on hand when you’ve got a cold.

High-Style Diffuser

Popping up in stores such as Anthropologie and Nordstrom, Vitruvi has caught the fashion world’s eye. The super chic porcelain diffuser comes in black and white stone and blends into the home while packing a lot of steam power.

Vitruvi’s essential oils have apothecary-style packaging that you won’t mind leaving out on the counter. The company’s essential oil blend collection features unique scents, such as Pacific and Dusk, that would make great gifts.

BUY IT: Amazon.com, $24

Aromatherapy on the Go

Traveling with essential oils is much easier than candles. There are many teeny, tiny diffusers on the market that plug into your laptop with a USB port, but if you don’t have room in your suitcase, leave the diffuser at home and toss in a couple of towelettes. Happy Spritz makes single-use towelettes in three custom, cheeky scents. “Good. Morning. Beautiful.” is a must for long-haul overnight flights.

Or you can wear aromatherapy around your neck. The diffuser necklace from Cor Pendant is a great way to boost your mood at the office with signature scents Calm, Focus and Energy. The necklace features a tiny wick infused with essential oil and comes in gold, silver or trendy rose gold.

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