Can oil diffusers really boost your mood? Here's what to know before you shop

Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored
Updated Mon October 29, 2018

Story highlights

  • Studies suggest that some essential oils are major mood boosters
  • Amazon sells a variety of oil diffusers for under $30

The aroma of essential oils can make your home a more inviting place. They're also thought to be major mood boosters -- and some of this is actually backed up by science. A 2013 survey of studies on lavender, for instance, suggests that that essential oil can have soothing properties and can help relieve anxiety. And it's said that a variety of other scents, ranging from sweet orange to peppermint, can help you feel more relaxed and reduce stress.

While aromatherapy isn't for everyone, there is preliminary research that backs its benefits. And whether or not the scents actually boost your mood, they do smell seriously delicious.

There are several ways you can use essential oils, but one of the most popular is with an oil diffuser, which will disperse your essential oil of choice throughout the room. All it takes is a few drops of oil, plus some water.

In terms of choosing which essential oils to purchase, lavender is known for stress relief. Some other popular scents that are reported (not necessarily with scientific support) to have the same sort of mood-boosting capabilities include peppermint, sweet orange, chamomile and cedarwood.

Of course oils are just half of the equation. The other half is the diffuser itself. There are plenty of options that range in size, functionality and overall look. The bare minimum is that these diffusers spread your desired scent around a room. But some options include additional bells and whistles like customizable LED lights, eco-friendly materials or an automatic timer that shuts the diffuser off. Options that have all those features include the Amazon best-seller Urpower Essential Oil Diffuser ($15.99; amazon.com), which has over 21,000 5-star reviews. Other popular options under $30 include VicTsing's Cool Mist Diffuser ($27.99; amazon.com), Urpower Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser ($29.99; amazon.com) and Asakuki's Premium Oil Diffuser ($25.99; amazon.com). What's great about them, aside from their stellar reviews and customer ratings, is that they can also serve as humidifiers for the colder seasons, when your home is probably craving that extra moisture, and feature fun lighting options that can help set the mood while you relax.

Combine the lighting, fresh fragrances and stress-relief effects, and you have a recipe for some positively good vibes.

Note: The prices above reflect the retailer's listed price at the time of publication.