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Cars are like magnets for bad smells. If you’ve ever been in a car after a wet dog sat on the backseat you’ll be able to smell that musty scent for a long time afterwards. It’s also easy to guess what the driver last ate in the car, as those burger smells just ain’t going away, even if he or she left the windows open. A car is essentially a small metal box with smell-absorbing materials such as plastic and fabric, so it’s always a bit baffling why people choose to mask nasty old smells with chemical air fresheners.
Enclosed spaces provide the perfect opportunity for pleasant smelling products, and there is no better way to make your car smell better than to use natural essential oils. Essential oils are best used with an aromatherapy car diffuser. Not only are these products specifically designed for this purpose, but they look great in your car too – which means no more stinky magic trees hanging from your mirror! There are hundreds of car essential oil diffusers on the market, and not all products are created equal. So, we’ve taken on the task to find the very best products for your car and present them to you with the best features highlighted.
Here are our best car essential oil diffusers:
The Best Car Essential Oil Diffuser
This car diffuser has been designed with the perfect shape in mind. The handy vehicle cup holder design means that it’s simple to keep in place while you’re on the move. The car essential oil diffuser works with a USB connection so you simply plug it into your car to create beautiful scents in your vehicle and maintain a super fresh environment, free of moisture and odors. Unlike essential oil diffusers that are designed for the home, this particular model has the mist modes and switch buttons on the top so it’s easy to operate while driving. There are two modes on the diffuser: continuous and intermittent. This is a BPA-free product, which means that it does not contain bisphenol A – a harmful chemical that is often used in plastics. It also has a nice safety feature: the intelligent automatic off switch, which means that the machine won’t keep working “dry” when the liquid runs out. There are seven color-changing LED lights that can relieve fatigue driving or can be switched off if they are a distraction.
Handy Vehicle Cup Holder Design
Intelligent Off Feature
7 x Color Changing LED Lights
- Model UD50
- Weight 4 ounces
Handy Compact Design
12 Month Warranty
Easy To Use
Several Mist Modes
Car Adapter Cable Not Included
With this product, you’re going to add a delicious fragrance to the inside of your car and clean the air too. This portable humidifier is perfect for enclosed spaces and utilizes ultrasonic technology so your car oil diffuser will never get clogged. This product promises to improve the air quality of your car, and it does this by breaking water and oil into fine micro-particles and gently releasing them into the space where it’s plugged in. There is an automatic shut-off feature to stop the diffuser once it’s dry, and it’s easy to use in your car. We also like that this product has seven mood lights that can be used while driving – they’re super subtle too.
Car Humidifier & Essential Oil Diffuser
Different Mist Settings
- Brand YJY
- ModelCar humidifier GT_Black
- Weight5.6 ounces
Very Subtle Lighting Options
Fits Into Vehicle Cup Holder
Car Adapter Not Included
Like any good-quality aromatherapy car diffuser, this product has multiple features that are specially designed to improve the air quality of your car and release natural scents into the space. Not only does this product freshen and clean the air of your car but it also adds more humidity into the environment, which can help increase energy levels while you drive. These clever little diffusers work by producing very small water droplets and oxygen ions into the air, so all you need to do is add your chosen essential oil and you will get a subtle scent too. This essential oil diffuser has dual USB charging ports and is compact in style, perfect for fitting into your car. This is a quiet diffuser too, so you won’t get any distracting sounds that affect your driving.
Dual USB Charging Ports
Ultra Compact Design
Humidifier Mode & Diffuser Mode
- Brand Vyaime
- ModelCar plastic diffuser 2nd_Black
- Weight6.4 ounces
Can Plug Directly Into Cigarette Holder
Takes Up Hardly Any Space
No Mood Lighting
Small – Two Hour Run Time Before It Needs Refilling
Here’s another fantastic, multifunctional product that has been specially designed for car use. This 3-in-1 diffuser enables you to fill your environment with your favorite essential oils, and it certainly won’t get in the way as it has a special ‘cup’ design that fits into your vehicle cup holder. What many people don’t realize is that cars can become quiet dry and dry air has a terrible effect on skin, lungs and eyes. This car oil diffuser works as a humidifier as well as a diffuser and features an intelligent ‘off’ switch so it will automatically turn itself off when the water runs below the low-water line. This product comes with two USB charging ports and one car charger socket so it performs its third job as a charging port in your vehicle.
3-in-1 Car Humidifier, Diffuser & Charging Port
Compact Cup Design
- Weight 5.3 ounces
Available in Two Colours
No Mood Lighting
If you’re looking for the best essential oil diffusers but find the plug-in varieties too overwhelming, then the Roy Aroma Vent Clip Lockets provide an excellent and very cute alternative! In this package you get two lockets with two different designs: a sunflower and tree of life. The pack comes with 12 different colored pads that act like little sponges to absorb your favorite essential oils. To relieve stress and keep alert while driving, choose a relevant oil for the pads, add a few drops, place them into the lockets and then simply clip onto your air-conditioning vents. What we like about these little lockets is that they’re great for the home and office too.
Unique Essential Oil Lockets
12 x Felt Pads Included
- Weight2.4 ounces
Great Gift Idea
Two Designs Included
Easy To Use
Pads Need Replacing
Doesn’t Purify Air Like Diffuser
This has got to be one of the most stylish products on our list. This Vyaime Car Essential Oil Diffuser boasts a super sleek design that will enhance the look, feel and smell of any vehicle! Not only stylish but practical too, this diffuser has been designed to comfortably sit in your vehicle cup holder. This portable car diffuser is USB powered, making it versatile enough to use in your car, home and office. There are several modes: continuous, intermittent and with or without light. The lights change color, but they’re super subtle so they won’t distract you when you have your eyes on the road.
Compact Car Diffuser
Color Changing LEDs
Several Mist Settings
- Brand Vyaime
- ModelKQ Car Humidifier GreyB
- Weight8.8 ounces
Long Run Time
No USB Adapter Included
These cute little vent clips make a good alternative to traditional aromatherapy car diffusers. Air travels through the small holes located at the back of the diffuser and pushes through your chosen essential oil, making your car smell fresh and natural. All you need to do is clip them onto your air conditioning air vents and let them do their work. What we love is that you can actually control the rate in which the scent is dispensed by simply turning a dial on the diffuser’s cap – a very cool feature indeed.
Fully Customizable Car Air Vent Freshener
Includes x 4 Unscented Sponge Sticks
100% Money Back Guarantee
- Weight5.6 ounces
Small & Versatile
Control Rate Of Scent Dispensing
Sponges Need Replacing
Doesn’t Purify Air
Now here’s a clever little gadget. This tiny portable diffuser looks and feels very different from the rest of the products on our list. We simply had to include this one because not only is it absolutely adorable, but it’s also functional as a diffuser too. The way in which this car oil diffuser works is super smart because it doesn’t require water. All you need to do is remove the cover and add one or two drops of your desired essential oil onto the pad, replace the cover and then switch on. This diffuser runs with USB or battery and the interior fan is super quiet.
Stylish Wood Effect Diffuser
No Water Required
Quiet Run Time
USB Cable Included
- Weight1.76 ounces
Can Be Used Anywhere
Not Real Wood – Plastic
This is one of those products that you’ll either love or hate – but we love it! The cute acorn design will appeal to those of you who are looking for a unique essential oil car diffuser that won’t take up too much space in your car yet will hold your chosen oils. The unusual acorn design is made from natural wood materials and can be hung on your mirror for a gentle hint of scent. This can be used to simply decorate your car or as a diffuser. It’s easy to use too: just fill the interior bottle with your favorite oils or scent and then replace the stopper.
Cute Acorn Design
Natural Wood Materials
- Weight1.6 ounces
Nice Gift Idea
This car humidifier and essential oil diffuser is super durable and easy to use. What makes this particular car oil diffuser unique is that you can swivel it in any direction to aim the scent! The extra moisture in the air will give you immediate benefits such as brighter eyes and less fatigue. You can adapt this product to your needs and add in any oil that you favor. This will instantly transform your drive, giving you more energy or making you feel calmer after a long day at work. Choose the right essential oil to suit your mood.
Humidifier & Essential Oil Diffuser
Two Hour Automatic Power Off Feature
- Weight 3.2 ounces
Special Rotating Design
Not everyone wants an essential oil car diffuser that requires water. Although they’re safe, many people find adding the water a hassle. This essential oil diffuser is different because it doesn’t in fact, require any water to operate. This car diffuser also requires no heat, it just simply takes the essential oil in its purest form and releases the scent gently. This retains the essential oil’s integrity and creates a stronger scent that lasts longer. The diffuser works on a timer and you can fully adjust the settings to suit the frequency of the oil release. This is a small product too so it’s really versatile and can be used for the home, in cars and whilst travelling.
Waterless Car Essential Oil Diffuser
- Weight13.6 ounces
Requires No Water
Can Only Release Small Amounts Of Scent
This essential oil diffuser can take 100ml of liquid, making this one of the largest capacities on our list. There are seven color options and you can change the settings so it can stay on a specific color or change colors. This is a multifunctional product that can be used as an essential oil diffuser or a humidifier and because it works with USB ports it’s versatile enough to be used anywhere.
USB Powered Essential Oil Diffuser
7 x Color Options
- Weight6.4 ounces
Versatile – Can Be Used Anywhere
Quite Large For Some Cars
If you take a good look at this design you’ll instantly see why we had to add it to our list. This is one of the most stylish car essential oil diffusers and we just love the wood effect combined with the color-changing body. Not only does this product look great but it also works hard to remove unwanted odors and promises to leave behind a pleasant smell that lingers for a long time. Much like the others, this diffuser works by using silent ultrasound vibrations to create a mist in the space where it occupies. This product works as an essential oil diffuser and humidifier, adding moisture to the air for health benefits. The mist is cool so this is a safe item to use around children and animals. The color sequences can be adjusted to stay on one chosen color or cycle through the color spectrum.
Wood Effect Design
Fits Into Vehicle Cup Holder
Humidifier & Essential Oil Diffuser
- Weight4.2 ounces
Stylish Wood Effect Design
Space Saving Shape
Several Mist Settings
Quite Large For Some Cars
USB Adapter Not Included
We absolutely love this travel size essential oil diffuser as it is perfect for travel. It has been made to fit your vehicle’s cup holder and features a unique design that prevents the diffuser from tipping while your vehicle is in motion. The product can hold 60ml of liquid too so you’ll get lots of run time – approximately 2-4 hours on constant stream or 5 hours on intermittent mode. This is a sturdy little product, so if you’re looking for a car essential oil diffuser that’s going to last, then this is it.
Travel Size Essential Oil Diffuser
Special Non-Spilling Design
Includes Car Charger & Home Adapter
- Weight14.4 ounces
Silent LiteMist System
No Mood Colors
Best Car Essential Oil Diffuser Buying Guide
There are lots of different types of diffuser and it can be difficult to know which are the best car essential oil diffusers to buy. Below, we have written a guide giving you tips on what to look for when buying a new car diffuser. We’ll also tell you how to safely use essential oils and answer your most commonly asked questions.
What to Look for In a Car Essential Oil Diffuser
There are several things that make a good car essential oil diffuser. This is what we believe are the most important features:
No doubt the most important feature. If you are planning to use the essential oil diffuser inside your car then you are going to have to find a product that is portable and designed to be used in cars. No use buying a traditional oil diffuser that has a standard plug connection. Look for portable diffusers that use a USB connection. These are easy to use in cars and are versatile to be used in the home and office too.
Opt for a BPA-free diffuser. This means that the materials used in the design are less toxic and safe for family use. If you are planning to use this in a car then the last thing you want to be doing is pumping chemicals into the space. Look for safety features such as an automatic shut-off too which turns the machine off when the liquid reaches below the low-water level.
The larger capacity the more time you will get before you have to refill the diffuser. But look out for the measurements on the larger capacity products to make sure they will fit comfortably in your vehicle cup holder.
Not only should your oil diffuser perform well, but it should look good too. There are lots of nice sleek designs out there to choose from. From a practical perspective it’s good to opt for a design that will fit into your vehicle cup holder.
Some car oil diffusers feature lights and many provide a button which can make the colors change. This can be a really nice feature in your car if the effect is subtle. Otherwise it can be a distraction. So, as a general rule, the brighter the lights are, the more suitable they are for your home and not your car.
- Ease of Use
There’s no point in buying an oil diffuser if it impossible to use, or worse still...fiddly. Look for diffusers with simple buttons on the top so that they are easy to use whilst driving.
Don’t buy the cheapest on the market, whatever you do! Always go for the mid/top range products that offer value for money and a robust design.
Why You Should Use a Car Diffuser
There are many reasons why you should use a car diffuser. Firstly, standard air fresheners are full of chemicals and often make bad smells in your car smell worse. Using a car essential oil diffuser means that you can add your favorite scents and fill your car with natural smells. Essential oils have medicinal benefits too. To wake you up in the morning you could add orange oil drops mixed with grapefruit and if you need to wind down after work, why not try lavender? Be careful though as essential oils are strong and lavender can make you sleepy!
Using an oil diffuser also improves the air quality. By adding moisture into the air you can prevent dry skin and eyes and prevent a cough.
How To Use Essential Oils
Aromatherapy has been around for a very long time and it is no longer seen as a “hippy” thing to do. More and more people are coming around to the idea of essential oils and using products which are natural and organic. We’re all a bit over chemical products. The power of essential oils should not be underestimated. If you’ve ever smelled orange oil or peppermint oil when you’ve felt tired then you’ll know how it can instantly make you feel awake. On the contrary, lavender can really relax people and help with stress and anxiety.
There are many different ways to use essential oils. Traditionally they have been used for massaging and are always mixed with a carrier oil such as almond oil. However, when you use essential oils in oil diffusers you must only need to add a few drops to water - unless you have a waterless diffuser.
Do your research first and find out what are the best types of oils for your needs. Are you looking for something to give you more energy? Perhaps you need something to help you feel calm? Find out what the oils do before you add them to your diffuser and only ever use a few drops at once.
Best Car Essential Oil Diffuser FAQ:
Q: How long does an essential oil car diffuser last?
A: The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors. Firstly, how much does the diffuser cost? If it is a bargain basement product then it’s not going to last very long. Buy the best quality you can afford and look for a product with a warranty. If you take care of your diffuser and make sure you don’t clog it with cheap oils, you should have it for a good while.
Q: How can I make my car diffuser last longer?
A: There are a few things that you will need to do to make sure you give your diffuser the longest life. Firstly, only use essential oils and don’t even think about using cheap fake oils or even worse...perfume. Never fill water over the water mark and clean them around once every couple of months. To do this, fill your diffuser halfway with clean water, add ten drops of white vinegar, allow the product to run for about five minutes and then drain, use a cotton swab dipped in vinegar to clean any oily bits and then rinse thoroughly.
Q: How long do essential oils last in aromatherapy car diffuser?
A: This is entirely dependant on the product - usually a few hours until the water has run out but this depends on your diffuser’s capacity.
Q: Do I have to use distilled water in car essential oil diffusers?
A: Nope. You don’t have to use distilled water. Room temperature tap water is just fine. However, distilled water will prolong the life of your diffuser - so, your choice!
Our Top Pick
Our favorite car oil diffuser on the list was the InnoGear USB Car Essential Oil Air Freshener Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser. We liked that it was designed with a perfect shape that can fit into the vehicle cup holder perfectly. This means that it’s super safe to use whilst driving your car and you shouldn’t be able to knock it over, unless you’re particularly clumsy! This works with a USB connection so it’s versatile and can be used anywhere if you have a USB adapter. We liked that this model has easy-to-use buttons on the top so it was easy to use whilst driving. It has an auto-off feature to prevent it from working ‘dry’ and seven color changing LEDs which can help keep you alert whilst driving.