Diffuser vs. Candles: Which One is Best?

In the diffuser vs. candle match up, which aromatherapy method comes out on top? Do diffuser benefits outweigh candle benefits

In our diffuser vs. candle showdown, we compare and contrast the diffuser and the candle and provide a comprehensive overview of the known benefits of both. 

Let the showdown begin. 

What Are the Benefits of a Diffuser?

Diffuser benefits, specifically benefits derived from essential oil diffusion, are wide-ranging and include relief from anxiety, improved sleep quality, air purification, and more. 

Relief from Stress and Anxiety

Lavender essential oil diffusion has been connected with a reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression among postpartum women according to the Iranian Journal of Nursery and Midwifery Research. In addition, lavender essential oil has been associated with a calming effect in anxiety disorder sufferers with no known side effects. 

Rose, vetiver, ylang ylang, bergamot, and chamomile are the most popular essential oil alternatives to lavender essential oil that provide stress and anxiety relief through aromatherapy. Diffusing any one of the anxiety and stress reducing essential oils can provide unmatched relaxation. 

Improved Sleep 

Essential oil diffusion helps to improve sleep and insomnia.

1/3 of Americans struggle to attain the 7 hours of recommended sleep per night, which makes improved sleep one of the most coveted diffuser benefits. Diffusing essential oils as part of your nighttime routine or diffusing essential oils through the night can dramatically improve sleep quality. 

Lavender oil can be used as a treatment for mild insomnia, bergamot and sandalwood blends can improve sleep quality, and a blend of chamomile, lavender, and neroli improved sleep quality of patients in the ICU. 

Kills Mold and Bacteria

Essential oils are known to slow bacterial growth and, in certain cases, kill bacteria or viruses sitting on surfaces or lingering in the air. More specifically, oregano, thyme, lemon and lavender essential oils have been proven to contain antimicrobial properties. When diffused, these essential oils can create a healthy, thriving home environment.

Pest Repellant

Pesticides and insecticides, while used to terminate unwanted pests in your home, can release unhealthy pollution into your home air. Diffusing essential oils can ward off insects in your home. 

Catnip oil, lemongrass oil, eucalyptus oil, and peppermint oil have proven effective to deter mosquitoes from entering your home. A mixture of clove and lemongrass essential oils can repel the specific type of mosquito that carries the Zika virus. 

Improved Mental State

You can add improved cognitive function to your massive list of diffuser benefits, too! 

Diffusing rosemary and lavender essential oils has been linked to improved short term memory. Peppermint and spearmint essential oils were found to improve mental fatigue after difficult tasks, and frankincense improved memory function in male rats in a Journal of Natural Medicine study. 

What Are the Benefits of Candles?

Whew! That list of diffuser benefits is extensive. How could candle benefits stand a chance against the diffuser in our diffuser vs. candle showdown?

Candles have long been used to provide a light source in homes, to guide weary travelers through the night, and contribute ceremoniously to religious practices. Candles have been around for forever it seems, and for good reason.


A candle contributes ambiance to your home space.

Candles contribute an unmatched ambiance to your space. The flicker of a candle flame, especially in a low-lighted room or throughout your home, can provide a comforting atmosphere that reduces cortisol and calms the mind. 

Aromatherapy candles with pure essential oils can provide both a calming ambiance and a reduction in stress and anxiety as featured in our diffuser benefits section, above.

Improves Mood

A byproduct of the ambiance established from lighting a candle in your home is an improvement in mood. In addition, some candles are infused with scent blends that can trigger serotonin and dopamine production in the brain providing a full-body calm. 

Stimulates Memory

The limbic system, home to our memories and emotions, is closely connected to our olfactory system providing an explanation for why a certain scent can trigger a vivid memory. Candles, with the vast scents available on the market, can reach far into our memory bank and bring us to another place entirely. 

Which is Better: Diffuser or Candles?

The diffuser vs. candle battle is heating up… There are distinct diffuser benefits and distinct candle benefits that cannot be argued. So, which is better: the diffuser or the candle?  

The answer is not black and white. A diffuser may be the preferred aromatherapy method for an individual with a strict focus on essential oil benefits while a candle may be preferred by someone looking to add a decorative element to a room. 

The Advantages of Candles

  • Candles have a wider range of scent profiles with scents that may not fall into the essential oil category
  • Candles are more visually diverse and often designed for decor purposes
  • Candles provide an ambiance that may positively contribute to meditation, worship, or quiet time
  • A candle does not require electricity, just a match or a lighter
  • A candle is the cheaper option when comparing units side-by-side

The Advantages of Diffusers

  • Diffusers have air purification properties
  • Diffusers allow you to change scents as frequently as you please
  • Diffusers do not pose a fire hazard
  • You do not have to worry about additives or chemical byproducts from your diffuser
  • Diffusers are reusable with a long shelf life
  • While a candle is a cheaper, up-front cost, depending on frequency of use, a diffuser may be the cheaper option long term

Canopy Diffuser

Canopy Diffuser is next level essential oil diffusion.

Canopy Diffuser is a sleek alternative to traditional diffusers that provides both aromatherapy and decorative benefits. Canopy Diffuser is a no mist, no water diffuser that releases pure essential oils into your environment; no more watering down the benefits of essential oil diffusion. 

Canopy Diffuser offers two methods of diffusion: the Diffusion Puck provides short term diffusion while the Diffusion Well offers long term diffusion and is compatible with most essential oil bottles. 

Canopy Diffuser is the easiest, cleanest way to experience the power of aromatherapy.

Reading Next