There are tons of different types of diffusers in the market, which is why it can be tough — and confusing at times — to know the recommended amount of time that you should use them once filled with water and essential oils. Some diffusers are built to give over 20-hour cycles, while others can only offer one or two hours. But that leaves us wondering; how long should we diffuse essential oils? 


There are some rules of thumb as a general guideline, but as long as you have an idea of the space you’re working with, as well as the amount of oil to use, you can choose what’s best for you and your family. 


The General Rule of Thumb

The main idea behind using a diffuser is to fill a room with scent particles without overwhelming the space. You need to make sure that there’s enough vapor in the air for you to experience the benefits of the oil you’re using.


On average, it is recommended that diffusing essential oils only last for 20 minutes at a time if you’re in a small to medium size room. If you’re trying to fill a larger space with your diffuser, you can let it run for longer — until you can notice the scent of the essential oils has traveled throughout the area. 


Following The Instructions

If you find that diffusing oils with your diffuser is going to take longer than 20 minutes, then it’s best to take a look at the included instructions. Some diffusers that are designated to work for more extended periods might diffuse essential oils slower. This is to ensure that you won’t wind up using too much oil for a single room. 


On the other hand, those that have shorter cycles might focus on putting out a lot of vapor within an hour, filling your room faster than expected. 


It’s also vital to take a look at your user manual or instructions to determine how much essential oil is recommended for a single cycle. Considering it’s impossible to know how your diffuser is designed to work without the instructions, it wouldn’t be best to put ten drops of oil in a unit that immediately expels a lot of vapor into the air, since the smell will be too overwhelming. 


One thing we have learned for sure is that the smaller the room, the less essential oil you should use, and typically, you’ll have to run your diffuser for less time. On the contrary, larger rooms are going to need a longer cycle. And for the highest possible scent level, it’s recommended that you use more than one diffuser around your home. 


While essential oils aren’t without risk, one study concluded that exposure for 1 hour was found to be an effective method of relaxation. However, it also found that exposure for longer than 1 hour may be harmful to cardiovascular health. Therefore, like with everything else in life, moderation is key to having a happy home with diffusers.