People love filling their homes with fresh, pleasing scents, and two of the most popular ways to do this included lighting scented candles and diffusing essential oils in a special diffuser. If you’re curious about which method is best for you, you’re not alone. The truth is, both of these options can make your home smell warm and inviting, not to mention produce some great therapeutic benefits along the way. Nevertheless, there are some important differences between the two, so it’s good to know what those differences are before you make a final decision.

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Scented Candles vs Essential Oil Diffusers: Which One Is Best for You?

Scented Candles vs Essential Oil Diffusers

The first thing you’ll want to keep in mind is that if you’re using pure essential oils in your diffuser, it can get a little expensive, but this is because true essential oils have therapeutic benefits. Essential oil blends will produce less of an effect simply because they are blended, that is, diluted with some type of carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil or even vegetable oil. For example, if you use a lavender essential oil that is 100% pure, you’ll enjoy a very relaxing, meditative experience. You’ll still enjoy some benefits with a blend, but the effects won’t be as strong.

Why is this important? It makes a difference when you’re trying to decide between a diffuser and a scented candle. Few scented candles have true essential oil in them, which means that even though they may smell nice and have a touch of lavender in them, chances are good there isn’t enough of the oil in there to produce a truly therapeutic benefit. The more pure the essential oil is, the better the results, and it’s very rare to get this same effect from a scented candle.

Nevertheless, if a great scent is what you want most, choosing a scented candle will never let you down. If you merely want the room to smell good and you’re not all that concerned about experiencing therapeutic effects from those scents, you can save yourself some money and simply buy yourself some scented candles. Here is another way you can think about this:

  • Scents. Not all scents produce therapeutic benefits, such as the ability to relax, clear your head, or get rid of a headache. Many essential oils can do these things, so if you want to help your home smell good and enjoy these benefits, you should go ahead and choose an essential oil diffuser instead of a scented candle.
  • Longevity. Even though essential oils can be expensive, they do tend to last a very long time. Most often, you only need a few drops of the essential oil in your diffuser to do the trick, whereas a typical tealight candle may only last through several hours of burn time. While most tealights are inexpensive, you’ll be replacing them more often than you will the essential oils for your diffuser.
  • Safety. Both diffusers and candles can be safe, but since most diffusers will automatically turn off once they run out of water, they tend to be safer than candles. If you forget about a diffuser, it will shut off once it’s done its job. Not so with candles, which will continue to burn and can cause a fire.
  • Cost-effectiveness. In the end, there is likely little difference between the cost of scented candles and diffusers that use essential oils. Essential oils are costly yet last a long time; candles are less expensive but also won’t last as long as essential oils. Only you can decide which of these features is most important to you.

Which Is the best for You?

Scented candles are best for:

  1. People with limited budgets and who wish to have an initial cost that is relatively low.
  2. People who love switching their scents frequently, since scented candles usually come in small packages and allow you to buy more than one scent at a time without spending a lot of money.
  3. People who are not interested in a therapeutic or medicinal effect from their scents.

Related: The 7 Scented Candles You Will Definitely Love

Essential oil diffusers are best for:

  1. People who use aromas and scents to help relieve pain, for relaxation, or to repair certain skin problems, since essential oils such as lavender and others can help with all of these things and more.
  2. People who don’t mind spending more on pure essential oils in the beginning.
  3. People who prefer for the scent to last through numerous uses and not just one evening.

Related: How to Find the Best Essential Oil Diffuser for the Home

Since diffusers come in many different sizes, it’s very possible for your diffuser to run continuously throughout the day without having to refill it with water before the day is over. The bigger the diffuser, the more water it will hold and therefore the longer it will last. In other words, you can typically enjoy a diffuser for more hours than you can a candle unless the diffuser is small and must be refilled after only a few hours.

Most people light a candle or start a diffuser and want it to last more than just a few hours, for convenience if nothing else. This is why many people choose a diffuser over a scented candle. Nevertheless, if you seldom want your home to be scented or you like to change scents frequently, choosing scented candles is likely your best bet. Both of these items do a great job in helping your home smell fantastic, so it’s up to you which one will work best in your situation.

Scented Candles vs Essential Oil Diffusers: Which One Is Best for You?


Both scented candles and essential oil diffusers do a great job of keeping your home pleasant-smelling and enticing for both residents and visitors alike. Both essential oils and candles also come in dozens of different scents, including fruity scents, floral scents, and natural scents, to name a few. Regardless of the method, you choose to make your home smell its best, you won’t be disappointed because the companies that make these products are consistently coming up with newer and better scents to please even those people with picky tastes when it comes to what their home smells like.

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