Candles vs Diffusion: Which Should You Choose? - Everyday Essentials

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Plant Therapy NovaFuse diffuser on a table

Candles vs Diffusion: Which Should You Choose?

When it comes to filling your home with fragrance, candles have been the go-to for quite a while now. With essential oils becoming more and more popular, they offer an alternative home fragrance. For essential oil enthusiasts, choosing between candles and your diffuser is probably a no brainer. But for those just starting out, it can be a more complicated decision. We’re here to talk about the pros and cons of each, so that next time you go to light a candle or diffuse your favorite synergy, you’ll feel confident you’re choosing the method that’s right for your family.


Candles vs Diffusion: Which Should You Choose?

Probably the biggest concern of anyone who regularly uses candles is safety. All it takes is one precocious cat or rambunctious toddler to send a  lit candle tumbling to the ground. Not mention the dangers associated with leaving a candle unattended. In this regard, candles pose more of a risk than other methods of home fragrance. That’s not to say that essential oils are danger-free. Some oils have chemical compounds that are not safe for use around children. This is why we created the KidSafe line, so you can feel confident that you are not exposing your child to anything potentially harmful.

Natural vs Synthetic

Candles vs Diffusion: Which Should You Choose?

When comparing oils to candles, another stark difference is often in the ingredients. Plant Therapy’s essential oils are all natural, sustainably grown and harvested, and some are even produced organically. Candles, on the other hand, often are full of synthetic fragrances that have no therapeutic properties. If you’re striving to achieve a more natural home, diffusing essential oils can be an excellent way to go.


Plant Therapy NovaFuse diffuser on a table

At first glance, essential oils can seem like a much bigger investment than any candle. And while the upfront cost may be more than the odd candle you pick up shopping, the cost per use makes it more affordable the longer you use it. After all, only a few drops are needed to get hours of fragrance.


Candles vs Diffusion: Which Should You Choose?

And last but certainly not least, we’ll talk about the benefits. Diffusion is just one way to take advantage of the many therapeutic benefits of essential oils. It is called “aromatherapy” for a reason after all. Candles, on the other hand, aren’t without their benefits. The softly flickering flame is unmatched in its ability to set the mood, whether for a romantic night in or a soothing bath.

Now it may seem like we spent this whole article knocking on candles, but they’re not all bad. We promise! After all, a diffuser just isn’t the same when it comes to a romantic dinner. But for those of you who are hesitant to take the plunge into essential oils, hopefully, this gives you a few good reasons to give it a try!

DIY Natural Candle

Clear essential oil bottle next to a jasmine flower and candle

Looking for the best of both worlds? Put your DIY skills to good use and make this easy candle recipe with your favorite essential oils or with our new line of Evoke home fragrances.

What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
  1. Put the wick in the center of the candle holder.
  2. Melt wax completely in a double boiler.
  3. Remove bowl from the double boiler.
  4. Add essential oil and mix well.
  5. Slowly pour into the candle holder.
  6. Make sure your wick is centered.
  7. Let dry completely.
  8. Light the candle and enjoy!

If you’re always on the hunt for new ways to use your essential oils, check out our Safe Essential Oil Facebook Group!


73 thoughts on “Candles vs Diffusion: Which Should You Choose?”

  • Candle warmers!!!! Using the LEt It Go blend…. I found it really only works well when used in a candle warmer. In a diffuser, the smell is completely different and Only works half as well. So… we only use warmers! And, for those who are concerned about safety, you can use electric warmers and they work just as well. (PS- when using the let it go blend in a warmer, found it would put the whole family to sleep! Inlucing a baby and a toddler. Also, it relieved my babies reflux when she had it. That didn’t happen with a diffuser.

  • I prefer diffusing. I also have a warmer for candle melts. I only use soy melts when i do purchase them.
    My problem comes when I’m given a candle for Christmas and don’t know what to do! I don’t want to burn it and i don’t want to give the toxic thing to someone i love!

  • Diffusing all the way! You can mix and match scents to suit any holiday or mood. Plus, the health benefits added in is a huge bonus! I still use candles occasionally to get that lighting effect, but that’s only once in a while.

  • So happy to have found essential oils. Diffusing EOs is so much healthier than burning scented candles. I do like the idea of EO scented candles much better than the chemically scented variety, but I think I prefer diffusing.

  • I use to love burning candles but since I’ve gotten into oils I don’t even buy candles now. I would love to make my own so I know what’s in them. Gonna try this.

  • I’m a die hard diffuser fan, but I love that candle recipe and think I might have to give it a go! It seems so simple.

  • I prefer diffusing over burning candles. I like being able to control which oils and how much scent I want. Plus instead drying out the surrounding room it helps keep moisture in my house when our stove is running. Win-win!

  • I always choose diffusers over candles because I’m absentminded and sometimes leave my diffuser on when I leave! My diffuser doesn’t get too hot and automatically shuts off when the water gets low.

  • My husband loves scented candles. This was just the article I needed to show him how much better our diffuser is. Thanks for the information. No more fake scented candles for us.

  • Diffusers are a no brainer
    Now verses candles. They are safer, smell better, and have a healthier effect. This blog just cleared it up. For candles if I want the affect I use the fake ones with no sent and fake light.

  • This information on the use of essential oils for candle-making is great. I didn’t realize it could be so easy. Thank you! I’m going to use some of my favorite PT blends – like Honeybell and Clarity right away.

  • Any reason not to put a drop or two of EO into the melted wax in a lit candle like a tealight? (Granted all precautions taken, e.g. fire hazard, kidsafe)

    1. Mary, this is not something I have personally done, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work…If you give it a try and love it, let us know! I’m sure others would be interested in this technique 🙂

    2. YES! Some oils are highly FLAMMABLE. Patchouilli is is very easy to drip the oil elsewhere and it would catch. Use an electric warmer or a candle warmer diffuser and mix it with some beeswax pellets.

  • Thank you for the super-simple candle recipe. We have been making our own Frankenstein candles and adding essential oils, but starting with clean wax is the goal.

  • I’m happy that this article exists 🙂 I love candles, and used them all the time in my house. But when I found out about the dangers of synthetic scents and items – that essentially spread into the air that I am breathing. Well that’s not good. I mostly use essential oils for the smell, I know that there are some health benefits to oils, and I am still fairly new to these. I am glad to have found Plant Therapy – affordable, safe, and SMELLS SO GOOD!

  • Growing up, many of my immediate and extended family were volunteer firefighters, so burning candles was an absolute no-no! I’ve loved using my diffuser the last few years to bring natural scent into our home. As a mother of littles, I’m so grateful to have found PT’s Kid Safe line. I can be confident in the safety and therapeutic benefits of these wonderful oils!

  • My husband and I were just talking about how we haven’t used candles in years thanks to diffusers and other scent systems. EOs are so nice with the added health benefits to just nice scents

  • I really appreciate your information about using an EO diffusion versus burning candles. As a new person to eo, I am learning new things all the time. I have burned jar candles and votives for years to scent my home, but have always been concerned about the possibility of fire. So many times I have returned home to find that I have left a candle burning while I was gone. For my everyday use, EO diffusion will be my new go to. Thanks for the good thought provoking information.

  • I was never a candle burner. As a Hindu, burning incense is part of our daily morning prayer routine. Six years ago I was diagnosed with an incurable lung condition. My husband put his foot down and told me I can never burn incense again as I should not breath in that smoke. Around the same time was when I got into oils. So no candles or incense for me. Love, love to diffuse bothe for the therapeutic value and aroma.

  • Thanks for the comparative info. Once I got my diffuser, I realized how easy it is to have a nice smell without all the worry of fire hazard. Thanks so much for the blog.

  • I read somewhere that burning essential oils is not safe. Is that untrue? If so, making a fragrance free candle and diffusing your EO would be an excellent alternative! I think its also important to touch on EO safety with pets as well. I used to be big into incense, but Plant Therapy rules my life now 🙂 Do you have a nag champa recipe? I know its basically sandalwood and plumeria. Thanks!!

    1. Tyra, we unfortunately do not have a nag champa recipe! That would be wonderful, though; *BIG* fan here!! Now, as for pet safety, you are absolutely right that people should be aware of how essential oils can affect their pets. Currently, PT has not come out with their official stance on pets and aromatherapy, but we are currently undergoing training on this topic and hope to present more information on this topic soon 🙂 In the meantime, we recommend that anyone with concerns should reach out to their veterinarians.

  • Or, for a nice blend of both worlds, I LOVE my tea light candle diffuser! I use unscented tea lights to warm the oil and it gently diffuses the scent into the area where I am working. I find it is less intense than a typical electronic diffuser and very low maintenance. And I love the candle ambiance too 🙂

  • This was a great blog for all of us who wonder about candles vs. diffusers. I still use both, but diffusing essential oils is still my favorite way to scent the air. I am grateful for the recipe you included for making an EO candle. Thank you, Plant Therapy!

  • The safety and convenience of a diffuser is certainly unmatched. It’s so simple to pour water and a few drops in and voila! I also like that you aren’t stuck with one scent for a long time. You can pick a new scent for your changing needs ina couple of hours!

  • Finally I am use to turning on the diffuser vs lighting a candle. I very early but candles anymore. My home can smell good while getting the benefits. Win win

  • I absolutely agree with this! Since we knocked candles out of our home and fully switched to essential oils our whole house is healthier!! We don realize all synthetic crap that’s put into those candles that we are burning for our children and pets, and US to breathe in!

  • I love candles bit have a bad habit of forgetting to extinguish once I leave my apartment. I recently unearthed my diffuser and haven’t looked back!

  • I have gotten rid of all my candles. I don’t like breathing in unknown ingredients. I do miss my “Twisted peppermint” at the holidays. We made candles, but it feels wasteful to use the amount of drops needed for a strong enough smell.

  • I definitely prefer essential oils over candles. They smell better to me and are a clean way to make the house smell great. I have found that a diffuser that covers the area of the room you have is best otherwise the scent doesnt seem to linger. No more candles in this house.

  • I like that you gave a recipe for a natural candle anyway, for those who like candles. For my birthday i purchased the rose gold diffuser, i too have kids and a rambuncous cat 😉 it has been awesome.

  • I will definitely have to try my Zest blend into a candle. I had tried a few years ago with some citrus oils and the smell did not last very long–but I think the evoke scents will definitely work so much better as their scent just sticks around so much longer. Thanks for the idea!

  • While I do love candles for the natural light that they illuminate, my new diffuser also has many “light” options that I love, while also getting the benefit of using pure oils! This one is a no brainer 🙂

  • I can’t use scented candles from the store; something in them drives my allergies crazy. So thankful to have found PT and so far diffusing the oils has not caused my allergies to react. Thank you PT for all the information you provide to help keep us all safe and well!!

  • I definitely prefer a diffuser with a timer. I tend to forget about candles and it makes me nervous especially with a toddler running around. I do like to have candles for special occasions. It can be hard to find and expensive to use natural candles scented with essential oils so I might try making my own some day.

  • I gave up candles years ago, when the battery ones came out. I now diffuse with a purpose. I can always mix a blend or pull out one of the great Plant Therapy Synergy Blends that fills my need, with a great smell. Its amazing when you use a high quality product how little you need to make a BIG difference in your home and in your life.

  • We used to love candle and have it all the time. But when we have candle I always get a headache. Then we find out about essential oils and diffuse it and now we HATE candle and I don’t have headache when we diffuse. 🙂

  • Thank you for the information. I’ve never been a fan of candles so diffusing has always been my go to.

  • I love my diffuser, but sometimes miss candles (but not all of the chemicals). Thank you for the recipe…I’m going to try making a few little candles for when the candle mood strikes!

  • Thank you for this! Can’t wait to try it. Is this for a 7 oz. candle holder? Just wondering how large of a container is needed.

  • I stopped burning candles about 15 years ago due to safety concerns. Now that I use oils, it is a great way to add a little scent while still using natural products!

  • I’ve cut candles from my home all together. I still have wax warmers, but only use soy wax bars scented with essential oils!

  • Ive been such a candle or wax melt fan before. I’ve slowly been switching over. Now I rotate between that and diffusing oils but tend to do oils more. It’s so nice Getting the benefits of the oils and knowing what’s in them. I’ll have to try being candles homemade though, sounds like a fun project!

  • I personally like candles because I can use them daily without risk of sensitization. They only have an appeal to me when it’s cold and dreary out, however, so thankfully they are used seldom! I love my diffuser but prefer being safe!

  • I absolutely love this blog post!
    I have threw out all my candles becuse the ones I had before I got pregnant had CRAZY stuff in them & after having my son I wanted to live a better & safer life style.

  • I stopped burning candles because of my children and just the fire hazard in general. I started using EO’s and diffusing then first to cleanse the air and now I’m hooked. I use the kids safe blends for when my kids are sick or to freshen up s stuffy room. I’m absolutely in love and can’t ever see being without them now. I love Plant Therapy because of the kidsafe stamp and have piece of mind using them. Thank you Plant Therapy!

  • I like a flickering candle on the dinner table for atmosphere. And the rest of the time I use a diffuser which has a built in timer. I want the benefits of the oils. I too am glad someone introduced me to Plant Therapy.

  • I never really burned candles because of the fire hazard. I always used the waxes. However, now I almost always go for the diffuser! I think the smell is more prominent and who can beat the therapeutic qualities!!!

  • Thank you so much for this information! I like to use both 🙂 Can I diffuse EOs around my 3 yr old kitty?

    1. We do not recommend using any essential oils on or around cats because they lack an enzyme to properly processes essential oil constituents through the liver. So exposure to essential oils can be toxic. We suggest diffusing while they’re in another room or using a personal inhaler to keep your kitty safe.

  • I used to love candles and burn them in my room all the time but I stopped a long time ago once I really took the time to learn how bad most of them are. The all-natural beeswax ones can be expensive. I began with essential oils a couple years ago to try my hand at natural perfumes, in order to eliminate even more chemicals and synthetic fragrances from my life. The next step naturally was a diffuser! I love being able to enjoy amazing scents, both in my home, and on me, without them being detrimental to my health. I think it’s great Plant Therapy has added a natural fragrance line, Evoke; going beyond just the therapeutic value of oils, and introducing more people to the idea of using essential oils as fragrances and perfumes.

  • I get so confused on using oils for therapeutic benefit vs scent. Is it safe/recomended to use them daily for scent?

  • I have some vanilla scented candles from Ikea, but very seldom I get to light one because of the synthetic smell it diffuses. And since I’ve discovered essential oils I can’t have enough of them! Why buy those candles now? I do intend to make some vanilla scented candles to refresh the air, so that’s a great way to use essential oils in conjunction with a candle. But ultimately for me it’s better to go with a nice diffuser rather than light a candle for so many reasons.

  • I love candles, but with kids and cats, it seemed like it would be forever before I finally would feel comfortable again burning them. For a while I got into the wax things. It’s not until you really think about it how much safer and better diffusing essential oils are. I know my family is safer and happier with this option. I’m so glad I discovered Plant Therapy.

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