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How Many Drops of Essential Oil Should I Put into a Diffuser?

how many drops of essential oil should I put into a diffuser

I remember when I first got my diffuser. And how excited I was. But, before using it, the very first thing I had to google was how many drops of essential oil to put into a diffuser. So, I thought I would write an article on how to do just that. Why?

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Well, first, essential oils can be expensive (sometimes even $100 per bottle). Thus, you don’t necessarily want to waste your money by adding an unnecessarily large amount of oil to the diffuser.

Second, the fragrance might become so overwhelming, you’ll need to open your windows and waste all that goodness. Also, you might irritate your nostrils.

Third, while there is a common misconception that you cannot be allergic to essential oil, it’s not true. Studies show that essential oils CAN CAUSE allergic reactions.

Thus, adding too much oil that you’re allergic to, can cause health problems too. Some of the most common essential oils that can cause such reactions are: Bergamot, German chamomile, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Tea Tree and even Lavender.

How Many Drops of Essential Oil Should You Put into a Diffuser?

Diffusers come in different sizes. However, the smallest ones are usually 100ml. Here’s approximately the amount of drops you’ll need for diffusers of these sizes.

  • 100ml: 3-5 drops
  • 200ml: 6-10 drops
  • 300ml: 11-15 drops
  • 400ml: 16-20 drops
  • 500ml: 21-25 drops

So, the saying – the more the merrier – doesn’t really apply here. If anything, I recommend starting small, and see how you feel about the fragrance in your home.

Thus, instead of adding 5 drops to a 100ml diffuser, add 2-3 instead. It’ll be much easier to figure out how fragrance spreads across your home that way. You’ll save the essential oils too!

If the holidays come, and you want to try some of the holiday essential oil blends make sure you still stick to the water and essential oil ratios mentioned above. So, do have in mind that you might need to adjust the recipes a little bit.

essential oils diffusing

How Many Drops Are There In a 1ml?

There are approximately 20 drops in a milliliter of essential oil. Here is how many drops you can get out of these essential oil bottles:

  1. 5ml bottle – 100 drops
  2. 10 ml – 200 drops
  3. 15 ml – 300 drops
  4. 20 ml – 400 drops
  5. 30 ml (1 oz) – 600 drops
  6. 50 ml – 1000 drops
  7. 100 ml – 2000 drops

So, How Long Will a Bottle of Essential Oil Last?

That’s a question you should probably ask yourself each time you’re buying new oil. Especially if you want to estimate how much it will actually cost you to diffuse it one time.

While smaller bottles cost less, investing in a bigger bottle might end up being cheaper in the long run – since you’ll be able to use it for many more times.

Here’s how many times you can use a bottle of volume X if you have a standard 100ml diffuser:

  1. 5ml: 20-30
  2. 10ml: 40-65
  3. 15ml: 70-90
  4. 20ml: 80-120
  5. 30ml (1oz): 150-200
  6. 50ml: 250-350
  7. 100ml: 400-600

How to Know When You’ve Added Too Much of Essential Oil to the Diffuser

Here are some of the most common side effects you might experience when you’ve overdone it with the essential oils:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritations
  • Dizziness  

If you happen to live in a small room and use a strong diffuser for a large space, you might end up feeling sick even if you’re using the right amount of drops.

Thus, always start small and see how the fragrance fills up the room.

How to Use a Diffuser

Wondering how to use an essential oil diffuser? Read this guide here to figure out how to use different types of diffusers. It’s relatively simple, so don’t worry!

Tips and Facts About Diffusing Essential Oils

1. There is more than one way to diffuse essential oils. Read more here.

2. Diffusers require regular maintenance. Thus, don’t forget to clean them!

3. Never use essential oil without diluting it first.

4. If you’re breathing in the vapor to heal a cold (which you can do by the way) make sure to close your eyes. Essential oils can severely irritate the eyes.

5. When diffusing essential oils around babies or toddlers, make sure to use the smallest doses to avoid any possible allergic reactions or other irritations.

how to correctly diffuse essential oils cushy spa


When it comes to using essential oils, always remember that less is more! Start small, try out different essential oils to truly test what strength of fragrance you find calming and pleasant.

Each essential oil might act or feel differently. Thus, always start with lower doses and only then add more drops! Anyway, enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy and the smell!


Tuesday 4th of October 2022

I have a extra large diffusor (2L). I’m struggling to get the proper dosage in order for the fragrance to be noticeable. Everything I am seeing, I need to add 30+ drops to the water which can get pricey and it also takes sometime to get all of those drops out. Any suggestions?

Judith Guerra

Wednesday 31st of July 2019

Thank you for this post. It's very helpful for explaining to novice users of essential oils. So appreciate what you've provided here.

Karo Tries

Sunday 4th of August 2019

Glad to hear that, Judith!

sunny levin

Wednesday 24th of April 2019

I am a new user of essential oils. I would like to know how to use bergamot much and how often for high blood pressure.

Karo Tries

Friday 3rd of May 2019

Either add a few drops when you're having a bath. But, I'd really recommend getting an ultrasonic diffuser - add 5 drops or so and enjoy the benefits.

Sharon Webb

Sunday 9th of December 2018

Thank you for this article-I’ve been experimenting with essential oils for years (to the dismay of my family sometimes) and have just about given up on them. I even didn’t like the smell of YL Christmas Spirit! I just now put ONLY TWO drops of CS in my diffuser and love it so much I added two drops to the others. I couldn’t understand why everyone raves about these blends smelling so wonder- ful and all I can think when I mix them up is how bad it stinks! I’m going to start over using only one or two drops from now on instead of the usual total recipe dose. Maybe it’s just too strong for us.

Karo Tries

Friday 14th of December 2018

Hey Sharon,

glad you're experimenting with essential oils. :) You don't necessarily have to like the smell of all of them, I think we react differently to smells so it's completely natural to not like a scent others love.

Just keep on experimenting and I'm sure you'll find a combination of essential oils that work both for you and your family. :)