This post will break down a complete comparison of the best essential oil brands around, including the pros, cons, and a price comparison of each. Before we get into the specifics of each essential oil brand, let’s cover a little essential oil 101.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the concentrated compounds extracted from plants like lavender, mint, or even tree barks. These compounds interact with the limbic system to offer different benefits, such as reduced anxiety or increased focus. Essential oils have been used in a healing context for thousands of years! They’re powerful plant medicine that can speed up wound healing, reduce menstrual cramps, or even stimulate hair growth.
The Best Benefits of Essential Oils
Essential oils have a wide range of benefits! Different oils offer different beneficial properties, and many essential oils are multipurpose. Here are my favorite benefits:
Oils like lavender and orange are superstars for stress reduction and soothing anxious feelings. This blog post includes a diffuser blend recipe for anxiety.
Lavender takes the cake again, along with ‘woody’ oils like cedarwood or sandalwood. These oils help you feel grounded and relaxed–lavender actually supports GABA production to help you unwind! Click here for a sleep essential oil diffuser blend recipe.
Focus and Motivation
You’ll want to reach for mint oils like spearmint or peppermint, and uplifting citrus oils. This blog post includes a diffuser blend recipe for activities like studying.
Turmeric, peppermint, and frankincense are your friends. Use them to reduce inflammation in the body.
You can make a very effective household cleanser out of lemon, tea tree, and lavender! And it doesn’t stop there. You can even make your own toothpaste using antimicrobial clove and tea tree, and purify your air with lemongrass.
Questions to Ask Regarding Quality
Essential oils have really taken off in popularity over the past several years, and some companies will, unfortunately, take advantage of that. When looking for essential oils, consider the following:
Is it real?
Some oils are cut with cheaper oils or chemicals. Because this is still an unregulated industry, it’s really buyer-beware out there. Check for companies that do third-party testing.
If you’re purchasing one of the following essential oil brands on Amazon, make sure the brand is the seller. The seller’s name is listed beneath the title after the word “by” on the product page.
Is it organic?
Just like with food and any non-synthetic products you use for body or home, you want your essential oils to be organic whenever possible to reduce your toxic load. Essential oils are highly concentrated and enter the bloodstream (and the brain!) quickly however you use them, so this means any pesticide residue is also highly concentrated and pervasive.
When considering the essential oils I choose to purchase, certified organic is my #1 driving factor.
Is it sustainable?
Again – essential oils are a booming industry. Choose suppliers that take care to source their oils in a sustainable way that supports both local workers and our environment.
Is it affordable?
I firmly believe that wellness should be accessible. Don’t support companies that inflate prices just because they can! Essential oils shouldn’t be pennies on the dollar, but they shouldn’t break the bank either. Go with your gut!
A Comparison of the Best Essential Oil Brands
Each of these essential oil brands are well-established in the industry and can be easily purchased online or in person. Here’s an objective pros and cons list of each brand with price points.
- A wide range of oils, proprietary blends, and products.
- They also have sustainable and effective extraction methods for their oils.
- Seed to Seal is the designation Young Living give their oils, which appears to be a stronger designation than certified organic. However, it is not a regulated label, so there is no way to ensure the standards are being upheld
- Owns a portion of the farms they use to source ingredients for their oils.
- You’ll pay more per oil if you don’t have a membership with them.
- Oils aren’t certified organic, but they do take this into account when sourcing.
- 15ml of conventional lavender is $31.91
- 15ml of conventional frankincense is $121.71 (retail pricing)
The link to Young Living above is an affiliate link for a personal friend of mine. I am not affiliated with this brand and will not earn a commission from any purchase you choose to make.
Plant Therapy (spoiler: this is my top choice)
- Oils are 100% pure and tested for impurities.
- Most of their essential oils have certified organic options in addition to conventionally grown.
- Their prices are also lower than many other companies, even when comparing an organic oil from Plant Therapy to a conventional oil from another.
- You can join Rakuten (free) to get an additional 3.75% cash back at Plant Therapy, as well as cash back from lots of other stores. It’s one of my fav budget tools!
- Standard bottles are only 5-10ml, so you may have to restock more frequently. You can choose larger bottles for higher prices, however.
- 10ml of certified organic lavender is $10.95
- 10ml of certified organic frankincense is $18.95 (huge savings compared to Young Living and DoTerra, and these two from Plant Therapy are both certified organic!)
- A wide range of oils, proprietary blends, and products
- They test each batch multiple times for several different impurities (and utilize third-party testing, as well.)
- As with Young Living, you have to purchase a membership to get the wholesale price.
- Oils aren’t certified organic, but they do take this into account when sourcing.
- 15ml of conventional lavender is $30.67
- 15ml of conventional frankincense is $90.67 (retail pricing)
- Oils are guaranteed to be safe and unadulterated.
- Several are certified organic, but most are not.
- Prices are affordable.
- They can also be found in some stores like Sprouts, Natural Grocers, and Whole Foods.
- Not all oils have an organic option and they don’t do independent third-party testing.
- Standard size bottles are only 10ml, but they offer a wide range of bottle sizes.
- Oils are 100% pure, easily found in many stores, and affordable.
- They also have a pretty cool social mission.
- There’s not a lot of information on their sourcing or testing.
- They don’t offer many organic options.
Pricing Comparison Results
NOW Foods is the least expensive, followed closely by Plant Therapy and Aura Cacia.
One thing to keep in mind: Plant Therapy oils priced above are certified organic while the rest were not. So while they may be moderately higher in price, the organic certification holds a heavy weight. For this reason, as well as the other pros listed above, I personally believe Plant Therapy to be the best essential oil brand, and choose to purchase my essential oils from them.
DoTerra and Young Living are the priciest, with DoTerra’s prices being slightly lower than Young Living prices.
How to Use Essential Oils
Now that you have an idea of some of the best essential oil brands, it’s time to place an order for your oils and start using them! You can use essential oils in three ways: aromatically, topically, or internally. Here’s a how-to guide for each:
You can reap the benefits of essential oils (regardless of the brand) simply by inhaling them! Either apply a drop to your palms, rub together, and inhale lightly, or use a diffuser. Diffusers are popular because you can keep them running for hours! Here is a complete list of my favorite diffuser blend recipes.
Applying essential oils to your skin is a great way to quickly feel the benefits, as they’ll go straight to your bloodstream. You can apply to the site of an injury or ailment, as a natural perfume, or to your feet as part of reflexology. Be sure to dilute your essential oils with a carrier oil like this one prior to applying it to your skin.
This can be controversial among essential oil enthusiasts, so do your own research and choose what works for you based off of your beliefs and intuition. Personally, I think ingesting oils in moderation is a-okay. You can make your own supplements or cold medicine by putting a few drops into an empty veggie capsule, or add drops to food or drink for flavor and additional health benefits. When ingesting essential oils, make sure you absolutely trust the sourcing and product.
So there you have it – the comparison of the best essential oil brands and how to use them.
Essential oils are an amazing tool to add to your wellness toolkit. They do wonders for your stress levels, sleep, and overall wellbeing. They can replace conventional medicines for minor ailments and provide a safer cleaning option. Whether you choose to diffuse, apply topically, or ingest, make sure you’re using a brand that you trust.
What roles do essential oils play in your life? What brand do you prefer to purchase your oils from? Let me know in the comments!