28 April 2016

Anker 250ml Essential Oil Diffuser: Soothing Vapors and Soothing Colors

Anker, the trusted brand for cables, chargers, and portable battery packs, has lately been trying to move into the rest of your home. They recently launched a cordless vacuum, a robot vacuum, and now, this: a 250ml oil diffuser.

In typical Anker fashion, the unit arrives in a friendly and uncluttered blue-and-white box. (No plastic packa
ging to fight with, yay!) Inside you find the diffuser itself, an accessories box including the power adapter (with 3-4 foot cord) and filling jug, an illustrated Welcome Guide, and the usual Anker "Happy? / Not Happy?" feedback card. The diffuser consists of three parts: the base/reservoir, lid, and the dome-shaped cover. The sides of the reservoir are marked with measurements in mL, as is the small filling jug, ensuring that you don't overfill it.

Following the steps explained in the Welcome Guide make using the diffuser a breeze. You simply remove the cover and lid, use the provided jug to fill the reservoir with water (preferably distilled and/or filtered - mineral deposits could cause problems later down the road), and add a few drops of your favorite scented oil. Then replace the lid and cover, connect the power cord, and press the Mist button to start misting! Press that button repeatedly to cycle through the built-in timer options (60, 120, 180 minutes) or select the "On" mode wherein the diffuser will run until it either runs out of water or you turn it off. Press the Light button to scroll through the illumination options: the initial mode smoothly cycles through a rainbow of colors, but pressing the Light button again will allow you to select your preferred color. Each color is offered in two brightness levels, and you can also turn off the light entirely if you would rather mist in the dark. The translucent plastic of the entire unit glows fairly evenly, which is a great effect.

By this point, I had encountered two minor issues that weren't real problems but left me scratching my head all the same. First, the instructions clearly state to fill the reservoir and then connect the power cord to the bottom of the unit. See the issue? Deviate slightly from the as-written instructions by plugging it up before filling and things go a bit more smoothly. Second, each button press is accompanied by a loud electronic beep that seems wholly out of place on a product offering soothing vapors and soothing lighting. That shrill beep kind of spoils the chill mood - fortunately, once the lights and mist are set the unit is pretty quiet.

Which brings me to the actual operation and use of the thing. As i said, the oil diffuser doesn't make a whole lot of noise once it's running, just a soft hum. It's actually a pretty nice ambient noise, great for napping! I saw some other reviews which mentioned inconsistent or even no mist, and others which complained of the mist "falling" too quickly and dampening the surface around the diffuser. I'm pleased to report that I haven't experienced either of these issues in ~36+ hours of use. The mist output is steady and propelled high enough for it to disperse into the air rather than falling back to the ground - and I've been using the unit mostly on a glass table top, so any puddles would be easy to see. That room is fairly large and with very high ceilings, but Anker's little diffuser has no trouble filling it with a pleasant-yet-not-overpowering aroma - and it's easy to tweak the potency for differently-sized areas by adjusting how many drops of oil get added to the water in the reservoir.

As mentioned earlier, the diffuser will automatically shut off if it runs dry. You can also run it on a timer or manually turn it on and off. Emptying fluid remaining in the reservoir is easy to do: just disconnect the power, remove the cover and lid, and pour out the remaining liquid into a sink. There's even a label on the reservoir to indicate from which side the liquid should be poured. And the slightly-fluted rim makes sure the liquid pours out smoothly without running down the outside of the container. Easy cleanup!

Dogs love it too!
This is my first oil diffuser so I can't really make any fair comparisons to other products available, but I can say I'm quite pleased with this one. It's small and easy to use, and seems to be quite effective. The lighting options are a nice bonus, as is the ability to turn off those lights. Anker's traditional attention to detail shows in the inclusion of a metered filling jug. My one real request would be for this product to be enhanced by one of Anker's strengths and include an internal battery to allow true portability - I'd love to be able to place the diffuser in the center of a large room. Even being tethered to a wall, however, I would not hesitate to recommend the Anker 250ml Essential Oil Diffuser.

I was offered this product at a discount in exchange for providing a fair and unbiased review.