Think you get what you pay for? Not always. I have spent much time and money searching for the best essential oil company. I have reached out to peers about their preferred brand, but I learned that essential oils are like politics. Everyone has strong opinions and can be offended if you don’t favor their preferred oils of choice.
My goal in writing this article is to remain unbiased while educating others on different companies. Though, what surprised me, is that many distributors like to think their oils are more pure than others. They even go as far as to claim that essential oils are required to be ONLY 5% pure in able to claim they are 100% pure, insinuating THEIR oils are more “pure” than others. Though, this is just a marketing myth. Essential oils are simply not regulated, therefore the FDA has not invented such standards. The FDA website provides regulation information here.
First, let’s compare the price of Lavender from different suppliers:
|Company||Bottle Size||Price||Price per ml|
|Young Living||15 ml||$30.92||$2.06|
|Native American Nutritionals||15 ml||$22.00||$1.47|
|Aura Cacia||1/2 oz||$12.29||$0.83|
|Mountain Rose Herbs||1/2 oz||$10.25||$0.69|
|Plant Therapy||10 ml||$8.99||$0.60|
|Healing solutions||10 ml||$8.99||$0.60|
Prices as of 8/25/15
The price is broken down per ml since some are measured in ounces and some of the bottles only come in 10 ml.
My experience with different brands:
DoTERRA started their company by branching off from Young Living in 2008 but was later sued for using their recipes and blend names. They also follow the same multi-level marketing pyramid as Young Living. This means nearly all customers are actually distributors.
DoTERRA trademarked the words “therapeutic grade” in 2009, even though, there is no such governing of essential oils to classify them in different grade levels. (source)
Personally, I love doTERRA’s modern transparent labels and how they include the expiration date and directions on each label. Though, they do not list ingredients of blends, so you need to go online for that information. Unfortunately, I found their website difficult to navigate and hard to find prices. They also recommend unsafe practices such as applying directly to the skin and even ingesting the essential oils.
DoTERRA claims their oils are more expensive because their oils are “more pure” than others but they fail to show any proof. In fact, there is evidence against that, such how doTERRA’s peppermint oil failed at a compliance test because it was cut with synthetic chemicals. This same test proved that doTERRA receives their oils from the same source as Heritage, which is not necessarily a bad thing but just proves, you pay different prices for the same thing. (source)
Conclusion: quality products but overpriced.
Their big logo is “seed to seal” which originally stood out to me being that they own their own farms and claim to have high standards but unfortunately, they also fail to show any proof.
Initially, their starter kit was reasonably priced (compared to doTERRA). I was excited to receive the kit but when I opened it, they were already persuading me to sell not one, but three kits!
Navigating their site is not easy! I am a “whole sale distributor” and it is still difficult for me to figure out. It also appears that their oils go out of stock frequently.
Labels include directions, though many times they recommend to ingest and apply undiluted, which is considered unsafe by aromatherapists.
Lastly, there has been some crazy accusations about the owner of this company. Whether or not they are true, I don’t know, but I hope not!
Conclusion: quality products but overpriced.
Mountain Rose Herbs
This company has been in business since 1987 and has a great mission to put plants and people before profit.
Their website is very easy to navigate and has an amazing selection of organic essential oils and herbs. They have different sales each month, as well as a clearance category on their site.
I have called and emailed them many times and their customer service is always quick to respond, as well as knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. I really enjoy the no pressure shopping, with no memberships or games.
They also sell herbs, butters and packaging supplies. Great news for my fellow soap making friends! This is also one of the only companies that offers essential oils in a 16 oz!
Though, they do have some room for improvement: They offer recipes but they do not have any blends for purchase. I also hate paying shipping costs and have yet to see them offer free shipping or even flat rate shipping. Instead, shipping costs go by weight, so bulk ordering can be expensive.
Conclusion: quality products, awesome customer service, fair price.
This company was founded in 2011 and they strive to provide quality essential oils at affordable prices. They have many blends as well as a children’s line (safe for ages 2+) and also sell pre-diluted roll-ons. This company stands out to me because they offer free shipping on ALL orders to ALL 50 states.
Interesting story: When a 3rd party tested this company’s tea tree oil and found that it did not comply with basic standards, Plant Therapy pulled ALL tea tree from the shelves and requested to have their new batch retested at their cost, to prove they were up to standard. To me, this shows a lot of integrity, especially since they took such a big financial loss. (source)
Conclusion: decent products, fair prices.
Native American Nutritionals
I personally have not used their oils BUT when their peppermint essential oil was tested, it was 1st in compliance. Impressive, as it was being compared to doTERRA, Young Living and many other top brands.
Though, their oils are defiantly on the expensive side. I am also still awaiting a response from them so that is why I chose not to invest in their oils.
Conclusion: lazy customer service and high priced.
I was tempted by Amazon to try these oils. Not only were they a great price but free prime shipping was offered. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. Blends provide no ingredients or instructions on labels. Their website is terrible and customer service was not helpful in addressing my concerns. On the plus side, they do have a money back guarantee.
Conclusion: lack of information and customer service knowledge.
Heritage essential oils
Personally, I have not used any of their products. I did message them for information, though, they responded with no answers but instead requested me not to include them in a “comparison blog”. I was really disappointed because I have heard good things but they were unwilling to help me educate others on their oils.
Interesting story: There was a test to prove that they actually receive their oils from the same distiller as doTERRA. (source)
Conclusion: personally, I won’t be investing in their oils, due to lack of help from customer service.
Out of all the companies that I found, Aura Cacia has been in business the longest. They were founded in 1981 and this shows they provide consistent products and have good ethics. Their customer service is extremely helpful and they really made me feel valued as a customer.
I love how their blends show the exact recipe on the label, down to the drop. Though, I found their website boring and they are very adamant about not ingesting essential oils.
Interesting story: When Dr. Papas tested five different brands of Myrrh essential oil, Aura Cacia came in 2nd. This is impressive and proves that the higher priced essential oils are not superior. Aura Cacia was actually the least expensive Myrrh from the five brands tested. (source)
Conclusion: quality products, helpful customer service, fair price.
I don’t have much to say about this company. I’ve used their oils, just not impressed. They smell nice but don’t seem to work for medicinal uses. It doesn’t appear you can buy from their site and instead have to find a dealer. Also, when I asked customer service some questions, they told me to look them up. Not sure if they are unknowledgeable or just lazy?
Conclusion: cheap and unhelpful customer service.
This is a new company that shares the same multi-level marketing strategies as Young Living and doTERRA. I have not tried this brand, as I am kind of over the MLM thing. Though this company claims to be different since they disclose test results if you look up the batch number code on the bottle of each essential oil. Is it worth the cost? I don’t think so.
Conclusion: I like how they are taking a step in the right direction to show test results. I would give them a try if they weren’t so expensive!
Here is another comparison chart. I only included the companies who took the time to respond to me.
Unfortunately, not many!
So which essential oil company is best?
I think there are many quality companies but no perfect brand, for me anyway. Mountain Rose Herbs has been my first go-to but I also enjoy purchasing from Plant Therapy and Aura Cacia.
As you can see, I’m not a big fan of MLM companies. Mainly because everyone’s salary is built into the price of each bottle, so you’re not actually paying for higher quality. If you want to learn more about MLM companies, click here.
I also try to stay away from Healing Solutions no matter how tempting their prices are, mainly because I don’t trust what’s being bottled. Though, I am curious to hear how others experience has been with this brand.
- Make sure the label reads “100% pure”.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with different brands to see which works best for you. (It’s also okay to create a blend from different companies, they’re just labels!)
- If the company wants you to commit to a kit or membership.
- If all the essential oils cost the same. (Example-there should be a big price difference between lemon and frankincense.)
- If prices are not advertised or are difficult to find.
Click here to see an experiment conducted on these lemon oils.
Click here to see an experiment conducted on these lavender oils.
Want to learn more?
Dr. Anne’s “germ killing” experiment: This page will show you an experiment of a chemist who tests and compares different company’s essential oils. Such as Plant Therapy’s Germ Fighter, Young Living’s Thieves, DoTERRA’s On Guard and Ameo’s Pro-shield. Turns out, they all worked about the same when killing bacteria!!