One of my life goals is to be the person who my friends and family associate with a great-smelling home. I take pride in filling my space with amazing scents, but I don’t always have the time for stovetop potpourris or the money to spend on fancy candles.
That’s why I jumped at the chance to test out Pura, a $45 smart home diffuser I first heard about on TikTok. Interested in demo-ing it for Tom’s Guide TikTok account and considering it for our roundup of the best gifts for a smarter home, I decided to set it up in the highest-traffic area of my house: the living room.
The Pura diffuser was surprisingly simple to install. I’ve set up a number of smart home devices, and this is among the easiest to get online. Perhaps the only challenge I faced was rotating the plug so that the diffuser can sit upright in my horizontal outlet.
Next, the Pura app walked me through the proper way to put my selected scent “pod” in the device, though the process is pretty much identical if you’ve ever used a Febreeze or Glade plug-in oil diffuser. But unlike those diffusers you can buy at the grocery store, Pura works with a suite of pods from luxury fragrance brands.
Why Pura is worth it
I already loved candles from companies like Nest, Capri Blue and Homesick, but they’re expensive to replace. For example, a 19-ounce Capri Blue Havana Vanilla candle costs $34 on Amazon. Since it’s my favorite scent from the brand, I can burn through the candle in less than a month. Comparatively, the Pura oil pod in the same scent costs less than $13. Pura estimates a pod will last 2 weeks if running 8 hours per day at medium intensity, but you can use tempered settings that make it last twice as long.
And the lower intensities are plenty — the scents are concentrated in the oil pods, so even running at a low level for an hour, my living room smelled like a bougie bakery. Within three hours, the warmth of vanilla spread to every corner of my home.
The Pura device fits two pods at once. While you could switch off between which scent you want running, I sometimes choose to run both simultaneously, opting for Homesick’s Ski Trip fragrance for my second pod. I often purchase Homesick candles for gifts, but maybe next time I’ll give someone a Pura with compatible Homesick oil pods instead.
How I make the most of the Pura scent diffuser
There are a few things I do to make the most of the Pura diffuser experience. For one, the scheduling tool is helpful, automatically turning the diffusers off at my typical bedtime and back on a few hours into my morning.
I also make sure to enjoy the built-in nightlight. Similarly, I can schedule the nightlight and choose from an array of colors and brightness levels.
Finally, I paired my Pura and Alexa accounts in order to use my voice assistant to control the diffuser, whether it’s to power it on and off, or change the scent intensity. And since the Pura appears in my Alexa smart home dashboard among all my other Alexa compatible devices, I can create Alexa routines, such as having the nightlight turn on whenever my living room’s smart light bulbs are turned off.
If these kinds of features don’t appeal to you, you might not find all the value in the Pura scent diffuser system. But if you’re gadget-friendly and want your home to always smell fantastic, I don't think you'll regret the investment.