Everything You Need to Know about Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers are one of the most popular home fragrance products that deliver a constant aroma to any room without using electricity, heat, or flame. If you are looking for a decorative air freshener that requires very little maintenance and can be left unattended, then you will certainly love having a reed diffuser (or more) in your home!

How To Use Reed Diffuser?

Reed diffusers are one of the simplest yet most effective home scenting solutions that have three parts: a narrow-neck bottle, the scented oil, and the reeds. To set up the reed diffuser and enjoy the nice aroma, simply pour the liquid into the bottle (or uncap the bottle if the oil is already inside), place the reeds in, arrange them nicely, and place it in the desired place.

The reed sticks soak up the fragrance oil and naturally release it into the air delivering a constant pleasant aroma without using any electricity, heat, or flame. You should start smelling the scent the moment you set up the diffuser, but usually, it takes about 30-60 minutes until the reeds soak themselves and start to disperse the fragrance.

The more reeds you add, the stronger the scent will be. Generally starting with 3-5 sticks is recommended, but if your reed diffuser will be placed in a large room, add 1-2 more reeds than usual.

What Are The Reeds?

The oil blend used in the diffuser is important, but so are the reeds. Without these sticks, the scent cannot be released properly into the air, so for the best experience, you should use quality ones.

diffuser reed sticks

The reeds have microscopic channels that will absorb the scented oil and disperse the fragrance creating a fresh-smelling environment in any room. The channels work like straws that suck the oil and then release the scent molecules.

The diffuser sticks are often believed to be bamboo skewers. While cheap products are usually sold with bamboo sticks, high-quality reed sticks are made of rattan so I recommend using this type.

Natural Rattan Wood Sticks

10 Inch Natural Rattan Wood Sticks

  • high quality, porous and lightweight rattan reeds
  • ideal size to apply with diffuser: 10 inch in length and 3mm in diameter
  • 100 sticks, available in natural, black and brown colors

Why bamboo reeds are not that good? Because they have nodes that block the oil from traveling through the stick resulting in a less efficient fragrance diffusing. Rattan reeds have tubular channels so they can effectively diffuse the scent into the surrounding space. They do not get clogged quickly and also hold on to aromas better.

Some manufacturers offer fibre reeds too. These diffuser sticks are designed specifically for the purpose of optimal fragrance dispersal and come in different colors to match your home design. Fibre reeds diffuse the fragrance stronger so the best is to use them with light, fresh fragrances to avoid having a very intense aroma in your house.

Benefits Of Using Reed Diffusers To Fragrance Your Home

Reed diffusers are among the most popular products if it comes to home fragrances thanks to their hassle-free manner and several other benefits I list and explain now.

Consistent Scent

A reed diffuser fills your home with a more consistent aroma than other air fresheners that work only when they are plugged in or lit. The scent of a reed diffuser is relatively stable as long as there is oil in the bottle and the reeds are working properly.

Easy Operation

Scented candles, incense sticks, and electric diffusers require human presence to operate, and their fragrance is released only when they are lit/plugged in, while reed diffusers are very easy to operate. After setting it up, you can enjoy the pleasant aroma without any (or with little) control.

Long Lifespan

A non-electric diffuser last longer than most common air fresheners. 100 ml quality reed diffuser blend can fill up your home with fantastic aroma for up to 2-4 months.

Because of this extremely long-lasting effect, reed diffusers are certainly of the best home fragrance products if it comes to value for money.

Low Maintenance

Reed diffusers technically require no maintenance, it just needs to be cleaned from dust from time to time, and sometimes the sticks need to be flipped (or replaced).


These types of diffusers are not tied to cables and electrical outlets, you can freely move them around in your house and place it anywhere you wish.

diffuser with sticks and flowers

Controllable Intensity

Controlling the level of diffusion is so simple with reed diffusers. Putting in more reeds will quickly increase the intensity of the scent, while if you think that the reed diffuser is too strong, just take a few out. The fewer sticks in the bottle the slower the oil will dissipate and the less strong it will be.

You can even remove all the reeds and close the bottle if you want to take a break from that specific fragrance. In this case, make sure to close the bottle properly so the oil can’t evaporate any longer (ideally use its original cap) and use new reeds when you start using the diffuser again.

Safe To Use

With reed diffusers, the safety factor definitely comes as a top benefit. There is no electricity, flame, or heat that can cause damage, so it can be left unsupervised even if you won’t be home for a longer period, for example when going on a two weeks long vacation.

They are also a good choice for those who suffer from allergies or asthma since there is no aerosol or smoke that can trigger a reaction, however, in such cases, the oil ingredients have to be chosen carefully.

Of course, it is important to place the diffuser somewhere where children and pets can’t reach it, but otherwise, there is not much to worry about when using one and therefore reed diffusers are considered one of the safest home fragrance products.


Since they last for a relatively long period of time and don’t use electricity, reed diffusers are budget-friendly too. There is no additional cost on top of what you pay for the product.

Reed diffusers are available in all price ranges from as low as 5 dollars, so everyone can find one that fits their budget.


Having reed diffusers is definitely a home scenting solution where going fully eco-friendly is not an issue at all. The glass bottles are reusable and fully recyclable, while the rattan reeds are biodegradable, so you need to choose the ingredients of your oil wisely so the liquid will be non-toxic natural too.

Tip: thinking about making your own diffuser? Check out here what is the best reed diffuser carrier oil!


Last but not least, reed diffusers look elegant. They came in different bottles (reeds are also available in different colors) so it is easy to match them with the interior design.

There are no cables that would destroy their look, so a nice reed diffuser will be not just another air freshener in your house, but an aesthetic home décor item too.

Where To Place A Reed Diffuser

Thanks to their properties such as the non-electric functioning or unattended operation, reed diffusers technically can be used everywhere in the house from the basement to the roof where you always want to have a nice smell but can’t keep an eye on a plugged-in device or candle, but there are some places where they work the most ideally.

The best location to put a reed diffuser is a high-traffic area with good air circulation (like interior doorways, hallways, or bathrooms) so the fragrance can be effectively dispersed throughout the room. Of course, you can have it in less-visited rooms too like the bedroom or guest room, but then make sure to flip the reeds more often so they can stay effective.

reed diffuser in bedroom

Important is that the place where you put the reed diffuser should not be exposed to direct sunlight and shouldn’t be close to a window or radiator because these factors make the oil evaporate faster. Like this, the smell would be too strong and the diffuser would be depleted quickly.

If there is a vent in the room, make sure it is not sucking air since this can cause the same effect. Set the fan mode only so it can help to circulate the aroma without dissipating the oil very quickly.

Pro Tips On How To Get The Most Out Of A Reed Diffuser

Although using a reed diffuser is super easy and there is no need for a manual, there are some tips and tricks that will help to get the most out of this home fragrance method.

Choose The Right Size

Diffusers (and also the reeds) come in various sizes. Smaller ones work well in smaller places like a bedroom or walk-in closet, while if you want to place in the living room or big hallway, get a reed diffuser for a large room. The bigger the bottle and the more the oil, the greater the fragrance!

Flip The Reeds Regularly

Sometimes you might think that your reed diffuser is not working but usually, the only thing you need to do in such cases flipping the reeds (some or all of them, depending on how intensive fragrance you wish to smell).

reed diffuser with flower

You can do this every few days or even every day, but keep in mind the more reeds you flip the faster the diffuser liquid will evaporate.

Clean The Bottle When Refilling

When you notice that the bottle is nearly empty, instead of just simply refilling it, clean out the jar using warm water and soap so you get out of any dust and dirt particles that might get into the bottle. Let it completely dry and refill it (NEST Fragrances Moroccan Amber is my absolute favorite refill), or create your own reed diffuser blend. Like this, you will get a better aroma. Also don’t forget to change the reeds too so the clogged, dusty reeds will ruin the fresh fragrance.

Protect The Countertop

Place a nice coaster or decorative plate under the diffuser bottle, so when you are flipping the reeds oil drips can’t damage the delicate countertop. The best is if you take the diffuser out to the bathroom or kitchen and flip the reeds over the sink. Before placing it back, wipe down the bottle to remove any trace of oil.

Best Reed Diffusers For Every Budget

A quality reed diffuser can be a source of wonderful fragrance that will enhance your living space twenty-four hours a day. Once you find reed diffusers that work in your space for each season, you can enjoy an amazing aroma without worrying about burning candles and dried-out plug-ins.

Chesapeake Bay Candle Reed Diffuser Peace And Tranquility

Like a good sweater, this diffuser is ideally suited for chilly days. With base notes of sandalwood and musk, the aroma can be as intense or as mild as you like. To slow dispersal, limit the number of reeds you use. To speed things along, use all ten reeds and flip them to increase the oil concentration in the air of your home.

Chesapeake Bay Candle reed diffuser

Chesapeake Bay Candle reed diffuser

  • fragrance will last up to 3 months
  • clean, minimalistic design that fits every home
  • glass diffuser with 10 natural reed sticks

The middle and upper notes of this fragrance include rose, lily of the valley, and jasmine, as well as ylang-ylang. It would be a terrific addition to a bedroom or an office that needs a gentle refresh.

Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir Diffuser

Sometimes the best reed diffuser is the one that lasts so long you forget when you opened it! The Pomegranate Noir from Jo Malone is a remarkably long-lasting luxury reed diffuser that offers great value.

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia Diffuser

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia Diffuser

  • luxurious, long lasting scent in a sleekly-designed bottle
  • effortless and continuous fragrance to any room
  • sweet-smelling English Pear and Freesia blend

The Jo Malone features 10 black reeds to dispense a remarkably gentle aroma with serious staying power; these diffusers are known to last up to 3-4 months. The bottle is clear and features a very pale yellow liquid, which serves as an excellent backdrop for the elegant black and cream label. In addition, this diffuser has a wide base and heavy bottom, so little risk of tipping.

NEST Fragrances Bamboo Reed Diffuser

Some of the best reed diffusers can take us to a new place, at least in our minds. If you’re ready to escape the winter cold and dark, open a bottle of Bamboo from NEST and soak up the scent of early summer.

Bamboo reed diffuser

NEST Fragrances Bamboo reed diffuser

  • fill your home with a lush, memorable fragrance
  • alcohol-free formula, releases fragrance for up to 90 days
  • wide variety of relaxing floral, sparkling citrus and fresh green aromas available

This refreshing fragrance can easily turn your home into a gentle garden of earthy bamboo, delicate citrus blossom, and an underlying herbal touch. The bottle is square with a sturdy bottom, so little risk of tipping, and has a pretty stripe pattern that perfectly accents the black reeds. You can expect up to three months of fresh aroma from Bamboo.

Urban Naturals Crisp White Linen Diffuser

Do you miss summer? You’re not alone! Until things warm up, you can enjoy great value for money invested in scenting your space with White Linen from Urban Naturals. This pretty gift set comes in a box that just needs a bow and offers a simple glass bottle and eight natural reeds.

White Linen diffuser

Urban Naturals Crisp White Linen diffuser

  • long-lasting fresh scent for any room in your house
  • unique clear-design bottle adds beauty to your home
  • 100% made in USA

With lilies and ylang-ylang working in your space, you’ll be ready to head to the beach! Delicate layers of sandalwood and citrus add to the feeling of sand and sun. Stretch the aroma treat by using fewer reeds, or speed things up by flipping the reeds once a week.

TOUCHE Originale Luxury Natural Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

If you’re looking for something a bit more elegant, or perhaps something to scent a large living room, consider the subtle combination of sandalwood and jasmine from Touché. This classic black bottle features deep gold trim on the label and cap, making it an ideal piece to add to a wooden bookcase or the corner of a desk.

TOUCHE Originale Luxury Natural Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

TOUCHE Originale Luxury Natural Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

  • lush and memorable fragrance that lasts up to 3 months
  • high quality perfume-grade oil
  • 100% pure blend, alcohol and toxic-free

The bottle has a stout square base and the reeds make it nearly nine inches tall, so this set doesn’t need to be considered delicate or tucked away. You can expect approximately ninety days of fragrance from this diffuser before it needs replacing.

Inspired? Pin it!

How to use reed diffuser - Pin