Reed diffusers have become a popular item because they are eco-friendly. They don’t use energy and they are often made using recyclable materials. In addition, they don’t pose a risk of fire, so you can leave them unattended as they fragrance your home.

However, there are things that you need to know before you use them. They are made of different materials and come in different sizes, which will impact the fragrance. Continue reading to learn what you need to know before using a reed diffuser.

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What Are Reed Diffusers?

Reed diffusers allow you to add fragrance to a room without using a flame or heat. They use a wick where a fragrance oil goes through reeds or sticks, and it disperses the scent into the air. It is made up of a vessel that holds the fragrance and there are reed diffuser sticks inside. This might be a glass vase or jar.

You also have the diffuser fragrance, which is often natural essential oils. This is the scent that will be released into your room. Finally, you need fragrance sticks or reeds. The sticks are often made of rattan wood or synthetic polyamide.

The thickness of the reeds also plays a role. When you use a thicker reed, they absorb more of the essential oils and can also diffuse more scents into your room. However, they will consume more oil, so they don’t always last as long.

The fragrances are usually either alcohol- or solvent-based, so the scent is released as it evaporates. They provide constant fragrance to your rooms.

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Things You Need to Know Before Using a Reed Diffuser

Reed Diffuser vs. Electric Essential Oil Diffuser

While reed diffusers are usually made up of a glass bottle with a fragrance that is diffused through reeds, an electric essential oil diffuser diffuses essential oils into the air powered by electricity.

The four types of Electric Essential Oil Diffusers on the market:

Need of electricityNeed of waterMaintenance
Nebulizing diffuserXLow
Ultrasonic diffuserHigh
Evaporative diffuserXHigh
Heat diffuserXXLow

Nebulizing diffusers use pressurized air to diffuse a fragrance into the room. They don’t require any heat or water, and they are fairly low maintenance. They don’t use plastic and the oil is diffused in its most pure state.

Ultrasonic diffuser dilutes the oil with water before it is diffused. It uses ultrasonic vibrations to break up the molecules so that they become a fine mist. They require that you clean them regularly because they are made with plastic parts.

Evaporative diffusers use a small fan to turn the oil into a gas state and then it releases it into the air. It needs the user to drop some of the oil onto an absorbent pad. The oil does lose some potency as it evaporates. To keep the potency, the pads need to be replaced and refilled.

Heat diffusers are the fourth type of electric diffuser and they use electric heat to evaporate the oil. Most models make use of candles to heat the oil from below. So it can work without electricity. The heat can change the chemical properties and potency of the oil.

Pros & Cons – Reed Diffusers

Reed diffusers are very low maintenance and they do not require electricity, fans, or anything else. You only need the glass vessel, the reeds, and the oil. In addition, they provide a constant stream of fragrance. You won’t have to turn it on or off, and you can set it and forget about it. It will diffuse the oil until it runs out. They usually last a few months before you have to refill the oil.

On the other hand, you can’t control the amount of fragrance that is diffused throughout your room. You will need to be strategic in your placement, and in a larger room, you may want to use more than one diffuser.

Pros & Cons – Electric Oil Diffusers

Electric oil diffusers have the benefit of allowing you to control how potent the fragrance is in the room. Some also have timers so you can choose when they diffuse. You can even find models that can be controlled by an app on your smartphone. You get control over how long you use the diffuser and how intense the fragrance is.

One disadvantage is that electric diffusers are more expensive. There are a lot of different types and models on the market, and they vary greatly in quality. You will want to make sure that you find an electric diffuser that has good reviews and a track record of customer satisfaction.

DOs & DON’Ts


  • Do Place Your Reed Diffuser in a High-Traffic Area
  • Do Flip the Reeds for More Fragrance
  • Do Clean Out the Vessel and Use a Coaster

Do Place Your Reed Diffuser in a High-Traffic Area

You will want to place your reed diffuser in a high-traffic area so that the fragrance is dispersed throughout the room by the air circulation. As people walk through the area, the air will circulate and the fragrance will be spread throughout the room.

You can also place the reed diffuser near a door and you will pick up the scent whenever you walk into the room. This works well in larger rooms where the reed diffuser has trouble sending the scent to the entire room.

Do Flip the Reeds for More Fragrance

Another way to get more fragrance from your reeds is by flipping them. Some people flip them each day, while others do it every couple of days. This will make the reed diffuser send out more fragrance. 

However, it will also make the fragrance evaporate faster. You will want to strike a balance between flipping the reeds and making the oil last. Some people wait until they are using a room to flip the reeds. Another great idea is to flip the reeds before you go on vacation. The room will smell lovely when you return.

Do Clean Out the Vessel and Use a Coaster

When it is time to refill your vessel, you should clean it out with soap and water. Once it is clean, make sure that it is completely dry before you refill it. It will work better and smell better if you let the old oil finish up, clean it, and then add new oil.

When you change the oil, you should also change the reeds. Make sure that you place the vessel on a coaster so that the oil doesn’t damage the counter or table where it sits.


  • Don’t Fill the Oil to the Top of the Vessel
  • Don’t Flip the Reeds Over a Nice Table
  • Don’t Choose the Wrong Size Diffuser for Your Room

Don’t Fill the Oil to the Top of the Vessel

You need to be careful when you add oil to the vessel. If you fill it too much, it will spill when you add the reeds. Make sure that you set it up on a non-porous surface so that it is easy to clean if it does spill.

Don’t Flip the Reeds Over a Nice Table

When you flip the reeds, the oil may drip off. You should take the reed diffuser over to the sink of a wastebasket before you flip the reeds. This way, you won’t have any oil dripping onto the table.

Don’t Choose the Wrong Size Diffuser for Your Room

It is important to check the size of your room and match it to an appropriate diffuser. If it is too small, the fragrance won’t spread through the entire room, and if it is too large, the scent can be overpowering. Check the recommendations before you choose a diffuser.

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Final Words

Reed diffusers are a low-maintenance way to make your rooms smell good. You can set them up and let them do their job until it is time to replace the oil. They usually last a few months and you can be sure of having a fragrant room every time you come home.

Things You Need to Know Before Using a Reed Diffuser

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