How do Reed Diffusers Work

How do Reed Diffusers Work

What are reed diffusers?

Reed diffusers, in appearance, is a jar or a glass bottle of essential oils with several reeds inserted within.

Unlike candles, essential oil reed diffusers do not require any heat. Hence reed diffusers are flame-free. Flame-free means no soot and also no risk of fire. They diffuse the scent into the air naturally instead.

Unlike ultrasonic diffusers or nebulizers, a reed diffuser doesn’t need electricity to operate. 

These features make reed diffusers a more practical scent method in some specific scenarios like warehouse or bathroom.

Being very simple to use, reed diffusers are popular in home fragrance right now. 

Keep reading to find out how they work.

How do reed diffusers work?

Generally, the reeds are designed for greater performance of diffusing as the essential oil is diffused along the entire length of the reed. For example, it has a porous structure that provides a controlled rate of fragrance release. Each diffuser stick contains more than twenty separated cellular sections that run from top to bottom of the reed-like 20+ microscopic tubes

They’re totally open to pull liquid from bottom to top. With capillary action, these reed diffuser sticks wick the essential oils from inside the bottle, carrying it to the top surface of the reed, and releasing the lovely scent into the air naturally.

In a word, the reeds soak up the scent and emit a pleasant aroma around your home – naturally.

How to Set Up a Reed Diffuser

In some cases, diffusers are packaged with the essential oil already in the vessel. If that is your case, just remove the stopper and then insert the reeds.

If the oil is packaged in a different bottle, add the essential oil to the vessel and insert the reeds. The maximum loading is ¾ of the vessel capacity. And keep the remaining oil in the bottle in a cool, dark cabinet. The oil will remain fresh longer in a tightly sealed container. 

When needed, refill the diffuser vessel with essential oil to keep the scent.

Keep your eyes open for oil level when inserting the reed diffuser sticks. As in some cases, the level of the essential oil can raise enough to spill out the top of the vessel. A great idea to set up a diffuser is doing that on another surface and clean any oil drips off the vessel before you gonna place it on a delicate countertop. It is better safe than sorry, like always.

It is totally ok if you make your own reed diffuser vessel with a container you have got in your house. A reed diffuser will work well with any small container which has a narrow opening (like a small ketchup glass bottle). Set up an essential oil reed diffuser by following instructions stated above and you’re good to go.


Tips on How to Use a Reed Diffuser

Set your diffuser in a high traffic location where the scent will diffuse throughout the room with air circulation. Another recommended spot is inside the room near the door so you can catch the scent as long as you enter the room. In a word, regard a reed diffuser as a vase with flowers – as their mechanics are similar.

By this setting method you’ll smell the scent when walking by, even though in some cases it can not fill the whole room with aroma.

Flip the reeds for more fragrance. You can flip a few reeds once a week or all the reeds every single day, depending on your needs. Just note that the more reeds you flip and the more frequency of flipping, the quicker the reed diffuser oil will evaporate.

Be cautious when flipping the reeds. Flip the reeds over a sink and clean the vessel surface of any scent oil drips before placing it on your delicate tablecloth.

Place a plate under your diffuser to keep any essential oil drops from damaging your costly blanket

Flip some reeds of your diffuser before going to work. When home you’ll be welcomed by graceful scent.

Select a reed diffuser suitable for your room. An essential oil reed diffuser works like a bouquet of flowers – the larger the diffuser and the more reeds, the greater the aroma so these will work well in a larger space. 

If you plan to refill your diffuser, clean out the vessel with soap and water and let it dry completely before you refill it. 

When you change the oil, you would also need to replace the reeds. Reeds get dusty and clogged over time and lose their diffusing efficiency. Since not all reeds are the same, it is better to stick with the reeds of the same brand when you change the essential oil.

Reeds vary in lengths. Use whichever length looks best to you. You don’t want them so long to be top-heavy so that they are likely to get knocked over. (An example, don’t use 15″ high reeds in a 3″ tall vessel.) Generally, AromaEasy prefers the reeds sticking out of the bottle a bit more than equivalent to the height of the bottle. 


Can I refill reed diffusers with different essential oil and use the exact same reeds?

As soon as reeds have been used for certain oil, you can not use them for reed diffuser oil refill with another scent. The scent that is soaked up into your reeds will mix with the new one and might produce unfavorable scent combinations, so we don’t suggest doing so.

My reed diffuser doesn’t smell as it used to even though there’s still lots of oil in the jar. What can I do?

You could try flipping the reeds, this simple translocation may help to boost the diffusion efficiency. As mentioned before, keep in mind that the more often you flip your reeds the faster the oil will disperse. Another way to reposition reeds is giving the bottle one gentle “swirl” or two. This may also help to strengthen the aroma.


As mentioned previously, reeds get dusty and clogged over time and lose their diffusing efficiency. If lots of oil still remains and flipping the reeds doesn’t help your reed diffuser work well, consider replacing your reeds. Actually, you can replace reeds periodically to maintain diffusing efficiency. We would recommend doing this after 100ml essential oil has actually finished, time-wise that needs to be about 4 months.

How long do my reed diffusers last?

There are many factors that contribute to the time length of oils lasting. Weather, room temperature, closed doors, open doors, humidity, etc. However, in general and summarized, 100ml diffuser oil would last for approximately 4 months.

Is there any difference between reed diffuser oil and pure essential oil?

Yes, essential oils for reed diffusers are totally different than pure essential oils. Cold diffusing with reeds is very different than diffusing essential oils with heat or vibration. Extracted from plants and herbs, some pure essential oils are thick with high viscosity, which are not suitable for cold diffusing. To make a reed diffuser work well with these essential oils, reed diffuser refills suppliers always add other ingredients to dilute them. Since aromatherapy needs essential oils with enough amount and purity. Reed diffuser, have to say, has not much relevance to aromatherapy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *