How To Use A Reed Diffuser? 3 Easy Steps

Scented candles are often the most popular way of filling a house up with beautiful smells.

However, the main disadvantage is that you have to keep your eye on them so they don’t burn your house down.

For those who don’t want to keep a close eye but want their house to be filled with refreshing scents then reed diffusers are a great alternative.

Depending on how the diffuser is packaged, they can be incredibly easy to use. If it comes with oil already stored inside then you can place the reeds inside and it is ready to go.

However, if the diffuser doesn’t have any oil inside it then you will have to purchase the essential oil separately and then pour a few drops in before placing the reeds in.

Usually, setting up a reed diffuser is an incredibly easy process but it works correctly when using the correct amount of oil. Too much oil can be overwhelming while not using enough won’t bring the scent through.

If you have to buy an essential oil separately then store it in a cool, dark place to ensure that it stays fresher for a longer period of time. 

In this guide, we’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about reed diffusers as well as some tips to ensure that you make the most of your new product.

Setting up the reed diffuser

The first thing you’ll need to do is set up your reed diffuser before adding the fragrance itself.

Depending on what kind of diffuser you purchase, the instructions may differ slightly. However, most of them follow the same instructions as follows:

1. Dipping the sticks into the oil

If your diffuser comes with the oil already stored inside then dipping the sticks into the oil will be easy.

You simply take the sticks and dip them in the oil, giving some time for them to absorb the soil. However, if the essential oil is separate then it can be a bit tricky.

When you are pouring the oil into the diffuser, be sure not to spill any out and put enough in where placing the sticks into it won’t cause the diffuser to overfill.

If you place your diffuser on a nonporous surface, then you’ll also be preventing any potential spillage while making it easier to clean should it spill.

Again, like before, dip the sticks into the oil and give it some time to absorb the oils. 

2. Flipping the sticks

Once the sticks have absorbed enough oil, you’ll need to flip the sticks so the absorbed ends are in the air and the dry ends are placed near to the diffuser itself. This will mean that the scent will start to permeate in the air. 

3. Reposition

Now that the dry ends of the sticks are placed inside the diffuser, the absorbed end will be facing the air meaning that the scent should be able to spread across your space.

What this does is allow the scent to evaporate into the air which provides a subtle smell around the space. When the smell has faded a bit, you can simply repeat the flipping stage until there is no oil left.

This should not only ensure that you have a refreshing scent but also means that it will last a long time. 

Reed diffuser buying guide

As evident in the above instructions, setting up and using a reed diffuser is incredibly simple and easy.

However, making sure that you have a high quality diffuser will ensure that you have the best experience and most use from your product.

There are a lot of options available on the market and it can seem overwhelming to know which one is going to be the best choice for you.

Here are some tips that you should consider when researching which reed diffuser is the right one for you:

  • Material of the reed sticks

The first thing you always need to think about is the material of your reed sticks. There are several popular options for you to choose from which all have their advantages and disadvantages. 

The first of these is bamboo which is the cheapest option and the weakest of the three.

They are great for those who want their diffuser to fill the room for short periods of time but unfortunately, their inability to correctly absorb oil properly means that they aren’t effective for long term use.

A lot of cheap diffusers may come with bamboo reed sticks which you should try to see how they work for you and then swap for another material later down the line so you can experience the comparisons for yourself. 

The second option is rattan reeds which don’t have any nodes or pockets and absorb the oils through the clear channels within their structure.

They absorb oils quickly but they can get greasy very fast meaning that they have to be changed more frequently so they are high maintenance.

On the other hand, you can select a larger thickness which takes longer for the oil to absorb. 

Lastly, synthetic reeds are made from polyester stretch yarn and incorporate a foamy texture which helps to absorb the oils. They are highly absorbent and don’t get greasy like rattan reeds.

Their disadvantage is that they are not eco-friendly since they cannot be recycled and they can also be costly due to the amount of money it takes to make them. 

  • The amount of reeds and thickness

The next thing you need to think about are how many reeds you want to use and their thickness. This can affect how effective your diffuser works and how well the fragrance will travel around the room.

Thicker reeds can be expensive but they absorb more oil than thinner counterparts which means that the scent will travel round the room and also be stronger in its fragrance.

However, thicker reeds require more oil and they don’t last as long as thinner reeds meaning that you will need to use a lot of them. Getting reeds with a 3-4mm thickness means that you have the best of both worlds.

  • Bottleneck size

Another factor that is important is the size of the bottleneck that the reed diffuser has.

Selecting a narrower one is better as they allow for more concentrated oil to absorb into the reeds whereas a wider bottleneck will mean that the oil will evaporate directly into the air which then means that your oil will run out.

The downside to narrow bottlenecks is that you cannot use as many reeds but this ensures that the oil lasts longer. 

  • Oils

Lastly, always think about what oils you want to use. After all, this will determine what kind of scent you want to permeate the space.

Making sure that you choose scented oils that have natural essential oils at their base to ensure that the scent is strong enough.

The more essential oils that an oil contains, the more expensive it will be but it will last longer and bring a more natural fragrance to your space. 

Reed diffuser tips

Knowing how to set up your reed diffuser and what to look out for is just the start.

When you’ve made your decision and are ready to set it up, there are certain tips you should consider and follow to ensure that you extend the lifespan of your diffuser while also ensuring that you benefit the most from it.

Here are some handy tips for you to know:

  • Always place your diffuser onto a coaster or nonporous surface which prevents your countertop from getting damaged via spillage.
  • Make sure that you place your diffuser in an area where the scent can spread easily and naturally throughout the whole space. 
  • Flipping the reeds occasionally can help generate a stronger fragrance. 
  • Making sure the reeds are flipped in a sink and the oil drips off completely before placing it on your countertop can also prevent excessive spillage.
  • If you are going on vacation, flip your reeds before you go so you can be welcomed by a lovely fragrance on your return. 
  • Always clean your diffuser with warm water and mild soap before refilling it with oil so there is no accidental mixing of scents. 


Overall, knowing how to use a reed diffuser isn’t as difficult a process as it may seem.

If you want your house to be filled with aromatic scents but don’t want the risk that comes with candles then reed diffusers are definitely the right choice for you.

Knowing how to set them up as well as being aware of what to look out for when choosing which one is right for you is going to ensure that you have the most positive experience.

It goes without saying that you should always look into the quality of the diffuser as well as the reeds and oils before purchasing them to ensure that you get the most from them.

Also consider the space where the diffuser will be located as you want to make sure that it won’t be overwhelming in a small space or lost in a larger room.

Reading customer reviews can help give you a better understanding of what to expect.