If you want to infuse your bedroom, living room, or any other area of your home with a fresh fragrance that welcomes guests and makes you happy, you don’t have to break out a scented candle and light the wick. Instead, try a reed diffuser–a subtle solution that you can keep in the background as part of your everyday home decor to keep your space smelling incredible day in and day out. These sleek diffusers blend into the background (though some feature standout and stylish designs), pulling fragrant oils from glass bottles and dispersing them into the air via a small stick.
With a reed diffuser, you can fill your space with your favorite scents, all without the risks that come with lighting a traditional candle. And there’s an option for every sense of style. We researched the best reed diffusers available, considering key details like fragrance and ingredients, diffuser size and design, and the lifespan of the scent when used.
Nest New York Reed Diffuser
Classy glass bottle
Chic black sticks
Nest is known for high-quality scented candles, and you can expect nothing less from the brand's reed diffuser. The set comes with an etched glass jar reminiscent of a tiny flower vase, 8.5 ounces of fragrance oil, and eight chic black bamboo sticks. You can use all eight reeds at once for a more noticeable aroma or just a few for a subtler scent. The reed sticks soak up the oil, then release a continuous fragrance into your home for three months. You can also flip the sticks over every week or so to refresh the scent.
This top-shelf kit is available in 21 fragrances. There's lemon-mint, apricot tea, Sicilian tangerine, grapefruit, birchwood pine, lemongrass-ginger, and Mediterranean fig—to name just a few. Many of the scents align with Nest's scented candles, soaps, and linen sprays, so you can use corresponding products throughout your home as needed. There's a lot to love about this reed-diffusing set. We only wish the price were a bit more accessible.
Price at time of publish: $58
Material: Glass, bamboo | Size: 8.5 ounces | Life span: 3 months
Cocod'or Flower Reed Diffuser
19 scents available
Meets IFRA standards
Some scents are perfumey
Only five sticks
On a budget? Check out the wallet-friendly Cocod'or Reed Diffuser. It comes with a clear glass container, 6.7 ounces of fragrance oil, and five black bamboo sticks (not as many as others on this list). There's also a mini 1.6-ounce option, a 3.4-ounce container, and an extra-large one with 16.9 ounces of oil. You'll get dried flowers, too, which you can remove if they're not your cup of tea.
From balsam-cedar to eucalyptus-lemon, you can choose from 19 different scents, each of which promises two months of pleasant aroma. While some of the fragrances might smell a bit perfumey, the brand says they meet the International Fragrance Association standards for safe, eco-friendly ingredients.
Price at time of publish: $22
Material: Glass, bamboo | Size: 1.6–16.9 ounces | Life span: 2 months
Diptyque Home Fragrance Reed Diffuser
Faceted oval vessel
Limited scent options
If you're looking to splurge, check out Diptyque's Home Fragrance Reed Diffuser. This premium product comes with a faceted oval vessel that looks like a valuable antique. You'll also get six black rattan sticks and 6.8 ounces of fragrance oil that provides three months' worth of consistent aromatherapy.
While only three scents are available, it's still hard to choose because they're all really amazing. The most popular is Baies, a fruity-floral blend of blackcurrant and rosebuds. Then there's Roses, which combines—yes—roses with litchi fruit, bergamot, and musk. The third option is Tubéreuse, a fresh, flowery fragrance with sweet, fruity notes.
Price at time of publish: $190
Material: Glass, rattan | Size: 6.8 ounces | Life span: 3 months
Best for Gifting
Homesick Premium Reed Diffuser
Seven reed sticks
Not very noticeable in large rooms
Shopping for someone else? As with Homesick's popular U.S. state-inspired scented candles, the brand's reed diffusers make an excellent gift. This set comes with a glass bottle, eight bamboo sticks, and 4 ounces of aromatherapy scented oil, all in a wrappable box.
The nostalgic fragrances range from city names, such as New York and Los Angeles, to holiday-inspired concoctions, like Pumpkin Picking and The Nutcracker. Though the oil is supposed to release a scent for up to three months, it's somewhat faint compared to others and may not be noticeable in large rooms. That said, flipping the reeds every week or so can help.
Price at time of publish: $39
Material: Glass, bamboo | Size: 4 ounces | Life span: 2–3 months
Best for Bathrooms
P.F. Candle Co. Rattan Reed Diffuser
Can take several days to release scent
If you're looking for a reed diffuser to place in your bathroom, we suggest P.F. Candle Co. This set comes with an apothecary-style amber glass bottle, 3.5 ounces of fragrance oil, and seven 9-inch-long rattan sticks. Since the bottle is about 2 inches wide, you can place it nearly anywhere—on a shelf, the counter, or even the toilet tank lid.
There are eight earth-inspired scents ranging from amber-moss to sandalwood-rose to sweet grapefruit. Each lasts about four months, slowly releasing into your space. Just note it might take several days before you begin to notice the aroma.
Price at time of publish: $29
Material: Glass, rattan | Size: 3.5 ounces | Life span: 3–4 months
Best for Bedrooms
Capri Blue Volcano Signature Reed Oil Diffuser
Standout, long-lasting tropical scent
Hand-poured oil blend
Fragrance fills rooms small and large
Can be somewhat overwhelming in small spaces
Limited fragrance options
When it comes to home fragrance, one of the most popular scents is Capri Blue’s Volcano – a deeply blue-hued glass candle that emits a wonderful tropical smell. Capri Blue has taken its much-loved fragrance beyond a traditional candle, though, and turned it into an easy-to-use reed oil diffuser that you can use without lighting a flame (or worrying about leaving it lit for hours!) Fans of Capri Blue note that this reed diffuser smells just like the original candle, and there are even additional fragrances to choose from if you’d like something a little different. With a strongly-scented hand-poured oil blend, you’ll be able to fill bedrooms both large and small with its great smell. This diffuser is particularly great for those looking to brighten up their bedroom with a scent that’s energizing and enticing.
However, there isn’t a wide range of fragrance options; if you aren’t a fan of Capri Blue’s Volcano or two other scents, there’s not much else to choose from. Additionally, some customers note that if you have a smaller bedroom, the scent can be pretty strong. Overall, though, if it’s a familiar fragrance you want to bring right into your home, this potent diffuser delivers.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: Glass diffuser bottle, wood reeds | Size: 8 ounces | Life Span: Not listed
Best for Large Rooms
Pottery Barn Seasonal Scent Collection Reed Diffuser
Only five reeds
Pottery Barn's simple yet classy reed diffuser comes with a square glass bottle and 10 ounces of oil. This makes it ideal for living rooms and other large spaces. Though it only comes with five sticks, they're relatively thick, so they can soak up more of the fragrance.
The set is available in scent profiles inspired by each of the four seasons. There's pink jasmine for spring, fresh summery linen, fern for fall, and wintry Pacific grove. Though they're technically seasonal, they're versatile enough for year-round use. This reed diffuser is pricey, but the generous size makes it a decent value.
Price at time of publish: $16
Material: Glass, bamboo, cork | Size: 10 ounces | Life span: Not specified
Best for Home Office
Apotheke Charcoal Reed Diffuser
Nine reed sticks
Only one scent for black bottle
Apotheke's Charcoal Reed Diffuser is just the thing for your home office. This handsome all-black set comes with a matte bottle, 6.7 ounces of oil, and nine sticks (more than most). The full-bodied aroma is sophisticated, with a woody base, notes of smokey amber, and a hint of sweet, earthy oud.
This particular bundle is only available in one scent. While we think the sleek design and gender-neutral aroma are ideal for a workstation, Apotheke has several other excellent fragrance profiles, including woody amber, magnolia, and salty grapefruit. And they all last up to four months.
Price at time of publish: $54
Material: Glass, bamboo | Size: 6.7 ounces | Life span: 3–4 months
Voluspa Eucalyptus and White Sage Reed Diffuser
Delivers fragrance for 4 to 6 months
A wide range of fragrance options from soothing to strong
Free of phthalates, pesticides, parabens, and sulfates
Strength varies depending on the fragrance you choose
If you want a reed diffuser that’ll deliver continuous fragrance without leaving you worrying about refill on the regular, we love Voluspa’s Reed Diffuser. Available in a wide selection of different scents, you can customize how your space smells with options that are crisp and airy, like a blend of Eucalyptus and White Sage, or vibrant and fruity, like Sijo Persimmon. Best of all, each of Voluspa’s oil fragrance blends is designed to last anywhere from four to six months in total, giving you as much as a month or more in lifespan compared to the typical reed diffuser.
Additionally, we love that the fragrance blend itself is made without chemical additives. Each variety is free of phthalates, pesticides, parabens, and sulfates, and as an added bonus they’re never tested on animals. Just keep in mind that the fragrances do vary; some are stronger than others, so it may take a little trial and error to find one that’s ideal for your preferences.
Price at time of publish: $40
Material: Glass diffuser, rattan reeds | Size: 6 ounces | Life Span: 4 to 6 months
Best for Small Spaces
Floral Street Reed Diffuser
Made with sustainably-sourced materials
Free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, dyes, and pigments
Light, consistent fragrance that doesn’t overpower a room
Pricey for the size
Too light for larger spaces
If you’re searching for a diffuser that’s well-sized for small spaces, the Floral Street Reed Diffuser is the perfect fit. With a bottle that holds just 3.4 ounces of essential oil, this diffuser can offer months of light fragrance without overwhelming smaller bedrooms, living rooms, and offices. Plus, if you’re concerned about the ingredients inside the oil-based fragrance you’re breathing in, Floral Street only uses cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainably sourced ingredients. Each scent is made without additives like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, dyes, and pigments, And even the packaging and reeds are smartly selected; they’re recyclable and FSC certified!
We like Floral Street’s reed diffuser for small spaces only; the smaller size of the glass bottle means this diffuser holds less oil, which makes it less potent (and even imperceptible) in large rooms or open areas. It also runs more expensive, but due to the high-quality oil and cruelty-free nature, it’s a worthwhile investment for those who want to prioritize top-tier and sustainable ingredients.
Price at time of publish: $56
Material: Glass, wood reeds | Size: 3.4 ounces | Lifespan: up to 4 months
Our top pick is the Nest New York Bamboo Reed Diffuser, which earned high marks for its thoughtful design and long-lasting fragrance. That said, the Cocod'or Flower Reed Diffuser is another great option sold at a fraction of the price.
What to Look for When Buying a Reed Diffuser
When choosing a reed diffuser, you’ll want to consider the size of both the bottle (or diffuser) and the reeds (which work to bring the fragrance into your space). There’s no “right” size for a reed diffuser; it’s entirely up to you, and how strong you’d like the diffuser’s fragrance to be. Interior designer Emerie Forehand recommends paying attention to the size. This includes the dimensions of the bottle and sticks, as well as how many ounces of oil it comes with. "Select one that will blend in as an accessory but is still large enough to fill each space," Forehand says.
Larger diffusers with longer reeds, as well as more reeds per bottle, tend to offer longer scent lifespans and deliver a stronger scent throughout your space. The bigger the bottle, the more fragrance oil a reed diffuser can hold and disperse. Similarly, the more reeds you use–and the longer they are–the more reach the fragrance will have.
The fragrances and oil blends used in your typical reed diffuser aren’t any different from what you’d add into an electric diffuser. They’re your basic (and highly fragrant) essential oils! While most retailers that offer reed diffusers will also sell different essential oils and oil blends designed to be used with the diffuser, you can also choose to purchase these separately. In any case, you want to look for oils that are made with high-quality ingredients. Some can be made with alcohol and additives like parabens and phthalates; if you want to ensure you’re breathing in a “clean” fragrance, look for oils that don’t contain these. Instead, oils that are 100 percent natural, certified USDA organic, and made with natural ingredients rather than synthetic fragrances are best.
Choosing the fragrance your reed diffuser gives off is easy, but it’s an important consideration. Some fragrance oils are stronger than others, offering more potent scents. While some people may want a strong fragrance, others may want something lighter and more subtle. So, how do you choose? Think about the space you’ll be using your reed diffuser in and how you’d like to feel. Scents set the mood–for example, a soothing fragrance like lavender can calm the mind and help instill relaxation. Alternatively, citrus can be refreshing, bright, and energizing.
"The aromas of essential oils have so much potential to influence your emotions and overall well-being for the better," Forehand says. From calming florals and romantic musks to energizing citrus and earthy blends, there's something for everyone.
Different reed diffusers offer different lifespans, or lengths of time they emit fragrance. While these diffusers are pretty hands-off in terms of maintenance and use, they do eventually weaken in fragrance and use up all of their scented essential oils. In general, to extend the lifespan, you’ll want to flip the reeds over once each week. After about three months, the fragrance will have dissipated completely. However, depending on the size of the diffuser bottle, how much oil it contains, and the size or length of your reeds, you may be able to get another month or few weeks out of your particular diffuser.
It’s always a good idea to consider what kinds of refills you’ll need to use with any particular reed diffuser. Can you choose any essential oils and oil blends, or will you need to stick with a particular brand or blends of ingredients? Each reed diffuser is different, and can hold different amounts of oil, so make sure to look into the details of what works best for the products you’re most interested in.
How does a reed diffuser work?
Reed diffusers typically come with some sort of vessel, usually a glass bottle, plus scented oil and bamboo or rattan sticks. When you fill the bottle with the oil and place the sticks inside, they absorb the fragrance and eventually disperse it into the air.
How long do reed diffusers last?
Reed diffusers last anywhere from two to five months. The scent life span depends on a few factors, including the potency of the fragrance, the size and shape of the bottle, how much oil is used, and how many sticks are placed inside. Flipping the reeds periodically can help prevent the aroma from fading.
Where's the best place to put a reed diffuser?
"High-traffic areas work great so that the aromas can move through the space," says Forehand, noting that placing it near a door, open window, or air vent can dilute the scent. Since reed diffusers generally don't have very large coverage areas, they're also often ideal for smaller areas, like bathrooms, bedrooms, and home offices.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a commerce writer specializing in home decor, lifestyle, and leisure. For this article, she interviewed interior designer Emerie Forehand for tips on buying and placement, then researched today's best-selling reed diffusers. After reviewing a plethora of options, she narrowed it down based on coverage area, scent duration, aesthetic, and overall value.
Holland covers decorative accents, home scents, deodorizers, and cleaning products at The Spruce. You can read more of her work on People, Travel + Leisure, and Byrdie.