Are Reed Diffusers Eco-friendly? (Find Out This And More)

Have you heard of reed diffusers? They are long-lasting, eco-friendly home fragrance units for your home and health. BASICALLY MAGIC IN A BOTTLE! The fragrance they give out is strong and invigorating, spreading to all corners of the space they’re in.

They are a safer option for the home than their candle counterparts. Let’s explore everything a home fragrance lover like you would want to know about them from their eco-friendly nature to the health reasons why you should make them a staple in your home.

Reed diffusers are eco-friendly and are made up of bio-degradable material. The reeds are made of rattan or bamboo, the oil used is degradable. The container holding these is made up of glass. Commercial ones are usually made of the above materials. Buy from ethical companies selling organic products.

So which to choose? Bamboo or Rattan? These are the two types of reeds available in the market that are suggested for reed diffuser usage.

While bamboo does the job, the rattan is the easy winner here and widely preferred because of its ability to hold the fragrance for a longer period.

If you are investing in a quality organic essential oil that is synthetic-free, phthalate-free, paraben-free, paraffin-free and is alcohol-free, you are probably spending a pretty penny for it and I am guessing you want your money’s worth.

If you can’t get your hands on the rattan type, simple bamboo skewers are your next best bet. Just make sure that your carrier for the essential oil is water and not any other oil.

Are Reed Diffusers Eco-friendly

Know More About Reed Diffuser

The throw is the strength of fragrance-release from an object especially meant to give off fragrance. There are two kinds- cold and hot throw. Reed diffusers possess cold throw.

If you want the best fragrance throw, Rattan reeds are the ones to use. The key to getting the best out of your reed sticks is to use the right type of oils and carriers, and of course, maintaining them.

Make sure you clean them from any dust by wiping them down gently with a lint-free napkin or cloth. Throw also depends on varying factors :

  • The size of the reed sticks
  • The amount of essential oil in the glass jar
  • The amount of space it has to cover
  • Humidity
  • Whether the room is open or closed

The ideal conditions for a reed stick’s optimal effect is a closed, cool room with no draft or humidity and an organic, toxin-free essential oil mix with no carrier oil.

This is usually the best way, but it gets expensive because you could run out of essential oil and may need to top up with new bottles. That is why a carrier oil is suggested to make your essential oil inventory last longer.

Read our full review on Best Reed Diffusers For Large Room and Best Lavender Reed Diffusers.

How Does Reed Diffuser Work?

The reed stick has tiny channels running through its entire length. These channels act as tunnels through which the oils travel through, thereby filling the stick with fragrant oil, and diffusing the scent into the surrounding space where it is placed.

Commercial reed diffusers come with a glass jar that you have to fill with the oil they provide, that has been pre-mixed and kept ready to use. You may or may not get complimentary refill sticks.

Our suggestion is to buy the rattan reed sticks in bulk and make your mix using organic essential oils that you can source from known sellers.

If you opt for commercial reed diffusers, be prepared to shell out a lot of money for the top quality, non-toxic ones.

Whatever you do, do not compromise your health for a few extra bucks you feel good about saving. You get what you pay for.

Things you need, to construct an eco-friendly reed diffuser at home

  • A glass jar
  • 6-10 Rattan diffuser sticks
  • Almond oil (optional carrier oil, if you have loads of money to stock up on organic essential oils)
  • Organic essential oil (neroli, gardenia, bergamot, lemongrass, lavender, to name a few)

Reed Diffusers vs. Other Home Fragrance Options

Here is a list of the different types of home fragrance supplies and their pros and cons compared to the reed diffusers:



  • Soy and beeswax candles are non-toxic and eco-friendly


  • People choose paraffin candles (not eco-friendly) for their cost-effectiveness and end up inhaling toxic fumes and soot
  • Safety of family and belongings is compromised around a burning flame in the home on any given day, so candles need constant supervision
  • low throw
  • Mild to no fragrance

Read more: Are Candles Eco-Friendly



  • Eco-friendly


  • Expensive
  • Short-lasting due to collection of dust because it’s difficult to clean
  • Low throw
  • Moderate fragrance

Eucalyptus Bouquets


  • Non-toxic
  • Eco-friendly
  • Healing properties


  • Expensive in areas that don’t grow it.
  • Limited availability
  • Disintegrates after a few uses
  • Low throw
  • Mild fragrance
  • Needs steam to get activated

Incense Sticks/ Incense Pebbles


  • Eco-friendly


  • Expensive
  • One time use
  • Lots of fumes and smoke is given out during burn time

Electric Diffusers


  • Cannot think of any(Yikes!)


  • Expensive
  • Not eco-friendly
  • Most of them use plastic inside to carry the oil or water, which releases toxic fumes that cause cancer when heated. The stone and metal ones are very expensive and not available in every country.
  • Too bulky to be portable
  • Depends on electricity (which can prove to be unstable at times)

Reed Diffusers


  • Eco-friendly
  • Long-lasting (one set can last up to 4 months)
  • Value for money
  • Strong fragrance
  • Superb throw
  • No fumes
  • No flames (can be left unsupervised)
  • No electricity needed
  • No heat needed in any form
  • Fills the entire room it is in (subject to the quality you purchase)
  • Easy portability (use it in hotel rooms without worrying about the smoke alarm going off)
  • Product availability is not an issue

Need I say more?


  • Cannot think of any (smiles wide)

Benefits of Reed Diffusers

  1. Scented living/workspaces: Imagine waking up to and going to sleep to a calming scent in the air that is filled with the soul-soothing aroma of jasmine flowers. Going into the bathroom is no longer a task, but a relaxing experience because of the rich fragrance of neroli oil being diffused by your reed diffuser. While you work under high stress and deadlines, a reed diffuser can surround you with the relaxing scent of fresh lavender to calm your nerves.
  2. Nightime allure: Reed diffusers, active at night, help with insomnia. Those who cannot relax will do so in their presence.
  3. Motion sickness: Your car smelling of citrus scents from organic lime peel oil will help you not feel nauseous or sick. Travel no longer will induce panic attacks for those suffering from high anxiety.
  4. Keep pests away: If you’re traveling to or living in a tropical country, citronella reed diffusers will keep the mosquitoes and other pests away. Just keep one at the window and the entrance to your room.
  5. Mental health: Activities like reading, painting, meditation, and cooking can be done in the room where you have a reed diffuser diffusing your favorite fragrance. This will help your body relax and calm your mind when you feel like unwinding.

Note: 100ml of diffuser oil should last about 5 months if care is taken to maintain it well. 

Read more about How Long Do Reed Diffusers Last.

Do’s and Dont’s

  • Keep the reeds free from dust contamination as dust will clog the porous structure within it that helps the diffusion process.
  • Keep the reed diffuser in a closed room preferably.
  • Replace with new reeds if you find the reed is no longer giving off a scent.
  • Do not keep turning over the reeds too often, since this will finish your oils too soon. Gently swirl the glass jar containing oil for a stronger fragrance.
  • Do not keep the reed sticks within the reach of pets and children.
  • Do not use a saturated reed stick with a different type of oil. The scents can mix to give off an unfavorable odor.
  • Do not put the glass jar near heat.
  • Change up the oil now and again, depending on the strength and preference of fragrance.
  • Never pour new oil into a previously used diffuser bottle that has not been cleaned and dried.
  • Buy the rattan reeds in bulk for a cost-effective purchase.
  • Make sure all products are organic and toxin-free.
  • Make sure you do not flip the reeds over an area that could suffer from an oil spill. Preferably, flip reeds over a sink.
  • Do a patch test for allergies on everyone who lives with you to see if they’re allergic to any of the oils you use.
  • Pick the correct sized bottle for the reeds and the amount of oil you intend on using. Consider the size of the room when choosing. The bigger the room, the bigger the diffuser needed, and the more number of reeds and oil needed.


Are reed diffusers eco friendly to the end of their use? Yes, if disposed of correctly. Recycle the glass jar and properly dispose of the oil into a biodegradable garbage bag that is well labeled.

Grace Young

I love candles! I have personally tried over 100 brands of candles. The total burn time of these candles is over 5000 hours. I also talk about essential oil diffusers and reed diffusers. Essential oil diffusers and diffusers are also an important part of the scent in my home.

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