How Long Do Reed Diffusers Last?


A reed diffuser is a safe, long-lasting alternative to other products that create pleasant aromas for your home. Reed diffusers consist of a fragrance container, typically a bottle made of glass, a lovely smelling fragrance oil, and anywhere from 5 to 10 sticks called reeds that soak up the oil and disperse its aroma into the air. 

Reed diffusers usually last from one to six months. The amount of time a reed diffuser disperses its fragrance depends on the quality of the oil, the number of reeds used, the shape of the bottle, and the environment of the room where the diffuser is located. 

To get a sense of how long your reed diffuser will last, consider what type of oil it contains, how many reeds you use in it, how your diffuser bottle’s shape affects evaporation, and the indoor environment in your home. This article will help you figure out how long you can expect your reed diffuser to last and give you tips on how to make it last even longer. 

How Long Do Reed Diffusers Last
My NEST reeed diffuser

How Long Will Your Reed Diffuser Last?

This table shows the factors that influence how long a 300 ml reed diffuser will last. 

Reed Diffuser Will Last 1 to 3 MonthsReed Diffuser Will Last 3 to 6 Months
Heavy, synthetic fragranceLight fragrance oil 
Wide bottle openingNarrow bottle opening
Synthetic reeds, bamboo reedsRattan reeds
Using more than 8 to 10 reedsUsing between 5 to 8 reeds
Cold, dry room environmentModerate room temperature and humidity
Constant, strong airflow Moderate airflow

If you are wondering how long your reed diffuser will last, you can get a general estimate by thinking about what type of fragrance oil your diffuser contains, the shape of the oil container, the type of reed, how many reeds you are using, as well if your home’s air is humid or dry. 

  • Fragrance Oil

When it comes to fragrance oils for your reed diffuser, natural oils like safflower or almond oil combined with essentials are the best option for long-lasting scent enjoyment. These types of oils flow up the reeds easily and permeate the space with their gentle aroma. 

Other types of fragrance oils are sometimes used in reed diffusers. Oils that are full of synthetic fillers can clog the reeds and cause them to stop diffusing the scent. Alternatively, poorly mixed oils might allow for a heavy scent at first with too-fast evaporation. 

The longest-lasting oil for a reed diffuser is one made of gentle, natural oils in a perfect ratio that allows for smooth absorption at a steady rate. 

Read more: Best Reed Diffuser Oil Refills

  • Oil Container Shape

The shape of the oil container plays a part in how long a reed diffuser lasts. A bottle with a wide opening may look nice with several wider reeds, but it will also allow the oil to evaporate more quickly. A wide opening might also fail to keep out dust from the room which can lead to clogged reeds. 

Bottles with slim openings are a better choice and prevent dust, hair, and dirt particles from landing in your fragrance. They also slow down the evaporation process, allowing your diffuser to last a full three to six months. 

  • Type of Reeds

Reed diffusers use reeds to carry the scent from the jar up into the air. Depending on the type of reed that is used, the scent may last longer or evaporate more quickly. 

Many reed diffusers use rattan reeds. Rattan is a type of palm plant found in Asia. The reeds that are made of rattan contain small, hollow tubes. This feature is perfect for reed diffusers because it allows the oil to travel up the miniature tunnels and spread the scent in the air. Rattan reeds are ideal because they do not get clogged or oversaturated with oil; instead, they produce a mild, long-lasting scent effect. 

Some reed diffusers use bamboo in place of rattan. Bamboo is a plant that is cultivated in several countries around the world. Its wood is extremely durable and water-resistant. Bamboo reeds work similarly to rattan reeds in a diffuser, but bamboo reeds are denser and offer a less smooth transfer of oil. Fragrance molecules can get stuck on nodes on the bamboo reeds, therefore the scent doesn’t disperse as evenly or last as long. 

Lastly, some reed diffusers feature reeds made of synthetic materials. These manmade reeds use composite materials to mimic the characteristics of natural reeds. Typically, these reeds do not work as well as reeds made of rattan, as the chemical components do not allow for natural oil absorption or dispersal. The result is that your reed diffuser’s scent appears quite strong in the beginning but fades quickly and doesn’t last very long. 

Read more: Best Reed Diffuser Sticks

  • Number of Reeds

The number of reeds used in a reed diffuser affects how long the scent will last. The fewer reeds you use, the less strong the aroma will be, but the longer it will last. Alternatively, if you use several reeds the scent will be very strong but the oil will be used up faster. 

The trick is to find a balance with the number of reeds used to create a scent that disperses pleasantly throughout the room but also allows the diffuser to last for several months. This is accomplished by using between five to eight reeds, depending on the size of the room. 

The diameter and length of the reeds also play a part in how many reeds you use and how long the scent lasts. Reeds usually come in diameters 2.75mm, 3mm, and 3.25mm round, with lengths of between 10” to 15”. The wider the reed, the more oil it will soak up and disperse, and the shorter time it will last. Reeds with a smaller diameter may use less oil and last a bit longer.

Read more: Can You Reuse Diffuser Reeds

  • Indoor Environment

The ambient environment in your home can affect the amount of time a reed diffuser lasts. Indoor environment elements to take into account are the airflow in the room and the humidity level.   

  • Humidity Level and Temperature

To put the scent out into the room, a reed diffuser disperses the oil into the air. The fragrance molecules travel through the air to reach your nose. The amount of moisture in the air, or the humidity level, affects how far and wide these fragrance molecules can spread. 

When temperatures get lower, the air gets dryer which results in slow-moving scent molecules that don’t travel very far. Dry, cold air also causes faster evaporation of the oil. Both of these phenomena combined equal a less intense, shorter-lasting fragrance experience from your reed diffuser. 

Reed diffusers last much longer and produce a more satisfying aroma when placed in a home in which the air contains some humidity and remains at a moderate temperature. 

  • Room Ventilation

In addition to temperature and humidity, the ventilation in a room affects how long a reed diffuser can last. A space that contains fast-moving air from a fan or open window is likely to cause the diffuser to dry out sooner, whereas a diffuser that is placed in a spot with little air movements, such as a small bathroom or laundry room is going to last much longer. 

Make Your Reed Diffuser Last Longer

To make your reed diffuser last longer, follow these helpful tips. 

  1. Purchase a high-quality reed diffuser that uses rattan reeds and a natural fragrance oil mixture.
  2. Place your reed diffuser in an area that is free from cold or constantly fast-moving air.
  3. Start with five to eight reeds in your diffuser and add one at a time to achieve the scent intensity you desire.
  4. Store extra reeds in a closed baggie to prevent them from getting clogged
  5. Flip your reeds once or twice per week to keep the oil wicking up.

P.S.: You can refill your reed diffuser when the fragrant oil is empty. Read our full article on How to Refill Your Reed Diffuser.

Freshen Your Home With a Reed Diffuser 

A quality reed diffuser is going to last anywhere between three to six months before it needs to be replaced. A reed diffuser is the perfect home scenting option due to its ability to last for a long time without needing to be attended to constantly. Simply place your reeds in the bottle of oil, flip them every now and then, and enjoy the fresh scent they put out into your space. 

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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