Low effort, high impact, and alluringly subtle, the best reed diffusers add effortless aroma to your space without knocking you over the head with scent. That said, their long life spans (and higher price points) make them a bit more of a commitment than your typical candle or room spray. To help you invest wisely, we’ve tracked down the best, high-quality reed diffusers across the web today.
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Why Use a Reed Diffuser
The scent from a high-quality reed diffuser may be more subtle, but it lingers (typically three to four months, as long as you flip the reeds). It also does its good fragrance work without the threat of an open flame. Another benefit of reed diffusers is that many of them double as décor—they’re leaps and bounds more stylish than a cheap air plugin.
That being said, there are a few things to look out for to ensure you’re getting a good quality product.
Opt for Rattan Reeds
You’ll occasionally see bamboo or synthetic reeds paired with a diffuser, but we prefer rattan. They have clear hollow channels that help the oil travel more naturally so you can get the full sensory benefits. Compared to synthetic reeds, rattan absorbs and diffuses oil a bit slower, so things will be a bit more subtle, but we’ll take natural over synthetic any day. (Plus, a rapidly diffused scent could turn overwhelming fast.)
How Often Should You Flip?
The consensus is to flip your reed sticks about once a week, or whenever you want a burst of fragrance. You can slow it to once every two weeks if you want to make the oil last longer. Flip a few at a time—instead of all at once—to limit oil drips.
When Should You Get New Reeds?
After six months, it’s probably time to replace reeds completely. Swapping them out every two to three months may be even better, according to Harlem Candle Company. “Good quality rattan reeds can last up to six months, but after the first month you might notice the scent starting to fade,” Teri Johnson writes in a blog post. “That’s because dust and other impurities can start to clog up the reed over time, which hinders the fragrance oil from diffusing properly.”
The 15 Best, High-Quality Reed Diffusers of 2023
There’s a good reason that, despite increasing luxury competition, Nest’s popularity has persevered—and you’ll find the brand on nearly every best-list on the internet. Its sumptuous scents are irresistible, with thousands of five-star reviews to back them up. For a universally-approved gift, opt for Nest’s clean “Bamboo” scent.
Harlem Candle Co.
Inspired by the rich culture of Harlem, Teri Johnson’s made-in-New York scents were bound to be wonderfully evocative. The highly-rated “Josephine” scent celebrates the sensuality of “The Bronze Goddess” of the Harlem Renaissance with notes of citrus bergamot, amber, and sandalwood.
P.F. Candle Co.
Interior designer Anne Sage once shared her love of this particular P.F. Candle product and I’ve never forgotten it.
“Words really don’t do this fragrance justice,” Sage says. “A bit earthy, a bit fresh, it reminds me of a late summer rainstorm in my home state of California. And of course, P.F. Candle’s amber glass bottles are iconic—perfect for any style of decor.”
Sandalwood devotees will love this women-owned London brand’s natural-smelling take on the sensual scent and its 100% recyclable packaging.
Le Petite Jardin & Co.
We love that this Austin-based company partners with local florists for their naturally dried flowers. The brand’s therapeutic scents are perfect for stimulating the home office space.
The Brooklyn-based fragrance brand makes a beautifully broody diffuser with a distinct black bottle that is perfect for repurposing once the oil has diffused.
Jo Malone London
You can’t go wrong with Jo Malone. The London brand’s stately-looking bottles make a stylish addition to a bathroom or entryway, with a fresh, phthalate-free scent to brighten things up.
With its cult-loved volcano scent (an irresistible mix of sugar and citrus) and its bottle’s Yves Klein-inspired hue, Capri Blue invokes all the senses. Even the sweet scent-averse can get into the brand’s slightly sugary scent, making it a practically foolproof housewarming gift.
The high-end fragrance brand really does offer the best of the best, making it well worth the higher-than-average price point if you’re down to splurge. Cire Trudon’s popular Abd El Kader scent is a masculine addition to our largely citrus-scented roundup.
Brooklyn Candle Studio
Like their candle counterparts, Tamara Mayne’s reed diffusers are a minimalist’s dream, with a lush scent that brings the Greek Isles to any corner of your home.
What does it take to become the highest-rated diffuser on Amazon? A clean linen scent, a dash of preserved baby’s breath, and a competitive price point that makes refills a no brainer.
A fresh favorite from the California brand known for strong, crowd-pleasing scents.
Acqua di Parma
We love the patchouli and spiciness of the Italian brand’s signature scent, though it does tend to diffuse quickly.
These chic little diffusers are perfect for small spaces, with a pretty amber bottle that’s easily upcycled.
Maison Louis Marie
Widely known as a very good affordable dupe for Le Labo’s Santal 33, the French perfumery’s take on a unisex sandalwood scent translates perfectly in reed diffuser form.
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