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How Long Does a Reed Diffuser Last?

Read this article by 96NORTH and check out our collection of unmissable candles and fragrances.

Key Points 

  • Reed diffusers are a natural way to fragrance a room and are a safe alternative to using candles. The reeds absorb the oil and diffuse the aroma throughout a room.
  • There are numerous factors that affect the longevity of a reed diffuser. This includes its size, oil type, reed type, the number of reeds you put in a diffuser, the regularity in which you flip the reeds, the location of the diffuser, and how often it is in use. 
  • At 96North, we sell premium scented candles and fragrances. Why not browse our product selection to find the perfect option for you?

The reed diffuser is the most natural way to fragrance a room and is a safe alternative to candles. It releases a constant scent that slowly fills the air over time, meaning you don’t need to worry about it overwhelming anyone or overpowering your décor. The reeds in the diffuser absorb the oil and diffuse the scent throughout a room. But how long does a reed diffuser actually last? The longevity of a reed diffuser depends on numerous factors. In this blog post, we offer a breakdown of seven factors that you need to consider in order to determine how long your reed diffuser will last.

Lifestyle photograph of reed diffuser in an elegant bottle with candles and flowers in the scene to indicate relaxation and tranquillity. The photograph is suitable for Yoga and mindfulness.

How Long Does a Reed Diffuser Last?

What Size is Your Reed Diffuser?

The first thing to bear in mind is the size of your reed diffuser. The larger the diffuser, the longer it will last. A small diffuser that holds only a few ounces can run for a couple of weeks before needing to be refilled with oil, while a larger one might last you up to several months.

A good rule is that if your reed diffuser has 4-5 inches between each reed, it’s going to be small and need refilling more often than one where there are 8-10 inches between reeds.

The bigger your diffuser is, the more oil it can hold and thus the longer it will last before needing refilling again.

What Type of Reed Diffuser Oil Do You Use?

Just as the size of the container you use affects the life of your reed diffuser, so does the oil that you put in it. Some oils will evaporate faster than others. Some are more expensive than others. Some have a stronger scent than others. All of these things affect how long your reed diffuser will last. It is crucial to research the various diffuser oils before buying to ensure you pick one that is worth your money.

What Type of Reeds Are Used in the Diffuser?

It is recommended that you use the natural reeds that accompany the oil diffuser. It is a good rule of thumb to avoid bamboo reeds at all costs, as this material tends to block oils rather than release them, making them typically unsuitable for reed diffusing.

How Many Reeds Do You Put Into the Diffuser?

You can use more or fewer reeds depending on how strong of a scent you want. Generally, the more reeds are used, the stronger and longer-lasting your diffuser will be.

So how many reeds should you put in your diffuser? There are a couple of factors you should think about when choosing the number of reeds to use: 1) what size diffuser you have and 2) how large of a room you’re using it in.

To get started with finding out how many reeds to put in your diffuser, check out this rough guidance chart below:

  • 15 ml = 1-2 reeds
  • 60 ml = 5-6 reeds (or up to 7 if using smaller jars)
  • 120 ml = 10-12 reeds (or up to 13 if using smaller jars)
  • 240 ml = 18-20+

How Often Do You Turn Your Reeds?

If you’re not sure how often to turn your reeds, the answer is somewhere between every few days and at least once each week. Like anything else, there are many opinions on this topic. Some people even say that it isn’t necessary for you to turn the reeds at all and allow them to dry out on their own as they evaporate over time (the most common advice from manufacturers). But most people agree that at least once a month is best for extending the life of your diffuser, if not more often than that. The bottom line: If you want to keep using your diffuser effectively for a long time without having to buy another one anytime soon, then it’s better for both your health and wallet if you rotate those reeds! However, do not flip the reeds too often, as the more regularly you flip, the faster the oil evaporates.

Where is Your Reed Diffuser Located?

You will also want to mull over the location you’re putting your diffuser. If it’s in a draughty area, like an open window or near an air vent, it’ll dry out faster and need more frequent turning of the reeds. If you live in a humid climate and have this problem, consider using more water than usual so that the reeds can absorb more moisture before they start to become dry again.

If your diffuser is prone to falling over (for example, if it has a lot of weight on its stem), then consider placing it in a more stable location rather than on a shelf above eye level. This is because users have been known to accidentally knock them over onto their furniture as they move around their home during the day while working or cleaning up after themselves.

How Often Do You Use Your Reed Diffuser?

As with any product, the frequency of use will affect the product’s lifespan. The longer a diffuser is used, the shorter its lifespan will be. If you use your diffuser every day for 2-3 months, then it will likely last about that long before losing its fragrance. If you use your diffuser every week for 5-6 months, then it may only last around this length of time as well.

Air freshener sticks isolated on beige background. Aroma sticks and essential oil bottle for relaxation

How Do I Set Up a Reed Diffuser?

Once you have bought a reed diffuser, it should include a bottle with the oil and some reeds. Generally, the diffuser bottles have a metal screw around their neck as well as a plastic stopper. Remove the cap and stopper, then place the reeds in the oil. Don’t forget to screw the metal cap back on once this has been done. You should leave the reeds to soak in the oil for approximately one hour, then flip them to allow the fragrance to start releasing (it is best to do this in a sink to avoid spillage).

How Long Does it Take for a Reed Diffuser to Work?

Generally speaking, on average, it takes a full day after a reed diffuser has been set up for the room to smell as delicious as possible. This is because it takes this length of time for the oil to get absorbed by the reeds. It is also a good idea when first setting up your reed diffuser to soak the reeds for a number of minutes, then turn them over to soak the other end too. This helps make the diffuser produce the best possible scent for your room of choice.

How to Replace the Reeds in a Reed Diffuser 

If you seal your reed diffuser bottle, for instance, if it is a seasonal scent, it is recommended that you replace the reeds when you decide to open it once more. This is because diffusers can become clogged and are not as effective after a certain period of time. It is also essential to note that you should never use a reed in a different scent because oils can combine and provide smells that aren’t particularly pleasant. 

The Takeaway

Reed diffusers can be a pleasant and calming addition to a room. Working out how long a reed diffuser lasts rests on a number of factors, including its size, oil type, reed type, the number of reeds you put in a diffuser, the regularity in which you flip the reeds, the location of the diffuser, and how often it is in use. 96NORTH is an aromatherapy company that specialises in candles and fragrances. Have a look at our premium product selection and pick a fragrance to brighten up your environment. 


Where should reed diffusers be placed in a room?

To help circulate the scent, it is best to place a reed diffuser in an area of high traffic. You should avoid placing them in draughty areas, such as near air-con units, to stop the fragrance from being lost.

How many reeds should I put inside a diffuser?

The answer depends on the size of the diffuser you have. For a rough guide, check out our guidance chart in the blog article above. 

Is it safe to have a reed diffuser in the bedroom?

Yes! Reed diffusers are safe and are a fantastic way to fill your bedroom with mouth-watering fragrances, helping you to unwind and relax.