Best reed diffusers: expert tests of scents for every room

The best reed diffusers will elegantly scent any room in you home. From fresh and floral to rich and spicy, these are the most premium diffusers.

best reed diffusers: a reed diffuser on a gold table
(Image credit: GettyImages)

The best reed diffusers elegantly scent a room. A beautiful home isn't finished if it doesn't smell good, too. Whether you choose candles, mists or reed diffusers, there are lots of luxurious products on the market.

Reed diffusers and are safer than candles, cordless, and heat-free. They offer strong and consistent fragrance across any room and make a great alternative to essential oil diffusers. I worked in luxury fragrances for years, where I qualified as a Master Perfumer. Part of our training was home fragrance, so, naturally, it's the first thing I notice about a home. 

I searched for the perfect balance of distinctive and delicate reed diffusers to recommend for every rooms. I trialled each one for months, so that I could experience each scent, its strength, and lasting time for myself. I also wanted to make sure that they were stylish and excellent value too.

After months of testing a range of diffusers on the market, these are the best. They're all elegant-looking, well-scented, and good value for money. You won't be surprised to hear that the options in our list are some of the best home fragrances money can buy, as rated by the Homes & Gardens team.

The Best Reed Diffusers

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Best places to buy a reed diffuser

How we review the best reed diffusers

Our reed diffusers have been tested by experts. Laura in particular is a Master Perfumer and has worked for luxury perfume brands for years, so she knows what premium fragrances should be like. 

When choosing reed diffusers they consider factors such as the unboxing experience, product quality, the longevity of the scents, room coverage, and if a refill is available. They regularly places them in different-sized rooms from the bathroom to bedrooms and an open living space to see how the scent fills and smells in the different spaces. 

We acknowledge that scent is majorly subjective, but it helps to know the type of scents you personally prefer, whether you like sweet and fruity or musky and spicy. Annie's description of the scents she tested should help inform you of what you can expect it to smell like.  

As there are countless home fragrances available, we also invite you to explore the other scents from the brands we've included, as we endorse them based on our experience with their products. 

For more insight into our hands-on review process, refer to our how we test review guidelines.  


How do I choose a good reed diffuser?

Choose your scent wisely. Selecting a reed diffuser means finding a scent that complements your space and the mood you are trying to create. We recommend matching a reed diffuser to the season. It's worth noting that rich scents like wood and spices are great for winter and fall, whereas fresher scents like mint, apple, and citrus will cool a space. Use these fragrances in the spring and summer.

You should also consider where you're placing your reed diffuser. The majority of people like to place a reed diffuser in a living room, where they spend lots of their time, or an entryway to flood all of their rooms with a subtle fragrance. Otherwise, a reed diffuser works well in a bathroom for a constant aroma, and to balance odors. However, where a heavy, oud-forward scent works well to make a living room cosy, you'll want a lighter scent for a bathroom. 

Unlike candles, the majority of reed diffusers can simply be refilled once the fragrance has finished, to help save the environment and to save you a little money. Be sure to check that the reed diffuser you've picked can be refilled, otherwise, if you like it, you'll have to buy the entire vessel time after time, instead of just a bottle of the fragrance. 

How often does a reed diffuser need to be changed?

On average, a person will need to replace reed diffusers sticks every six months. Specific circumstances might call for substituting them sooner, or they might exceed six months. But in most cases, that is the duration you should be thinking and a good rule of thumb to follow. 

It would be a smart idea to check, before buying, that the reed diffuser you would like to buy comes with refills available. This will mean that you need only buy the vessel once, and then you can refill it forever with your favorite fragrance. You'll be helping to save the planet – and a little money.

Should I flip reeds in a reed diffuser?

You don't have to turn diffuser sticks around, but if you want a more intense fragrance, you can turn them every week. Just remember, turning the sticks more frequently will use up the oil faster, and you don't need to do if if your room is small.

How many reeds should I put in my diffuser?

It depends on the size of your room and how strong you want the scent to be. Using more reeds will produce a stronger scent, but you will use your fragrance oils much quicker than necessary. I would recommend six to eight, especially if your room doesn't have high ceilings.

Where should I put my diffuser?

The best place to have your diffuser is in the center of the room, so that you have an even spread of fragrance. However, this isn't always easy. Make sure to have it a few feet off the ground, near airflow, and on a stable surface. I wouldn't recommend having it on a bedside table or dining table, since this is very close to where you will breathe and eat. The fragrance oils might become overpowering or sickly in a position like this.

Which room in the house should my diffuser be in?

I like to have a diffuser in each room to set a different tone. However, if you need to pick one room, I would recommend placing it in the one you use the most. Whether that's a living room or office, you'll appreciate it more if you're around it more often.

What's the best reed diffuser to cover pet smells?

Pet smells can be strong, so you need deep, rich, and woody fragrances to balance them. I would recommend Rituals or Nest for these types of fragrances. If they don't suit you, Trudon's Ernesto Le Diffuseur, at Bergdorf's has been making really strong room fragrances which you could spray onto upholstery to cover up pet smells.

How can I make my diffuser last longer?

There are lots of ways that you can keep your essential oils going for longer. To start, don't use as many reeds to start with and don't flip them as much. When you are satisfied with the scent in your room, remove the reeds and place a stopper on your oil. That way, you won't be using unnecessary oil. Also, make sure to place your diffuser somewhere where the scent is maximised, so that you don't use up any unnecessary oils.

Laura Honey
eCommerce Editor

Laura is our eCommerce editor. As a fully qualified barista, she's our expert in all things coffee and has tested over thirty of the best coffee makers on the market. She has also interviewed Q-Graders and world-leading experts in the coffee industry, so has an intimate knowledge of all things coffee. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she studied English at Oxford University. Whilst studying, she trained as a master perfumer and worked in the luxury fragrance industry for five years. Her collection of home fragrance is extensive and she's met and interviewed five of the world's finest perfumers (also known as 'noses'). As a result of this expansive fragrance knowledge, she always puts quality and style over quantity and fads. Laura looks for products which have been designed simply and with thoughtful finishes.  

With contributions from