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diy reed diffuser

How to Use a Reed Diffuser

The biggest draw for most folks to a reed diffuser vs an ultrasonic diffuser is the ease of use. They require the least amount of work and maintenance. However, to get the most out of your reed diffuser, there are a few things to keep in mind for proper use. 

1. Choosing the right vessel

Whether you're buying a reed diffuser new, making one yourself, or just swapping out the vessel that it came with, you need to make sure you use the right one. Not every container will work. You want to choose one that has a small opening, so that the reeds fit in, but not anything else. This will keep dust and contaminants out, and will control the diffusion through the reeds vs. out of the bottle itself. 

2. Flip the Reeds

You'll want to regularly flip the reeds, to ensure uniform wicking and allow for the oil to disperse itself evenly over time. Typically, you only need to do this once every couple weeks, or when you notice the aroma decreasing. The smell is more noticeable after a flip, as you refresh the reeds and flip the direction of oil flow. So if you want more aroma when someone is coming to visit, give those reeds a quick flip. 

3. Change out the Reeds

Over time, the reeds due clog up and lose their effectiveness. Typically when you refill the oil is a great time to change out the reeds, so between 3-6 months is a good timeline to keep in mind, depending on your diffuser. 

4. Adjust the Number of Reeds

Some brands give you 10 reeds right off the hop, some 5. Regardless of the number, your space will have different aroma needs depending on the size of the room and where you live. You can easily adjust the aroma level by removing or adding reeds. It also speeds up or slows down the diffusion. So, you may only need one or two reeds in a small bathroom. You may want all 10 in your living room. And, if you're going away for longer periods of time, just consider taking them all out to save the oil. 

5. Use a Coaster

You don't have to use an actual coaster for this, but you may want to consider placing a small decorative plate underneath your reed diffuser if you want to protect the surface underneath. This is really only of concern when you are refilling it, so not everyone will need to consider this use tip. 

6. Choose the Right Room

Because reed diffusers work using evaporation, it requires the circulation of air to evaporate the oils from the reed. Placing the diffuser in an area with good air circulation and foot traffic, like your entranceway, bathroom or near a frequently used door window will allow for good air circulation and good evaporation. 

And there you have it! 6 great tips for use of your reed diffuser to get the most of it. Did we miss any big tips you often adhere to? Comment below with any tips for use we may have missed. 

a picture of a reed diffuser

DIY Reed Diffuser

A reed diffuser is one of the best additions to your home for both functionality and fashion. Reed diffusers provide passive aromatherapy for months at a time, with little to no maintenance.

If this is a project you've been eyeing up, then this might be the right time to dive in! It's a super easy project and won't take long at all. You just need the right components and then you'll have your very own reed diffuser! 

diy reed diffuser

How to Make Your Own DIY Essential Oil Reed Diffuser

An easy project that anyone can do! 

What You're Going to Need:

  • 1/4 cup of light carrier oil (safflower oil or almond oil are best) 
  • 5-10 reed sticks (rattan reeds are recommended)
  • 25-30 drops of your favourite essential oils (buy from these brands)
  • square-o
    1-2 tablespoons isopropyl alcohol (optional)
  • square-o
    Your chosen vessel (preferably with a small opening)


1. In a measuring cup or bowl, add the 1/4 cup of carrier, and 25-30 drop sof your essential oil or essential oil blends. 

2. If you're using the isopropyl alcohol, add it in to the oil mixture now and mix thoroughly to combine.

3. Pour the mixture into your vessel. Use a funnel if the opening is so small to avoid leaks. 

4. Insert your reeds into the vessel. After a 5-6 hours (overnight is fine if you forget) flip the reeds. 

5. Replace the oil and reeds as necessary, every 3 months or so. 

What to Expect from your DIY Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers don't produce the same amount of aroma as other, electrically powered diffusers, so don't be surprised if it doesn't smell as strong as you expect. Placing your diffuser in a high traffic area or a room with lots of air circulation will help produce aroma as the oils continue to evaporate. 

Need Inspiration from the Most Popular Reed Diffusers?

If you're looking for some inspiration for scents or vessel designs, or just want to skip the trouble of doing it yourself, check out our list of the most popular reed diffusers of the year. 

Aromatherapy Explained

You may have heard the word “aromatherapy” tossed around when searching for essential oils or diffusers, but not actually know what it means. It’s actually quite intuitive: therapy using aromas. Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils that can be extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots and other parts of a plant to help improve and balance you both emotionally and physically. In addition to essential oils, aromatherapy encourages the use of other complementary natural substances such as vegetable oils, waxes, herbs, salts, sugars and muds. Synthetic substances such as fragrance oils are not the same as essential oils and do not provide any therapeutic benefits.

Aromatherapy assists the body’s natural ability to balance, regulate, heal and maintain itself, making it an excellent complementary therapy that treats the whole person rather than just the symptom or disease. Aromatherapy treatments are offered in practices such as massage centers, yoga studios, spas, hospice care, medical offices and many more, and can also be safely practiced as self-administered care at home.

The History of Aromatherapy

The term aromatherapy is credited to René Gattefossé, a nineteenth century French chemist and perfumist who studied essential oils. He badly burned his hand during an experiment and plunged it into the nearest tub of liquid which happened to be lavender essential oil. Amazed by how quickly his burn healed as a result of treatment with he began a deep study into essential oils and the treatment of wounds, skin cancer, ulcers, gangrene and spider bites. He titled his book “Aromatherapy” and thus the term was born.

However, aromatherapy has been a trusted practice among cultures spanning the globe for over 5,000 years before the term was coined. Ancient Egyptians are credited to have developed the first distillation machines to extract oils from certain plants. The practice of using infused aromatic oils as a mood enhancer is thought to have roots in China. The Greeks believed that the gods were gifted with the knowledge of perfume and fragrance, and practiced aromatherapy as a healing medicine.

Essential Oils

Plants contain beneficial chemicals they use as a means of protecting themselves from predators such as insects and rodents, and to defend against fungus, bacteria and viruses. When a plant is distilled, these active ingredients are extracted with the oils and are preserved with alcohol. The result is a highly concentrated oily formula that allows people to harness the defensive and healing properties of plants. Because of their high concentration, essential oils used in aromatherapy practices are usually combined with a carrier oil or diluted in water before being applied to the skin. Essential oils can also be carefully blended together for a specific therapeutic purpose, creating a more complex aroma. This essential oil synergy is considered to be greater than each oil working independently. The key to aromatherapy is to use pure, therapeutic grade oils rather than those with synthetic ingredients.


The effects of essential oils can be experienced through the sense of smell which is linked to the deepest parts of the brain, governing basic instincts, thoughts and emotions, or physically to manage pain, inflammation, infection and disease.

Aromatically: Any essential oils can be used aromatically through the use of a diffuser, inhaling directly from a cloth or the bottle, or through the use of aromatherapy candles. Many studies have investigated the effects of aroma on improving mood, alleviating stress and reducing anxious feelings.

Topically: Essential oils can also be used topically, applying the oils directly to your skin, to help with skin irritations, blemishes, pain, inflammation and more. Essential oils should always be diluted before being applied to the skin. Aromatherapy is administered topically through massage, water baths, mud baths, steam rooms and more.

Internally: The internal use of essential oils is the perfect solution to target the immune or digestive system. Make sure only to ingest oils with extreme caution and under the guidance of an aromatherapy professional. Internal applications of essential oils include swallowing as part of health capsules, used in enhancing beverages or within cooking recipes.

As with any substance, precautions must be taken before use. Depending on a person’s medical history, they may have allergies or sensitivities to certain oils. Many oils should be avoided for use around infants, children and pets, as well as when pregnant or breast-feeding. In general, only use oils if you know for sure they are completely pure and always start with the lowest dose possible. It is best to consult with a professional before beginning any type of aromatherapy.

Buying from a Reputable Essential Oil Brand

Of course, Aromatherapy wouldn’t be possible without first getting your hands on some essential oils. There are many different brands to choose from, and it can be difficult to choose a trusted, and reputable brand. So, we put together a comprehensive guide to buying the best essential oils from trusted, reputable brands.

Professionals & Experts

Today there are a number of organizations that train and certify professional aromatherapists. Certification usually involves completing a number of hours of training, passing an exam, and supervised hours working with patients.

Aromatherapists are typically trained in

  • History of aromatherapy
  • Essential oil profiles
  • Ensuring quality of essential oils
  • Physiology of aromatherapy
  • Treating medical conditions
  • Contraindications and safety concerns

You can visit the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy to find a therapist in your area

An aromatherapist takes into account a person’s medical history, emotional state, health and lifestyle before planning a course of treatment. This holistic approach has been hugely successful because it treats the whole person and not just the symptoms of an illness. For example, many physical symptoms such as backaches, headaches or irritable bowel syndrome are often the result of stress rather than a physical problem. By looking at the causes of the stress, the aromatherapist can provide treatments to alleviate the condition in a much more efficient and long-term manner.

Aromatherapy can also be practiced safely through self-care in your own home using aromatic methods such as diffusion (though it is best to consult a professional before using essential oils topically or internally). Through research of different essential oils and their benefits one can easily devise their own treatment of essential oil blends. These can then be dispersed into the air using a diffuser or candle, or simply smelled straight from the bottle. In today’s age, essential oils are readily available in stores and online, making the joys of aromatherapy accessible to anyone.