Love using essential oil reed diffusers in your home? Us too! They make your house smell great and can also provide health benefits. They’re safe to use around children and pets as they are flame-less. Home diffusers passively diffuse aroma molecules into the air, providing consistent and long-lasting results. To find the best reed diffuser, you might want to consider a few things: the fragrance and the type of reeds.
The difference between rattan, bamboo, and fibre reeds
Regarding reeds, there are two main types: natural and synthetic. Let’s compare them so you can make the best decision for your diffuser.
Fibre reeds are manufactured reeds that are designed specifically for the purpose of oil wicking and scent dispersal. Fibre reed/sticks are made from polyamides, usually polyester and cotton mix. Its porosity distribution is uniform, ensuring optimal oil distribution throughout the reed. Fibre is considered by many to be the best for strong scent throw, and they also are far less prone to clogging. Furthermore, because they have a good scent throw, the diffuser won’t last as long, or you might need fewer reeds to achieve a milder aroma. Unlike natural reeds, fibre reeds come in various colours to match different aesthetics and home décor. However, because they are manufactured from a mixture of plastic, they are neither as eco-friendly nor biodegradable as rattan or bamboo reeds.
P.S. Some companies advertise their fibre reeds by adding the word Natural, for example, “Natural Fibre Reeds.”. Don’t be fooled by that, because it just means “Natural Colour Fibre Reeds”.
Even though bamboo reeds are less effective than other types of reeds, they can be a good option if you’re looking for a more affordable and natural diffuser. Bamboo reeds are less expensive than others but are not as robust and only endure for a few months. Bamboo reeds also include nodes, obstructing the oil flow and reducing the fragrance diffusion capability. On the plus side, the bamboo plant grows quickly, making it a more sustainable and eco-friendly option.
Natural rattan reeds are made from the rattan plant, a climbing palm growing in tropical regions. The rattan vine is hollow in the middle, so the reeds are cut from the vine and then dried. This process makes them very strong and lightweight, which is why rattan is an excellent material for diffusers.
Rattan reeds diffuse better than bamboo sticks because they have clearer hollows and do not have nodes, which interfere with smooth fragrance oil flow.
Rattan reeds have a slower diffusion rate than fibre reeds, meaning it takes longer to absorb and diffuse the fragrance. Or in other words, you need more reeds or stronger fragrances to achieve the same diffusion.
Due to moderate diffusion, rattan reeds take longer to fill, meaning they don’t clog that fast. It’s also an eco-friendly and sustainable option because rattan reeds come from the second-fastest-growing plant. The rattan tree is a renewable resource that regenerates within 5 to 7 years.
The different types of fragrances
When it comes to choosing a fragrance for your reed diffuser, it all goes down to personal preference. We recommend choosing essential oils if you prefer more down-to-earth and natural scents. But if you are looking for a wider selection of fragrances, opt for synthetic fragrance oils. Let’s take a look at each option in more detail.
Synthetic fragrance oils are artificial smells that mimic natural scents. Because they are artificially created, they provide a much wider range of fragrances than essential oils. For example, you can find diffusers with food-inspired scents such as vanilla, chocolate, coffee, honey or pear; other scents that can’t be found in nature, like an ocean breeze, fresh linen, sea salt, or amber, which are all great if that is what are you looking for.
A fun fact about fragrance oils is that they can be derived from petroleum, which does not have a pleasant scent itself.
Even though scents like vanilla cupcakes or grandma’s freshly baked bread can bring back good memories, fragrance oils don’t provide any benefits for physical or mental health like essential oils do. In fact, some people can be sensitive to certain chemicals in synthetic fragrance oils and experience headaches, sneezing, watery eyes or difficulty breathing. Therefore, if you have asthma or any respiratory conditions, avoiding and discontinuing using them is best. If you choose synthetic fragrance oils, make sure to get them from a reputable source because some cheaper oils can contain harmful chemicals, like phthalates, silicones, parabens, etc., that can be dangerous for your health.
Essential oils are natural oils that are extracted from different parts of plants, for example, flowers, buds, seeds, leaves, peels, barks and so on. Although only a limited number of essential oils can be extracted from plants, they provide various benefits for physical, emotional, and mental health. Furthermore, even though essential oils are more expensive than synthetic fragrance oils when diffused, essential oils can help purify the air, support respiratory function, boost energy levels, and improve mood.
Despite the fact that essential oils are 100% natural, some people can still be sensitive to certain essential oils or some compounds in them, so if they irritate your respiratory system in any way (you start coughing, sneezing etc.) or you feel a headache all of a sudden, discontinue using it.
You can find essential oil reed diffusers with citrus, floral, woody, herbal, earthy or a mixture of these scents. Some of the most popular essential oils used in reed diffusers are lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree oil. All these essential oils are perfect when you need to calm down and relax, for personal spa days or yoga sessions or when you just want to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy.
P.S. Essential oils have been stigmatised over the years, so cheaper and non-sustainable fragrances could thrive. We have written articles “5 Most Common Myths About Essential Oils” and “What’s the Difference? Fragrances vs. Essential Oils” where we look at some of those stigmas and debunk them from the scientific point of view.
Which type of reed diffuser is best for you and your home?
So which type of reed diffuser is best for you and your home? It all depends on your preferences. Both types of diffusers have their own benefits and drawbacks. So this is for you to decide.
Fragrance oils provide a wider range of scents but don’t benefit physical or mental health. But reed diffusers with fragrance oils are more affordable and budget friendly. You might then ask why some reed diffusers made with fragrance oils are way more expensive than others and why some well-known brands charge significantly more for their reed diffusers than small, less-known ones, especially when often there is no difference in quality. The answer is easy – these bigger companies sell their name and brand rather than a quality product. Furthermore, fragrance oil reed diffusers usually come with synthetic fibre reeds.
Nobody likes that cheap synthetic strawberry scent in the air, right? Well, because essential oils come from a natural resource, they have that ‘real’, absolute and natural scent, so you will never experience those unpleasant fake aromas. Essential oil diffusers are more expensive than synthetic fragrance oil diffusers, but they also have health benefits, such as purifying the air, boosting energy levels or helping to relax. Plus, if they are ethically sourced, they are more sustainable than fragrance oils. Essential oil reed diffusers, formulation and packaging wise tend to be more natural and sustainable, so they usually come with natural rattan reeds.
Now that you know everything about reed diffusers, it’s time to choose the perfect one for your home!
If you decide to go with a more natural and sustainable option, here at Snug Scent, we offer a wide range of rattan reed diffusers made only with ethically sourced essential oils. Our reed diffusers are vegan, non-toxic and handmade with the best naturally derived diffuser base on the market. Choose your favourite scent and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy!
If you would like to know how the quality of the reed diffuser is determined, please read our Reed Diffuser Quality guide.