Best reed diffusers: 5 tried and tested fragrances we love

We've tested the best reed diffusers for 2022, from Neom to Rituals, to scent your home in style this year

Best reed diffusers graphic with NEOM diffuser, Floral Street yellow diffuser and Rituals white diffuser box
(Image credit: Future)

If you are searching for the best reed diffuser to emanate your home with a gorgeous and wow-worthy fragrance then you've landed in just the right place. We've been at work testing a range of home fragrances, from reed diffusers to candles, and we've compiled a list of our favourites for you to buy in 2022.

Whether you prefer spicy fragrances or floral scents are more your thing, we've listed five of the best buys that our Deputy Ecommerce Editor, Annie Collyer, has tested at home. She put these reed diffusers to test to determine just how good they are at fragrancing her large 2-bedroom flat. 

A reed diffuser is great for masking odours and even better for ensuring your home smells nice all day long, without any risk of safety worries. The best part? More often or not, they're housed in elegant vessels that can act as a design statement whether placed in the centre of your coffee table or on your hallway console table.

Scroll on for our guide on the best reed diffusers you can buy for your home. For spring and summer, we recommend going for a floral or sweet scent. Can't decide whether you want a reed diffuser, candle, or oil diffuser? Some of these fragrances come in candle form as well as room sprays and wax melts, too. See all the best home fragrances in our buyer's guide. 


The best reed diffusers to buy for your home in 2022

Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Fragrance SticksReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Rituals)

1. Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Fragrance Sticks

The best oriental reed diffuser

Specifications

Size: 70ml/250ml
Scent: Rice milk and cherry blossom
Life: 4-5 weeks/3-4 months
Refill available?: Yes

Reasons to buy

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Powerful
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Refills available
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2 sizes available
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Reeds require infrequent flipping
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Long-lasting
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Available in more than reed diffuser form
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Can be used year-round

Reasons to avoid

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Easy to knock over due to its shape
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Possibly too strong for some noses
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Vessel is not recyclable, but refills are available

The powerful oriental scent of Rituals' The Ritual of Sakura fragrance is one to turn heads – and to surprise noses. If you are searching for a strong reed diffuser, perhaps for a bathroom for disguising odours, or for a hallway for flooding fragrance into several rooms, then this is it. It's small in size yet mighty powerful. We absolutely loved this reed diffuser whilst testing it, so much so that we think it's the best reed diffuser that you can buy. We moved it around our home from our hallway to the bathroom, living room and even inside our spare bedroom. Each and every time it managed to flood its scent from one corner to the other corner of our space.

Scent
With nods to the oriental fragrance family thanks to notes of rice milk, cherry blossom, it's a mix of creamy and sweet. You won't really need to flip the reeds with this diffuser, but you can do it when you want a boost or feel like you can no longer smell it (this should take a while!). It might be best suited for larger rooms if you are sensitive to strong fragrances. It's worth us noting that we tested the mini (70ml) size and though small, it's impressively powerful and also long-lasting. It lasted for much longer than four to five weeks for us. 

Packaging
One thing will we complain about is the packaging. Although it's lovely looking and boasts a white ribbed design with black reeds, it is very easy to knock over. This is due to its tall shape, so we would suggest placing it way out of the way of arms, tails and more. A benefit, though, is that you can buy refill bottles for this diffuser so that you can use the same vessel over and over again. The refills also come in recyclable bottles. This diffuser comes in two size options and you can also buy its fragrance in candle form.

  • Read our best candles guide for our top favourite buys for scenting and adding ambience

Noble Isle Rhubarb Rhubarb Reed Diffuser in black glass vessel with boxReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Noble Isle)

2. Noble Isle Rhubarb Rhubarb! Fine Fragrance Reed Diffuser

The best sweet reed diffuser

Specifications

Size: 100ml
Notes: Rhubarb, Juniper Berry, Rosemary
Life: 16-20 weeks
Refills available?: No

Reasons to buy

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Cruelty-free and vegan fragrance
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Arrives in a gift box
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Reeds require infrequent flipping
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Long-lasting
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Available in more than reed diffuser form
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Can be used year-round

Reasons to avoid

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Refills not available
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Vessel is not recyclable

If it's a sweet fragrance that you are searching for, then we can recommend the awesome Noble Isle Rhubarb Rhubarb diffuser. Not only is it housed in an elegant black glass vessel, but this diffuser is powerfully fragranced to impress. We tested this reed diffuser in our hallway, to flood its gorgeous floral yet slightly sweet fragrance throughout our home – and to make a good impression on guests. A flip of the reeds releases a burst of fragrance, and we would go as far as to say that it's not only our favourite sweet scent, but it's our signature hallway scent.

Scent
A balancing aroma of sweet rhubarb, sour juniper berry and fresh muddled rosemary, the sweet smell of this diffuser is never overpowering, yet it always manages to reach each and every corner of a room. As well as being sweet, this scent is nice and fresh and perfect for use during spring and summer. Plus, it has lasted us several months and reeds require infrequent flipping. Also, the fragrance is cruelty-free and vegan.

Packaging
Elegantly poured inside a black glass vessel, this reed diffuser comes with five reeds, and it definitely looks smart enough to earn its place on display. It also arrives nestled inside an elegant gift box.  Just bear in mind that you can't buy fragrance refills of this diffuser, but it is available in candle form, too.

NEOM Real Luxury Reed DiffuserReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: NEOM)

3. NEOM Real Luxury Reed Diffuser

The best floral reed diffuser

Specifications

Size: 100ml
Scent: Lavender, rosewood and jasmine
Life: 12 weeks
Refill available?:

Reasons to buy

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Can be used year-round
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100% natural
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Available in more than reed diffuser form
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Long-lasting

Reasons to avoid

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Subtle in large spaces
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Requires regular reed flipping
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Vessel is not recyclable, but refills are available

We're not huge fans of floral reed diffusers, but this one from NEOM is something out of the ordinary. It's nice and subtle so as not to overpower a room, whilst we noted whilst testing that it can be placed essentially anywhere, from a living room to a bedroom, a bathroom or even a kitchen. This is thanks to its lavender notes – and because it's 100% natural. You can also use it to scent your home year-round, from January to December and in between. Sometimes, floral reed diffusers can be a tad too floral and overpower a space, but this is never the case with this NEOM option. Hence why it's our best floral reed diffuser.

Scent
Part of the Scent to De-Stress range, this reed diffuser has notes of lavender mixed with jasmine and balanced with rosewood. It's scented using essential oils to evoke a calm vibe wherever you place it. It's also nice and subtle so it won't take over a smaller room, although guests will definitely notice its scent as it truly is luxury in a bottle. Place it in a larger room for a really subtle scent, and flip the reeds frequently for a boost. The scent lasts for around 12 weeks, and you can buy refills, so you can either top up on your favourite or opt for a change. 

Packaging
This reed diffuser comes in a rather pretty Neom Organics box. The scent sits in a glass bottle which features a white Neom label. The top of the bottle has a mirrored cap that opens at the top to hold the black diffuser sticks in place. Although the vessel is not recyclable, rest assured the refill bottles that you can buy for it are. So, you needn't get rid of the vessel at all.

Orphic Living Black Tea, Patchouli, Peppercorn Scented Reed Diffuser in amber glass bottle beside candleReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Orphic Living)

4. Orphic Living Black Tea, Patchouli, Peppercorn Scented Reed Diffuser

The best spicy reed diffuser

Specifications

Size: 150ml
Scent: Spicy
Life: Not Available
Refills available?: No

Reasons to buy

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Amber glass bottle is recyclable
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Handmade by small business
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Available in more than reed diffuser form
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Long-lasting

Reasons to avoid

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Refills not available
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Reeds require frequent flipping
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Only great for use during autumn and winter

If you are searching for something spicy, then we can definitely recommend this reed diffuser from small business Orphic Living. It's bold and warm, and when testing we discovered it's best for use whilst the weather is colder in autumn and winter. We used this reed diffuser in our bathroom, to mask odours and to fill this room with fragrance all day long. When moving the diffuser around our house, we noticed that it's a better fit for smaller spaces and its fragrance lasts for an incredibly long time.

Scent
A welcoming yet serious blend of spicy and woody scents, this reed diffuser is fragranced with the help of leather, tobacco, amber and musk. Its middle is a blend of black tea and peppercorns and its base is teak wood with patchouli and sandalwood for good measure. On first smell, it's a healthy balance of spicy and woody. You'll want to flip the reeds often to release its fragrance and rest assured it's long-lasting.

Packaging
Arriving in plastic-free packaging, this reed diffuser fragrance sits inside an amber glass bottle, adorned with a simple label plus rattan reeds. This glass can easily be recycled or used again for another reed diffuser fragrance. Unfortunately, refills are not available, however, you can buy this fragrance in more forms including a candle, room spray and wax melts.

Floral Street Vanilla Bloom Reed Diffuser with packaging next to itReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Floral Street)

5. Floral Street Vanilla Bloom Reed Diffuser

The best vanilla reed diffuser

Specifications

Size: 100ml
Notes: Plum, Liquid Musks, Spanish Ciste, Cashmere woods, Amber, Vanilla
Life: Up to 4 months
Refill available?: No

Reasons to buy

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Recyclable vessel
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Can be used year-round
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Available in more than reed diffuser form
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Long-lasting

Reasons to avoid

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Cannot be refilled
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Reeds require frequent flipping

If you have been searching for a vanilla reed diffuser that isn't too warm – or too overpowering – then Floral Street's Vanilla Bloom diffuser is the perfect concoction. It's an ideal addition to your home to brighten a room since it's uplifting and slightly warm. Plus, it's housed in a bright yellow vessel to add a pop of colour to your interiors at the same time. We tried this reed diffuser everywhere, from the kitchen to the living room and our hallway, and it's pretty versatile. Just bear in mind that you'll need to frequently flip your reeds to release fragrance.

Scent
This vanilla fragrance is much more than that – it's a delicious blend of vanilla with plum, rose, and amber, for a deeper fragrance that never smells too warm or too powerful. We claim this as our favourite vanilla reed diffuser as it's a unique blend that's never too overpowering as some vanilla scents sometimes can be too strong. The fragrance itself is paraben-free, sulfate-free, phthalate-free, dye-free, and pigment-free.

Packaging
Poured inside a fun bright yellow recyclable glass vessel complete with a metal collar and five thick reeds, you'll want to flip the reeds every few weeks. It arrives inside a gorgeous floral box to impress, too. Unfortunately, you can't buy refills to top up your diffuser with fragrance, although this scent does come in more forms than a reed diffuser, but also a candle and more.


What is the best reed diffuser?

There's no one size fits all when it comes to the best reed diffuser, simply because everyone in the world has different scent preferences. There's also the added factor of the time of the year as some fragrances are deemed more suitable for use in colder weather, and other scents are more fitting for spring and summer.

If you are searching for a great all-rounder, then the Rituals The Ritual of Sakura Reed Diffuser (opens in new tab) is our top option. It's powerful and oriental to wow your senses.

For spring and summer, we would suggest opting for a floral or sweet fragrance such as NEOM's Real Luxury Reed Diffuser or Noble Isle's Rhubarb Rhubarb! Fine Fragrance Reed Diffuser.

Our top pick for when the weather is getting colder in autumn and winter has to be The White Company's Fireside Diffuser. It's impressively powerful yet never over the top, and perfect for scenting living rooms or bedrooms. It mimics the smell of a roaring fireplace, minus the effort required from you. This diffuser is only sold at certain times of the year, so we will add it back into this guide once it becomes available again.


How to buy the best reed diffuser?

Consider whether your reed diffuser is refillable
With candles, once they’re gone, they’re gone. Not so with reed diffusers, which can be topped up with new fragrance oil when it's run out. Just make sure that when you buy a diffuser refill you discard your old reeds, as they’ll be saturated with all the scent they’ve soaked up from the first round of oil and won’t soak up any more. 

Consider scent
So now you know why to buy a diffuser, which one should you buy? If you don’t know what you like, choosing a fragrance can be the hardest part of shopping for a scent diffuser, but looking for individual scent families is a good place to start. Florals are fairly self-explanatory, and while some of them might get a bad rap for being overdone or cloying, our floral picks are all combined with fruity and fresh notes to keep things modern. For a more unexpected home fragrance, consider something from the woody or spicy families, or on the other end of the spectrum, a fresher, 'greener' scent.

Consider its life
We've listed the lifespan of each best reed diffuser above. This will obviously depend on how much liquid comes in the diffuser, as well as how many reeds you use with it. It's worth bearing this in mind when looking at the price of a reed diffuser – when will you next need to pay to refill or replace it?

Consider its vessel
We've been sure to list the type of vessel your reed diffuser will come inside, whether that's glass or ceramic. Be sure to consider if this vessel is recyclable after use and if not then you might want to ensure refills are available so that you needn't throw away the vessel after use.

Consider how often reeds need to be flipped
Different reed diffusers will require different amounts of TLC in order to release the fragrance. Some diffusers can simply be left on your side to do the job of scening a room, whilst others will require you to flip their reeds more often. Be sure to ensure you'll have time to do this (and that you will remember). Otherwise, opt for an easy to look after reed diffuser that can be left to do its job.

Consider whether your reed diffuser comes in other forms
If you like your home to smell the same, from one room to the other, then be sure to check whether the reed diffuser you have picked comes in other forms. Think candles, wax melts, room sprays...

Are reed diffusers safe for pets?

Love a reed diffuser, but heard about the potentially toxic effects on your pet? It's not just scaremongering: dogs and cats have a much stronger sense of smell than us and can be overwhelmed by strong scents. Moreover, if they are exposed to strong perfume over long periods of time, it can make them ill by damaging their livers. Here are some solutions:

1. Limit the use of your reed diffuser to parts of the house your pet doesn't spend much time in, for example, your home office or bathroom. 

2. If you do want to keep using a reed diffuser in the main room, keep the space well ventilated and allow your pet access to the outdoors. Consider putting the diffuser away for the night. 

3. Some natural fragrances are safe for pets, notably the oils of rose, jasmine, and lavender (we mean only to inhale, of course, never to ingest). Look out for natural and organic reed diffusers that use these calm florals, and avoid anything citrus or pine fragranced. 

As far as safety is concerned otherwise, reed diffusers are a better bet than candles that mustn’t be left burning unattended. Also, they don’t ‘tunnel’, which is the frustrating phenomenon where candles burn in a hole down the centre, leaving loads of unused wax along the sides.

Otherwise, if you're into DIY, then see our guide on how to make a reed diffuser using essential oils, to create your very own concoction.

How to preserve a reed diffuser for later

The White Company reed diffuser covered in cling film with reeds in bag beside it

(Image credit: Future)

If you've bought a reed diffuser to be used at a certain time of the year, for example The White Company's Fireside Diffuser for autumn, then there's a way that you can preserve the fragrance for next year, if you haven't used it all in the time it's most fitting for.

We often do this with our reed diffusers to save them for next use, and so that we can switch up the scent of our home every few months. All you need is some cling film (preferrably recyclable cling film to be kinder to the environment) and also a sealable sandwich bag.

It's worth us noting that this only works with reed diffuers that have collars. Here's what to do to preserve your reed diffusers:

1. Remove your reeds, run them under water and dry them with kitchen roll. Place them in a sealable sandwich bag and pop them somewhere safe. You might want to label this bag with the fragrance name if you are doing this with several reed diffusers.
2. Cut off a generous amount of cling film to cover the hole of the reed diffuser that the reeds usually sit inside.
3. Screw off the reed diffuser's collar and cover the hole with cling film.
4. Screw back on the collar and make sure that the cling film is held on.
5. Store with the reeds, ready for use next year. 

How we tested these reed diffusers

Reed diffusers from this guide in Annie's bedroom on chest of drawers with plant

(Image credit: Future)

All of these reed diffusers have been tested bu our home fragrance expert and Deputy Ecommerce Editor, Annie Collyer. Annie has had hands-on experience with each and every reed diffuser in this list, in order to form her opinion and compare these fragrances. 

Annie tested these reed diffusers in her 2-bedroom flat in London, in which she shares with her husband-to-be, her dog and her house rabbit. Whilst testing these reed diffusers, Annie makes sure to move them around her home before finding a space in which they are most suitable for sitting. Annie usually tests reed diffusers until they are fully empty, otherwise, she will make her decision after a few weeks of use.

See our About Us page for more information on how we test products at Real Homes.

Annie is our Deputy Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, with her particular area of expertise being home fragrance (there isn't a candle out there that she hasn't lit in her home). She's our guru when it comes to what to buy, when — and also where. She has years of experience when it comes to finding deals — Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday or not — and she particularly loves finding a bargain. With some of her favorite homeware pieces coming from Amazon, she's always looking for budget-friendly alternatives and dupes, as well as eco-friendly products to help her on her recent journey to being more sustainable at home. There's nothing she loves more than her Pug, Doug, and a bargain thrift shop find (yes, she once thrifted a brand new Le Creuset pan). Next up on her to-do list at home: DIY crittall-style doors...

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