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Reed Diffuser vs. Electric Oil Diffuser: Which Is Better?

Reed Diffuser vs. Electric Oil Diffuser: Which Is Better?

With so many types of diffusers out there, it would be an understatement to say the process of finding the one for you is overwhelming. Thankfully, we are here to explain the differences between the reed diffuser and the electric diffuser to make your choice easier.

Below we will answer the question, are reed diffusers better than oil diffusers? We will explore the differences between the two and you’ll know which one is better for you and your needs. Keep reading!

Reed Diffuser vs Electric Oil Diffuser Chart

Reed DiffuserElectric Oil Diffuser
Ease Of Set-UpEasyEasy
Open FlamesNoNo
Electricity NeededNoYes
MaintenanceLow-MaintenanceSome Maintenance
Water NeededNoYes
Fragrance ControlNoYes
Control Featured ButtonsNoYes
FlammabilityYesYes And No
Ease Of Changing ScentDifficultEasy
Ease Of CleaningSomewhat MessyLess Messy

Comparing The Reed Diffuser To The Electric Oil Diffuser

It’s too soon to say if a reed diffuser is better than an electric oil diffuser. So, stick with us as we pick apart the two diffusers!

1. Ease Of Set-Up

We’re all looking for a quick and ready-to-go solution when it comes to adding scent to our homes. Let’s see what both diffusers offer.

Reed Diffuser

Ease Of Set-Up

The reed diffuser is extremely easy and hassle-free to set up. All you need is a small glass container, reed sticks, and a combination of essential oils and carrier oil.

Electric Oil Diffuser

The electric oil diffuser is easy to set up but it has a few more steps than the reed diffuser. You will need to fill the diffuser with water and add a handful of drops of essential oils.

After this, you will place the lid and cover back on top of the diffuser and plug it into a wall outlet. Then press the on button and it’s ready to operate!

2. Open Flames

Candles are great, but if we leave them on when we aren’t home, there is a possibility of a house fire. Let’s see if these diffusers require an open flame.

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers are similar to candles except they work through a process called absorption. They do not have an open flame.

Instead, reed diffusers absorb the essential oil and carrier oil mixture through the reed stick and diffuse it into the air.

Electric Oil Diffuser

Open Flames

Electric oil diffusers do not have an open flame either. Nebulizing diffusers and ultrasonic diffusers do not use heat at all.

3. Electricity Needed

What if you live in a cabin in the woods and electricity isn’t an option? Or what if you want to save money and a diffuser that requires electricity isn’t something you are looking for? Let’s see which diffuser needs electricity.

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers do not run on electricity. This is a huge benefit if you live out in the wilderness or you’re trying to conserve electricity. We can all appreciate a lower electric bill at the end of every month!

Electric Oil Diffuser

Electric oil diffusers do require electricity to operate. The only exception is if you buy a battery-operated electric oil diffuser.

If you are trying to save money on electricity, the electric oil diffuser isn’t a good option for you. Although, they are small appliances and in general, they shouldn’t be consuming much electricity in the first place.

4. Eco-Friendly

Some of us are looking for an eco-friendly alternative when it comes to inhaling our essential oils. Let’s find out which one is eco-friendly.

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers are considered the most eco-friendly diffuser out there. Everything about this product screams all-natural!

Electric Oil Diffuser

Unfortunately, we can’t say the same thing about electric oil diffusers. Electric oil diffusers aren’t nearly as eco-friendly since many of these products are made in cheap plastics that can emit invisible toxins into the air.

5. Maintenance

Some of us are looking for a low-maintenance product that requires little to no attention. While others are searching for a product that is more hands-on.

Reed Diffuser

Simply add the carrier oil and essential oils to the glass jar and rest some reed sticks inside. Let the reed diffuser work its magic for months, flipping the reed sticks every so often. Super low-maintenance!

Electric Oil Diffuser

Electric oil diffusers require a lot more maintenance than their counterparts, but this is a great choice for you if you are a hands-on diffuser user. You’ll need to add water and essential oil drops each time you use it.

6. Water Needed

Conserving water is in the back of some of our minds. If this is you, you’re probably wondering which diffuser requires less water or no water.

Reed Diffuser

If you choose to use a carrier oil, then the reed diffuser doesn’t require water. The other option is to use several drops of essential oil added into water mixed with rubbing alcohol or vodka.

Electric Oil Diffuser

Most electric oil diffusers require water usage to operate. The only electric diffuser that doesn’t require water is the nebulizing oil diffuser.

7. Fragrance Control

Sometimes too much of a good thing isn’t good for you. The same line goes with essential oil diffusers. If you get headaches from strong scents, you’re going to want to read this next section!

Reed Diffuser

You can’t control the strength of fragrance with reed diffusers. There is no button to make the scent less strong.

I’ve been in someone’s house with reed diffusers and it can be overpowering to the senses. If you get headaches from too much fragrance, this isn’t a good option for you.

Electric Oil Diffuser

Many electric oil diffusers come with on and off buttons and mist control buttons. Mainly the ultrasonic and humidifying diffusers allow you to alter the amount of fragrance that’s released into the air.

8. Control Featured Buttons

Tech-savvy people have no problems when it comes to several buttons on a diffuser. Other people would rather something a lot more simple without buttons (or technology, in that matter).

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers are perfect for the “technically challenged” folks. It has no buttons to worry about. Simply add your reed sticks into your oils and you are done.

Not having control featured buttons can be a drawback if you enjoy regulating scent, being able to turn it off and on, and having a built-in light.

Electric Oil Diffuser

Electric oil diffusers almost always come with at least one button. Normally the diffusers that come with one button (the on/off button) are simple to use.

Many other diffusers come with a few other buttons that control mist, making scents stronger or lighter. You can also find electric diffusers that have ambient lights and timers!

9. Flammability

This is an important safety concern to know about. Is either of these diffusers flammable?

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers can be flammable. The reed sticks are normally made of wood and the oils can cause a bad mixture if it’s exposed to open flame.

Electric Oil Diffuser

As long as you don’t own a heated electric oil diffuser, these diffusers are mostly non-flammable and safe to use. Most operate with water and non-heating components, so there isn’t much worry when it comes to flammability.

10. Ease Of Changing Scent

Some people enjoy one scent and could smell it for months without an issue. While other people need a variety and like swapping out different essential oils for different circumstances and health benefits.

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers are a one-and-done deal if you don’t want to waste your money on carrier oils. When you add an essential oil scent to a reed diffuser, that scent will diffuse through your home for months before running out.

Electric Oil Diffuser

Electric oil diffusers are better for those who enjoy swapping out scents frequently. With these diffusers, you can swap out different essential oil smells daily and even a couple of times a day!

11. Ease Of Cleaning

Eww, cleaning? Most people don’t enjoy cleaning. If a diffuser requires too much effort to clean, it could sway someone from purchasing certain diffusers.

Reed Diffuser

Reed diffusers don’t need to be cleaned often, but when they do need cleaning it can be messy. The oil residue can be greasy and sticky making it hard to get off.

Electric Oil Diffuser

If you clean these regularly (at least weekly, rinsing them out after each use), these are fairly easy to clean. There’s also no greasy stickiness!

Which Diffuser Is Better For You?

Ultimately, this question’s answer depends on your needs. Reed diffusers are one-scented, low-maintenance, and eco-friendly. Electric oil diffusers are better controlled for scent strength, can be safer to use, and are easier to clean.


So, are reed diffusers better than electric oil diffusers? The answer to this depends on what type of person you are and what kind of product you like.

Whether you go with a reed diffuser or oil diffuser, you will know what to expect from each of them. Happy oiling!

Christine serle

Monday 12th of December 2022

I have an electric diffuser with misting function When I use water and essential oil it mists well but if I use a shop bought diffuser refill with or without oil it fails to mist. Can you help please?