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What Is the Best Carrier Oil for Reed Diffusers?

What Is the Best Carrier Oil for Reed Diffusers?

Have you ever experienced a different scent strength in your reed diffuser, when all you did was change the carrier oil? You used the exact dilution measurement, the same lavender essential oil brand, and in the same room, but the smell is way stronger this go around!

The carrier oil you choose to put in your reed diffuser can change how quickly it’s absorbed and dispersed in a room. Below we will answer your question, what is the best carrier oil for reed diffusers? So exciting!

The 10 Best Carrier Oils for Reed Diffusers

To find out what the best carrier oils for reed diffusers are, you need to know what qualities are important for a reed diffuser. The two most important qualities are absorption rate and scentlessness.

The five best carrier oils for reed diffusers based on absorption rate are:

absorption rate

Out of these five, you’ve probably only ever heard of two. Maybe you’ve only heard of one or even none of them.

The five best carrier oils for reed diffusers based on scentlessness are:


Gosh! Why are there so many “bests”? I just need a carrier oil.

Honestly, your best carrier oil will depend on what you care about. Do you want your carrier oil to absorb quickly and start working in minutes? Or, do you want a carrier oil that is scentless, that moves slower, but lets your essential oil fragrance stand out?

Let’s get into more detail. Shall we?!

5 Fastest-absorbing Carrier Oils for Reed Diffusers

Abyssinian, baobab, hazelnut, rosehip, and sacha inchi are the fastest absorbing carrier oils. They are the fastest because they are extremely thin liquids making them easier to travel quickly through reed sticks.

5 Fastest-absorbing Carrier Oils for Reed Diffusers

  • Very fast absorption rate
  • Ultralight carrier oil
  • Pale yellow, mostly clear in color
  • Neutral scent
  • Average shelf life of 24 – 30 months
  • Not tacky or greasy
  • Harder to find online and in stores
  • Very fast absorption rate
  • Highly penetrating carrier oil
  • Pale yellow to slight orange hue
  • Average shelf life of 18 – 24 months
  • Harder to find online and in stores
  • Strong light sweet odor
  • Very fast absorption rate
  • Clear and slight yellow tint
  • Characteristic/flat mild odor
  • Average shelf life of 14 – 16 months
  • Blend well with essential oils
  • People with nut allergies shouldn’t use this one
  • Slight nut and fatty acid scent
  • Very fast absorption rate
  • Yellow with a golden hue
  • Characteristic fatty scent
  • Average shelf life of 12 – 18 months
  • Used more for skin rejuvenation
Sacha inchi
  • Very fast absorption rate
  • Very light liquid
  • Clear light yellow color
  • Mild nutty scent
  • Average shelf life of 24 months
  • No oily residue
  • Harder to find online and in stores

You forgot to take the trash out last night, your house reeks, and your guests are coming over this afternoon! These five fast-absorbing carrier oils are best for people who are looking for a more immediate scent.

5 Best Scentless Carrier Oils for Reed Diffusers

Apricot kernel, grapeseed, safflower, and organic sunflower are fast-absorbing but not as fast as some of the others previously listed. All five carrier oils have practically no scent, preventing them from clashing with your essential oil fragrance.

5 Fastest-absorbing Carrier Oils for Reed Diffusers

Apricot kernel
  • Fast absorption rate
  • Golden to orange color
  • Almost scentless, light fatty acid scent
  • Average shelf life of 12 – 14 months
  • N/A
  • Fast absorption rate
  • Light odor, practically scentless
  • Light green color
  • Average shelf life of 14 – 16 months
  • N/A
  • Slight waxy aroma, faint if any scent at all
  • Golden yellow hue
  • Average shelf life of 24 -36 months
  • Average absorption
  • Fast absorption rate
  • Neutral odor
  • Yellow to gold color
  • Average shelf life of 14 – 16 months
  • N/A
Sunflower (organic)
  • Fast absorption rate
  • A bland scent, almost odorless
  • Pale yellow to clear color
  • Average shelf life of 12 – 14 months
  • Non-organic sunflower oil absorbs at an average rate

You should know the difference between unrefined and refined carrier oil and how it affects odor. Unrefined carrier oils carry a stronger scent and are natural, which means they go rancid quicker than unrefined carrier oils.

Refined carrier oils contain less active components, meaning they’ve been tweaked a bit and are less natural. They carry less scent compared to unrefined carrier oils and they have a longer shelf life.

Why Jojoba Carrier Oil is Okay to Use in Reed Diffusers

You may be wondering why jojoba carrier oil is part of the five best carrier oils for reed diffusers. You’ve read in other places, jojoba carrier oil should be avoided in reed diffusers.

Well, we are telling you differently. Jojoba oil is a thicker carrier oil, meaning it absorbs slower than the other nine carrier oils listed here.

Jojoba oil is terrific in reed diffusers for people who can’t handle strong and forceful essential oil scents but love the look of reed diffusers. If you want a mostly odorless carrier oil and want to prevent those nasty migraines from strong scents, then go with a jojoba carrier oil.

The greatest quality of jojoba carrier oil is its long shelf life. Out of these 10 carrier oils, jojoba lasts the longest, making them awesome to put in reed diffusers that sit out and open to fresh air. Jojoba oil is also extremely easy to find online or in-store.

The “clogging” trait of jojoba carrier oil, also doesn’t make sense. Reed sticks clog when they become oversaturated.

Your reed sticks become oversaturated when thinner carrier oils absorb too quickly. So, technically, a thicker carrier oil, like jojoba, will clog and oversaturate your reed sticks a lot slower than a thin and fast-absorbing carrier oil like hazelnut.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Almond Oil in Reed Diffusers

Too often you see people suggesting almond oil as one of the best carrier oils for reed diffusers. Sure, almond carrier oil is thin and considered an average to fast-absorbing oil, but what people forget to mention is how quickly almond oil spoils.

Almond Oil in Reed Diffusers

If your reed diffuser bottle allows too much air into your essential oil and almond carrier oil mixture, it will cause it to go rancid a lot quicker. So, as long as your reed diffuser bottle has a small and tight bottleneck, almond oil should be okay to use as a carrier oil.

Just remember, almond oil does tend to spoil a lot faster than other carrier oils. If you do plan to use an almond carrier oil in your reed diffuser, then you just need to change it out more frequently when compared to other carrier oils.

For example, you can probably leave jojoba oil in a reed diffuser for four months or longer. While almond carrier oil, you will need to replace it every two months.

If you’ve ever wondered about using baby oil in your reed diffuser, check out our article here.

Which Carrier Oil is the Best for Reed Diffusers?

The answer depends on what you are looking for. If you have nut allergies, then you know you should avoid hazelnut carrier oil.

Fast-absorbing & Strong Scented

Fast-absorbing & Strong Scented

For a large and open living room, you will want a strong scent. You are probably also looking for a fast-absorbing and quickly dispersing carrier oil since it will take some time for your oils to travel the length of your room. If this is you, then go with Abyssinian, baobab, hazelnut, rosehip, or sacha inchi carrier oil.

Slower-absorbing & Weaker Scented

Slower-absorbing & Weaker Scented

For a much smaller living room, bedroom, or bathroom, you’re going to need a slower absorption carrier oil to prevent an overstimulating fragrance. The better carrier oils for you are the apricot kernel, grapeseed, jojoba, safflower, and sunflower oil.

Odorless or Minimal Scented

Odorless or Minimal Scented

Those of you that want your essential oil scent to be the all-star, you’re going to need a carrier oil that is scentless or has a minimal odor to it. You’ll definitely want to avoid baobab and possibly rosehip, depending on the brand. Some rosehip carrier oils are stronger in scent.

Color-based Carrier Oil

Color-based Carrier Oil

The color of carrier oil can also dictate which carrier oil is best for your reed diffuser. Here is a quick reference color chart to help you decide on a carrier oil.

Clear/Slight TintYellow/ GoldenOrange/ GoldenLight Green Tint
Carrier Oil Names

Considering All This

The best carrier oil for reed diffusers depends on how quick you want to smell your oil mixture and if you want your carrier oil to be odorless. Thinner carrier oils travel through your reed sticks a lot quicker, while odorless carrier oils don’t interrupt your essential oil fragrance.

You decide which carrier oil works best for your needs. We hope this article was informative and helped you learn something new. We wish you the best in choosing the best carrier oil for your reed diffuser.


Sunday 9th of July 2023

Emily We are grateful for discovering your article, as it has provided us with a deeper understanding of carrier oils for reed diffusers. Your insights into the compatibility of oils with essential oils have been particularly enlightening. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

Sheila Mujahid

Friday 17th of December 2021

i cannot seem to get clarification on whether regular almond oil (vs. sweet almond oil) is functional to use in a manual (non-electric) reed diffuser.I bought regular almond oil from the food aisle because it was more expedient, but i'm not sure how it'll work insofar as being able to absorb essential oils for maximum fragrance. While i know sweet almond oil can be used, I need to know if regular (food aisle) almond oil is as effective. thank you!


Tuesday 17th of August 2021

Few weeks ago i already tried DIY reed diffuser with 40ml of sunflower carrier oil, 30 drops of lemongrass essential oil and 2 teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol and six of fiber sticks. For the first time i made reed diffuser. But the problem with my reed diffuser is the scent of lemongrass only for 2 days, after 2 days there is no scent of lemongrass anymore. Maybe you have solution why my reed diffuser only for 2 days for scent of lemongrass ...


Sunday 1st of August 2021

Hello, nice article. i want to ask how about mineral oil ? what are the pro and cons for mineral oil on reed diffuser ?

Thank you

Emily Cummings

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Hi Fauzi,

Thanks for your interest.

I've got another article about mineral oil on reed diffusers.

Here is the link to the post:

Hope it will help.