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  • Writer's pictureLily Smith

Are reed diffusers toxic? 5 natural + non-toxic reed diffusers to scent your home

Not a fan of candles? Reed diffusers offer a lower-risk, flame-free alternative. Plus, with no need to light them, they will continually scent your home for hours on end. But which ingredients should you be avoiding? We've rounded up the best natural + non-toxic reed diffusers to help you scent your home without the need for harsh chemicals...

Are reed diffusers better than candles?

When it comes to home fragrancing, most of the choices come down to personal preference - whether that's the fragrance notes, the design, or the actual item you pick to scent your home.

There are two main choices for home fragrancing: candles and reed diffusers. Of course, you can also opt for room sprays or essential oil diffusers, but in general, these are less popular with consumers.

When picking between a candle or a reed diffuser, as previously mentioned, this comes down to personal preference. Neither one is decisively better than the other. However, there are a few pros and cons to each which might make you feel more inclined either way.

Pros and cons of reed diffusers

Firstly, a big pro to reed diffusers is that they are flame-free. As much as we love candles, the element of fire adds a clear safety issue. In fact, in 2020, over 200 fires in London were connected to candle use. While there certainly are ways to drastically reduce this risk, like never leaving a candle unattended, or keeping the candle away from other objects and furnishings, this risk might sway your decision to go with a reed diffuser.

However, reed diffusers also have their cons. Firstly, the absence of a flame immediately lowers the 'cosiness' factor. Fire taps into a primal part of our being, triggering feelings of safety, security, warmth and contentedness. Unlike reed diffusers, candles offer multiple sensory experiences - scent, sight, feel and sometimes evening sound, if it has a crackling wooden wick.

Another thing to remember with reed diffusers is that their scent throw tends to be different to a candle. As a reed diffuser is constantly emitting fragrance, they might not be best suited to a small, enclosed space. Try using them in more open spaces, like a kitchen or living room, where they are less likely to be overpowering.

Top tip: If your reed diffuser is not throwing out much scent, try inverting the reed sticks!

Are reed diffusers toxic?

Not all reed diffusers are toxic. However, some of them do contain harsh chemicals, perfumes and preservatives that can cause unwanted physical side effects when inhaled.

According to the National Capital Poison Center, some reed diffuser fragrances contain up to 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. This is the same thing as rubbing alcohol, which can cause drowsiness and vomiting when inhaled.

When buying a reed diffuser, we recommend only choosing ones that are made with natural ingredients, like pure essential oils. Below, we've rounded up our favourite natural + non-toxic reed diffusers...

Safety note: While essential oils are generally considered safe for human inhalation, certain scents can be harmful to animals and aquatic life. Consult your vet for more information. Human ingestion of essential oils is also potentially dangerous. Always keep reed diffusers and essential oils out of reach of pets and children.

Best natural + non-toxic reed diffusers

Neom Organics creates a wide range of home fragrance products, including candles, reed diffusers and room sprays. Each one is designed to use scent to promote a sense of wellness.

The 100% natural Happiness Reed Diffuser (£25) lasts up to 12 weeks and features 7 pure essential oils including white neroli, woody and powdery mimosa and zingy lemon, which can help you feel more positive and uplifted.

The reed diffusers from AromaWorks are fragranced with 100% pure essential oils, sourced from around the globe. Made using only the finest natural ingredients, these diffusers contain no chemicals or harmful substances, meaning you can safely and comfortably immerse your senses in the scents of purity.

We love the Lemongrass & Bergamot blend (£11.99), which features notes of West Indian Lemongrass, West Indian Lime, Chinese May Chang and sweet Italian Mandarin.

The elegant Bamford willow diffusers will beautifully scent your home, with signature blends of essential oils, which are captured in a non-toxic, environmentally friendly oil base. The fragrance is diffused through natural, sustainably-sourced willow reeds.

We love the Rosemary diffuser (£58) which features a crisp herbal blend of rosemary, thyme and lavender with a little clove, geranium leaf and Sicilian lemon oil.

These luxury and high quality Oil Reed Diffusers are hand poured by Handmade Candle Co. and are easy on the environment, with apothecary-inspired glass bottles, natural rattan reeds and recycled Kraft packaging.

We love the Tobacco + Sweet Hay (£18). With notes of smokey incense white lavender, sage, honey & tobacco leaf.

Handmade in Cornwall, the reed diffusers from St. Eval feature an elegant and simple design in a frosted glass bottle and 100% recyclable cardboard box.

We love the best selling Bay & Rosemary fragrance (£29.99), which features an invigorating combination of herbal rosemary and cool bay leaf.


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