Do You Use All Diffuser Sticks At Once?

Essential oil diffusers are devices that disperse essential oils into the air. They use ultrasonic vibrations, heat, or fans to break down the oils into tiny airborne molecules that can be inhaled. Diffuser sticks (also known as reeds) are sticks made from natural materials like bamboo or rattan that absorb essential oils and slowly release their aroma into the air.

Diffuser sticks work through capillary action, wicking up the oil into the porous material. As the air passes over the stick, the aroma is released into the environment. The sticks provide a simple, mess-free way to enjoy essential oils without the need for electricity or refilling like typical diffusers. They allow the oils to diffuse gradually over a long period, making them ideal for continuous, subtle fragrance.

How Diffuser Sticks Work

Diffuser sticks, also known as reeds, are thin sticks made of natural or synthetic materials like bamboo, rattan, or plastic. They are placed partially in fragrance or essential oils inside a diffuser vessel.

As the reeds absorb the oil, it travels up the length of the stick through capillary action. Once the oil reaches the top of the reed that is exposed to air, the fragrance slowly evaporates and is dispersed into the surrounding environment. This diffusion process continuously occurs as long as there is fragrance oil for the reeds to absorb.

The evaporation rate and intensity of fragrance depends on factors like air circulation, temperature, humidity, and the surface area exposed on the reeds. More reeds provide greater surface area and tend to result in a stronger scent.

Overall, the capillary action of the reeds allows for gradual, continuous fragrance diffusion over time without the need for heat or electricity like other types of diffusers.

Recommended Usage

Most diffuser stick manufacturers recommend using 2-4 sticks in your diffuser at a time for optimal fragrance dispersal. According to The Flaming Candle, their premium rattan reed diffuser sticks are designed to be used 2-3 at a time: “Reed Diffuser Sticks.” Using the recommended amount helps ensure even fragrance distribution without being overpowering.

Some key guidelines from manufacturers when using multiple sticks:

  • Space sticks evenly around the diffuser.
  • Rotate which sticks are in use to help extend their lifespan.
  • Replace sticks around every 2-3 months for best performance.
  • Monitor intensity and remove sticks if scent becomes too strong.

Following the recommended stick amount and usage tips will provide an optimal diffuser experience.

Benefits of Using Multiple Sticks

Using multiple diffuser sticks at once can provide greater aromatherapy benefits compared to using just one. With multiple sticks, more fragrance oil is dispersed into the air, allowing the scent to reach more areas of a room or throughout a larger space (Source). This increased scent coverage means more people can experience the calming, uplifting or therapeutic effects of the essential oils.

Having multiple diffuser sticks in one room or area enables you to fully immerse yourself in the aroma. Studies show that diffused essential oils can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety, boost mood, and improve sleep quality (Source). With a higher concentration of fragrance from multiple sticks, these benefits may be enhanced.

Additionally, using several sticks allows you to distribute them around the room and not just have the scent concentrated in one spot. The fragrance can permeate throughout the entire space for a more uniform aroma experience. This increased coverage means you can enjoy the diffused essential oils no matter where you are in the room.

person smelling a diffuser with multiple sticks

Downsides of Too Many Sticks

While using multiple diffuser sticks can increase scent diffusion, using too many at once has some drawbacks. The most notable downside is that the scent can become overwhelmingly strong. With too many sticks in the bottle, the room may have an overpowering aroma that is not pleasant or calming [1]. This intensity can lead to headaches or feeling sick from the fumes.

Additionally, cramming too many sticks in the diffuser bottle leads to oil being used up more quickly. As each stick absorbs and emits the essential oil, having many sticks results in faster evaporation and depletion of the oil [2]. This essentially wastes the oil, as the excess intensity is often not preferred. Using fewer sticks leads to the scent lasting longer.

In summary, while more diffuser sticks disperse scent faster, too many can create an overwhelmingly strong smell and cause the oil to be used up quickly. Using a moderate number of sticks helps strike the right balance of steady, subtle fragrance without waste.

Tips for Using Multiple Sticks

When using multiple diffuser sticks, it’s best to spread them out around the room rather than clustering them together. This will allow the fragrance to distribute more evenly. Place sticks in different corners or on different pieces of furniture. You can also put sticks on different levels – some low and some higher up (1).

Consider using sticks with varying scents rather than multiples of the same one. Layering complementary fragrances can create a more complex and pleasant aroma. For example, pair floral scents like jasmine or rose with woody notes like cedar or sandalwood. Or combine fruity scents like grapefruit or lemon with clean scents like eucalyptus or tea tree (2). Just be sure not to overdo it with too many competing fragrances.

Ideal Diffuser Stick Numbers

The ideal number of diffuser sticks to use depends on the size of the room you want to scent. Using too many sticks in a small space can make the fragrance overwhelming. On the other hand, too few sticks will not adequately scent a large room.

For a small room like a bathroom or entryway, 2-4 sticks is usually enough. Medium-sized rooms like bedrooms or offices will benefit from 4-6 sticks. In large open concept rooms or living spaces, 6-8 sticks can allow the scent to properly permeate the entire area.

As a general guideline from Homesick, rooms under 250 square feet only need 2-3 sticks. Rooms between 250-400 square feet do well with 4-5 sticks. Spaces larger than 400 square feet may need 6 sticks or more for sufficient coverage.

Test out different amounts to find your “scent sweet spot” for each room. Monitor the intensity and make adjustments as needed. But in general, add more sticks for larger spaces and use fewer sticks for smaller rooms.

Monitoring Intensity

The intensity of your diffuser sticks can be easily adjusted by adding or removing sticks as needed. If you find the scent overwhelming, try removing a stick or two to lower the intensity. According to Mission-Clean, “Remove a reed or two and re-check the fragrance intensity in a few days. If it’s still overpowering, try removing another few reeds before you give up on the oil blend completely.”

On the other hand, if you want a stronger aroma, add additional sticks – PFCandleCo recommends flipping the sticks regularly to keep the scent fresh and strong. They advise, “Flip the reeds when the scent starts fading to refresh the fragrance.” The number of sticks needed can vary based on personal preference, room size, and the particular essential oil blend.

It’s generally recommended to start with 2-4 sticks in an average sized room and adjust from there. Monitor the scent level daily and add/remove sticks as needed to achieve your desired intensity. With some tweaking, you can customize the perfect aroma for any space.

Safety Considerations

When using reed diffusers, it’s important to be mindful of safety and potential health risks. Proper ventilation is key, as the chemicals used in diffuser oils can irritate airways if inhaled at high concentrations. Keep diffusers in well-ventilated areas and avoid clustering too many diffusers together in a small space. Those with respiratory issues like asthma should also take care, as diffuser scents may trigger allergic reactions or asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals.

While reed diffusers aren’t meant to be ingested, it’s wise to keep them safely out of reach of pets and small children. Avoid skin contact as well, as the oils may irritate skin. Pregnant women should also exercise caution. Overall, when used correctly in reasonable amounts and properly ventilated spaces, reed diffusers present a relatively low safety risk. But those with sensitivities or health conditions should take extra care.


To recap, using multiple diffuser sticks at once can provide a range of benefits such as stronger aroma and more efficient diffusion. However, using too many sticks can overpower the scent. Stick to 1-3 sticks for small rooms and scale up as needed. Monitor the intensity and adjust to avoid headaches or nausea. It’s generally safe to use multiple sticks as long as you keep an eye on ventilation and overall fragrance strength. Overall, experiment with different numbers of sticks to find your ideal fragrance level. Just remember that more is not always better when it comes to diffuser sticks.

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