Which is best for me?

The comparisons between a reed diffuser and a fragrance diffuser machine are vast, so which will really suit your needs?

This can depend on many points – including your space availability, level of noise output, the initial and ongoing cost of maintaining the fragrance in your chosen area, and the size in which you want your fragrance system to fit.

Please contact us for more information on our Nickel & Ross fragrance diffuser machines – we also offer a free, no-obligation trial!

Size of Your Area

Small space?  The reed diffuser is your friend.  Large space?  The reed diffuser essentially does nothing other than look pretty.

While the reed diffuser is perfect for small areas, such as toilets, bathrooms, and bedrooms, they will not be able to disperse the fragrance effectively because there is not the necessary airflow needed to move the fragrance particles around the space.

The scent diffuser machine is perfect for car showrooms, large offices, gyms, and hotel lobbies.  The large spaces in these areas, mean that the fragrance particles have further to travel, but due to their internal motor and mains power, they can cope with this easily.  On average, a small scent diffuser machine can cover areas up to 200m³, and a large scent diffuser machine can cover areas up to 2,000m³.

Key takeaway: If you have a large area, a fragrance diffuser machine is your best option by far.  For a smaller area (such as a domestic bathroom or small hallway), you could still use a scent diffuser machine, however, a reed diffuser would still be effective.


Level of Noise Output

Yep, the reed diffuser makes no noise – perfect for bedrooms when you can’t sleep unless it’s silent.

Did you know, 40 decibels is the average noise measurement of your refrigerator?  Well, a fragrance diffuser machine is quieter than that at approximately just 35 decibels.  In the hum of an office or busy hotel lobby, the scent diffuser machines’ noise contribution will largely go unnoticed.

Key takeaway: While the fragrance diffuser machine is not by any means loud and would barely be noticeable in, for example, a relaxing, calm confines of a spa, a reed diffuser is the best choice for where a good night’s sleep is concerned.

Initial and Ongoing Costs

The initial cost of a reed diffuser?  On average anywhere between £5 and £100!  While these can be a cheap option, they only last an average of 2 to 3 weeks, therefore you will need to purchase another one to renew the smell.  So although the initial outlay is cheap, the ongoing replacement cost can become expensive.

The scent diffuser machine?  A small mains-powered fragrance diffuser machine complete with 100ml of fragrance oil can be purchased for a little over £200, or the diffuser can be rented for as little as £9.95 a week.  A large mains-powered fragrance diffuser machine complete with 500ml of fragrance oil is available for a little over £450, or the scent diffuser can be rented for £18.50 a week.  Depending on your chosen setting, the small scent diffuser can cost as little to run as just 50 pence per day, using a frugal 21ml of oil a week, with the large scent diffuser costing just £1.60 per day, using 86ml of oil a week.

Key takeaway: While the initial low cost of a reed diffuser is certainly attractive, the fragrance diffuser machine proves to be the more cost-effective option ongoing.

Size Comparison of Each Product

A small scent diffuser machine has a base of only 120mm and a height of 328mm.  It’s the perfect, discreet size for lounge furniture, hall table, bedroom dressing table, or office desk.  A large scent diffuser machine is 195mm square by 638mm tall.  This is a floor-standing unit, making it big enough and powerful enough to cope with large areas, but still sleek enough to blend in with furniture, seating, and plants.

Reed diffusers are usually small in size, thus perfect for mantle pieces, dressers, kitchen worktops, and bathroom windowsills etc.  Not only are they small, but they can also be classy – coming in many colours and shapes so there’s usually something you can find to match your décor and colour theme.

Key takeaway: While the small fragrance diffuser machine is small enough for domestic areas, there may be times when a reed diffuser will be adequate.  However, to get the most out of your chosen fragrance in a larger area, we would definitely recommend a fragrance diffuser machine that can look sleek and classy in your reception area amongst your sofas and indoor plants.


Fragrance oils are very concentrated chemicals and can cause damage to paint, varnish or woodwork and potentially a slippery floor.  If a reed diffuser is knocked over or spilt, this could cause damage to your surroundings if not dealt with quickly – this is especially something to consider if you have pets or young children.  On the other hand, the fragrance oil in a fragrance diffuser machine is ‘locked in’ to the unit, so any potential spillage is a lot less likely.  

Key takeaway: While the reed diffuser is perfect for small areas, such as domestic use, it is important that they are put in a place out of the reach of harm.  Sometimes this isn’t always possible, in which case the fragrance diffuser machine might be the answer for you.  (However, as a fragrance diffuser machine is mains powered, these aren’t practical for use in a toilet/bathroom area.)


As a consumer, it is really up to you to decide how noticeable/intense you want your chosen fragrance to be, the size of your area, whether noise is an issue, the initial and ongoing cost you are prepared to pay, and the space you have available for your fragrance solution to fit in.  Both the reed diffuser and the fragrance diffuser machine have attributes that make them perfect for different scenarios.  The scent diffuser machine is a perfect solution to a large area, while a reed diffuser would do an adequate job in a toilet or bathroom.

The choice is yours – choose wisely!