Best air freshener: 15 top picks to banish bad smells

The best air freshener will get rid of bad smells in seconds and leave your home smelling wonderful

Best air freshener: Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best air freshener should tackle all household odours while leaving the air pleasantly scented – or just clean and pure, if you don't like fragrance. All the air fresheners on our list, whether scented or unscented, do a solid job of getting rid bad smells quickly and efficiently, guaranteeing air that's nice to breathe, no matter the size of your room. And we've got some special air freshener picks for cars, fridges, and pet areas.

Having trouble picking out an air freshener from the gazillions in the shops and online? That's where we come in: these are the best – we've tried, tested and reviewed them, and we think you'll love them. You'll find our detailed product reviews below to help you figure out which air freshener is best suited to your needs and to your home. Best of all, our clever pricing widget ensures the prices you see today are the best prices.

Looking for fresh scents throughout your entire space? Read up on the best home fragrances for every room in our buyer's guide.

The best air fresheners

best air freshener you can buy: Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray

1. Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray

Best air freshener you can buy: just one spray of this air freshener will get rid of unpleasant odours in your home

Specifications
Best for: Killing bacteria
Size: 200ml
Type: Spray
Scent: Natural
Reasons to buy
+100% natural+A little goes a very long way+Long-lasting
Reasons to avoid
-Not easy to find in shops-Can't be sprayed around babies

Best for...
In our opinion, this is the best air freshener you can buy for your home, and the best part is that it's made with no synthetic chemicals, but from a unique blend of 100 per cent pure and natural essential oils.

Scent
As for the scent, it's natural and fresh with notes of tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus.

Can be used on...
As well as spraying in the air, you can also use Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray on carpets, bedding and upholstery to immediately freshen a room.

Results
Just one spray will make a difference and you'll immediately notice the air clearing. This truly is worth the money for those times when you've been cooking something strong or you've guests arriving in minutes and don't want to just mask the smell, but kill the odour. For those who work all day and can't leave their windows open to air their home, this spray makes your home smell fresh as a daisy, too.

Good to know
It's quite pricey, and strong, so all you need is one spray per room (trust us, it's plenty). The only downside is that it's not easily accessible in shops – so buy online.

  • Buy the Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray

Best anti-bacterial air freshener: Ozmo Anti-Bacterial Air & Fabric Freshener Lavender Blush

2. Ozmo Anti-Bacterial Air & Fabric Freshener Lavender Blush

Best anti-bacterial air freshener: multi-use product for targeting all odours which ticks all of the boxes

Specifications
Best for: Multi-use
Size: 400ml
Type: Spray
Scent: Lavender
Reasons to buy
+Freshens air and fabrics+Kills germs at the same time
Reasons to avoid
-Can only really buy online

Best for...
Looking for an environmentally-friendly air freshener? Enter: Ozmo's Anti-Bacterial Air & Fabric Freshener. 

Scent
Ozmo's Anti-Bacterial Air & Fabric Freshener is available in three different scents: Cotton Blush; Delicate Pearls; or Lavender Blush.

Can be used on...
Not only will this product keep the air in your home fresh, but it's claimed to kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria on hard surfaces, and should help keep sofas, mattresses or cushions fresh and germ-free, too (ideal if you've got kids and pets around). 

Results
This multi-use spray gets rid of everything from unpleasant mould smells to pesky pet smells. Its propellant free concentrated format also offers greater value than traditional aerosols (which can contain up to 40 per cent gas), with over 1,400 sprays per pack. It's better for the environment, too.

Good to know
It's quite hard to find this gem in the shops (apart from The Range), so instead of trawling through your shopping centre on a Saturday, save yourself time and buy it online.

  • Buy the Ozmo Anti-Bacterial Air & Fabric Freshener

Best air freshener for pet owners: Zoflora Fresh Home Odour Remover & Disinfectant

3. Zoflora Fresh Home Odour Remover & Disinfectant

Best air freshener for pet owners: with multiple uses, this disinfectant can be made up in a spray bottle and spritzed around the home for instant freshness

Specifications
Best for: Pet owners
Size: 500ml
Type: Needs to be diluted
Scent: Fresh
Reasons to buy
+Multiple uses+Lots of different scents+A lot for your money+Great for pets
Reasons to avoid
-You have to dilute it

Best for...
Having pets around the home not only means you have to do more cleaning, it also means you have to be conscious of the products you use, as some aren't pet-friendly. The best air freshener for those who have furry friends, we think.

Scent
Once used, Zoflora is said to leave behind a 'mountain air' fragrance. We can't say we've noticed this– however, we do think it leaves behind a noticeable fresh and clean smell that lasts for days.

Results
Zoflora Fresh Home Odour Remover & Disinfectant doesn't just eliminate odours, it kills 99.9 per cent of viruses, including ones that could potentially cause illness to your pet, while freshening your home. 

Good to know
Zoflora Fresh Home Disinfectant can be diluted and used in several ways including in a spray bottle, in your mop bucket for when you clean your floors or you can fill up your sink and add a capful to release the smell throughout your home. It should be made up as one part disinfectant to 40 parts water

For more of the best ways to clean up after dogs, head to our guide.

  • Buy the Zoflora Fresh Home Odour Remover & Disinfectant

Best air freshener for toilets: Poo-Pourri air freshener

4. Poo Pourri Original Toilet Spray

Best air freshener for toilets: keep your loo smelling fruity fresh all day long

Specifications
Best for: Bathrooms
Size: 118ml
Type: Spray
Scent: Lemon Citrus
Reasons to buy
+ Choice of scents available  + Eliminates toilet odours  
Reasons to avoid
- Hard to spray when half empty 

Best for...
On the hunt for the best air freshener for your bathroom? This little spray's name might seem a little off-beat, but not a bad word can be said about its qualities. 

Scent
Available in a range of scents, including lemon citrus, white flower, strawberry and spearmint, all Poo Pourri Original Toilet Sprays have a strong smell that goes a long way. 

Results
A few squirts of this spray down the toilet before you go will ensure no unpleasant odours escape into the bathroom. The scent lasts for ages and it's a pretty looking bottle, too.

Good to know
Sometimes a little fiddly to spray when it reaches below half, but all in all, reviewers say they couldn't go without this little lifesaver to cover up nasty smells.

  • Buy the Poo Pourri Original Toilet Sprays

best plug-in air freshener: Febreze with Ambi Pur Air Freshener Plug-In Starter Kit

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Febreze with Ambi Pur Air Freshener Plug-In Starter Kit

Best plugin air freshener: a plugin freshener you can adjust to your needs

Specifications
Best for: Eliminating odours and freshening
Size: 20ml
Type: adjustable plug-in
Scent: Cotton fresh
Reasons to buy
+ Adjustable design + Lasts up to 80 days 
Reasons to avoid
- Nothing for the price 

Best for...
This affordable device is a great way to keep a room fresh – and you're able to control how strong you want the fragrance to be.

Scent
The starter kit comes with the 'Cotton Fresh' scent, but you cal also get refills in 'Vanilla Latte'.

Results
Ambi Pur have teamed up with Febreze to create a plug-in freshener that works to eliminate odours rather than just mask them, which makes the fragrance it leaves behind even more pleasant. 

Good to know
You have real control over how much fragrance you want released into your home with its handy dial-like control. Most people find that the lower settings are perfect for introducing enough scent without it becoming overpowering. 

  • Buy the Febreze with Ambi Pur Air Freshener

Best air freshener for small homes: Febreeze Vanilla Latte small spaces air freshener

6. Febreze Small Spaces Air Freshener - Vanilla Flower

Best air freshener for small homes: create a warm and welcoming atmosphere with this vanilla latte fragrance

Specifications
Best for: Warming scent
Size: 5.5ml
Type: Gel
Scent: Vanilla Flower
Reasons to buy
+Cleanses the air  +Small and compact +No need for batteries or electricity+Refills available
Reasons to avoid
-Smells are a bit basic-Can't control when it works

Best for...
This small and compact air freshener is perfect for both coat closets and hallways, and also households with smokers. 

Scent
The Vanilla Flower scent isn’t everyone’s favourite, but for those winter months it can provide a warming smell that makes the home feel cosy. It does come in Cotton Fresh and Blossom & Breeze scents too.

Results
A great air freshener to have as well as a spray version, the Febreze Small Spaces Air Freshener is an easy way to ensure your home always smells nice. It isn't however, ideal for cooking smells, accidents or quick fixes, as you can't control how often or how much smell comes out at one time.

Good to know
Small and discreet, it can easily be placed in a closet or on a shelf without anyone even noticing it’s there. 

  • Buy the Febreze Small Spaces Air Freshener

Best air freshener for home: Diptyque Baies Scented Oval

7. Diptyque Baies Scented Oval

Best air freshener for home: a fancy accessory for both the bedroom and bathroom

Specifications
Best for: Decorative
Size: 35g
Type: Wax
Scent: Roses and blackcurrant
Reasons to buy
+ Diffuses for up to three months + Looks elegant 
Reasons to avoid
- Not the strongest scent  

Best for...
If you're a fan of Diptyque's other scents, then this would make the perfect air freshener for your home. The first place we would suggest you hang Diptyque's Baies Scented Oval is your bathroom. 

Scent
The French word for berries is baies, so it makes sense for this air freshener to smell of berries. With a more floral than fruity scent, the Diptyque Baies Scented Oval smells of roses and blackcurrant. Divine! Other scents available include Fig, Rose and a special edition 34 boulevard Saint Germain scented oval.

Results
Although on the pricey side, it does last for up to three months, and it's better for the environment as it's not a spray or aerosol and it includes no plastic! Oh, and it requires absolutely zero effort from your behalf apart from finding somewhere to hang it – if not your bathroom, a wardrobe, coat cupboard or on the back of your bedroom door.

Good to know
It's encased in ceramic so is ideal for hanging in smaller rooms, as the refreshing fragrance slowly emits over time. 

  • Buy the Diptyque Baies Scented Oval

best air freshener for offices: FAMTOP Air Purifier with True HEPA & Active Carbon

(Image credit: Amazon)

8. Famtop Air Purifier

Best air freshener for offices: absorb unpleasant odours with this powerful air purifier

Specifications
Best for: Eliminating odours
Size: 20.6 x 20.6 x 41.8cm
Type: Plug-in air purifier
Scent: None
Reasons to buy
+ Collects bad smells + Eco-friendly  
Reasons to avoid
- No scent  

Best for...
Want to keep your home naturally fresh rather than masking bad odours with fragrances? This Famtop Air Purifier is the one for you. 

Scent 
There is no scent, but there is so much to this powerful air purifier. In fact, it has four functions: it absorbs bad smells with its carbon filter; removes allergy-causing substances such as pet dander with its HEPA filter; filters out smoke, mould and other dangerous substances with a Cold Catalyst filter; and, finally, doubles up as an atmospheric night light.

Results
Designed to catch all the bad odours, bacteria and allergens in the air, it will make your home smell fresh again in no time. Powerful enough for a room 20 square metres in size.

Good to know
We'd suggest using it in conjunction with one of the other air fresheners on our list, for a refreshing smell throughout your household.

  • Buy the Famtop Air Purifier

best air freshener for fridges: Monkey Business Chill Bill Fridge Deodoriser

(Image credit: Amazon)

9. Monkey Business Chill Bill Fridge Deodoriser

Best air freshener for fridges: fridge need a freshen up? We bet you won't find a fridge deodoriser cuter than this

Specifications
Best for: Fridge
Size: 90.7g
Type: Baking soda deodoriser
Scent: None
Reasons to buy
+Super cute+Effective at absorbing smells
Reasons to avoid
-Have to get baking soda separately

Best for...
Banishing those fridge odours. This super cute and simple Monkey Business Chill Bill Fridge Deodoriser just needs filling up with baking soda – and your fridge will become smell-free.

Scent
The Monkey Business Chill Bill Fridge Deodoriser is unscented and works to absorb strong smells through the holes in the back. 

Results
For such a simple device, it's surprisingly effective: it's big enough to deodorise the whole fridge; replace the baking soda about once a month, or whenever the smells return. 

Good to know
You will need to buy baking soda separately – but most kitchens already have it, and you won't be using much.  

  • Buy the Monkey Business Chill Bill Fridge Deodoriser

Best air freshener for cars: AREON Ken Car Air Freshener

10. AREON Ken Car Air Freshener

Best air freshener for cars: an ideal air freshener for a fresh smelling car

Specifications
Best for: Car
Size: 35g
Type: Gel
Scent: Lemon
Reasons to buy
+Little to no maintenance required+Fits in cup holder+Long-lasting+Lots of different scents
Reasons to avoid
-Can't control how much the scent comes out

Best for...
A car shouldn't be forgotten about when it comes to keeping the air fresh. Gel versions are most people's favourite when it comes to the best air freshener for a car, as they require little to no maintenance and they fit nicely in a cup holder. 

Scent
If lemon doesn't tickle your fancy, they're also available in several other scents including Apple & Cinnamon, Bubblegum, Vanilla and also New Car smell.

Results
The AREON Ken Car Air Freshener does a good job at subtly emitting smells in your car. You don't need to do anything for it to work, too, simply just open the can, place in your vehicle and enjoy. An easy way to ensure your car won't smell like Mc Donalds all the time.

Good to know
As with other gel air fresheners, you can't control how much scent comes out at once.

  • Buy the AREON Ken Car Air Freshener

Best spray air freshener: Febreeze mist and refresh air freshener in Air scent

11. Febreze Mist and Refresh

Best spray air freshener: a quick and easy spray for masking odours

Specifications
Best for: Instant odour disguise
Size: 300ml
Type: Spray
Scent: Cotton fresh
Reasons to buy
+ Natural scent + Easy to spray 
Reasons to avoid
- Runs out quickly- Basic

Best for...
An ideal spray to keep handy in the home, Febreze Mist and Refresh can instantly be sprayed in any room of the house to eliminate odours within seconds. 

Scent
The cotton-fresh smell is much more subtle than citrus or floral smells, which makes it our favourite for subtleness. It also comes in Lavender, Blossom Breeze and Spiced Apple (a Christmas fave).

Results
It does tend to run out a lot quicker than oils or mists; however, only a few quick spritzes are needed to get your home smelling fresh.

Good to know
The cotton fresh smell may be a bit basic for some, but it's great if you're looking for something to freshen up your fabric sofa, rugs or curtains. The formula is water-based and non-flammable, which makes it safe to use both whenever, and wherever you need it. 

  • Buy the Febreze Mist and Refresh

Best air freshener for bins: Bin Buddy Fresh Citrus Zing

12. Bin Buddy Fresh Citrus Zing

Best air freshener for bins: for a fresh smelling bin, all the time

Specifications
Best for: Bins
Size: 450g
Type: Powder
Scent: Citrus
Reasons to buy
+Smells great+Works quickly+Can be used indoor or out

Best for...
Let's be honest, no one likes touching their bins, whether they're indoor or outdoor, clean or not – this is where the Bin Buddy Fresh Citrus Zing comes in. Our choice of the best air freshener for a lovely smelling bin.

Scent
Available in Citris Zing or Berry Blast, there's no escaping a nice smelling bin if you're using Bin Buddy Fresh.

Results
To be used on top of existing rubbish or in an empty bin (bag inside or not), this powder does a good job at disguising bin odours, and it soaks up your bin juice while killing maggots and flies. 

Good to know
A game changer don't want to empty your bin constantly (or favour strong-smelling foods). Also, one pot contains over 30 uses (depending on your bin's size). 

Shop more Bin Buddy products at Amazon

  • Buy Bin Buddy Fresh

best organic air freshener: Purifying Room Spray Air Freshener

(Image credit: Amazon)

13. 1001 Remedies Purifying Room Spray

The best organic air freshener

Specifications
Best for: Multi-purpose room freshening
Size: 30ml/100ml
Type: Spray
Scent: Lavender/herbal
Reasons to buy
+Organic and chemical free+Not just for room freshening+Scientifically proven to work

Best for...

Question is, what isn't the 1001 Remedies Purifying Room Spray good for? This hardworking little spray is all-natural, with no synthetic perfume. Its powerful essential oil blend was designed with relaxation and immune support in mind: you can even use it when you have a cold to help your sinuses decongest. 

Scent 

The scent will please essential oil lovers: it's expertly blended from nineteen essential oils for a sophisticated, all-natural effect. We can mainly smell the calming lavender, invigorating peppermint, and eucalyptus, but the combination with all the other oils makes it unique. 

Results 

Try using this as a pillow spray (as good as some more expensive ones we've tried) or spraying all around your living room/car. Also perfect for scenting the inside of your chest of drawers for refreshing your clothes. There are so many ways to use this lovely spray, you'll soon find the one that you prefer. 

Good to know

As this product is made from essential oils, it's very concentrated. So, while the bottle may seem small, it should last you a good few months. For the same reason, we don't recommend this product if you have any known essential oil allergy. 

  • Buy the 1001 Remedies Purifying Room Spray

best air freshener for a large room: Yankee Candle ScentPlug Pink Sands

(Image credit: Amazon)

14. Yankee Candle ScentPlug Pink Sands

Best air freshener for a large room

Specifications
Best for: large rooms
Size: 18.5ml
Type: Plug in
Scent: Vanilla/tropical
Reasons to buy
+Powerful scent+Will fill the largest of rooms
Reasons to avoid
-Have to buy the plug and scents separately

Best for...

If you have a large room that you'd like to smell nice, and struggle with finding a room freshener that will diffuse throughout the big space, trust the Yankee Candle ScentPlug to do the job. Don't be put off by the small size of the refill – this stuff is powerful.

Scent

We mainly smell a floral vanilla blend, with a little citrus on top. It's a 'tropical' scent because of the addition of floral and woody notes. A real crowd pleaser. 

Results

Long-lasting and concentrated, this scent really travels across the room. If you need to freshen up a big dining room or living room, this is it.

Good to know

You do have to buy the ScentPlug separately, for £5.99. 

  • Buy the Yankee Candle ScentPlug

The best plastic free air freshener: Pandoo bamboo

(Image credit: Amazon)

15. Pandoo Bamboo Air Freshener

The best plastic free air freshener: get rid of unpleasant smells with these biodegradable charcoal bags

Specifications
Best for: Cars, kitchens and shoes
Size: 75g
Type: Charcoal sachet
Scent: none
Reasons to buy
+Biodegradable and plastic-free+Multi-purpose
Reasons to avoid
-Might not work in bigger spaces

Best for...

From deodorising your shoes to whisking away bad smells from cars, these little bags of bamboo charcoal have lots of uses. Musty cupboards? These will help. Odd smell in a kitchen? They'll work for this too.

Scent

No scent, so best for areas where the preferred aroma is just 'fresh and clean'.

Results

These bags really do work – but for best results, we advise using them in small spaces or for targeted freshening.

Good to know

You can reuse the Pandoo bags for about two years: simply refresh them for putting them out in the sun for a day. When you want to repace them, you can use the charcoal inside as plant fertiliser. 

  • Buy the Pandoo Bamboo Air Freshener

Which is the best room freshener?

Tried and tested by the RealHomes team, we think the best air freshener for your home is the Puressentiel Purifying Air Spray. Although it has a larger price tag than others, just one spray will eliminate any lingering smells in your home and it contains 41 natural oils. If you're after something more purse-friendly, opt for the Ozmo Anti-Bacterial Air & Fabric Freshener Lavender Blush. Read more on both below, or see our best list below to save time:

How to buy the best air freshener

Cheap homemade air freshener recipe

Not a fan of strong commercial fragrances, or simply want to make a cheaper version of one of the all-natural room fresheners on our list? Couldn't be easier. You will need:
1. Distilled water – this is important to make sure your spray lasts;
2. Vodka or rubbing alcohol;
3. Essential oil of your choice (we like lavender);
4. Spray bottle.

Mix the vodka and distilled water in a ratio of 1:4 (this is approximate, nothing bad will happen if it's not exact), add about 10 drops of essential oil. pour into the spray bottle, shake well. Works a treat as an ironing water, too. If using a citrus oil, avoid spraying directly on fabrics. 

Air fresheners are a great alternative to scented candles, incense or oil diffusers, especially for daily use. They tend to smell a lot stronger, last a lot longer and are cheaper to buy; similar to using a body spray on a daily basis and saving your favourite eau de parfum for special occasions. They're also a lot safer as there are no flames or electricals involved.

Which type of air freshener is best?
There's a range of different styles of air freshener to choose from, depending on where you wish to place it. Some come in the form of a spray so you can choose as and when you use it, or if you want a continuously fresh smelling home, opt for an automatic spray which plugs into the wall and periodically emits fragrance into the room.

Some home air fresheners will just cover up bad odours, but if you’re also looking to eliminate strong smells from the home then you can look for purifying air fresheners designed to absorb the smells and leave the home smelling naturally fresh. 

To find out how to get rid of household smells with clever cleaning hacks, see our dedicated feature. In the meantime, we’ve picked out some of the best home air fresheners that will keep each room smelling amazing. Which one will be your favourite?

Bad smells at home – what's the biggest offender?

Carpets are the worst culprits for spreading those nasty niffs, but curtains and upholstery come close behind. The best way to tackle them (other than introducing air fresheners) is to give them a good vacuuming or use a steam cleaner. Both of which will make your air fresheners much more effective.

Find out more in our guide to cleaning a carpet.

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