If you're taking the time to research the best air freshener to buy for your home, then it's clear you care about the scent of your space — who doesn't? Home fragrance is arguably as important as your home decor. As someone who reviews candles, reed diffusers, essential oil diffusers, and everything else that makes your home smell super good for a living, I can recommend a thing or two for your space. Because whether you live with a pet, your housemate enjoys a fish dinner twice a week (ugh), or you just love the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home smells good, then keep on scrolling.
I've collated (and tested) a bunch of fragrances ranging in scent, from fruity to fresh, that are perfect for immediately banishing odors at home. Think of everything from solid air fresheners to air purifying bags to your classic air freshener sprays. There's something for everyone, in short, whether you're trying to scent your small apartment in the city or your spacious pet-friendly home in the suburbs.
I (Annie) have reviewed the majority of these air fresheners firsthand, and I've been using the first pick from Puressential to scent my home for years. You can sometimes find it on sale, but a little goes a long way. I'm also always looking out for new ways to make your home smell good.
The 10 best air fresheners
The prices in this guide were correct at the time of publishing.
+ 100% natural
+ A little goes a long way
- Can't be sprayed around babies
Made with no synthetic chemicals but from a unique blend of 100% pure and natural essential oils, this herbaceous air freshener has been a firm favorite of mine for years. One spray in every corner of a room will immediately banish various household smells and refresh a space, no matter its size. With notes of tea tree, peppermint, and eucalyptus, it's also great for stomping out cooking smells, just be aware that a little goes a very long way. Don't spray it in a room with pets or children inside either as it's powerful.
+ Made with essential oils
+ Recyclable bottle
+ 7 scents
Anyone who's eco-conscious will love this hardworking spray since it's non-aerosol, all-natural, and scented using essential oils. I'm not usually a fan of lavender, so this one surprised me. I actually really liked it for refreshing my upholstery. The scent is light, fresh, and inviting, just like all of the fragrances from Mrs. Meyer's. There are so many other ways to use this spray, too.
Type: Essential oil diffuser
+ 3 modes
+ Great for bathrooms
- Compatible only with Neom essential oils
It's actually wild how many people ask me about this little thing. Whether it's by your toilet or desk, it's an easy way to make your home smell nice. The compact essential oil diffuser doesn't need to be plugged in, and it comes in a range of colors. It doesn't require water either. Instead, oil vaporizes directly from the bottle and scents the air. You can pick from three intensities, too, so you won't overdo it in a tiny room. It's great for bathrooms but can also fit inside your car's cup holder. Refills are expensive though, so don't leave it on all day long.
+ Great for disguising odors
+ Lots of scents
+ Handbag friendly
- Small bottle
- Only for use in the toilet
This little bottle is a lifesaver. What it lacks in size it makes up for in power. You've probably seen it before; it's the one you spray into the bowl before you go. Available in plenty of scents and in a pretty-looking bottle, your guests will thank you later. If you've got a windowless bathroom like me, then it's perfect as it doesn't clog the air like other air fresheners.
Type: Cordless essential oil diffuser
+ Easy to hide
+ Range of scents available
+ 45 days longevity
- Not the best looking
Another favorite of mine, this budget-friendly Airwick Essential Mist Kit is simple to use. Place it anywhere and it'll ooze scent on its own. I used to have mine in my living room, but then I moved it to my bathroom, and now I've given it to a friend. It turns essential oils into a mist, so you get a decent number of scent options to choose from. It has three settings and you can switch your scent with the seasons. Buy the diffuser once and the refills again and again.
+ 100% recyclable with TerraCycle
+ Range of scents
- Can't control
- Short lifespan of 30 days
I haven't tested this one (yet) but reviewers say it's great to keep in a closet, locker, or any room that tends to get a little smelly. It's also not overpowering and has more of a generic "clean house" scent. The beads knock out nasty odors for about a month rather than mask them. It's better for the environment than a spray and subtly releases fragrance as you do your day-to-day activities. The beads dissolve over time, and when the jar is empty, you can recycle it. The Fluffy Towels fragrance is also a popular one.
Solid air freshener
+ 3-month lifespan
+ Eco-friendly & plastic-free
+ Range of scents
- Not the strongest
- Can't control
I've had plenty of Baies candles in my time, but never tried the scented oval. If you're a fan of Diptyque's other scents, then this would make the perfect air freshener for your home according to reviewers who really love it. Where to put it? In your bathroom! Though the French word for berries is baies, it has more of a floral than a fruity scent. This Diptyque Baies Scented Oval, in particular, smells of roses and blackcurrant. It's encased in ceramic, which is ideal for hanging in smaller rooms, as the fragrance slowly emits over time.
Air freshener bags
Price: $38.95 for 4
+ Chemical free
+ Works on its own
- Can't control them
I always see people rave about air purifying bags, not only because they're eco-friendly but because they're fragrance-free. This one is great for asthma or allergy sufferers since it's void of artificial chemicals. The Moso bags are unscented and filled with bamboo charcoal, which absorbs odors and pollutants. They work wonders in small spaces — musty closets, pet areas, or powder rooms. In large rooms, you'll need more than one bag to tackle lingering odors. Each pouch lasts up to two years, but they need to be "rejuvenated" once a month by placing them in the sun for a couple of hours.
+ Control from your phone
+ You can create a schedule
+ Built-in light
+ Holds two fragrances
- Wastes a plug socket
We're still getting around to testing the highly-rated Pura air freshener, but we've only heard good things. It plugs into any available wall socket and fragrances your home with essential oils. It's super easy to use and you can store two different fragrances in there at one time. Connect it to your phone to control it from far away and use the app to create a scent schedule, too. Fragrance intensity can be adjusted based on the size of the room it's inside, and we're kinda obsessed with its plain — yet elegant — look.
+ Scent level is adjustable
+ Lots of scents
- Packaging isn't eco-friendly
This solid air freshener from Glade has 40,000+ five-star reviews behind it on Amazon. It's the highest-rated air freshener that you can buy on the site, and all you need to do is open it up and let it do its thing. It's not the best looking, but you can nest it behind a bookcase, place it atop your wardrobe, or hide it in a bathroom corner. It comes in a range of scents from fresh to floral, and it's super budget-friendly.
+ Easy to use
+ Great for entryways
- Doesn't include a scent
This plug-in air freshener makes scenting your home a breeze, and it lasts for up to 50 days before needing to be replaced. Simply plug it in a high-traffic area such as an entryway or a large living room, and it does the work for you. This is the highest-rated air freshener on Target's site, and not only is it budget-friendly, but it's so easy to use. It even has an indicator to let you know when it needs to be refilled. Reviewers love it and claim that it's an essential buy that's nice and strong. There are a bunch of scents to choose from.
Type: Plug refills
+ Pack of 3
+ Well-known scent
+ 150 days last time
- Doesn't come with the plug
A bestseller for a reason, if you're a big Gain fan then let this air freshener be the one you choose. These refills work with a Febreze plug (like the one above from Target) and they smell just like your favorite Gain detergent. Ugh, who doesn't love the smell of fresh laundry? Included in this bestselling pack are three refills, all of which last for up to 150 days in your home. This is Walmart's bestselling air freshener, and reviewers LOVE the familiar scent. It doesn't come with the plug, FYI!
What to consider when buying an air freshener
An air freshener is designed for daily use, whether to mask bathroom odors or to give your sofa a spritz after you've watched an entire season of something on Netflix. With this in mind, I've only featured solutions on this list that won't be super harmful if ingested. Here are some things to think about when choosing a new air freshener for your space:
1. Which type of air freshener do you want?
There are lots of air freshener types to choose from. Spray, aerosol, and solid are the most popular. Candles, reed diffusers, and essential oils differ slightly and aren't as powerful but can help make a home smell nice, too.
2. How often will it need to be replaced?
Sprays and aerosols are different, as this will depend on how often you use them, but solid air fresheners and essential oil diffusers usually come with a lifespan. Keep this in mind when choosing so you're not overspending or over-replacing.
3. Are you able to control it?
This one's a biggie! Because we've all been in a situation where someone is coming over and you or a roomie decided to microwave something pretty pungent. You'll need a plug-in you can turn on (or spray) to work instantly. So while air purifying bags, solid air fresheners, and fragrance spheres are great, they're more for background use.
4. What does it smell like?
Don't go against the seasons. Much like you would with any other home fragrance, match it to the time of the year. Go floral in spring and warm in colder months. No one wants a cinnamon-scented entryway in the middle of July. But in December? I'd be all over that.
What is the most powerful odor eliminator?
The most powerful air freshener I've used is Puressential's, which is number one on our list. It banishes smells instantly, replacing the odor with a herbal scent from essential oils.
Which air fresheners are most effective?
From experience with testing home fragrances, I would always say that a spray is the most effective type of home fragrance. A spray is great if you want an instant odor eliminator or an instant fragrance boost. Other air freshener types such as solids, gels, or plug-ins are great for subtly fragrancing your home all day long.
What's making my home smell bad?
Carpets are the worst culprits for spreading those nasty smells, but curtains and upholstery are close behind. The best way to tackle them (other than introducing air fresheners) is to pay them a visit while armed with an amazing vacuum cleaner. This will help out your air freshener's effectiveness, too.
Find out more in our guide to cleaning a carpet.
Types of air fresheners
There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to air fresheners. In fact, this will hugely depend on where you want to use your new air freshener, and whether you want something that you can control — or if you'd rather have an automatic air freshener.
Here are the main types of air fresheners:
- Spray air fresheners are great for using anywhere, especially on fabrics and upholstery. You can control how much scent they emit, and when they work. Opt for a mist for a lighter fragrance.
- Plug-in air fresheners are automatic so you don't need even need to think about if your home smells nice. Just choose your fragrance and plug it into a socket.
- Diffuser air fresheners also work on their own, with no need for a human to press go. These can sit atop a table or cabinet, hidden or on display. Essential oil diffusers are different and you will need to turn them on.
- Gel air fresheners tend to be compact, and you just need to display them up high on a surface so that they emit scent.
- Solid air fresheners might need to be hung, or they will need to be placed away from things to ooze fragrance.
How we test air fresheners
FYI: Eight out of 12 of the air fresheners in this guide have been tested by a member of the Real Homes team. We've given the picks we love a rating out of five, and the ones we haven't reviewed (without a star rating), we've included purely based on their customer reviews.
For the air fresheners we've tested, we're always sure to use them until they are at least half empty.