The best air freshener will banish bad odors and leave your rooms smelling clean and fresh. Some fresheners are also pleasantly scented, so you can save on buying expensive room fragrances. We've put together plenty of options for all preferences, ranging from strong and sanitizing to gentle and sweetly fragranced. We've tested them all, and they really do work.
You'll find our detailed product reviews below to help you figure out which air freshener is best suited to your needs and your home. Looking for fresh scents throughout your entire space? Read up on the best home fragrance for every room in our buyer's guide.
The best air fresheners
This is the air freshener to reach for if you're being seriously bothered by unpleasant odors, whatever their source. There is literally no odor this super-strong spray won't tackle. While this air freshener isn't known for a strong scent, it is pleasant in a generic 'clean' sort of way. It's inoffensive, and that's good enough for us. Just one spray will make a difference and you'll immediately notice the air clearing.
This shouldn't be used on upholstery or curtains and can make hard flooring feel sticky/slippery, but if you do get a bit of it on your sofa/kitchen counter, no harm is done. It really is designed for refreshing air, though, so try spraying it away from furniture/worktops. If you do want a nice smell, Febreze makes lots of other sprays – they just won't have the same odor-eliminating power as this one, more of a masking effect.
The eco-conscious will love this hardworking little spray since it's non-aerosol and all-natural, with no synthetic perfume. Instead, it's scented with natural essential oils. The scent is light, fresh, and inviting, just like all of the fragrances from Mrs. Meyer's. Geranium is our personal favorite right now (following a long stint with Basil), but if you have another Mrs. Meyer's scent you prefer, know that the room sprays smell exactly like the hand soap and cleaning liquid versions of the product.
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. If you love this scent as much as we do, pick it up in the hand soap and fabric softener to truly infuse your home with the smell.
Looking for an air freshener that sanitizes, too? Enter: Lysol's Max Cover disinfectant spray. It's available in a variety of different scents, but the Lavender Fields scent is our far-and-away favorite. Not only will this product keep the air in your home fresh, but it's claimed to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria on hard and soft surfaces, so you can use it on sofas, mattresses, and cushions, too (ideal if you've got kids and pets around).
This multi-use spray gets rid of everything from unpleasant mold smells to pesky pet smells, and while the initial scent is strong, after a few minutes it leaves behind a light, pleasant scent. The wide-angle coverage is especially helpful for surfaces like sofas and mattresses. Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Lysol has been hard to come by, so if you find it, grab a couple of cans, but resist the urge to overbuy! A few cans should last you months.
If strong fragrances give you a headache, or you suffer from asthma or allergies and prefer to be on the safe side, this Moso Natural air freshener is a great choice. It's fragrance and chemical-free and made from all-natural materials. The Moso bags are unscented. They're filled with bamboo charcoal, which absorbs odors and pollutants without giving off a scent at all.
These bags work wonders in small spaces. Picture musty closets, pet areas, or powder rooms. In large rooms, you'll need more than one bag to tackle ambient odors. Plus, each bag 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.
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. 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. A few squirts of this spray down the toilet before you go will ensure no unpleasant odors escape into the bathroom. The scent lasts for ages and it's a pretty looking bottle, too.
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. It's also handbag friendly.
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. You can order Glade PlugIns Scented Oil Warmer starter kits in a range of fragrances like Sheer Vanilla Embrace, Sparkling Citrus Sunrise, Vanilla Passion Fruit, Blooming Peony & Cherry, and Cashmere Woods. We like to change ours out to fit the season.
You have real control over how much fragrance you want to be 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. Keeping the air freshener on the low setting also extends its life. The 100-day scent estimate is based on using the air freshener on low.
This small and compact air freshener is perfect for both coat closets and hallways, and also households with smokers. The Peony & Cedar scent is unique as far as air fresheners go, which we like because it doesn't automatically scream 'air freshener' (unlike the standard Apple-Cinnamon or Vanilla). It's great for late winter/early spring months because it feels both fresh and cozy. It does come in other scents like Bamboo, Cranberry, Linen, and Wild Berries, too.
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. Small and discreet, it can easily be placed in a closet, bathroom, or on a shelf without anyone even noticing it’s there.
This is an ideal air freshener to keep in a closet, locker, or any room where you keep a litter box or pet bed. We like that this air freshener doesn't smell too strong; it's more of a generic 'clean house' scent. The beads are made with the brand's patented odor-eliminating formula which is designed to neutralize odors, not just mask them.
Lasting for around 30-45 days, these beads are better for the environment than an aerosol spray, and it subtly releases the smell when needed. We think it's great to pop in a guest room above a closet or somewhere hidden, just for peace of mind that the room smells nice. The beads dissolve over time, and when the jar is empty, it needs to be replaced. But, do note that you can't control when the scent is released, so it's not amazing when it comes to accidents or masking cooking smells.
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. 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 black currant. Divine! Other scents available include Fig, Rose, and a special edition 34 boulevard Saint Germain-scented oval.
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 on your behalf apart from finding somewhere to hang it – if not your bathroom, coat closet, or on the back of your bedroom door. It's encased in ceramic so is ideal for hanging in smaller rooms, as the refreshing fragrance slowly emits over time.
Banish those fridge odors with help from this super cute and simple Monkey Business Chill Bill Refrigerator Deodorizer. It just needs filling up with baking soda – and your fridge will become smell-free. The Chill Bill Fridge Deodorizer is unscented and works to absorb strong smells through the holes in the back.
For such a simple device, it's surprisingly effective: it's big enough to deodorize the whole fridge; replace the baking soda about once a month, or whenever the smells return. You will need to buy baking soda separately – but most kitchens already have it, and you won't be using much.
A car shouldn't be forgotten about when it comes to keeping the air fresh. A vent-clip version is discreet and works with your car's vent system to distribute the scent. Linen and Sky is a fresh scent inspired by clean laundry and is made without heavy fragrances. It's designed to offer a light scent that doesn't overpower the small space of your car.
The Febreze One Car Air Freshener does a good job of subtly emitting smells in your car. An easy way to ensure your car won't smell like McDonald's all the time. Keep it on low for a longer-lasting scent.
How to buy the best air freshener
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 favorite Eau de parfum for special occasions. They're also a lot safer as there are no flames or electrical 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 how and when you use it, or if you want a continuously fresh-smelling home, opt for an automatic spray that plugs into the wall and periodically emits fragrance into the room.
Some home air fresheners will just cover up bad odors, 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 favorite?