Best air freshener: 11 best buys for an odor-free home

The best air fresheners will remove unpleasant smells and leave your home fresh and nicely scented. These are our favorites

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

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 fragrance. 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.

Want to get your top pick at a lower price? Black Friday is only a few weeks away –check this page later in November for price drops on the products in this guide. 

The best air fresheners

Febreze Air Freshener Spray Heavy Duty Crisp Clean

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Febreze Air Freshener Spray Heavy Duty Crisp Clean

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: Instant odor removal
Size: 300ml
Type: Spray
Scent: Unscented/Fresh
Reasons to buy
+Will eliminate any odor+A little goes a very long way+Long-lasting
Reasons to avoid
-Settles on surfaces-Some find the smell underwhelming 

Best for...
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.

Scent
This particular spray from Febreze isn't known for a strong scent, but it's pleasant in a generic 'clean' sort of way. It's inoffensive, and that's good enough for us.

Can be used on...
This shouldn't be used on upholstery or curtains, and can make hard flooring feel sitcky/slippery, but if you do get a bit of it on your sofa/kitchen counter, no harm done. It really is designed for refreshing air, though, so try spraying it away from furniture/worktops.

Results
Just one spray will make a difference and you'll immediately notice the air clearing. This truly is worth it 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 odor. 

Good to know
If you do want a nice smell, Febreze make lots of other sprays – they just won't have the same odor-eliminating power as this one, more of a masking effect. 

Mrs Meyer's air freshener

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Mrs. Meyer's® Clean Day Room Freshener Spray

The best natural air freshener

Specifications
Best for: Multi-purpose room freshening
Size: 8oz
Type: Spray
Scent: Lavender, Basil, Honeysuckle, Lemon Verbena, Geranium
Reasons to buy
+Chemical free+Lovely scents+Not tested on animals
Reasons to avoid
-8oz. bottle goes quickly

Best for...

The eco-conscious. This hardworking little spray is non-aerosol and all-natural, with no synthetic perfume. Instead, it's scented with natural essential oils.

Scent 

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.

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

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.

best air freshener

(Image credit: Lysol)

3. Lysol Max Cover Disinfectant Spray

Best disinfectant air freshener: multi-use product for targeting all odors

Specifications
Best for: Multi-use
Size: 15oz
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 air freshener that sanitizes, too? Enter: Lysol's Max Cover disinfectant spray.

Scent
Lysol's Max Cover disinfectant spray is available in variety of different scents, but the Lavender Fields scent is our far-and-away favorite.

Can be used on...
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). 

Results
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. 

Good to know
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Lysol has been hard to come by, so if you find it, grab a couple cans, but resist the urge to overbuy! A few cans should last you months.

best air freshener

(Image credit: Moso )

4. Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag

Best air freshener if you're sensitive to fragrance: Moso Natural Air Purifying Bag

Specifications
Best for: Asthma sufferers
Size: 200g
Type: Activated charcoal
Scent: None
Reasons to buy
+All natural+Great for pets+Last up to two years
Reasons to avoid
-Best for small spaces

Best for...
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.

Scent
The Moso bags are unscented. They're filled with bamboo charcoal, which absorbs odors and pollutants without giving off a scent at all. 

Results
These bags work wonders in small spaces. Think: musty closets, pet areas, or powder rooms. In large rooms, you'll need more than one bag to tackle ambient odors.

Good to know
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.

Best air freshener for toilets: Poo-Pourri air freshener

5. Poo Pourri Original Toilet Spray

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

Specifications
Best for: Bathrooms
Size: 118ml
Type: Spray
Scent: Original 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.

best air freshener

(Image credit: Glade)

6. Glade PlugIns Scented Oil Warmer

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: Varied
Reasons to buy
+ Adjustable design + Lasts up to 100 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
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.

Results
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. 

Good to know
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.

air freshener

(Image credit: Febreze)

7. Febreze Small Spaces Air Freshener - Peony & Cedar

Best air freshener for small spaces: create a welcoming atmosphere with this warm but subtle fragrance

Specifications
Best for: Warming scent
Size: .25
Type: Gel
Scent: Peony & cedar
Reasons to buy
+Small and compact +No need for batteries or electricity+Refills available
Reasons to avoid
-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 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. 

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, bathroom or on a shelf without anyone even noticing it’s there.

best air freshener

(Image credit: Yankee Candle)

8. Yankee Candle Just Plain Clean™ Odor Eliminating Beads

Best air freshener for pet odors: these odor-absorbing gel beads leave behind a subtle linen scent

Specifications
Best for: Small spaces
Size: 6oz
Type: Gel beads
Scent: Just Plain Clean
Reasons to buy
+Eliminates odors+Made with essential oils+Long-lasting
Reasons to avoid
-Can't control

Best for...
An ideal air freshener to keep in a closet, locker, or any room where you keep a litter box or pet bed.

Scent
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.

Results
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 if empty, it needs to be replaced.

Good to know
You can't control when the scent is released, so it's not amazing when it comes to accidents or masking cooking smells.

Best air freshener for home: Diptyque Baies Scented Oval

9. 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 black currant. 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 on your behalf apart from finding somewhere to hang it – if not your bathroom, coat closet 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. 

fridge deoderizer

(Image credit: Chill Bill)

10. Monkey Business Chill Bill Refrigerator Deodorizer

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

Specifications
Best for: Fridge
Size: 90.7g
Type: Baking soda deodorizer
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 odors. This super cute and simple Monkey Business Chill Bill Refrigerator Deodorizer just needs filling up with baking soda – and your fridge will become smell-free.

Scent
The Chill Bill Fridge Deodorizer 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 deodorize 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.

Febreze Car Odor-Eliminating Air Freshener Vent Clip - Linen & Sky

(Image credit: Target)

11. Febreze Car Odor-Eliminating Air Freshener Vent Clip - Linen & Sky

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

Specifications
Best for: Car
Size: .06fl oz.
Type: Oil
Scent: Fresh/clean
Reasons to buy
+Vent clip design+Multiple settings to control scent strength+Lots of different scents
Reasons to avoid
-Lasts only 30 days

Best for...
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.

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.

Results
The Febreze One Car Air Freshener does a good job at subtly emitting smells in your car.  An easy way to ensure your car won't smell like McDonalds all the time.

Good to know
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 which 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?

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

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. 

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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