Best Air Fresheners of 2020

Updated
Categories Removing Odors
Bid the stink farewell with these best air fresheners.

Vanilla, lemon, lavender. Don’t these scents sound dreamy for your home?

They’re much better than smells of dirt, mold and dampness. These air fresheners can help you mask unpleasant odors, scent your home and relax you.

This comprehensive list includes options for pets, bathrooms, smokers and much more. Now, you can choose the best air freshener for you and your home.


Types of Air Fresheners

There’s no one size fits all when it comes to air fresheners. Different types of air fresheners include electric, natural, automatic, scented, and unscented. There are even air fresheners for your car vs. your home.

How to Choose the Best Air Freshener

With all these different types of air fresheners, how do you choose the best one for you? There are a few things to consider that will help you make the best choice.

Scent Strength

When looking at air fresheners, decide whether or not you want a strong scent. You can, of course, opt for an unscented air freshener if you don’t like fragrances. These simply eliminate odors without replacing them with a new scent.

If you’re shopping in a store, you might be able to sniff the scent. If online, look at reviews to see what other customers have said about the scent.

Room Size

It’s important to shop for air fresheners according to your room sizes. If you have large rooms, you will need larger or more powerful air fresheners. You can even get multipack air fresheners so you can put one in each room.

Features

Lastly, check out the funky features on air fresheners. Some come with a motion sensor, a timer, and lights. If you want your air freshener to go the extra mile, look for one with a cool feature.

Ingredients

Since these air fresheners are going to be filling up your home, it’s important to know what ingredients are in them. A lot of air fresheners won’t list their ingredients and that’s not a good sign.

Also, if an air freshener lists “fragrance” as an ingredient, it’s likely that it’s made from synthetic fragrances. Synthetic fragrances can be harmful, and are linked to allergies, cancer, and nervous-system disorders (1).

Instead, be on the lookout for natural air fresheners, or air fresheners made with organic and essential oils.


The Best Air Fresheners of 2020

There’s no need to spend hours searching the internet for the best air freshener for your needs. We’ve made a list of the top air fresheners broken down into different categories. You’ll be paired with your perfect match in no time, and soon, your house will smell as good as new!

1. Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying Bags

Best Natural Air Freshener

wyewye Bamboo Charcoal Bags 10 Pack Activated Charcoal Bag for Home,Kitchen Car, Closet, Shoes, Basement, Bathroom, Pet (1X300g,2X230g,3X100g,4X75g)
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Here’s something new for you to try out: charcoal air purifying bags! They’re natural, eco-friendly and effective.

These bags are made from 100% activated bamboo charcoal, which has the power to remove odor and toxins from the air (2). They don’t have any odor themselves, so if you’re not a fan of scents, this might be a good option.

You can keep this in the house or pop them in your car, gym bag, shoes, pet litter or fridge.

This is a safe option for people who have pets or children, too. You’ll also save money because these bags last up to two years. You can rejuvenate the bamboo charcoal by leaving it out in the sun for an hour.

We’re crazy about the fact that after a couple of years, the bags can be used as fertilizer.

Something to Note

These bags need to be recharged roughly once a month. So pop them in the sunshine every month to kickstart their amazing qualities once again.
PROS:
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Safe for children and pets.
  • Long lasting.
  • Removes odors and toxins.
  • Odorless.
CONS:
  • Unscented.
  • Might need to be recharged often.

Additional Specs

ElectricNo
NaturalYes
Item Weight2.75 pounds per 10 bags
Dimensions9.8 x 7.9 x 3.1 inches
Available colorsGray/green or gray/blue

2. InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser

Best Electric Air Freshener

InnoGear Essential Oil Diffuser, Upgraded Diffusers for Essential Oils Aromatherapy Diffuser Cool Mist Humidifier with 7 Colors Lights 2 Mist Mode Waterless Auto off for Home Office Baby, Basic White
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An electric oil diffuser is one of our favorite items to have in the home. Not only is it a safer, more eco-friendly option, but it’s totally relaxing. We love turning ours on when watching a movie or going to sleep.

To use one of these, you’ll need essential oils to go with it. If you have pets, make sure to check out the toxic essential oils for them. Otherwise, different essential oils have different benefits. So whether you’re looking for your air freshener to scent your home, or destress you, you should use the appropriate oil.

This electric air freshener has two misting modes. You can have it on for 6-8 hours, or 3-4 hours. It also comes with a mood light which works in eight colors. The brightness can also be adjusted.

PROS:
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Works with essential oils.
  • Flexible options.
  • Relaxing.
CONS:
  • Uses electricity.
  • Some essential oils are toxic to pets.

Additional Specs

ElectricYes
NaturalYes
Item Weight7 ounces
Dimensions3.9 x 5.5 x 3.9 inches
Available colorsWhite

3. Air Wick Plug-In Freshener

Best Air Freshener for Home

Air Wick Plug in Scented Oil Starter Kit, 2 Warmers + 6 Refills, Lavender & Chamomile, Eco Friendly, Essential Oils, Air Freshener by Air Wick
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The Air Wick Plug-In freshener is a great option for your home. It comes with two warmers to evenly distribute the scents throughout your home. This is perfect if you want an air freshener upstairs and downstairs.

This air freshener is naturally scented with essential oils. It emits a lovely lavender and chamomile scent with hints of woods, too. You can use it in any room of your home, so long as there is a plug.

Each refill lasts for 45 days, so this is a great option if you use an air freshener often. It comes with six refill packs. One purchase provides 270 days of continual fragrance throughout your home.

Some customers have remarked on the extreme strength of this scent. So, if you’re keen on more subtle scents, then this air freshener might not work for you.

PROS:
  • Long lasting.
  • Natural essential oils.
  • Comes with two warmers.
  • Fills your home.
CONS:
  • Lavender is toxic to cats.
  • Strongly scented.

Additional Specs

ElectricYes
NaturalYes
Item Weight1.88 pounds
Dimensions9.4 x 9.4 x 5.2 inches
Available colorsPurple

4. Natural Aromatic Mist Room Spray

Best Air Freshener for Large Rooms

Thai Lemongrass Linen and Room Spray, Natural Aromatic Mist Made with Pure Lemongrass Essential Oil, Relax Your Body & Mind, Perfect as a Bathroom Air Freshener Odor Eliminator
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When it comes to large rooms, the best option is a spray. You get total control of the distribution of the air freshener. Simply walk around the room and spray it into the air. With this room spray, you can even spray it onto linen and furniture to freshen it up.

Made with essential oils, this is another natural alternative. It comes in lots of different scents including lemongrass, coconut or vanilla. If you have pets, do your research first to make sure the essential oils involved are safe for them.

These bottles are hand-blended, ensuring they are the highest quality possible. When it comes to freshening the air of a large room, these really are unbeatable products!

PROS:
  • No artificial fragrances.
  • You control where to spray.
  • Relaxing.
  • Many are safe for pets.
CONS:
  • Scent is more subtle.
  • Many complaints about lavender scent.

Additional Specs

ElectricNo
NaturalYes
Item Weight5 ounces
Dimensions1.5 x 1.5 x 6.3 inches
Available colorsClear bottles with 10 different color label options

5. Mask Toilet Spray

Best Bathroom Air Freshener

Mask Toilet Spray, Coconut & Lime, 2-Ounce (3-Pack), Deodorizer Bathroom Spray
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Let’s not sugarcoat it. Bathrooms can get really stinky. There’s a way around it though, and that’s to stop the odors before they get into the air.

The best bathroom air freshener are toilet sprays which trap odors in the toilet water and then flush them away. The Mask Toilet Spray traps and removes odors so you can go to the bathroom discreetly.

Before you use the toilet, all you need to do is spray this into the water six times. Do your business and leave the bathroom lingering with your chosen scent.

These are great for travelling, public restrooms, work restrooms and your home bathroom. It leaves a lovely coconut and lime scent behind.

Beware

While there are essential oils in this blend, there are also fragrance oils, so it’s not 100% natural. Still, it’s better than aerosol alternatives.
PROS:
  • Beautifully scented.
  • Traps and removes odors.
  • Great for travelling.
CONS:
  • Not 100% natural.

Additional Specs

ElectricNo
NaturalNo
Item Weight2 ounces
DimensionsUnknown
Available colorsBlack

6. Ambi Pur Pet Air Freshener

Best Air Freshener for Pets

Ambi Pur 3vol Room Freshener Refill - Twin Cotton, Pack of 5
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If you’ve got pets, you’re no stranger to the unpleasant odors they can sometimes bring. Whether they’re in from a muddy walk or in need of grooming, they can really stink out the house. Thankfully, there are some great pet air fresheners, including the Ambi Pur.

It’s important to do your research before buying any air fresheners in case they’re toxic for your fur babies. This one is designed for pets by Febreze and is totally safe.

It cleans away the tough pet odors and replaces it with a light scent. These plug-in air fresheners last for up to 90 days. Customers describe the scent as light, floral, and not overpowering.

Take Note

This doesn’t come with the plug-in. You have to make a separate purchase for that.
PROS:
  • Safe for pets.
  • Long-lasting.
  • Eliminates odors rather than masking.
CONS:
  • Doesn’t come with plug-in.

Additional Specs

ElectricYes
NaturalNo
Item Weight1.4 pounds
Dimensions3.8 x 1.3 x 6.2 inches
Available colorsBlue, cream, green

7. Svavo Automatic LCD Fragrance Dispenser

Best Automatic Air Freshener

SVAVO Automatic LCD Fragrance Dispenser - Wall Mount/Free Standing ABS Auto Air Freshener Dispenser Programmable Aerosol Spray Perfume Dispenser for Bathroom, Hotel, Office, Commercial Place, Grey
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If you’re looking for an automatic air freshener, the Svavo Automatic LCD Fragrance Dispenser is a top choice. You can set the timer to emit the fragrance at intervals between 1 and 60 minutes. Sit back, relax and let the fragrance fill the room. This can be mounted on the wall or freestanding.

You can also choose your preferred fragrance level, so if you’re sensitive to scent strength, this is a winner.

Lastly, you can change the settings depending on the days of the week. The modes available are Monday to Friday, Monday to Saturday and Monday to Sunday.

PROS:
  • Works on a timer.
  • Flexible control settings.
  • Range of fragrances.
  • Long lasting scent.
CONS:
  • Hard to set up.
  • No pet-safe option.

Additional Specs

ElectricYes
NaturalNo
Item Weight1.05 pounds
Dimensions9.8 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches
Available colorsGrey, black and white

8. Rose & Lavender Aromatherapy Air Freshener

Best Air Freshener for Office

VIOIS, Rose & Lavender Aromatherapy Car Air Freshener(Gel Type). Natural Air Freshener for Car, Bedroom, Bathroom & Office. Chemical Free & Non Toxic. Ball Mason 4 Ounce (113g) jar.
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When looking for an air freshener for your office, you don’t want one that’s too strong. The best option is something designed for smaller spaces, like the Rose & Lavender Aromatherapy Air Freshener.

It’s a natural air freshener made with essential oils and designed for small spaces. There are no chemicals and it’s non-toxic, so it’s a safe and eco-friendly option.

All you need to do is shake the jar and put it on your desk. It will gently fill the area with the chosen scent. If you’re not keen on rose and lavender, there are other options.

If you like stronger scents, this might not work for you. Customers describe the scent as subtle and gentle, and some don’t notice the scents at all.

However, the ones that do enjoy the smell describe it as clean, light, and even heavenly.

PROS:
  • Eco-friendly.
  • Gentle scent.
  • Multiple scent options.
  • Natural.
CONS:
  • Scent may be too subtle.
  • Needs to be replaced often.

Additional Specs

ElectricNo
NaturalYes
Item Weight7.7 ounces
Dimensions2.8 x 2.8 x 2.2 inches
Available colorsPurple, orange, pink or black

9. The Anywhere Odor Eliminator

Best Air Freshener for Smoke

Ozium Smoke & Odors Eliminator Gel. Home, Office and Car Air Freshener 4.5oz (127g), Original Scent Size: Single, Model Number: 804281
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No one likes the lingering smell of smoke in their home, especially non-smokers. If you live with a smoker, or are one yourself, then it’s important to get rid of the smoky smell.

Thankfully, there are lots of options out there, but the Anywhere Odor Eliminator is a top choice.

This was specifically designed to deal with cigarette smoke and is great at eliminating the odors. It’s great for small spaces, but you can get a couple to tackle larger areas. All you do is twist the top open and sit it in a room where it will act fast and last long.

You can even use the twisting top function to control the strength of the scent. If you’re looking for something to really deal with smoke odors, this is a good option.

PROS:
  • Designed for smoke odors.
  • Eliminates pet and general odors.
  • Pleasant, subtle scent.
  • Long-lasting.
CONS:
  • Isn’t effective in large rooms.

Additional Specs

ElectricNo
NaturalNo
Item Weight5.5 ounces
Dimensions2.6 x 2.1 x 2.8 inches
Available colorsBlue

10. Car Aromatherapy Essential Oils Air Freshener

Best Car Air Freshener

TT-Star Car Diffuser Vent Clip- 4PCS Aromatherapy Car Vent Clips Alloy Essential Oil Car Diffuser Clips with 60 Refill Pads
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I don’t know about you, but we desperately need car air fresheners. If you eat in the car, drive a lot, have pets in your car, or kids, having a car air freshener is a life saver.

The Car Aromatherapy Essential Oils Air Freshener is a great natural option. They clip onto the air vents in your car and emit lovely scents throughout. Essential oils are also known to help you relax, so these can be really beneficial after a long day of work or being stuck in traffic.

To use, put a couple drops of your favorite essential oils onto the pads. The oils are not included, but investing in a good essential oil will come in handy in your home. Close the clip and attach it to the air vents. It will naturally scent your car with or without the air vents being on.

Warning

If you have pets, steer clear of essential oils that are toxic to them.
PROS:
  • Natural.
  • Reusable.
  • Destress you while driving.
CONS:
  • Essential oils not included.

Additional Specs

ElectricNo
NaturalYes
Item Weight1.9 ounces
Dimensions5.3 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches
Available colorsBlack, yellow, purple, white, orange, blue, green, red

Air Freshener Comparison Chart

ProductBestElectricNaturalWeightDimensions
Bamboo Charcoal Air Purifying BagsNaturalNoYes2.75 lbs per 10 bags9.8 x 7.9 x 3.1″
InnoGear Essential Oil DiffuserElectricYesYes7 oz3.9 x 5.5 x 3.9″
Air Wick Plug-In FreshenerWhole HouseYesYes1.88 lbs9.4 x 9.4 x 5.2″
Natural Aromatic Mist SprayLarge RoomsNoYes5 oz1.5 x 1.5 x 6.3″
Mask Toilet SprayBathroomNoNo2 ozN/A
Ambi Pur Pet Air FreshenerPetsYesNo1.4 lbs3.8 x 1.3 x 6.2″
Svavo LCD Fragrance DispenserAutomaticYesNo1.05 lbs9.8 x 3.7 x 3.7″
Rose & Lavender AromatherapyOfficeNoYes7.7 oz2.8 x 2.8 x 2.2″
The Anywhere Odor EliminatorSmokeNoNo5.5 oz2.6 x 2.1 x 2.8″
Car Aromatherapy Essential OilsCarNoYes1.9 oz5.3 x 3.4 x 1.2″
Jump to the Full Air Freshener Reviews

How Can I Make My House Smell Good All the Time?

There is something relaxing about coming home to a clean-smelling house. While air fresheners can help, they aren’t the solution to having a clean home. They are just an extra. Here are some things you can do to make sure your house smells good all the time.

1. Keep Your House Clean

Vacuum your floors. Steam your floors. Keep on top of your laundry. Do your dishes. Clean the bathroom regularly. Put away muddy shoes and wet coats. These simple steps will help you have pure, clean air in the home.

2. Clean Your Garbage Disposal

If you can’t locate that funky smell in your kitchen, it might be worth cleaning your garbage disposal.

To do this, get lemon and orange peels and put them in ice cube trays in the freezer. When they’re frozen, run them through your garbage disposal for a natural cleanse.

3. Clean Your Carpets With Baking Soda

Carpets are a huge culprit of bad smells in the house. Before you pull out the air freshener, get to the root of the problem by cleaning your carpets.

Sprinkle baking soda across your carpets, leave for 15 minutes and then vacuum. This will eliminate bad odors in your home!

4. Deal With Moisture

Moisture leaves a bad smell around your home. If you can’t find a solution to a damp or moldy smell in your home, there’s a good chance there’s moisture somewhere. For best results, contact a professional.

However, it could just be that you need to change out your sponges, towels and dish cloths. It’s also a good idea to invest in a dehumidifier if you live in a humid area.

5. Open Your Windows

Finally, it’s a good idea to open your windows every day. This circulates air and gets rid of any bad or strong odors within your home. It’s not ideal in the winter, but totally worth it if you have a lingering smell you want to get rid of.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Air Fresheners Safe for Kids and Pets?

Your top priority as a parent will be the safety of your babies — fur babies included. So, it’s no wonder you’re asking yourself if air fresheners are safe.

The answer to this is complicated. If the air freshener lists “fragrance” as an ingredient, or has any toxic symbols, it’s best to avoid it.

Some air fresheners release volatile organic compounds into the air, which is a type of chemical that turns into a vapor or a gas at room temperature (3). This is particularly dangerous when ingested or directly touching skin.

If you’re thinking of opting for essential oils, note these oils that are toxic to cats and dogs.

Oils toxic to cats:

  • Wintergreen.
  • Sweet birch.
  • Citrus (d-limonene).
  • Pine.
  • Ylang-ylang.
  • Peppermint.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Pennyroyal.
  • Clove.
  • Eucalyptus.
  • Tea tree (melaleuca).
  • Thyme.
  • Oregano.
  • Lavender.

Oils toxic to dogs:

  • Cinnamon.
  • Citrus (d-limonene).
  • Pennyroyal.
  • Peppermint.
  • Pine.
  • Sweet birch.
  • Tea tree (melaleuca).
  • Wintergreen.
  • Ylang ylang.
  • Anise.
  • Clove.
  • Thyme.
  • Juniper.
  • Yarrow.
  • Garlic.

Be Careful

There are probably more essential oils that are toxic to pets that haven’t been discovered yet. Do thorough research when choosing an essential oil to use around the home.

One option to use if you have kids or pets is Febreze. Experts have found Febreze safe to be used in households with pets (4). Therefore, it’s also safe for adults and children. However, follow the directions to use it properly and do not ingest or put on your skin.

Can I Use Air Freshener If I Have Allergies?

Fragranced air fresheners are not good for people with allergies. Typical air fresheners can trigger allergy-like symptoms, irritate existing allergies and make asthma worse (5).

Instead you could try an air purifier, opening your windows, baking soda, or even house plants.

How Often Do You Need to Change an Air Freshener?

This changes depending on the air freshener you decide to buy. Generally, the advice is when the container is empty or it no longer has a smell.

Do Plug-In Air Fresheners Use a Lot of Electricity?

A normal plug-in air freshener uses about 4 watts. If left on at all times, that’s about 35 units of electricity per year. If you have five in your house and electricity is 12 cents per unit, that’s more than $20 a year.


Freshen Your Air for Good

Air fresheners are, by no means, a conclusive cleaning method. However, they are a nice way to top off a clean room. With these recommendations, you’re sure to find the best air freshener for you, your home and your family.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!
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