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The 5 Best Air Fresheners (2023 Review)

From bathroom odors to cooking aromas, sometimes your home needs an air freshener to serve as a deodorizer to bad smells. In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best air fresheners on Amazon to help you find the one that’s right for you.

Caldrea Linen and Room Spray Air Freshener and Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray against a blue graph paper background Courtesy Amazon

Air fresheners come in various scents to match what you want your home to smell like. They’re long-lasting and pleasant but not so overpowering that you get a headache.

To help you sort through your options, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best air fresheners on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Compare Top Air Fresheners

Product Size Scent Usability
Product Size Scent Usability
Air Wick Plug-In Scented Oil 10 0.67-ounce bottles Lavender Lasts for up to 600 days
Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray One 1.4-ounce bottle Lavender vanilla Lasts for up to 70 uses
Caldrea Linen and Room Spray Air Freshener One 16-ounce bottle Pear blossom agave Not listed
Febreze Car Air Fresheners Four containers Linen sky and Hawaiian aloha Lasts for up to 30 days
Fresh Wave Odor-Removing Gel One 15-ounce container Earthy Lasts for up to 60 days

In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | Other Ways To Make Your Home Smell Nice | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House


Top 5 Air Fresheners


Best Plug-In: Air Wick Plug-In Scented Oil

Air Wick Plug-In Scented Oil

Air Wick Plug-In Scented Oil

  • $20

Prices taken at time of publishing.

With 10 bottles of plug-in air freshener, you can make your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom smell fresh for up to 600 days. The bottles are infused with essential oils, with the main scent being lavender and the undertones being chamomile and wood.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Comes in a pack of 10
✔ Available in a range of scents
✔ Pairs with Air Wick’s oil warmers, which feature five fragrance control levels

✘ Sold separately from Air Wick oil warmers
✘ Large rooms may require multiple plug-ins

What Customers Are Saying

Customers said that these oil bottles came well-packaged. In seconds, they were able to plug one into their Air Wick oil warmer and adjust the scent to their liking. However, some customers felt like the bottles had an overpowering smell that didn’t last for as long as advertised.


Best For Bathrooms: Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray

Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray

  • $8

Prices taken at time of publishing.

It goes without saying, but your bathroom is the area of your home that most likely needs an air freshener. Thankfully, this non-toxic spray prevents odors altogether. You simply spray it on the surface of your toilet bowl’s water three to four times before you sit down.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Comes in several natural scents and bottle sizes
✔ Features essential oils and other natural compounds
✔ Each bottle is rated for 70 uses

✘ 1.4-ounce bottle is small
✘ May require multiple sprays to mask strong smells

What Customers Are Saying

Amazon reviewers felt like this spray did its job. They said it left a fresh scent, was long-lasting, and masked common bathroom odors. However, unhappy customers had issues with the nozzle, which sometimes leaked or didn’t release spray.


Best For Linens: Caldrea Linen and Room Spray Air Freshener

Caldrea Linen and Room Spray Air Freshener

Caldrea Linen and Room Spray Air Freshener

  • $12

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This freshener is made from natural ingredients that are safe to spray directly onto linens and garments. Whether you want to freshen up your teenager’s room or get rid of a musty linen closet smell before giving your guests their bath towels, this spray has you covered.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Comes in an elegant spray bottle
✔ Safe for use on upholstery safe
✔ Has a fresh pear blossom agave scent

✘ May increase the flammability of fabrics like fleece
✘ Some found the scent overpowering scent

What Customers Are Saying

Customers were pleased that this air freshener required a minimal amount to be effective, came in an elegant-looking bottle, and didn’t leave streaks on their clothes. However, some customers didn’t like how long the scent lingered. Others said that the spray arrived watery and thin.


Best For Cars: Febreze Car Air Fresheners

Febreze Car Air Fresheners

Febreze Car Air Fresheners

  • $14

Prices taken at time of publishing.

These four containers of air freshener fill your car with a fresh or tropical fragrance. Clip a container to one of your car’s vents to release its scent when air passes through it. On its lowest setting, it can last up to 30 days. These fresheners come in linen sky and Hawaiian aloha scents.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Comes with two linen and sky scents and two Hawaiian aloha scents
✔ Can select how much scent is released
✔ Has a compact, inconspicuous design

✘ Doesn’t last as long on the highest setting
✘ Fragrance output and strength may vary

What Customers Are Saying

Many customers commented that these air freshener containers were easy to clip to vents and worked well as an odor eliminator. Negative reviews said the air freshener drained quickly from the containers, leaving customers with less than 30 days of odor protection.


Best Gel: Fresh Wave Odor-Removing Gel

Fresh Wave Odor-Removing Gel

Fresh Wave Odor-Removing Gel

  • $15

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This gel uses pine needle, cedarwood, anise, lime, clove, and other plant-derived ingredients to eliminate unpleasant odors, such as burnt toast or sweaty sneakers. Simply twist off the cap, remove the cover, and replace the cap, and the gel inside of the container will start working.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Comes in a large 15-ounce container
✔ Doesn’t contain harsh chemicals or synthetic perfumes
✔ Has a neutral, fresh scent

✘ Has a strong plant smell that some individuals may dislike
✘ Doesn’t come in a particularly decorative container

What Customers Are Saying

Customers said that this gel effectively absorbed a variety of odors, including pet odors and cigarette smoke. However, some customers didn’t like the plant-based fragrance it left behind. Others said that it didn’t last for 60 days.


Buyer’s Guide

Longevity, fragrance, and other factors vary from air freshener to air freshener. To choose the right product for your home, consider the following elements first.

Type

Most air fresheners come in a liquid form that you either spray from a bottle or plug into an outlet. Others types of air fresheners and air purifiers include gel air fresheners that sits in a container on your counter, desk, or table. Natural air fresheners made from bamboo charcoal or other natural ingredients are another popular option, They avoid using harmful ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, or formaldehyde. You can also find car-specific air fresheners that hang from your rearview mirror or as an air vent clip.

Fragrance

Air fresheners come in a huge range of fragrances. Most air freshener scents fall into one of the following categories:

  • Citrus
  • Floral
  • Fresh
  • Fruity
  • Spiced
  • Woodsy

Coverage Area

Some air fresheners are powerful enough to serve as entire apartment or room fresheners, while others are designed for small spaces, such as cars, bathrooms, or offices. To avoid having to use multiple fresheners in one room, look closely at the product descriptions to find a freshener that has enough coverage for your space.

Longevity

The longevity of an air freshener refers to how long it fills your room with its scent. Most spray fresheners are designed to give instant relief from unpleasant odors, so they don’t last longer than a few minutes or hours. However, car, plug-in, and gel fresheners can release their scent for a few weeks or months.

Brand

Some of the most trusted brands that make air fresheners include:

  • Airwick
  • Caldrea
  • Febreze
  • Fresh Wave
  • Glade
  • Mrs. Meyer’s
  • Ozuit
  • Renuzit

Other Ways To Make Your Home Smell Pleasant

Using a spritz of air freshener is an easy way to mask or eliminate bad odors in your house and give it a pleasant scent, but it’s far from the only step you can take. Here are some other tips to make your home smell how you want it to.

Don’t Let Trash Linger

Take out the trash as soon as the bag is full so that the smell of old or spoiled food doesn’t linger and make your kitchen smelly. If your bag contains rotten produce, spoiled dairy, or raw meat, it’s best to throw it away immediately instead of waiting for it to fill up.

Use Candles

Candles help you relax and unwind, but they also release fragrance. Candles come in thousands of aromas, so you can purchase several and burn the one you’re in the mood for.

Disperse Dryer Sheets

You can use dryer sheets in more than just your dryer. Distributing them throughout drawers, cabinets, and closets can give you that fresh smell of clean laundry everywhere in your home.

Leave Out Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household ingredient that absorbs smells. If you don’t want to buy anything extra from the store, you can place an opened box of baking soda in your fridge, pantry, or bathroom.

Clean Carpets

Carpets can be a haven for bad smells if you aren’t diligent about cleaning them. Hair, dander, sweat, dirt, dust, and more can seep into your carpet, making your home smell foul.

Open Windows

Keeping the windows open when the weather is nice can air out a space. This is particularly useful for musty or stuffy rooms.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is my air freshener safe to use around my pets?

It depends on what the air freshener is made with. Fresheners with artificial fragrances and harsh chemicals can cause allergy-like symptoms for both humans and pets. If you own pets, choose an air freshener that uses natural ingredients and specifies it’s pet-safe on its label.

Where should I use an air freshener?

You can use an air freshener wherever there’s a smell that you’re trying to mask or eliminate. Your best bet is to use one near the source of the smell. For example, you can spray or plug in an air freshener near a dirty laundry basket or a kitchen trash can.

When should I replace my air freshener?

Gel, car, and plug-in air fresheners release scent for a certain amount of time. The manufacturer usually tells you what this time frame is. You can replace your freshener around then—or sooner if you don’t smell it anymore.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.