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Best pillow spray

Which pillow spray is best?

Wondering what a pillow spray is? Depending on the formulas, pillow sprays help sleepers unwind, manage their acne or simply refresh pillowcases and bedding between washes. 

Pillow sprays come in a broad range of scents, with soothing lavender and eucalyptus among the most popular. However, they’re far from the only choices. TreeActiv Anti-Acne Pillow Spray, a leading formula for managing acne, has a complex fragrance profile featuring four essential oils and other calming ingredients.

What to know before you buy a pillow spray

How pillow spray works

Pillow spray, as its name implies, is sprayed onto pillows. Some people prefer a light scent from a single pump, whereas others use three or four pumps to intensify the scent. If you’re not sure how many pumps are necessary, most bottles list the recommended amount, or you can experiment and see what you like best. 

Pillow spray can be used on more surfaces than pillows, too. They’re often sprayed on bedding, blankets, curtains and upholstery to refresh them between washes and cleanings. Some pillow sprays are dual formulas that can also be used as body sprays or air fresheners. 

As versatile as pillow sprays are, they should not be used around pets or on pet bedding. Not only do they contain toxic ingredients that can harm pets if they’re ingested, but they can also trigger sneezing fits and skin reactions. 

Pillowcase materials

When you use pillow spray, be mindful of your pillowcase materials. Some fabrics react differently to sprays and liquids than others, and as a result, you may need to adjust your spray technique depending on the material. 

Pillow sprays are safe to use on cotton, microfiber and bamboo pillowcases. These materials absorb the spray and dry quickly, so by the time you lay your head on them, the spray is unlikely to transfer onto skin.

However, silk and satin pillowcases have fine, smooth fibers that hold onto the essential oils in pillow sprays. If you hold the bottle too closely to the pillows when you mist them, or use too many pumps, you’ll end up with large wet spots that take several minutes to dry.

What to look for in a quality pillow spray


Many pillow sprays are water-based and infused with essential oils, such as lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and coconut. Dual-action formulas often contain artificial ingredients, including fragrances, polysorbate, glycerin or sodium benzoate. A few pillow sprays tout eco-conscious formulas that are sustainably made, cruelty-free, vegan or sold in recyclable packaging. 

Speciality formulas  

Certain pillow sprays are geared toward managing skin conditions, including cystic and hormonal acne, eczema or keratosis pilaris. Besides classic essential oils, they often contain tea tree oil or salicylic acid to minimize the potential for overnight breakouts. Many formulas contain anti-inflammatory or calming ingredients, such as aloe, calendula or green tea extract. 

Spray dispensers

Pillow sprays are packaged in pump bottles that are usually made of plastic, glass or aluminum. As far as recycling is concerned, only the bottles are recyclable — and that’s if they’re marked accordingly. Spray nozzles, on the other hand, usually contain metal components and need to be placed with regular garbage. 

How much you can expect to spend on a pillow spray

Entry-level pillow sprays with simple formulas cost between $6-$10. Dual-action pillow sprays usually cost $8-$16. Speciality formulas, often made by premium skin care brands, range from $15-$35.

Pillow spray FAQ

Will pillow sprays help me sleep?

A. They might, and some people try it as an alternative to other holistic treatments and prescription sleep medication. Aromatherapy pillow sprays are often incorporated into bedtime routines to help people relax and fall asleep more quickly. Lavender, in particular, is a calming scent — and almost all pillow sprays contain it as a top note. 

What is the shelf life of pillow spray?

A. Pillow sprays rarely, if ever, list their expiration dates. With that said, because they contain essential oils, they’re expected to last for up to three years before their potency decreases. Dual-action formulas, namely body spray varieties, usually last for up to one year before their fragrance deteriorates. 

How do I remove pillow spray from fabric?

A. Many pillow sprays have long-lasting scents, which means you’ll need to wash fabric to remove it. The scent usually comes out when you wash pillowcases and bedding, but it may linger on pillows and mattresses. To neutralize it, you can spray them with a diluted mixture of white vinegar and warm water. 

What are the best pillow sprays to buy?

Top pillow spray

TreeActiv Anti-Acne Pillow Spray

What you need to know: This anti-acne pillow spray helps manage breakouts overnight with four essential oils. 

What you’ll love: Each bottle offers over 1,000 sprays. It’s a clean formula that is non-GMO, vegan and free of palm oil and parabens. The soft, calming scent is noticeable, but it won’t distract you while you’re trying to fall asleep. 

What you should consider: The spray nozzle isn’t reliable and requires a few pumps to dispense a single spritz. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pillow spray for money

Nature's Truth Mist Spray

What you need to know: If you need a relaxing scent, this lavender spray leaves a light yet long-lasting scent on pillows, bedding and curtains. 

What you’ll love: The formula is gentle enough to be used as a body spray. It’s made with 100% lavender oil, which gives the spray an authentic scent, and because it’s a concentrated formula, a little goes a long way. 

What you should consider: Some people felt the lavender scent dissipated quickly and required reapplication. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Pacifica Body and Pillow Mist

What you need to know: An eco-friendly option, this Pacific mist is cruelty-free and has recyclable packaging. 

What you’ll love: The spray is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin, because it’s water-based and made without mineral oil, parabens and phthalates. It’s a unique choice, considering its scent profile features lavender with subtle rose notes. 

What you should consider: The scent isn’t too powerful and doesn’t last very long. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Ulta Beauty


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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