Nothing against showers, but there’s something about taking a long, hot bath that is just innately more relaxing. Add a candle, maybe a glass of wine or cup of tea, and you’ve got self-care at its finest. Plus, the health benefits of soaking in warm water include improved metabolic function, increased blood flow, and decreased anxiety. Add some bubbles to the tub and your experience is exponentially more enjoyable.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
Our best overall pick is L’Occitane Foaming Bath, which makes luxe suds and boasts a subtle lavender scent. For a more affordable pick, consider Dr. Teal’s Soothe & Sleep Foaming Bath with Pure Epsom Salt, which also has a calming lavender scent and because it’s formulated with Epsom salt, can help alleviate aches and pains.
We’re not talking about the cartoon-themed bubble baths of your childhood. These days, the grown-up versions come in all kinds of formulas with a litany of benefits. We’re talking everything from aromatherapeutic effects that further help you chill out to good-for-your-skin moisturizing ingredients to some that even pull double duty as a body wash.
We conducted hours of research on the best bubble baths, evaluating each formula on ingredients and scent while noting any extra benefits to the skin. We also took into account the type of suds produced, and how long they last in bathwater.
Ahead, the best bubble baths that deserve a standing spot on the side of your tub.
Best Overall: L'Occitane Lavender Harvest Foaming Bath
Infused lavender cleanses and calms
A little goes a long way
Just a tiny bit of this rich formula creates a luscious lather that also cleanses and hydrates the skin as you soak. The lavender scent is also a huge plus—it’s relaxing and calming though still subtle enough to not be cloying. To that point, we love this as an option for a pre-bedtime bath.
Scent: Floral/Lavender | Size: 16.9 oz | Cruelty Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Budget: Dr. Teal's Soothe & Sleep Foaming Bath with Pure Epsom Salt
May soothe the muscles
Infused lavender brings calm
Easy to use
May not work for sensitive skin
Another good choice to reach for at night this pick also has a calming lavender scent, along with the addition of Epsom salts. While the scientific jury is still out in terms of any hard-hitting evidence, anecdotally epsom salts help to relieve achy muscles, making this a nice choice to use after an intense workout. Plus, the price can’t be beat.
Scent: Lavender | Size: 34 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Drugstore: Burt’s Bees Baby Bubble Bath
Doesn’t leave behind a residue
Clean & cruelty-free
Bottle could be bigger
Don’t be thrown off by the name; this works just as well for adults as it does for babies and kids. It’s gentle and tear-free, made from 97.1% natural origin ingredients. Happy reviewers also note that it rinses off nicely, without leaving behind any residue on the skin.
Scent: Slightly sweet | Size: 12 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Scent: Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Wash & Foam Bath
Works as body wash and bubble bath
Fragrance is synthetically-derived, which can be irritating for some
The fresh, herbaceous fragrance of this sudser truly is reminiscent of a high-end spa in the best way possible. It’s both calming and uplifting (even though that sounds oxymoronic). Plus, it works just as well as a body wash as it does a bubble bath, great for those days when a quick shower is all you have time for.
Scent: Herbal | Size: 10 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Softening: Alaffia Everyday Shea Bubble Bath Vanilla Citrus Mint
Clean & cruelty-free
Could use more suds
Like we said, soaking in a hot bath isn’t always the best idea if you have dry skin. That’s where this pick comes in. It’s loaded with deeply moisturizing shea butter (which happens to be unrefined and fair trade) and is sulfate-free, too. The slightly sweet, citrusy-mint scent is also a nice alternative to the many lavender-scented bubble baths out there. We also like the big bottle and affordable price, a great value option.
Scent: Citrusy, minty | Size: 32 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for Sensitive Skin: Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment
Fragrance-free and great for sensitive skin
Good price point
Doesn’t feel particularly spa-like or luxurious
Remember how when you had chicken pox back in the day your mom would draw you an oatmeal bath? That’s basically the concept here. This bath soak (which comes in a set of eight, single-use packets, and transforms from a powder into a milky liquid) is made with colloidal oatmeal, a known skin soother, especially for those with eczema. To that point, this is great for itchy or rashy skin, or for those who just have sensitive skin in general; the formula is fragrance-free, too.
Scent: Fragrance freel | Size: 8 x 42 g | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best for The Whole Family: The Honest Company Truly Calming Bubble Bath Lavender
Infused lavender provides a calming sense
Hypoallergenic and tear-free for all
Could use more suds
If you’re looking for one bottle that the whole family can use (and enjoy), this is it. It’s hypoallergenic and tear-free—AKA super gentle—but still with a nicely moisturizing formula and calming lavender scent that everyone is sure to appreciate. It’s also EWG-verified.
Scent: Lavender | Size: 12 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes
Best Non-Foaming: Soap & Glory Perfect Zen Bath Milk
Doubles as a cleanser
Good price point
Not a bubble bath in the traditional sense
We know, foam is kind of the whole point of a bubble bath, but for those who don’t necessarily want the suds, but do still want a little something to add to their tub, this is a choice alternative. It’s a milky soft cream that doubles as a cleanser, is loaded with moisturizing macadamia nut oil, and has a soothing fragrance, a combo of lavender and tonka bean.
Scent: Lavender | Size: 16.9 fl. oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Best Bath Bombs: OUAI Chill Pills Bath Bombs
Individually wrapped in plastic
Aside from the kitchy name, we love that these individual bath bombs are loaded with hydrating oils that leave your skin feeling silky soft post-soak—namely, jojoba seed, safflower seed, and hemp seed. The floral fragrance (a mix of rose and jasmine) is another plus, as is the fact that it’s not an overpowering, but just a subtle scent.
Scent: Floral | Size: 6 x 1.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No
Bubble baths are a great way to wind down and chill out. The L’Occitane Foaming Bath is our top favorite, a creamy formula with a subtle yet relaxing lavender scent. The Dr. Teal’s Soothe & Sleep Foaming Bath with Pure Epsom Salt is another good lavender-scented option (that rings in at a great price point), and is indeed great to use before bed. And if you’re looking for options that the whole family can use, check out the The Honest Company Truly Calming Bubble Bath Lavender, which is safe for young children.
What to Look For
The type and potency of your bubble bath's scent are totally a matter of personal preference. If you are sensitive to fragrances, choose unscented products or look for ones that only contain natural essential oils. Smell before you buy and consider your typical bath-mood beforehand. For relaxation, scents like lavender, chamomile, and jasmine work wonders. More energizing scents include citrus and berries.
Sitting in a tub of suds can cause issues with your nether regions if the formulations are irritating. Colored and highly perfumed products can sometimes lead to imbalances that cause infections. If you are prone to this, avoid these types of products and choose the most natural and gentle kinds you can find.
While bubbles are fun all on their own, today's adult versions provide a breadth of benefits for your skin. Look for products that contain moisturizing ingredients like natural oils, aloe vera, and glycerin.
What Is a good bubble bath?
A good choice for a bubble bath is one that meets your needs both skin and experience-wise. Choose a product that has an appealing scent, skin-boosting ingredients, and does not irritate your delicate areas.
What is wrong with bubble baths?
Bubble baths packed with many artificial fragrances and colorings can cause potential skin irritation, imbalances, and infections. If you are prone to these issues or have sensitive skin, choose a natural bubble bath product, or skip them altogether.
Does a bubble bath clean you?
Some bubble baths double as body washes. You can add some to the bath and some in your hands or on a pouf to cleanse. It's likely a good idea to rinse in the shower after a bubble bath if you want to clean yourself, however.
Why are bubble baths so relaxing?
Many bubble baths are relaxing because of their scents, soothing ingredients, and suds that surround you like clouds. This sensation is comforting for many people, especially when combined with warm water.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. While she’s admittedly more of a shower than a bath girl, whenever she does take a bath, she always adds some type of bubble bath or soak to the mix.
17 bubble bath products to relax with tonight. Harper's Bazaar. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/skin-care/advice/g3251/bubble-bath-products
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