There are many ways to unwind at the end of a long day—a glass of wine, a good Netflix show, the latter—but arguably the most popular is taking a relaxing bath to let go of all our everyday stressors. On particularly challenging days, we love upgrading that experience by adding in some Epsom salts.
Although it may look like table salt, Epsom salts are intended to be dissolved in water and used to help with different conditions. Made with magnesium sulfate (or sometimes sea salt), one scoop of Epsom salts may help with problems like decreasing stress, helping you sleep better, and relieving muscle soreness. Some say it’s also beneficial in reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation.
However, the best part about Epsom salt is how easy it is to gain the benefits. Simply soak in a tub with the salts and await the benefits—it’s truly as easy as that.
What to Look for in Epsom Salts
While the common ingredient is magnesium sulfate, other alternatives work even better. “Some experts suggest looking for magnesium chloride rather than magnesium sulfate because it may be better absorbed, says Dr. Hadley King, an NYC-based dermatologist.
Avoid Essential Oils
"I would suggest avoiding essential oils within the Epsom salts, especially if you are sensitized or have a history of eczema or sensitive skin," explains King.
Ahead, the best Epsom salts to help upgrade bathtime.
LATHER Muscle Ease Bath Salts
Contains a blend of essential oils
Helps relieve tight, itchy skin
Who else recommends it? MSN, Vogue, and Today all picked LATHER Muscle Ease Bath Salts.
This product, a combination of Epsom salt, sea salt, and Himalayan pink sea salt, instantly helps evaporate pain in tired and sore muscles. The best part? The aromatic essential oils within them will also help soothe your mind to leave you pain and worry-free. Add 2 heaping tablespoons to your warm water bath to experience all the benefits.
Active Ingredients: Himalayan pink sea salt, sea salt, epsom salt | Scent: Mint | Size: 9 oz.
Tree Hut Moisturizing Epsom Salt
Contains nourishing oils
Priced at under $10, this Tree Hut Epsom salt is affordable without sacrificing quality. Composed of a combination of Epsom salt, natural shea butter, and coconut extract, it’ll moisturize and soothe parched skin in seconds. And we’d be remiss to mention its delicious coconut lime smell, which will transport you to an island far, far away with each use.
Active Ingredients: Magnesium sulfate, shea butter | Scent: Coconut lime | Size: 3 lbs.
Dove Renewing Care Foaming Bath Salts Peony and Rose
To target areas where you feel tired and sore, mix a bit of this bath salt into your tub. Scented with a delicate mix of roses, peonies, and jasmine petals, it’ll leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. Want to upgrade the experience even more? Mix it with your favorite bubble bath.
Active Ingredients: Sea salt, baking soda | Scent: Floral | Size: 28 oz.
Best for Pain
Solimo Epsom Salt Soak
Can be mixed with other products
Has a bit of a scent
If you’re feeling under the weather or recently took a nasty spill, these Solimo Epsom salts may just be the solution you need. Known to target areas where you feel pain, this salt soak should be mixed directly with your shower gel and applied to the affected areas to achieve the best results.
Active Ingredients: Magnesium sulfate | Scent: Unscented | Size: 8 lbs.
Epsoak Epsom Salt
Comes in different scents
Arriving at a whooping 19-pounds, this bag promises countless baths and ample opportunity to experience all its benefits. When added to your bath, the grain size of these salts instantly dissolves, so there’s no need to freeze in your robe before hopping in (better yet, you won’t have to worry about your bath becoming freezing cold either).
Active Ingredients: Magnesium sulfate | Scents: Unscented, citrus, coconut, chamomile | Size: 19 lbs.
Best for Relaxing
HomeBody Full Spectrum of Possibilities
Feels soothing to use
Picture this: You just got home from a super stressful day and decide to run a bath with some Epsom salts to relax. Which ones do you choose? This one from Homebody, of course! They’ll help your mind and body relax by melting away all the tension and stress from your muscles, thanks to their helpful inclusion of CBD.
Active Ingredients: 300 mg. CBD, chamomile, magnesium | Scent: Floral | Size: 14 oz.
What Our Editors Say
"Homebody's bath soaks are the whole package. They calm my mind, muscles, and even my skin. Food-grade, biodegradable glitter also makes for a beautiful bathing experience!" — Kathryn Vandervalk, Editorial & Strategy Director
Best for Sore Muscles
Saje Muscle Melt
A little goes a long way
Contains blend of nourishing oils
Could be more hydrating
Struggling with sore muscles? Use this Saje bath salt asap. Created with a combination of Epsom salt and sea salt, just 2 to 5 tablespoons is all you need to decompress and restore your hard-working muscles—especially after a grueling workout. For best results, soak in them for 20 to 30 minutes and close the door so you can truly relax sans kids, noise, or distractions.
Active Ingredients: Sea salt, magnesium sulfate | Scent: Herbal | Size: 10.6 oz.
Best for Pre-Bed
OSEA for Parachute Sleep Time Bath Salt
Feels relaxing to use
Scent isn't overpowering
Can take time to dissolve
If the bath itself doesn’t make you sleepy, these bath salts certainly will. Crafted with a blend of lavender and essential oils, this natural sleep aid will have you curling up under the covers and catching zzz’s asap.
Scent: Lavender | Size: 16 oz.
Dr. Teal's Soothe & Sleep Foaming Bath with Pure Epsom Salt
Easy to use
Bubbles up nicely
Created in a bubble bath form, this aromatic Epsom salt soak will instantly reinvigorate your mind and body. Pour a generous amount under warm water for a cozy, renewing bath that’ll evaporate all your everyday stressors and worries.
Active Ingredients: Magnesium, sulfate | Scent: Lavender | Size: 34 fl. oz.
Elemis Cellutox Herbal Bath Synergy
Contains unique actives
This bag of bath salts merges algae, juniper, lemon, and more and leaves your skin soft, smooth, and refreshed from toxins and pollutants. You’ll revive your mind and body and leave feeling refreshed and renewed to take on tomorrow’s challenges. Reviewers throughout the site share huge transformation stories after using this salt once or twice a week.
Active Ingredients: Sea buckthorn, sea fennel, algae extract | Scent: Herbal | Size: 10 count
Best for Achy Joints
Astura Muscle & Joint Relief Bath Salts
Multiple varieties available
May irritate sensitive skin
In addition to evaporating muscle aches, this salt with eucalyptus, peppermint, and sage essential oils eases achy joints. Just soak for 20 minutes and wait for your muscle and joint pain to fade away. You’ll feel the difference immediately and save yourself money on a fancy in-spa massage.
Active Ingredients: Dead Sea bath salts, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil | Scent: Mint | Size: 16 oz.
Best for Expecting Moms
The Honest Company Me Moment Soaking Salts
Unscented for sensitive skin
Could be more hydrating
The ones who can benefit most from Epsom salts are moms, so it makes sense that a brand would finally create one. Created just for moms, this bag of mineral-rich Dead Sea salts is safe for current moms and moms-to-be to use. Just make sure your water isn’t too hot, and you’re good to go.
Active Ingredients: Sea salt, magnesium chloride | Scent: Unscented | Size: 2 lbs.
Epsom salts not only upgrade your bath experience, but also provide you with a whole slew of benefits—like reduction of pain, muscle soreness, and more. Composed of Epsom salt, sea salt, and Himalayan pink sea salt, Lather Muscle Ease Bath Salts (view at Lather) are our overall favorite as they relieve sore muscles and leave your mind worry-free post usage. Looking for a natural sleep remedy? OSEA for Parachute, Sleep Time Bath Salt (view at Parachute) is your best bet. Its blend of relaxing lavender and essential oils will have you sleeping like a baby in no time. If you’re looking to spend a little less, Tree Hut Shea Moisturizing Epsom Salt, Coconut Lime (view at Amazon) lives up to its hype—and smells like you just arrived on a tropical vacation.
What is Epsom salt?
What does Epsom salt do?
Epsom salts can have inflammatory effects and can be used for exfoliation (remember to be gentle), explains King. “Magnesium is necessary for muscle contractions, as well as for the function of nerves, some enzymes, and production of proteins and ATP (a cellular source of energy).”
How long should you soak in Epsom salt?
Make sure you follow Epsom salts with a moisturizer, says King. They can be extremely drying on the skin if overused or not used properly.
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?
Rachel Dube has written for some of the biggest digital beauty publications. During her career, she has tested hundreds (if not thousands) of products and remedies to everyday problems. While searching for ways to naturally relieve muscle and joint pain, she came across Epsom salts and has since been using them weekly.
According to our Diversity Pledge, 15% of products in our newly-published market roundups will feature Black-owned and/or Black-founded brands. At the time of publishing, we were not able to find enough Epsom salts from Black-owned and/or Black-founded businesses to meet this percentage. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.
Proksch E, Nissen HP, Bremgartner M, Urquhart C. Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin. Int J Dermatol. 2005 Feb;44(2):151-7. PMID: 15689218. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2005.02079.x
Soothe sore, achy muscles with these bath salts and soaks. MSN. https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/shopping/soothe-sore-achy-muscles-with-these-bath-salts-and-soaks/ar-AAM7hqs
17 Vogue Editors on Their Best Quarantine Beauty Discovery. Vogue. https://www.vogue.com/article/16-vogue-editors-on-their-best-quarantine-beauty-discovery
12 bath salts and soaks of 2021 to soothe sore muscles. Today. https://www.today.com/shop/best-bath-salts-soaks-t225261
Gong M, Dong H, Tang Y, Huang W, Lu F. Effects of aromatherapy on anxiety: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Affect Disord. 2020 Sep 1;274:1028-1040. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2020.05.118
Lillehei AS, Halcón LL, Savik K, Reis R. Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jul;21(7):430-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2014.0327