If you crave the luxury and relaxation of a bath but only have a shower in your home, allow us to introduce you to shower steamers – a total game changer for those who want to supercharge their day. Similar to a bath bomb but designed to be placed on the floor or ledge of your shower, they diffuse aromatherapy oils into the air as the steam begins to build, allowing you to enjoy a host of benefits at the same time – from clearing your sinuses to helping your muscles to relax and rejuvenating your energy levels.
The hot water and steam help disperse the scent of the essential oils, explains Tammy Fender, an aromatherapy expert, and holistic aesthetician. The essential oils and plant essences in these shower steamers can be incredibly healing, she adds. The good news is that there’s pretty much an essential oil (and accompanying shower steamer) for every type of situation, no matter whether you’re trying to get energized in the morning or chill out before bedtime.
Keep reading to learn more about our favorite shower steamers.
Moen Aromatherapy Combination Hand Shower
Various tropical scents
Doesn't leave scented or oily residue on tub or body
Easy to use
This is a little different than the type of steamer you just throw in the corner, but it’s by far one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. All you have to do is swap your showerhead for this one (don’t worry, there are no tools required). The back houses little aromatherapy capsules—they kind of look like single-serve coffee pods—that disperse any one of four essential-oil-infused scents straight into the water, so there’s no messy residue left behind. Choose how intense you want the scent to be; it lasts anywhere from three to 10 minutes based on the level you choose.
Price at time of publish: $135 for chrome
Scent: Tropical | Size: 0.50 oz (per shower capsule) | Cruelty Free: Yes
Best for Recovery
Wellness Wonders Wake Up Shower Steamers
Offers six different scents
Delivers various therapeutic benefits
If you’ve enjoyed a night of partying or just haven’t been getting enough sleep, you’ll need something to help you recover the next morning. One of our favorite new finds are these Wake Up shower steamers from Wellness Wonders that make a great follow-up to a very strong coffee. With uplifting scents of peppermint, rosemary, and ginger, they’re just the thing for helping you feel a little more clear-headed when your body and mind are feeling tired. They also make a great gift for a new mom deep in the trenches of sleep deprivation.
Price at time of publish: $24
Scent: Rosemary and peppermint | Size: 30g (per shower capsule) | Cruelty Free: No
Best for Energizing
Purelifebiotics Rejuvenate Shower Steamers
Good value for money
Contains no hidden nasties
It dissolves too fast if you leave it in the direct flow of the water
Whether you’ve had a hard day at work or hit it hard at the gym, a rejuvenating shower steamer can help you recover. These steamers from Purelifebiotics claim to help you feel more energized with a zingy combination of uplifting essential oils, including tea tree, grapefruit, and bergamot, and menthol. Just place it on the floor or shower ledge, add water to activate, and enjoy a super-steamy, relaxing shower. Just close your eyes and imagine you’re at the spa. Bliss!
Price at time of publish: $16
Scent: Menthol and bergamot | Size: 1 oz (per shower capsule) | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Best for Sinuses
Baby Peach Menthol Blast Shower Steamers
One tablet lasts for two to three showers
Effective relief of sinuses
Great for cooling down in warm weather
Some reviewers feel the scent isn’t quite powerful enough
Whether you’re suffering from a winter cold or have allergies, painful sinuses can be really unpleasant. But have you considered a menthol shower steamer to ease your congestion? Baby Peach’s Menthol Blast tablets are one of our top choices for this, as they’re packed with natural eucalyptus and menthol to quickly give your sinuses instant relief. Each tablet can be used for two to three showers each, long enough to help you beat that nasty cold or allergy reaction.
Price at time of publish: $29
Scent: Eucalyptus and menthol | Size: 1 oz | Cruelty Free: No
Best Variety Pack
Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
Offers six different scents
Delivers various therapeutic benefits
Just dipping your toe into the shower steamer world and not sure what kind of scents you like? This affordable Amazon option comes with six individually wrapped tablets, each boasting a different aromatherapeutic scent (like lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, and more). Happy reviewers repeatedly comment on not only how nice the scents are but also how they hit the perfect balance between being strong and noticeable yet not cloying or overwhelming.
Price at time of publish: $25
Scent: Lavender, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Menthol & Eucalyptus, Vanilla & Sweet Orange, Peppermint | Size: 8.46 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes
Best for When You’re Under the Weather
Vicks VapoShower Shower Tablet
Unclogs sinuses to breathe easier
Yes, Vicks, the brand that makes VapoRub, also makes shower steamers. These non-medicated steamers boast the same distinct combo of eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor that will open up your clogged sinuses and help you breathe easier. They may not be as good as your grandma's chicken soup, but it's worth adding these to your 'I don't feel great' protocol.
Price at time of publish: $6
Scent: Eucalyptus, Menthol, Camphor | Size: 3 ct | Cruelty-Free: No
Best at Bedtime
Body Restore Calm Bedtime Shower Steamers
Helps you wind down for good sleep
Works to ease stress
The name says it all. Along with doing all of those things like dimming your lights and putting your phone away pre-bedtime (easier said than done, we know), adding one of these steamers into your evening shower can also be a great way to help you wind down and set you up for a successful night of sleep. These are infused with lavender essential oil, which is well-known for its relaxing and calming aromatherapeutic benefits. And while they’re smaller than others, reviewers say they last longer than many other tablets.
Price at time of publish: $40
Scent: Lavender | Size: 15 ct | Cruelty Free: Yes
Best for Mornings
Lush Shower Bomb Not Sleepy
Full of natural oils
Softens the skin
If you’re looking for a little pick-me-up that will help get you going on sleepy mornings, try this option. A trio of citrus oils—lemon, orange, and lemongrass—will wake you up even before you’ve had that first cup of coffee. While many other shower steamers shouldn’t make contact with your skin (due to the high concentration of essential oils), these are specially made so you can use any leftovers as it dissolves as a scrub; the base is made with ground white rice.
Price at time of publish: $5
Scent: Citrus | Size: 1.2 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes
Rinse Four Pack Shower Bomb Box
Full of minimal and natural ingredients
Offers unique scents
Not only do you get four steamers in four different fragrances in this set, but you can actually cut each one into quarters, giving you a total of 16 different uses out of one box. Each one is super long-lasting, so you can also leave it intact and let it dry in between uses, should you prefer. The formula is all-natural, and along with the standard peppermint, eucalyptus, and lavender scents, there’s also one called thievery, a warm and spicy combo of cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and more.
Price at time of publish: $24
Scent: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Thievery, Peppermint | Size: 1.5 oz (per shower bomb) | Cruelty Free: Yes
Aura Cacia Eucalyptus Shower Tablets
Made of essential oils and no synthetic fragrances
Helps with nasal congestion
This brand is well-known for its essential oils, so of course, they have a great shower steamer. There’s nothing strange or questionable to be found here—no preservatives, fragrances, dyes, or colors—just natural ingredients such as baking soda and essential oils. We like the spa-like eucalyptus option, though there are also peppermint and lavender variants available.
Price at time of publish: $21
Scent: Eucalyptus | Size: 3 oz | Cruelty Free: Yes
Best on Amazon
Inbria Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
Full of natural ingredients
Relaxing and invigorating
Colorant gets messy when wet
There’s no shortage of steamers to be found on Amazon, but these are some of the most highly-rated ones out there. These all-natural steamers consistently pull in five-star reviews, with people raving about how strong the scents are, noting that they smell great even when they’re just sitting on your bathroom counter.
Price at time of publish: $19
Scent: Lavender, Rose, Vanilla, Cool Mint, Lemon, Eucalyptus | Size: 1 oz (per steamer) | Cruelty Free: Unknown
A&G Pastels Shower Steamers
Disperses feel-good aromas
Comes in three scents
You better believe shower steamers are a crowd-pleasing gift, and we’re especially partial to these for that purpose. Not only are the scents sophisticated—choose from eucalyptus mint, orange blossom, lavender, and chamomile—but the packaging is super gorgeous, too. Just make sure to treat yourself to a jar as well.
Price at time of publish: $20
Scent: Orange, Eucalyptus Mint, Lavender & Chamomile | Size: 0.88 oz (per steamer) | Cruelty Free: Unknown
Shower steamers are one of the easiest ways to make even a standard shower feel that much more special. The Moen Aromatherapy Combination Hand Shower is slightly different than others and more of a splurge, but a great pick for those who want to reap aromatherapy benefits on the regular. The Rinse Four Pack Shower Bomb Box is a great variety pack that gives you plenty of bang for your buck. We also love the relaxing, lavender-based Body Restore Calm Bedtime Shower Steamers for bedtime and the uplifting, citrusy Lush Shower Bomb Not Sleepy for mornings.
Meet the Expert
Tammy Fender is a holistic aesthetician, aromatherapy expert, and the founder of Tammy Fender Skincare. Working with aromatherapy is an important part of her practice, and she even uses essential oils with her clients as a diagnostic tool before facials.
What to Look For In a Shower Steamer
If you want to reap the truest aromatherapeutic benefits, look for shower steamers that contain pure and natural essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances. The different scents may offer mood-altering benefits as well. Like lavender promotes sleep and is calming and eucalyptus can be good for sinus relief.
Generally speaking, this dictates how long it will last, so consider that when also looking at the price. FYI, you can typically get longer use of it by ensuring it stays in the corner of the shower, away from direct running water (which will make it dissolve far too quickly).
How long do shower steamers last?
Most shower steamers are designed to be used once, but larger tablets like those from Baby Peach claim to provide approximately two to three showers. Our top tip? Don’t place your shower steamer in the direct flow of water, as this will make the tablet dissolve quicker.
Where do you place shower steamers?
Your shower steamer should be placed on the floor or on a ledge and out of the main flow of water. Then, just add a few drops of water to activate the essential oils within it. Steamer pods like those from Moen are placed in the accompanying shower head without the need for extra tools.
Do shower steamers help sinuses?
Shower steamers that include aromatherapy oils such as menthol and eucalyptus can be really effective at relieving the sinuses, helping you to breathe easier. The steam created by a warm shower will also help to clear congestion at the same time.
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. Not a huge fan of baths, she loves using shower steamers as a way to make showers feel way more special.
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 any shower steamers from a Black-owned and/or Black-founded business. If you know of one we should consider, please email us at email@example.com and we will evaluate the product ASAP.