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Sure, switching up your towels and body wash can make your daily shower feel much more luxurious, but if you haven’t yet considered adding a shower steamer into the mix, you’re missing out. They’re kind of like a bath bomb in that it’s one easy way to make the whole experience more spa-like, but rather than offering benefits for your skin, these offer aromatherapy benefits.
Infused with essential oils, all you have to do is drop one in the corner of your shower. 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. 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.
Best Overall: Moen Aromatherapy Combination Hand Shower
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.
Best Variety Pack: Cleverfy Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
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.
Best When You’re Under the Weather: Vicks VapoShower Shower Tablet
Yes, Vicks as in the brand that makes VapoRub. 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.
While you’ll usually get better results when you don’t put your tablet under direct running water, these should go right under the stream.
Best at Bedtime: Body Restore Calm Bedtime Shower Steamers
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.
Best for Mornings: Lush Shower Bomb Not Sleepy
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.
Best Value: Rinse Four Pack Shower Bomb Box
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.
Best Natural: Aura Cacia Eucalyptus Shower Tablets
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.
Best on Amazon: Inbria Aromatherapy Shower Steamers
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.
Best Giftable: A&G Pastels Shower Steamers
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.
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.
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).
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.