A Very Serious and Official Ranking of the Best Pillow Sprays

The research involved napping

Updated 12/05/18

I'll be the first to admit I'm a bit of a pillow-spray addict. I've used pillow sprays for years, and when I go on trips, they're one of the first things I pack.

But I've often wondered, Do pillow sprays actually work? Sure, they smell great and make you feel like you've been transported into a dark, dreamy sleeping hub in an instant, but does that blend of lavender, vetiver and chamomile actually do anything? Or is it all just a bit of a placebo effect?

In the name of "science," I decided to conduct an experiment: I'd try out seven of the best-selling pillow sprays around and monitor my sleep whilst using them. There were a few discrepancies throughout my trials, and in hindsight, this would have been a better experiment had I tested them anonymously. I also should have kept strictly to my bedtime, but life and a good book got in the way.

So whether you're in the market for a new pillow spray or want to know if they actually work, keep scrolling to find my results.

L'Occitane Relaxing Pillow Mist
L'Occitane Relaxing Pillow Mist $24
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With a blend of essential oils including lavender, bergamot, mandarin, sweet orange and geranium, this pillow mist smells instantly relaxing and soothing. Plus, the glass bottle makes it look fancy on your bedside table.

Sleep pattern app, do pillow sprays work

Overall, I had a pretty good night's sleep using L'Occitane's mist. Although this shows that I was pretty restless in the middle of the night, I don't remember actually waking up, and when I did (once my alarm went off at 7:30 a.m.), I felt rested and ready for the day.

Verdict: 4/5

Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist
Neom Perfect Night's Sleep Pillow Mist $20
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This one feels more like an actual fragrance than it does a pillow spray (blame it on the chic frosted bottle). Blending together fourteen pure essential oils—English lavender, basil and jasmine—it's calming and smells sweeter than others I've tried.

Sleep pattern app, do pillow sprays work

Okay, so this was a good night's sleep. Although I went to bed a bit later than planned (oops), I drifted off almost instantly. The six times during the night that I was restless were unnoticed from me, as I didn't seem to wake up at any point. When my alarm went off at 7:30 a.m., I snoozed for 10 minutes. I was feeling semi-lazy, but once I got up, I felt energised and ready to go.

Verdict: 5/5

Ren Skincare & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray
Ren Skincare & Now to Sleep Pillow Spray $18
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Made with lavender, hops and frankincense, this smells like a spa. Its droplets are slightly bigger than some of the others I tried, so the pillow will soak in more of the product (which I don't consider to be a bad thing).

Sleep pattern app, do pillow sprays work

I felt like it took me a little while longer to get to sleep this night. Although the pillow spray smelled amazing, I don't think it made me feel sleepy. Instead, I just enjoyed the scent. I did, however, wake up before my alarm and wasn't too tired, so that makes me think I must have slept reasonably well (after I managed to drift off).

Verdict: 3.5/5

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray $18
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Okay, not to sound biased, but this is the pillow spray I've known and loved for many years. It contains a blend of lavender, vetiver and chamomile. To me, this smells like pure bedtime.

Sleep pattern app, do pillow sprays work

Again, I went to bed later than planned. Also, I found it a bit harder to get to sleep, as I wasn't in my usual rhythm. This was the only pillow spray when tested, however, that I could still smell on my pillow come morning, and I like that. It only took me eight minutes to get up, and once my alarm went off, I was good to go.

Verdict: 4/5

Votary Pillow Spray
Votary Pillow Spray $30
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As well as lavender and chamomile, this pillow spray contains rose, which sets it apart from the others. Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of rose, but when blended with these essential oils, it gives the mist a nice floral scent rather than smelling too overpowering.

Sleep pattern app, do pillow sprays work

I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow with this one, and I hadn't had a particularly busy or tiring day. I don't think I woke up during the night, but when I did wake up (just before my alarm—bonus points), my covers were heaped on the floor, so I must have been wriggling around a lot.

Verdict: 4/5

WelleCo Sleep Welle Calming Mist
WelleCo Sleep Welle Calming Mist $29
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Supposedly, this blend helps Elle Macpherson get her beauty sleep every night. (No pressure, WelleCo.)

Sleep pattern app, do pillow sprays work

Whoa; so I slept deeply with this pillow spray. I don't think I woke up once during the night, and once my alarm went off at 7:30 a.m., I was not ready to wake up. I snoozed right up until 8 a.m. and was still absolutely knackered. Whether that's a good thing or not, I'm not quite sure.

Verdict: 3/5

Sanctuary Spa Dream Easy Pillow Mist
Sanctuary Spa Dream Easy Pillow Mist Dream Easy Pillow Mist $13
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Sanctuary Spa's option is much sweeter smelling than the other pillow sprays tested and almost smelled quite fruity. It's also much cheaper than some of the others, so this is a good option if you want to give one a try without spending too much.

Sleep pattern app, do pillow sprays work

Okay, so I didn't sleep very well this night. It took me a while to drift off and I woke up during the night. When I woke up, I spritzed another spray onto my pillow, and to be fair, I then fell back to sleep pretty quickly. However, I also woke up way before my alarm was due to go off.

Verdict: 1.5/5

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