A room diffuser with natural aroma oils ,which is a non-toxic and eco-friendly air freshener, on a wooden table in a home defusing scents in the form of vapor during sunset.
March 1, 2024

13 Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Air Fresheners We Recommend

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ost of us use air fresheners or home fragrances not only to cover bad odors but to get rid of bad vibes. Humans have complex olfactory systems. Our moods, stress responses, and even social behavior can shift due to smells, so it’s no wonder why lighting a candle or spritzing room spray can be so uplifting.

The sad thing is that many conventional fragrances might be creating a positive mood, but they’re emitting all sorts of negative energy with hazardous ingredients. Formaldehyde, phthalates, and aerosol propellants are just some of the things you’ll find in many formulations but thankfully, there are also plenty of brands leaving all that behind.

In this article, we’ll go through ingredients worth avoiding, what makes an air freshener truly eco-friendly, and 13 brands selling non-toxic room scents. Good smells, with no bad vibes. That’s our mission.

Table of  Contents

The History of Air Fresheners 

A close-up of the very first chemical aerosol air freshener as it sprays scent into a room.

As long as bad smells have existed, so too have air fresheners. The main difference is that where we used to burn herbs to ward off the stink, the 1940s brought us a new invention: the aerosol room spray. It was only in the 80s when these too began to lose their shine thanks to the discovery that chemicals in them were harming the ozone.

As aerosol air fresheners dropped in popularity, other room fragrances began to enter the market such as scented candles and read diffusers. In the last few years, we’ve also seen a shift in the intended benefits of these products.

Once simply marketed as a tool to cover odors, modern brands now tend to emphasize the health and wellness effects of their scents more than anything else. It’s why we need to be asking more questions about what’s going into our air fresheners, and what they’re leaving behind. 

Why Should You Use Non-Toxic Air Fresheners Instead of Conventional Ones?

The simple fact is that air fresheners and room fragrances alter the air we breathe. Hopefully, they’re just making the air smell better but too often these products are adding harmful chemicals to our air that may be damaging our health and environment. 

Switching to non-toxic air fresheners ensures that you’re inhaling cleaner, safer air. It also means that you’re generally contributing less to the manufacturing of products with environmentally damaging ingredients. So many of the chemicals we’ll look at in the next section aren’t biodegradable and as such can accumulate in our bodies and water systems, causing untold damage over time.

A List of Substances to Avoid When Looking for Non-Toxic Air Fresheners

Most air fresheners, like so many fragrances and home products, are packed with ingredients but here are 5 of the main ones to look out for if your goal is to go non-toxic:

  • Aerosol Propellants: Though US regulations of aerosol propellants have come a long way since the 80’s, they still contain compressed gases and hydrocarbons which contribute to global warming, and aren’t great for general air quality.
  • Phthalates: This group of chemicals is used to make plastic more pliable, and they’ve somehow started to turn up in everything from fragrances to food. The main health issue they’ve been linked to is heart disease but they’re also thought to be carcinogenic.
  • Methylisothiazolinone: This preservative is found in many liquid air fresheners despite being known to cause serious contact dermatitis and early studies linking it to neurotoxicity.
  • Formaldehyde: Exposure to even small amounts of formaldehyde can be very irritating for some, causing everything from nausea to coughing. Beyond allergies, however, it’s an ingredient that’s become increasingly associated with cancer risks which is why the EU has come to ban it in cosmetics and fragrances. 
  • Benzene: This ingredient is one of many “volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) found in conventional air fresheners that add to air pollution. Limited exposure to Benzene doesn’t seem to be an issue but regular, long-term exposure can be carcinogenic and negatively affect gene health.

What are The Criteria for Eco-Friendly Air Fresheners?

Illustration of a person sitting by a table enjoying the scents emitted by eco-friendly air fresheners such as candles, diffusers and essential oils.

Non-toxic is one thing, but what about environmentally friendly air fresheners? When we talk about “clean” products, it’s mostly a discussion of ingredients, but sustainability casts a wider net. Here are the main criteria we use:

  • Sustainable Packaging: Badly designed packaging made from non-recyclables is what’s adding to our landfill and pollution problems right now. A true, environmentally friendly air freshener will ideally use recycled or recyclable materials or even better, be refillable and zero-waste.
  • Clean, Ethically Sourced Ingredients: Since so many non-toxic air fresheners rely on ingredients sourced directly from nature, it’s important that the sustainability of that sourcing be considered too. For example, using organic ingredients is great as it means fewer agrochemicals.
  • Commitment to Transparency: Brands that disclose all their ingredients (including what’s in their “fragrance”) and show accountability for their production processes – that’s what we want to see more of.
  • Cruelty-Free: Being environmentally friendly includes being kinder to animals. In our opinion, sustainability should always include a stand against animal testing.
  • Something You Can Use to The Last Drop: Waste not want not. A product that you can use and love until the very last drop without creating any extra waste will always be the most environmentally friendly.

Where Can You Buy Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Air Fresheners? 

Picking up a non-toxic or eco-friendly air freshener these days is as simple as popping into your nearest Target or CVS. Thanks to the attention that ingredients like formaldehyde and phthalates are getting in the media these days, stores are getting so much better about stocking non-toxic options.

All the eco-friendly and clean air fresheners we’re about to recommend in the next section are available to order online, to your door, with most having in-person shopping options too.

13 Non-Toxic and Eco-Friendly Air Fresheners We Recommend

With all the crazy things going on in the world, the least you should be able to have is a space that smells good. Here are 13 of our favorite brands making clean, environmentally friendly air fresheners without any of the nonsense:

1. Grow Fragrance

Non-toxic and eco-friendly air freshener candle by Grow Fragrance.

This brand has been featured on Allure, the Washington Post, and plenty of other sites thanks to its incredible products and commitment to clean, transparent ingredient lists.

Price range: $12-$34

Products: Room and linen sprays, candles, and car fresheners.

Scents: Fresh, light fragrances inspired by nature such as “Wildflower Rain” and “Woodland Sage”.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Clean, 100% plant-based formula.
  • Recyclable and refillable packaging.
  • Leaping Bunny certified.
  • USDA-certified biobased product.
  • Durham Living Wage.

2. Green Koala

Eco-friendly and non-toxic reed diffuser by Green Koala

Looking for a more natural and perhaps, more luxurious Febreze alternative? Green Koala not only has beautiful, natural room sprays but various other safe scented products that will make your home smell incredible.

Price range: $6-$32

Products: Room and linen sprays, candles, wax melts, and reed diffusers.

Scents: Simple but luxurious fragrance combinations such as amber and sandalwood, or jasmine and vanilla.

Sustainability Stats:

  • All-natural, non-toxic ingredients.
  • Donates to various eco causes.
  • Recycled and recyclable packaging

3. Good Natured

Lavender scented, and natural air freshener spray in sustainable packaging.

Stocked at Walmart and various other stores, Good Natured is proving that buying non-toxic air fresheners with simple, biodegradable ingredients doesn’t need to be tricky.

Price range: $10-$20

Products: Room and linen spray.

Scents: They only have two scents, Lavender Lime, and Lemon Love but we love how fresh and invigorating both are.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Recyclable packaging.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Clean, eco-friendly ingredients.

4. Scent Fill

Plug-in non-toxic, and refillable air fresheners by Scent Fill in 'volcano' scent.

Marketed as the very first 100% natural, non-toxic plug-in air fresheners, these discreet devices provide a long-lasting scent that will keep your space smelling great 24/7.

Price range: $8-$34

Products: Plug-in air fresheners.

Scents: Classic aromatherapy-type fragrances such as lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus.

Sustainability Stats:

  • 100% non-toxic, natural ingredients with full transparency.
  • Refillable packaging.

5. Aera

Sustainable air freshener device and non-toxic citrus scent by Aera.

Aera is definitely on the more luxury end of things, but we love their chic, elevated approach to non-toxic air fresheners. They not only provide beautiful scents (with capsules that last 600 hours), but a full plug-in system.

Price range: Air freshener devices are $100-$200, and scents are $60.

Products: Car and room diffusers.

Scents: Mood-boosting essential oil blends such as sweet orange and mandarin, and peppermint and rosemary.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Micro-droplet technology and heated diffuser for safe scent dispersal.
  • Natural non-toxic ingredients with full transparency.
  • Recyclable and reusable packaging.

6. Enviroscent

Non-toxic air freshener spray in recyclable bottle by Eniroscent.

Enviroscent makes some of the best non-toxic room spray and fragrance options. Free of nasties like formaldehyde and phthalates, they’re natural, never overwhelming, and have eco-consciousness built into every aspect.

Price range: $10-$15

Products: Sprays, car and plug-in air fresheners, and reed diffusers.

Scents: Transportive, spa-like scents such as pineapple and coconut (their newest launch) and sea salt and aloe.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Non-toxic formula.
  • Liquid-free (saves on packaging and water).
  • Minimal, recyclable packaging.
  • Refills.

7. Vitruvi

Ceramic diffuser in terracotta with non-toxic scent kit by Vitruvi.

Vitruvi is the chic, non-toxic Febreze you’ve been looking for. Think minimal packaging that looks great on your bookshelf and fragrances that will bring calm and clarity to even the most chaotic spaces.

Price range: $12 for fragrances and $65-$200 for diffusers/humidifiers.

Products: Diffusers, humidifiers, and sprays.

Scents: Fresh, light fragrances that evoke warm linens and sunny garden days. 

Sustainability Stats:

  • Natural, non-toxic formulas free of VOCs.

8. Fresh Wave

Lavendar scented, plant based, and cruelty free freshener spray set by Fresh Wave.

Besides classic room and linen sprays, Fresh Wave makes a seriously innovative non-toxic air freshener in the form of their “odor-removing gel”. All you have to do is take off the cap and the gel in the jar will absorb bad smells and freshen your air with the scent of essential oils.

Price range: $8-$15

Products: Fabric spray and odor-removing gel.

Scents: Simple, easy scents such as lavender and lemon. Perfect for everyday home use.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Natura, plant-based non-toxic formulas.
  • Cruelty-free.

9. Dedcool

Vegan and carbon neutral air freshening spray by Dedcool.

Known primarily for their cosmetic fragrances and laundry detergents, this non-toxic fragrance brand also makes incredible air fresheners. They’re light, interesting scents that give a space a hotel-like feeling.

Price range: $12-$40

Products: Car air fresheners and room/linen sprays.

Scents: Modern, elevated fragrances that include notes such as sandalwood and black pepper.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Carbon Neutral.
  • Vegan.
  • Donate to 1% for the planet.
  • Everything is manufactured in-house in small batches to reduce waste and carbon footprint.
  • Recycled and reusable packaging.

10. Province Apothecary

non-toxic and essential oil infused charcoal incense set.

Non-toxic incense is hard to find but Province Apothecary is changing all that with their essential-oil-infused products. Their incense is even Vogue-approved!

Price range: $16-$49

Products: Essential oil-infused charcoal incense.

Scents: Aromatherapy scents such as lavender and cedarwood that are aimed at boosting wellbeing.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Organic, plant-based, and ethically sourced ingredients.
  • Recyclable packaging.
  • Recycling program.
  • Partnered with a renewable energy initiative in Canada.
  • Vegan.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Certified Green Business.

11. P.F. Candle Co

Granium Moss scented non-toxic and eco-friendly candle by P.F. Candle Co.

This brand is a one-stop shop for all the best non-toxic home fragrance products. They’ve got sprays, candles, and air fresheners that are made with thoughtful ingredients and eco-friendliness built-in throughout.

Price range: $19-90

Products: Candles, car fragrances, reed diffusers, and room/linen sprays.

Scents: Ojai lavender and an amber and moss combination are just some of the natural, down-to-earth fragrances the brand makes.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Vegan.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Non-toxic and phthalate-free.
  • Recyclable and reusable packaging.

12. Mrs. Meyers

Natural Soy based, and lilac scented candle by Mrs. Meyers in eco-friendly holder.

We could not write this list without giving a shout-out to Mrs. Meyers and their range of non-toxic, environmentally friendly air freshener products. Available at CVS with a wide array of scents, we love how easy this brand is making it for people to switch over to more eco-conscious home fragrances.

Price range: $6-26

Products: Room sprays and candles

Scents: From lilac to rose, all the Mrs. Meyers fragrances are garden-inspired so that your space always smells as fresh as a daisy.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Natural and non-toxic ingredients.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Recyclable packaging.

13. Dr Schulze’s

non-toxic air freshener made with organic ingredients in glass bottle by Dr Schulze's.

We’re ending off this list with a slightly unusual air freshener but Dr Schulze’s Air Detox is a favorite of yoga and fitness teachers thanks to its highly effective formula. If it works well in sweaty workout spaces, it’s bound to be great at home too.

Price range: $22-110

Products: Air detox spray.

Scents: They only have one, but the essential oil-based eucalyptus and citrus scent manages to be both zingy and calming.

Sustainability Stats:

  • Non-GMO and organic ingredients.
  • 100% pure essential oils.
  • Vegan.
  • Recyclable packaging.

Breathe Easy

Scents are too powerful not to pay attention to. Not only can certain fragrances help set a positive mood, but the ingredients can actively affect our health and the planet’s. Going non-toxic with your air fresheners can help eliminate exposure to skin-irritating, carcinogenic, and air-polluting ingredients. 

An air freshener or room spray should help you breathe easier, not add to your woes. Next time you’re in the market for a good vibe setter, and bad smell-killing product for your space, consider choosing something non-toxic or eco-friendly. These products are getting increasingly easy to find and we swear they smell so much better than the conventional stuff.


Which air fresheners are not toxic?

Enviroscent, Aera, and Dedcool all make natural air fresheners that are not toxic. They use safe, healthy ingredients that you get the benefits of a beautifully fragranced home without any of the worry.

Is Pura actually non-toxic?

Yes, Pura is actually non-toxic. They’re free of phthalates, formaldehyde, and many other hazardous ingredients. They do however use some synthetic chemicals which they disclose and flag as possible irritants. We love seeing this kind of transparency from a brand and hope more follow!

How can I freshen my house smell naturally?

One of the best ways to freshen your house smell naturally is by making sure you’re staying on top of cleaning and airing your home out. The main cause of bad smells in a space is often due to damp or dirt issues. Once that side of thing is sorted, a great natural way to improve how your home smell is to simmer a pot of oranges, cloves, and cinnamon sticks on the stove. It sounds weird but it’s totally natural and you’d be amazed at how quickly the scent can fill a space.

Are there any safe fragrances for home?

We’re happy to report that there are many safe fragrances for home use. Dr Schulze makes an iconic spray that even gym owners love for deodorizing a space and other brands such as Mrs. Meyers and Good Natured have all kinds of safe options made with clean, non-toxic ingredients.

What is the safest air freshener to use?

The safest air fresheners to use are ones that avoid VOCs and artificial aerosol propellants, and any of your known allergies. Some examples of the brands we love for safe, healthy air fresheners for the home are Grow Fragrance and Good Natured.