When you've had a long, hard day of work, staying at home with the kids or even just existing, there's nothing quite like a good turn in the bathtub—except, of course, a good turn in the bathtub with a great bath bomb. These handy little spheres (or cubes!) can turn an otherwise boring bath into an ultra-luxurious soak, enveloping you in calming essential oils, soothing salts and nourishing moisturizers—if you know which ones to look for. We've taken care to ferret out 10 of the best bath bombs on the market to help you really and truly unwind, plus five that your little ones will enjoy, too.
7 of the Best Bath Bombs for Your Most Relaxing Night In Yet, Plus 5 Kids Will Love
What Do Bath Bombs Do?
Bath bombs dissolve in the tub to create a multi-sensory experience full of color, fragrance, fizz and fun (not to mention leave your skin feeling soft and moisturized). More than that, however, a 2018 study published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal found that bathing was more beneficial for mental health than routine showering, offering marked improvement in its subjects' scores for stress, fatigue and depression. Pair that with a few of the common ingredients found in many bath bombs, such as lavender, which has been shown to decrease blood pressure, heart rate and temperature, and epsom salt, which studies say may boost your mood and ease your back pain, and you've got an unbeatable recipe for relaxation.
What to Look for in a Bath Bomb
Ingredients: It’s a good idea to check the ingredient list of any bath bomb before you buy it—especially if you happen to have sensitive skin. That's because the wrong bomb may cause adversary reactions, or even affect a woman's vaginal pH balance, leading to nasty irritations or infections—and who wants to deal with that "down there?" Everything from essential oils and fragrances to dyes can cause issues, so it's best to test your bath bomb on your skin before fully committing to it. To do so, rub it against the crook of your elbow, then wait 48 hours. If it causes a skin reaction, it's best to avoid it. A few specific things to look out for can also be found below.
- Glitter: Pretty though it may be, experts recommend avoiding glitter at all costs, as it may be abrasive to your sensitive areas, and the scratches it can cause may lead to a secondary infection—yikes!
- Talcum powder: According to the American Cancer Society, while results have been mixed, talcum powder, or talc, has been shown in some studies to have reported a slightly increased risk of ovarian cancer should the powder come in contact with your ovaries.
Use With Caution
- Strong fragrances: While scent preference is personal, with different scents serving different purposes (fragrances like lavender, rose and jasmine, for instance can help you calm down and relax, whereas bergamot and peppermint can be great for energy), it's also one of the main culprits behind skin irritation, so choose one that works for you.
- Natural, organic ingredients: Look for bath bombs with wholesome, organic ingredients, or soothing ones, like oatmeal or Epsom salts, which may be beneficial for achy or sore muscles.
- Moisturizing additions: Some bath bombs contain moisturizers, like shea or cocoa butter, that can help combat dry skin.
Bubbles: Most bath bombs will fizz up the water, but if it’s a bubble bath you’re after, there are a few that will also bubble up.
Color: There is always a risk of a bright bath bomb leaving behind some colorful residue, so read reviews or go for a light or colorless option if you don’t want to take any risks.
How to Use Bath Bombs
Bath bombs are designed to dissolve and work their magic (e.g. release their colors, scents and other goodies).when dropped into a full bathtub of warm water Since bath bombs can cause a number of problems for your skin, however, not to mention wreak havoc on your pipes, according to Terry's Plumbing in Pennsylvania, there are a few precautions to follow when using them.
- Try them out first: As we mentioned above, many ingredients found in your bath bombs can cause skin irritation (or worse), so it's best to do a patch test first. If you have no problems, you're probably safe to try them out in your bath.
- Put them in a protective cover: To prevent your drain from getting clogged, Terry's Plumbing recommends encasing them in an old pair of nylons that can act as a filter.
- Limit your time in the bath to 15 minutes: The longer you expose your skin to the bath bomb, the greater your risk of irritation will be, so experts recommend enjoying these soaks in moderation.
- Rinse well: It's a good idea to shower after using a bath bomb, especially if it has harsh ingredients, like glitter.
- Clean out your drain: Terry's Plumbing recommends doing a quick vinegar rinse (pour vinegar down the drain, leave it for a few minutes, then flush it out with water) post-bomb to keep your pipes free of debris.
Climb into the tub and enjoy!
The Best Bath Bombs at Glance
- Best Overall Bath Bombs: LifeAround2Angels Bath Bombs
- Most Moisturizing Bath Bombs: OUAI Chill Pills
- Best Bath Bombs for Sensitive Skin: Nature's Beauty Oatmeal Bath Bombs
- Best Organic Bath Bombs: Beauty by Earth Bath Bombs
- Best Handmade Bath Bombs: Handmade Organic Bath Bombs
- Best Therapeutic Bath Bombs: Cosset Apocalypse Bath Bombs
- Best Bath Bombs for Allergies: Rejuvelle All Natural Soothing Sinus Bath Bombs
1. Lifearound2angels Bath Bombs
Best Overall Bath Bombs
If you're the type to indulge in a good, luxurious bath on the reg, this bath bomb set will make sure your soaks are worthwhile. It includes 12 different spheres with scents, such as Black Raspberry Vanilla, Fun on the Beach, Lemongrass Green Tea, Shea and Coconut and more. Each one is made with natural ingredients (some contain flower petals) and contains a lightweight moisturizer to leave your skin feeling soft afterward. They're free of itchy glitters, too.
2. Ouai Chill Pills
Most Moisturizing Bath Bombs
Created by celebrity stylist Jen Atkin, these clean-looking bath bombs, aka "chill pills," live up to their name—at least if the reviews are any indicator. There's no tub-staining colors or wacky ingredients: just vegan and moisturizing ones, like jojoba, safflower and hemp seed oil. What's more, your bath (and skin!) will be laced with the soft, calming scents of rose and jasmine. If only it was this easy to chill out during the rest of your day!
3. Nature's Beauty Oatmeal Bath Bombs
Best Bath Bomb for Sensitive Skin
You won’t have to worry about unsightly rashes when using this bath bomb, which has the secret weapon of avena sativa, or oats—an ingredient that has long been used to sooth itching and irritation in eczema. It's rounded out with nourishing coconut oil and comes free of any would-be irksome fragrances. It's even got a light ivory color that won't stain your tub—and we're down with anything that means less cleaning.
4. Beauty By Earth Bath Bombs
Best Organic Bath Bombs
There's no need to choose favorites with this six-pack of clean, cruelty-free aromatherapy bath bombs: Each one is designed to treat a separate need. There's “Just Relax” for a general soothing experience; “Relaxing Detox” to detox against all the nasty chemicals and pollution you encounter each day; “Bedtime Ritual” to help prepare you for slumber; “Muscle Relief” to soothe your achy shoulder; “Joint Relief” for any arthritis suffers and “Get Well Soon," which has essential oils that help combat seasonal allergies. Together, they make for a package full of bliss.
5. Handmade Organic Bath Bombs
Best Handmade Bath Bombs
These handmade, organic bath bombs prove clean ingredients are far from boring—in fact, they'll make for some super pretty gifts (even if the recipient is you). With vegan ingredients like organic apricot kernel oil and three different types of salts (Epsom, Dead Sea and Himalayan), these bombs come free from dyes or parabens. Customers say the fizz is impressive, and that they smell "wonderful," too.
6. Cosset Therapeutic Apocalypse Bath Bombs
Best for Sleep
If you've got a thing for aesthetics, you'll appreciate these lavender-and-cream bath bombs that look good enough to eat. They're also infused with French lavender to help you drift right off to dreamland after use. Handmade in Salt Lake City, Utah, with salt from the Great Salt Lake, these bombs don't include sulfates, parabens, or phalates. They also come in fully recyclable packaging, so you won't be harming Mother Earth solely for your bathing habit.
7. Rejuvelle All Natural Soothing Sinus Bath Bombs
Best Bath Bombs for Congestion
This pack is for our allergy girlies. When the seasons change, the sniffles are no joke. Rather than irritating them with a strongly scented floral bath bomb, these offer the perfect blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender and pine essential oils that the company claims will help with nasal congestion. They'll also feel soothing to your skin.
The Best Bath Bombs for Kids
While your little one may not need to zap away stress, they can certainly enjoy a fun and unique bathing experience with the bath bombs below, which are generally considered safe for children 3 and up—just to be sure to keep them out of reach when bathtime is over.
- Best Bath Bombs With Toys for Kids: Dan & Darci Dino Egg Bath Bombs
- Best Fizzy Bath Bombs for Kids: Sky Organics Kids' Bath Bomb Gift Set
- Cutest Bath Bombs for Kids: Aofmee Bath Bombs
- Best Bath Bomb Kit for Kids: Dan & Darci Soap and Bath Bombs Science Lab
- Best Bubble Bath Bombs for Kids: Two Sisters Superhero Bubble Bath Bombs
1. Dan & Darci Dino Egg Bath Bombs
Best Bath Bombs With Toys for Kids
For any dino-loving kids, these bath bombs will be a Godsend. The set comes with six egg-shaped spheres, each of which is scented and has a surprise dinosaur figurine inside. There are also included cards with fun educational facts about each specific type of dinosaur.
2. Sky Organics Kids' Bath Bombs Gift Set
Best Fizzy Bath Bombs for Kids
With six colorful six options made with kid-safe ingredients in kid-pleasing scents, like Bubblegum, Galaxy Grape Soda and Gummy Bears, these add a delightful fizzing element to the tub that your mini-me will freak out over. They also contain “bath sprinkles” to make the water sparkle, plus a gender-neutral surprise toy inside each sphere.
3. Aofmee Bath Bombs
Cutest Bath Bombs for Kids
These pint-sized, handmade bath bombs look like little desserts, with donut, cupcake and cake pop shapes that are sure to keep junior's attention. With hydrating elements for rough and dry toddler skin, they also give off delectably fragrant scents, such as Sweet Orange and Strawberry and French Vanilla, that will make your babe smell even sweeter than normal.
4. Dan & Darci Soap And Bath Bombs Science Lab
Best Bath Bomb Kit for Kids
If you’re looking for a unique way to keep your kids occupied, this is the kit for you. Designed for kids ages 6 to 12, this DIY science lab includes color, fragrances, wax, Epsom salt, molds and more that will allow them to create eight of their own soaps, plus 10 bath bombs (note that this set does contain glitter, so it may be best to save that for the soap). There's a 20-page instructional guide to walk them through the process, and they'll learn a bit of science along the way—in fact, it's STEM.org authenticated. And when the fun of making them is over, they'll be able to take a dip with their creations. How cool is that?
5. Two Sisters Superhero Bubble Bath Bombs
Best Bubble Bath Bombs for Kids
These bath bombs will not only fill your tub with bubbles, but they'll fill it with scented, colorful ones. Using natural ingredients, like Epsom salts, extra virgin olive oil, essential oils and water-based colors, these are handmade by moms, so you know they're parent-approved. They come in fun scents (Cherry? Say no more.) and each one comes with a superhero toy, too.