mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
mbg Assistant Beauty Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
Image by 12963734 / iStock
May 28, 2022
Morning rituals are common for many, but different from person to person. Some people like to go for a morning stroll while others find peace in sipping a morning cup of joe. The same goes for evening routines, though they’re generally geared more toward relaxation and pre-sleep practices. For some, this means writing a few pages in a journal, meditating, or cleaning their space.
No matter what evening routine you have going now, there’s one quick step that can create a relaxing ambiance regardless. Enter, sleep sprays. These mists come in a plethora of different scents, and we’ve picked out the best of the best below. But first, let’s understand what exactly a sleep spray is and what it’s not.
What are “sleep sprays”?
Sleep sprays are simply pillow mists by another name. These mists are not sleep aids, however people call them sleep sprays because they tend to associate them with going to bed (ahem, you spray it on your pillow after all), but they’re nothing more than a linen or room product. But just because they aren’t aids, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a spot in your routine. They can be part of a larger nighttime ritual that sets your night up for success. Not to mention, they have use far beyond the pillow.
How we picked:
We looked for clean, naturally-derived ingredients in the following sleep sprays. We included products made with naturally derived botanical essential oils.
We searched for affordable options to include in our roundup list. This means sprays that cost less initially and last longer.
We looked for sleep sprays that could satisfy different scent preferences. Some are floral, others woodsy, and some a blend of both.
Formulas with specific essential oils or notes known to relax the mind and create an environment for restorative rest were prioritized.
mbg’s picks for the best sleep sprays
- Naturally derived, clean formula
- Not recommended for use on the skin
Lifestyle considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Floral, Woodsy
Our mist is designed to create an atmosphere that will lull your senses and get you in the headspace of rest. Lavender works to create a prime environment for restorative rest while sandalwood and Roman chamomile encourage relaxation in the body and the mind. This blend touches all the important scent profiles for relaxation (more on that later). Keep this mist by your bedside table and spritz on your pillow before resting your head. Bonus: You can use this as a mediation mist as well to encourage a relaxed mood.
Lifestyle considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Body-safe, Floral, Woodsy
If you enjoy floral scents but shy away from lavender, then this rose mist is a great option. Sandalwood keeps the scent profile relaxing and perfect for a nighttime ritual. The scent is subtle making it great for use in common spaces. The mist is water-based, so avoid spritzing it on any leather fabrics. If you want the mist to last longer, spray directly on linens with a thicker weave rather than in the air alone. The formula is body-safe, so it works great for misting on bath towels.
- May be too invigorating for some
Lifestyle considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Floral
When you walk into a spa and take a breath, the sound that follows typically sounds something like ahhh. That feeling is generally partially associated with scent, oftentimes eucalyptus. This essential oil is a popular pick for stimulating the senses, which is what makes this mist so great. If you want something that combines the relaxing power of lavender with the refreshing, restorative scent of eucalyptus then look no further. Because eucalyptus is an uplifting scent this mist can be used in the morning as a tool to bring the spa to you as well.
- Palo santo cleanses the space
- Strong scent (if you’re looking for something light)
Lifestyle considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Body-safe, Woodsy
This room spray recreates and honors the woodsy scent of the sacred palo santo (known as the “holy wood”). The tree is native to Peru, Ecuador, and many Central and South American countries. The wood of the Palo Santo tree has been used in rituals for centuries to cleanse a space of bad energy. This blend specifically adds in scents of mint, cypress, eucalyptus, sandalwood, and amber. If you like strong woodsy scents this spray will be your next favorite.
- Doesn’t contain woodsy scents (for those who want it)
Lifestyle considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Floral
If you’re looking to get a bang for your buck, this lavender mist will do just that. The scent profile is strong and floral featuring lavender, chamomile, and geranium. Witch hazel offers cleansing properties that will make your space and linens feel and smell fresh as can be. This one contains 2,000 sprays, so you’ll certainly keep this on your bedside table for months to come. If you like a stronger scent or want something to use all around the house, this one is a great option.
- Simple scents (for those who prefer a blend)
Lifestyle considerations: Floral, Woodsy, Subtle scent
If strong floral scents aren’t your thing, then sage may be a better option. This mist can be used throughout the house to help combat any lingering smells and replace them with the calming scent of clary sage. The sage spray works wonders as a sleep mist as it enhances relaxation as well, sans floral scents for those who prefer something different. Not sure what kind of scent you like? Go for the sample set to try out this scent along with a lavender and eucalyptus blend. You never know, maybe you’ll find your next favorite scent.
- Doesn’t contain lavender (for those looking for it)
Lifestyle considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Woodsy, Subtle scent
If you’re looking to cleanse your space beyond just scent, this mist is a great option. This smokeless sage spray helps to revive any dull space and adds positive energy and an uplifting, refreshing scent. It contains a special base of Vor-Mag™️ water which has been purified, vortexed, and magnetized to raise the energy to a higher vibration. For those using their mist in a spiritual practice like meditation, this is ideal.
What to look for in a linen mist.
Choosing a perfume is all about personal preference—and so is selecting a sleep mist. If you’re using this spray on your pillow, you want to make sure it’s something you love. However, if you’re sleeping with another person or want to use this mist as a room spray as well, you may want to select something more universal. Luckily, many of these mists have a light scent, so you can build it up based on how much you want to smell the mist.
There are some ingredients to look for that contribute to a relaxing environment (many of which you tend to find in spas for this reason). Here, a few different ingredients to look for in a mist specifically used for bedtime:
- Lavender: This essential oil has been used for ages in households across the world to create a tranquil environment. Now grown globally, it’s native to the Mediterranean, the Arabian Peninsula, and Russia.
- Chamomile: if you enjoy a cup of chamomile tea before bed, you should look for this ingredient in your go-to sleep mist too. The scent of this flower is soft and gentle, which is perfect for easing the mind. If you’re sensitive to overpowering scents, look for a mist with this soft smell to encourage relaxation.
- Earthy woods: When looking for a blend of scents, earthy woods can level up any floral blend. Sandalwood specifically has historical significance in various meditation rituals. The rich scent helps ground airy florals as well.
- Light florals: Though lavender is popular for sleep sprays, not everyone favors this scent. If you’re looking for something different but still prefer a floral profile, look for rose, jasmine, or neroli oils instead.
mbg review process.
At mbg, high standards are earned—and there are no shortcuts. Our beauty editors stay up to date on the latest ingredient research and innovation. It’s a dynamic, continuously evolving space, and it’s important we look into the science so we can make informed choices about which formulas earn our stamp of approval (figuratively speaking).
Our high standards also come from testing products—many, many products. Our editors and writers rigorously test and research the products featured in our roundups to offer you the best, most informed recommendations. When we write reviews, you can trust we spend quality time with the formulas: We don’t simply rave about products we’ve slathered on the back of our hand. We endorse products we’ve tried and loved.
Learn more about our testing process and clean beauty standards here.
While sleep sprays will not directly help you sleep better, they do have the power to create an environment that encourages rest and relaxation. If you want to use it before bed, look for ingredients like light florals, earthy woods, lavender, and chamomile to help relax the mind. Though many of these products are intended for use before bed, there are tons of other creative ways to utilize a sleep spray far beyond the bedroom.