Best Fabric Softener Reviews 2023

Choosing a fabric softener from all the brands available is no easy task. To help narrow down your choices, we have here a selection of five top brands with some of the best fabric softeners on the market. This review is based on one product from each of the five featured brands, but you should note these brands also have other fabric softeners you might want to check out.
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Wash Loads
Our Top Choice
Downy Unstopables Scent Booster Beads
Downy believes that even the most mundane and dreaded house chores, like laundry, can be turned into something exciting.
Light, airy perfume works wonders on laundry and the entire house. Can use as much or as little as you like.
If it only put your washing out on the line for you, it’d be the perfect product!
Scent beads
750 grams
4 scent options
Best Value
Bounce Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
Bounce laundry products are designed to improve your laundry in many ways, leaving it clean and fresh.
This fabric softener effortlessly removes lint and hair from fabrics, and softens clothes by employing biodegradable cationic softeners.
If only the sheets didn’t hide themselves in your clothes!
Dryer sheets
240 count
Outdoor fresh
Snuggle Plus Super Fresh Liquid Fabric Softener
Snuggle makes award-winning products that freshen and soften, and they come in either liquid or sheet form.
Fragrance is gentle and refreshing. Freshness lasts long enough to reach the next wash. Makes the fabric snuggly soft by removing static and wrinkles.
The dispenser does leak occasionally, so make sure to store it upright.
95 fluid ounces
Smart Sheep 6-Pack 100% Wool Dryer Balls
Smart Sheep is a brand that’s crazy about laundry! It supplies customers with quality dryer balls that also double as fabric softeners.
Completely natural, no chemicals used. Great for those with sensitive skin. Shortens drying time. Extra-large size. Eco-friendly. Lasts for a thousand-plus loads.
Tends to absorb hair and lint.
Wool dryer balls
Over 1000
Gain Original Dryer Sheets
Who is not familiar with Procter and Gamble, makers of the Gain line of laundry products? This company makes a big deal out of the little things like cleaning or brushing.
Fights static electricity between clothes in the dryer. Adds amazing fresh green, citrus, and amber scent to clothes. Reduces wrinkling in fabrics. Softens all kinds of fabrics.
Some may consider the smell too strong or overpowering.
Dryer sheets
120 count

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Watch Our Fabric Softener Review

What is the Best Fabric Softener?

After having gone through our buying guide, you should now be better positioned to make the right choice. Go on to our product review, where we are sure you’ll get that particular fabric softener you’ve been looking for.
Our Top Choice
The Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster Beads are loaded with up to nine times more perfume than liquid boosters by a scent-boosting technology. For a liquid fabric softener with no dyes or detergent, get the Downy Liquid Fabric Conditioner, Free & Gentle.

Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster Beads – Available in 4 Scents & 2 Pack Sizes

Downy is one of the revolutionary product lines from the P&G stables. It was developed by a scientist who believes life has more to offer than chores, and that housework can be turned into something exhilarating. Since its opening, Downy has continued to make waves in the laundry industry, with many loyal customers to show for it.

The Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster Beads have a great-smelling, long-lasting scent booster that takes musty odors right out of your clothes, sheets, and towels. It keeps them smelling fresh and light for a long time.
Here are some of its delightful features:
  • It’s in bead form, infused with up to nine times more perfume than normal liquid boosters
  • Comes in a variety of airy, fun, and light scents to add that extra something to your clothes
  • Long-lasting freshness and scent for up to 12 weeks from wash to wear
  • Easy to use and doesn’t have a required quantity. Just toss as little or as much as you want into the washer before adding your clothes and detergent
  • Effective odor removal from waste bins or any other place you have a bad smell
  • Can be used as air freshener in the house, closet, or traveling bags and boxes
Best Value
The Bounce Outdoor Fresh Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets have a strong and pleasant scent that lasts longer. They also eliminate static buildup and wrinkles. For dermatologically tested hypoallergenic fabric softener sheets, try the Bounce Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets Free & Gentle!

Bounce Outdoor Fresh Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets – Available in 8 Sizes

Bounce is a brand name for one of P&G’s top-notch laundry product lines. Its products are developed to improve your laundry time in more ways than you could imagine. It creates whole new ways of washing, softening, and boosting your fabrics with amazing results and scents consumers love. Its products include laundry detergents, fabric softeners, scent boosters, and dish detergents.

The Bounce Outdoor Fresh Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets are an inexpensive but quality product to give your fabrics that much-needed soft feeling while reducing static buildup and wrinkles. They have an exciting and clean outdoors scent that stays on your fabrics for longer periods and makes you feel great. The container is made from 100% environmentally friendly recycled paper. This softener removes lint and hair from fabrics. It also effectively controls static cling due to machine wash motions while softening fabrics using biodegradable cationic softeners.

Other fabric softeners from Bounce include:
  • Bounce Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets Fresh Linen 80 count, (Pack of 3) - Minimizes wrinkles so you’ll be looking smooth
  • Bounce Outdoor Fresh (old version) HE, 320 Sheet - Made with biodegradable cationic softeners
  • Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets - Sweet Dreams - 105 CT - Fills laundry with fresh and clean lavender scent
  • Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets, 160 Count - Gives your laundry the mild and clean smell of linens that are newly laundered
The Snuggle Plus Super Fresh Liquid Fabric Softener uses a unique odor-eliminating technology to remove tough odors and static buildup from your fabric. If you’d prefer fabric softener dryer sheets, go for the Snuggle Plus Super Fresh Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets with Static Control!

Snuggle Plus Super Fresh Fabric Softener with Odor Eliminating Technology – Available in 2 Sizes

Snuggle is the brand name for a line of fabric softeners owned by Sun Products Corporation, manufacturers of household products for cleaning and laundry. Its laundry products come in both liquid and powder form. It also manufactures dish washing detergents and surfactant liquid.

The Snuggle Plus Super Fresh Liquid Fabric Softener is an award-winning fabric softener that utilizes an odor-eliminating technology to remove tough odors from your laundry. Its long-lasting effect keeps your fabrics fresh from one wash to the next. The softener releases, captures, and eliminates odors from fabrics, giving an ever-fresh scent to your laundry. The scent is not overpowering, but stays on your fabric for a long time even after wearing. The fabric static control results in snuggly soft fabrics. One bottle can serve up to 90 loads of laundry.

Other fabric softeners by Snuggle include:
  • Snuggle Fabric Softener Liquid, Blue Sparkle, 50 Ounces/60 Loads, FFP (Pack of 2) - Leaves clothes smelling clean and brings your senses to life with spurts of freshness throughout the whole day
  • Snuggle Exhilarations Fabric Softener, Cherry Blossom Charm, 96 Fluid Ounce - Filled with ingredients that help make your garments soft and fluffy
  • Snuggle Fabric Softener, 187 Load/150 Fluid Ounce - Gives you up to 14 days of freshness
  • Snuggle Laundry Scent Boosters, Lavender Joy, 56 Count - Each package has scent boosters for up to 56 regular-sized loads
Why not get the Smart Sheep 6-Pack 100% Wool Dryer Balls? It’s an excellent fabric softener that pampers your fabrics by softening them naturally, and even cuts down drying time to about half. If you'd prefer something more affordable with the same qualities and effectiveness, don’t forget to check out the Smart Sheep Reusable Wool Dryer Balls, 3-Pack.

Smart Sheep 6-Pack 100% Wool Dryer Balls – XL Premium Reusable Natural Fabric Softener

Smart Sheep was founded by a mom who had loads of laundry to go through virtually every week. She understands the challenges that come with attacking the laundry, and started selling wool dryer balls to help make laundry a bit more bearable. These dryer balls are made completely of natural materials. They're produced in Nepal, and then packaged by Christine and her team here in the US. The customer service at Smart Sheep is truly warm and professional, and you’d definitely love to have another transaction with this small company that cares.

The Smart Sheep 6-Pack 100% Wool Dryer Balls are excellent fabric softeners, and one of the many reasons we have featured it in our reviews is that they're completely natural. For people with sensitive skin, getting things like fabric softeners can be a bit of a gamble to them, as it might upset them. These softeners contain no chemicals or synthetic materials that could cause any kind of skin reaction.

In addition to softening fabrics, these softeners equally reduce drying time too. Many customers who have used them have testified that they cut down drying time to even almost half in some cases.

Because these dryer balls come in extra-large sizes, much larger than tennis balls, they last pretty long, for months in many cases. The balls can last for over a thousand loads of wash. Plus, because they can function as both a dryer and a softener, you save cash since you no longer have to buy dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener separately.

Smart Sheep is a smart way to go. Place your order now!
The Gain Original Dryer Sheets don't just soften your clothes. They also add a really fresh green, citrus, and amber scent to your clothes that lasts, and will definitely put a spring in your steps when you wear them! Would you prefer something with a different fragrance, but with an equally high level of effectiveness? Try the Gain Dryer Sheets, Island Fresh Scent. They're super affordable!

Gain Original Dryer Sheets – 120 Count

Procter and Gamble is a household name everyone is familiar with. From showering, cleaning, and brushing, to laundry, baby care, and the dishes, P&G has a full line of products to help make dealing with these things a little easier. Thanks to hard work, this company continues to make quality products that improve lives across almost every nation in our world. It deserves a gold star for value addition!

The Gain Original Dryer Sheets are pals you want on your side in your laundry activities. These sheets soften your clothes, making them feel better against your skin. While they soften your clothes, they also reduce that pesky static cling that dryers are notorious for leaving in your pile of laundry. And that’s not all - using these sheets also helps to reduce wrinkling on your clothes. You could even possibly wear your clothes straight out of the dryer if you’re in a big hurry ... just saying.

The scent is a lovely blend of green, citrus, and amber that lasts on your clothes for a long time. In fact, it smells so good that Gain assures you that you might just do "something over-the-top" out of sheer happiness over how amazing your laundry smells.

Although this softener already comes at an affordable price, it’s still so economical that you could call it a give-away. A single sheet is enough for a medium load, while two sheets are enough to handle a really large load.

Be sure to avoid using this product on the kids’ nightclothes or other flame-resistant garments, though, as it might reduce the flame resistance.

How Do I Choose the Best Fabric Softener?

Most people consider doing laundry to be mundane, boring, and unfulfilling. Sometimes just tossing your dirty clothes and detergent into the washer isn’t enough. With fabrics used for grunt work or kids’ camp outfits, extra treatment may be required before they come out smelling and feeling anything close to clean and fresh. Alternatively, it might be a blanket or sheet with a musty smell you have to deal with. These are just some of the situations that make laundry time unpleasant.

A good fabric softener works well for fabrics and makes laundry time a little less of a hassle. Most fabric softeners are used mainly to eliminate static buildup and wrinkles from fabrics after laundry, and to give them a refreshing and long-lasting fragrance. The motions of a washing machine cause static in fabrics, which makes them appear rough and feel scratchy to the touch. To eliminate this, a fabric softener in either liquid or sheet form is used alongside laundry detergents for soft, smooth, and wrinkle-free fabric. The fabric softener often acts as a scent booster and can remove the most stubborn and clingy odors from the fabric. Fragrances can last up to three months in some cases, from time of wash to when it’s worn or used.

Apart from its laundry use, fabric softener can also be used as a house air freshener, or to eliminate bad odors from the waste bin, the closet, or the interior of a car. It can also be used in traveling boxes and bags to give a clean, fresh scent to clothing.

Now that we’ve looked at some of the reasons why you may want to get a fabric softener, we will look at the important features and factors you need to consider when choosing a fabric softener.

Before we do that, it would be remiss of us to NOT give an honorable mention to Tide’s great fabric softener. It’s one we believe you should also check out, even though we couldn’t fit it among our featured products due to space constraints.
The price of a product often informs a buying decision, and having a budget helps narrow down options. Most fabric softeners are relatively inexpensive, but there’s still some variation.

The products we reviewed here are within the $8 to $26 range. We’re sure we’ve featured quality products that’ll serve you well, regardless of cost, unlike the cheap fabric softeners we came across during our research which will not give the desired result on all counts.
There are some qualities you need to consider carefully if you want a functional fabric softener that actually does the work. They include:
  • Type of fabric softener
  • Size
  • Load
  • Scent
  • Extra features
Construction and Design
Fabric softeners come in two main forms – liquid and sheet. Liquid fabric softeners often have a calibrated cap to measure out the appropriate quantity according to the laundry load size. The liquid is then added to the dispenser. Sheet fabric softeners are simply tossed into the washer alongside the fabrics. There are also softeners that come in bead form, such as the Downy Unstoppable In-Wash boosters, or in ball form, such as the Woolzies Dryer Balls and Natural Fabric Softener. Both are featured in the product review. Whichever type you choose is sure to give you a great end result, and your choice here will be based on convenience and personal preference.

Most fabric softeners are made from chemicals. Some are composed of pure natural materials, such as the Woolzies Dryer Balls and Natural Fabric Softener, which are made from 100% natural wool. Other fabric softeners are made from chemical materials chosen to be mild on both skin and fabric, with some of them fully treated and tested to be hypoallergenic. If you’re concerned about the quantity of chemicals that get in contact with your skin or clothes, or you have overly sensitive skin, you may want to get the all-natural fabric softener by Woolzies which you can find in our product review.

Fabric softeners come in different bottle sizes. When choosing your fabric softener, consider the bottle size and the volume of work it’ll be doing, so you can get the most value out of your purchase. If you do large volumes of laundry, or you constantly have to wash very dirty or smelly fabrics, you may want to get the large bottle size in the case of liquid fabric softener or the big pack in the case of dryer sheet fabric softener.
Performance and Ease of Use
Most fabric softeners have a number of loads they can be used for indicated on the packaging. This information lets you know the exact quantity to use for each load. This also ensures you don’t use too much or too little fabric softener on a particular wash load, so as to get the maximum performance out of your softener. For dryer sheets, check for the number of sheets to use for each wash load size. In rare cases, such as the Downy Unstoppable In-Wash Boosters, it doesn’t matter whether you toss in a few or plenty of the beads, you should get a great result.

One of the greatest qualities of a good fabric softener is its scent. Generally, their scents or fragrances penetrate deeply and stay on the fabric for a very long time. Different brands incorporate different scents into their products, and while some are very powerful, others are light. A fabric softener’s ability to leave its scent in fabrics for a long time after washing is a quality that helps in determining its performance.

One of the brands in our review, Snuggle, has a unique odor-eliminating technology to fight and remove tough odors and smells embedded into fabrics. This technology releases the odor from the fabric, captures and eliminates it, and replaces it with a sweet and fresh fragrance.

Using fabric softener is very simple and fast. It doesn’t require any setup or skills. Just add the liquid to the dispenser, or toss in the sheet, bead, or ball with the fabrics, and wash.

Get the Best Fabric Softener of 2023!

Now that you've read our product review and are armed with relevant knowledge, we hope you are now better placed to make your choice and place an order.

Our Top Choice
Downy Unstopables Scent Booster Beads
Best Value
Bounce Fabric Softener Dryer Sheets
Snuggle Plus Super Fresh Liquid Fabric Softener
Smart Sheep 6-Pack 100% Wool Dryer Balls
Gain Original Dryer Sheets