14 best pillow sprays and sleep mists to help you drift off

Counting sheep doesn't always cut it...


by Nathan Katnoria |

We all have our own techniques and methods for dropping off to sleep and for some people, pillow mists and sprays are their secrets to falling asleep in minutes.

If you’re having trouble switching off at bedtime, a soothing pillow spray could induce sleep much faster than counting sheep. They’re packed full of essential oils that help ease stress and anxiety to ease you into a restful night's sleep.

They work by using a blend of essential oils that encourage your mind and body to relax and destress and research suggests the aromas cause our bodies to produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes restful sleep.

Do pillow sleep sprays work?

The brand This Works, which has a range of sleep sprays including Deep Sleep and Sleep Together (both featured in our list below), has conducted extensive research into how and why its pillow mists are so effective at helping us get to sleep.

This Works says: "We decided to support an independent functional MRI (fMRI) brain-scan study, led by world-leading neuroscientist and medical doctor, Professor Gaby Badre. During the study, two fragrances were tested and both were found to activate the regions of the brain linked to smell. However, our Deep Sleep fragrance also activated specific areas of the brain associated with pleasure and calmness, enabling the research team to propose that the fragrance could evoke feelings of social comfort, trust, and calmness - conceivably impacting sleep."

Michael J. Breus, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist and both a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine. On his Sleep Doctor blog, he writes about the power of lavender in helping us to sleep: {#h-michael-j-breus-phd-is-a-clinical-psychologist-and-both-a-diplomate-of-the-american-board-of-sleep-medicine-and-a-fellow-of-the-american-academy-of-sleep-medicine-on-his-sleep-doctor-blog-he-writes-about-the-power-of-lavender-in-helping-us-to-sleep}

"Lavender works as an anxiolytic (an anxiety reliever) and as a sedative, to increase relaxation and calm, and help bring about sleep. Lavender interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA to help quiet the brain and nervous system activity, reducing agitation, anger, aggression, and restlessness."

With so many different choices available to buy, we've rounded up some of our favourites to help you find the best pillow spray for you. They will send you off into a peaceful night’s slumber...

The best pillow sprays and sleep mists for getting to sleep


How do I use pillow spray?

Simply spritz a few pumps of your favourite sleep spray over your pillows and sheets, 15 to 30 minutes before you go to bed to allow the essential oils to settle.

Not only will they help you fall asleep quicker, but the oils will be re-released into the atmosphere as you move around in your sleep and ensure you stay in a deep slumber throughout the night. You'll wake up feeling refreshed and recharged after such a good night's rest.

Related: How to stop feeling tired

Are pillow sprays safe?

In short, yes. Pillow sprays are safe for most adults. Like with many products, it's important to avoid contact with the eyes. These sprays are also not meant to be applied to the skin, so they may cause an allergic reaction for those with skin sensitivity. If they do get on your skin, wash with soap and water and seek medical attention if a rash occurs.

When it comes to keeping our pillows safe, these sprays are safe to use on most fabrics. If however, you have a silk pillowcase, do not use a pillow spray as this could ruin the fabric.

Do pillow sprays affect allergies?

Allergies that affect you at night are usually down to dust and mites in your bedding and pillow, so make sure you're regularly washing your bedding at a high temperature.

If you are finding your allergies are being set off by your new pillow spray, it could be that you are allergic to lavender. This is a very common allergy that could cause itchiness, redness, rashes and in some cases sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and itchy eyes. Try a pillow spray that doesn't contain lavender to see if this is what is setting you off.

There are some essential oils that are renowned for stress relief and helping you drift off to sleep; check out the ingredients of your chosen sleep pillow spray and look for one that features these oils:

Lavender: This soothing scent has been a traditional help for relaxation and sleeps for centuries. Lavender pillow sprays are so popular that there have been numerous scientific studies into them; it's been shown to help with anxiety and depression, and has a sedative effect, helping you fall into a good night's sleep.

Vanilla: A very familiar scent, but usually related to cakes and baking - vanilla also has a sedative effect, so is great for getting you to sleep. Particularly good if the smell of cookies usually relaxes you.

Rose and Geranium: Both floral scents are known to help reduce stress and anxiety. A pillow spray with either or both of these oils will ease your body and mind at bedtime.

Jasmine: Sweet and floral with great sleep-inducing qualities. Studies have shown it increases the quality of your sleep, reducing restlessness, and also increasing alertness during the day too.

Does it have to be a lavender sleep spray?

Not everyone loves the smell of lavender - certainly, for me, it just reminds me of my grandmother's wardrobe, and that might not be what I want to think of when I'm drifting off to sleep. Essential oils in pillow mists and sleep sprays all work differently for different people - try different scents out to discover one which works best for you.

While lavender is definitely one of the most popular and well-known essential oils when it comes to deep sleep pillow sprays and relaxation, it's not the only one - there are lots of other scents and oils that are also used for helping you get some rest.

DIY: Make your own pillow spray

If you want to make your own concoction of relaxing essential oils for your pillow, you can always have a go at making your own homemade batch of pillow sprays. We've taken some inspiration from A Beautiful Mess with this method.

You will need:

A clear mist bottle (glass or plastic)

Small funnel

3 essential oils (Lavender, chamomile and orange work really well together)

Distilled water


Use the funnel to add 20 drops of lavender oil, 15 drops of wild orange and 10 drops of chamomile to your bottle. Fill the rest with distilled water. Shake before each use.

Are there any alternatives to pillow sprays?

If you don't fancy a pillow mist, or find the scent too strong, there are other ways to get the scent of relaxing essential oils into your bedroom to relax and induce sleep. Here are some of our favourite alternatives to pillow sprays:

Still unable to sleep? Earplugs, weighted blankets, and meditation can all help to create the right sleeping environment for you, especially if you struggle sleeping on a hot night.

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