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6 Best Fabric Softeners for Your Beddings

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Written By Anđela Rajković

Certified Sleep Consultant

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Fabric softener

2 April 2024 6 min read

If you like your clothes, bedding and towels to be soft, clean, and smell like a field of flowers then fabric softener is something you use regularly. And that made us wonder, what's the best fabric softener on the UK market?

The most beautiful feeling is when we put on a piece of clothing that is fragrant and soft. The same goes for towels, bedding and everything else. But in order for everything we wash in the washing machine to be so soft, laundry detergent isn't enough on its own – we also need a good fabric softener.

There are so many different ones on the market and every advertisement guarantees flawless results. However, there is a big difference between all these products, both in terms of quality and purpose. So, we've compiled what we believe to be the 10 best fabric softeners on the market! Let's check them out.

Our top fabric softeners

We came up with our top picks by analyzing each of the products we will mention. In this way, we gained insight into all the ingredients, as well as the characteristics, such as the scent. The following 11 are by far the best we've found in almost every way.
    Fabric Softener 1
    A product image of Method Fabric Softener.
    Method Fabric Softener
    BEST OVERALL
    Fabric Softener 2
    Product image of Fairy Fabric Softener.
    Fairy Fabric Softener
    BEST FOR ITCHY SKIN
    Fabric Softener 3
    Product image of Comfort Dermatologically tested Pure.
    Comfort Dermatologically tested Pure
    BEST FOR BABIES:
    Fabric Softener 4
    Product image of Lenor Unstoppables.
    Lenor Unstoppables
    BEST FOR TOWELS
    Fabric Softener 5
    Comfort-Ultimate-Care
    Comfort Ultimate Care
    BEST FOR COTTON
    Fabric Softener 6
    Product image of Ecover Fabric Softener.
    Ecover Fabric Softener
    BEST ECO FRIENDLY:

BEST OVERALL: Method Fabric Softener

You will get laundry detergent + fabric softener for just a few pounds.
BEST OVERALL
A product image of Method Fabric Softener.

Although we said in the earlier part of the article that we recommend that you buy a separate fabric softener, if you do not want to spend extra money, then this laundry detergent + fabric softener is a great choice.

The Method fabric softener is of good quality, with plant-based ingredients and naturally inspired fragrances, which are excellent perks for many customers. It will remove unpleasant odours and make your clothes soft and fresh.

No animals were used during testing and production, so it is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. And the bottles are made of recycled plastic.

Advantages

An icon depicting a plant, illustrating a vegan-friendly product
Vegan-friendly
The product contains natural products. No animals were harmed during the production.
An icon representing an eco-friendly & sustainable concept
Eco friendly
The product was made without harming the nature.

Disadvantages

An icon depicting off gassing
A bit of stronger smell
There might be complaints that a smell is a bit stronger for an eco-friendly product.

BEST FOR ITCHY SKIN: Fairy Fabric Softener

It is dermatologically tested so it is the perfect choice for itchy skin.
BEST FOR ITCHY SKIN
Product image of Fairy Fabric Softener.

Many people like to use fabric softeners, but they have sensitive skin that easily becomes itchy in contact with various chemicals. That is why it is necessary to use a dermatologically tested Fairy fabric softener.

It will give your clothes, bedding and towels softness, and fluffiness, as well as a pleasant smell. It is ultra-concentrated so that a package of almost 5 litres will last you a very long time.

It is suitable for linen because it reduces static cling and prolongs life.

Advantages

An icon representing an eco-friendly & sustainable concept
Dermatologically tested
The product was dermatologically tested and therefore it's safe to use.
Cleaning-pro
Concentrated
This softener is concentrated so don't use it too much.

Disadvantages

An icon depicting a ruler indicating lack of different sizes & dimensions
Difficult to store
Due to the size of the bottle, it may be inconvenient to store it.

BEST FOR BABIES: Comfort Dermatologically tested Pure

The product is approved by the British Skin Foundation so you can use it without worries if you have a baby.
BEST FOR BABIES:
Product image of Comfort Dermatologically tested Pure.

You need to pay special attention to whether the fabric softener is safe for your baby, and Comfort Pure certainly is. Recognized by the British Skin Foundation, which guarantees complete safety.

This product is dermatologically tested and all ingredients are hypoallergenic so it is ideal for baby-sensitive skin and is considered the number one in the UK for babies.

It is very effective in softening the laundry, so all the clothes and bedding for your baby will be soft. It will give a very pleasant, yet mild scent.

Advantages

An icon depicting a magnifier indicating high quality
Great price-quality ratio
The product is affordable considering the price and qualitu you get.
An icon depicting a leaf indicating hypoallergenic properties
Hypoallergenic

Disadvantages

An icon depicting off gassing
Mild scent
Some customers complained it had a mild scent.

BEST FOR TOWELS: Lenor Unstoppables

The prolonged effect you get by using Lenor Unstoppables is ideal for towels.
BEST FOR TOWELS
Product image of Lenor Unstoppables.

As we have already said, it is not recommended to use a fabric softener with every towel wash, which is why you should go with Lenor Unstoppables because it has a prolonged softness effect. So using it you can always achieve soft towels without damaging them.

Lenor softeners are one of the most famous in the world, produced by Procter & Gamble, and in the US they are called Downy. The prolonged effect lasts up to 12 weeks. It is available in several different scents, and you should pour it directly into the drum before washing.

Advantages

An icon depicting no off gassing
6 different smells
You can opt for 6 different scents.
An icon depicting chain links indicating durability
Durable & long lasting
The scent is really long lasting.

Disadvantages

An icon depicting a money bag indicating an expensive product
Expensive
Expensive when compared to similar fabric softeners.

BEST FOR COTTON: Comfort Ultimate Care

Soften and protect your cotton clothes with Comfort Ultimate Care.
BEST FOR COTTON
Comfort-Ultimate-Care

Most of our wardrobe is made of cotton, so it is important to use a product that will do no more harm than good. For cotton things, the right choice is another softener from the Comfort line, and that is Ultimate Care.

It contains pro-fibre technology that penetrates between the fibres and thus protects the fibres from damage. Since this is not only a softener but also a conditioner. It will give a very fresh scent to your clothes, which can best be described as a mixture of fruity and floral notes.

It is ultra-concentrated, so you don't need too much fabric softener. The bottle is made of 100% recycled plastic.

Advantages

An icon representing an eco-friendly & sustainable concept
Eco friendly
Eco friendly package made of recycled bottles.
An icon depicting a magnifier indicating high quality
Long lasting
The scent lasts long time and keeps the fabrics fresh.

Disadvantages

An icon depicting a ruler indicating lack of different sizes & dimensions
Bottle could be bigger
Customers complain that the bottle could be bigger, with much more softener.

BEST ECO FRIENDLY: Ecover Fabric Softener

Softens and cares about your laundry without polluting the environment & it is one of the best natural fabric softeners.
BEST ECO FRIENDLY:
Product image of Ecover Fabric Softener.

If you care about everything you buy being eco-friendly then this softener is the right choice for you. It will soften the laundry and make it fragrant, and all the ingredients are plant-based and biodegradable.

It does not contain palm oil and has also not been tested on animals so it is vegan-friendly and cruelty-free so it is also suitable for vegans. The scent is apple blossom and almond, and due to its natural ingredients, it will not irritate sensitive skin.

It is made in a Zero Waste factory from post-consumer recycled plastic.

Advantages

An icon representing an eco-friendly & sustainable concept
Eco friendly
The bottle is made out of recycled bottles.
An icon depicting a magnifier indicating high quality
Long lasting
Long lasting & refreshing scent.

Disadvantages

indicating no hypoallergenic properties
Not dermatologically approved
It is not dermatologically tested.

What to consider when buying best fabric softener

At first glance, all fabric softeners may seem the same to us. They all have the same role – to leave our clothes smelling fresh. Although many of them are similar, there are still significant differences. First off, they differ in type. Even though they might seem similar, different brands can have completely different formulas and approaches.

Then you have to pay attention to the fabric softener scent because what works for some people might not be pleasant to others. We also need to think about our environment, so we will analyze whether it is environmentally friendly.

Type

When we talk about fabric softeners, liquid fabric softeners are something everyone thinks of first. They are the most popular, you can find them in every store and they are constantly advertised. If you want your laundry to be as soft as possible, then a liquid fabric softener is the best choice. It also works best in removing odours. Our advice is to buy a separate fabric conditioner or softener and not to use 2 in 1 laundry detergents, because they are rarely as effective.

We have to mention that there are two more types of fabric softeners, and these are dryer sheets and dryer balls. Dryer sheets are very easy to use and inexpensive. Just take a sheet and put it in a dryer and it will soften your laundry. Dryer balls are certainly not as effective as dryer sheets, and especially not as a liquid fabric softener, but they are a very healthy option. And also a very affordable option, because once you buy them, you can use them numerous times.

Clothes

You must know that fabric softener is not suitable for use on certain materials. It is definitely best to use it for cotton items, linen, sheets and other beddings. But there are a few materials where you should avoid using fabric softener, we can even say that you must avoid it at all costs if you want to keep the characteristics of that material.

Avoid using a softener when washing sportswear because such things are made of different types of polyester and the softener will completely destroy their features. Also, you should use fabric softener for towels only occasionally, otherwise they will lose their absorption power.

Scent

When you think about why you started buying fabric softener, the reason is probably that you noticed how someone's clothes smell so nice and then that person told you the odours were from the fabric softener. The liquid fabric softener will give a very pleasant scent to the clothes and eliminate all odours. A good fabric softener scent lasts a long time before it loses its smell.

What you need is to find the fragrance that suits you. They all smell very nice, but you may not like a certain scent because it is too sweet and so on. The most common scents are floral and citrus, nice-smelling also unscented laundry fabric softeners, for all those who do not like any fragrance or are allergic. Find a nice smelling fabric softener that suits you and stick to it.

Environmental-Friendly

Dryer balls are certainly an eco-friendly option and that is why they are used by all those for whom it is primary. The least eco-friendly option is liquid fabric softener because most of them contain a lot of ingredients that do not decompose in water quickly, so they can be toxic to organisms in water. And since it goes directly into the water, then that can be a problem.

Although if you use small amounts, it is certain that you will not harm the planet. If you are vegan, pay attention to whether the fabric softener contains certain animal fat derivatives, as this is one of the common ingredients.

Package

When we get the package, the liquid fabric softener is in most cases packed in plastic packaging, and the most common size is one litre, although there are larger and smaller packages. As the planet Earth is overloaded with plastic waste, it is important to buy the package that is made of plastic that is recyclable.

Many packages are not recyclable and such products should be avoided. It’s easy to check if it’s recyclable, so don’t miss out on doing so. Dryer balls have a one-time package.

Tips for buying and using best fabric softener

Whatever you buy, you should carefully read the ingredients, so that you know what you should avoid that is harmful to the health of people and the environment. Certain types of chemicals must exist in the liquid fabric softener, but not all chemicals are equally harmful.
It is also important that you know how to use it properly. Many put it in the washing machine at the beginning of the washing cycle, and you should actually put it before or during rinsing. Because during the wash cycle most of it will go away along with the dirt and then your clothes will the not be as sothe ft as they would like.

● Add it during the rinse cycle and not during the wash cycle in order to get most out of fabric softener
● Carefully choose the fragrance because all your clothes will smell like that
● Always look for a natural fabric softener
● If you do not need all the features of liquid fabric softener, you can try dryer balls.

The advantages of owning the best fabric softener

There are two primary advantages of owning the best softener. The first is that you will know that your clothes will be soft, fragrant and will not be damaged by untested chemicals.
And the other advantage is your health. Since the emollient is used on things that will come into close contact with both your skin and the respiratory system, it is important that these are tested and approved products for use.

Especially if you have a baby, which is even more sensitive. In addition, the best fabric softener is packaged in recycled plastic bottles and is ultra-concentrated, all of which significantly reduces waste and preserves the environment. And also who likes to put on clothes or wipe with a towel that are very hard? We would say no one.

● You laundry will be soft and fragrant for long time
● Best fabric softener won’t irritate your skin nor respiratory system
● You will contribute to the preserving of our environment.

Spread the word

FAQs about your fabric softeners

Since fabric softener contains chemicals, much information can be found on the internet, some of which is accurate and some is not. Hence you can find answer to the question of whether it is harmful to humans in our FAQs section. We will also answer whether it should be used for certain materials and when it is most effective to use it during laundry.

When do I put fabric softener in my washer?

You can add it at the beginning, but it is best to add it during the rinse cycle.

Should I use a fabric softener on my linen?

You can use it time to time, but not always, as fabric softener can weaken the fibers.

Should I use a fabric softener on towels?

You shouldn’t use it all the time, but just occasionally, otherwise your towels won’t absorb as they should.

Is a fabric softener harmful to humans?

It is not harmful, but you should be careful if you have allergies, or sensitive skin and respiratory system.

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About the author

Anđela Rajković
As a CPD certified Sleep Consultant and well-practiced sleep enthusiast, I find a lot of joy in bringing my expertise to our readers – preferably those who love to sleep. With a background in the English language and literature and a love of research, I'm always seeking new ways to share the latest sleep science and bed-related findings. And, when I'm not connecting with my readers, you can find me exploring the great outdoors, or, well, curling up in bed.
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