• Top 10 Best Fabric Softeners in the UK 2021 (Ecover, Lenor, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Fabric Softeners in the UK 2021 (Ecover, Lenor, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Fabric Softeners in the UK 2021 (Ecover, Lenor, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Fabric Softeners in the UK 2021 (Ecover, Lenor, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Fabric Softeners in the UK 2021 (Ecover, Lenor, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Fabric Softeners in the UK 2021 (Ecover, Lenor, and More)

You just can’t beat the feeling of climbing into freshly washed and softened sheets, or clothes for that matter. Just a splash of fabric softener can transform your attire, linens and towels and leave them as fresh as a spring meadow, but how do you know which products are worth your cash and which are going to leave you and your fabrics feeling flat?

Whether you’re looking for softeners for babies, sensitive or eczema-prone skin, eco-friendly brands or those with beautiful perfumes to turn heads, you’re in the right place. We’ll give you the information you need to shop confidently, and we’ll also provide some laundry inspo with our top 10 online buys. From Ecover to Comfort and Lenor to Method, we promise there’s a softener to suit you and your family and get you feeling and smelling fabulous.
  • Last updated: 16-06-2021
  • 22,286 views
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Fabric Softener in the UK – Buying Guide

It may seem like the kind of item that you just grab off the shelf without really thinking about, but there are a few things worth considering before you buy, especially if you have preferences in terms of cost, sensitivity, or scents. Here’s how to sort through the virtual offerings to find your match.

Natural or Chemical? Choose Between the Two Based on Your Preferences

They both have their draws, but choosing whether to buy natural or chemical softeners ultimately comes down to personal preference. We’ll break down the finer points of each, which will be especially useful if you’re considering one or the other for the first time.

Natural Softeners Are Gentle, Subtle Smelling and Environmentally Friendly

Natural Softeners Are Gentle, Subtle Smelling and Environmentally Friendly
There’s definitely been a boom in the demand for natural alternatives of late, and this has extended beyond personal products to include household items too. Natural fabric conditioners, as the name suggests, are based on materials derived from plants, which are just as effective at softening as their chemical counterparts.
Because the ingredients are natural, they are biodegradable and non-toxic too, so when they flow out of your pipes and eventually end up in the sea they won’t be as harmful to the marine life. Many of these brands are cruelty-free and/or don’t use any animal ingredients, so they are a great choice for those wanting to not only limit their environmental impact but those who are vegan too.
On the whole, softeners containing naturally derived perfumes or essential oils for scent are subtle in fragrance and gentle on easily irritated skin. However they may not be suitable for those who are looking for a softener that brings a powerful, long lasting perfume, and usually they are a bit more expensive than commercial chemical products, so might not benefit those on a tighter budget.

Traditional, Chemical-Based Softeners Are Accessible and Will Help Clothes Keep Their Scent for Longer

Traditional, Chemical-Based Softeners Are Accessible and Will Help Clothes Keep Their Scent for Longer
Traditional chemical softeners predominantly work by adding a waxy coating to your clothes and fabrics, which is designed to be waterproof to survive the laundry process. This means that everything comes out touchably soft, but it can also mean that sometimes this variety of softener ends up reducing the absorbency of towels, and the effectiveness of sweat resistant fitness gear.
It is recommended that if you do plump for this type of softener, you don’t use it every time you wash your towels or gym wear, so bear this in mind if you don’t have the time to do several separate loads of washing each week.
On the plus side, there’s no denying that traditional fabric conditioners are top of their game in terms of scent, with a number of brands creating products that smell as decadent as any perfume. They’re also produced by big companies that can afford to sell them for a much lower price, making them a luxury that even those without much cash to spare can enjoy.

Washing Clothes for Babies or Those With Sensitive Skin? Make Sure the Softener Is Hypoallergenic

Washing Clothes for Babies or Those With Sensitive Skin? Make Sure the Softener Is Hypoallergenic
Whether natural or chemical, shoppers with sensitive skin, eczema sufferers, or those looking for a baby-friendly softener will need to take extra care when choosing.
The easiest way to do this is to check if the product claims to be hypoallergenic, or formulated to minimise irritations or allergies. Be wary of only the term “dermatologically tested”, as this simply means a doctor specialising in the skin has reviewed it, and not that it has passed any particular tests.
Whilst those with very sensitive skin are probably used to trying out a few different products before they find one that does not agitate them, opting for hypoallergenic softeners is a good way to get started.

Think About the Size: Buying in Bulk Can Reduce the Cost per Load

Think About the Size: Buying in Bulk Can Reduce the Cost per Load
One of the great things about ordering online is that you can order supersized or multi-pack items to your door without having to lug them home from the supermarket, and often save yourself a fair bit of money. Buying fabric softeners in bulk is convenient for families, those with busy lifestyles, or just anyone keen to shop economically.
With this in mind, it will be worth sussing out the price per load for each softener, so you can compare them against one another whilst weighing up their other qualities in order to make your decision.
If the cost is only listed per litre or per item, you will have to get out the calculator to work it out, but in our product ranking we’ll spare you by doing the maths for you!

Go for a Scent You Like, or Go Fragrance-Free if You’re Sensitive to Perfumes

Go for a Scent You Like, or Go Fragrance-Free if You’re Sensitive to Perfumes
Seeing as you’ll probably be the one wearing or sleeping on the items you condition with your softener, you’ll want to pick a scent you actually like! There are numerous options out there, from florals to crisp cotton to zingy citrus, so think about what you usually find appealing in your personal care items such as soaps and perfumes, and go from there.
Alternatively, you could go for a fragrance-free softener, which will appeal to those who have sensitive noses, or who aren’t really interested in smelling too strongly. Fragrance-free varieties often exclude perfumes to cater to those who find themselves reacting to synthetic fragrances, so are another good pick for little ones or allergy sufferers.

Top 10 Fabric Softeners in the UK

It’s now time to reveal what we think are the best fabric softeners you can treat your laundry to this year. We’ve provided options for different tastes, skin types and budgets so you’re bound to find a new favourite for you and your family.
10

Lenor Perfume Fabric Conditioner

Kiss Parfum Des Secrets

£34.85

Natural or Chemical BasedChemical
HypoallergenicNo
Pack Size6 x 1 L bottles
Total Number of Washes240
Price per Load13p
ScentPassion fruit, amber
9

Bio-D Fragrance-Free Fabric Conditioner

£9.39

Natural or Chemical BasedNatural
HypoallergenicYes
Pack Size5 L
Total Number of Washes110
Price per Load14p
ScentFragrance-free
8

Attitude Little Ones Fragrance-Free Fabric Softener

£10.47

Natural or Chemical BasedNatural
HypoallergenicYes
Pack Size1 L
Total Number of Washes40
Price per Load19p
ScentFragrance-free
7

Lenor Professional Odour Eliminator Fabric Softener

£22.47

Natural or Chemical BasedChemical
HypoallergenicNo
Pack Size3.8 L
Total Number of Washes190
Price per Load8p
ScentNon-specific
6
Natural or Chemical BasedNatural
HypoallergenicYes
Pack Size1.5 L
Total Number of Washes50
Price per Load12p
ScentFragrance-free
5

Comfort CreationsFabric Conditioner

Honeysuckle & Sandalwood

£11.88

Natural or Chemical BasedChemical
HypoallergenicNo
Pack Size6 x 1.1 L bottles
Total Number of Washes198
Price per Load6p
ScentHoneysuckle, sandalwood, vanilla
4

Presto! Amazon Brand White Fabric Softener

£10.52

Natural or Chemical BasedChemical
HypoallergenicNo
Pack Size6 x 1.5 L bottles
Total Number of Washes360
Price per Load2p
ScentCotton, white flowers
3
Natural or Chemical BasedNatural
HypoallergenicNo
Pack Size1.5 L
Total Number of Washes45
Price per Load10p
ScentOcean violet
2

Comfort Pure White Fabric Softener

£10.76

Natural or Chemical BasedChemical
HypoallergenicYes
Pack Size5 L
Total Number of Washes166
Price per Load6p
ScentCotton
1

Ecover Fabric Softener

Apple Blossom

£9.99

Natural or Chemical BasedNatural
HypoallergenicYes
Pack Size5 L
Total Number of Washes100
Price per Load9p
ScentApple, almond blossom

Compare the Best Fabric Softeners

Image
1
Ecover  Fabric Softener 1

Ecover

2
Comfort Pure  White Fabric Softener 1

Comfort Pure

3
Method Ocean Violet Fabric Softener 1

Method

4
Presto! Amazon Brand  White Fabric Softener 1

Presto! Amazon Brand

5
Comfort Creations Fabric Conditioner 1

Comfort Creations

6
Ecover Zero Non Bio Sensitive Fabric Softener 1

Ecover

7
Lenor  Professional Odour Eliminator Fabric Softener 1

Lenor

8
Attitude Little Ones  Fragrance-Free Fabric Softener 1

Attitude Little Ones

9
Bio-D  Fragrance-Free Fabric Conditioner 1

Bio-D

10
Lenor  Perfume Fabric Conditioner 1

Lenor

Name

Fabric Softener

White Fabric Softener

Ocean Violet Fabric Softener

White Fabric Softener

Fabric Conditioner

Zero Non Bio Sensitive Fabric Softener

Professional Odour Eliminator Fabric Softener

Fragrance-Free Fabric Softener

Fragrance-Free Fabric Conditioner

Perfume Fabric Conditioner

Features

Top of the Charts for Perfect Laundry

A Hypoallergenic Best-Seller for the Whole Family

Natural, Vegan and Beautifully Scented

Super Soft and Fresh on a Budget

A Gorgeously Scented Multi-Buy

Zero Nasties and Ethical for the Environmentally Conscious

Super Concentrated and Odour Banishing

Best for Babies or Extra Sensitive Skin

Great Value All Natural Bulk Buy

Long Lasting Fragrance to Rival Your Perfume

Price£9.99£10.76£3.40£10.52£11.88£3.00£22.47£10.47£9.39£34.85
Natural or Chemical BasedNaturalChemicalNaturalChemicalChemicalNaturalChemicalNaturalNaturalChemical
HypoallergenicYesYesNoNoNoYesNoYesYesNo
Pack Size5 L5 L1.5 L6 x 1.5 L bottles6 x 1.1 L bottles1.5 L3.8 L1 L5 L6 x 1 L bottles
Total Number of Washes100166453601985019040110240
Price per Load9p6p10p2p6p12p8p19p14p13p
ScentApple, almond blossomCottonOcean violetCotton, white flowersHoneysuckle, sandalwood, vanillaFragrance-freeNon-specificFragrance-freeFragrance-freePassion fruit, amber
Link

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Having fresh scented clothing is great, but you might be wondering about the logistics of it all; how much do you need? Are they even necessary? And, can they pose a threat to your health? We've answered these questions to give you more clarity.

How Much Fabric Softener Should You Use?

How much fabric softener you use depends on the brand's guidance, which you’ll usually find on the back of the bottle. However, you should be cautious when washing sportswear as fabric softeners can build up over time and prevent the moisture-wicking properties, causing odours to get trapped in the fibres. 

Are Fabric Softeners Necessary?

The short answer is not always; this is because fabric softeners can build up and reduce the efficacy of treated clothes such as moisture-wicking sportswear or flame-resistant baby clothes. You might even be surprised to know that too much softener on towels can reduce absorbency, so only add it occasionally.

Are Fabric Softeners Bad for You?

It has been said they can be bad for your health, mainly due to the ingredients used in them that can potentially trigger skin reactions, respiratory problems and even cancer. So make sure that you read the labels properly and check that you are happy with the ingredients being used.

Looking for More Laundry Products?

Looking for More Laundry Products?

More important than getting your clothes all soft and snuggly is making sure that they are fresh and clean too! There are many great laundry detergents available online, many of which are great for both your skin and the planet. But don't forget that a clean drum is also important so check out some of the other laundry products we recommend. 

Summary

So there you have it, the ultimate guide to choosing a fabric softener. Even though every household will have different needs and preferences, we hope we’ve managed to show you that you can find the softener that’s best for you with a few useful tips and tricks.

Author: Natasha Dziubajlo

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