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Best bath bomb 2023: Our top picks for a superior soak

Here's our selection of the best bath bombs to make bath time that little bit better

No matter what age you are, bath bombs are exciting. It’s the cause and effect of something solid and dry reacting to water and fizzing its way into a sweet-smelling new state.

Bath bombs have had a bad – and on the whole unfair – reputation for containing harsh chemicals, as well as being gaudy or messy. But the vast majority of bath bombs on the market and certainly in this selection are made of natural ingredients that aim to nourish your skin and optimise the bathing experience.

Here’s how to pick the best bath bomb in 2023.

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Best bath bomb: At a glance

How to choose the best bath bomb for you

For adults, a bath bomb should smell lovely and make your skin soft and clean, while children will want a more dramatic experience involving loud fizzing and bold colour. But there are more factors you’ll want to consider.

What’s in a bath bomb?

Bath bombs are made with bicarbonate of soda and citric acid, which combine when the bomb hits the water to cause the fizzing. The former is also said to be a helpful cleansing agent, which is handy in a bathtime product.

Along with the prime ingredients, bath bombs will typically contain any or all of the following: oils, fragrances, salts, dried flowers, glitter and coloured pigment making for a super-sensory experience.

How do I want to feel from my bath bomb?

Bath bombs are a pretty sensual experience – and more potent than you might imagine, especially as so many are made using natural oils. If you want to be relaxed and low key, you’d opt for a different product than when you want to be refreshed and energised. It’s worth taking the time to read how the product is described on the side of the packaging.

What bath bomb fragrance should I pick?

Some of us are suckers for perfume that packs a punch and lingers, while others are overwhelmed easily and prefer a subtle nod to smell when they bathe. This is particularly true for pregnant women. There’s little more off-putting than a fragrance you dislike and nothing more annoying than an insipid smell when you wanted more.

Are there benefits or drawbacks for the skin from using bath bombs?

It depends on the bomb you choose. The ones that will prove best for your skin will include natural ingredients such as salts and oils.

It’s worth noting that people with sensitive skin are right to be a little wary of bath bombs – just as they should be of any products that expose their skin to fragrances or colours. The bicarb and citric acid aren’t likely to be the issue, given that the quantities involved are so small, but additional ingredients such as glitters, coloured pigments or chemical fragrances could pose a problem.

Can children use bath bombs?

Yes, but as a child’s skin is much more sensitive than an adult’s you should take extra care when deciding on a bath bomb for children.

That said, the promise of a lush-smelling, fizzy bomb going off in the bath and turning the water blue or pink or green is the ultimate secret weapon for any parent whose child is bath-averse!

Do bath bombs make a mess?

On the whole, no. Some are colourless anyway but even the heavily-pigmented ones just drain down the plughole without leaving any sort of tideline. Some will leave tell-tale signs on the bottom of the bath – a scattering of glitter or pools of colour, but that’s nothing a quick wipe won’t fix.

How we test bath bombs

At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing gives us the best and most complete information about a product. So we personally test all the bath bombs we review, which essentially means the same person bathes with each bomb! That’s a lot of bathing and a lot of bath water.

We not only look to see how quickly each bomb dissolves, but also how fully and evenly it dissipates in the water. We also note what change in consistency it brings to the water, especially in regards to any added oiliness. Post-bathing, we assess what condition the skin has been left in, evaluating smoothness, softness, and fragrance.

Finally, we confirm the product quantities or volumes.

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The best bath bombs to buy in 2023

1. OUAI Chill Pills: The best bath bomb for nourishing your skin

Price: £25 for six | Buy now from Cult Beauty

As the name suggests, these are designed for relaxation. They’re more diminutive than your average bath bomb – about the size of a small lime.

While these do fizz when in hot water, the Chill Pill experience is a lot more subtle than the other bath bombs in this roundup. The fragrance is lovely and soft – a blend of rose and jasmine that smells best when diffused in the water, rather than in the dry compact form. It is mild, though, so if you like potent fragrance you might be disappointed. That said, the scent does cling to your body after the bath.

There’s also no colour to these bombs: the water stays the same for a very understated aesthetic.

There’s a lot of oil in these – including jojoba seed and hemp – which you can see swirling on the surface of the water and feel soaking into your skin immediately. Sometimes bath oils can cling greasily to your skin, yet this isn’t the case here. It’s certainly not overwhelming but your skin feels treated.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

2. Westlab Cleansing Himalayan Salt Bath Fizzer: The best bath bomb for cleaning your skin

Price: £10 | Buy now from Amazon

The main ingredient here is the pink Himalayan salt – which first formed some 250 million years ago and has, therefore, had plenty of time to prove itself as a stellar cleansing product. Packed with minerals that complement the body, this salt is as pure and natural as you could wish for.

These bombs are smaller than you might expect but pack a punch once submerged in water. Despite the pinkness of the dry bomb, there’s no colour once dissolved, although the water will turn a little cloudy.

Once in the bath, the initial citrusy aroma gives way to a warm rose fragrance with an edge of fruitiness from the pomegranate. Afterwards, you can smell it on your skin for hours and there’s no need to moisturise.

You might think that because it’s cleansing it will leave you feeling squeaky-soap clean but it’s not like that at all. While rich and oily, the cleansing Himalayan Salt Bath Fizzer leaves you with a sensation of total freshness.

3. Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb: The best bath bomb for a dramatic bathing experience

Price: £5 | Buy now from Lush

This is a hefty bomb: it’s the size of a big orange and looks pretty fabulous to boot – like a far-off planet with streaks of pink and yellow cutting through the blue. The moment the bomb hits the water – avoid dropping it in unless you enjoy mopping up – it goes, well, berserk. There’s no danger of anti-climax: it’s a whirling dervish of colour and sound that dissolve into a marble effect on the water’s surface over the course of a few minutes. The bomb leaves in its wake the most incredible bathwater of deep blue with gold sparkles.

This is a very strong scent – thanks to the peppermint and vetiver oils – and you’ll smell it before it’s gone anywhere near the water. It will actually serve as a home fragrance wherever you store it before use. While we love the rich, green and clean smell, we think anyone with a delicate palate might not.

The bathwater itself felt thick but not particularly oily. Our skin was so smooth after a good soak with the Intergalactic – it’s definitely substance as well as style.

Buy now from Lush

4. Sara Miller Underwater Spa Bath & Shower Fizzer Bar: The best for gifting

Price: £9 | Buy now from Sara Miller

Technically this is a “bath bar” rather than a “bath bomb”, but differences in shape aside, both products do the same thing: fizz in water and enhance your bathing experience.

The packaging here is really pretty – intricately decorated with flowers and birds, and the flat shape makes it easy to wrap and carry, which instantly made us think it would make a great gift.

Inside the box, the bar is blue and moulded like a chocolate bar, comprising 18 squares. We found three squares to work nicely in a reasonably deep bath – any less feels a little stingy. This means one bar will last you a good six baths.

The smell is strong, super-floral and sweet – lots of the white tea fragrance coming through, with less of the eucalyptus – and it will linger on the skin for a long time after you’ve bathed.

You just pop it in the bath and it’ll fizz away, leaving the water a soft pale blue. What we really liked is how even people who don’t have a bath in their homes can benefit from the bar: popping it on the shower floor will release its fragrance, offering a taste of relaxation for those without tubs.

Buy now from Sara Miller

5. Disney Villains Cauldron Fizzer: The best bath bomb for kids

Price: £9 | Buy now from Amazon

You’d be forgiven for assuming this wouldn’t smell great, but it turns out that it smells lush – think slightly synthetic sugary sweet apples.

Our four-year-old tester went wild for the concept: the cauldron’s contents bubbling forth into her bathwater made for an exciting and memorable bathtime.

We were a bit concerned about how harsh this might be on a little one’s skin because it doesn’t boast natural ingredients, but it was actually pretty mild – there was no dryness on our tester after bathing.

The fact that the cauldron remains after the bath bomb has been used is a nice touch too, leaving something as a “forever toy” to store trinkets in.

6. Mindful Extracts Lavender & Avocado Oil CBD Bath Bomb: The best bath bomb for a good night’s sleep

Price: £10 | Buy now from Mindful Extracts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard of CBD – an extract from cannabis plants – and its many apparent benefits, which include easing pain, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

This bath bomb contains 100mg of full-spectrum CBD oil, as well as avocado and lavender oil, and dried lavender flowers.

The tissue paper wrapping is extremely pretty, and unwrapped it looks almost edible. It’s certainly an aesthetic treat for the bathroom – you’ll feel bad about using it!

This is best used before bed, given that lavender is one of the most effective natural ingredients for promoting a good night’s sleep.

If this smells amazing when dry, it’s sublime once diluted. It was rich, oily and incredibly relaxing. You’ll sleep like a baby and wake up smelling gently of lavender. The ultimate for sweet dreams.

Buy now from Mindful Extracts