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11 best bubble baths for a relaxing soak

Wash away the day with these soothing scents and nourishing formulas

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Friday 13 May 2022 16:53
<p>We looked for how much foam each of these formulas created and how long their scent lingered</p>

We looked for how much foam each of these formulas created and how long their scent lingered

Running a bath is the ultimate relaxing ritual. Although there are numerous uplifting bath oils, salts and bath bombs to enjoy, anything creating a bubbly foam remains the most classic bath-time purchase of all.

Whether you’re looking to unwind before bed, lap up some scent luxury or ease aching muscles after exercise, immersing your full body in a layer of inviting bubbles instantly releases tension. Just add candles, a face mask, book and glass of wine for extra indulgence.

Potential options include perfumed bubble bath, moisturising formulas, family-friendly picks, and those featuring essential oils to soothe tired limbs. Choices span across budget buys for daily use to posh treats.

Should you prefer fancy fragrance or a fuss-free foam, we’ve been soaking up the chance to test the best bubble baths.

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How we tested

We sampled several different bubble bath products over a month’s testing. We looked for those creating enough foam to elevate our bathing experience and explored scent options. Our tester also tried formulas for cleansing and soothing skin. From relaxing to moisturising, read on for our list of the best bubble baths to buy, across all price points.

The best bubble bath products for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – L’Occitane shea bubble bath: £28, Loccitane.com
  • Best for babies and kids – Burt’s Bees baby bubble bath: £11.49, Burtsbees.co.uk
  • Best budget buy – Radox muscle soak: £2, Boots.com
  • Best vegan-friendly bubble bath – Neal’s Yard Remedies aromatic foam bath: £10.50, Nealsyardremedies.com
  • Best for dry skin – Sanex biome protect moisturising bath foam: £3, Boots.com
  • Best packaging-free bubble bath – Lush milky bath reusable bubble bar: £8.50, Lush.com
  • Best luxury buy – Laura Mercier almond coconut honey bath: £45, Johnlewis.com
  • Best for a light foam – M&S Ragdale Hall Spa detox bath foam: £8.50, Marksandspencer.com
  • Best fragrance –Jo Loves cobalt patchouli & cedar a bath & shower gel: £35, Joloves.com
  • Best for relaxation – Tisserand rose & ylang ylang indulgent bath soak: £14, Tisserand.com
  • Best dual-purpose buy – Clarins relax bath & shower concentrate: £21, Johnlewis.com

L’Occitane shea bubble bath

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Presented in a silver recyclable aluminium bottle, this shea butter-infused bubble bath creates tightly packed bubbles for sinking into. The high-quality foam built up in bubble mountains around us and added a fluffy luxury. We noticed a light, creamy scent that is gentle enough for appealing to both fragrance fans and those preferring less perfume.

After getting out of the bath, our tester’s skin felt nourished and softened. That full-body comfort brought extra post-soak relaxation and helped us unwind before bed. Plus, the 500ml container could be reused with a different scent, by adding in a L’Occitane lavender foaming bath refill.

Burt’s Bees baby bubble bath

Best: For babies and kids

Rating: 9/10

This mild 354ml bubble bath is a runny liquid which instantly releases a comforting honey scent that reminded us of baby powder nostalgia. The press-release cap meant we could either quickly pour the product directly into water or add separate capfuls. Our tester saw frothiness develop straightaway before spreading across the surface. Plus, as it contains a natural fragrance, this is an ideal bath foam for sensitive skin. Our skin felt gently cleansed after bathing and the bubble bath can be used as a baby shampoo too.

Radox muscle soak

Best: Budget buy

Rating: 9/10

This bright blue bubble bath has a thick, syrupy consistency that transforms into thick foam when added to water. Its herbal scent also includes sea minerals and sage, culminating in a strong aroma that filled our tester’s bathroom. This invigorating fragrance added to the overall bath soak ambience. Our go-to for tired muscles after long dog walks, aches were soothed both while in the bath and afterwards.

We poured the product liberally when fancying even more bubbles, and the PH-neutral formula is suitable for regular use. Plus, we think this sizeable 500ml bottle would last ages, making the £2 price tag even more reasonable.

Neal’s Yard Remedies aromatic foam bath

Best: Vegan-friendly bubble bath

Rating: 8.5/10

This 200ml apothecary-style blue glass bottle is a chic addition to our tester’s bathroom cabinet and could be recycled or repurposed after use. The herbal-infused essential oil blend is vegan-friendly and includes lavender and geranium. We noticed a crisply uplifting scent, that smells both botanical and citrusy.

As the bubble bath is a thick (rather than a runny) consistency, we swirled it into the water, and this created extra bubbliness. The overall foam effect is a gentle froth rather than overtly dense, which can be built up depending on your bubble bath preference.

Sanex biome protect moisturising bath foam

Best: For dry skin

Rating: 9/10

This large squeezy 450ml bottle has a click-shut cap for quick and is easy to use. Once added to our bath, we saw a mass of bubbles forming straightaway. To give a rough idea of its bubbliness, this is the kind of foam layer providing full-body coverage – a feat which we found impressive, given the £3 price tag. The ingredients are described as a prebiotic and probiotic blend, and we could feel intense moisturisation on our dry skin. This skin-nourishing hydration lingered long after our soak and the scent is minimal too, so if you go for foam over fragrance this will be the one to buy.

Lush milky bath reusable bubble bar

Best: Packaging-free bubble bath

Rating: 8.5/10

If you’re looking for a sustainable option, this vegan-friendly bubble bath bar comes minus any packaging and lasts for 6-8 soaks. The bar’s oat milk and orange ingredients create a fresh, brightening fragrance. You can hold the bar under a tap to create bubbles, but we also found it worked just as well when immersing the entire product. Foam starts building up quickly, with a luxurious thickness. It didn’t disappear or dissolve during a long soak either. And as a top tip, we kept the cute white and gold bottle-shaped bath bar on a soap dish in between uses, to stop it getting soggy.

Laura Mercier almond coconut honey bath

Best: Luxury buy

Rating: 9/10

Coming complete with a wooden dipper, this bubble bath has a sweet, creamy fragrance from ingredients including almond, vanilla, tonka bean and rosewood. The 340g pot packaging means you can scoop the rich, glossy formula out. We then swirled product into water using the dipper. The entire process feels indulgent, and we saw lots of bubbles form too.

The decadent scent filled our bathroom, and we could detect it on our skin for hours after soaking. Although a splurge purchase, using it does feel like a real bathing treat. Plus, a tiny bit goes a long way, so we think the pot would last for plenty of posh baths.

M&S Ragdale Hall Spa detox bath foam

Best: For a light foam

Rating: 8/10

This bubble bath has a spa-like eucalyptus and peppermint scent and comes in a sizeable 475ml bottle. The vegan-friendly liquid pours smoothly, so we could be quite generous with the amount added into our bath. We noticed a light foam, rather than dense bubbles, which offered a gently refreshing soak and the essential oil fragrance added an invigorating aroma too. Shea butter is included in the ingredients list, and we could feel its skin-soothing properties after getting out of the bath. This is a swish-smelling bubble bath, for an affordable price.

Jo Loves cobalt patchouli and cedar a bath and shower gel

Best: Fragrance

Rating: 9/10

Because this is a bath and shower gel, our tester found the integral pump-release applicator handy for adding product into running water. The potent scent is a woody and citrus cologne, with notes including grapefruit, geranium, patchouli and cedarwood. We also saw plenty of bubbles form after splashing the bathwater about in a circular motion.

Not only did the fragrance fill our water, but we could also smell it in the bathroom for hours. Plus, our skin was suitably scented all day too, so we’d describe this 275ml bottle as a hybrid bubble bath and perfume.

Tisserand rose and ylang ylang indulgent bath soak

Best: Revitalising blend

Rating: 8.5/10

This 200ml screw-top bottle contains a clear liquid which runs easily into bathwater. Our tester quickly noticed the heady floral essential oil blend including lemon, palmarosa, ylang ylang and rose which immediately helped us unwind. The foam filled our bathwater and created an even layer, rather than thick bubbly peaks. Any residue left over after soaking felt soft on our skin too, thanks to ingredients including aloe vera and calming camomile.

Clarins relax bath and shower concentrate

Best: Dual-purpose buy

Rating: 8.5/10

As this 200ml clear gel is for use in the bath and shower, it doubles up as both a foam and wash. The squeezy bottle squirts product into running water, releasing a rousing herbal scent made up of basil, geranium, and camomile. Our tester found that frothing the water created plenty of satisfyingly thick bubbles to luxuriate in. We actually used the foam for washing with in the tub and our skin smelt and felt refreshed. The fragrance remains after getting dressed too, leaving a powerful aromatic scent.

The verdict: Bubble bath products

Our overall favourite is L’Occitane’s shea bubble bath for its high-quality foam and skin-soothing scent. Meanwhile, Laura Mercier’s almond coconut honey bath dials up the bathing decadence for an indulgent soak. Finally, if you’re looking for plentiful bubbles without splashing the cash, we’d recommend Radox’s muscle soak.

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