The best bubble bath for kids

  • Bubble baths are fun and soothing at the same time, making them the perfect activity for parents to have in their back pocket.
  • Parents want to make sure the products their kids are soaking in are safe, so we talked to experts to find out which ingredients to avoid in bubble baths.
  • We tested a number of brands and formulas to bring you the best options, with a focus on limited ingredients, unscented, tear-free bubble baths.
  • Our top pick from The Honest Company creates great bubbles and leaves skin feeling smooth and soft.

Bubble baths are one of the greatest parenting tools to have in your back pocket. Dirty kid? Bubble bath. Cranky kid? Bubble bath. Bored kid? Bubble bath. Exhausted parent? Bubble bath for them (or for you, once you finally get them tucked into bed).

When it came time to buy bubble bath for my daughter for the first time, though, my Google search left me feeling overwhelmed with all of the options. So, to help make sense of the ingredients in kids’ bubble baths, I spoke to dermatologist and skin allergy expert Dr. Sandy Skotnicki as well as Kelly Jayne, a dermatology physician assistant at Forefront Dermatology in Washington, DC.

Now that I’ve done the research, spoken to experts, and tested out products, I’ve narrowed down the essential consideration for selecting a safe, effective bubble bath for kids.

Here’s what makes a great, safe bubble bath:

  • Safe ingredients: All of our recommendations are free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and phthalates, two harmful ingredients commonly found in bubble bath. Sulfate can irritate children’s skin, eyes, and lungs, while phthalates can disrupt hormones and are linked to asthma and allergies. According to Jayne, while sulfates are the key ingredient for creating abundant foamy soap suds, they can also strip the skin’s natural oils and protective barrier, resulting in dryness and irritation. Dr. Skotnicki echoed the sentiment and also explained that fragrances and dyes are unnecessary. These ingredients can “irritate the delicate skin in children’s private areas and lead to redness and soreness,” she said. For these reasons, all of our picks are free of sulfates, phthalates, and dyes. Only our bedtime pick includes fragrance, and we include a detailed explanation of that fragrance. Children with sensitive skin and those with eczema are more likely to react to potentially harmful ingredients, but Jayne noted that every child’s skin is different. No matter which product you choose, test a small amount on your child before submerging them in a bath full of bubbles.
  • Bubble quality: Some of the bubble baths with safer ingredients don’t make great bubbles (again it’s the sulfates that often make great bubbles), which really defeats the purpose. All of our picks actually make enough bubbles, although some require more product than others to make a bath full of bubbles. To make the best bubbles, pour the bubble bath into the tub right beside the running water and then vigorously swish your hand in the water.
  • Tear-free formula: All of our picks, except for one (Alaffia), have a tear-free formula to protect children’s eyes from irritation.
  • Overall bubble bath safety: Some pediatricians recommend against giving bubble baths to kids under 3 years old for fear that they might cause urinary tract infections (UTIs), especially if the suds aren’t thoroughly rinsed off after the bath. However, there is little evidence that bubble baths cause UTIs. As with anything, make sure you’re well informed and use your best judgment. And remember to never, even for a second, leave your child alone in the tub.

With that said, we’ve narrowed down the contenders to find the best, safest options at the lowest price points.

Here are the best bubble baths for kids you can buy:


The best bubble bath for kids overall

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The Honest Company

The Honest Company Purely Sensitive Bubble Bath is a fragrance-free option that creates a long-lasting bath full of moisturizing bubbles.

The Honest Company has different bubble bath options, but we recommend the “purely sensitive” option because it’s fragrance-free. Read the full ingredients list here. It’s made without sulfates, phthalates, fragrance, or dyes; makes a good amount of bubbles; and is a tear-free formula.

This was the first bubble bath I ever bought my daughter, and it did not disappoint. The Honest Company recommends using two capfuls, but I found that I need to use double that to fill the tub with bubbles that last long enough for my daughter to enjoy a nice bubble bath (we really like bubbles around here). This formula doesn’t dry out or irritate my daughter’s skin. In fact, her skin always feels very soft after using this bubble bath, and there’s no oily or slimy residue left behind.

Jayne recommends the Honest Company Bubble Bath, and it’s one of my favorites to use as well. The Strategist calls it’s a game-changer, even for adults, saying, “It’s hydrating thanks to a bouquet of botanical oils, but I never step out feeling slippery or like I may leave oil stains on my bathrobe.”

Pros: Lots of bubbles, moisturizing, fragrance-free, no oily or slimy residue

Cons: Might need to use more product than recommended to make enough bubbles


The best low-cost bubble bath

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Amazon

BabyGanics Fragrance-Free Bubble Bath is moisturizing and gentle on skin. It rinses off easily so your child won’t have residue left on their skin.

Unfortunately, the cheapest bubble baths on the market don’t meet our standards, so you’re going to have to pay a bit more for companies that only include the best ingredients. However, BabyGanics does a good job of creating a lower-cost product that is still high quality, and you can save even more if you buy a two-pack.

BabyGanics includes their full ingredients list on their site along with an explanation of where each ingredient comes from and its intended purpose. This transparency is what we want to see in a product. Some of the ingredients include organic oils and extracts that help soothe and moisturize skin.

There are no sulfates, phthalates, fragrances, or dyes in this tear-free bubble bath. You’ll be able to create a bath full of bubbles, but like The Honest Company, you’ll need to use more of the product than some of our other picks, and you might need to top off the bath with more if your child stays in for a long time.

Jayne recommends BabyGanics, and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) rated it as a low-hazard product. Jayne also said that even if a product is irritating to a child, that irritation can be mitigated if the product is completely rinsed off, which is very easy to do with this bubble bath.

Pros: Lower cost than other safe options, transparency around ingredients, fragrance-free, easy to rinse off

Cons: You might need to use a lot of product, bubbles dissolve quickly


The best natural bubble bath

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Walmart

Alaffia Unscented Shea Bubble Bath only has four ingredients and doesn’t require too much product to create a lot of bubbles.

While all of our picks are gentle and made of natural ingredients, Alaffia Shea Bubble Bath, Unscented, stands out as the best natural option. The gentle formulation has no fragrance and is also free of sulfates, phthalates, and dyes. It includes only four ingredients: dioscorea spp. (yam) leaf aqueous extract, decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, and butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter.

Alaffia Shea Bubble Bath creates an impressive amount of bubbles for a plant-based bubble bath that doesn’t contain sulfates. You definitely won’t need to use extra to fill up the tub with bubbles.

Alaffia does have formulations made specifically for kids and babies, but our pick has fewer ingredients and is unscented. Our only complaint about Alaffia bubble bath is that it’s not tear-free. The company told us that the bubbles might be slightly irritating if your child does get them in their eyes, so this pick would be better for older kids who are able to be more careful about keeping the product away from their eyes.

Mama Natural named Alaffia one of the most simple and pure bubble baths on the market. Having tested the lavender-scented version (which has the same ingredients as the unscented, with lavender oil added), they highlight the safety of the ingredients and how the shea butter moisturizes skin.

Pros: Limited ingredients, creates a lot of bubbles, includes moisturizing shea butter

Cons: Not tear-free


The best bubble bath for sensitive skin

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Amazon

TruKid Eczema Care Bubble Podz has very few ingredients, making it gentle on sensitive skin, and the pods make bath time simple and easy for parents.

TruKid Eczema Care Bubble Podz is a unique bubble bath – rather than pouring a liquid into the tub, you just throw these pre-portioned pods right in. Like Alaffia, it has a simple ingredients list: colloidal oatmeal, pure saccharum officinarum (cane sugar), lathanol LAL powder (SLSA), allantoin, and corn starch. Among these ingredients, you won’t find any sulfates, phthalates, fragrances, or dyes. It’s also tear-free.

Colloidal oatmeal, the first ingredient in this bubble bath, is a common remedy for dry and itchy skin caused by eczema. It also nourishes skin and provides the same benefits for kids who don’t have eczema.

We love that this bubble bath makes things simpler and easier for parents. No measuring, pouring, or risking a toddler grabbing the bottle and spilling bubble bath everywhere. Just throw a pod or two into the tub, and you’re good to go.

Because the formula is specifically designed for eczema, it’s moisturizing and nourishing for sensitive skin. However, if your child has sensitive skin, you should still test a little bit of the product on their skin before putting them in the bath.

If you have a child under 3, make sure the Podz are stored out of reach as they can pose a choking hazard.

Even though TruKid Eczema Care Bubble Podz is designed and marketed for kids with eczema, Dr. Skotnicki recommends it to anyone. “It gives nice bubbles and really that’s what it’s all about – it only has natural ingredients and no fragrance,” she says.

Pros: Designed specifically for sensitive skin, short ingredients list, convenient for parents to use

Cons: Expensive, choking hazard for kids under 3


The best bubble bath for bedtime

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Walmart

Hello Bello Lavender Bubble Bath is made from a gentle plant-based formula, and the lavender scent just might help your kids get to sleep a little faster.

Hello Bello sent me some of their products to test, and I was extremely impressed with this plant-based bubble bath that is tear-free and includes no sulfates, synthetic fragrance, phthalates, or dyes. I didn’t need to use much product to fill the tub with bubbles, and they last long enough to enjoy a long bath.

Remember that fragrance can be irritating to the skin for some kids. Dr. Skotnicki and Jayne both caution against using products for children that contain fragrance. However, we included one pick that does include a scent (lavender oil) because some parents want a bubble bath that smells good.

One of the problems with fragrance, according to Jayne, is that “the FDA does not require companies to include specific ingredients used to create a fragrance. When ‘fragrance’ is listed as an ingredient in a product, what many consumers do not realize is this could actually represent 100-plus different chemicals used to create this fragrance.”

We like this as a scented pick because Hello Bello is very transparent about its ingredients. For each ingredient in their bubble bath, it includes a description of what the ingredient is and its purpose. Rather than listing the broad term “fragrance,” it names lavender oil, explaining, “This natural essential oil comes from the flowers of the lavender plant and is known for its soothing, calming fragrance.”

Dr. Skotnicki did caution that even natural extracts like lavender cause irritation, but despite the fragrance in this bubble bath, it does not irritate my daughter’s skin. I also tried it out on myself – I have very sensitive skin that often reacts to products – and it did nothing but leave my skin feeling soft and smooth.

Studies have shown that the calming scent of lavender actually can improve sleep, so for parents of children who fight bedtime, this is worth a shot.

Pros: Long-lasting bubbles, leaves skin feeling soft, plant-based and gentle formula, lavender might help kids sleep

Cons: Lavender essential oil may be irritating to some children