Which? has tested fabric conditioners for the first time and uncovered two snuggly soft Best Buys, as well as fabric conditioners that failed to impress in our tests.
Many fabric conditioner manufacturers make bold promises on their bottles about softness and long-lasting freshness. We wanted to put those claims to the test.
We’ve pitted big brands Lenor and Comfort against supermarket own-brand fabric conditioners – including Tesco, Morrisons and Asda. We also tested fabric conditioners from Fairy and Ecover, plus discount shops Lidl and Aldi.
The fabric conditioner that came top in our tough test scored 74%, while the fabric conditioner that came bottom scored just 48%.
Find out which two fabric conditioners came out on top in our fabric conditioner reviews.
Best Buy fabric conditioners
We tested 11 fabric conditioners in total. We analysed how soft they will really make your laundry, how strong the fragrance will be, and how well that scent will last.
While our top Best Buy was awarded five stars for both strength of smell and long-lasting scent, the lowest got just two stars and one star respectively – yet it costs the same as our Best Buys.
With prices ranging from 2p to 9p per wash, our fabric conditioner tests will tell you which conditioners it’s worth spending your money on.
We reveal our Best Buys, plus our expert tips on how to make your laundry soft and scented, at Best Buy fabric conditioners.
How we test fabric conditioners
We got 20 assessors to judge how soft each conditioner made washing after one and then five washes. Each was graded on a scale of five – from no softness at all, to very soft.
For our scent test, we wanted to check that the smell in the bottle would come through once it was used. If you like a smell, you’re going to want it to burst through your washing.
The same 20 assessors rated the intensity of smell in the bottle, on wet laundry and then when the washing dried. We discovered that all of the fabric conditioners smell stronger in the bottle than after being used in a wash, but with some there was a far more dramatic difference.
To know which fabric conditioners will really infuse their scent into your clothes, you’ll need to take a look at our full fabric conditioner results.