The 8 Best Mosquito Repellents of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Make itchy bug bites a thing of the past with these effective sprays and lotions.
If you’re dreading the bug bites that often come with warm weather, then you need an effective mosquito repellent. The best mosquito repellents give you peace of mind so that you can enjoy being outdoors without constantly swatting bugs. Plus, they can protect your skin from more than just mosquitoes—many of these formulas also work against ticks, biting flies, and more.
To come up with this list, we tested 15 mosquito repellents and evaluated them on effectiveness, ease of use, smell, coverage, and value. We also spoke with Jim McHale, president and CEO of JP McHale Pest Management, for expert insight on what to look for in a bug repellent.
According to McHale, two of the most common active ingredients are DEET and picaridin. “All of these ingredients are EPA-registered active ingredients found in insect and tick repellents,” he says.
Our Top Picks
BEST OVERALL MOSQUITO REPELLENT: Off! Active Insect Repellent at Amazon
BEST DEET-FREE MOSQUITO REPELLENT: EarthKind Stay Away Mosquitoes Insect Repellent at Amazon
BEST NON-GREASY MOSQUITO REPELLENT: Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent at Amazon
BEST LONG-LASTING MOSQUITO REPELLENT: Sawyer Controlled Release Insect Repellent at Amazon
BEST MOSQUITO REPELLENT LOTION: Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent at Amazon
BEST MOSQUITO REPELLENT FOR TRAVEL: Off! Family Care Insect Repellent With Picaridin at Amazon
BEST EASY APPLICATION MOSQUITO REPELLENT: Coleman SkinSmart Insect Repellent at Amazon
BEST MOSQUITO REPELLENT WITH SPF: Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard + SPF at Walmart
A 20% DEET Premium Controlled-Release Lotion will work well against mosquitoes, but Dr. Zimring says he prefers the 20% Picaridin lotion since it also protects against ticks, gnats, chiggers, and flies. (In both instances, he recommends Sawyer brand.)
Part of spending time outside means battling ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects. For this, Nelson swears by permethrin.
And out of the products we tested, Dr. Zeichner highly recommends Sawyer Products 20% Picaridin Insect Repellent.