The 6 best hand sanitizers in 2021, based on our extensive testing of more than 44 brands

20 Jul.,2022

We tested 44 hand sanitizers that meet CDC guidelines to determine the best hand sanitizers. Here are the 6 best.


Hand Sanitizer

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If you can't wash your hands properly with soap and water, you need an effective hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, according to the CDC. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the humble hand sanitizer became essential to help prevent the spread of the virus when handwashing wasn't an option and continues to be the go-to sanitizing option.

It's likely that the first brand that comes to mind when thinking of hand sanitizers is Purell; as Kleenex did for tissues, Purell's become a popular and incredibly recognizable gold standard. But that popularity created a bit of an inventory problem as Purell hand sanitizer became increasingly difficult to find throughout the pandemic. 

Thankfully, Purell is back in stock at most retailers (Amazon, Walmart, Target, etc.), making it far easier to find. And as such, it's returned as our pick of the best overall hand sanitizer. But Purell's not alone, and there are several other brands that make gels, sprays, wipes, and other sanitizing products that are worth stocking up on for home, office, or on-the-go use.

To find the best, we tested a total of 44 hand sanitizers and narrowed down our six favorites below. You can read about how we tested each of them at the end of the guide and it's worth pointing out that all of the products featured meet the CDC's standards and FDA's guidelines for effective hand sanitizers.

Additionally, none of the picks contain methanol or 1-proponal, which are toxic to humans and have been found in certain formulas. FAQs on these topics can also be found at the end of the guide.

These are the best hand sanitizers:

Updated on 6/7/2021 by Rick Stella: Updated the intro for relevancy, added Purell's Advanced Hand Sanitizer as our pick for the best overall, included links to relevant Insider Reviews coverage, and updated the pricing.