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Spray Deodorant vs Stick Deodorant: Which Is Best For Men?

Whether you’re planning to fight a bear or picking a new deodorant, you’re probably asking yourself, spray deodorant vs stick, what’s my weapon of choice? 

And really, the answer to both of those questions depends on your bear- or odor-fighting battle plan, your weaknesses, and the last time you came into close contact with a bunch of rancid salmon.

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What Is Spray Deodorant?

Spray deodorant comes in an aerosol can, and (you guessed it) you apply it by holding it out from your body and spraying your pits. You can also spray other body parts, but I recommend sticking with your armpits because that’s where you’ll want the sweat-protection, and spraying any more than two squirts is overkill.

Spray deodorants come with a lot of ingredient variety, so lots of sensitive-skin guys prefer them. It’s easier to find aluminum-free varieties.

Is Spray Deodorant Bad Or Good?

Spray deodorants are great, depending on the situation and the person.

I’ve already mentioned my sensitive-skin guys, many of whom appreciate the aluminum-free varieties of spray deodorants. They’re also good if you don’t like the texture of solid and gel deodorants. Sprays apply and dry quickly, so you shouldn’t feel them against your skin.

Besides that, they’re convenient if you want to skip the cologne. Most double as body sprays.


• You can apply a spray deodorant wherever you’d like. (Within reason. Protect your sensitive areas.)

• It won’t leave behind residue or stain your clothing. 

• There are lots of aluminum-free sprays that are much nicer on sensitive skin.


• It’s mediocre if you need something on-the-go. You can’t get most bottles through TSA, and it’s not “proper” locker room etiquette to leave a smelly cloud in your wake.

• Aerosol manufacturers like to brag that their bottles and sprays are less environmentally harmful than they were in the past…but they’re still pretty bad for the environment.

• You’ll need to take off your shirt to re-apply spray deodorants. Don’t spray it on your clothing. That’s gross.

What Is Stick Deodorant?

Stick deodorant comes in several different forms, but the one that most people from the US are familiar with is the solid, compact powder. Others include gels and roll-on deodorants.

Stick deodorants are meant to be applied in your armpits, and that’s their main drawback compared to sprays. Unless you have a really strong smelling stick, you’ll need to pair it with a cologne if you want that “manly musk.”

Is Stick Deodorant Bad Or Good?

Stick deodorants are a mixed bag. Just like sprays, they come in all-natural options, their ingredients vary from brand to brand, and different types will react differently with your skin.

This is why if you go with stick, I always recommend you choose natural stick deodorants.

Also consider:


• Solid deodorants are slightly better for guys on-the-go. You won’t bother others with a cloud of spray following you, and you can get it through TSA.

• You’re less likely to apply “too much” solid deodorant.

• Solid deodorants are easy to re-apply without taking off your shirt.


• Solid deodorants can sometimes stain clothing.

• Lots of commercial solid deodorants have aluminum salts and alcohol, which can cause rashes for sensitive skin. So always go for a natural deodorant.

• Some especially attune guys don’t like the feeling of that thin layer of film that solid deodorants leave on your pits.

The Final Verdict: Spray Deodorant vs Stick Deodorant

For my sensitive skin folks, I’d go with either a natural stick deodorant OR spray deodorant. For everyone else though, you can go either way.

You can win a bear fight with a big stick or pepper spray; it just depends on how well you know your weaponry and the territory. The same rules apply to deodorants. Figuring out which tool you’re most comfortable with, and knowing when and where you need to apply it to smell good is the key to success. 

If you’re not sure whether you’re making the most out of your deodorant, you might need some help learning how to properly apply deodorant. Sprays and sticks can be equally effective once you’ve mastered the art of putting them on correctly.

Beyond that, check out our guides on spray deodorant vs roll on deodorant and stick deodorant vs roll on deodorant.

Frank Edwards is a men's grooming & style expert who is "internet famous" for being able to simplify complicated grooming routines into easy, yet effective rituals any man can do. As a professional analyst, he has spent years researching the biggest brands, products, experts, best practices, and breaking news in the space. He takes this analysis, tests it out on himself, and then documents everything in his writing. As a result, his experience-based articles are considered by some to be the gold standard in men's grooming and men's style.