Background: Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis and can lead to pain, joint deformity, and disability, resulting in poor sleep quality and lower quality of life. The efficacy of aromatherapy massage on pain levels and sleep quality among rheumatoid arthritis patients remains unclear. Aims: To investigate the effects of aromatherapy on pain and sleep quality among rheumatoid arthritis patients. Methods: This randomized controlled trial enrolled 102 patients with rheumatoid arthritis from one regional hospital in Taoyuan, Taiwan. Patients were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 32), placebo (n = 36), or control groups (n = 34). The intervention and placebo groups underwent self-aromatherapy hand massage guided by a self-aromatherapy hand massage manual and video for 10 minutes 3 times a week for 3 weeks. The intervention group used 5% compound essential oils, the placebo group used sweet almond oil, and the control group had no intervention. Pain, sleep quality and sleepiness were measured by using the numerical rating scale for pain, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale at baseline and at 1, 2, and 3 weeks after the intervention. Results: The intervention and placebo groups had significantly decreased sleep quality and sleepiness scores from baseline to 3 weeks after aromatherapy massage. Compared with the control group, the intervention group showed statistically significant improvement in the sleep quality scores in the first weeks after aromatherapy massage (B = -1.19, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -2.35, -0.02, P =.046), but no statistically significant differences were found in the changes in pain levels from baseline to the three time points. Conclusions: Aromatherapy massage is effective in improving sleep quality in rheumatoid arthritis patients. More studies are needed to evaluate the effects of aromatherapy hand massage on the pain levels of rheumatoid arthritis patients.