Spinal cord injury (SCI) induces a permanent disability in patients. To this day no curative treatment can be proposed to restore lost functions. Therefore, extensive experimental studies have been conducted to induce recovery after SCI. One of the most promising therapies is based on the use of olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs). OECs can be obtained from either the olfactory bulbs (OB-OECs) or from olfactory mucosa (OM-OECs), involving a less invasive approach for autotransplantation. However the vast majority of experimental transplantations have been focusing on OB-OECs although the OM represents a more accessible source of OECs. Importantly, the ability of OM-OECs in comparison to OB-OECs to induce spinal cord recovery in the same lesion paradigm has never been described. We here present data using a multiparametric approach, based on electrophysiological, behavioral, histological and magnetic resonance imaging experiments on the repair potential of OB-OECs and OM-OECs from either primary or purified cultures after a severe model of SCI. Our data demonstrate that transplantation of OECs obtained from OB or OM induces electrophysiological and functional recovery, reduces astrocyte reactivity and glial scar formation and improves axonal regrowth. We also show that the purification step is essential for OM-OECs while not required for OB-OECs. Altogether, our study strongly indicates that transplantation of OECs from OM represents the best benefit/risk ratio according to the safety of access of OM and the results induced by transplantations of OM-OECs. Indeed, purified OM-OECs in addition to induce recovery can integrate and survive up to 60 days into the spinal cord. Therefore, our results provide strong support for these cells as a viable therapy for SCI.