Design Trends

Scents & Sensibility: The 18 Best Non-Toxic Candles to Set a Cozy Mood

‘Cause comfort’s a year-round vibe.

By Lourdes Avila Uribe

No matter the season, there’s nothing quite like a beautifully scented candle to brighten up a room, literally and figuratively. If you’re like us, then lighting candles at home is equally about enhancing your mood as it is improving the aroma. Self-care comes in many different forms, after all. So why not treat yourself to one (or more!) of the best non-toxic candles on the market.

Did you know that not all candles are created equal? Many major candle brands have made the switch to using clean, all-natural ingredients in their products, but not all of them provide an ingredient list. That makes it nearly impossible to figure out which ones are healthier for our homes and our bodies. It also negates the whole relaxing vibe that candles create if you’re breathing in fumes that aren’t great for you. In fact, it’s completely counterintuitive!

Feature image by Riley Reed.

Image by Hannah Haston

In our research for this story, we stumbled on a few different elements that can help determine if a candle is lower in toxicity. In general, it’s good to know about the different kinds of wax, wicking, and fragrance you’re dealing with. Healthier waxes, like soy, beeswax, and coconut oil burn cleaner than paraffin, which is essentially petroleum waste! You’ll also want to be on the lookout for natural scents derived from essential oils and botanical ingredients since synthetic fragrances generally contain phthalates. Then, make sure your candles have paper or 100% cotton wicking.

We know how this can feel overwhelming and we wish non-toxic candles were the norm, but in the meantime, we’ve got you covered.

Read on for our curated list of the best non-toxic candles to set a cozy mood in your home.

BOY SMELLS Petal Candle

You can’t go wrong with the aesthetic or sexy floral scent from this cool-girl candle company. It’s made with a blend of coconut wax and beeswax with a cotton wick, so you can rest assured that it’s healthy for your home environment. And don’t get us started on this deeply romantic scent! Tree blossoms like magnolia, night-blooming tuberose, and purple geranium balance out notes of golden amber and exotic musk. Yum!

BOY SMELLS Petal Candle, $32

Follain Candle No. 1

Need to unwind after a long day? Light up with this calming and soothing blend of lavender, vanilla, sandalwood, and bergamot. This lovely candle is made from sustainably-sourced vegetable wax with an unbleached cotton wick. It doesn’t get much better than this non-toxic candle.

Follain Candle No. 1, $38

Byredo Bibliothèque

If you’re a fan of Byredo’s fragrances then you’ll fall head-over-heels for this ultra-chic candle. Strike a match, sit back, and visualize a grand old library. Luxuriate in the scent of leather, vanilla, and patchouli, with sweet undertones of violet and peony. It’s everything you never knew you always wanted in a candle.

Byredo Bibliothèque, $90

Brooklyn Candle Studio Hinoki Noir Candle

Up the romance factor with this elegant soy candle. It’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is heady and aromatic, like taking a walk through the woods on a rainy night. When it comes to the best non-toxic candles in the game, this one’s tough to beat. If you’re averse to strong floral scents, start here!

Brooklyn Candle Studio Hinoki Noir Candle, $35

Paddywax Ying Yang Candle

Have a zen moment with this serene two-in-one soy wax blend candle from Paddywax. It features two complementary scents that you can burn individually or together to create an exciting, unique mix. We love a customizable option, don’t you?

Paddywax Ying Yang Candle, $40

Benevolence Los Angeles Matte Black Candles

These clean-burning organic soy candles work to purify the air for up to 45 hours thanks to a powerful blend of essential oils. The wide variety of fragrances, long burn time, and affordable price point make it one of the best non-toxic candles around.

Benevolence Los Angeles Matte Black Candles, $19.99

Lumira Persian Rose

Lumira is an Australian brand committed to creating non-toxic, environmentally conscious, and sustainable products. This delicious, hand-poured soy candle is made with the scent of luxurious rose absolute with light notes of bergamot and amber. It’s a seductive, romantic scent that is worth every penny.

Lumira Persian Rose, $70

Nette Spring 1998

Pre-order one of these springy and joyful coconut soy wax blend candles. Magnolia, Freesia, Neroli, and Orange Flower make for a hopeful blend of optimism and cheer. And how sweet is this pink glass? Use it for your makeup brushes or to stash other treasures once it burns out—it’s just too pretty to throw away!

Nette Spring 1998, $68

Sandoval Alchemy Aromatic Candle

Handmade in California and free of synthetic dyes, Sandoval candles are evocative of that carefree West Coast simplicity. They’re hand-blended with natural essential oils, absolutes, woods, and resins sourced from around the globe. As if that wasn’t enough, each scent contains an energy crystal that’s been charged with good intentions and bathed in the light of the full moon. Talk about good vibes! That alone qualifies it as one of the best non-toxic candles we can get in our clutches.

Sandoval Alchemy Aromatic Candle, $60

Brooklyn Candle Studio Japanese Citrus Minimalist Candle

Another favorite from Brooklyn Candle Studio. With warmer weather around the corner, there’s no better way to celebrate spring than with a candle that reflects the season’s beauty. Citrusy top notes pair with bergamot and jasmine for an energizing, eco-friendly clean burn.

Brooklyn Candle Studio Japanese Citrus Minimalist Candle, $28

Ellis Brooklyn Pseudonym Candle

It doesn’t get sultrier than this hand-poured soy wax candle. Notes of bergamot, pepper, jasmine, violet, and sandalwood make for an intoxicating blend of spicy musk and blooms. The Pseudonym candle has an environmentally-friendly hemp wick a whopping 50-60 hour burn time.

Ellis Brooklyn Pseudonym Candle, $36 (reg. $60)

Le Labo Cedre 11 Candle

Another selection from a cult-fave parfumerie, Le Labo’s candles are some of the best non-toxic candle options on the market. Not only are they scented like the brand’s most popular fragrances, but the design echoes that of their elegant perfume bottles. The old-style apothecary labels are just as charming as can be, don’t you think? They’re definitely worth the splurge.

Le Labo Cedre 11 Candle, $80

Malin + Goetz Bergamot Candle

Soothe the senses with this calming and energizing candle. Get all the benefits of stress-relieving bergamot with the comforting, woody, earthy depth of musk, spicy ginger, and bell pepper. It features a clean, show burn for a long-lasting, subtle home fragrance. It’s seriously delightful.

Malin + Goetz Bergamot Candle, $58

Maison Marie Louis No.04 Bois de Balincourt Candle

We hate to play favorites, but this is by far one of the best non-toxic candle options we’ve come across in recent memory. It’s as fragrant and luxurious as a high-end candle that you’d find in a department store for over $100, but much more accessible. Floral, musky, elegant, and with that oh-so-French je ne sais quois.

Maison Marie Louis No.04 Bois de Balincourt Candle, $35

Diptyque Lys Candle

Diptyque candles have long reigned over the luxury candle scene thanks to their unique, iconic, and intoxicating scents. The Lys scent is one of our absolute faves, infusing the space with the smell of fresh-cut lilies with a dash of spice. All of Diptyque’s candles are to die for, but popular scents like Feu de Bois and Rose have long overshadowed the under-appreciated Lys. Now it’s her time to shine!

Diptyque Lys Candle, $70

Uma Pure Bliss Candle

Uma’s candle is inspired by the Ayurvedic concept of equilibrium, so it’s all about creating serenity while creating serotonin. The mood-boosting blend of rose and sandalwood encourages balance, positivity, and an all-around sense of peace. This candle is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of synthetic fragrances, emulsifiers, preservatives, parabens, GMOs, and mineral oils.

Uma Pure Bliss Candle, $68

NEST New York Sicilian Tangerine Scented Candle

If you have a hankering for a fresh, fruity scent then look no further than NEST’s New York Sicilian Tangerine scented candle. It’s infused with the smell of tangerine, bergamot, and mango that gives it a truly mouth-watering zest. The candle burns cleanly and evenly for a whopping 50-60 hours, which practically makes it a bargain!

NEST New York Sicilian Tangerine Scented Candle, $46

Apotheke 3-Wick Charcoal Candle

We absolutely adore a three-wick candle, and this hand-poured soy wax blend candle is as gorgeous as it gets. Cedar and sandalwood pair beautifully with smoky amber for an ultra moody, broody, and romantic smell.

Apotheke 3-Wick Charcoal Candle, $74

This post was originally published on March 20, 2021 and has since been updated.