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Lighting a candle at the end of a long day should be a source of relaxation, but thinking of the potential toxins lurking in the wax and wicks of your regular candles can be a mood-kill.
Research shows that burning a scented candle releases harmful chemicals comparable to second-hand smoke. It’s the combination of paraffin wax, lead-coated wicks, phthalates, and synthetic fragrance that you want to avoid when looking for non-toxic candles.
Luckily, there are so many non-toxic, organic, and natural candles on the market that can easily replace your old toxic ones. We ranked the absolute best non-toxic candle by every budget below.
Best Affordable Non-Toxic Candles
Some candles can break the bank and make you hesitant to use them for an extended amount of time. There are plenty of affordable non-toxic candles on the market that have safe, clean ingredients and last for a long time. Here are the best non-toxic candle brands that come in below $17.
Fontana Candle Co.
Fontana Candle Co.’s natural candles are a mixture of just three ingredients: pure beeswax, sustainably sourced coconut oil, and therapeutic grade pure essential oils. They don’t use any petroleum byproducts, chemical dyes, or stabilizers in their wax.
We love that they’ve disclosed all their ingredients and why they use them. The coconut oil comes in as a mixture to the beeswax to hold the candle’s scent better.
The majority of Fontana Candle Co.’s non toxic candles are Made Safe certified, which means they are free of any and all toxins known or suspected to harm human health, animals, or ecosystems. You can check out which scents are Made Safe certified here.
You can shop their candles by scent strength and season to find the right natural candle for you. The Rosemary Mint variety seems to be their most popular. You can shop any scent by size, and the cheapest option is the 6oz tin variety. While that’s a bit smaller than these other affordable natural candles on the list, it still has a burn time of 20 – 25 hours if used properly.
Lulu Candles Lavender Candle
Lulu Candles Lavender Candle
Lulu’s Candles offers a variety of non-toxic candles made with 100% soy wax that they claim to be eco-friendly. The candles are also vegan, paraben-free, and cruelty-free, and all their products are made in the USA. They also offer a “Furr a Cause” line that donates a part of the proceeds to animal rescue organizations.
Lulu’s Candles also have almost 20,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Users love all the scents, and claim that they quickly and effectively introduce subtle aromas at home. If you’re trying to avoid any synthetic fragrances, we recommend you stick to the Lavender variety—according to a Q&A submitted on Amazon, it’s the only variety that uses 100% essential oils to provide fragrance.
Nika’s Home Vanilla Bean 12oz Mason Soy Candle
Vanilla Bean 12oz Mason Soy Candle
Nika’s Home Vanilla Bean candle is a non-toxic candle made out of 100% soy wax. They only use white soy wax to avoid using chemical dyes, and use a non-toxic, natural cotton wick. They also only offer their non-toxic, vegan candles in mason jars, making it really easy to reuse the container when you’re done.
The Vanilla Bean is the best-rated variety on Amazon, but the super-sweet smell is too much for some users. There are many other scents to try if that might be the case.
Public Goods Cedar & Suede Candle
Cedar & Suede Candle
Public Goods offers a paraben free, cruelty free, and vegan candle that’s made with natural soy wax. Their product comes without any lead, dyes, BPA or phthalates. Users love this natural candle, but wish they offered an option that’s bigger than their 3.5oz offering.
Public Goods is a unique brand and marketplace in that it operates on a membership model. They do offer a free, two week trial before membership so you can try it out. We love that they’re paying attention to the environmental footprint of the products they offer, and they’ve partnered with Eden Reforestation Projects to plant a tree for every order they receive. (You can even just give them your email without making a purchase, and they’ll plant a tree for that too).
Winter Bee Pure Beeswax Candles in Amber Glass Jars
Pure Beeswax Candles
Winter Bee offers organic candles made from 100% pure beeswax, so you know it’s a natural candle product. They don’t use any added coloring that might introduce chemical dyes, they use a 100% cotton wick, and their wax is sourced from a beekeeper local to the company in Minnesota.
Winter Bee does offer scented varieties that are still non-toxic, as they use phthalate-free and nitro-musk free fragrance oils. You can also just get the unscented variety which will smell subtly of honey, which has its perks too.
Winter Bee organic candles get great reviews on Etsy (almost 1,000 5-star reviews). Users love the subtle smells and the fact that the candles burn really cleanly.
Best Mid-Range Non Toxic, Organic, and Natural Candles
If you’re willing to spend a bit more on a non toxic candle, you’ll have more options to shop from and generally get more product to use. Here are our picks for the best non toxic candles in the $15 to $40 price range.
BEST OVERALL (MID-RANGE)
Grow Fragrance Amber Santal Refillable Candle
Grow Fragrance’s non-toxic candle is made of coconut oil and soy wax, and is 100% plant based. Their candles are phthalate-free, paraben-free, and free of petroleum and synthetic petrochemicals. They even use a test developed by the USDA to verify all their ingredients are plant-based. They do have a very long ingredients list, but we love that they believe in ingredient transparency. Not a lot of candle brands are willing to list out their fragrance blends.
Grow Fragrance candles are also refillable. Your first purchase will come with a vessel and removable insert, and you can keep your vessel and just buy an insert when you’re ready for another candle. You can also buy the refillable inserts in bulk to minimize shipping.
We also love that Grow Fragrance is a certified B Corp, a 1% for the Planet brand, Leaping Bunny certified, and a participant in the Durham Living Wage project.
Their Amber Santal has notes of warm amber, sandalwood, smoked myrrh, and vanilla, and is their best-rated product. Customers love the cozy and subtle scent.
Kodiak Impact Eucalyptus & Cedar Zero Waste Candle
Eucalyptus & Cedar Zero Waste Candle
If you want to filter your search towards zero waste candles, Kodiak Impact’s Eucalyptus & Cedar Zero Waste Candle is a great choice. Lots of these non toxic candles are zero waste candles technically, but Kodiak Impact’s come in a sleek glass tumbler that can be used in so many different ways after you’re done burning the candle.
This vegan candle is made with 100% natural, biodegradable, and dye-free soy wax, and uses a wooden wick. It also has a really long burn time of 65 to 75 hours, and gets great reviews on Etsy.
Kodiak Impact is also a great brand to support. They invested in a carbon neutral shipping program that funds projects like wind farms, solar installations, or other energy efficiency retrofits to offset their shipping emissions. They also plant a tree for every non-toxic candle purchased on their site, and donate $1 of every purchase to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden to help fund their animal care, wildlife research, and habitat conservation efforts.
Sweet Water Decor Refreshing Soy Candle
Sweet Water Decor
Sweet Water Decor Refreshing Soy Candle
This vegan candle brand is one of the top rated natural candle brands on Etsy— it has almost 8,000 5-star reviews.
They offer a soy-based wax blend candle that’s vegan, non-GMO, gluten free, phthalate free and Kosher, and their cotton wicks are lead and zinc free. It does come with premium fragrance oil that they claim is non-toxic, but we don’t know more about the fragrance than that. Each of their candles burn for 60+ hours.
Users love Sweet Water Decor’s natural candle scents, and a lot of reviews also mention how attractive the hand-drawn designs are.
PF Candle Co. Teakwood and Tobacco Candle
PF Candle Co.
Teakwood and Tobacco Candle
You’ve probably seen LA-based PF Candle Co.’s minimalist amber glass candles before—they’re a popular brand in the world of non-toxic candles.
These vegan candles are made of 100% soy wax that’s been grown in the United States. They use cotton wicks, fragrance oils, and all their products are phthalate free and cruelty free. They claim their fragrance oils are a mixture of natural and man-made ingredients. Some of the man-made ingredients do contain some known allergens, so if you’re trying to steer clear of synthetic fragrances, you might go with another non-toxic candle on our list.
Overall, PF Candle Co. is a safe, vegan candle brand whose Teakwood and Tobacco variety is their absolute best rated. It gets 300+ 5-star reviews, and loved for its sophisticated scent. It comes in a 7 and 12 oz size, both burning for 40+ hours.
Backyard Candles Wine Bottle Candle
Wine Bottle Candle
Backyard Candles Co. is a small and upcoming natural candle brand that’s making creative candles and doing a lot of good.
Their most popular product is a traditional natural candle that’s made with all natural soy wax, a cotton wick, and phthalate free fragrance oils and essential oils. It’s also poured into a 12oz recycled wine bottle. The maker cuts off the top of the bottle, gives the top to a local wind chime maker, and uses the bottom for the candles.
If the wine bottle isn’t your thing, they offer different vessels for their natural, non-toxic candles. They even over candles poured into up-cycled coconuts shells that float in water for an extra relaxing bath moment. On top of that, 5% of every purchase of any candle is donated to causes that help the environment.
They don’t have many reviews yet, but the ones on Etsy so far are all 5-stars.
Nurtured 9 Bloom Non-Toxic Candle
Nurtured 9’s non-toxic candles are made with new moms in mind, as they’re scent company specifically tailored for pregnant women looking for non-toxic products.
The Bloom candle is a rosewater and hibiscus scented coconut wax vegan candle that’s phthalate free. They also use wooden wicks that are naturally processed and sourced from mills certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. We also love that they use only essential oils for fragrance, and they don’t use that much of them.
The Bloom non-toxic candle comes in a 9oz recyclable jar that has a really strong burn time of 55+ hours.
Otherland Rattan Candle
Otherland’s Rattan candle is a made in the U.S. hand poured non-toxic candle made of a coconut and soy wax blend. Every Otherland candle has no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or synthetic dyes, and is cruelty free. They’re also free of a bunch of other toxins you might find in normal candles, and they’ve disclosed all of those here.
Like other vegan candles on this list, Otherland candles are made with a combination of natural and synthetic fragrances, though they claim to follow strict international safety standards and rigorous testing set by IFRA on those ingredients.
Their Rattan candle is their most-loved product. Users love the subtlety of the scent, the candle’s design, and the fact that it lasts long (the 8oz candle burns for 55+ hours).
Slow North Midnight Garden Candle
Midnight Garden Candle
Slow North’s non toxic candles are made with 100% U.S.-grown soy wax. They use 100% essential oil fragrances (nothing synthetic to be found in these candles), and their wicks are made of cotton. They’re also a cruelty free brand and their candles are vegan.
Their Midnight Garden candle is a blend of lavender, rosemary, geranium & frankincense essential oils, and is their best-reviewed natural candle. The brand doesn’t have many reviews yet, but the reviews they have so far are really positive.
We also love that Slow North’s products come packaged in recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials. They also participate in a textile recycling program to donate their textile waste.
Follain Candle No. 1
Candle No. 1
Follain is a clean beauty brand that sells a really well-reviewed non-toxic candle. Their No. 1 candle is a lavender, vanilla, sandalwood, and fresh bergamot scented candle that’s a vegetable wax blend, and has no synthetic fragrances. Their wick is an unbleached, woven (in the U.S.) cotton wick.
Follain is also a woman-owned brand that’s EWG andLeaping Bunny certified, so you can feel good about their commitment to clean and cruelty free ingredients.
Brooklyn Candle Studio Santorini Escapist Candle
Brooklyn Candle Studio
Santorini Escapist Candle
Brooklyn Candle Studio makes vegan candles that are hand poured 100% soy wax candles. They’re cruelty-free, phthalate-free, and petroleum-free. Their fragrances are a blend of fragrance oils and essential oils, so there may be a bit of synthetic fragrances in the candle.
We love that this woman-owned brand discloses a lot about their commitment to ingredient safety and sustainability. They’re Leaping Bunny certified, follow International Fragrance Association standards (an organization that manages the safe use of fragrances), and work hard to minimize plastic and single-use materials in the manufacturing and shipping.
Customers love the Santorini scent the most, but they have a lot of destination-inspired scents.
Best Splurge Non Toxic, Organic, and Natural Candles
If you really want to invest in a decorative, fantastic smelling natural candle for a special place in your home, there are a lot of non-toxic options available. Here’s our pick for splurge-worthy non-toxic candles.
Lite + Cycle Vetiver Essential Oil Candle
Lite + Cycle non-toxic candles are made with non-GMO soy wax, an unbleached cotton wick, and 100% pure essential oils. These vegan candles are made without paraffin, dyes, lead, animal by-products, or synthetic fragrances.
Lite + Cycle is another natural candle brand that’s all about ingredient transparency. There are only 3 ingredients in this candle: American-grown soy wax, vetiver essential oil, and vanilla essential oil.
They’re also a women-owned business and claim to donate a portion of profits to charities that help to bring solar power to communities around the world that do not have electricity.
If you’re looking for a candle with a strong scent, the Vetiver is a well-loved option.
Ellis Brooklyn Pseudonym Terrific Scented Candle
Pseudonym Terrific Scented Candle
Ellis Brooklyn hand pours their non-toxic candles in Upstate New York with a domestically grown soy wax blend. They have a variety of sophisticated scents, but the Pseudonym line (with fig, jasmine, pepper, and sandalwood highlights)is their best reviewed.
Ellis Brooklyn is a woman-owned brand that’s really committed to ingredient safety. They make sure their products start with the European Union ingredient safety rules, which rules out 1,300 ingredients that the United States doesn’t ban. They also abide by the IFRA testing rules. They do use some synthetic fragrances, though the majority of their fragrances are natural. They also commit to using only safe and sustainable synthetic fragrances.
They also claim to be and demonstrate that they’re committed to sustainability. They ship carbon-neutral when they can and offset the rest of their carbon footprint by contributing to the Carbon Fund every year. They also partner with Ecocert and Forest Stewardship Council certified suppliers.
Heretic Slightly Bitter Candle
Slightly Bitter Candle
Heretic organic candles are 100% plant based candles that come in a variety of fun and sophisticated scents. They’re made of pure soy wax and organic, non-GMO cotton wicks, and their blend of natural and synthetic fragrances are made without parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, or known or suspected endocrine disruptors. They’re also a cruelty-free brand.
Customers love the Slightly Bitter fragrance as a reminder of being in a garden in the start of spring. Another well loved fragrance is the Dirty Grass candle, which comes with relaxing CBD-oil.
Keap Northlands Candle
Keap’s natural candles are made with 100% natural coconut wax. The candle holder is returnable or reusable, and their packaging and shipping materials are 100% biodegradable and plastic-free. Keap is also a certified B corporation.
The Northlands candle is the perfect cozy candle to light in the fall, with highlights of fir trees, pine needles, cinnamon, and nutmeg. They also have bright and fresh scents of any season.
Non-Toxic Candle Buying Guide
When you’re buying non-toxic, natural, or organic candles, they are a few things you want to pay attention to—from what to avoid, what to look for, and then how to compare options.
Here’s how we approach shopping for natural, non-toxic candles.
Ingredients to Avoid When Shopping for Non-Toxic Candles
Regular candles can come with a slew of ingredients you want to avoid. All parts of the candle can be the culprits, too. It’s not just the wax you want to be wary of—it’s also the wick, the containers, and the fragrances.
And when we burn these candles in confined living spaces, they create a build up of indoor air pollution that creates particulate matter that can enter our lungs.
Here are the main ingredients that you’ll find in normal candles that you want to avoid:
Most candles are made from paraffin wax, which is made from petroleum (a buy-product of making gasoline). Paraffin wax isn’t clean-burning, and isn’t a biodegradable material in our environment.
A 2009 study found that burning paraffin wax released potentially dangerous chemicals like alkans, alkenes, and toluene, which are reported to harm human health. That study wasn’t peer reviewed, and another 2007 study found that regular candles don’t actually emit enough toxins to be harmful to humans.
While the debate is up in the air, you can easily avoid paraffin wax and swap in any naturally-derived, plant-based wax found in plenty of non-toxic candles. More on how to choose between those types of waxes below.
Synthetic Fragrances (Sometimes)
“Fragrance” gets a bad rap due to the fact that it’s synthetically made, and some of its ingredients (depending on the fragrance) are known carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, developmental toxins, and neurotoxins.
Not all synthetic fragrances are harmful, though, and sometimes they’re more sustainably created than naturally-derived fragrance. Even some natural fragrances can be harmful to human health.
The problem is that “fragrance” is usually listed as just that on ingredient labels. We just don’t know what “fragrance” (or “parfum”) is comprised of, so the safest route is just to avoid them all together.
The International Fragrance Association has a list of safe use fragrances for you to reference when shopping for non-toxic candles (and other non-toxic beauty products).
Phthalates find their way into candles via fragrance. It’s a toxin you should keep a special eye out for: it’s been linked to endocrine disruption that causes development and reproductive harm.
Lots of the non-toxic candles listed above are phthalate free, but you can probably avoid them all together if you’re avoiding synthetic fragrances.
While regular candles do not use lead anymore (lead wicks have been banned), lots of candle wicks used to be dipped in lead or have a lead core. You can breathe easy knowing that lead will not be in any candle produced in the U.S., you should be wary about candles produced elsewhere.
Ingredients and Materials to Feel Good About in Non-Toxic Candles
Non-toxic candle brands swap the known carcinogens and chemicals for other naturally-derived and safe waxes and wicks.
They all have different attributes, though, so it’s helpful to understand the pros and cons of each before you invest in your next non-toxic candle.
Soy wax is made by the full hydrogenation of soybean oil, is a common swap for paraffin wax found in conventional candles.
It’s plant-derived, non-toxic, clean burning (though can produce some black soot), and is generally a cheaper and longer-lasting product. It also produces vegan candles (assuming the products have no other additives and aren’t tested on animals).
There are some concerns around soy wax, though, as soybean farming has been linked to deforestation, wildfires, and displacement of local farmers. You can look for soy wax derived from certified sustainable soybean farming to mitigate some of these unwanted by-products of the soybean industry, though they aren’t commonly used.
Soy wax non-toxic candles are a good option if you want to stick to cheaper products, and prefer subtle scents (it can have trouble holding scents).
Beeswax is a common ingredient in non-toxic candles, and it comes with a lot of benefits. It’s 100% natural and non-carcinogenic, and is even known to purify air.
Beeswax is also a renewable and sustainable ingredient for non-toxic candles, but only if harvested in the right way. Look for candles that use beeswax from local farms and producers to make sure you’re getting an eco-friendly product.
Beeswax also comes with its own natural color and honey-like scent, which can be a good thing if that’s what you’re interested in. Otherwise, it isn’t a great option for those looking for unique scent varieties.
The coconut wax used in natural candles is typically hydrogenated coconut oil mixed with other plant-based waxes to increase the melting point for the candle. This means that your coconut wax candle is often also a soy wax candle.
Coconut wax can hold its scent better than most of the other natural waxes used, making it a good choice for candle makers that use essential oils to include scent. It does have a lower melting point and can melt in the summer. It’s also more expensive than these other options, and just not as widely used.
Coconut wax is a great option for non-toxic vegan candles. The coconut farming and wax industry is also much smaller than the soybean industry, and isn’t yet linked to the same levels of deforestation and climate issues as the soybean industry is. That doesn’t mean it won’t get there as the product becomes more popular.
Essential oils are a compound extracted from plants that capture the plant’s scent or flavor. They start as just aromatic chemicals and are then combined with a carrier oil to make the final product.
Essential oils are often the substitute to synthetic fragrances in a lot of beauty products—clean, natural candles included.
There’s a lot of debate on the safety of both essential oils and synthetic fragrances, and comparing the two to find the safer product isn’t as simple as you think.
It comes down to the quality of the ingredients and the types of essential oils or synthetic ingredients the products use. A lot of low quality essential oils will have synthetic additives to enhance the fragrance. Pure essential oils you can trust to be natural and 100% plant-derived. And even the safest essential oil ingredients can cause allergic reactions, headaches, rashes, or asthma.
When you’re shopping for all natural candles, going with an option with almost 100% essential oils is likely your safest bet. You can feel even better if the brand discloses all their ingredients so you can look up each essential oil included to see if there are potential issues (Grow Fragrance and Lite + Cycle are particularly transparent options above).
If you do go with a candle with some synthetic ingredients, make sure you’re buying a high quality product where the producers care about the ingredients included. You can also feel a bit safer if their products are phthalate-free.
Cotton vs Wood Wicks
All cotton wicks are often a part of non-toxic and organic candles, and for good reason: cotton wicks with lead cores were banned in the U.S. for toxicity concerns a while ago. A lot of the products above use organic cotton produced in the U.S.
Many non-toxic candles also use thin strips of wood for their wicks. This is another clean-burning wick option, and can often provide a fireplace-feel with the crackling of the wood as it burns. If you prefer a wood wick, a lot of the natural candle brands partner with the Forest Stewardship Candle (FSC) certified wood harvester to make sure they’re responsibly sourcing their materials. Nurture 9 and Ellis Brooklyn both partner with FSC.
Our Research Process
Our research process for finding the best non-toxic candles started at the ingredient level. We developed a comprehensive understanding of why conventional candles can be dangerous, what side effects are of concern, and what kinds of toxins still exist in regular candles.
We then did more research into what ingredients actually are safe, non-toxic, and all natural. We wanted to have an understanding of ingredients you can feel good about before starting our research into non-toxic candle brands.
Then we looked to the brands in the market. We compared brands on their ingredient safety, environmental or safety certifications, ingredient transparency, relative affordability, sustainability practices, scent quality, and overall ratings from customers. We reviewed all of these non-toxic candle brands to get to our final list:
- KSM Candle Co.
- Bookend Candles
- Lomar Farms Candles
- Element Candles
- Bee Organic Candles
- NaturaBrasil Candles
- Fontana Candle Co.
- Public Goods
- Lulu Candles
- Nika’s Home Candles
- Grow Fragrance
- Kodiak Impact
- Sweet Water Decor
- Nurtured 9
- PF Candle Co.
- Brooklyn Candle Studio
- Ellis Brooklyn
- Lite + Cycle
- Woodlot Candles
- Nashville Wax Co.
- Cellar Door Candles
- Peacesake Candles
- Cai Cai Handmade Candles
- Ms. Meyers Candles
- Dear Sundays