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The Best Non-Toxic Candles [Yes! Candles Can be Toxic]

November 23, 2021

‘Tis the season… to burn candles that smell like the holidays but also could be emitting harmful toxins into the air. I know it’s easy to feel like everything is harming our health but when it’s a simple fix like swapping out your candles or cleaning products, I want to be here to educate you and empower you to make that decision for yourself! At the very least, promise me you’ll gift a non-toxic candle this season.

Side note: last week we shared a DIY to make your own non-toxic aromatherapy candles so be sure to check it out!

Why Switch to Non-Toxic Candles?

Conventional candles can literally be considered pollution in the home. They let off harmful chemicals that can affect everything from your breathing to your hormones. What do you need to look for? I’ve narrowed it down to just three things to look for.

Artificial fragrances – Oof, these pain me. Artificial scents from chemicals have been associated with a variety of health issues (source). Ditch artificial fragrances and look for natural scents from essential oils instead. I promise they’ll smell better and won’t give you that horrible fragrance headache!

Paraffin wax – If you walk down the candle aisle at Target or through the candle store at your local mall, they’re likely made with paraffin wax which is a petrochemical byproduct. That means it’s from petroleum refining. It is often contaminated with cancer causing compounds (source). Are you sure you want that burning in your home? Didn’t think so.

Metal wicks – Another tidbit you might be surprised by. Some wicks have a tiny wire inside. When that burns, they can release heavy metals that are associated with disrupting your hormones, reproductive and neurological system (source). Look for 100% cotton, hemp or wood wicks.

What To Look for in Your Candles

So what are the healthiest candles? You may guess it from the “avoid” list but be sure to check these ingredients out when shopping for a new candle!

Wax – Obviously you want to avoid paraffin wax but what waxes should you look for? Soy wax, beeswax and coconut wax are all great options. Be sure to make sure labels say the candles are 100% soy or beeswax (companies like to create blends with paraffin wax because it’s cheaper) and if possible, I like to buy sustainably sourced candles!

Wick – As you know, you’ll want to avoid a wick with metal in it. Look for a 100% cotton, hemp or wood wicks.

Natural scents – Synthetic fragrance is a broad umbrella. I like to look for candles that have been scented with essential oils that are sustainably sourced and high quality.

Like this post? Here are a few others you might enjoy:

Homemade Aromatherapy Candles
How to Create a Sustainable Kitchen
Zero-Waste Travel Tips
10 Ways to Live Sustainably for Under $10


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The Best Non-Toxic Candle Brands

01. Koselig Candle Co.

This local MN company has an amazing brand and products! I'm eyeing "An Ode to Minnesota" but you can't go wrong with any of their original scents as well!

Shop now!
02. P.F. Candle Co

I love P.F. Candle Co’s scents (and cute amber jars!). Their candles are made with soy wax, cotton wicks and fragrances that are paraben and phthalate-free.

Shop now!
03. ODE Natural Beauty

I’m newly obsessed with Ode’s face and body oil so I was excited to see they had a candle! It’s made with coconut and extra virgin olive oil and skincare-grade fragrances. You can actually use the melted oil as body or massage oil. Pretty cool! Use HEALTHYMAVEN for 15% your order.

Shop now!
04. Lite + Cycle

These candles are new to me but I’m impressed! They’re made with soy wax, a cotton wick and 100% pure essential oil fragrances.

Shop now!
05. UMA

UMA candles are created based on Ayurvedic principals and focused on bringing your home back into balance. Love this concept! Their candles (like their essential oils) are 100% organic and free from synthetic fragrances and emulsifiers, preservatives, parabens, GMOs, and mineral oils.

Shop now!
06. Keap

Keap was started to simply “make better candles.” Their candles are made with coconut wax and their candles are designed to be zero-waste – burn the candle fully and the reuse the jar in a creative way!

Shop now!
07. Queer Candle Co.

This amazing company is run by a queer couple and donates 10% of their monthly earnings to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. The candles are topped with a representation of the scent... they're gorgeous!

Shop now!
08. Nette Candle

These non-toxic, sustainable candles are so luxurious! They're made with 100% cotton wicks, coconut-soy wax and the glass containers are perfect for repurposing later.

Shop now!
  • Reply
    March 2, 2021 at 9:14 am

    This is a great list! Have you tried Element Tree Essentials? From what I can tell they are a great non-toxic candle that you can also use on your body when the oil is melted.

  • Reply
    Brooke John
    December 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Hello! Thanks for the helpful information. Do you know where I can get healthy tapered candlesticks?



    • Reply
      January 13, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      I love Blue Corn Candles. They are made in Colorado (where I live) from beeswax. The scent is only the smell of beeswax and smells yummy enough to eat. There is a scent, but it’s natural and food-like and to me they are the only ones I’ve found that don’t interfere with the smell or taste of the food. Plus nice guy/small business!

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