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

February 14, 2023

Looking for the best candles free of toxins? With better-for-you ingredients including waxes, wicks and fragrance, this round-up of the best non toxic candles will ensure your home is smelling great while also caring for your health.

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!

Before I get into the best non toxic candles I wanted to share a little bit about what makes candles “toxic” and what to look out for when it comes to buying candles.

Are Some Candles Really Toxic?

Conventional scented candles can literally be considered pollution in the home. They let off harmful chemicals and volatile organic compounds 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:

Artificial fragrances – Artificial scents from chemicals have been associated with a variety of health issues (source). In addition, synthetic fragrances can contain phthalates, which are chemicals that have been linked to reproductive and developmental issues. Ditch artificial fragrances and look for natural aromas from essential oils or phthalate-free candles 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. When burned it lets off toxic chemicals including toluene and benzene. These are often associated with cancer causing compounds (source).

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 systems (source). Look for 100% cotton wicks, hemp or wood wicks.

What To Look for in Your Non Toxic Candles

So what should you look for in a candle brand? You may guess it from the “avoid” list but be sure to check these ingredients out when shopping for a new candle!

  1. Wax – Obviously you want to avoid paraffin wax but what waxes should you look for? Soy wax, coconut wax and beeswax candles 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 and cruelty-free candles! Note: beeswax candles technically are not vegan but soy wax and coconut wax candles are. Remember *soy wax blend* etc..are generally mixed with paraffin wax!
  2. Wick – As you know, you’ll want to avoid a wick with metal in it. Look for a 100% unbleached cotton wick, hemp wicks or wooden wicks so you can enjoy a clean burning candle
  3. Natural scents – Synthetic fragrance is a broad umbrella. I like to look for candles that have been scented with pure essential oils (such as vanilla, lavender, bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, sandalwood etc..) that are sustainably sourced and eco-friendly.

Typically non toxic candle makers tend to be made in small batches that are hand-poured or smaller manufacturing studios.

TLDR; For the safest healthiest candle to burn, look for soy, coconut or beeswax candles, unbleached cotton, hemp or wooden wicks and scented with pure essential oils.

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

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. Brooklyn Candle Studio

Brooklyn Candle Studio creates botanical fragrances inspired by the beauty of nature and the wonder of travel. Their in-house artisans make candles, diffusers, and room mists in our Brooklyn workshop using soy wax and phthalate-free perfume oils infused with essential oils.

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
    Kiley R
    April 6, 2023 at 11:00 am

    Hi! Are CandleScience fragrance oils safe, or should they be avoided? Thank you!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2023 at 4:28 pm

    You cannot use essential oils in candles as it changes their properties and they can become extremely toxic.

    • Reply
      April 5, 2023 at 7:10 pm

      Can you explain more about the toxic of candles with essential oils and if you have any sources, please introduce them. Than you.

  • Reply
    September 22, 2022 at 11:08 pm

    I made the mistake of buying a candle from koselig.it was so potent I had to put it in a bag to keep the scent out of the air when not burning it.i could almost swear I can literally taste it .ugh!

  • 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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