The Best Clean-Burning Candles
Winter can be a magical season, but it can also take a toll on your inner light. The days are short and the air is cold, which is all the more need to bring light and warmth into your life. Candles may be the OG’s of hygge—the Danish concept of integrating comfort and warmth into your home. Aside from their unmatched ambiance, traditional candles come with a whole lot of health hazards. If you’re tired of candles giving you headaches, smoking up your space, and leaving soot in your home, it’s time to make the swap to clean-burning candles. Fortunately, our experts have searched high and low to curate the best selection of clean candles. Let’s shed some light on the best clean candles to help you burn on without worry.
What Does ‘Clean-Burning’ Mean?
“Clean-burning” simply means a candle is free of toxic chemicals (think phthalates, petroleum, and lead)—from their wick and wax all the way to their fragrance. What most people don’t realize is that burning traditional candles can be harmful to your health. Candles can contain chemically derived waxes, lead-laced wicks, and synthetic fragrances that can be harmful when inhaled. If candles are an integral part of your hygge-inspired winter routine, this is your sign to swap over to clean-burning alternatives.
Not sure where to start? We’re here to show you exactly what to look for in a clean-burning candle. First, let’s take a look at wicks. Although you may not think past lighting them ablaze, candle wicks have been known to contain traces of lead. Typically used as a stiffening agent to keep your wick upright, once the coating burns it exposes your home to harmful airborne chemicals. Look for wicks that use 100% cotton or wood. Both cotton and wood keep your candle burning slowly and evenly, while effectively distributing scent. If you find the crackling of a fire to be a soothing sound, wooden wicked candles can give off that open-fire energy for an outdoorsy feel.
The next crucial component to finding your perfect clean-burning candle is the wax. Waxes are the body of the candle that contain fragrance and color, and contribute to a candles’ burn time. Perhaps the most common candle wax, Paraffin, is derived from petroleum oil, and releases toxins (such as benzene and toluene) and black soot into the air you breathe. These are known carcinogens linked to a myriad of health problems from headaches to respiratory diseases. Paraffin wax became a popular candle option because it is inexpensive to produce, and slow-burning in nature. Luckily, there are clean and sustainable wax options that will help you never look back at your old candles. We recommend opting for coconut or soy-based waxes instead to ensure your air stays toxin-free while burning.
Let’s be honest, we’ve all bought a candle (or many!) because we’ve fallen under the spell of a wildly intoxicating scent. Candles are a sensory experience, and fragrance is part of creating mood and atmosphere in any room. Look for phthalate-free candles that use naturally-derived essential oils to ensure you’re burning a clean scent into your air. Soy-based candles have a stronger scent throw—meaning they are better at distributing fragrance—than their coconut-based counterparts, which is another factor to consider when scent shopping.
Now that you know the clean-burning benefits, let’s dive into some of our top-picks:
What’s not to love about that free-feeling of taking your bra off after a long day—but in the form of a candle! Perfect for your wind-down routine, this spiced and warm, woodsy scent helps erase the tension of your day and calm your senses. Complete with a lead-free cotton wick, this soy-coconut wax blend candle is made with essential oils and clean synthetic fragrances for an impressive 50 hours of burn time. Its beautiful gradient vessel can be cleaned out and reused as part of your home decor to store trinkets, or even house a small potted plant!
Whether you’re looking to reset after-dark, or freshen up your daylight ambiance, this clean-burning candle is sure to spark joy with a crisp bouquet of lavender, patchouli, and citrus. Made with 100% paraben-free essential oils, this coconut and soy wax candle has a lead-free cotton wick that is hand poured. Plus, its neutral-toned ceramic jar matches just about any aesthetic for total ambiance for all your senses.
Like a warm cup of chai, this bestselling Nette candle is the cure for the winter woes. This sultry spiced scent is free of over 30 common toxins, and contains a blend of hand-poured coconut and soy waxes. Aromas of sweet steamed milk, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves envelop any room with 60 hours of lead-free burn time. Now your favorite morning ritual can extend all day with the Chai Milk candle that keeps aflame for long lasting light and warmth.
For those that need a helping hand unwinding after a stressful day, this wellness candle is the perfect soothing flame to melt away tension and induce total relaxation. Made with only 8 pure ingredients, this coconut wax candle uses 100% sustainably-farmed, organic plant oils for guilt-free, clean-burning joy. This candle is infused with chamomile, lavender and vetiver, which are all known to reduce physical signs of stress, while rose and geranium essential oils help enhance the relaxing sensory experience.
Although these are only a few of our faves, you can rest assured that all of our candles are clean-burning, making finding the perfect scents for your home easy! You can shop our entire collection of candles HERE.