The ritual of lighting a candle is one that always gives me great comfort. The sound of the wick flickering as it gets lit and the scent of wax melting as it slowly puddles around the flame. There’s something so cozy and calming about the soft glow of a candlelit room on a cold and rainy day.
Lighting a candle can help transform an ordinary moment – reading a book, eating a meal, sitting alone on your couch after a long day – into a peaceful one…or at least it does for me.
However (here it comes), not all candles are created equally. Le sigh.
There’s been some controversy around whether or not conventional candle brands actually cause negative health effects. Personally, I find it counterintuitive to light a scented candle that has the potential to pollute the air I am breathing.
But, because I love candles I wasn’t willing to forgo them completely. So I did a bit of digging to find the most transparent and environmentally friendly nontoxic candle brands. I just want to enjoy a candlelight ambiance without worrying about the potentially harmful fumes and you probably do too!
Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite nontoxic candle brands and what to look for when purchasing a candle to illuminate your space.
- Avoid candles made with paraffin wax and dyes. Look for candles labeled 100% soy, coconut, beeswax or a blend of coconut-soy waxes. Brand transparency is key when it comes to candles (or any product for that matter). For example, “wax-based” candles are not the same thing as 100% wax – see what I am getting at here? Speaking of wax candles, if you’re going to opt for a 100% wax-based candle, make sure the wax is sustainably sourced because we want to save our little pollinator friends.
- Opt for lead-free candle wicks. While the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned the sale and importation of lead-core wicks in 2003 some sources I’ve come across report that lead-core wicks are still occasionally found in the marketplace today. So, to be on the safe side, when purchasing a candle look for brands that use wicks made of 100% paper, cotton, hemp, or wood.
- When it comes to fragrance opt for brands that disclose their ingredients. Look for phthalate-free and paraben-free ingredients, and certified non-toxic synthetic fragrances. I prefer nontoxic candle brands that use plant-based oils (essential oils) but just know, not all synthetic fragrances are harmful! Let your nose guide you. Just remember, the more transparent the brand, the better!
10 Nontoxic Candle Brands
1. Grow Fragrance:
Based out of North Carolina, Grow Fragrance is the first company to create certified 100% plant-based and toxin-free home fragrance. Made in small batches, these candles are made using 100% soy and coconut oil wax blend and use only lead-free cotton wicks. And, to top it off they are refillable and made with certified biobased raw ingredients.
- 100% ingredient transparency
- Leaping Bunny certified.
- Manufactured in the US.
- Partners with organizations that provide living wages and health care to all employees along the supply chain.
Scents: include Lavender Blossom, Bamboo and Pomegranate Fig
Burn time: 40 – 45 hours
Price: $34.00 per candle, refills cost $22.00
This family owned business creates plant-based, soy-wax candles that are free from artificial dyes and ingredients. Using 100% cotton wicks, these candles are hand poured into reusable tins or American-made frosted glass tumblers.
- Committed to donating 10% of profits to organizations such as The Safe Alliance, Central Texas Food Bank, and other local charities.
- Recycled packing materials and boxes that are also recyclable and biodegradable.
- Soy-Wax blend candles, 100% cotton wicks, essential oils, eco-friendly packaging
Scents: include Eucalyptus Lavender, Geranium Rose, and Grapefruit Spearmint
Burn time: 20 – 30 hours, depending on size
3. Apis Cera:
While this French candle brand is a bit harder to find here in the states (and definitely on the pricier side), I wanted to include it because they’re just so beautiful and one of my favorite nontoxic candle brands. Artisanally crafted in a small workshop in Provence, each candle is made using only the purest of ingredients – 100% pure beeswax without additives or coloring (except for the Mireille candle, which is made using 100% organic soy and beeswax).
- 100% pure beeswax / 100% organic soy wax
- No coloring or additives
- 100% pure cotton wicks
- Artisanally crafted in Provence, France
Scents: Fragrance-Free/ Naturally Beeswax Scented
Burn Time: 5 – 60 hours, depending on style and size
Price: 35.00 € – 90 €, depending on style and size
Planted candles are vegan and handmade in small batches using only 100% soy wax and essential oils, i.e. no synthetic or artificial fragrances. I love their commitment to plant a tree for every product purchased via the Eden Reforestation Project, a nonprofit NGO that works in developing countries to rebuild natural landscapes destroyed by deforestation. And, if you’re located in the Toronto area make sure to take advantage of their custom refill program.
- 100% soy wax
- Never use synthetic fragrance or artificial dyes
- Plant a tree for every product purchased
- Eco-friendly packaging
Scents: include Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Bergamot
Burn time: 30 – 60 hours, depending on size
5. Beverly Bees:
Beverly Bees is more than just a candle brand, this is a brand on a mission to save the bees. Founded by Anita Deeley, a biologist by training who worked as a Massachusetts State Bee Inspector for 6 years, this candle brand not only creates 100% pure beeswax candles but helps to safely relocate and remove bees, wasps, and hornets in Eastern Ma., (where they’re located) so as to continue preserving the lives of our little pollinator friends. Beverly Bees also sells bees, gives you the option to host a hive, conducts beekeeping workshops, and creates award-winning honey.
- 100% pure beeswax candles with solid cotton wicks
- Hand crafted
- Never use synthetic fragrance or artificial dyes
- Help to safely relocate and save bees
Scents: Fragrance-Free/ Naturally Beeswax Scented
Burn time: 5 – 50 hours, depending on size and style
Price: Starting at $1.25 for refillable tea light candles to $35.00 for geometric shaped candle
6. Fontana Candles
Fontana Candles were the first candles certified non-toxic by Made Safe. And it’s no surprise either. Each of these candles, which are handcrafted in Lancaster Pa., are made of blended beeswax and pure coconut oil, essential oils, and wooden wicks.
- 100% ingredient transparency.
- Made Safe Certified
- Blend of beeswax with pure coconut oil + essential oils.
Scents: include Lemongrass Eucalyptus, Wildflower Citrus, Rosemary Mint
Burn Time: 20-60 hours, depending on size
Co-founded by a mother and daughter-in-law duo based out of Wisconsin, Welsh Candle Company is a small family business that creates 100% pure beeswax and fragrance-free candles. They source their wax from a local beekeeper (shoutout to Peter!) and only use 100% cotton wicks that are free of lead, zinc, and heavy metals.
- Hand poured and made candles.
- 100% pure and locally-sourced beeswax, fragrance-free, 100% cotton wicks
- Small family business, Made in the USA
- Recyclable glass jars.
Scents: Fragrance-free / Naturally fragranced from beeswax
Burn time: 34-36 hours
Price: $16.00- $66.00, depending on size
If you’re looking for fun geometric shaped candles or you have strong Texan pride, you definitely want to check out The Beeswax Co. Hand-poured in Drippings, Texas, Beeswax Co candles are free of artificial dyes, fragrances, and use only 100% pure beeswax sourced from Texas beekeepers. One thing I really like about this beeswax candle company is the variety of candle options they offer. In addition to the common tapered, pillar, and tea light beeswax candles The Beeswax Co also creates fun geometrically shaped candles as well as candles poured in beautiful ceramic containers.
- 100% pure beeswax sourced from local Texas beekeepers
- handmade, 100% cotton wicks
- No artificial scents or toxic colorants.
- Repurpose leftover and donated beeswax. Will clean and pour fresh candles from donated beeswax to give to local charitable organizations in Texas.
Scents: Fragrance-Free / Naturally fragranced from beeswax
Burn time: 20+ hours depending on size and shape
Price: $8.00- $231.00, depending on size and shape.
9. The Growing Candle
I am a fan of all things hygge inspired so of course when I came across Hyggelight – The Growing Candle you bet I took some time to explore all the ins and outs of this brand. Final verdict? Love it. Based in Toledo, Ohio the Growing candle is made using 100% soy wax and naturally fragranced with essential and premium fragrance oils. The candles are hand mixed and poured into beautiful jars that can be repurposed as flower pots. In fact, each candle includes a compostable seed flower label that you can plant in your candle jar. So, when you’re finished enjoying your candle go ahead and plant the label and grow yourself a few wildflowers – yes to upcycling and zero-waste discard!
- 100% soy wax, cotton wick, and naturally fragranced with essential oils
- Plastic-free packaging
- Hand mixed and poured
Scents: include Mint & Eucalyptus, Lavender, Cedarwood, and Ginger Lime
Burn Time: 50+ hours
10. Candle essentials:
Candle Essentials is a Black, Woman, LGBTQ+ owned nontoxic candle business. All candles are handmade with coconut wax and high quality fragrances infused with essential oils. Candles are packaged in plantable packaging (wildflowers anyone?) and 100% compostable/recyclable labels. And, each month, Candle Essentials donates a percentage of their sales to charities that align with their values such as Mill Creek Urban Farm.
- Black Woman LBTGQ+ Owned
- Compostable/recyclable packaging
- Infused with essential oils
- Donate to charities each month
Scents: include Cedar & Saffron, Patchouli & Sandalwood, Sugar & Fig
Burn time: 35-40 hours
Looking for a cozy tea to sip on while you enjoy your candlelight evening?
Check out 10 ethical teas to sip on here.
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