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Best Scented Candles

Updated July 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 25 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 121 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best scented candles

    Last Updated July 2018

    With just a few scented candles, you can fill your house with your favorite fragrances and create a comforting, relaxing mood. Whether you prefer floral, woody, or fresh scents, there’s a scented candle for your abode.

    However, this wide variety of scented candles means choosing the right one can be difficult. Not only do you have to settle on the right fragrance, you have to choose the materials, size, and wick to ensure your candle burns as long and as aromatically as possible.

    At BestReviews, we know how frustrating it can be to sort through all your shopping options, so we’re here to help. With guidance from our team of experts, we identify the most important features for the products we’re considering, test the top options, and analyze feedback from customers. You can trust that our verdicts are unbiased and free from hype because we always purchase our own products.

    If you’re ready to buy a scented candle or two for your home, check out our five favorites in the matrix above. For general advice on what to look for in scented candles, you’ll find plenty of tips in our shopping guide.

    Mixing different scented candles creates a richer fragrance for your home. For example, you might mix a floral candle with one that has a green scent to give your room a garden-like fragrance.

    How do scented candles produce fragrance?

    Like regular candles, scented candles are made from wax. However, with scented candles, natural or synthetic fragrances are added to the wax before it hardens. When you light the candle, the wax melts again, and the fragrance begins to evaporate. As evaporation occurs, a light aroma is produced that fills the area.

    Most scented candles use a blend of natural and synthetic fragrances. Both natural and synthetic fragrances should be approved for use in candles.

    Approved fragrances are often the same type that are used in perfume and body care products like soap.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Choose a scented candle based on the room where you plan to place it. Lively citrus scents work well in the kitchen, while relaxing lavender scents are ideal for the bedroom.

    Benefits of scented candles

    • Aromatic

    Scented candles can hide unpleasant odors in your home, which makes them ideal for areas like the bathroom, kitchen, or your pets’ favorite spots.

    • Create Atmosphere

    Like all candles, scented candles provide a soft glow that creates a soothing or romantic mood for a party or quiet dinner.

    • Boost Mood

    Scented candles with the right fragrances can improve your mood if you’re feeling a little down.

    • Reduce Stress

    If you’re feeling anxious, burning a scented candle can help you relax and unwind.

    • Fight Insomnia

    The right scented candles are relaxing and can soothe you to sleep.

    • Sharpen Focus

    If you’re working on an important project, invigorating scented candles help you concentrate on the task at hand.

    EXPERT TIP

    To boost mental focus when you’re studying or working on a project, try lighting a citrus scented candle to help you concentrate.


    What to consider when buying scented candles

    Materials

    • Natural Scented Candles

    Some scented candles are made using natural materials. The base is composed of soy wax, vegetable wax, or beeswax, and the candles use essential oils and perfume-grade fragrances to provide scent. The wicks are usually composed completely of cotton, too.

    • Synthetic Scented Candles

    Synthetic scented candles are usually made from waxes that are crude oil by-products like paraffin. They get their scent and color from synthetic fragrances and dyes, and they may produce smoke that is darker and contains chemicals.

    While synthetic scented candles are typically less expensive, natural scented candles are healthier for your home and tend to burn more cleanly as well.

    Size

    Scented candles come in a variety of sizes from as small as half an ounce to as large as 25 ounces. In general, you should choose a candle size based on the size of the room that you’re going to burn it in.

    For a small room like a bathroom, a five- to eight-ounce scented candle is usually sufficient. In a larger space like a living room, a 14- to 25-ounce candle typically works better.

    If you’re trying out a scent for the first time, though, you’re better off purchasing a smaller candle. That way, if you don’t like the fragrance, you won’t be out too much money on a candle that’s not to your liking.

    Scented candles made with soy wax tend to produce the longest-lasting fragrances.

    Wick

    Scented candles typically have flat, square, or cored wicks.

    • Flat Wicks: Flat wicks are composed of flat plaited or knitted bundles of fibers, and they tend to burn very consistently. They are known for curling in as they burn, so they’re often described as self-trimming.

    • Square Wicks: Square wicks also curl as they burn for self-trimming, but they have a more rounded, braided shape. They’re often used in beeswax candles.

    • Cored Wicks: Cored wicks also feature a braided or knitted design, but they tend to stay straight as they burn. That’s because they have a core material inside the wick that provides stiffness. Paper, tin, or zinc are commonly used as core materials.
       

    Consider the number of wicks when you’re buying a scented candle, too. Most candles have a single wick, but some have two or three.

    Multiple wicks are often better for scented candles because they can be more effective in dispersing the fragrance throughout your home. They also offer a warmer, more radiant glow than single-wick candles.

    Look for scented candles with 100% cotton or cotton-paper wicks for the cleanest-burning options.

    Scent

    For most people, the most important feature of a scented candle is the fragrance it produces. Choosing a scent is purely a matter of personal preference, but it helps to know what notes to look for in candles that you’re considering.

    If you like —

    • Floral Scents: Choose candles with lilac, rose, jasmine, or lavender notes.

    • Green Scents: Choose candles with grass, green tea, bamboo, or bay leaf notes.

    • Woody Scents: Choose candles with sandalwood, patchouli, cedar, or moss notes.

    • Fruity Scents: Choose candles with peach, raspberry, or fig notes.

    • Citrus Scents: Choose candles with lemon, orange, grapefruit, or bergamot notes.

    • Sweet Scents: Choose candles with vanilla or almond notes.

    • Spicy Scents: Choose candles with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, or clove notes.

    • Fresh Scents: Choose candles with light notes that are described as linen-, cotton-, or laundry-inspired.
       

    The season can also help you choose the right scented candle. In the spring and summer, light fragrances, such as fresh, fruity, or citrus scents, work well. In cooler months, woody, green, and spicy scents are more pleasing.

    CAUTION

    Never burn a scented candle near any flammable materials, and make sure that it’s well out of reach of children and pets.

    How much should you pay for scented candles?

    Scented candles range in price based on their size, type of wax, and fragrances. In general, you’ll usually pay between $5 and $65.

    • Inexpensive

    Small to medium scented candles that are five to 13 ounces in size and contain synthetic wax and fragrances typically cost between $5 and $12. Small scented candles that are five to eight ounces in size and made with natural wax and fragrances typically run $10 to $18.

    • Mid-Range

    Medium scented candles that are eight to 13 ounces in size and made with natural wax and fragrances typically cost $15 to $30. Large scented candles that are 13 to 25 ounces in size and made with synthetic wax and fragrances usually run between $20 and $30.

    • Expensive

    Large scented candles that are 13 to 25 ounces in size and made with natural wax and fragrances typically cost $35 to $65.

    EXPERT TIP

    Store scented candles in a cool, dry location where they won’t be exposed to direct sunlight.


    Tips for burning scented candles

    • Never leave a scented candle unattended once it’s burning. It can be a serious fire hazard.

    • Always place a scented candle on a heat-resistant surface before lighting it, and make sure that it isn’t in the path of any drafts.

    • For most scented candles, you should keep the wick trimmed to approximately 1/8 inch.

    • To get the most powerful fragrance for your home, allow the wax to pool at the top of the candle as it burns. The entire top layer should liquefy for the strongest scent.

    • Most scented candles shouldn’t be burned for more than four hours at a time, and always allow the candle to cool for at least two hours before relighting it.

    • When your scented candle only has a half-inch of wax left, it’s time to replace it.

    • If you don’t have a wick trimmer to trim the wicks of your scented candles, a small pair of nail scissors works well.

    For the best performance, allow a scented candle to burn for two to three hours each time you light it.

    FAQ

    Q. Are scented candles safe to burn?

    A. Burning scented candles is as safe as burning unscented candles. Because candles have open flames, they are a fire hazard and must be watched carefully. However, if you’re concerned about a scented candle giving off possible toxic fumes, there’s no need. The fragrances used are approved for burning in candles, and only a safe amount is added to each candle.

    Q. Can I use scented candles if I have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues?

    A. Scented candles usually aren’t an issue for most people, but there is a chance that a certain fragrance or essential oil may trigger a reaction if you are sensitive to scents. If you have a reaction to a specific fragrance, avoid any scented candles that feature those notes. It’s also important to burn your scented candle in a well-ventilated space.

    Q. Are scented candles made with natural wax better than those made with synthetic wax?

    A. All waxes used for candles are non-toxic, so both natural and synthetic waxes are perfectly safe to burn in your home. However, natural waxes usually offer a cleaner burn than synthetic waxes, so many people prefer scented candles that use natural materials.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor