Made with essential oils and natural soy wax. Free from toxins, paraffin, and other potentially harmful ingredients. The simple black and gold design will easily complement any home décor. Available in various natural scent combinations.
Pricey for an 8-oz. candle.
Not only do you get a nice-looking jar and up to 130 hours of burn time from the soy-based wax, but you also get a well-balanced scent that isn't overpowering for a mid-range price. Ample 22-ounce size. Comes with a lid.
Owners report that it's smoky when burning and produces soot. Keeping the wick trimmed helps minimize this problem.
Owners rave about the crisp, clean scent that isn't too strong. Subtle yet pleasant aroma. Comes in an 8.1-ounce classically styled jar. Made with cosmetic-grade wax.
Doesn't burn quite as long as some high-end competitors. Produces black smoke when burning. Falls on the higher end of the price spectrum. No lid.
A popular brand and an unbeatable deal. Larger, at 22-ounces, and made with essential oils. Capable of burning up to 150 hours. Jar has the brand's traditional design that includes a securely fitting lid.
The scent is somewhat light, and it produces some smoke while burning.
Produces a relaxing lavender scent and burns cleanly — no reports of soot or smoke. Comes in an 8-ounce metal jar with lid. Made of soy wax produced by eco-friendly soybeans. Reasonably priced.
The scent may be too mild for some consumers. Doesn't burn as long as others of similar size. Only rated for 20 hours of burn time.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
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.
Like regular candles, scented candles are made from wax. However, with scented candles, makers add natural or synthetic fragrances to the wax before it hardens. When you light the candle, the wax melts again, and the fragrance begins to evaporate. As evaporation occurs, this produces a light aroma that fills the area.
Most scented candles use a blend of natural and synthetic fragrances, both of which should be approved for use in candles. Approved fragrances are often the same type used in perfume and body care products like soap.
Aromatic: Scented candles can hide unpleasant odors in your home, which makes them ideal for areas like the bathroom, the 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: When you’re feeling anxious, burning a scented candle can help you relax and unwind.
Fight insomnia: The right scented candles are calming 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.
Naturally scented candles: Some scented candles are made using natural materials. Soy wax, vegetable wax, or beeswax comprise the base, and the candles use essential oils and perfume-grade fragrances to provide scent. The wicks are usually composed completely of cotton, too.
Synthetically scented candles: Synthetically scented candle wax usually comes from 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 harsher chemicals.
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 5- to 8-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 getting 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 typically have flat, square, or cored wicks.
Flat wicks: Using flat plaited or knitted bundles of fibers, flat wicks tend to burn very consistently. They are known for curling in as they burn, so they’re often described as self-trimming.
Square wicks: These 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: While also featuring a braided or knitted design, cored wicks tend to stay straight as they burn 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 selecting 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.
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: Choose candles with lilac, rose, jasmine, or lavender notes.
Green: Choose candles with grass, green tea, bamboo, or bay leaf notes.
Woody: Choose candles with sandalwood, patchouli, cedar, or moss notes.
Fruity: Choose candles with peach, raspberry, or fig notes.
Citrus: Choose candles with lemon, orange, grapefruit, or bergamot notes.
Sweet: Choose candles with vanilla or almond notes.
Spicy: Choose candles with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, or clove notes.
Fresh: 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.
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.
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 work well.
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.