lighting a clean burning candle in a home

The Best Non Toxic Candles + What Ingredients to Look For



Is it just me or is someone telling you, “Your house smells amazing!” the best compliment ever?


Bronze Frame | Mirror | Vase | Match Holder | Dried Florals

There is nothing more cozy to me than lighting a candle…and in my opinion diffusing essential oils is just not the same! My sweet 2 year old daughter even loves them and always asks me “mama turn on please”…it’s too sweet!

I am very sensitive to scents and typically get bad migraines when I go somewhere with a strong air freshener, cleaning supplies or candle. 

Lighting a non toxic candle.

Sadly candles aren’t as innocent as their cozy marketing can often depict! Many toxic candles on the market release harmful toxins into the air which you end up breathing….and these toxins stay in your house longterm on surfaces, walls ceilings, etc. 

In fact, in a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency, they measured that indoor air quality is worse than outdoor air quality (even in the most industrial cities). Since the majority of our lives are spent indoors, I encourage you to take intentional steps to make your home environment both safe + cozy!

Ingredients to avoid + what’s safe

Toxic candles are tricky—scent preference is something so unique to the individual and it’s honestly hard to find clean burning candles with healthy ingredients! Here’s the top no-no list to make sure you’re maintaining your non toxic living:

Paraffin Wax // Studies show that when burned this wax creates and releases highly toxic benzene and toluene (linked to birth defects) and can create difficulty breathing, asthma, and even migraines. These ingredients are also found in diesel fuel fumes! Yikes.

Safer option: vegetable wax, soy wax, coconut wax. If it’s organic or sustainably sourced, that’s just the cherry on top!

Fragrance // You’ve heard me say over and over “Fragrance is a red flag!” Beware of synthetic fragrances (and natural fragrances even) too. Most fragrances contain endocrine disrupting phthalates that will really alter your hormone balance. Remember, fragrances are trade secrets, so there can be thousands of harmful ingredients all under that one word “fragrance.” Even in many candles marketed as ‘natural’ fragrance is still on the label but look for safer fragrance options below…I get it can be confusing!

Safer option: pure essential oils, essential oil blends, fragrance oils derived from essential oils or phthalate free fragrances (most common)

Metal Wicks // Lead in candle wicks has been banned since 2003 thankfully, but in some cases, we still see a wire at the core of the wick that manufacturers use to keep it in place. This can cause inhalation of metals and soot in your house that can be detrimental to your health.  

Safer option: cotton wicks, you might occasionally see bamboo wicks too

The Best Non Toxic Candles

Brooklyn Candle Studio // These have been my go-to non toxic candles for years as their process is so pure! Their scents are very light but have never once have given me a headache. They use 100% American grown soy wax, cotton wicks and petroleum + phthalate free fragrance blends. I love the Montana Forest, Sweet Fig and Toasted Pumpkin scents.

Farmers Candle Co // These smell dreamy and provide just enough scent! They use a hemp wick and a blend of essential oils and phthalate free fragrances. Patchouli + Frankincense is my favorite. These last a long time.

Slow North // I often give these as gifts because I love the packaging. They are sustainably sourced and packaged and have a light essential oil based aroma!

Follain // They use a combo of sustainable soy and coconut wax with pure essential oil blends. The vanilla hints of candle No 1 are my favorite.

The Homemade Collective // This is a small brand and the owner and creator Jenna is just the sweetest! These candles are made with pure soy way, organic ingredients and free of phthalates. Her scents are not overpowering but for sure the strongest of this list!

Convivial // This is a pottery brand that has started making some candles in the dreamiest, refillable pots! They use 100% soy wax, cotton wicks and scented with essential oils. I love this gingerbread scent!

Beeswax // These are always a great natural option and will give off a slight honey scent. I love using beeswax for tea lights, tapers or pillars.

Lightwell Candle Co // They use 100% soy and coconut wax and fragrance oil derived from essential oils. The rose & almond scent is just dreamy but not overpoweringly floral!

Primally Pure Room Spray // This is not a candle but my go to for room freshener and dreamy essential oil blends for the kitchen or home! Totally pure and clean ingredients too.

Do you have a favorite non-toxic candle or scent?!


leave a comment

  1. Alison says:

    Thank you for this post! Do you know much about the safety of Anthropologie candles? Specifically their Capri Blue candles? Thank you!

    • Caroline Potter says:

      I would recommend checking their ingredients! If a brand/product doesn’t disclose their ingredients that is often a red flag!

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