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?

There is nothing cozier 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!

Image of a dresser with a non toxic candle on it burning. In the background are a set of oils and lotions next to a vase of dried flowers and a family picture.

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

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 and toxic chemicals into the air which you end up breathing….and these toxins stay in your house long-term on surfaces, walls ceilings, and pose a health risk to us. 

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 with safe, lovely scents! The good news is that it’s not as difficult as you think. Let’s see how to find the best non-toxic candles that are free of harmful chemicals and are overall a safer alternative.

Image of a small table with a collection of oils and perfumes and vase of dried flowers in the background and a non-toxic candle in the foreground with a container of matches to the left of it.

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! There are so many things that come into play, from the type of wax to the origin of scents, making it a bit complicated to find the perfect candle companies. The first thing you have to do is look at the full ingredient list to know exactly what your candles have. 

Here’s the top no-no list to make sure you’re maintaining your non-toxic living:

1. 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!

2. Fragrance

You’ve heard me repeatedly say, “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,’ the 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)

3. 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

Image of a collection of non toxic candles on a shelf with a vase of dried flowers in the background.

The Best Non Toxic Candles

Next time you are looking for the healthiest candles that have just the right scent and are also made with natural ingredients, take a look at this list:

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 whose owner and creator, Jenna, is just the sweetest! These candles are made with pure soy way organic ingredients and are free of phthalates. Her scents are not overpowering, but for sure, the strongest on this list!

Convivial // This is a pottery brand that has started making some candles in the dreamiest, refillable pots! They use 100% soy wax and cotton wicks and are 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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In Full Bloom is a digital journal encouraging you to thrive, not just survive, and find joy in nourishing your whole self—mind, body and soul. Imagine we were sipping iced matcha lattes together and catching up like lifelong friends. Let's cultivate conscious living together.

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