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Published Mar. 15, 2022

Burning candles is one of the most budget-friendly and accessible ways to practice self-care. Candles have been used for centuries as a form of lighting, but today they are most commonly used to create fresh and beautiful scents for homes and personal spaces.

Some candles can also be used as a form of aromatherapy, which means the ingredients include essential oils shown to have relaxing or therapeutic effects. Scents like lavender have even been shown to help with sleep under the right circumstances.

When choosing the best candle for you, it’s important to look at a few key factors, including scent, burn time, and type of wax. Some studies show that artificial ingredients and fragrances in candles can lead to harmful emissions in your air. But more research needs to be done, as some other studies show conflicting information. All this to say, you can never go wrong with selecting options with ingredients that are natural and known not to cause any harm.

We’ve chosen a few of the best candles on the market for 2022 so you can strike a match, breathe in beautiful aromas, and take a load off.  

How we chose the best candles for 2022

We looked at several factors when deciding whether or not to include each candle on our list. Most importantly, we looked at ingredients. We wanted to select only the most natural and high-quality candles to ensure that none of our recommendations would irritate your senses.

Longer burn times were important so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Why spend top dollar on a candle that lasts for just a few hours? We’re not trying to literally burn money here.

We also looked at reviews and the general reputation of the brand. Some brands have really dominated the space, such as Diptyque scented candles and Jo Malone candles. While they do smell incredible and offer an impressive selection, we also wanted to include some more budget-friendly options, as well. 

We were also in direct contact with some of the candle manufacturers to hunt down the often-elusive ingredient lists.

What to consider when shopping for the best candles

Scent

Choosing a scent is a very personal preference. There’s a wide variety of scents and smells—from floral to woody, warm to sweet, and everything in between. We recommend looking for natural scents that don’t leave a harsh chemical-y smell that can ultimately irritate your senses. Going to the store to smell some before ordering online can also help you identify specific ingredients you like since choosing over the web can be tricky.

Burn time

This refers to how long your candle will burn when lit, which mostly has to do with wax density. Paraffin tends to burn the quickest, while soy and beeswax have longer burn times. Some luxury manufacturers use a “high-quality paraffin wax blend” to increase the burn time. Burn times can range from 30 hours to 80 hours for a similarly sized candle, so there is quite a bit of range. Look for burn times in the description when selecting your candle of choice, but know that environmental factors like humidity and temperature can affect the real-world results.

Type of wax

There are lots of waxes, but three main types of wax dominate the market:

  • Paraffin: A cheap wax that is super versatile. Paraffin is a by-product of the crude oil refinement process. This may not be suitable for eco-friendly consumers, and it offers the shortest burn time. However, if budget is the main concern, this might be your best option.
  • Beeswax: This has been used for centuries and has shown to provide the longest burn time. It can be both freestanding and placed in a container. 
  • Soy: Soy wax is made from 100% hydrogenated soybean oil. It requires a container (cannot be freestanding), and offers a medium to hi

Throw

A candle’s throw essentially refers to how well the candle’s scent will circulate around your space. Paraffin waxes tend to give off the best throw, but it also burns the quickest.

Wick

A wick is used to deliver wax, or “fuel,” to the flame, which allows your candle to continue burning. There are a few main types of wicks available: cotton, wire (zinc core wicks), hemp, fiberglass, wood, and other “natural fibers.” One-hundred-percent cotton or wood is your safest, best bet, as they are natural and don’t release harmful elements in your home air.

Container style

This is the container your candle is placed in. The most common tend to be glass jars, as they can handle the heat. If design and aesthetics are important to you, the candle’s container is an element to consider. Many come with a lid but know that most recommend you don’t put out the candle by putting on the lid. It will work, but it might also damage your candle or cause a fire.

Ingredients (chemical vs. natural)

While research is conflicted on this, some believe waxes made from crude oil by-products (paraffin), synthetic fragrances, or other artificial ingredients may release harmful toxins into your home environment and shouldn’t be breathed in. Candle ingredients can also be difficult to find online, as candles are considered “cosmetic” and therefore they don’t have to list their ingredients. Isn’t that wild?

The best candles: Reviews & Recommendations

Here are our picks for the best candles for any mood. And, no matter which lovely glass vessel you choose, here’s a tip: Regularly cut the wick to keep your candle burning fresh, and let the candle burn for about 2-3 hours upon first use to ensure an even continuous burn.

Best candle for home: Jo Malone Candle Lilac Lavender & Lovage Townhouse

Nordstrom

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Why it made the cut: This hand-made candle promises extended burn times and a pleasant, balanced scent.

Specs:

  • Burn time: 70 hours
  • Weight: 10.5 oz
  • Primary Scent: Lavender

Pros:

  • 70 hours of burn time
  • Very respected brand
  • Comes in textured bisque ceramic container
  • Sustainable

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Ingredients unlisted online (we had to call)

Handcrafted in England with the help of 16 different artisans, Jo Malone candles are truly a work of art. While they are pricey, they have become widely recognized for their beautiful scents, luxurious feel, and premium quality. 

We chose this product as “best candle for home” for two main reasons: First, with 70 hours of burn time, you won’t have to constantly replace it. It’s also fragranced with lilac and lavender. Research shows that lavender has calming effects and can even help with sleep. This is perfect for relaxing at home, or if you’re looking for something to place on your bedside table.

It comes in a beautifully textured bisque ceramic vessel, so you can use this for home storage when the candle has been burned through. 

It’s worth noting that this company does not list its full ingredients online. We had to call Jo Malone’s parent company, Estee Lauder, in order to find out what they put in their candles. After the run-around, we got the list. This candle uses a bespoke wax blend and they are committed to sustainable practices. In fact, by 2025, they promise that at least 75% of their packaging will be “recyclable, refillable, reusable, recycled or recoverable.”

Best soy candle: Rukske TROIS No.1

Rukske

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Why it made the cut: This long-burning candle isn’t cheap, but it matches the quality of top-tier offerings.

Specs:

  • Burn time: 50 hours
  • Weight: 8 oz
  • Primary scent: Amber Crystal, Cardamom, Sage

Pros:

  • Soy/coconut wax blend
  • Hand poured
  • Comes in luxurious black glass vessel
  • 50 hours of burn time
  • Beloved by home decorators and stylists

Cons:

  • Only one color option

Rukske signature black candles add a touch of luxury and sensuality to your home. If aesthetic and home decor are important to you, you’ll love this brand that was created by a former fashion stylist. They come in a modern, chic, minimalist black jar and are hand poured with natural oils.

We love this unique blend of scents in the Trois No. 1: a base of santal, oud wood, and cashmere musk; mid notes of white cedar, sage, violet leaf, and sea salt; and top notes including amber crystal and cardamom. Delicious.

In terms of pricing, we’d consider this a midrange budget brand. With an average price of around $60 to $65 for a candle, they’re not cheap, but they don’t shock wallets out of $150 like some of the higher-priced luxury brands. 

The soy and coconut wax blend offers a burn time of up to 50 hours in an 8-ounce portion. They recommend not burning for more than 3 hours at a time. 

Best affordable candle: Hemp & Hand Soy Candle Eucalyptus & Cypress

Hemp and Hand

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Why it made the cut: This affordable option in is ideal for relaxing thanks to the eucalyptus.

Specs:

  • Burn time: 20 hours
  • Weight: 4 oz
  • Primary scent: Eucalyptus

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • Soy wax
  • 3 natural scents
  • Vegan
  • Organic hemp wick

Cons:

  • No ingredients listed
  • Burn time not listed on website (we inquired)

A great affordable find if you’re looking for the best candle gift options, these 100% vegan soy wax candles are blended together with hemp extract and real hemp leaf. It burns with an organic hemp wick and is further scented with all-natural essential oils. 

Eucalyptus has been shown to aid in relaxation and can even help with headaches. Don’t get spooked by the hemp: it’s THC-free. All Hemp & Hand offerings are hand-poured in California in sustainable and recyclable glass jars. A 2-pack comes in at under $30—a steal.

Customers also noted these are portable, travel-friendly, and are good to take on the go for trips or gifts.

Best beeswax candle: Bluecorn Beeswax 100% Pure Beeswax Tea Lights

Bluecorn Beeswax

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Why it made the cut: These super-basic tea lights leave out any unnecessary ingredients.

Specs:

  • Burn time: 5 hours
  • Weight: 0.8 oz tea lights in 6, 24, or 48 packs
  • Primary scent: Unscented

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Comes in bulk
  • Over 1,500 positive reviews
  • Paraffin-free
  • Handmade in CO

Cons:

  • Only unscented options
  • Comes in plastic cups; no glass container included

If you’re sensitive to smells but still want the ambience and cozy factor that candle burning brings, you’ll love this beeswax tea light pack from Bluecorn Beeswax. This budget-friendly option is perfect for those looking for unscented candles in bulk.

Made from 100% Pure Beeswax, the candle may give off a slight natural honey scent but contains no other fragrances or scents. 

Each candle has a 1.5-inch diameter and a 5-hour burn time, but note they come in tiny plastic cups we don’t recommend burning your candle in. You’ll need to supply your own glass container. They’re hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and come with a lead-free wick. All products are handmade in Colorado. 

Reviewers love that for tea lights, they last a long time and are super versatile for a variety of needs. 

Best Diptyque candle: Baies/Berries Candle

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Why it made the cut: This is our favorite offering from an iconic candle brand.

Specs:

  • Burn time: Depends on size; 20 hours – 120 hours
  • Weight: 70g – 1.5 kg
  • Primary Scent: Fruity/floral

Pros:

  • Respected brand
  • Up to 120 hours of burn time
  • One of the strongest-smelling candles

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Ingredients not posted

Choosing just one favorite feels impossible; Diptyque has dozens of absolutely delicious-smelling candles. Many call this scent the “starter candle” if unsure which of their scents to choose from.

If you’re unfamiliar with Diptyque, this luxury perfumer began in Paris in 1961 and has since become a world-renowned fragrance brand. When it comes to sophisticated, the French really know their sh*t.

The Baies/Berries is one of Diptyque’s best-selling scents. The fragrance in the name: blackcurrant, fruity, and floral notes warm the entire house. The candle’s throw has an impressive reach, and, while it is expensive, it fills a room quickly so it doesn’t need to burn for very long.

FAQs

Q: What is the most popular candle?

The most popular candles depend on the price point. For budget-friendly options, Chesapeake Bay Candles tend to dominate as they are wildly available at many large retailers. For more luxury candle brands, Diptyque and Jo Malone are two of the most popular brands on the market.

Q: How much does a candle cost?

How much a candle costs depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of wax used, burn time, brand, size/weight, and other ingredients. Prices can range from a few dollars to over $100 for similarly sized products.

Q: What is the best candle you can buy?

The best candle you can buy is the candle that you enjoy the most. Finding the right scent for you is highly personal, but we can definitely recommend this list for brand options that align with your lifestyle and price point.

A final word about the best candles

With such a huge variety and so many options to choose from, selecting your new candle can feel overwhelming. Start by finding your favorite scent and looking for reputable brands that make quality candles that burn for longer periods of time. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned money on a cute candle that burns up in a day?

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