10 best non-toxic candles that are sustainable and smell great

·8-min read
Burn, baby burn: These natural candles leave a long-lasting scent  (The Independent)
Burn, baby burn: These natural candles leave a long-lasting scent (The Independent)

Non-toxic soy candles are created without any synthetics, making for a cleaner flame and more transparent ingredients list.

Vegetable-based, the wax in soy candles comes from soybean oil, ensuring they’re free of potentially toxic chemicals such as ones found in paraffin. Producing a slow burn with no residue or sooty smokiness thanks to their cotton wicks, these natural candles tend to last longer too.

While the wicks don’t become as easily weighed down with excess, you can still trim them between use for an even cleaner burn.

Soy is a naturally sourced, eco-friendly ingredient, and without the addition of synthetic chemicals, these candles are considered better for you. They are also vegan, unlike other candles that contain beesewax, for example. And as their scent comes from essential oils, it can be a purer blend, meaning these candles deliver long-lasting fragrance.

From travel-sized options to larger holders, we’ve spent a month trialling a heap of natural wax candles across a range of scents and styles. Our top picks will leave your space smelling great without any dreaded synthetic smokiness . Thank us later.

Read more:

The best non-toxic candles for 2021 are:

  • Best overall– Scentered sleep well wellbeing ritual candle and refill: £45, Scentered.me

  • Best for mind clearing scent – Crabtree & Evelyn the gardeners sundown candle: £36, Crabtree-evelyn.co.uk

  • Best unique holder – Skin Alchemists summer candle: £65, Skinalchemists.com

  • Best supersized candle– ESPA positivity candle: £55, Espaskincare.com

  • Best hand poured effect– Ishga Hebridean dreams candle: £29, Ishga.com

  • Best delicate fragrance– Aromatherapy Associates rose candles: £48, Aromatherapyassociates.com

  • Best for cosiness– Kiss The Moon glow aromatherapy soy candle: £38, Kissthemoon.com

  • Best travel size candle– Elemental Herbology soothe aromatherapy candle: £25, Elementalherbology.com

  • Best for tranquillity– Olivia’s Haven wild heather soy candle: £29, Olivias-haven.co.uk

  • Best deep aroma– Von Norten truffle d’orient candle: £47, Vonnorten.se

Scentered sleep well wellbeing ritual candle and refill

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Within the box, you get a 220g soy candle in a glass jar as well as a matching candle refill, plus instructions on how to remove the used wax before adding its replacement. A brilliant concept, we rate the reasonable price point for two products, especially given their luxe quality. The chic glass holder is a frosted finish with an etched pattern featuring a bird, moon, and plants landscape. An all-natural aromatherapy blend, without any synthetics, the scent of palmarosa, lavender and ylang ylang is soothing and comforting. Billed as a sleep well candle, our tester has been lighting throughout the day for a calming fragrance too.

Buy now £45.00, Scentered.me

Crabtree & Evelyn the gardeners sundown candle

Best: For mind clearing scent

Rating: 9/10

This 350g soy wax candle is presented in a brown glass holder with a rounded base. Also included is quite a heavy to hold, flat black metal lid for storage and a candle stand. Featuring double wicks that are slimline but substantial enough to light, we picked up on the mind-clearing and cheering eucalyptus, nutmeg, red ginger and cedarwood notes. Generously sized too, the luxurious fragrance oils are highly concentrated, and we saw that pure blend contributes to gentle, calm flames. After burning, the wax pools in an even, levelled off finish ready for the next lighting.

Buy now £36.00, Crabtree-evelyn.co.uk/

Skin Alchemists summer candle

Best: Unique holder

Rating: 9/10

Hand-poured into a clay pot designed by ceramist Nina Paloma, this 360g candle comprises 100 per cent soya wax and two eco-cotton wicks. Our tester noticed the double wicks bring extra scent intensity to this citrus blend. We saw the flames light up its holder’s bronze shaded inside edge too, adding an extra ambience. Its burn is notably flat and even, not dipping at all. We picked up on earthy vetiver and patchouli as well as relaxing lavender and softly floral red mandarin. Although this is an investment, the clay pot is exquisitely detailed and will be an interior addition for years to come.

Buy now £65.00, Skinalchemists.com

ESPA positivity candle

Best: Supersized candle

Rating: 9/10

A hand-poured soy wax candle with botanical essential oils, this offering from ESPA is presented in a branded white glass holder. An accompanying silver metal lid acts as a handy cover to stop the candle from becoming dusty between uses. We tried the supersize 410g version, but you can also shop for a smaller one. The scent itself comes from ESPA’s positivity range, and we detected sweet, citrus, and floral notes across ingredients including jasmine, rose geranium, bergamot, and orange. Our tester noted the burn to be impressively even, with no dips in its 100 per cent natural wax afterwards, just a smooth flat surface. Fragrance quickly filled our room, bringing a brightening, vibrant aroma, and we found the lid handy to stand this candle on while lit too.

Buy now £55.00, Espaskincare.com

Ishga Hebridean dreams candle

Best: Hand-poured effect

Rating: 8/10

Offering a total burn time of 40 hours, this 30cl natural soya wax candle is hand-poured in two stages with Hebridean seaweed sprinkled into each layer. Set in a white glass holder, there’s also a silver metal lid with sealant edges to secure in place between uses. While burning we noticed the hot wax melts in circular layers, showing those tiny hand-harvested seaweed particles. The fresh scent is gently warming and added a definite spa vibe to our living room, with the lavender, rose, geranium, juniper berry and lemongrass oil blend. Its clean flame doesn’t create any smokiness either.

Buy now £29.00, Ishga.com

Aromatherapy Associates rose candle

Best: Delicate fragrance

Rating: 9/10

Made of a 100 per cent natural soy wax blend, this hand-poured 200g candle from Aromatherapy Associates, comes in a curved white ceramic pot with a raised logo on it. Smooth to touch, because of its external composition, the holder doesn’t become hot either. Our tester picked up on the rose scent alongside refreshing geranium and noticed a lightweight fragrance with delicate, sweet botanical notes. A firm favourite thanks to its holder alone, we love the sleek minimalist aesthetic it offers. One for subtle scent fans, it creates a still calm flame with no smoky residue and is designed to last for 40 hours.

Buy now £48.00, Aromatherapyassociates.com

Kiss The Moon glow aromatherapy soy candle

Best: For cosiness

Rating: 8/10

This soy wax candle has a cotton and paper wick, is housed in a black glass container and has an estimated burn time of 50 hours. The logo is etched onto its side, so we saw a cosy glow when lit. The orange and geranium essential oil blend makes for a tangy, happy scent that is mood-lifting. Dispersing throughout our lounge, we noticed how much of a widespread aroma the candle brings. Plus, its molten wax pool reaches close to the holder’s side, resulting in an even burn with quite a small but completely clean flame. The joyful scent lingered in our room afterwards too.

Buy now £38.00, Kissthemoon.com

Elemental Herbology soothe aromatherapy candle

Best: Travel size candle

Rating: 8/10

This 120ml brown glass jar boasts a handy twist-off lid and features both soy wax and non-toxic cotton wicks. Offering 25 hours of burn time, the essential oils mix includes neroli and camomile, making for a soothing scent. Our tester also noticed its crisp, pure fragrance. We picked up on a warming woodiness, reminding us of a hazy summer evening. As a smaller candle, the compact size would be ideal for travel too, especially given its tightly secured lid.

Buy now £25.00, Elementalherbology.com

Olivia’s Haven wild heather soy candle

Best: For tranquillity

Rating: 8/10

This pretty, hand-poured soy candle has an estimated burn time of at least 45 hours and is presented in a matte white glass holder with a colourful label. Its paraben-free fragrance oils include top notes of heather which our tester noted to bring a soft floral fragrance immediately after lighting. This creamy scent became stronger the longer it was lit, and we smelt a honey sweetness. The candle offers a medium-sized flame that creates a stillness while burning, and no smokiness at all, adding to its enveloping, tranquil vibe.

Buy now £29.00, Olivias-haven.co.uk

Von Norten truffle d’orient candle

Best: Deep aroma

Rating: 9/10

Made with vegan ingredients, this natural soy wax candle is a sturdy 300g size and packaged in a sleek Swedish-designed grey glass container. The soy wax itself is a creamy yellow shade which works well against its holder. Alongside truffle, we picked up on its sweet vanilla and jasmine notes, as well as the more concentrated ylang ylang and lighter blackcurrant. The resulting scent is complex with many layers, and spread throughout the room without being too overpowering. The consistently even burn meant we saw no deep dips in the molten wax, and zero signs of black smokiness on the holder’s inside rim either.

Buy now £47.00, Vonnorten.se

The verdict: Non-toxic candles

The concept of a candle plus replacement refill impressed us with Scentered, not to mention the chic holder and comforting scent. For its mind-clearing fragrance, robust lid or stand attachment and calm flame, we also really rate Crabtree & Evelyn. Finally, Skin Alchemists’ clay pot and double wick scent intensity gets our unique candle vote.

Voucher codes

For the latest offers on candles and other home fragrances, try the links below:

Need something extra to help you wind down? read our round-up of the best sleep aids to help you get a good night’s rest

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting