The 23 Best Candles to Make Your Home Smell Amazing

The perfect candles for every room in your home.

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Otherland The Mini Set
Photo: Otherland.com

Whether you want a fresh-scented kitchen or the relaxing aroma of lavender in your bedroom, lighting a candle sets the tone in your space and adds a level of coziness and warmth no matter where it's placed. Finding the right candle for your home, however, can be a challenge.

Candles come in a range of sizes, scents, and designs. Some serve as decor while others just offer the ambiance of a lit flame. To help you find the best fit, we talked to experts and researched the best candles out there, keeping in mind each one's size, wax blend, wick type, and burn time.

Overall, our favorite candle is the Yankee Candle Personalized Candle for its customization options. With this candle, you can choose the container, scent, and label, so you're guaranteed to get your ideal combination.

To help narrow down your choices, here are the best candles.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Yankee Candle Personalized Candle

Yankee Candle Personalized Candle
Yankeecandle.com

Who it's for: People who prefer specific details on their candles, as well as anyone who needs a thoughtful gift for any occasion.
Who it isn't for: Anyone can enjoy this candle, but keep in mind that not all scents and vessels can be combined.

Candles come in a ton of shapes, sizes, and scents and are a personal choice, so it's hard to say which one is better than the rest. Yankee Candles' Personalized Candle comes close, however, with a customized candle option that allows you to select all of the components.

To start, you'll be able to choose between four different forms—the brand's classic jar shape (22 ounces), a large tumbler (20 ounces), a large jar (20 ounces), and a votive (1.75 ounces). From there, you'll pick from a range of 13 scents. If you're not sure which scent is right for you, you can read through each scent's fragrance notes for a better idea. It's worth noting, however, that not all scents and vessels can be combined.

The candle is finished with a customized label on which you can upload a photo or choose from pre-made options. You'll also be able to add a custom message to the label, a thoughtful touch especially if you're gifting the candle.

Product Details:

  • Size: From 1.75 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Paraffin
  • Wick Type: Not listed
  • Burn Time: From 15 hours

RELATED: Shoppers Say This $9 Gadget Is the Secret to Making Your Candles Last So Much Longer

Best Budget: Public Goods Lavender & Vanilla Soy Candle

Public Goods Lavender & Vanilla Soy Candle
Publicgoods.com

Who it's for: People who want a vegan candle that doesn't cost much.
Who it isn't for: People who want a decorative, luxury candle.

If you're looking to build up your candle collection, the Public Goods Lavender & Vanilla Soy Candle is a great place to start. This candle is budget-friendly and has two popular fragrance notes that will add a sense of warmth and relaxation to your space.

It's offered in three sizes, each of which is made with soy wax and has a cotton wick. To tie it all together, it's housed in a glass jar and comes with an acacia wood lid for a decorative touch. Once the candles burn through, you can clean out the wax and use the jars as storage for small odds and ends.

Product Details:

  • Size: 7 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: Not listed

Best Splurge: Diptyque Baies/Berries Candle

Candle Jar
nordstrom.com

Who it's for: People who want a classic luxury candle, as well as those can't choose between a fruity and floral scent.
Who it isn't for: People who want a candle with a more decorative vessel.

Diptyque's Baies candle is an investment, but there's a reason this candle is one of the brand's bestselling creations. The fragrance balances notes of blackcurrant berries with rose for a unique fruity yet floral scent unlike others out there.

"You may recognize this label from your Instagram feed, and we are here to tell you, it is worth the hefty price tag if you can swing it. Though 'Baies' is French for 'berries', the scent is more subtle than sweet. Rose petals mixed with blackcurrant leaves create a fresh fragrance bound to impress any guest," says Anneke Knot, assistant beauty editor for Real Simple.

The candle is housed in the brand's classic clear glass jar and is offered in two sizes—2.4 and 6.5 ounces. Though there are more expensive options out there, it's worth noting the made-in-France candle is fairly more expensive than many other candles of the same size or larger.

Product Details:

  • Size: From 2.4 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Paraffin
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: From 20 hours

Best Decorative: CB2 Alabaster Candle Bowl

CB2 Alabaster Candle Bowl
cb2.com

Who it's for: People who just like the ambiance of a lit candle.
Who it isn't for: People who prefer a scented candle or plan to burn the candle often.

The CB2 Alabaster Candle Bowl is housed in an alabaster container and acts as decor even when it's not lit. It has three wicks and is unscented, so you'll get the warm, cozy benefits of a candle without any fragrance. The container is carved from a solid piece of alabaster, meaning no two candles will have the same exact vessel—and once the candle burns through you can remove the wax and repurpose it as a jewelry box.

Product Details:

  • Size: 19.75 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Paraffin
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 28 hours

Best Gift: L'or De Seraphine Whitby Ceramic Jar Candle

L’or De Seraphine Whitby Ceramic Jar Candle
lordeseraphine.com

Who it's for: People who want a decorative candle that makes a good gift.
Who it isn't for: People who want a more simple candle design that won't stick out as decor.

L'or De Seraphine's Whitby Ceramic Jar Candle is like a vacation in a jar, a gift that's sure to be appreciated no matter the occasion. The candle has a fresh scent and is housed in a bold vessel that will double as a decorative detail in a home even when the candle isn't lit.

"Subtle notes of sea salt and violets make you feel like you're sitting in a cottage on the shore, even during the slushiest springtime, but the real star is the ultra chic reusable ceramic holder," says Knot. "Use it to hold pens or pins after the wax runs dry."

The candle is offered in either a medium or large size, with burn times ranging form 45-80 hours. Like all other L'or De Seraphine candles, the Whitby is housed in a ceramic container with a decorative design that'll make a statement once it's unwrapped. In line with the candle's sea salt and vetiver scent, this one has a blue and white motif that resembles crashing waves. The candle arrives in a white gift box as well, so you'll be able to easily wrap it or send it directly to someone if you need.

Product Details:

  • Size: From 6.4 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Palm wax
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: From 45 hours

Best Travel Candle: Harlem Candle Company Lady Day Travel Candle

Harlem Candle Company Lady Day Travel Candle
harlemcandlecompany.com

Who it's for: People who want to try a scent out or who live in a small space.
Who it isn't for: People who want something more decorative.

Whether you travel often or just don't have a ton of counter space for a candle, travel candles like Harlem Candle Company's Lady Day are a great option to consider. Inspired by the gardenia Billie Holiday always wore in her hair, this candle has a vibrant, floral scent you'll be happy to have on the go.

The 4-ounce candle is larger than a standard votive, which is typically around 3 ounces. Whether you're in a small space or want to try out a new scent, you'll enjoy notes of neroli, bergamot, gardenia, and jasmine for up to 20 hours.

Product Details:

  • Size: 4 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 20 hours

Best Tapered: Hyoola Tall Taper Candles

Hyoola Tall Taper Candles
Amazon.com

Who it's for: People who want an unscented candle that creates ambiance.
Who it isn't for: People who have small children or pets.

Whether you're hosting a dinner party at home or just appreciate the ambiance of a lit candle, Hyoola's Tall Taper Candles will make a great addition to your candle collection. The set includes 12 candles and is offered in a variety of colors (you can see them all on Hyoola's Amazon page), so you'll be able to find the ideal match for your home.

The unscented candles are made of paraffin wax and have a cotton wick, and you can choose from 10-, 12-, and 14-inch heights. Unlike most other candles, you'll need a candleholder to use these each time, so be sure you have a candle holder that can hold a base of 0.75 inches. With a range of colors to choose from, however, there's plenty of room to mix and match candleholder styles and candle colors to create a unique look for your next tablescape.

Product Details:

  • Size: 10, 12, or 14 inches
  • Wax Blend: Paraffin
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 8-12 hours

Best Soy: Redoux Candle "529"

Redoux Candle "529"
Redoux.nyc

Who it's for: People who want a warm scent that can work year-round.
Who it isn't for: People who want a more decorative vessel.

If you prefer a soy wax option, don't miss Redoux Candle's 529 scent. The 9-ounce candle, which is described by the brand as "summer mischief on the fire escape", offers a warm, inviting fragrance that can be enjoyed all year long.

"This candle is a bit expensive, but totally worth it for the versatile and inviting scent," says Real Simple senior commerce editor Nicole Lund. "While it makes sense as an energizing summertime candle, it can also work as a cozy cold weather scent."

This best-selling candle includes notes of sandalwood, orange blossom, ginger, amber, and saffron. Plus, it comes with a complementary match box, making it a good option for gifting. Just be aware that it frequently sells out, so you'll want to grab it while you can.

Product Details:

  • Size: 9 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: Up to 50 hours

Best Beeswax: Anthropologie Hive & Wick Siracusa Lemon Market Candle

Anthropologie Hive & Wick Siracusa Lemon Market Candle
Anthropologie.com

Who it's for: People who like a fresh citrus scent.
Who it isn't for: People who don't like food-inspired scents.

For a citrus scent, consider the Hive & Wick Siracusa Lemon Market Candle. The 14-ounce candle is made with a beeswax blend and has a fresh fragrance that's great for a powder room, kitchen, or laundry room.

Beeswax candles are popular as they're known to burn slower than other wax blends. Though some can be unscented, the Lemon Siracusa Market Candle has notes of lemon, lime, green olives, lemon zest, citrus yuzu, and warm coriander, creating a unique scent unlike others out there.

The candle is poured into a textured farmhouse-style ceramic vessel that comes in a vibrant yellow shade. This candle is offered in three other scents and colors as well—Green Market, Rosemary Baguette, and Tomato Vine.

Product Details:

  • Size: 14 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Beeswax
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 30 hours

Best Multi-Wick: Bath & Body Works Mahogany Teakwood Intense Candle

Bath & Body Works Mahogany Teakwood Intense Candle
Bathandbodyworks.com

Who it's for: People who want to fill a larger space with a fragrance, or want a more intense level of scent.
Who it isn't for: People who want a longer-lasting candle.

Most candles have a single wick, but if you're looking to fill a larger room with a fragrance, Bath & Body Works' Mahogany Teakwood Intense Candle is a great option. This candle has three wicks and is larger than typical candles, so you'll have an increased scent throw.

"It kind of smells like a really attractive man, so if you're a fan of colognes over super floral scents, you'll enjoy this," says Hana Hong, a beauty & fashion editor for Real Simple. "The teakwood, mahogany, and oak notes are really rich, but you can also detect the tiniest hint of lavender in there for an overall soothing olfactory experience."

The candle is housed in a luxe, matte black vessel and comes with a decorative lid as well. You can use the lid if you want to travel, but it'll also come in handy if you want to prevent any additional scent throw when the candle isn't lit.

Product Details:

  • Size: 14.5 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy with essential oils
  • Wick Type: Not listed
  • Burn Time: Up to 45 hours

Best Wood Wick: WoodWick Frasier Fir Candle

WoodWick Frasier Fir Candle
BedBathandBeyond.com

Who it's for: People who want a lot of ambiance.
Who it isn't for: People who want a candle that will burn silently.

Wooden wicks are known to emulate the cracking sound of a lit fire, a welcomed detail if you don't have a fireplace or just want to bring that coziness to another room in your home. And if a warm fireplace reminds you of the holidays, you'll appreciate WoodWick's Frasier Fir Candle.

"It's like a Christmas tree in a jar," says senior commerce editor Laura Miller. "The crackling sound from the wooden wick creates a cozy fireplace vibe that's perfect for snuggling in with a good book and a cup of tea."

The candle's notes include fir needles, eucalyptus, and cypress for a fresh, nature-like scent. The candle is offered in a mini, medium, or large size—if you aren't sure you'll like the scent, you can always get the mini size to try it out.

Product Details:

  • Size: 21 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy, paraffin
  • Wick Type: Wood
  • Burn Time: Not listed

Best Flameless: West Elm Indoor/Outdoor Flickering Flameless Pillar Candle

West Elm Indoor-Outdoor Flickering Flameless Pillar Candle
Westelm.com

Who it's for: People who are worried about candle safety or who want a candle that can be used outdoors.
Who it isn't for: People who want a scented candle or who want a real flame.

West Elm's Flickering Flameless Pillar Candle is a great option if you have pets or small children and want to avoid open flames. The LED light offers a warm glow that resembles a dancing flame, so you'll be able enjoy the ambiance of a candle without worrying about it getting knocked over.

It's made of plastic with a wax exterior and includes the batteries needed for set up, and it comes in four sizes and six different set quantities for easy customization. Plus, they're safe for both indoor and outdoor use, so you can use them to set the scene at your next outdoor dinner party.

Product Details:

  • Size: From 3 x 6 inches
  • Material: Plastic
  • Wick Type: Battery-operated
  • Burn Time: 5 hours

Best Tea Light: Yankee Candle Unscented Tea Lights

Yankee Candle Unscented Tea Lights
Yankeecandle.com

Who it's for: People who like the look of multiple lit candles but not the increased scent.
Who it isn't for: People with small children or pets.

Whether you're decorating a tablescape or just want to upgrade your spa night at home, tea lights like this set from Yankee Candle are a simple way to set the scene. This pack includes 25 lights, each of which is unscented and has a burn time of up to six hours.

Each candle in the pack weighs just under one ounce and is made from paraffin wax. The candles will produce a low flame and self-extinguish once the wick burns through, so you'll most likely only get one use out of each candle. However, the pack is budget-friendly so you'll be able to stock up if you need more.

Product Details:

  • Size: 0.35 ounces per candle
  • Wax Blend: Paraffin
  • Wick Type: Not listed
  • Burn Time: Up to 6 hours

Best Scent Options: Here For The Burn Lit AF Candle

Here For The Burn Lit AF Candle
Herefortheburn.com

Who it's for: People who want to customize their candle scent.
Who it isn't for: People who want a more traditional candle.

If you've ever wanted to customize your candle, consider Here For The Burn's Lit AF Candle. Like all the candles from this brand, you can choose between five different scent options so you'll have the ideal home fragrance with a vessel of your choosing.

"I'm a huge fan of this AAPI/LGBTQ co-founded brand," says Hong. "The whole experience is super customizable—there are five different scents to choose from (I recommend Mango Guava), and you can choose cheeky little sayings to slap on the packaging, my favorites being I'm Not a Cat (google the Zoom reference if you don't get it) and Lit AF."

Here For The Burn offers over 60 candles with different sayings, each of which is offered in a selection of scents—mango guava, moroccan amber, bergamot, green grass and tonka bean, spices and evergreen, and musky amber and rose. Though you can choose the phrase on the label and scent, each comes in the same minimal black jar.

Product Details:

  • Size: 9 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 60 hours

Best DIY: Siblings The Starter Set

Siblings The Starter Set
Siblings.co

Who it's for: People who are looking for an eco-friendly, thoughtful gift or have extra candle vessels they want to reuse.
Who it isn't for: People who are looking for an activity to do with small children.

The Starter Set from Siblings is a DIY option that makes for a great gift or just a fun activity for yourself. The set comes with a cotton wick, a wooden wick holder, a brass vessel, and ten ounces of a coconut blend wax so you can make your own candle.

The candles are fairly easy to make. After microwaving the bag of wax for two minutes, you have to thread the wick through the wick holder and center it in the middle of the vessel. From there, you pour the wax and let it sit for two hours. Once it's set, you can trim the wick and use the candle.

One of the best parts about the set is that it's environmentally-friendly in more ways than one. To start, once you burn through the included scent—a blend of bergamot, white rose, and oakmoss—you can reuse the vessel and change up the scent by purchasing wax refills. The refills include an additional wick and wick holder as well. Plus, the wax bags are made of plant-based materials and are 100 percent compostable.

Product Details:

  • Size: 10 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Coconut
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 60 hours

Best for Kitchens: Brightland Digestif Candle

Brightland Digestif Candle
Brightland.co

Who it's for: People who cook often or host dinner parties.
Who it isn't for: People who want a more versatile candle they'll want to use in different rooms of their home.

Brightland's Digestif Candle was designed with kitchens in mind. The 8-ounce candle is meant to act as a digestif for your kitchen and will leave behind a herbaceous scent long after you've cleared the table.

Notes of neroli, orange blossom, black pepper, pink pepper, and vetiver are combined to create this unique home fragrance. The candle is made with a soy wax blend, but unlike other candles it has Brightland's popular olive oil at the base. According to Brightland, the olive oil acts as a carrier oil for the essential oils in the candle and protects them from the heat so they don't burn off immediately.

Product Details:

  • Size: 8 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy
  • Wick Type: Unbleached cotton wick
  • Burn Time: 40 hours

Best Holiday Scent: Brooklyn Candle Studio Montana Forest Minimalist Candle

Brooklyn Candle Studio Montana Forest Minimalist Candle
Brooklyncandlestudio.com

Who it's for: People who don't have a Christmas tree but want their home to smell like they do all year long.
Who it isn't for: People who want a candle that'll also double as a decorative accent in their home .

Brooklyn Candle Studio's Montana Forest Minimalist Candle is a nature-inspired scent that'll spark holiday cheer all year long. The candle has notes of blue spruce, pine, cypress, moss, and cedarwood that'll make you feel like you're in a forest of Christmas trees.

"If you like the smell of fresh Christmas trees or a snow forest, this candle is a year-round favorite in my household," says Dwyer Frame, vice president of commerce. "It gives off a cozy vibe without having any artificial smells. It just smells like nature!"

The 7.5-ounce candle is made with soy wax and has a burn time of up to 50 hours. It's housed in a glass vessel and comes with a gold lid as well, so it's travel-friendly but would also make for a great stocking stuffer.

Product Details

  • Size: 7.5 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: Up to 50 hours

RELATED: 6 Christmas Scented Candles That Really Do Smell Like the Holidays

Best Fresh Scent: LAFCO Jungle Bloom

LAFCO Jungle Bloom
Lafco.com

Who it's for: People who want to feel like they're surrounded by plants in their home.
Who it isn't for: People who like a woodsy scent.

LAFCO's Jungle Bloom candle offers a fresh scent that'll make you feel like your home is full of your favorite greenery. The candles main notes are coconut water, wild lily, and mango wood, a nature-inspired combination that'll transform your space.

"As much as I'd like to be surrounded by greenery at all times, it's just not my NJ reality," says Hong. "One whiff of LAFCO's Jungle Bloom quenches my wanderlust craving and brings me to a serene seaside jungle. The emerald green glass vessel is also absolutely stunning, which is a plus for my bedside table."

The candle is offered in two sizes—6.5 ounces and 15.5 ounces. They're made with soy wax with a touch of paraffin wax that, according to LAFCO, will help enhance the delivery of the fragrance. Each candle is housed in a hand-blown glass vessel that'll be a beautiful piece of decor in your home even when the candle burns through.

Product Details:

  • Size: From 6.5 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy, paraffin
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: From 50 hours

Best Floral Scent: Literie 28th Street Flower Market

Literie 28th Street Flower Market
Literiecandle.com

Who it's for: People who want their home to smell like their own flower shop, as well as anyone who might want a candle subscription.
Who it isn't for: People who want a more abstract scent with additional fragrance notes.

Literie's 28th Street Flower Market has notes of peony and rose, a floral combination that's inspired by New York City's flower district. The candle is made with a soy and coconut wax blend and has a 50-hour burn time.

The 9-ounce candle is poured into a minimal white vessel with pink floral accents on the label. The made-in-America candle comes in a decorative pink box as well, so you can easily give the gift of an at-home flower shop to a loved one.

Though the candles are offered for one-time purchase, Literie also offers a subscription option if you love the scent. At a discounted price, you can opt to receive one new candle every one, two, or three months.

Product Details:

  • Size: 9 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy, coconut
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 50 hours

Best Warm Scent: Nette Another Life

Nette Another Life
Nordstrom.com

Who it's for: People who want to create a warm, cozy ambiance.
Who it isn't for: People who don't want to spend a lot of money on a candle.

Nette's Another Life candle is the kind of scent that perfectly captures the essence of a quiet morning at home. The candle includes notes of vanilla, cocoa, cedar wood, and patchouli, a combination that adds a warm scent to any room.

"The Another Life candle is the kind of candle that makes you want to curl up and read a good book," says commerce editor Jamie Weissman. "It adds a sense of coziness to a space and almost smells like coffee is brewing nearby, but better. Plus, the glass vessel is stunning when the flame is lit."

The 6.8-ounce candle is made with a coconut and soy wax blend and has a burn time of up to 60 hours. Like all other candles by the brand, it has a GOTs-certified cotton wick and is packaged in a box that's made of 100 percent recycled shoeboxes.

Product Details:

  • Size: 6.8 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Coconut, soy
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: Up to 60 hours

Best Smoky Scent: Apotheke Charcoal Candle

Apotheke Charcoal Candle
Apothekeco.com

Who it's for: People who want a unique take on a woodsy scent.
Who it isn't for: People who prefer a clear vessel so you can see how much candle wax is left.

Apotheke's Charcoal Candle is unlike other candles out there in more ways than one. It features notes of cedarwood, sandalwood, amber, and oud that make for a unique, smoky, and brooding scent.

The candle is hand poured into a matte black vessel that makes as bold a statement as the scent itself. Plus, unlike other options out there, the candle has a dark black wax that adds an extra level of drama.

The candle is offered in a few sizes, but the 11-ounce soy option has an impressive burn time of up to 70 hours. It comes in a giftable black box in case you want to give it to a loved one, but it's understandable if you'd rather just add this one to your personal collection.

Product Details

  • Size: 11 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Soy
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: Up to 70 hours

Best Set: Otherland The Mini Set

Otherland The Mini Set
Otherland.com

Who it's for: People who want to try different scent profiles or need a thoughtful gift.
Who it isn't for: People who want large candles with longer burn times.

Otherland's Mini Set includes all five of the brand's classic scents, a great option if you're searching for a new signature scent or need a thoughtful gift. Each candle in the set is a 2.3-ounce votive, so you'll be able to try each fragrance without committing to a full-size candle.

The Mini Set comes with the Daybed, Chandelier, Rattan, Kindling, and Canopy candles, the scents that make up the brand's Core Collection. Whether you want a floral scent or a smoky incense option, each candle has a different scent profile that allows you to figure out which notes you prefer. The candles are neatly packaged in a decorative box too, so it can be easily gifted as well.

Product Details

  • Size: 2.3 ounces each
  • Wax Blend: Soy, coconut
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: Up to 12 hours each

Best Burn Time: Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme Magnum Candle

Boy Smells Hinoki Fantôme Magnum Candle
Nordstrom.com

Who it's for: People who like to burn a candle for hours at a time and want the throw to fill a large room.
Who it isn't for: People who have a large candle collection and don't plan to light it often.

Boy Smells' Hinoki Fantôme Magnum Candle is a triple-wick option that has a 110-hour burn time, a significantly longer range than other options on this list. The classic Boy Smells scent has notes of black pepper, jasmine, moss, guiac, amongst others, and will add a warm scent to your home.

"This candle is truly unique—it's an earthy scent that's warm and calming, but also has a clean vibe that's totally refreshing," says Lund. "It's not your standard woodsy candle, in the very best way."

At 27 ounces, the candle is larger than most other scents out there. It has three braided cotton wicks and is poured into a glossy black tumbler that can be repurposed for odds and ends once the candle burns through. If you don't want to invest in the larger size, the same scent is offered in an 8.5-ounce option as well.

Product Details:

  • Size: 27 ounces
  • Wax Blend: Coconut, beeswax
  • Wick Type: Cotton
  • Burn Time: 110 hours

Final Verdict

Overall, we recommend the Yankee Candle Personalized Candle because you can choose your own vessel, scent, and label for a truly personalized experience. For a more budget-friendly option, we recommend the Public Goods Lavender & Vanilla Candle, which is surprisingly affordable, comes in three sizes, and is ideal for any room in your home.

How to Shop for Candles Like a Pro

Burn Time

A candle's burn time refers to how many hours you'll be able to burn it before you won't be able to use it anymore. Though there are a few ways to calculate it, it's often impacted by a candle's size, wax blend, and wick type. On average, a candle will have a burn time of about 40-50 hours.

Wax Blend

Paraffin, soy (vegetable), and beeswax are some of the most common wax types you'll find in candles. Paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, so those who are concerned about the environment may prefer to use soy or beeswax candles. However, there is no evidence to suggest that paraffin wax is dangerous.

Wick Type

Cotton and wood are two of the most common wick materials out there, and both have their own benefits.

"Wicks that are made from a combination of cotton and wood are the long standing tradition," says Kathy LaVanier, CEO of Renegade Candles and spokesperson for the National Candle Association. "There are hundreds of sizes and types for the candle maker to select from, so the wick can be closely matched to the combustion characteristics of the fragrance each candle uses. They create a pleasing yellow light and flicker as they burn."

Wooden wicks make a crackling sound while they burn and offer an additional sensory experience. "They also create a nice deep wax pool, allowing the candle to give off an impactful scent. The flame is typically a bit shorter and not quite as bright as a cotton wick."

Questions You Might Ask

What is a candle throw?

According to LaVanier, throw is "the term candle lovers use to describe how strong the scent is. Does it fill a space with a very noticeable scent? If yes, then it has a very strong throw."

Though a candle's throw is different from candle to another, it's important to consider, especially when you're deciding where to place it. "For some uses, like in the office, users may prefer a gentle throw that brightens the mood of the area without taking it over."

How do you burn a candle correctly?

When you get a candle, there are several steps to ensure you're lighting it properly. For starters, trimming the wick is one of the most essential steps—according to LaVanier, the ideal height is a quarter inch.

"Trimming the wick will allow your candle to burn more evenly with less carbon in the wax pool. If your wick becomes overly long or weighted down by a large carbon head on the tip of it, it may lean over and cause the candle to burn hotter on one side while leaving unused wax on the other," she says.

Once the wick is trimmed, you'll want to light it properly to prevent tunneling. Tunneling occurs when only a small portion of wax around the wick melts, creating uneven rings of wax within the candle. According to LaVanier, candles are meant to be burned 3-4 hours a time, but tunneling often occurs when a candle is burning for a short length of time.

How do you take care of a candle?

When a candle isn't being used, proper storage is a key factor to consider. Though some believe that freezing a candle will make it last longer, LaVanier highly recommends storing them at room temperature.

"Freezing a candle often causes it to crack and it will slow the formation of a full wax pool, which is what you need to lift fragrance into the air," she says.

You don't necessarily have to clean your candle, but if you want to, LaVanier recommends a specific method.

"You don't want to introduce water into a candle, so cleaning dark residue from the inside of the glass has to be done by wiping with a dry rag, if done at all," she says.

How do you safely light candles at home?

Though candles can pose a safety risk, there are plenty of ways to safely light them. "Ensure that candles are placed on a solid and level surface that is beyond the reach of pets and children," says Brian Metzger, a fire protection engineer at the United States Fire Administration.

In addition to not leaving a candle unattended, Metzger recommends ensuring lit candles are at least 12 inches away from combustible materials, like drapes, bedding, furniture. You'll also want to ensure you don't place candles "too close to each other such that their heat can cause them to lean or melt unevenly."

Take Our Word for It

Jamie Weissman is a commerce editor with two years of experience researching and writing about home products. To make this list, she considered each candle's size, wick type, wax blend, and burn time. She also consulted Real Simple editors, as well as experts from the National Candle Association and United States Fire Administration.

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