The 20 Best Candles of 2023 To Light Up Your Home

Voluspa’s Mokara 3-wick candle is our top choice for the best choice overall.

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The 20 Best Candles of 2022 to Light Up Your Home


Candles might be the easiest way to change the energy of a room. Lighting a candle can brighten the space, signal a special occasion, and send sumptuous scents into the air. “Candles are an affordable luxury that is leaning into being a necessity in today’s stressful times,” says Kathy LaVanier, Vice President and Spokesperson for the National Candle Association. “They deliver in so many ways: decoratively, visually with light, and with aromas to create a wide range of moods. Plus, they’re a perfect, very personal gift.”

We scoured stores, online, and brick-and-mortar options for the 20 best candles you can buy. Our favorite is the Voluspa Mokara, a bright floral beauty that combines Mokara orchid with white lily and spring moss. It’s like opening the windows and taking in a deep breath of summer-scented sunshine.

Our other picks run the gamut from a great budget buy and a savvy splurge; to tapers and a flameless option; to our faves among several scent categories, including woody, spicy, herbal, and more. There’s something to light up everyone’s life on our list of best candles.

Best Overall

Voluspa Mokara 3-Wick Tin Candle

Voluspa Mokara 3-Wick Tin Candle


Why You Should Get It: It's somehow both refreshing and sultry, it strikes a tricky scent balance.

Keep In Mind: Nothing. It just might be perfect.

We like the three-wick tin for its lacy floral design and wax pool, which fans out its fragrance nicely wherever it's lit. 

The Mokara candle is undeniably exotic, with notes of orchid, tuberose, freesia, and white lily, but cooling oak moss tempers all that hothouse heat. It smells like a cool breeze coming into the house on a sunny day and carries the scents of summer’s best blooms.

Price at time of publish: From $14

Product Details:

Size: 12 ounces | Wax type: Coconut blend | Burn time: 40 hours

Best Budget

Opalhouse Lidded Glass Jar Candle in Wildflowers

Opalhouse Lidded Glass Jar Candle in Wildflowers


Why You Should Get It: Opalhouse's Wildflower candle is perfect for anyone looking for long burn times—without breaking the bank. 

Keep In Mind: Nothing—we love that this bargain beauty doesn't make you overspend to enjoy a thoughtfully made candle.

The two-wick soy candle weighs 15.1 ounces, and the scent is surprisingly sophisticated. It's excellent for aromatherapy lovers. For up to 50 hours, experience a satisfyingly sweet aroma of peonies, berries, and champagne emitting the air. 

Designed with a pretty pastel glass container and metal lid, users can experience a worry-free experience that contains smoke from a smoldering wick.

Price at time of publish: $10

Product Details:

Size: 15.1 ounces | Wax type: Soy blend | Burn time: 50 hours

Best Splurge

LAFCO New York in Duchess Peony

LAFCO New York in Duchess Peony

Saks Fifth Avenue

Why You Should Get It: There's a reason so many users love LAFCO New York's candles, and how couldn't they? They're a work of art.

Keep In Mind: Nothing—this is a fantastic two-wick, soy-blended candle, that's worth the higher price point.

It's housed in a gorgeous handblown blushing pink glass jar that can be used later as a drinking glass. 

With a burn time of up to 90 hours, users will experience nothing but subtly sweet scents. Blended with peonies, camellia, and cassis, the feminine scent is irresistible enough to make you want to light it up on repeat. It's subtle without being too much.  

Price at time of publish: $70

Product Details:

Size: 15.5 ounces | Wax type: Soy-paraffin blend | Burn time: up to 90 hours

Best Flameless

Crate & Barrel White Birch Flameless Pillar Candle

White Birch Flameless Pillar Candle

Crate & Barrel

Why You Should Get It: These pillars resemble actual birch logs because of the real bark wrapped around them, and the flame flickers like the real thing.

Keep In Mind: Each candle requires two C batteries, which are not included.

If you want the coziness of candles without actually burning anything, a flameless option is for you—and these white birch pillars are absolute stunners. They have all the beauty and ambiance of candles but no open flames, odors, or smoking.

This flameless candle also features a timer and remote-control operation to light and extinguish the flames from a distance.

Price at time of publish: From $40

Product Details:

Sizes: 3x4, 3x6, and 3x8 inches | Burn time: Until the batteries run out (about 600 hours).

Best Citronella

Skeem Palo Santo Citronella Candle

Skeem Palo Santo Citronella Candle


Why You Should Get It: This candle’s citronella oil repels insects naturally.

Keep In Mind: The candle is on the heavier side, and its jar is large, so you’ll want to handle it carefully.

Skeem Candles offers several citronella options with other added fragrances. This is genius for softening citronella’s scent. Our favorite is this Palo Santo candle, which comes in a ceramic jar topped with a wooden lid. It’s as handsome as it is fragrant.

The Palo Santo oil provides a sweet, woodsy scent, and tames citronella’s medicinal edge. That way, your gathering smells great to everyone but the bugs.

Price at time of publish: $65

Product Details:

Size: 20 ounces | Wax type: Soy blend | Burn time: 100 hours

Best Pillar

Belle Candle Supply Daisy Pillar Candle

Daisy Pillar Candle

Belle Candle Supply

Why You Should Get It: Cast in a charming daisy shape and available in six happy hues.

Keep In Mind: Always burn pillar candles on a dish to catch melted wax.

Pillar candles are a traditional choice for mantles and consoles—they’re more substantial than tapers and put out more light—but they can be a little staid. Not this one. Belle Candle Supply’s Daisy Pillar is cheeky, cute, and made in Los Angeles. It’s shaped like a flower and comes in an array of fun colors.

Plus, all six colors of this daisy candle are unscented. (Which is great for anyone who is sensitive to overly fragrant scents.)

Price at time of publish: $12

Product Details:

Size: Six inches | Wax type: Soy | Burn time: Three hours

Best Taper

Saffron Marigold Polka Dot Dreams Hand-Painted Taper Candles

Polka Dot Dreams Hand-Painted Taper Candles

Saffron Marigold

Why You Should Get It: Brilliantly embellished with hand-painted dots and golden stripes, these tapers are crafted by South African women for a fair wage.

Keep In Mind: It's best to house these candles in a non-flammable holder before lighting.

These candles have been crafted with care. Each candle has been lovingly hand-painted and gilded in an artisan studio in Bredasdorp, South Africa, which employs women with steady, creative work. Each one is unique and gorgeous. Plus, for one price you'll get a set of four which is great for hosting parties or gifting to loved ones come the holiday season.

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

Size: Nine inches | Wax type: Paraffin | Burn time: Eight to nine hours

Best Floral Scent

Simpatico No. 41 Lilac Hobnail Glass Candle

Simpatico No. 41 Lilac Hobnail Glass Candle

K. Hall Studio

Why You Should Get It: Lilacs are one of the first harbingers of spring, but lilac-scented candles are hard to find. 

Keep In Mind: Not much—it’s lovely and lilac-y.

Simpatico’s version not only smells like the real thing (without any added components to dilute that fabulous flower), but it also comes in stunning, heavyweight hobnail glass.

Lilacs are fleeting flowers, blooming only for a few weeks in the spring, and then only in cooler climates. Capturing their distinctive scent, as this candle does, means you can extend spring in your home. Who doesn’t need a little extra springtime? It's great for sprucing up any room in your home or gifting around the Easter season. 

Price at time of publish: $38

Product Details:

Size: 20 ounces | Wax type: Soy blend | Burn time: up to 120 hours

Best Cozy Scent

Better Homes & Gardens Amber & Saffron Scented 3-Wick Dish Candle

Better Homes & Gardens

Why You Should Get It: Its long-lasting woodsy scent creates a cozy and comforting atmosphere in any room. 
Keep in Mind: The 3-inch profile is shorter than other options on our list.

With indulgent top notes of almond and saffron, middle notes of white jasmine and cedarwood, and lingering bottom notes of ethereal musk and smooth santal, this candle feels like a cozy blanket wrapped up in a jar. Its warm and woodsy scent is intended to create a comforting atmosphere in any room, whether burned on a cold and rainy day or for ambience on a night in. 

The hand-poured wax is also designed to burn evenly with minimal tunneling, so you won’t have to worry about wasted wax. Plus, this candle’s sleek and unobtrusive design allows it to fit with almost any decor style.  

Product Details:  Size: 16 ounces | Wax Type: Paraffin wax | Burn Time: Not listed

Best Fresh Scent

Apotheke Co. in Canvas

Apotheke Co. in Canvas


Why You Should Get It: A customer favorite, Apotheke’s Canvas candle is properly named.

Keep In Mind: Nothing comes to mind—other than it will be a fan-favorite.

It is clean, light, and artful with notes of crisp linen, white musk, and lily of the valley. It's an invigorating scent for every day and every season.

A "fresh" or "clean" scent is hard to pin down, but you can't go wrong with one that smells clean and not artificial. Here, that's what you get. This 'Canvas' candle is not heavily floral, though Lily of the Valley does contribute to the fragrance. Rather here, this year-round scent is ethereal and sparkling. 

Price at time of publish: $42

Product Details:

Size: 11 ounces | Wax type: Soy blend | Burn time: 60–70 hours

Best Woody Scent

Woodwick Humidor Large Hourglass Candle

Woodwick Humidor Large Hourglass Candle

Yankee Candle

Why You Should Get It: With a burn time of up to 180 hours, this candle is a woodsy lover's new best friend. 

Keep In Mind: This medley of tobacco leaves presents an experience that'll be hard to forget.

Humidor is an artisanal blend of aged leather and dried tobacco leaves counteracted with fine cedarwood, amber musk, and tonka bean.

This premium, soy wax blend candle is housed in a flared jar for a distinct look. Though, if the larger-sized hourglass is not your cup of tea, there is also medium-sized and ellipse-sized candle available.

You'll want to remember that the Woodwick brand is known for its "crackle" candles that ignite a multi-sensory adventure. After you light the candle, prepare to hear a noise (a crackle) upon igniting the flame. As a result, this candle produces a fast fragrance release that's unmatched. 

Price at time of publish: $26

Product Details:

Size: 21.5 ounces | Wax type: Soy and paraffin | Burn time: 180 hours

Best Fruity Scent

Capri Blue Volcano Candle White and Gold

Capri Blue Volcano Candle


Why You Should Get It: The candle’s glass jar is glamorous and a little bit seductive, and it contains a scent that’s tropical, citrusy, and clean. 

Keep In Mind: The price of this particular vessel varies widely, so shop around before buying.

It looks as good as it smells. A staple in Anthropologie (though sold out right now), this candle is beloved by many, and with good reason. With one of the most unforgettable scents, the tropical fruits—oranges, lemons, and limes—are blended to perfection with mountain greens. It results in a savory-yet-sweet scent that's impossible not to light up on repeat. 

With dozens of jars and sizes up for grabs, you'll want to decide which version you like best. However, with a burn time of 15 hours, some might think that this steep price point might not be as justified as others on the market. 

Price at time of publish: $102

Product Details:

Size: 48 ounces | Wax type: Soy-paraffin blend | Burn time: 15 hours

Best Warm Scent

White Barn Leaves 3-Wick Candle

White Barn Leaves 3-Wick Candle


Why You Should Get It: This oh-so-cozy candle is perfect to curl up to any time of the year—but it's most enjoyable come fall. 

Keep In Mind: The scent is strong, and those sensitive to overly fragrant smells might be apprehensive to purchase.

A staple in White Barn's fall collection, the Leaves candle offers a warm and inviting experience that you'll be lighting on repeat. This three-wick candle is designed with a decorative exterior and leave-embedded metal lid. 

Perfect for those who love fruity and spiced scents, this particular blend is nothing short of "fall in a jar." Blended with golden nectar, warm clove spice, and crisp red apple, we're confident they'll be crowd-pleasers. Plus, there’s a burn time of up to 45 hours–what could be better? 

Additionally, it is blended with essential oils which could be problematic for some (if you have allergies). 

Price at time of publish: $24

Product Details:

Size: 14.5 ounces | Wax type: Patented soy wax blend with natural essential oils | Burn time: 45 hours

Best Herbal

Diptyque Patchouli Candle

Diptyque Patchouli Candle


Why You Should Get It: It's a well-made candle that is perfect for herbal lovers. 

Keep In Mind: The distinctive, powerful scent makes an impact that might not be suited for all. 

A fan-favorite for years, Diptyque's Patchouli scent traces back to an island in Indonesia. Featuring a blend of patchouli leaves—which have been cut from shrubs—they've been dried to reach their full potential: a full-bodied aroma. It's bound to create a calm and relaxing experience. The earthy-woody scent is dense and dark and has a burn time of up to 60 hours.

For first-time users, you'll want to light this candle for a minimum of two hours to ensure an equal burn. 

Price at time of publish: $82

Product Details:

Size: 6.5 ounces | Wax type: Soy | Burn time: 60 hours

Best Gourmand

Illume Bread Pan Candle in Lemon & Strawberry Focaccia

Illume Bread Pan Candle in Lemon & Strawberry Focaccia


Why You Should Get It: We were skeptical of a candle that claims to smell like lemon and strawberry bread, but this little number proved itself with one whiff. 

Keep In Mind: This candle is just five ounces and it also comes in a reusable food-safe pan.

Gourmand candles, an industry term that refers to those that smell like food (usually rich, sweet, and dessert-like), are popular, especially around the holidays, because they fill a home with the scent of cooking and baking. (If you can’t bake, candles can fake it!) This one uncannily resembles a loaf of sweet bread in the oven—an unexpected but welcome twist on traditional gourmand options.

Price at time of publish: $28

Product Details:

Size: Five ounces | Wax type: Soy blend | Burn time: 12 hours

Best Spicy

Boy Smells Slow Burn Candle

Boy Smells Slow Burn Candle


Why You Should Get It:  You don't have to be a Kasey Musgraves fan to love her collaboration with Boy Smells. 

Keep In Mind: This beautifully rich scent is intense and might be too powerful for some.

This warm and spicy scent is top-notch for anyone who wants something that will make an impact in their homes. Available in two sizes —8.5 and 27 ounces—both versions feature the same gorgeous vessel; dyed coconut and beeswax, a braided cotton wick, and a rose gold matte gradient glass tumbler. 

The signature blend features incense, raspberry, and cedarwood, and offers a burn time of up to 50 hours. Plus, the unisex fragrance is free of parabens and phthalates. 

Price at time of publish: From $46

Product Details:

Size: 8.5 ounces | Wax type: Coconut and beeswax | Burn time: 50 hours

Best Soy

P.F. Candle Co. Teakwood & Tobacco Candle

Teakwood & Tobacco

P.F. Candle

Why You Should Get It: According to the brand, this candle is the original fan favorite with their shoppers.  

Keep In Mind: This soy candle is an exceptional mix of masculine and sultry.

It features spicy black pepper, tobacco, and leather, which mingles with sweet orange and berry to soften the base of sandalwood and aged teak. The blend is topped off with a hint of patchouli essential oils for a musky finish. 

With a burn time of more than 40 hours, this choice is poured from domestically grown soy wax and fragrance oils. Plus, it features a clean utilitarian appeal style-wise. The glass jar and metal lid work anywhere in your home. 

Price at time of publish: $35

Product Details:

Size: 7.5 ounces | Wax type: Soy | Burn time: 40+ hours

Best Long Burning

Bridgewater Candle Company in Sweet Grace

Bridgewater Candle Company in Sweet Grace

Bridgewater Candle Company

Why You Should Get It: This gargantuan candle will keep your home smelling peaceful and serene for more than 250 hours of burn time.

Keep In Mind: This candle is heavy and made of glass, so handle it with care.

The mission of Bridgewater Candle Company is a feel-good one. With every purchase, the proceeds feed hungry kids, which makes you even more drawn to it. 

More than 100 ounces of sweet-scented wax and five (!) cotton wicks fill this gorgeous blush-hued glass vessel. It’s visually stunning, and its fragrance is sweet and sparkling with fruity top notes, middle notes of tea, and a patchouli base. 

When the wax is gone (possibly years from now!), use the lovely glass jar in your décor.

Price at time of publish: $175

Product Details:

Size: 108.7 ounces | Wax type: Soy blend | Burn time: up to 275 hours

Best For Fall

Village Candle Mulled Cider

Village Candle Mulled Cider


Why You Should Get It: You'll instantly create a sense of warmth and coziness by lighting this candle. 

Keep In Mind: The "heavier" scent might be too much for some users.

Stonewall Kitchen's very own Village Candle brand has been a staple in homes for years—and this Mulled Cider candle is the best candle for fall. Better than a warm cup of hot cider, this candle blends notes of spiced cinnamon, fragrant vanilla, apple, and clove for an undeniably warm experience. 

Both sweet and spicy, this scent has a burn time of up to 50 hours, and the large 21.5-ounce size makes it worth the price point. 

Price at time of publish: $20

Product Details:

Size: 21.5 ounces | Wax type: Paraffin | Burn time: 50 hours

Best for Christmas

Nest Holiday Candle

 Nest Holiday Candle


Why You Should Get It: This limited-edition holiday candle will get you into the Christmas spirit. 

Keep In Mind: All of the available sizes sell out fast—so you won't want to wait to buy this one.

Elegant and enchanting, NEST Fragrance's limited-edition Holiday Scented Candle is the best candle for Christmas. The fragrance features pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves, and cinnamon (plus a hint of vanilla and amber!), making this seasonal scent a true delight. 

It's housed in a gorgeous gold-glitter vessel. It pledges a burn time between 50 to 60 hours. Thanks to its proprietary premium wax, users can experience a clean and evenly burned candle. 

Price at time of publish: $46

Product Details:

Size: 8.1 ounces | Wax: Proprietary premium wax | Burn time: 50-60 hours

Best with Wooden Wick

TheDancingWick Dough Bowl Candle

Etsy Dough Bowl Candle


Why You Should Get It: This wooden wick candle supports small businesses

Keep In Mind: The burn time is not ideal for the price point.

Add a wood wick candle to your home with this 16-ounce three-wick version from Etsy. Available in a dough bowl, there are two colors available–wood or white–and dozens of scents available. Fully customizable, there are dozens of scents available, ranging from pumpkin to apple, floral and woodsy ones, too. 

With a burn time of 30+ hours, this soy blend is hand-poured and measures 10 x 6 x 3 inches. 

Price at time of publish: From $32

Product Details:

Size: 16 ounces | Wax type: Soy-paraffin blend | Burn time: 30+ hours

What to Know About Candles Before Shopping


In general, the larger the room, the larger the surface of the candle should be to fill the space with scent. Notice we didn’t say, “the bigger the candle should be.” “The wider and deeper the wax pool”—that’s the liquid wax that’s been heated and melted by the burning wick—“the stronger it throws fragrance,” says LaVanier.

Multiple wicks will also create a deeper wax pool, “and then that wax pool circulates the wax because of the heat and the draw up the wick, and that big pancake-size wax pool will throw fragrance pretty aggressively.” A single-wick, three-inch-diameter candle would scent a bedroom or office, while a wider, three-wick candle is needed for a large living room or great room.

Wax Type

There are four categories of candle wax: animal, vegetable, mineral, and insect wax. Animal wax is derived from the fat of cows and pigs and is a byproduct of our food manufacturing process. “It burns beautifully and very cleanly,” LaVanier reports, “and it can be added to a candle to keep the price down.”

Vegetable wax commonly comes from soybeans (often grown in the U.S.A.), but coconut, jojoba, and other oils can also be hydrogenated (that is, chemically altered so they’re solid at room temperature) and made into candles. On the upside, these oils are renewable resources; on the downside, “they don’t hold heavy fragrance loads very well,” says LaVanier.

“They can also crack and get crumbly.” Many manufacturers blend soy with paraffin (more on paraffin below), “which solves all those problems and dramatically improves a candle’s shelf life.”

Paraffin is the best-known mineral wax; “it’s stable and clean and holds a lot of fragrance oil,” LaVanier says. “And the idea that paraffin is not healthy for you is an urban legend. It does not put out carcinogens when it burns; nothing about paraffin is different for your health from burning any other type of wax.”

Insect wax is—you might’ve guessed—beeswax. It’s rare and therefore expensive: “Bees have to make eight pounds of honey to make one pound of wax,” LaVanier notes, “and most beeswax is used in cosmetics, so it’s expensive. You’re pampering yourself with a 100% beeswax candle.” On the plus side, this wax burns hotter, so it’s a more efficient candle, but it is also reactive and has a shorter shelf life, and white fat can accumulate on the candle’s surface.

Burn Time

Most manufacturers list a candle’s “burn time” so consumers know how long it might last, but there are no rules governing how companies come up with that number. It’s usually an estimate based on the candle’s size, number of wicks, and how long a manufacturer assumes a consumer will burn a candle each time it’s lit.

Industry standards recommend that people burn candles for three to four hours at a time: More than that and you’ll use up the candle quickly, and less than that and the candle will tunnel (meaning, only the wax immediately surrounding the wick will burn). “Three to four hours at a time will give you the best experience and the best use out of the candle,” says LaVanier.

Two other things candle lovers should know: One, trim the wick(s) to ¼-inch, and two, discard the trimmings (and any globs of soot) before lighting. “That way, the next time you light it, you get a much cleaner burn,” says LaVanier, “and you’ve made your candle safer to boot.

Scent Notes

Perfumers and candlemakers slot fragrances into 10 or 11 categories, which are helpful for consumers to identify certain smells and recognize which scent groups you’re drawn to and which ones put you off. The categories can differ by manufacturer, but generally, they include:

Floral: With subcategories of sweet (lilac and honeysuckle) and fresh (lily and rose), floral scents come from—you guessed it—flowers.

Spicy: It's warm, enveloping, and nose-tickling ginger, clove, and cinnamon.

Camphoraceous: The herbal, woody, warm-cool scent of camphor, eucalyptus, and thyme.

Herbal: These garden scents tend toward fresh (like lavender and anise) or green (pine and juniper).

Green: Think of a vast forest where earthy scents (moss and vetiver) mingle with fresh ones (grass and cucumber).

Minty: These can be menthol-like (peppermint) or warm (spearmint).

Gourmand: Food-like fragrances are the most popular in the U.S. (followed by herbal-woody and floral in spots two and three), and they veer either warm (coffee or nuts) or sweet (honey).

Vanilla: A common base note, the vanilla category also includes balsam and powdery scents.

Woody: Resinous woods, such as cedar and patchouli, fall into this category.

Animalic: These scents, such as amber, musk, and barnyard odors, originated from animals, but perfumers no longer create fragrances using animals and instead make these scents synthetically.

Fruity: Subcategories include fresh (apple, peach, and pear), berry (cherry and strawberry), and tropical (mango and pineapple). Note that citrus fruits fall into their own category (below).

Citrus: Zesty-skinned limes, lemons, and grapefruit are examples; bergamot and lemongrass are less so.

It’s worth noting that “Fresh” is a common fragrance category; that adjective can mean a lot of things, from floral or fruity to herbal or green. That Fresh is such a common subcategory explains why it can be a hard scent to pin down—and why one Fresh candle smells harsh while another smells heavenly. 

Your Questions, Answered

Why are luxury candles so expensive?

“One of the main contributors to the expense is fragrance oil,” says LaVanier. Luxury candles are often crafted of several different fragrances, many of which can be rare and pricey. Another contributor to cost is a candle’s packaging: The fancier and more elaborate the vessel and the box, the more expensive it’ll be.

Which candle wax holds the most fragrance?

Paraffin is a refined mineral wax. “It makes the best burning, best fragrance-throwing candles out there,” says LaVanier. “It’s not a renewable resource because it’s coming from the same stream as oil and gas, but it makes fantastic candles from a performance point of view.”

What is the cleanest burning candle type?

Beeswax candles with no added fragrance. Contrary to popular belief, fragrance oils—not the wax base or wick—are often to blame for smoke and soot. “Essential oils don’t combust as well as synthetic fragrances, and some fragrances, such as woody ones, won’t combust at a candle flame’s temperature. A candle made of 100 percent wax and no fragrance will burn incredibly cleanly. It’s when you add fragrance oils that all bets are off," says LaVanier. 

Who We Are

Sarah Halverson has more than 25 years of experience as a writer and editor—and even more as a candle and fragrance fan. 

Brittany Romano is a senior editor at Better Homes & Gardens with over eight years of experience covering home design, home products, and reviews.

To research this story, industry experts who specialize in candles were consulted to come up with the 20 best candles. 

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