Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
If there’s someone out there who doesn’t love a good candle, we have yet to find them. Whether you’re using one to make your living space smell nice, as a piece of décor, or as a form of self-care (what is it about lighting a candle that instantly makes you feel like you’re doing something nice for yourself?), the simple object can do so much. Not to mention that, per our point of universal appeal, a candle makes a foolproof gift in pretty much any situation. The bottom line: It’s always a good idea to have a stocked candle collection.
Get started with any—or, if you’re like us, all—of these stand-outs. Here are the best candles money can buy.
Best Overall: Byredo Candles
How much do we love these candles? Let us count the ways. There’s the wide array of sophisticated and complex scents; the brand is known for their fragrances, after all. Good luck choosing your favorite (though for reference Bibliotheque is one of the best-sellers and our go-to). There are two different sizes, with 60-hour and 14-hour burn-times, and the black glass vessels add a chic touch to any space.
Best Budget: Voluspa Candles
Here’s affordable luxury at its finest. From petite glass votives to three-wick tins to adorable sets, there are a plethora of wallet-friendly options, though all with very high-end scents and the prettiest packaging. The vessels are so cute that we like reusing them once the candle burns down; they make for perfect catch-alls to keep on your desk or dresser.
Best Sticks: Nest Liquidless Diffuser
If anything can give the beloved Nest candles a run for their money, it’s these scented fragrance sticks. Totally spill-proof, the biodegradable sticks sit in an open-air base, gradually diffusing any one of the 13 addicting Nest scents into your space for at least 90 days, no flame or liquid involved.
Best for Fall: Maison Margiela Replica By The Fireplace Scented Candle
Think outside of fall’s pumpkin spice box and burn this as the leaves start to change colors. Smokey and woodsy, balanced with spicy pink pepper and clove, it’s reminiscent of well, sitting by a fireplace on the first chilly day of the year. City dwellers who don’t actually have fireplaces, take note.
Best for Winter: Diptyque Feu de Bois
Forget everything you thought you knew about ‘holiday candles’—there’s no artificial pine scent here. Just a warm, woodsy, and comforting scent that’s ideal for the holiday season, but also all winter long, too. Plus, it comes in a variety of different sizes and vessels, too.
Best for Summer: Sunday Forever Tanlines (Summer and Suntans) Candle
Very apropos name aside, one whiff of this truly will transport you to a summer day (preferably one where you were OOO and on a beach), thanks to creamy notes of coconut and vanilla. Also nice: It uses coconut and soy waxes, a cotton wick, and phthalate-free fragrance for a super clean burn. It’s no surprise this is one of the brand’s best-sellers and somewhat of an Instagram sensation.
Best Three-Wick: Lafco 3-Wick Candle
When you want to treat yourself, candle style, this big boy is the way to go. Substantial enough to work as a décor piece, the 30-ounce, three-wick candle touts a 120-hour burn-time and gorgeous hand-blown glass. There are six scents to choose from; you can’t go wrong, but we’re currently burning the slightly-fruity ‘Champagne’ and ultra-crisp ‘Sea and Dune.’
Best for Bedroom: Bastide Miel de Lavande Wax Candle
Lavender always makes sense for the bedroom, but we love that here it’s balanced with honey, making for an herbal-yet-slightly sweet end result that’s not too lavender-y, if you know what we mean. Made in Provence and housed in handblown amber bubble glass, one of these is the perfect addition to your nightstand.
Best for Kitchen: Paddywax Heirloom Tomato Farmhouse Candle
A tomato candle may sound weird, but trust us, it works. Green and herbaceous, it’s reminiscent of walking through a tomato patch during late summer. The perfect pick for the kitchen, where you want something that will cover-up rank cooking odors, but isn’t overly fragranced and still smells like something that belongs in the kitchen.
Best Korean: Soohyang Scented Candle
K-beauty is a thing and apparently, so are K-candles. From one of South Korea’s most sophisticated fragrance brands (Soohyang means ‘excellent fragrance’), these statement-making candles are becoming a big stateside hit. Along with the iconic pink packaging, there are 33 scents to choose from, ranging from fruity to woodsy, and everything in between.
Best Gift: Hearth & Hammer Fine Print Literary Candle
Any candle makes a great present, but we’re particularly into gifting these. The artisanal Illinois-based company handmakes candles with a unique literary hook, think scents such as ‘Fine Print’ and ‘First Edition.’ They also donate a portion of their sales to organizations that support childhood literacy, and we’re all about a gift that gives back. Remember that you can buy yourself gifts, too.
Best Variety: Bath & Body Works Candles
If you truly believe that variety is the spice of life, hit up BBW for all your candle needs and wants. With over 100 different options, there’s something to fit any and every fragrance and packaging preference. There are also fun seasonal collections launched on the regular.
Best Personalized Option: Birthdate Candles
Sure, you could get a candle with your name or hometown on it, but this brand takes personalization to the next level. Combining astrology, numerology, and tarot, they create candles based on your birthday. Along with cool packaging that features both the date and some of your unique traits, the custom fragrance is also blended to reflect your personality.
Best Packaging: Otherland
Playing with unique shapes, colors, and patterns, the packaging on these candles is modern and trendy. A surefire way to step up your coffee table décor game, there’s something to fit any aesthetic, and they all smell as good as they look. Be sure to reuse the gorgeous glass tumblers, too.