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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.
Byrdie Researched & Approved
Our best overall pick is the Diptyque Baies Candle, a cult-classic bestseller that features a blackcurrant and rose scent. We love that it comes in an iconic glass vessel perfect for repurposing. For a more affordable pick, consider Anecdote Candles, a line of hand-poured candles that feature fun names, making them perfect for gifting.
Is this starting to sound like a love letter to candles? Maybe. The bottom line: It’s always a good idea to have a stocked candle collection. We conducted hours of research on the best candles, evaluating each on key ingredients, scent profile, and size. We also looked at extra features like the glass vessels that house the candles, many of which can double as decor.
Ahead, find the best candles to burn all year round.
Best Overall: Diptyque Baies Candle
Comes in different sizes
Great scent throw
On the pricier side
You really can’t go wrong with any of the candles from this French brand, beloved for their home scents and personal fragrances alike. Still, if you’re going to choose just one, it should be this bestseller. It’s the perfect combo of fruity and floral, combining notes of blackcurrant berries with a touch of rose. The black and white packaging is incredibly chic, making the glass vessel perfect for reusing to store matches or makeup brushes once you’ve burned through the candle. Although this is one of the more extravagantly priced options on the market, this cult classic is an affordable luxury that’s worth the spend in our opinion.
Fragrance: Fruity, floral | Size: 6.7 oz.
Best Budget: Anecdote Candles
Super fun and different scents and candle names
Come in two sizes
Easy to burn through pretty quickly
“A scent for every mood” is the tagline for this brand, which offers fun candles with names such as “Adulting,” “Athleisure,” and “Glamping,” all accompanied by witty taglines detailing what they smell like. They’re fun, smell great, and are affordable, plus are hand-poured and made with no additives, dyes, or preservatives.
Key Ingredients: Soy & coconut wax blend | Fragrance: Varies | Size: 7.8 oz.; 3.4 oz.
Best Sustainable: Siblings Scent No 01
Brand offers subscribe and save option
Some people may not want to have to make their own candle
So right off the bat, this doesn't look like your average candle—and it shouldn't really, because there's nothing average about it. Siblings candles are sustainable, made with candle wax that is all-natural (a coconut-soy blend), harsh chemical- and phthalate-free fragrance, and packaging that is plant-based and 60% compostable.
The brand encourages less waste through reusable vessels; instead of throwing out your glass candle tumblers—which can take years to break down—hold on to them to house a new Siblings candle. Don't have one? You can purchase the brand's Forever Vessel through the site and use it over and over again (hence the name) with your favorite scents, including blends of Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Cardamom, and so much more. You simply melt, pour, and enjoy.
Key Ingredients: Coconut wax blend | Fragrance: Bergamot, white rose, oak moss | Size: 10 oz.
Best for Fall: Jenni Kayne Topanga Glass Candle
Natural wax blend
On the pricier side
This brand may be known for its cozy cashmere sweaters, but don’t miss out on their home offerings, specifically their candles. We love them all, but are partial to this one, especially for fall. Ideal for those who are looking for an alternative to the typical pumpkin and apple fall fragrances, this is a combo of fresh green leaves, moss wood, and grapefruit, balanced with a touch of vanilla that makes it smell equally fresh and cozy, akin to taking a walk outside on a crisp fall day. This is an expensive choice, however, its natural wax blend means you’re not inhaling any potentially harmful additives. We also love that this is an artisanal pick.
Key Ingredients: Coconut, soy, beeswax, apricot oil, paraffin| Fragrance: Green, citrus, vanilla | Size: 10 oz.
Best for Winter: Nest Holiday Candle
Burns cleanly and evenly
Comes in three sizes
This particular scent tends to sell out quickly
We know it’s a brand repeat, but Nest’s candles really are just that good. In this case, forget everything you thought you knew about ‘holiday’ candles. There’s no artificially cloying pine scent here, just a tiny touch of believable pine notes, combined with fruity pomegranate, mandarin orange, and cinnamon and clove. It’s certainly ideal for the holiday season, but also perfect to burn all winter long.
Fragrance: Fruity, pine, cloves | Size: 2 oz.; 8.1 oz.; 21.2 oz.
Best Clean Burning: Cancelled Plans Candle
Clean burning and vegan
Good price point
Shipping can take a while
Nab this pick if you often experience JOMO—joy of missing out. Inspired by the pleasure of having a night in with your favorite candle burning, this option is sure to become exactly that. A mix of fresh aloe and agave is combined with green floral and a touch of patchouli for a beautifully balanced scent. All of the candles are hand-poured and made of a natural, vegan wax blend with a lead-free pure cotton wick. The scents are made with non-toxic oils and are free of parabens, phthalates, and carcinogens
Key Ingredients: Coconut & apricot wax | Fragrance: Green, floral, earthy | Size: 10 oz.
Best for Minimalists: Nette Chai Milk Candle
Candles are made to order so shipping can take a while
Anyone who appreciates the simpler things in life will appreciate these gorgeous candles. Handmade vessels feature minimal black and white text detailing the scent notes. To that point, we love the cozy Chai scent, gourmand but not overly sweet or cloying, though there are over a dozen options to choose from. All of them are made with vegan, clean-burning, coconut soy wax, and no parabens, sulfates, or dyes.
Key Ingredients: Coconut & soy wax| Fragrance: Cardamom, brown sugar, clove | Size: 10 oz.
Best Variety: Bath & Body Works Fall Farmhouse 3-Wick Candle
Powerful scent throw
Affordable price point
Tons of scent variety
Some scents may be a bit too strong for some people
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. Case in point: This pine and pumpkin launch is seasonally appropriate for fall, but works any time you want to conjure warm and spicy vibes. All of the candles have an amazing scent throw, and the three-wick size ensures up to hours upon hours of burn time.
Key Ingredients: Patented soy wax blend| Fragrance: Pine, pumpkin, spices | Size: 14.5 oz.
Best for Spring: Le Labo Santal 26 Candle
Label can be personalized
Inspired by one of the brand’s most iconic unisex fragrances, Santal 33, this candle version is the perfect balance of coco and vanilla coupled with earthy musk and sandalwood. It’s both feminine and masculine and pairs perfectly with the change in seasons.
Fragrance: Cocoa, vanilla, musk, sandalwood | Size: 8.6 oz.
Best for Summer: Nest Amalfi Lemon & Mint Classic Candle
Gives off tons of scent
Interior of glass can sometimes get a bit stained from smoke residue
We have yet to come across a candle scent from Nest that we’re not crazy about. It’s one of our all-time favorite candle brands, not only for the delightful scent combos they offer, but also the amazing scent throw and beautiful glass vessels they come in. This particular pick is our go-to all summer long, a mix of zesty citrus, fresh mint, and bottom notes of driftwood. One whiff will make you feel like you’re lounging on the Amalfi coast, no plane ticket required. But their amazing summer offerings don’t stop there—we also love Sicilian Tangerine, Ocean Mist & Sea Salt, and Coconut & Palm, all of which smell fresh and summery, in the most sophisticated way possible.
Fragrance: Citrus & Mint | Size: 8.1 oz.
Best Three-Wick: LAFCO Champagne Penthouse 3-Wick Candle
Extra long burn time
Oversized vessel makes it a decor piece
Sometimes burns unevenly
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.’
Key Ingredients: Soy wax | Fragrance: Ginger, grapefruit, raspberry | Size: 30 oz.
Best for Bedroom: The Fantome Scented Candle The Fantome Scented Candle
Scent is strong but not overpowering
On the pricier side
The scent of this candle is sexy, sultry, and comforting, basically exactly what you’d want your bedroom to smell like. Credit a blend of slightly smoky palo santo and earthy black tea, combined with just the right amount of herbaceous eucalyptus to prevent it from becoming too heavy. We also love the unique, matte, green glass vessel. Although this pick is on the more expensive side, we think the unique, earthy scent justifies the spend. It’s definitely not a run-of-the-mill scented candle.
Key Ingredients: Beeswax and coconut wax| Fragrance: Smokey, herbaceous | Size: 8.5 oz.
Best for Bathroom: Maison Margiela Replica Bubble Bath Scented Candle
Sophisticated scent and packaging
Only comes in one size, which is on the smaller side
You definitely need a good-smelling candle in your bathroom because…well, you know why. Not only does the name make this pick totally apropos for a bathroom, but the scent does, too. It’s a mix of floral rose with white musk and coconut milk that makes you feel like you’re soaking in a bath full of bubbles, then being wrapped up in a luxuriously plush towel.
Fragrance: Fresh floral | Size: 5.8oz.
Best Personalized Option: Birthdate Co. Candle
Personalized scent and packaging
Great gift idea
Candles are made to order, so shipping can take awhile
Sure, you could get a candle with your name or hometown on it, but this brand takes personalization to the next level. They create candles based on your birthday by combining astrology, numerology, and tarot. 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.
Key Ingredients: Soy & coconut wax blend | Fragrance: Varies | Size: 13.5 oz
Best Packaging: Otherland Melonspell Candle
Good price point, and brand offers ‘bundle and save’ options
Toxin-free and vegan
Only comes in one size, which could be bigger
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. We’re currently loving the colorful Melonspell candle, which touts an equally fun and fruity watermelon-inspired scent.
Key Ingredients: Coconut & soy wax blend| Fragrance: Varies | Size: 8 oz.
Best for Gifting: Homesick Candles
Fun names and scent options
Great gift idea
Good size and price point
Top of glass can sometimes get stained from smoke
Any candle makes a great present, but we’re particularly into gifting these. Playing off of the concept that your sense of smell is most closely associated with memories, this brand started by offering candles that smelled like different states and geographic locations. They now have candles inspired by assorted activities too, such as “Gone Hiking,” “New Job,” and “Road Trip.” Point being, it’s super easy to find a candle that corresponds with the reason for gifting. (PS: Don’t forget that you can buy yourself gifts, too.)
Key Ingredients: Natural soy wax blend| Fragrance: Varies | Size: 13.75 oz.
Best Small Business : JAÉ Candles + Co Fresh Laundry Fresh Laundry
Great price points
Soy wax and cotton wick for a clean burn
Wax tends to get soft and melty if candle isn’t stored in a cool place
If you’re looking to support a small, female-owned business, consider picking up one of these candles. The company was started by, wait for it, three middle school teens during the pandemic; the candles are still hand-poured and designed in their homes. (Color us impressed.) Still, the candles are beautiful and smell amazing; we especially like Fresh Laundry, which boasts cotton, lemon, and powder notes.
Key Ingredients: Soy wax Fragrance: Cotton, lemon, powder| Size: 8 oz.; 12 oz.
Best for Kitchen: Apotheke Co. Tomato Tarragon Candle
Comes in two sizes
Red color may not be for everyone
We know what you’re thinking…a tomato-scented candle? Just trust us. The mix of freshly-picked tomatoes, herbaceous tarragon, and a touch of lemon are reminiscent of a fresh garden in the best way possible. It’s the perfect candle to light post-cooking to eliminate any unwanted smells, without leaving your kitchen smelling, well, not appropriately kitchen-y.
Key Ingredients: Soy wax blend| Fragrance: Herbaceous | Size: 11 oz.; 32 oz.
There’s truly no shortage of fabulous candles out there, with options for every scent preference, design style, and price point. You can’t go wrong with the Diptyque Baies Candle, a cult-classic bestseller that has a crowd-pleasing blackcurrant and rose scent. If you’re looking for a clean-burning, non-toxic choice, check out Canceled Plans Candle or Nette Chai Milk Candle the latter of which also boasts super chic, minimalistic packaging.
What to Look For in a Candle
Unsurprisingly, when choosing a candle for yourself nailing down the perfect fragrance is step one. Identifying your base scent interests is an easy way to ease start narrowing down specific fragrances. Whether you like florals, fruits, and citruses or earthy, woody, and fresh scents, there is something for everyone.
Different candles are made with different ingredients. If you prefer a natural candle, look for key ingredients such as coconut and soy waxes. You'll also want to keep an eye out for phthalate-free fragrances (phthalates are a class of synthetic chemicals commonly found in consumer products).
Whether it's a funky shape, pop of color, or subtle accents, the appearance of the candle jar is just as important as the scent it gives off. All contribute to good feng shui in the home.
How many candles does it take to scent a room?
This can depend on the room size, location, and of course, the candle. The general rule of thumb is one to two candles per room. Too much fragrance can be overwhelming and even lead to feeling physically ill.
Do candles mask odors?
Be careful when using a fragrance candle to mask an odor. Often, if you light a candle to mask the odor, the two scents compete with one another rather than canceling each other out. Opt for an odor-eliminating solution instead.
Are there candle subscription services?
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, shade range, or design—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.
Why Trust Byrdie
Byrdie contributor Melanie Rud has over a decade of experience in the beauty industry, writing for some of the biggest magazines and websites out there. She is a self-proclaimed candle connoisseur, who typically has anywhere between three to four different ones lit throughout her home at any given time, including the majority of the ones featured on this list.
Johns LE, Cooper GS, Galizia A, Meeker JD. Exposure assessment issues in epidemiology studies of phthalates. Environ Int. 2015;85:27-39.