Last Updated on January 6, 2023 by The Filtery
Nothing can quite create a festive atmosphere as fast as the smell of holiday scents like pine trees or gingerbread. Smells have the power to bring back tender childhood memories as well as inspire new ones. And if you don’t want to have Christmas cookies baking all day, every day, burning wintery candles is a great way to keep those sentimental vibes going all season long.
There’s only one problem: most conventional candles contain toxicants that can contribute to indoor air pollution and risk the health of you and your loved ones. So when shopping for the best pine-scented candles this holiday season, skip the Yankee Candles and choose non-toxic alternatives instead. We’ve already done the research for you and picked out the best brands making non-toxic holiday candles, so read on!
Oh and if you’re interested in other non-toxic guides to the holiday season, check these out:
- Non-Toxic Christmas Trees
- Organic Gift Ideas for Everyone On Your List
- Organic Holiday Pajamas for the Whole Family
- Options for Lead-Free Christmas Lights
- Roundup of Black Friday / Cyber Season Sales from Non-Toxic Brands
Or, if you’re looking for non-toxic fall candles instead, check out this post.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase. We only make recommendations that are genuine and meet our ingredient standards.
Featured image credit: Fontana Candle Co.
What Are the Least Toxic Candles to Burn?
There are two main things you should look for when shopping for non-toxic candles:
- The type of wax used
- What is used to add fragrance to the candle
The Problem with Paraffin Wax
Most conventional candles are made out of paraffin wax, which is a petroleum-based product. It’s basically like burning fossil fuels into your home. Chemicals like benzene and toluene are released into the air as paraffin wax candles are burned. These chemicals are linked to all kinds of issues, such as cancer, respiratory issues, central nervous system dysfunction, birth defects, and more.
Better Wax: Soy, Coconut, and Beeswax Candles
The least toxic candles are made of:
- Soy wax, which is not the best option due to the chemicals used to turn the soybean into the wax, but is frequently the most cost-effective option. It’s still a plant-based clean burn, especially compared to paraffin.
- Coconut wax, which is also a really great, plant-based clean burning option, but which tends to be more expensive than soy.
- Beeswax, which is usually the least toxic type of candle wax because it actually cleans the air while it burns.
If you want, you can read more about soy, coconut, and beeswax candles.
Natural vs. “Phthalate-Free” Fragrances
Candles that use certain synthetic fragrances are problematic because they can contain a host of toxicants such as phthalates. Under U.S. law, companies are actually allowed to include toxic chemicals in their products without disclosing them because they’re protected under an “industry secret” loophole. All they have to do is label the ingredient(s) as “fragrance” or “parfum,” which allows them to include a number of almost 4,000 chemicals without listing them on the label or telling customers.
So be sure to choose candles that use natural ingredients like essential oils and/or synthetic fragrances that are explicitly free from phthalates, parabens, and other toxic chemicals. (Look for candle companies that are willing to be transparent about their ingredients, such as Grow and Fontana.)
You should also look for candles that have lead-free cotton, hemp, and/or wood wicks.
There is one more thing to keep in mind when shopping for non-toxic candles: they don’t usually smell quite as strong as candles rely heavily on synthetic chemicals. So just a heads up that you may need to use a couple of candles if you’re trying to fill up a large room.
The Best Places to Get Non-Toxic Christmas Candles
There’s no reason to burn toxic candles anymore when there are so many great options for a clean and healthy burn. Here are our favorite shops that make non-toxic holiday candles for Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa, and the entire winter season!
Fontana Candle Co.
4, 6, 9, or 14 oz. (+ wax melts)
20-60 hour burn time
Fontana’s non-toxic candles are MADE SAFE certified, which means it’s been third-party verified to be free from a long list of potential toxins. They use natural ingredients like beeswax, coconut wax, and only natural essential oils.
Their winter holiday scents like Peppermint Twist and Citrus Peel & Pine are completely free from petroleum byproducts, stabilizers, harmful dyes, and phthalates.
4, 9. or 12 oz. (+ wax melts)
22-65 hour burn time
Natural Sloth’s candles also come with the MADE SAFE certification. They’re made with essential oils, wood wicks, beeswax from Colorado-raised bees, and organic coconut oil.
Each candle is hand-poured into a reusable glass jar in small batches. Winter scents include Christmas Tree, Winter, and Cozy.
Shop Natural Sloth’s Holiday Scents
Basic Bee Candle Co.
8 or 14 oz. (+ wax melts)
15-40 hour burn time
Shaina, the woman behind Basic Bees Candle Co., is on a mission to provide safe and healthy candles that even those who are extra sensitive to synthetic fragrances can enjoy. These completely natural candles use primarily raw, local beeswax, combined with some coconut wax and lead-free cotton wicks. For fragrance, she only uses pure essential oils. They’re made in the USA, too.
Her winter holiday scents include Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, Christmas Tree, Peppermint Stick, and Mistletoe. She also makes non-toxic Christmas wax melts, in case you’d rather use a wax warmer instead of an open flame candle.
3.5 or 6.5 or oz.
21-45 hour burn time
Grow Fragrance is one of our favorite brands when it comes to non-toxic Febreze alternatives, but they also have candles, too! Their soy and coconut wax is made in the USA and their lead-free cotton wick comes from Germany. Their candles come in recycled and recyclable aluminum tins, which you can place into a beautiful, minimalistic concrete vessel. Once your candle runs out, you can just buy a refill for your vessel!
Grow carries a core collection of scents year-round, but they also release seasonal collections as well. Their winter holiday scents include Palo Santo Pine and Holiday Hearth. Even though these seasonal scents are not always available for direct purchase, you can get your hands on them early by becoming a Grow Insider (which is essentially a $29/year membership that gets you perks like free shipping, access to exclusive scents, and more).
Eight Hands Farms
4, 6, or 14 oz.
30-65 hour burn time
This New Jersey farm has a variety of candle scents, including several Christmas-themed candles like Balsam Fir, Sleigh Ride, First Snow, Winter Night, Holiday, Cranberry Apple Jam, and more.
Eight Hands Farm uses sustainably sourced beeswax from their very own farm and then combines it with soy wax, a cotton wick, phthalate-free fragrance oils, and natural essential oils to hand-pour each and every one of their candles.
They carry room diffusers and linen sprays, too.
Shop Eight Hands Farm & Bee Co.
Sweet Water Decor
60 hour burn time
These candles are hand-poured in Pennsylvania, USA out of non-GMO, vegan, and kosher soy wax and phthalate-free fragrance oils.
Sure to get your home in a holiday vibe, their winter scents include Christmas Tree, Frasier Fir, Hot Cocoa + Peppermint, Warm + Cozy, Sugar Cookies, Winter White, Silent Night, and more.
$16.95 – $31.95
4 or 8 oz.
20-40 hour burn time
Bee Lucia’s candles are made out of clean and healthy ingredients like coconut oil, beeswax, cotton wicks, and therapeutic-grade organic essential oils. Plus, they add crystals on top too, if that’s your thing!
Even though they don’t have a large ‘holiday’ collection, they do have an “Awakened” candle which smells like peppermint and is great for the winter season. Other good ones for the holiday season include “Grounded,” which has notes of cedarwood, fir, bergamot, rosemary, and cinnamon; and “Healed,” which has notes of cardamom, bergamot, ginger, and clove.
Kline Honey Bee Farm
Various shapes, sizes, and burn times
If you’re looking for a different option than your traditional votive candles, check out this Etsy shop! Their candles come in super cute holiday-themed shapes, like evergreen trees, snow people, Christmas gnomes, and more. The beeswax is sourced right from their own bees in Ohio, where they make the entire candle from start to finish!
Check Out Kline Honey Bee Farm
8.5 or 16 oz.
45-80 hour burn time
Sanari’s candles are made with certified organic essential oils and a vegan coconut wax blend. They have a variety of different warm scents for the winter, including Bosco (Pine, Douglas Fir, Mint) and Biscotti (Vanilla, Nutmeg, Cinnamon).
They’re hand-poured in small batches in Los Angeles. Plus, you can reuse the container as a wine glass or whiskey tumbler when you’re finished with the candle, making them a great gift idea!
Check Out Sanari’s Holiday Candles
3.5, 7, or 12.3 oz.
Unknown burn time (stay tuned!)
For more minimalistic and affordable candles, check out Public Goods. Even though they may not be explicitly ‘holiday’ scented, they have a couple of scents that work great around Christmas time, including Cedar & Suede and Black Currant.
These vegan and plastic-free candles are made out of soy wax and natural oils.
45 hour burn time
If you’re a member of Grove Collaborative, you might want to throw some of their non-toxic Christmas candles in your cart for your next shipment. Their Limited Edition Sparks of Joy candles come in Balsam Fir and Spiced Berry. They’re made in the USA out of soy wax and only natural fragrances.
Shop Grove Collaborative Candles
50 hour burn time
sundays is actually a non-toxic nail polish brand, but they carry a couple of vegan candles, too, both of which have a warm scent that’s great to burn all winter long.
Their Smoked Hemp Flower scent has campfire vibes combined with a touch of lavender and their Green Fig and Ginger scent has a lighter, more Christmas-y feel. They’re made from 100% non-GMO soy wax and natural oils.
Plus, the containers they come in are super cute and can be reused as a planter, pencil holder, or similar decoration after you burn through the candle.
Various shapes, sizes, and burn times
Honey Candles makes tea light candles, Hanukkah candles, and super cute Yule tree candles, all hand-dipped in Canada out of 100% pure, locally sourced beeswax. They’re colored using non-toxic dyes and are non-scented (just the light, sweet smell of the beeswax!).
8 or 30 oz.
30-60 hour burn time
This fragrance brand is “obsessed with nature and the future of our planet.” Most of their scents can be burned year-round, but they have a couple that are great for the holiday season as well, including Pacific Northwest and Ancient Cedar.
They use only natural essential oils for their fragrance combined with beeswax and coconut wax and an unbleached cotton wick. Everything is designed in-house and most of their ingredients and materials come from the U.S. (Most of their raw materials come from a local lavender farm!)
They also offer refill options and subscriptions to cut down on waste and save you money. In addition to their candles, you can buy reed diffusers and car air fresheners as well.
+ 2 More Ideas To Give Your Home a Warm Seasonal Smell
If you would prefer not to burn something, you can check out Scent Fill’s non-toxic plug-in air fresheners. They have lots of scents to choose from, including Christmas-y ones like Fraser Fir Balsam Pine, Peppermint, Cranberry Plum, Warm Spice, and more. And trust me: these scents can really fill up a large space!
Some of Scent Fill’s scents are made with 100% natural oils, while others use synthetics (all of which are free rom toxicants like phthalates and are Prop 65 compliant)… So you can choose based on your preference!
One last idea: you could skip the pre-made candles and air fresheners and fill your home with your own stovetop potpourri instead!
Here’s how to do it:
- First, choose your ingredients of choice. Some wintery suggestions include:
- Fresh Cranberries (1/2-1 cup)
- Cinnamon sticks (2-4 sticks)
- Whole cloves (1-2 tablespoons)
- Orange (1 orange, quartered)
- Vanilla extract (1 tsp)
- Other herbs & spices such as nutmeg or rosemary
- Put your ingredients into a medium-sized pot.
- Add water so that it covers the top of the ingredients.
- Heat pot on low for a consistent simmer. (Don’t boil.)
- You can leave the pot on the back burner for hours as long as you’re home and you’re putting all safety measures in place.
- Add water to the pot every once in a while, as it evaporates.
This is an easy way to fill your home with the holiday spirit for hours using what you already have at home (or can quickly pick up at the grocery store).
Here are a few more tips to make the most of your potpourri:
- If using produce such as oranges, you do not have to peel it. (You can even use just the peels if you have some leftover from a recipe and want to prevent some food waste!)
- Keep the lid off of the pot in order to let the fragrance fill the room.
- You can use the same batch for 1-2 days (just make sure to keep an adequate amount of water in the pot).
- You can mix and match the ingredients each time you put a new batch of potpourri on the stove until you find your favorite blend.
- You can also use the slow cooker/Crockpot instead if you’d like to, instead of the stove.
- Put a fresh batch on about 30 minutes before having guests over.
This holiday season, focus on gathering together with loved ones instead of worrying about the toxic ingredients in your candles!
If we’re missing your favorite non-toxic holiday candle brand, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider adding it to the list.
Image credits: all product photos belong to respective brands.