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, feel free to check out some of our other guides to a non-toxic holiday season:
- Non-Toxic Christmas Trees
- Lead-Free Christmas Lights
- Organic Gifts for Everyone On Your List
- Non-Toxic Holiday Pajamas for the Whole Family
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 material 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
- And 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.
- Beeswax, which is the LEAST toxic type of candle wax because it actually cleans the air while it burns.
Natural and Phthalate-Free Fragrances
Candles that use 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.
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!
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.
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.
This New Jersey farm has one of the widest varieties of non-toxic candle scents. In addition to their fall scents, they also have 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.
Handmade in Queens, NY, Shanti Creations’ zero waste candles are made with 100% coconut oil, essential oils, non-toxic fragrance oils, and 100% cotton wicks.
They make several different collections of candles, including Minimalist Candles, Decorative and Customized Candles (a great gift idea!), Decor Candles, Poetry Candles, a few different artist series, and Candles that Give Back. You can even buy a zero waste candle kit and/or other mason jar accessories so that when you’ve burned through your candle, you can reuse the jar as a cocktail shaker, to-go mug, salt/pepper shaker, tea infuser, or fruit infuser!
Scents include Blue Spruce, Frasier Fir, and Cashmere Plum.
Use the code THEFILTERY10 for 10% off.
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 all year long, but they also release seasonal collections. Their winter scents include Palo Santo Pine and Holiday Hearth.
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.
You likely know about this brand already! These candles are made from domestically-grown soy wax, cotton wicks, and a blend of both natural and synthetic oils that are paraben-free, phthalate-free, and are never tested on animals. Their winter holiday scents include Spruce and Vanilla & Ghost Pepper.
They also carry other fragrance products such as reed diffusers, room sprays, incense, and more.
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!
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!)
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 and you can reuse the container as a wine glass or whiskey tumbler when you’re finished with the candle!
These candles are made with essential oils, wood wicks, beeswax from Colorado-raised bees, and organic coconut oil. Each one is hand-poured into a reusable glass jar in small batches. Winter scents include Christmas Tree, Winter, and Cozy.
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.
Not everything Grove carries is completely non-toxic, but their candles are a safe bet, and we do like how they make it so much easier and more affordable for busy people to get better products.
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.