What to look for when buying candles

Candles are the perfect addition to your household décor, adding a warm glow and a calming touch to any room. The right scented candle can lift mood, ease anxiety and reduce stress, making it the perfect end to a stressful day at work. 

With hundreds of brands, sizes, colours, and fragrances to choose from, choosing the perfect candle can be overwhelming and confusing. Here are some things you should look for when buying candles for your home.


Look for natural waxes

If you’ve ever been candle shopping, you have probably noticed candles made of different waxes – from soy wax, to beeswax. The type of wax your candle is made from can determine its quality, scent, life and its effect on your health. 

The most common wax used in candle making is paraffin wax. Though it may have its benefits, such as being cheap and easy to dye, it can be detrimental to your health. Paraffin wax candles release soot and toxins when lit, which can be harmful to the lungs and exacerbate conditions like asthma.  

When buying candles, choose ones made of soy wax, beeswax, coconut wax or (sustainably sourced) palm wax. These are better for your health and often last longer, giving you more value for your money. 


Choose candles with natural scents and dyes

If you look at cheaper candles, you’ll likely see ‘colour’ or ‘fragrance’ listed as an ingredient. This usually indicates an artificial fragrance or dye. When burned, candles with artificial ingredients release toxins which can be harmful if inhaled.

Choose a candle that is scented with essential oils, or one that is unscented. The same goes for colour – choose one that isn’t dyed or one that is coloured with natural ingredients. 


Pay attention to wicks

Though you’re unlikely to stumble upon a candle with a lead wick in 2022, some candle companies still use other metals to help their wicks stand up straight. Wicks containing metal smoke more, releasing more soot into the air, which can harm your lungs. 

When purchasing candles, look for wicks made of natural ingredients, such as cotton, hemp or wood.


Look for a candle that matches your space

The size and shape of a candle dictate what space you should use them in. Though a small scented candle may suit a bathroom, its fragrance is unlikely to spread in a kitchen or lounge room. Choose medium or large candles for larger, more open spaces. 


Look at the candle jar

Choose a candle with a high-quality, glass container. This way, you can repurpose it once your candle reaches the end of its life. You may be able to turn it into a vase, pot plant, spice jar or terrarium. This is better for the environment and allows you to get more use out of your candle, even when it’s gone.