11 Non-Toxic Candles That Will Make Your House Smell Like Fall

When you think of fall, one of the first things many people think of is fall scents and candles. Many conventional candles contain ingredients that can be harmful and also are a huge source of indoor air pollution. The synthetic scents found in these candles can contain phthalates and parabens which are known to be endocrine disruptors and the paraffin wax has been found to be just as dangerous as second-hand smoke.

Candle companies don’t have to disclose their ingredients so there’s no real telling what is really in them. When evaluating a company I look for brands that pride themselves on being 100% transparent about ingredients.

The Concerns with Conventional Candles

Paraffin Wax– Paraffin wax, which is found in most conventional candles, is a petroleum byproduct. This byproduct is what is left over after oil and gas are produced. These leftovers are then treated with stabilizing chemicals and typically bleached. Burning candles release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter into the air. Those compounds have been found to release carcinogenic soot when burned (2013 soot study linked here). This is the same soot as the exhaust of a diesel engine & found to be just as dangerous as second-hand smoke. Luckily though, a 2014 study examined the amount of particulate matter released from burning candles. This study found that the amount released isn’t enough to cause health problems in humans. Knowing that the levels are not too high may provide some relief, but knowing there are better and cleaner options out there helps to make a swap that’s even safer.

Artificial Scents- Candles are usually scented with synthetic oils which release microscopic particles that can cause cancer & other health problems when inhaled. As mentioned before, companies are not required to disclose the ingredients in their scents. This means that hundreds (yes hundreds!) of unknown ingredients may be found in your candle. In 2018 a study was published by the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners that exposed some of the ingredients in popular personal care items. They found that 1 in 4 of the items tested had known carcinogens (cancer-causing), hormone disruptors, and/or ingredients that are known to cause respiratory issues or developmental delays.

Metal Wicks- In 2003 there was an official ban on candle wicks containing lead. Prior to this point, it was a common practice until the 1970s when there was a voluntary industry agreement to cease the use of these wick cores. It was found that some companies were still producing candles with leaded wicks so a ban was put in place as the CPSC found that these wicks could present a poisoning risk to young children. Many candles these days use metal wicks, which still pose a heavy metals concern.

Indoor Air Pollution- A 2001 study done by the EPA foundconcentrations of acrolein, formaldehyde, and acetaldehyde from candle emissions exceeding EPA-recommended thresholds.” Exceeding these thresholds affect your indoor air pollution, in a negative way. The same study found that more soot is produced with scented candles than with unscented versions. These soot particles are inhaled and can cause allergic reactions, asthma, and other irritations. It’s also good to note that this soot can damage your interiors.

What to Look for in A Candle

  • 100% Beeswax or Coconut Wax. Soy wax is also a better option than paraffin but it tends to be more processed.
  • 100% Cotton Wicks
  • 100% Essential Oils or Naturally Scented

Clean Burning & Non-Toxic Candles

Crunchy & Curious, LLC endorses products that are genuinely loved. If you end up making a purchase through one of the affiliate links, I may earn a commission (at no extra charge to you.) I’ll mark all affiliate links with an asterisk. You can see my full disclaimer, here.

Aire Candle Co.

Aire Candle Co makes candles that are free of toxins, phthalates, sulfates, parabens, lead, soy, paraffin, synthetic fragrances, oils, and petroleum.

Wax: 100% pure beeswax made from U.S. bees

Wick: Braided cotton wicks

Fragrance: 100% pure essential oils

Fall Scents: Pumpkin Pie, Vanilla Sage, Balsam Fir*

Where to Buy: ETSY*

Basic Bees Candles

Basic Bees Candles* do not use any synthetic fragrances or stabilizers in their candles. The candles are gluten free, lead free, and phthalate free. Made in the USA.

Wax: 100% unaltered yellow beeswax

Wick: Lead Free & Zinc Free Cotton Wicks

Fragrance: Pure essential oils

Fall Scents: Pumpkin Spice, Spiced Chai, Mulled Cider, Apple Crisp, Log Cabin, Cinnamon Swirl, & Cozy Autumn

Where to Buy: ETSY*

Cellar Door Candles

Cellar Door Candles are made using single ingredients that are blended from scratch. They pride themselves on using no ingredients that are chemically processed.

Wax: Beeswax and Coconut Wax

Wick: Pure cotton dipped in Beeswax

Fragrance: Essential Oils (Cold Pressed or Steam Distilled)

Fall Scents: Cassia, Spruce Needed & Cedar Leaf, Pacific Northwest, Sandalwood & Vetiver, Ancient Cedar, Rosewood and Bergamot

Where to Buy: Cellar Door Candles

Fontana Candle Co.

Fontana Candles* created a clean candle using their simple, natural ingredients. Their candles do not contain any petroleum by-products, stabilizers, or harmful dyes in their wax. Fontana Candles were named the best New Natural Living Product of 2020 and are the first candle to be certified as MADE SAFE®! The candles are hand-poured in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Wax: Beeswax and coconut oil

Wick: Wooden wicks

Fragrance: 100% pure essential oils

Fall Scents: Allspice Ginger and Vanilla, Spiced Latte, Citrus Peel & Pine*

Where to Buy: Fontana Candles*

Good Burn

Good Burn Candle Co.* Hand poured in CA. The wicks are made of cotton and do not contain lead, zinc, or any other heavy metals. These candles are also infused with amethyst, amazonite, or citrine to “fill your space with healing properties, beauty, & good vibes!”

Wax: Organic soy wax

Wick: Cotton

Fragrance: Therapeutic grade essential oils

Fall Scents: Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Roll, Spiced Cider, Cozy Cabin

Where to Buy: Etsy*

Grow Fragrance

Grow Fragrance’s* Candles have some of the most transparent ingredients lists out there. Each candle has information on the exact oils that are used to create the scent and pride themselves on being 100% plant-based. Grow Fragrance also ensures that the scents they release are in season with their farm-to-table approach. Their candles come in a 100% recyclable insert made in the USA from recycled aluminum. This insert is placed into one of their handmade concrete vessels. Made in small batches in Durham, NC.

Wax: Certified soy wax and coconut oil blend

Wick: Lead-free, unbleached, cotton wick

Fragrance: 100% pure essential oils

Fall Scents: Ginger Pumpkin, Amber Santal

Where to Buy: Grow Fragrance* ($5 off Code Automatically Applied)

Milk and Honey

Milk + Honey’s candles are made of a blend of coconut and soy wax and pure essential oils. They do not use artificial fragrances or preservatives, and source organic ingredients wherever possible. Their products contain no sulfates or parabens.

Wax: Blend of coconut and soy wax

Wick: Unbleached cotton and paper wick

Fragrance: Pure essential oils

Fall Scents: No. 46

Where to Buy: Neiman Marcus* | Milk + Honey | West Elm

Natural Sloth

Natural Sloth’s candles hand-poured into the recyclable jar in small batches to maintain the natural ingredients’ quality.

Wax: 80% beeswax from Colorado-raised bees and 20% organic coconut oil

Wick: Wood

Fragrance: Essential Oils

Fall Scents: Fall, Sweater Weather, Cozy, Spiced Coffee

Where to Buy: ETSY*

Pure Plant Home

Pure Plant Home’s candles are handcrafted and poured in small batches in Orange County, California. They feature organic wax, and wicks and use only pure essential oils.

Wax: Coconut wax

Wick: 100% unbleached cotton wicks.

Fragrance: 100% pure essential oils used

Fall Scents: Clove/Cardamon/Vanilla, Ginger/Vanilla

Where to Buy: Thrive Market* | Amazon* | Pure Plant Home

She Glows Candle Co.

She Glows Candle Co. creates candles hand-poured by a Holistic Health Coach and Aromatherapist. The candles are eco-friendly, paraben + phthalate free, vegan, and gluten-free. They are crafted in Portland, OR. This brand is the only one I have seen of its type to use a coconut and apricot blend for the wax. The wooden wicks are sourced from FSC-certified mills.

Wax: Coco Apricot Creme wax

Wick: Wooden wicks

Fragrance: 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils

Fall Scents: Grateful, Sweater Weather, Fireside, Sunday Mornings, Tranquility, Empowerment

Where to Buy: She Glows Candle Co.

Terralite

Terralite’s Candles feature zero-waste packaging as the amber glass containers, are made with 60% recycled glass, the metal lids are left unpainted and made with recyclable tinplate, and all labels are made with recycled paper. They use organic essential oils and extracts and are hand-poured in California.

Wax: 100% plant-based coconut wax

Wick: Hemp-core wicks braided with unbleached cotton. Each wick is held in place with an aluminum wick tab that is recyclable.

Fragrance: Organic, wildcrafted, pure essential oils and extracts

Fall Scents: White Pumpkin

Where to Buy: Terralite

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