I love candles. They’re one of my favourite things to decorate my home with, bringing light, scent, and ambience into any room. Natural candles are my preference, and I’ve found they’re better for my health, my home, and the planet too.
However, not all are made equal – even the natural ones. Some are more sustainable than others, and here’s why…
What Are Natural Candles Made From?
When it comes to natural products, I’m pretty considerate when it comes to the foods and beauty. But why not the scents around my home too?
I’ve previously written on eco cleaning products, but never candles or diffusers. However, they’re a big part of what makes my home feel homely, and if I’m breathing them in all day, I want them to be safe and sustainable too!
Natural candles tend to be made from the following waxes:
- Bees wax
- Soy wax
- Vegetable wax
You’ll also find candles made from paraffin wax, which is a by-product of petroleum, coal, or shale oil. Technically, this is a natural substance too, but all three sources of paraffin wax are fossil fuels, and are not sustainable, so I tend to avoid it as much as possible.
Why Choose Natural Candles?
There are a number of reasons to choose natural candles over traditional paraffin candles:
1. Natural candles are non-toxic. Natural candle wax burns more cleanly than paraffin, and doesn’t product a petro-carbon soot when burned. This soot contains two known carcinogens (toluene and benzene) and can cause irritation in the lungs, asthma, and cancer.
In comparison, natural candles do not produce any detectable levels of harmful chemicals, so they’re better for your respiratory system and home.
(That said, whenever you burn a candle, try to air out the room afterwards to ensure you’re breathing fresh, clean air).
2. Natural candles can burn for longer. There are a number of factors that determine the burn time of a candle – material, density, and design all play a role. That said, beeswax candles tend to have the longest burn time, as they wax burns at a slightly hotter temperature than soy wax (second longest burn time) or paraffin wax (quickest burn time).
3. Natural candles are more sustainable. As I mentioned before, beeswax, soy wax, and vegetable wax are all made from natural materials, rather than fossil fuels, which means their origin is a lot more sustainable. That said, vegetable wax candles are often made of palm oil, which is linked to deforestation and harming wildlife in Asia, Africa and Latin America. If you have a choice, go for beeswax, or if you’re vegan, soy wax.
Best Natural Candle Brands in UK
I love a good natural candle, so I’ve tried a good few in my home so far! Here are my favourite brands to purchase natural candles from:
Arokiyam: Hand-poured candles in an array of classic and exotic scents, inspired by Sri Lanka.
Hopscotch*: Soy candles beautifully presented in recyclable jars, tins, and glass pots.
Earl of East*: Soy wax candles and incense made with a focus on community.
Evermore London*: Luxe candles made with rapeseed and soy wax. My favourite scent is Flore!
Eym*: Long-lasting candles made with essential oils and GMO-free soy wax.
Neom*: Wellbeing brand with emotion-led candle line made from vegetable wax.
Octo*: Hand-poured candles with a range of soothing scents, made with soy wax.
Petits Rituels*: Organic-scented soy wax candles presented in frosted glass containers.
Siren Store*: Plastic-free Etsy store with hand-crafted candles in the shape of women’s bodies.
Studio 23*: My next candle (hopefully!) will come from Studio 23 – I’m in love with their black presentation pots and range of scents.
West Elm: A selection of candles made by ethical homeware brand West Elm.