Choosing a Candle

I want to give you a few tips on choosing the right candle for you & I have a FREE Candle Care Guide to help you extend the life and quality of any candle!

Did you know that there is more to choosing a candle than just deciding which fragrance is your favorite? I'll admit that I didn't; not until five years ago.

I have always been a candle junkie. It's not a stretch to say that I spent at least $250 every couple of months stocking up at my favorite store in the mall. It wasn't a cheap habit, but I have always wanted to be surrounded by pleasant smells. We won't even go into how much money I used to spend on bath and body products!

When I made my first batch of candles right before I got married in 2013, I chose soy wax because it was the easiest & most affordable option available to me at the time. I chose my fragrances because they came in a sample pack on Amazon! I didn't put much thought into what I was using because I only intended to make about a dozen candles and then I would be done.

A year later when I found myself deciding to make candles as a side business I started to do my research. Suffice it to say I was shocked at what I learned about the candles I had been burning all my life! All you have to do is google "the dangers of paraffin wax" to find out just how many chemicals and air pollutants I was willingly bringing into my home!

This post isn't about the scary stuff though. You can easily find all of that on your own. Through research I did develop some opinions about what I believe constitutes a quality candle & I'd like to share that with you today!

Stick with Soy or Beeswax

I have no trouble admitting that most of the research I've done shows that Beeswax is the best wax for the most eco-friendly, clean air candles. However, beeswax is difficult if not impossible to fragrance. The consistency of the wax makes it harder to work with, and the high burn temperature means that even if you do add a fragrance that works with the natural smell of the wax, it will burn off at a higher rate. If you are looking for a decorative pillar candle or candles sticks, then go with beeswax.

If, like me, you burn candles for their fragrance then choose a company that uses Natural Soy Wax. No Color Dyes or Paraffin Additives - those will negate the benefits of a clean burning soy candle. Soy Wax has a low burn temperature which not only reduces the amount of smoke emitted, it also provides for a longer lasting fragrance. Soy Wax will also hold more fragrance than many other non-paraffin alternatives. It is easy to clean in the event of a spill, and less likely to burn your skin if you get the hot wax on your skin.

Cotton or Wooden Wicks

Another concern with many mass-produced candles is the wick content. Many candle wicks are manufactured with lead and other components to slow the burning process (think sparkler cores). These can emit harmful chemicals into the air while burning. Prolonged use can contribute to a host of issues such as allergies, asthma & who knows. 

Cotton wicks burn very cleanly and do not emit nearly the same amount of smoke and carcinogenic as the cheaper alternatives. Wooden Wicks are also a much better alternative!

Fragrance Oils

As a lover of essential oils, I'd like to tell you that is the best option for candle fragrance, but it is not. If you want to use essential oils to fragrance your home, diffuse them. Essential Oils are extremely volatile compounds that evaporate easily, especially where heat is concerned. The cost of a candle scented with pure essential oils will be significant. If you find an 8oz candle that has a strong fragrance for less than $35, I don't care what the label says. It can't possibly be pure essential oil. Many synthetic fragrances do not disclose all of their ingredients for proprietary reasons. If you have questions about the oils used to fragrance a candle, e-mail the distributor or maker. I use Premium Fragrance Oils. These oils are phthalate free and infused with essential oils. It is the best quality I have found and is still affordable for use in large candles. 

Even still, I encourage you to do research and draw your own conclusions if you ever have any concern about the products you are bringing into your home!


This one hits a little closer to home for me. Obviously we are striving to reduce the glass in our landfills by recycling Wine Bottles as candle containers. Even if you are choosing a different candle though, consider the container itself. When you are finished with your candle what will you do with it? Is it a container you can reuse? Would it make a nice flower vase or maybe a cosmetic container? Is it a canning jar style that you can use for food storage?

Cleaning your containers take a few minutes, but I think it's worth it! In fact, I'll be doing a video soon in the MADE Community group about how to clean your candle containers easily for reuse!

I hope you found this article helpful! No matter what brand of candle you choose, there are some universally handy tips for extending the life and quality of your candles. Grab my FREE Candle Care Guide HERE