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14 best non-toxic candles that smell great and bring a clean burn

You won’t see any synthetic smokiness with these soy-based formulas

Helen Wilson-Beevers
Wednesday 20 July 2022 11:31 BST
<p>These natural candles tend to last longer too</p>

These natural candles tend to last longer too

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Candles are the ultimate treat buy, with a flickering flame and fragrant aroma adding extra ambience into any living space. But wen it comes to choosing them based on wax type, a soy candle is specifically seen as non-toxic thanks to its lack of synthetic ingredients.

The wax comes from soybean and is free of potentially toxic chemicals, like those found in paraffin and, as such, it produces a slow, clean burn with no residue or sooty smokiness.

Thanks to the cotton wicks, these natural candles can last longer too. Plus, the vegetable-based soy formula is vegan-friendly as there’s no beeswax to be found.

As far as non-toxic fragrance goes, this tends to come from essential oils, ensuring a lingering scent. We’d still recommend trimming the wicks in between use to stop any wax dips appearing though, ensuring your soy candle lasts as long as possible.

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How we tested

We spent over a month perfecting our list of best soy candles which includes new finds and existing favourites. To make the cut, candles had to offer a clean smoke-free burn and appealing scent. Read on for our list of the best non-toxic soy candles, in different size, price and fragrance options.

The best non-toxic candles for 2022 are:

  • Best overall – Urban Apothecary tuberose petals luxury candle: £35,
  • Best hand-poured effect – Ishga Hebridean dreams candle: £37,
  • Best supersized candle – Espa positivity candle: £55,
  • Best for cosiness – Kiss The Moon glow aromatherapy soy candle: £40,
  • Best unique holder – Skin Alchemists summer candle: £65,
  • Best sustainable buy – UpCircle espresso martini soy wax candle: £21.99,
  • Best for a smoke free flame – Ila fragrant candle for inner peace - tuberose and rose: £46,
  • Best for an interior accessory – Ouai Melrose Place candle: £16,
  • Best alternative wick – Moo & You signature candle: £35,
  • Best for a gift – Noble Macmillan patchouli and ylang ylang personalised candle: £45,
  • Best summery scent – Olivia’s Haven under the palm tree soy candle: £31,
  • Best multi-layered fragrance – Boy Smells damasque candle: £44,
  • Best for a strong aroma – Miller Harris figue scented candle: £50,
  • Best essential oil blend – Synchronicity Scents love candle: £50,

Urban Apothecary tuberose petals luxury candle

best soy candle urban a

Best: Overall

Rating: 9/10

This large 300g candle is made of soy wax plus a cotton wick and is presented in a chic black glass holder with a simple branded sticker. Because of this minimalist vibe, it looks stylish in our living room. Our tester noticed the small, still flame created when lighting this candle doesn’t cause any smokiness and we liked its clean, botanical scent.

Clear fragrance notes include bergamot, honeysuckle, coconut, sandalwood, and carnation, reminding us of enjoying a warm evening in a blooming summer garden. The luxurious looking and smelling candle has a whopping 60-hour burn time too, making the £35 price tag stretch a bit further.

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Espa positivity candle

best soy candle espa

Best: Supersized candle

Rating: 9/10

This offering from ESPA isa hand-poured soy wax candle with botanical essential oils that comes presented in a branded white glass holder with an accompanying silver metal lid which acts as a handy cover to stop the candle from becoming dusty between uses. We tried the supersize 410g version, but it is also available in a smaller size.

The scent itself comes from ESPA’s positivity range, and we detected sweet, citrus, and floral notes across ingredients including jasmine, rose geranium, bergamot, and orange. Our tester noted the burn to be impressively even, with no dips in its 100 per cent natural wax afterwards, just a smooth flat surface. Fragrance quickly filled our room, bringing a brightening, vibrant aroma, and we found the lid handy to stand this candle on while lit too.

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Skin Alchemists summer candle


Best: Unique holder

Rating: 9/10

Hand-poured into a clay pot designed by ceramist Nina Paloma, this 360g candle comprises 100 per cent soya wax and two eco-cotton wicks. Our tester noticed the double wicks bring extra scent intensity to this citrus blend. We saw the flames light up its holder’s bronze shaded inside edge too, adding an extra ambience. Its burn is notably flat and even, not dipping at all. We picked up on earthy vetiver and patchouli as well as relaxing lavender and softly floral red mandarin. Although this is an investment, the clay pot is exquisitely detailed and will be an interior addition for years to come.

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UpCircle espresso martini soy wax candle

best soy candle upcircle

Best: Sustainable buy

Rating: 9/10

In keeping with UpCircle upcycling ingredients for every product, this hand poured candle has been made using repurposed coffee grounds and sustainably sourced soy wax. There are visible coffee particles in the candle for a unique textured finish and we liked the glass holder’s minimalist aesthetic. We saw a smoke-free flame and the holder sides were residue-free too as the wax melted down evenly with use.

The creamy scent is rich yet delicate, creating subtle whiffs of coffee without being overpowering. Plus, its 180ml size is usefully compact but still offers up to 35-hours of burn time, and our tester took this candle away for some added luxury on a weekend break.

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Ila fragrant candle for inner peace - tuberose and rose

best soy candle ila

Best: For a smoke-free flame

Rating: 8/10

This soya wax candle contains rose damascena, rose geranium, tuberose and vetivert essential oils and is packaged in a bright pink glass holder. All that’s featured on the outside is the Ila logo, which would be perfect if you prefer a simple, colourful candle holder.

When burning, our tester saw a tall, slim flame burning calmly without creating smokiness. And the sweet scent is a heady floral combination, finished with fresh grassy vetivert notes. The fragrance quickly filled our living room, and we could also smell it when the wick wasn’t lit. There’s an expected 55-hour burn time, so this buy will last ages too.

  1. £46 from
Prices may vary
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Ishga Hebridean dreams candle

best soy candle ishga

Best: Hand-poured effect

Rating: 9/10

Offering a total burn time of 40-hours, this 30cl natural soya wax candle is hand-poured in two stages with Hebridean seaweed sprinkled into each layer. Set in a white glass holder, there’s also a silver metal lid with sealant edges to secure in place between uses. While burning we noticed the hot wax melts in circular layers, showing those tiny hand-harvested seaweed particles. The fresh scent is gently warming and added a definite spa vibe to our living room, with the lavender, rose, geranium, juniper berry and lemongrass oil blend. Its clean flame doesn’t create any smokiness either.

  1. £35 from
Prices may vary
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Kiss The Moon glow aromatherapy soy candle

best soy candle kiss

Best: For cosiness

Rating: 8/10

This soy wax candle has a cotton and paper wick, is housed in a black glass container and has an estimated burn time of 50-hours. The logo is etched onto its side, so we saw a cosy glow when lit. The orange and geranium essential oil blend makes for a tangy, happy scent that is mood-lifting. Dispersing throughout our lounge, we noticed how much of a widespread aroma the candle brings. Plus, its molten wax pool reaches close to the holder’s side, resulting in an even burn with quite a small, but completely clean, flame. The joyful scent lingered in our room afterwards too.

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Ouai Melrose Place candle

best soy candle ouai

Best: For an interior accessory

Rating: 9/10

Coming in a pale pink chunky holder mirroring the simple porcelain interior accessory trend, this Ouai candle is made from soy and coconut wax. The rose scent also features bergamot, lychee, cedarwood and white musk to add a rich, earthy edge. As the wax burned down evenly with use, our tester noticed this flame lit up the holder from inside and brought a warming, cosy glow. The estimated burn time is 55-hours, and while we’ve not quite got to the bottom yet, our tester will be repurposing this holder after use.

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Moo & You signature candle

best soy candles moo

Best: Alternative wick

Rating: 8/10

The wick element of this soy wax candle is slightly different because it’s a wide flat piece of wood, which we found creates a soothing, subtle crackling sound. Coming complete with a wooden lid as a heat protective stand on surfaces, this keeps dust off the candle when not in use too. Our tester saw the candle burn without any wax dips and its glass holder stayed clean around the edges. Plus, the sweet almond scent is a gentle fragrance which carried throughout our living space while lit.

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Noble Macmillan patchouli and ylang ylang personalised candle

best soy candle noble

Best: For a gift

Rating: 8/10

You can personalise this soy candle’s holder with a matching pink leather letter covering an entire side and we think this tailored touch would make a special gift.

This is a fragranced candle for those favouring a noticeable aroma, and we enjoyed the potent ambience it brought. The patchouli and ylang ylang scent blend served up a floral and musk mix, that quickly filled our tester’s living space. There’s around 40-hours burn time, and other scent picks are available in different coloured pots too.

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Olivia’s Haven under the palm tree soy candle

best soy candle olivias

Best: Summery scent

Rating: 8/10

This hand poured soy candle has a sweet summery scent, thanks to notes of coconut, pineapple, and vanilla. Basically, the fragrance is like summer holiday sunshine in candle form. Because of this, we lit it on dreary days needing a happy lift.

The white glass holder features a colourful sticker with gold detailing, and our tester didn’t notice any wax dips from the candle burning. Its 220g weight is a generous size, which should offer at least 45-hours of burn time.

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Boy Smells damasque candle

best soy candle damasque

Best: Multi-layered fragrance

Rating: 8/10

Presented in a vibrant orange glass holder, this coconut and soy wax candle has a cotton wick. All the fragrance notes are helpfully outlined on the back, and these include rose, cherry, apricot, cardamom, and tobacco. Our tester noticed the scent is satisfyingly multi-layered, meaning we could detect sweet, floral, fruity, and woody components.

The candle is slow burning and while the wax did dip slightly near the edges, there was no smoke to be seen. The 240g buy has a burn time of around 55-hours, delivering long-lasting candle enjoyment.

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Miller Harris figue scented candle

best soy candles miller harris

Best: For a strong aroma

Rating: 8/10

This soy and rapeseed wax candle creates an instantly noticeable aroma, with rich, earthy notes of fig and cedarwood that are velvety smooth. We noted its flame is strong too, which helped the scent spread throughout our room.

The 220g candle’s glass holder is a shade somewhere between grey and purple, fitting well with our tester’s décor. We were pleased to see the burn time is over 55-hours, especially after soaking up so much scent from a few cosy evenings already.

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Synchronicity Scents love candle

best soy candles synchronicity

Best: Essential oil blend

Rating: 8/10

Arriving in colourful and compostable packaging, this soy candle features an essential oil blend including clove, patchouli, rose, geranium, vanilla, orange, and olibanum. Our tester picked up on a soft and creamy citrus scent with botanical notes, which smells uplifting. We took the candle outside for al fresco drinks on a summer evening and enjoyed its clear flame and brightening fragrance boost.

The 220g candle has an estimated burn time of 40-hours, and while this holder depicts a hummingbird, other scent options are available with bee, butterfly, dragonfly, and ladybird designs.

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The verdict: Non-toxic candles

Our overall best buy is Urban Apothecary’s tuberose petals luxury candle for its simple chic holder and clear botanical fragrance notes, plus a long-lasting burn time. Meanwhile, UpCircle’s espresso martini soy wax candle is a sustainable buy delivering creamy, delicate notes. Finally, if you’re looking for a customised soy candle pick, we’d recommend Noble Macmillan patchouli and ylang ylang’s personalised candle.

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For the latest offers on candles and other home fragrances, try the links below:

Need something extra to help you wind down? Read our round-up of the best essential oil diffusers to give your home a sense of calm

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