Shop these editor-approved fragrances, plus learn why wax ingredients matter and how to make your candle last forever

Candle Roundup
Courtesy of PF Candle Co

Looking for a fresh home scent as you hunker down for the winter? Nothing’s more cozy this time of year than lighting a new candle, but there are almost too many options on the market these days. What are the best scents really? Do candle ingredients truly matter, and will that candle actually last for 50 hours? 

After testing affordable candles from artisanal makers all the way up to beautiful, splurge-worthy vessels, and chatting with some candle industry insider, we’ve got all the answers on how to optimize your candle shopping and how to make that wax last all winter long.

Wax Matters

Courtesy of PF Candle

Soy candles have majorly grown in popularity, and there are good reasons as to why. “Soy does put off less soot than paraffin—especially if you keep your wick trimmed,” says Kristen Pumphrey, Founder of P.F. Candle Co. “When you think about burning paraffin candles as essentially burning something similar to gasoline or plastic, it kinda makes you scratch your head.”

Not only is swapping in soy better for your health at home, but also for the planet. Pumphrey also explained that paraffin is a finite resource, while choosing soy or other plant-based waxes makes them more renewable (and biodegradable). “The real choice here is for the health of our planet,” she says. 

Make It Last

Courtesy of Sunday Forever

Taking care of your candles is an art, and Ashli Stockton, the CEO and founder of Sunday Forever (the maker of both candles and a variety of candle care items), shares her etiquette tips. “ You want to be sure to trim your wick after every burn to ensure the wax stays clean and you get an even burn the next time,” she says.

Her other go-to candle care item? A wick dipper. “The wick dipper is really cool because it avoids having to blow out the candle, which can affect the wax, and it also makes for no smoke,” says Stockton. “I personally don’t care for the smoky scent of a blown-out candle and with the wick dipper, you avoid that completely—plus it’s really satisfying.”

Get Lit

Armed with the above advice, these are the editor-approved, plant-based candles we’re shopping all season long:

PF Candle: Spruce

Courtesy of PF Candle

Capture the holiday spirit in this spruce-scented candle by Los Angeles candle maker P.F. Candle. Known for their amber jars and 100% soy candles, they craft the ultimate West Coast candle to include in your winter collection.

Spruce Standard 7.2oz Candle, $20

Burn Candle Company: Toasted Graham Cracker

Courtesy of Burn Candle Company

This Phoenix-based boutique fragrance maker focuses on creating 100% soy candles with a clean, minimalist aesthetic. Burn Candle Company’s Toasted Graham Cracker scent will transport you to your favorite campfire memory, a cozy scent that’s great for winter (and year-round).

Toasted Graham Cracker Candle, $18

The NOW Candle: Jasmine Coconut

Courtesy of The NOW

Los Angeles massage studio The NOW is known for many things—its Instagram-worthy ceilings, its variety of massage add-ons, its stylish aesthetic—including its signature jasmine and coconut scent that fills its studios. Transport yourself back to the studio without leaving your home by lighting this candle filled with The NOW’s soothing tropical scent.

Jasmine Coconut The NOW Candle, $48

Otherland: Fallen Fir

Courtesy of Otherland

The seasonal scent of this candle is luxurious with a hint of the holidays, making it one you’ll want to burn all winter long. Otherland’s candles feature a custom soy and coconut wax blend, with beautiful, made-in-the-USA glass tumblers complete eye-catching labels you might have spotted on Instagram.

Otherland Fallen Fir Candle, $36

Year & Day: Moon

Courtesy of Year & Day

The California-based dishware company now makes sustainably-designed candles, with four inaugural scents that are meant to exemplify the Cali coast. The Moon candle has a beautifully herbal scent profile of rosemary, lavender, mint, and moss. Added bonus—the candles are also refillable.

Year & Day Moon Candle, $60

Sunday Forever: 11:11

Courtesy of Sunday Forever

Embrace luxurious design and fragrance with Sunday Forever’s candles. The brand’s dedication to self-care rituals and effortless elegance is easy to glean from their sleek candle designs, made with coconut and soy wax. Their bestselling 11:11 candle is scented with figs. 

Sunday Forever 11:11 (Fig and Wishes), $46