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Did you know most popular candle brands contain harmful chemicals? Trust me, this was a devastating revelation for me too. It would be an understatement when I say I love candles. I had a wide collection of Bath and Body Works and Yankee Candles (spoiler: they’re not on the list) that I no longer felt safe to use. 

There are two big toxins in many mainstream brands: paraffin and lead candle wicks. Paraffin is a common ingredient that helps the candle scents fill the room. Unfortunately, it can be a potential carcinogen and not clean burning for the environment. Luckily, most candles no longer use lead wicks but a consumer should be aware of the type of wick. Look for cotton wicks since they are much safer! Lead wicks emit toxic lead in the air…not good. Now, these ingredients may not be deal-breakers for some people but I wanted to find some alternative brands that I didn’t have to worry about. So here are 5 nontoxic candle brands that have great products!  

Wine Wix

This brand is a sustainable candle brand that uses old wine bottles to hold the candle wax. They have a wide variety of scents, so you can find one you will love. I first noticed the brand from some influencers but then realized they are made by a small business owner from my hometown. Small world. If you want to support a small, sustainable business, this is the brand for you!

Madeline Island Candles

This is another small business candle brand from Wisconsin. They offer lots of scents and even do seasonal ones! My personal favorite is the cactus and jade flower scent! They also have a store in Madeline Island which is a cute tourist spot!

Voluspa Candles

This brand offers a huge variety of scents and sizes of candles. You can even get 123-ounce size candles! Their pricing does vary but I’ve found you can get good deals. I’ve found the brand on their personal website, Nordstrom and Amazon.


They have tons of collections, scents and styles to choose from. Their candles are cute and smell amazing. Whether you want a more traditional scent or an abstract one like Shakespeare…you can find it here. They also have stores that let you customize your own candle scent! 

Homesick Candles

This is the most popular brand out of this list. I’ve seen lots of celebrities and influencers using these unique candles. Each candle is based on a state, city, country or experience that is supposed to remind you of it. I love the concept and the variety they offer. They would also make a great gift to remind someone of their home!

These are just a couple of brands to get your search started! There are probably some local candle sellers that you can check out as well. You can still enjoy candles without having to worry if they are emitting harmful chemicals into your house. 

Ava Calpino

Wisconsin '22

Ava Calpino is a senior strategic communication major at UW Madison. She previously wrote for LMU's chapter. She loves writing, the environment, and cute animals.
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