The leaves are changing color, the temperature is dropping, and the pumpkin-flavored-everything is hitting the stores. If you’re looking for eco-friendly and non-toxic pumpkin candles, you came to the right place.
In this article, I’m going to help you understand what to look for in non-toxic candles and give you my favorite brands for keeping your home smelling cozy all season long!
P.S. If you’re looking for non-toxic Christmas and wintery-scented candles, click here! Or, if you’re looking for fall-related recommendations, click here for organic trick-or-treat candy, here for low-tox costumes, and here for organic Halloween pajamas!
Table of Contents
- Why Go for Natural, Organic, & Non-Toxic Candles This Fall?
- Where to Get Natural and Non-Toxic Fall Candles
- Fontana Candle Co. (Natural Essential Oil Candles)
- Natural Sloth (Handmade Fall Candles Scented with Essential Oils)
- Basic Bee Candle Co. (Made in the USA for Chemically-Sensitive Folks)
- Grow Fragrance (Refillable/Low-Waste Non-Toxic Fall Candles)
- Eight Hands Farm & Bee Co. (Phthalate-Free Fall Candles)
- Non-Toxic Fall Candle Alternatives
- Scent Fill
- An Easy D.I.Y. Idea for a Natural Fall Aroma
- Put your ingredients of choice into a medium-sized pot.
- Add water so that it covers the top of the ingredients.
- Heat pot on low for a consistent simmer. (Don’t boil.)
- Add water to the pot as it evaporates.
- Which Candles Are the Healthiest to Burn?
- Natural Soy Wax
- Coconut Wax
- Natural Essential Oils & Phthalate-Free Fragrances
- Wood, Cotton, or Hemp Lead-Free Wicks
- Wrapping It Up
This post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase.
Why Go for Natural, Organic, & Non-Toxic Candles This Fall?
The two main reasons to switch to natural and non-toxic candles have to do with the type of wax used and the chemicals with which they are scented.
Why Paraffin Wax is a No-Go
Most conventional candles are made using paraffin wax, which is petroleum-based (a.k.a. made from fossil fuels). Just like other petroleum-based products, paraffin wax is not healthy to breathe in, especially in high doses or over long periods of time.
When they’re burned, paraffin candles release chemicals such as benzene and toluene, which are carcinogens. These chemicals can also cause other problems like headaches, nausea, respiratory problems, central nervous system dysfunction, birth defects, and more.
What’s the Deal With Synthetic Fragrance?
Synthetic fragrance (listed as either “fragrance” or “parfum” on ingredient labels) is one of the most ubiquitous and problematic ingredients used in cleaning and personal care products. It’s in everything from shampoo to laundry detergent to all-purpose cleaners, air freshener sprays, and, of course, candles.
Under U.S. law, companies are allowed to hide over 3,500 different chemicals under the umbrella term of “fragrance.” Some of these ingredients are harmless, while others pose a serious threat to human health.
Phthalates, for example, is one group of chemicals that can be legally hidden under the “fragrance” label. Phthalates have been cause for concern to many safety and environmental groups for a long time now due to their correlation to things like fertility problems and cancer. But it seems like the more research that’s done on these chemicals, the more serious their potential health effects become. In fact, research from NYU shows that phthalates may kill 100,000 Americans prematurely each year.
When you burn candles with fragrances in them, you’re just breathing that stuff in. For this reason, consumers would do well to consider avoiding candles that are scented with artificial “fragrance” when possible. (Or, at the very least, buy from brands that actually provide their complete ingredient lists to consumers—which is very rare.)
If you want to learn more about the “fragrance loophole,” check out this article.
Are synthetic fragrances bad? What’s the difference between synthetic and natural fragrances? Learn all about the “fragrance loophole” and more.
Where to Get Natural and Non-Toxic Fall Candles
You can learn more about the different types of wax used for non-toxic candles below, but for now, let me tell you about my favorite non-toxic fall candles!
Fontana Candle Co. (Natural Essential Oil Candles)
Fontana’s non-toxic candles are MADE SAFE certified (which is one of the strictest third-party certifications for non-toxic ingredients!)
Their fall scents, like Pumpkin Pie, Cinnamon Orange Clove, and Spiced Latte, are made using simple, natural ingredients like beeswax, coconut wax, and essential oils. You won’t find any petroleum byproducts, stabilizers, harmful dyes, or phthalates in these candles.
Use the code THEFILTERY15 for 15% off your order.
Natural Sloth (Handmade Fall Candles Scented with Essential Oils)
Sizes: 4, 9, or 12 oz. (+ wax melts)
Burn Time: 22-50 hours
My personal favorite: I think it’s got to be the “Spooky.”
Natural Sloth’s candles come with the MADE SAFE certification as well!
These candles are handcrafted using premium yellow beeswax and organic coconut oil, and scented with only pure essential oils. They use both cotton and wooden wicks. Each one is hand-poured into a reusable glass jar in small batches.
You can use the code THEFILTERY10 to get 10% off.
Basic Bee Candle Co. (Made in the USA for Chemically-Sensitive Folks)
Sizes: 8 or 14 oz. (+ wax melts)
Burn Time: 4 hours
My personal favorite: Pumpkin Spice!
Specifically made for even those who are most sensitive to synthetic fragrances, Basic’s Bee Candle Co.’s non-toxic candles are made in the USA and are completely free of lead, phthalates, and other potential toxicants.
They are made from 100% natural ingredients, including raw local beeswax, coconut wax, cotton wicks, and pure essential oils.
Grow Fragrance originally started with their line of non-toxic, plant-based room/fabric spray, but has since expanded to candles as well. Their fragrances are 100% certified plant-based, their soy and coconut wax blend is made in the USA, and their lead-free, unbleached, cotton wick is made in Germany.
You can find every single one of their ingredients transparently listed on each product page, too—something that very few candle companies do.
Not only that, but their candles come in infinitely recyclable inserts that are also made in the USA out of recycled aluminum. Whenever you’re finished with a candle, you can just buy a refill and place it into your refillable vessel.
Grow carries a core collection of scents year-round, but they also release seasonal collections as well. Their fall scents include Ginger Pumpkin, Pear Cider, and Woodland Sage. Even though these seasonal scents are not always available for direct purchase, you can get your hands on them early by becoming a Grow Insider (which is essentially a $29/year membership that gets you perks like free shipping, access to exclusive scents, and more).
Eight Hands Farm & Bee Co. (Phthalate-Free Fall Candles)
Sizes: 14 oz.
Burn Time: 65 hours
We love this farm stand, based in New Jersey and available on Etsy. They make handmade goods (like soaps, skincare, and candles) “inspired by their bees.” They use beeswax that’s ethically sourced from their own hives, combined with soy wax, a cotton wick, phthalate-free fragrance oils, and natural essential oils. It’s all hand-poured into an amber glass jar or metal tin.
Their scrumptious fall candle scents include Pumpkin Spice, Autumn Leaves, Pumpkin Chai Pie, Apple Maple Bourbon, Orchard House, Cider Donut, Woodsmen, Vanilla Chai, and more.
They also carry room diffusers and linen sprays as well.
Non-Toxic Fall Candle Alternatives
If you’d prefer not to burn anything (or just want some other options to choose from!), there are a few other ways to bring those warm, fall scents into your home in a healthy, natural way. As mentioned above, Grow Fragrance carries a few air/fabric freshener sprays, but here are two more options for non-toxic fall plug-in air fresheners and reed diffusers:
Scent Fill carries a LOT of different non-toxic plug-in air fresheners, including a large fall collection.
Scents include things like Pumpkin Pie, Spiced Chai, Sweet & Spice Cinnamon Nutmeg, Orange Clove, Cinnamon Apple, and more. You can choose between scents made from 100% natural fragrance oils or ones that include safe synthetics (which are all phthalate-free and Prop 65 compliant to be free from carcinogens and other toxicants).
Enviroscent also carries seasonal air fresheners, including Scent Pods™ (which are refillable plug-in warmers) and Scent Stix™ (which are reusable reed diffusers). Their main fall-themed scent is Vanilla Bean + Pumpkin Chai.
An Easy D.I.Y. Idea for a Natural Fall Aroma
Lastly, you could skip all of the pre-made fragrances and make your own stovetop potpourri! Here’s how to do it:
Put your ingredients of choice into a medium-sized pot.
Some fall-themed ingredients to choose from are:
– Cinnamon sticks (2-4 sticks)
– Whole cloves (1-2 tablespoons)
– Orange (1 orange, quartered)
– Apple (1 apple, quartered)
– Lemon (1/2 lemon, quartered)
– Vanilla extract (1 tsp)
– Other herbs & spices as desired (nutmeg! ginger! rosemary!)
Add water so that it covers the top of the ingredients.
Heat pot on low for a consistent simmer. (Don’t boil.)
You can leave the pot on the back burner for hours as long as you’re home and you’re putting all safety measures in place.
Add water to the pot as it evaporates.
This easy DIY recipe will leave your home smelling cozy for hours. Here are a few more tips:
- You do not have to peel the produce. (You can even use just the peels if you have some leftover from a recipe and want to prevent some food waste!)
- Keep the lid off of the pot in order to let the fragrance fill the room.
- You can use the same batch for 1-2 days (just make sure to keep an adequate amount of water in the pot).
- You can mix and match the ingredients each time you put a new batch of potpourri on the stove until you find your favorite blend.
- You can also use the slow cooker/Crockpot instead if you’d like to, instead of the stove.
- Put a fresh batch on about 30 minutes before having guests over.
Which Candles Are the Healthiest to Burn?
Here is some more info about what types of ingredients make up safer candles:
Natural Soy Wax
The most common type of paraffin wax alternative you’ll find on the market is soy wax. It’s a more accessible and affordable option compared to paraffin and is a much cleaner burn. But there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to soy as well:
- Some manufacturers actually add other types of wax (like palm or paraffin) to their “soy” candles in order to keep costs down. So be sure to purchase from brands that are truly using natural soy wax and are transparent with their customers about it.
- Soy wax also has to be processed using not-so-great chemicals like chlorine, as well as heavy metals like nickel and platinum.
- The majority of soy is grown using pesticides and herbicides. But even if the soybean used to make a soy wax candle WAS organic to begin with, the soy wax cannot be certified organic because it has to be processed using hexane, disqualifying it from the organic label. If you ever see an “organic soy candle,” this should raise a red flag for you that the company is not being straightforward with you.
All that being said, soy is still a much better option than paraffin. Soy candles also tend to be more affordable compared to beeswax and coconut wax, so we’ve included several of them in our list above.
Coconut wax is a great non-toxic alternative to paraffin wax candles as well. It’s plant-based, has a clean burn, and can actually be certified organic. It tends to be more expensive though, which is why it’s often blended with soy and/or beeswax.
Beeswax is one of the best options for non-toxic candles. Beeswax candles actually clean the air while they burn by producing negative ions, which attach to things like dust and mold particles, neutralizing them.
Beeswax is usually more expensive compared to paraffin and soy, but it also tends to burn longer, too.
When shopping for beeswax candles, look for companies that use sustainably sourced wax from local beekeepers. Bees are so crucial to our food supplies, and they are currently in danger. Shopping from small businesses that work with local beekeepers is one small way we can help protect our bee populations.
Natural Essential Oils & Phthalate-Free Fragrances
Look for brands that use natural fragrances (like essential oils) and/or synthetic fragrances that are free from phthalates and other toxins. Even better, look for brands that actually make all of their ingredients publicly available, such as Grow Fragrance and Fontana Candle Company.
Wood, Cotton, or Hemp Lead-Free Wicks
Although it’s not as much of a problem as it used to be, there’s still a chance that candle wicks can contain lead (especially if they are cheap and/or imported).
Look for candle brands that source from suppliers whose wick is explicitly lead-free.
Wrapping It Up
One last note about non-toxic, naturally-fragranced candles… They don’t usually smell quite as strong as candles made with synthetic fragrances, so one candle may not fill up an entire room. Most people like this because the chemically-smell isn’t overpowering, but just be aware that you may need to get a few candles if your goal is to fill up a large space!
Everyone loves the scent of a warm, spiced pumpkin candle in the fall. But that scrumptious smell doesn’t have to come with all of the toxins! Buy from one of the shops above and rest assured, knowing you’re not polluting your home with unnecessary fossil fuels and harmful synthetic chemicals.