Candles are a low-cost, low-effort way to bring a little of the season into your home.
A delicate floral scent is a perfect accessory when daffodils and crocuses are starting to bloom, while a cinnamon or evergreen scented candle is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit.
When you’re looking for a candle (or ten) to bring some warm light and aromatherapy into your home, soy candles are the ideal candidate for the cruelty-free home.
Below are some of my favorite soy candles that not only smell great but are vegan-friendly and good for the planet!
A personal favorite, Mrs. Meyers’ Clean Day Soy Candles come in a variety of fresh, natural scents, including geranium, basil, lavender, and my personal favorite, lemon verbena.
These vegan candles come in small or large tasteful glass jars, which can be repurposed into the most adorable juice glasses, or containers for bathroom beauty products or craft supplies (after a thorough washing, of course).
The large candles have a 35 hour burn time, and the scents are pleasant and not overpowering.
Reviewers note that these candles can be placed in warmers, so you don’t have to worry about an open flame around children or pets. These scented candles also do a good job at covering up household odors without being overbearing.
While not necessarily a “soy” Candle, Yankee Candle’s beautiful jarred products are entirely vegan, as they are not tested on animals and are made from completely vegetable-based wax.
In addition to looking gorgeous on display, Yankee Candles also make beautiful gifts, coming in a variety of scents and sizes, from small flickering votives to large jars that provide more than 100 hours of burn time.
The Balsam & Cedar is a favorite scent among purchasers, but there’s a Yankee Candle out there for every preference, including Clean Cotton, Midnight Jasmine, and Lavender Vanilla. Reviewers describe these candles as smelling very natural, not overpowering, and with almost eight consecutive days of burn time, fantastic value for the price.
For those looking for a perfect shower or housewarming gift, or who want to have a little variety in their home scents, a gift set from Old Factory Candles provides you with three 4-ounce soya candles in a different seasonal scent.
From sets like Fall Harvest, which includes scents like Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry, and Autumn Leaves, to Spa Day, providing Cucumber, Lemongrass, and Green Tea candles, there is a set to appeal to every preference, season, and occasion.
Handmade in the United States with natural soy wax and self-trimming wicks, each four-ounce candle burns clean for 25 to 30 hours. The candles can be burned at the same time to create a variety of custom blended scents.
Reviewers note that the company offers many scents that are appropriate for “men’s candles,” so you won’t be pigeonholed into endless amounts of perfume- or floral-scented candles.
Anthropologie’s Capri Blue Jar Candle is every bit as wonderful to look at as it is to smell. In a sleek blue, purple, or red glass jar with a gold lid, this soy candle makes a handsome addition to any side table, coffee table, or bookshelf, so you can still display it while it isn’t lit.
In addition to being made from plant-based wax, the purchase of these candles also supports Mississippi artisans, who honor traditional candle-making practices with slight updates for modern living, including using recycled glass and a soy blend.
The clean-burning formula comes in two luxurious scents, including volcano, a tropical blend of oranges, lemons, and limes, and aloha orchid, with delicate floral scents of orchids, jasmine, and gardenia.
The jars make beautiful housewarming or shower gifts and have an impressive 85 hour burn time.
Made from 100% biodegradable soy wax, the Blue Lotus candles from La Jolie Muse are small and compact, making them perfect to bring along on business trips or vacation to have a little bit of soothing aromatherapy no matter where you go.
Available in Blue Lotus, Apple Cinnamon, and French Riviera scents, the candles come in a beautiful metal container, so you don’t have to worry about breaking glass in your purse or suitcase.
Each soy candle arrives in a tasteful gift box, which makes it an excellent hostess or housewarming gift, or simply a luxurious treat for yourself.
The candles are free of artificial ingredients, and reviewers note that they are scented until the last bit of wax is used up. The ability to pack these away and bring them with you during your travels means you can create the perfect ambiance for meditation and relaxation, even when you’re away from home.
Why Not Beeswax Candles?
While bees aren’t killed for beeswax the way other animals are for meat, beeswax is a material that many vegans choose to avoid, not only for the sake of the bees themselves but also because there are so many high-quality, low-cost animal-free alternatives.
Beeswax is a material created by bees to build and maintain structures within the hive. After chewing the flakes of wax until they are soft, the bees use it to build comb, which is a multi-purpose unit that they use to store food sources like honey and pollen, as well as space for raising their babies.
Think of taking wax from a hive as the equivalent of taking a bird’s nest, or the sea anemone a fish might use to protect its young.
Most people don’t realize that beeswax is actually useful to bees, and as such, the removal of such an important building block can be incredibly stressful for the hive.
Bees, who are gifted pollinators and are responsible for many of the fruits, vegetables, and other plants we eat and enjoy, have been dying off at an alarming rate – nearly 30 percent per year.
Clearly, a population that is already struggling with survival due to things like insecticides and rising temperatures due to climate change certainly doesn’t need to be dealing with the stress of beeswax removal for the creation of human home accessories like candles.
By choosing a candle made from soy, you’re giving the bees a voice, and showing that these gifted pollinators deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor. So leave the wax for the bees – there is no shortage of options when it comes to plant-based home fragrance.
Aromatherapy the Bee-Friendly Way
You don’t have to give up the simple luxury of a beautifully scented candle just because you decide to adopt a plant-based diet.
Even if you don’t classify yourself as a vegan, or even vegetarian, the wellness of the bees affects each and every one of us – if the food we eat is not pollinated by our buzzing buddies, our food landscape will change drastically within our lifetimes.
The candles in this list are just a small sampling of the plant-based candles available at your local home or department store. When considering a brand of soy candle that isn’t included on our recommended list, take a quick scan of the ingredient list – you’ll want to avoid candles made with lanolin, an oil derived from sheep’s wool, and paraffin, which is chemically-derived and can cause unpleasant side effects. Choose only candles that are 100% soy wax based, or use a food-grade paraffin blend.
By choosing a naturally scented soy candle, you can leave the beeswax for the bees, and you’ll get to continue doing the best part – sniffing all the candle varieties in the store! Enjoy the scents of the season with the knowledge that you’re looking out for our bee friends.