The 5 best candle brands, as ranked by a fragrance expert

Sorry, but these brands offer an elite burn

two types of candles from two different brands, The White Company and P.F.Candle Co. in different settings, one outside with cirtrus fruits, the other on wooden bath tray with brush
(Image credit: The White Company/ P.F.Candle Co.)

In the market to buy the best candle around? Well, I am here to help make this all-important decision way easier. Whether it's to bring spring into your home through scent or to gift to a friend for their birthday, it's crucial that you get this right. The first step? Choosing a brand. The second step is finding a fragrance that you like, and the third is pressing pay. Easy.

If you're someone like me who is a little fussy about home fragrances (I'm not afraid to admit it!) then I can help you find the best candle brands to buy from. I'll also recommend a candle to buy for the current season (helloooo, spring!) but really, it's up to you to choose something that will throw a party in your nostrils.

I've tested a bunch of candles over the past few years from so many brands that I have in fact lost count. All I can say is that these are the brands I always repeat buy from, and the companies I continue testing candles from as they offer a clean burn, an exceptional throw performance, and even better: they look just as luxurious as they smell. Winning!

The best candle brands in 2024

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

1. Nest New York

Nest New York pink candles sitting on side beside pink roses

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best candle brand for luxury

Sizes: 2 oz/8.1 oz/20.2 oz/43.7 oz
Burn times: 20–28 hrs/50–60 hrs/75–100 hrs/100–120 hrs
Wax: Paraffin
Wick: Cotton
Price from: $18

Nest New York is, in my humble opinion, THE best candle brand out there. In particular, I am obsessed with its Himalayan Salt & Rosewater Candle, which you can buy from Amazon

Everything is on point, from the branding and packaging to the scents and prices. What makes me so certain that this is the best candle brand? Every candle that I've tested has boasted such an impressive throw performance, managing to float fragrance from my entryway throughout my entire apartment. Oh, and as a brand it's cruelty-free and the packaging is recyclable, too. The candles come in several sizes with a burn time from 20 hours to 120 hours. So, no matter the size of your space you can scent it with a Nest New York Candle. My only complaint is that the candles are made with paraffin wax, though they do offer a clean burn every time ⁠— and the vessels clean up so easily that you can reuse them.

Shop at: / Amazon / Look Fantastic / Feel Unique

2. The White Company

2 x The White Company Grapefruit & Mandarin Candles in different sizes styled in outdoor setting with citrus fruits around

(Image credit: The White Company)

The best candle brand for gifting 

Sizes: 2.6 oz to 70.5 oz
Burn times: 18 hrs to 230 hrs
Wax: Mineral
Wick: Not listed
Price from: $14

Popularity is slowly growing in the US for this British brand, and I am totally here for it. If I am ever buying someone a candle as a gift, I will always go straight to The White Company. I have a bunch of favorite candles from this brand. If you like something subtle and fresh, go for Blanc, or if you want something for spring and summer, then Grapefruit & Mandarin is a must.

These candles come in different style vessels, including frosted glass and ceramic. You can also buy pillars with no vessel — either way, they all look elegant. These candles come in so many sizes, with a burn time from 18 hours to a whopping 230 hours. They are crafted using a mix of high-quality natural mineral wax, and they always burn clean. Keep an eye out though as tunneling might occur if you're not trimming your wicks. The White Company's candles come in fully recyclable cardboard packaging and it's so easy to reuse the candle jars for storage or decor. 

Shop at:

3. P.F. Candle Co.

P.F.Candle Co. Ojai Lavender– 7.2 oz Soy Candle sitting on wooden bath tray

(Image credit: P.F.Candle Co.)

The best candle brand for sustainability

Sizes: 3.5 oz/7.2 oz/10 oz/12.5 oz
Burn times: 20–25 hrs/40–50 hrs/50–60 hrs/60–70 hrs
Wax: 100% soy wax
Wick: Cotton
Price from: $14

One of our editor in chief's favorite candle brands (and for good reason), P.F.Candle Co. is super sustainable. My favorite fragrance from this brand is slightly better suited to fall and winter (it's Teakwood & Tobacco). But for this time of year, its Ojai Lavender candle is fresh and earthy, and its Amber & Moss fragrance is a bestseller.

All ingredients used in P.F. Candle Co.'s products are vegan, cruelty-free, phthalate-free, and never tested on animals. They are scented using fine fragrance oils that consist of natural and man-made materials. The amber glass vessels are recyclable (and also super easy to reuse). Better yet? The candles start from just $14, which is super affordable. They come in four sizes with the 7.2-ounce jar being its most popular for dressers, countertops, and nightstands.

Shop at: / Amazon

4. Anecdote

Anecdote Succulent Garden candle in jar surrounded by succulents in front of green back ground

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best affordable candle brand

Sizes: 3.4 oz/7.8 oz/9 oz
Burn times: 25–35 hrs/40–50 hrs/60–70 hrs
Wax: Coconut-soy blend
Wick: Cotton
Price from: $14

This candle brand is raved about far and wide, especially by team Real Homes. The company releases a new candle each year, and I'm really loving its 2023 candle RN, which is Orange & Ginger Flower. It's nice and subtle yet still fragrant and never overwhelming. Otherwise, the Succulent Garden candle is perfect for spring and summer.

These hand-poured candles are cruelty-free as well as phthalate-free. They are fragranced with essential oils. You can choose from three different sizes, which come in a tin, jar, and glass tumbler respectively. The largest size of candle it sells is only $34, which is why we rank Anecdote as our best affordable candle brand. These candles burn well — just remember to trim the wicks.

Shop at: / Amazon / Macy's / Nordstrom

5. Neom Organics

Neom Bedtime Hero candles on side with wall art and eucalyptus

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best aromatherapy candle brand

Sizes: 2.65 oz to 14.81oz
Burn times: 20 hrs to 50 hrs
Wax: Vegetable blend
Wick: Cotton/paper
Price from: $19.50

We love Neom fragrances for aiding relaxation. These candles are fragranced solely using 100% natural essential oils, which explains their calming capabilities. My favorite scent for the bedroom is the brand's Scent to Sleep Bedtime Hero. For everywhere else in your home, the Scent to De-Stress Black Pepper & Bergamot candle is impressive.

Yes, each fragrance type is a unique blend of 15+ essential oils. These candles arrive at your door in recyclable cardboard packaging. The majority of Neom candles are hand poured into glass vessels, but it does have a few fragrances that come in ceramic jars. You can reuse the ceramic jars to hold kitchen utensils, makeup brushes, and cotton balls afterward. All candles are cruelty-free, though they're not vegan, FYI. We love that you can shop its scents by a problem you might be having — Better Sleep, Less Stress, Mood Boost, More Energy. We can confirm that these candles burn clean and tunnel-free, just be sure to match the size of your candle to the size of your room for maximum scent throw.

Shop at: / Amazon / Nordstrom / Farfetch / Feel Unique

Which candle brand is best?

There is no one brand that fits all when it comes to candles since there are so many to choose from and every person has different preferences. It also depends on what type of candle you're after.

Our favorite luxury candle brand is Nest New York. If you're looking for a candle brand for gifting, then head to The White Company. The best sustainable candle brand is P.F. Candle Co., while Anecdote is our favorite affordable candle brand. Neom Organics is a lovely aromatherapy candle brand.

How do I find the right candle?

Finding the right candle for your home or for a specific room is hard. You don't want it to be too overwhelming or so subtle that you can't smell it. Here are some things to consider when choosing a candle:

Burn time
Vessel type (is it recyclable or reusable?)
Wax (soy is best!)
Wick (lead-free is best!)
Notes (fit this to the current season)

How we chose these candle brands 

A range of scented candles on Annie's white coffee table with a bunch of daffodils in shot

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

I spend a lot of my time updating our home fragrance guides at Real Homes, in particular our candles guide. This means that I get the chance to test a bunch of candles from many different brands. This list only features brands that I, or a member of the team, have tried first-hand. Although we do get sent candles to review, these are brands we would buy candles from with our own money.

Annie Collyer
Head Ecommerce Editor

Hi! I'm Annie, and I'm the Head Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes. I've been part of the Real Homes team since 2018, when I joined as Deals Editor. Along with covering major sales events — from Black Friday to Amazon Prime Day — I review home must-haves so that you can buy with peace of mind. Mostly focusing on home fragrance and sleep, as well as a few vacuum cleaners, I've tested pretty much every item you can think of that you need in your home. I live on the outskirts of the city in a two-bed apartment with my husband and my pug, Doug. So I am always searching for compact alternatives and ways to save floor space. What about when I am not typing away? Well, you'll find me enjoying an iced coffee (no matter the season) and trying out the latest brunch spots the city has to offer, or booking my next holiday. Where else can you find my words? Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc, and Woman & Home.