Light a few candles, turn off the lights, and you can transform the atmosphere of any room. However, as vegans, we need to be careful which candles we choose because some contain ingredients derived from animals.
That’s why I have written this Best Vegan Candles UK blog. We all love a candle and when you light a few nice-smelling ones around your sofa/bath/dining room table, it creates a sense of occasion and helps you relax. I’m not sure why, it doesn’t really make any scents, but there you go.
Sorry, had to be done. Now I can be serious.
Why do we love Vegan Scented Candles?
Many people love scented candles in particular and use fragrances to help create an atmosphere. There are smells that can promote calm and wellbeing, like Lavender; some that can transport you to more wild and exotic places, like Sea Salt; and scents that invigorate and energise you, like Grapefruit and Lime.
For me, Winter will always be Bay & Rosemary – scents can be very evocative, and there really are so many amazing fragrances to choose from.
Candles are also an incredibly popular gift, and for good reason. However, if you’re looking for a gift that isn’t a candle, why not head over to my Gift Guide page for inspiration?
As a consequence, this Best Vegan Candles UK blog focuses on scented candles, although I have included unscented options where available too. I have also answered some of the questions people have about candles in the FAQ at the end of this guide, because candles – vegan or not – can cause some ‘heated’ debates about whether they are environmentally-friendly, or even healthy.
How have I chosen candles for this Best Vegan Candles UK guide?
With so many to choose from, I have considered the following factors when deciding whether or not to include a candle in this Best Vegan Candles UK guide. As a result, I believe I have selected some of the best vegan candles in the UK.
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Type of wax used
- Type of fragrance used
- Strength and quality of fragrance when burning
- Country of manufacture to reduce transportation footprint
Why haven't I included any Yankee Candles in this guide to the Best Vegan Candles UK?
There are no Yankee Candles in this Best Vegan Candles UK guide because the company is unable to confirm, at the time of publishing this blog, that any of their products are vegan. I did contact them – please refer to my FAQs below.
Here is Vegan Mum's Guide to the Best Vegan Candles UK
To my mind, these really are everything I want from a scented candle. They come in containers ranging from tins, to beautiful earthenware bowls. They have unscented options too.
Particular favourites of mine are the Sea Salt, and Bay & Rosemary ranges – heavenly. However, they have so many wonderful fragrances it can be pretty difficult to choose!
The candles are pricey, but you get a long burn time, and the ‘throw’ of the fragrance is excellent – you can smell them from a good distance.
This is a B Corp accredited business, so they have sustainable practices, including packaging and an aim to remove plastic completely in 2023.
The wax is vegan, and is a mix of mineral and vegetable waxes – so some paraffin in there unfortunately. They do also use some synthetic fragrances. That said, these are still the best buy for me.
OK, where do I start? These UK made, multi-wick candles are works of art. They really are beautiful and come in glazed earthenware bowls that are both dishwasher and oven-proof. Amazing!
All of the bowls can be re-used, and except for a couple of them, are suitable for food use as well.
These candles make a stunning centrepiece for a table, or a beautiful focal point for any room.
So, where’s the con? You may have already guessed that it’s price. But you are paying for something that really is of such high quality, and with a beautiful bowl that can be used in your home for years after the candle has gone.
Prices range from £55 upwards, and this would make a special gift that I’m sure anyone would love to receive. Price is the only reason I have marked Alina’s ratings down and if it weren’t for that, these would be a perfect 5!
Lily-Flame have been making scented candles for over 28 years, so these guys really know what they’re doing! This has got to be one of the most popular ‘candles in a tin’.
Their whole range is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly and there is simply a huge range of scents. With a fragrance to suit every occasion, these scented candles are also very affordable. This makes them perfect to give as a gift.
I would say that just a couple of fragrances haven’t been as strong as I would like, but others I have bought have been great.
These soy wax candles are also all made in the UK.
A lot of thought has gone into the making of these lovely candles. Although the raw ingredient for the soy wax is imported from the US, everything else is sourced and made in the UK.
The candles are hand blended, fully vegan and cruelty-free, and smell amazing – really. You can smell the mango candle as soon as you walk into the room.
With safely extracted fragrances, glass containers and bamboo lids backing up this company’s sustainability ethos, they also come beautifully packaged in eco-friendly materials. This carefully thought-out presentation means that these candles also make very thoughtful gifts.
There are only 4 scents to choose from, but they are all very appealing, and with a mid-range price too, you really can’t go far wrong!
Fosse Living Candles
Made in the UK, as are all the candles in this list. These Fosse Living candles are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free and use soy wax.
Packaged in an attractive, clear glass jar, this candle will grace any setting. It also arrives in plastic-free delivery materials.
There are 14 different fragrances to choose from (including one called Baby Powder which I am intrigued by!) so one to suit every mood. These candles burn well and the scent has a good ‘throw’ which indicates the strength of the fragrance that you can smell.
The price of this candle is mid-range I’d say, and comparable to similar products. You are paying for a quality product that is sustainably sourced and made in the UK, so a worthwhile option for me.
Another Uk-based business that has been making candles in tins for a long time!
Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, these candles are made from rapeseed and/or coconut waxes. The wicks are cotton too and these candles have lovely, natural fragrances that are blended from essential oils.
The burn time is good and because of the waxes used, the candles emit less smoke too.
They’re only available in tins, but the branding is attractive enough to fit in with most decors.
Made in the UK, these Octo candles are vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.
Using soy wax, the fragrances are blended using essential oils and they come in brown, apothecary-style glass jars.
With 11 different fragrances, you’re spoilt for choice, and with a good burn time too.
The ‘throw’ of the fragrance isn’t as great as some candles, so you don’t necessarily get as big a hit from the smell all round the room, but this does seem to be a trait of candles using more environmentally-friendly ingredients.
That said, the smell does get stronger after it has been alight for a while.
Whilst it’s not the cheapest, you are paying for a quality product that is sustainably sourced.
I hope you have found this Best Vegan Candles UK guide useful. If you would like to read more of my product guides and reviews, please visit the Lifestyle section of my website.
In the meantime, I have tried to answer some of the more commonly asked questions about candles in my FAQ below.
I contacted Yankee candles and they could not confirm their products are vegan. On 24th Jan 23, they sent me this reply:
Thank you for contacting Yankee Candle.
At Newell Brands, our success of our Home Fragrance brands is rooted in our strong commitment to product quality. We recognise that our consumers’ expectations are evolving as they relate to ingredients in our products so they can make informed decisions.
The science of fragrance is complex and perfumers use a myriad of ingredients (in the thousands) to create fragrances. Given the wide variety of product forms and fragrances, we cannot confirm that all products are vegan friendly as some products may include trace amounts of animal derived products such as beeswax.
We do not test any of our products on animals and are not aware of any testing being carried out in any of the countries in EMEA where our products are distributed.
As we strive to keep up with consumers’ needs, we are working through our Research & Development and Supply Chain teams to document by form and fragrance, products that are vegan-friendly and we will share the results of this work as soon as available via our branded websites.
Currently we do not have a list of products that are vegan friendly, however we will be more than happy to check if candles you are interested are vegan if you provide us with fragrances you would like to check.
I pressed them on whether any individual Yankee candles were vegan, but they were unable to confirm.
Consequently, I will personally avoid this brand until they decide to be more open which means I will also not include any of their products on this Best Vegan Candles UK guide either.
Many candles are vegan, but there are 2 ingredients sometimes used that mean a candle is NOT vegan:
- animal-derived stearic acid (check labelling or website for details because stearic acid can also come from plants)
To the best of my ability and using the information made available by brands, I have ensured the candles included in this Best Vegan Candles UK guide do not contain any non-vegan ingredients.
Woodwick Candles is owned by Yankee Candles, so I would exercise the same caution I expressed about whether Yankee Candles are vegan. This also means there are none included on this Best Vegan Candles UK Guide
Whilst it is right to ask this question, many studies have found that with typical household use, we shouldn’t be overly-concerned about the potential health issues from burning candles.
There are 2 particular areas that may be of concern:
- The type of wax
- The fragrances and chemicals within them
Whilst in many cases, the wax used to make candles is derived from healthier sources like soy, coconut, rapeseed, many still use ‘mineral’ based oils, which normally means paraffin.
Healthline.com has a very good and informative article about this, so there is no need for me to repeat everything that they have published. However, it is fair to say that in a well-ventilated room, unless you are burning an unusual number of the worst kinds of candles for unusual amounts of time, you are unlikely to suffer any ill effects.
However, if you suffer from certain allergies, you will need to be more careful and it may not be appropriate for you to use candles of any description. Take medical advice if this is a concern.