Sometimes, all you need to brighten your mood after a long, hard day is the warmth of a great candle. After all, is there any better feeling than lighting a brand new pumpkin scent on the first chilly fall morning? Or baking holiday cookies with a spruce-scented fragrance flickering nearby? The best scented candles have nice, long burn times, a strong enough throw that you’ll easily be able to smell them without being overpowering and containers that will look pretty on your counter. While everyone has their own scent preferences, there are a few brands we felt stood out from the pack as winners after doing our scented candle homework—and they’re all on our list below.

What to Look for in a Scented Candle

Scent: First, and probably most importantly, you want to look for a candle scent that you not only like, but one won't irritate you if burned for an extended period of time. This is an especially important point for those with allergies, who may be sensitive to certain fragrances. Options with natural essential oils may be less aggravating, and beeswax candles, which are largely free of toxins, can cut down on chemical reactions.

Throw: This refers to how well the candle's scent will circulate around your room. For the best throw, look for candles with paraffin wax.

Burn time: Some candles, like those made with soy wax, have a higher density than others and burn at a cooler temperature, making them burn down slower and consequently, last longer.

Container: Many candles can double as décor if their containers are visually appealing. Others still can be recycled, since you can repurpose their vessels after the wax has fully melted down.

Wax type: As we've mentioned above, the type of wax a candle is made with can affect everything from its throw and burn time to the amount of pollutants it gives off in your home. We've outlined the most popular types below.

  • Paraffin wax: Paraffin wax is a great choice when you want a candle with a great throw, as it's able to pack more fragrance inside.

  • Soy wax: Soy wax is made from the oil of (what else?) soybeans. If you're constantly running out of your favorite scents, this might be a better candle option for you, since this type of wax burns cooler and slower than others.

  • Beeswax: Beeswax candles are natural and sustainable, and, as a result, have less toxins than other candles. As an added bonus, it burns longer than paraffin and drips less, so you'll have fewer accidents with your furniture and rugs.

The Best Candles at a Glance

RELATED: The Best Essential Oil Diffusers to Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Amazon

1. Jonathan Adler Pop Candle

Best overall scented candle

The facts:

  • Made from a soy/paraffin blend for a cleaner burn and stronger scent
  • Burns for approximately 40 hours
  • Comes in a reusable vessel

This pick comes highly recommended by our editor Abby Hepworth, who loves stocking up on it over the holidays. “I love the unexpected scent options, like Tomato (fresh and summery, like a greenhouse) and Champagne (bright and fruity). But what I really love best about these is that the scent isn’t overpowering,” she says. As someone with scent sensitivity, that’s saying a lot. Explains Abby: “A lot of scented candles start to give me a headache after a while because they’re too strong, but I can keep this guy lit for hours and just enjoy."

From $36 at Amazon

Amazon

2. Homesick State Candle

Best soy wax candle

The facts:

  • Has a burn time of 80 hours
  • Made from all-natural soy wax
  • Hand-poured in the U.S. in small batches

You know that wonderful feeling when you catch a whiff of something that just smells like home? That’s what Homesick’s state candles are all about. There are 51 specially curated scents (California gets two, one for the northern regions and one for the southern ones) meant to evoke your roots. The brand also makes city, country, holiday and memory collections, so you can fill your home with nostalgia every time you light one.

From $29 at Amazon

Nordstrom

3. Diptyque Baies Candle

Best designer candle

The facts:

  • Delicate, subtle scent
  • Adored by celebs

Walk into any upscale shop (or chic Parisian woman’s home) and this is the candle brand you’re likely to see burning. The company, which has been around for more than 50 years, is known for its delicate-but-complex scents, which are handmade to perfection in small batches (hence the lofty price tag). This particular scent marries blackcurrant and Bulgarian rose for a fruity and floral fragrance. Oh, and did we mention Beyoncé, Meghan Markle and Kate Hudson are all dedicated fans?

Buy It (From $38)

Amazon

4. Capri Blue Volcano Candle

Best hostess candle

The facts:

  • 85-hour burn time
  • Fresh fruity scent

Whether or not you’ve ever bought this candle, you’ve probably smelled it before. Capri Blue’s Volcano is a favorite at neighborhood boutiques and larger retailers (ahem, Anthropologie) thanks to its subtle-but-rich scent of “exotic citrus and sugary notes” that works year-round. The price point is perfect for a housewarming or hostess gift that your recipient is sure to love, too!

$30 at Amazon

Amazon

5. Yankee Candle Home Sweet Home Candle

Best cozy candle

The facts:

  • Premium-grade paraffin wax
  • Hand-straightened wick for ideal burn

Yankee Candle is pretty much the OG of scented candles, and for good reason—its fragrances are nothing short of delightful. This cozy scent has notes of apple, cinnamon spice, cherry, musk and more that will be perfect for your next Netflix binge sesh.

$28 $20 at Amazon

Nordstrom

6. Le Labo Santal 26 Candle

Best expensive candle

The facts:

  • 60-hour burn time
  • 100 percent soy wax
  • Made in the USA

Le Labo’s scents are known for their earthiness and lasting power. This option incorporates notes of amber, musk, vanilla and sandalwood for the perfect combination of masculine and feminine. It burns for up to 60 hours, too, thanks to its 100 percent soy wax, which is denser than regular paraffin wax and therefore burns a bit longer.

Buy it ($87)

Amazon

7. Voluspa Chawan Bowl Candle

Best pretty candle

The facts:

  • 50-hour burn time
  • Clean burn
  • 7 scents available

You’ll get a great piece of décor and a candle all in one with this purchase. Available in seven luxurious scents, this embossed glass canister is both reusable and gorgeous. In fact, it’s so pretty, you might just want to save it as a pretty knick knack holder after! Better yet, this candle’s unique coconut wax blend supposedly burns 90% cleaner than a soy wax one, according to the company.

$35 at Amazon

Uncommon Goods

8. Zoe Tang Terrarium Candle

Best terrarium candle

The facts:

  • Soy and paraffin wax
  • 30 to 35-hour burn time

This adorable candle not only smells good, with scents like pine and vanilla or jasmine and white tea, but its faux hand-poured cactus or poppy design is sure to spark up a conversation with your guests. Make it the centerpiece of your dinner table or put it on the bathroom counter for a fabulous finishing touch—the options are endless.

Buy It ($26)

Amazon

9. Nest 3-Wick Pumpkin Chai Candle

Best pumpkin candle

The facts:

  • 3-wick design
  • 80 to 100-hour burn time

Nest candles are known for their superior ability to diffuse, so when you light this delicious Pumpkin Chai scented candle, it’s sure to fill your home with warmth. It should also burn for a good long while—it reportedly lasts for up to 100 hours, which is the longest of any candle we’ve seen on this list!

$70 at Amazon

Sur La Table

10. Illume Baltic Beach Candle

Cleanest smelling candle

The facts:

  • 48-hour burn time
  • Gift box included

With notes of grapefruit and apricot, you won’t be hearing complaints as far as this candle's fragrance is concerned! And that’s good news, since its 48-hour burn time means you could, in theory, keep it lit for two days straight (supervised, of course).

Buy it ($24; $12)

Amazon

11. White Barn Mahogany Teakwood Candle

Most fragrant candle

The facts:

  • 3-wick style
  • High-intensity scent

There are some candles that seem to burn for hours before you can even get a whiff of them—but let’s just say this mahogany teakwood scented candle isn’t one of them. With its rich scent and sleek canister, its throw is intense in all the best possible ways.

$23 at Amazon

Nordstrom

12. Tocca Valencia Candle

Most relaxing candle

The facts:

  • 60-hour burn time

The Tocca candle will whisk you away from chilly fall temps and transport you to beautiful Valencia, Spain (well, in your mind anyway). In short? Its vibrant floral notes with orange blossom and bergamot are vacay-worthy in any season.

Buy it ($42)

Amazon

13. Thymes Pine Needle Candle

Best holiday candle

The facts:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Paraffin wax

A hugely popular holiday scent, this frasier fir-scented Thymes candle will ignite nostalgia in even the biggest candle Scrooges. At just 6.5 ounces, it’s relatively small, yet it packs a big punch with its pine tree scent. It’s wax is also cruelty-free.

$30 at Amazon

Parachute

14. Parachute Scented Candle

Best bathroom candle

The facts:

  • 65-hour burn time
  • Made in USA

Everything about this Parachute candle is serene, right down to the scents of Salt Water and Dusk. We also like the minimalist concrete vessel, which would make for a great toothbrush holder after its soy wax burns down!

Buy It ($49)

Anthropologie

15. Boulangerie Jar Candle 

Best jar candle

The facts:

  • 35-hour burn time
  • Dessert-inspired scents

This one is almost good enough to eat, and you just might be tempted, considering the fragrance options, such as espresso and angel food, are largely inspired by French desserts. It’s made with soy wax and comes in a quaint little jar that will look great for those with rustic design elements in their homes.

Buy it ($18)

Anthropologie

16. Aurelie Large Jar Candle

Best large candle

The facts:

  • 3 different scents
  • 67-hour burn time

This decorative piece is hard to ignore, in large part due to its very large size! With three scents to choose from, including Fig Tree, Pumpkin and Sweet Vanilla and Balsam and Cedarwood, you’re sure to find one that will appeal, and the 35-ounce jar means this baby will last for a solid 67 hours.

Buy it ($78; $55)

Amazon

17. Mrs. Meyer’s Basil Candle

Best cheap candle

The facts:

  • Garden-inspired scents
  • Recyclable jar
  • Soy wax

Mrs. Meyer’s is known for its clean, garden-inspired scents, which smell as close to their namesake fragrances as possible. For example, this basil-scented candle will have you asking yourself, “What did I cook using basil today?” each and every time you come in and out of the room. It won’t break the bank, and when you’re finished using it, you can add the glass jar to your kitchenwares.

$8 at Amazon

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