Have you ever heard of hypoallergenic candles? It can be tough to find candles that don’t trigger allergy symptoms.
Most candles contain scents and chemicals that can irritate airways. This is especially true in a home that isn’t well ventilated.
The most obvious problem with candles is the release of smoke as they burn. Smoke alone is enough to cause discomfort.
In the sections below, we’ll examine the different types of candles, how indoor candles can affect allergies, and I’ll share a few tips for using non-toxic candles when you have allergies. I’ll also include the best candles for people with allergies. Let’s get started.
How Indoor Candles Affect Allergies
I grew up with allergies. It wasn’t until later in life that I realized I was allergic to everything under the sun. It didn’t matter it was dust, pollen, pets, or mold. I was allergic to virtually everything.
I always believed I was allergic to smoke as well. However, my allergist informed me that smoke was actually a trigger for allergy symptoms and not an actual allergy.
If I inhaled smoke, my eyes would water, my nose would itch, and occasionally cough. It was uncomfortable to be in a home with candles or around people smoking cigarettes.
Prior to electricity, candles were used by households all over the world. Old fashioned homes were well-ventilated and allowed smoke to escape.
If a home is well-ventilated, smoke from candles will likely be a non-issue. The smoke rises and eventually releases into the sky.
In modern Western society, houses are usually closed and have much less air circulation (only when a door or window is open or the HVAC running).
Burning a single candle can create a significant amount of smoke irritant. Add the fact that modern candles include inorganic ingredients and scents, and it’s easy to understand why they can create a toxic breathing environment for your entire family.
Types Of Candles
It is important to know the different types of candles. Below are a list of 4 candles you might find in a home.
- Votive candles: found in a small glass and often used for mood light.
- Taper candles: long thin candles that are considered traditional. Often used for light.
- Pillar candles: thick and tall candles that burn for a significant amount of time. Often have textured sides
- Scented candles: often marketed as “aromatherapy” candles they can make a home smell good and help get rid of bad smells.
- Decorative candles: colorful and unique. These candles can be made of oil, bees wax, or soy wax
Most people believe that candles are made from bees wax. Some are, but not all!
Candles can be made from plant-based oil, animal oil, and even petroleum oil. Some waxes are burn longer, have a slower resistance to melt, and some create less smoke.
A few noteable waxes are created from:
Of these, paraffin wax has been known to release small amounts of chemicals when it burns. Paraffin wax is also a preferred wax for scented candles.
Natural waxes like soy, rapeseed, and bees wax are better for those who are concerned about indoor air quality. Natural waxes also tend to burn longer than paraffin waxes which helps save you money when shopping for candles.
Allergy Tips To Use When Burning Non-Toxic Candles
There are several factors to consider when purchasing candles for people with allergies. As mentioned in the section above, take note of the ingredients.
Is the wax origin from paraffin? If so, you probably want to look elsewhere. Non-peraffin waxes burn longer and release less smoke into your home.
Are the candles scented? Choose an option that uses natural essential oils or, even better, unscented candles.
Open a window! If you have candles burning in your house, do your best to allow fresh air in your home. A closed home will keep the smoke hovering inside the various rooms of your home.
Turn on your HVAC. If it’s winter and too cold to open a window, consider turning on your HVAC, even if it’s only the vent. Air circulated through your HVAC can help reduce the amount of pollution in your home, especially if you’re using a thick, allergy-grade filter (check out my review for HVAC filters).
Consider using an air purifier in the room with candles. Due to recent studies about indoor air quality and health, air purifiers are becoming more and more common in households.
Air purifiers that use a HEPA filter can do a great job of cleaning indoor air. With an air purifier, rest assure that you will be breathing fresh air while your candles burn.
5 Best Hypoallergenic Candles For Allergies
Chesapeake Bay Candle – Pillar
Chesapeake Bay makes a beautiful scented candle that holds a burn for 50 hours! A long flame is what you get when you buy soy-based wax.
It comes in a frosted glass, making it appealing to the eye. Although it’s scented and may not be ideal for people with allergies, the scent is derived of natural essential oils.
As someone who has allergies, I do appreciate the therapeutic effect of essential oils (check on Amazon)!
The candle is designed in the U.S.A. and has hints of magnolia, bergamot, rosemary, and sage. Its frosted glass makes it safe to place on a wooden table or a desk without having to worry about it burning a surface.
Hyoola Pure Beeswax – Votive
These votive candles are long-lasting and made from pure bees wax. If you don’t believe me, just look at the wax. It carries the beehive color well.
These votive tea lights are small, lightweight, and come in a pack of 12. Although small, they will hold a burn for 4 hours, something you won’t find with paraffin candles (check options on Amazon).
Bees wax tea lights are perfect for setting the mood indoors or for hosting an outdoor party that goes late into the night. The come at an affordable price so check them out on Amazon!
This Lulu option is called Natura for a good reason. It is made with 100% organic soy wax and 100% lavender essential oil and 100% cotton wicks.
Each candle is hand-poured in the United States. The ingredients are free from phthalates, parabens and it’s sulfate free.
If you’re looking for a non-irritating scent and a long life plant-based wax, then this Lulu candle is a great option. It is 3.5 inches tall and 3.25 inches wide, making it a candle that should have a long shelf life (view on Amazon).
For those who prefer organic and vegan, Lulu is the best option I’ve come across.
Aira Soy Candles
Aira shares another option of a pillar candle set inside a jar. This option is hand-poured soy wax and only uses therapeutic grade essential oil.
It’s organic, kosher, and vegan candle that smells great without strong chemical-based odors. If you’re sensitive to essential oil it’s best to go with a scentless option, however, I feel decent with scented candles as long as it uses essential oils (check out these vegan candles on Amazon).
It comes at a decent, not inexpensive price, but the kicker is the length of time the candle burns. Up to 110 hours! If you’re only using the candle a few hours a day, Aira will last months!
Hyoola Tall Taper Candles
The last option I wanted to share is a taper candle that will stand tall on your dinner table. It uses 100% undyed bees wax and comes in 8, 9, or 10 inch options (12 pack).
Burning time is approximately 5 hours, which is pretty good for a taper candle (view options on Amazon).
This is a great non-scented option to light up a room (or a table).
Whether you’re hosting a party or creating a relaxing environment in the comfort of your home, candles are a simple and beautiful accessory.
If you have allergies, candles might set them off. Although not an allergy in itself, a burning candle can emit smoke and scent, which can irritate airways and eyes.
If you’re looking for hypoallergenic candles, consider the various types of candles available. There are pillar, votive, taper, scented, and decorative candles.
Those that are scented could irritate someone who is sensitive smell. Essential oils, on the other hand, are natural and may have a soothing effect on an allergic individual.
You also have an option with the type of wax used. Peraffin wax is extremely common. It tends to burn faster than other options and emit more smoke.
A hypoallergenic candle probably isn’t made from paraffin wax. Better, non-toxic options include plant-based waxes like soy and rapeseed, as well as beeswax.
Soy and bees wax also burn slowly so your candle will last longer!
I’ve included a few good options in this article. If you’re looking for an allergy-friendly candle, take a look at what I’ve recommended and chose the option that’s best for you.