Are Candles Vegan Friendly? The Definitive Guide (2023)

Find out what makes a candle vegan and why some ingredients may not be suitable for vegans. 

Picture this—you've just finished a delicious, plant-based, vegan dinner, and it's time to relax on your vegan leather couch. You decide to light a candle to set the mood when it hits you—are candles even vegan-friendly? 

Don’t panic! 

We'll share a few helpful tips and reveal some sneaky animal product ingredients that may be secretly buried at the bottom of your favorite aromatherapy store's ingredient list. Here's what you need to know to keep your conscience as clear and bright as a vegan candle flame. 

Are Candles Made From Vegan Ingredients? 

The short answer is yes, candles can be vegan-friendly. But the truth is that most household candles are anything but. Most corporate candles on the market are made with a blend of animal-derived waxes and other non-vegan ingredients, like beeswax and tallow

What are most candles made of? 

The majority of candles on the market are made from a blend of beeswax and paraffin wax. But Paraffin wax is a byproduct of the petroleum refining process, so it's not exactly vegan-friendly or eco-friendly. 

Common Vegan-Friendly Candle Ingredients

Common Animal-Based Candle Ingredients 



Coconut Wax

Palm Wax





How to ensure candles are vegan and cruelty-free? 

The best way to ensure that your candles are vegan and cruelty-free is to read the label—if you can find it. If there’s no label available to read, you’ll have to do a bit of quick research. Ask someone to fill you in if you’re at a brick and mortar, or explore the candle brand’s website.  

The good news is that plenty of vegan and eco-friendly candle options are out there leading the way in sustainable candle practices. Look for candles made from vegetable waxes like soy, sand, or coconut wax. 

Animal-Based Candle Ingredients To Avoid

If you're a vegan, your candle search can be tricky. Animal fats and beeswax are standard components of traditional waxes (the former to harden it up and make sure it has body, the latter for its opacity). 

But what about our furry and winged friends? 

Unfortunately, these ingredients don't fit with vegan ethics—not only does their farming require bee labor (which is unpaid!), but honeycomb removal means they lose out on food too. So read those labels carefully when searching for that perfect flicker. 

When it comes to buying vegan candles, always check for animal-based ingredients like:

  • Beeswax - This wax is derived from honeybees, so it's not vegan-friendly.
  • Tallow - A byproduct of animal fat, so it should be avoided if you're looking for vegan candles.
  • Lanolin - Derived from sheep's wool, lanolin is not vegan.
  • Carmine - A dye made from crushed cochineal insects, so it should be avoided if you're looking for vegan candles.

Vegan-Friendly Candle Ingredients

For a genuinely vegan and cruelty-free candle, look for candles made with botanical-based waxes like:

  • Soy Wax - Soy wax is made from hydrogenated soybean oil and is the most popular vegan-friendly candle wax. It's eco-friendly, biodegradable, and sustainable.
  • Coconut Wax - Coconut wax is made from blends of coconut and vegetable oils and burns cleaner than other types of wax.
  • Sand Wax - Sand wax is a natural and sustainable option made from sand, vegetable oil, and minerals. It's also hypoallergenic, making it an excellent choice for those with allergies or sensitivities.
  • Palm Wax - Palm wax is another vegan-friendly option made from hydrogenated palm oil. It has a unique grainy texture that creates hypnotizing patterns when burned.
  • Eco-Friendly Wicks - Not technically a vegan problem, but if you love the environment (which we’re guessing you do!) then look for candles with natural wicks like cotton or wood.

Benefits of Vegan Candles

Candles can be much more than simple home decor—they can help you relax, create ambiance, and even freshen up your space. And when you choose a vegan option, you'll be able to enjoy your candle with a clear conscience. 

Best of all, vegan candles mean you can enjoy a clean burn without exposing yourself to potentially harmful chemicals or toxins.

So, Are Candles Vegan Friendly?

Yes! You can find vegan-friendly candles made from soy, coconut, sand, or palm wax. Additionally, look for candles with natural wicks like cotton, wood, or hemp and scents derived from essential oils. 

With a bit of research, you can easily find cruelty-free and eco-friendly options. So go ahead and light up—just make sure you do it with a vegan candle! And if you're ever unsure of an ingredient, just don't buy it. After all, knowledge is power when it comes to shopping for cruelty-free candles.

Frequently Asked Questions: Vegan Candles

Are Bath and Body candles vegan? 

Most Bath and Body candles are not vegan-friendly, as they contain animal-derived waxes like beeswax and lanolin.

What is a vegan alternative to beeswax candles?

Soy wax, coconut wax, sand wax, or palm wax candles are all vegan-friendly alternatives to beeswax.

What does it mean when a candle fragrance is vegan?

A vegan candle fragrance means that it's derived from essential botanical oils and not animal-based extracts or byproducts.

What is a non-toxic, vegan candle?

Non-toxic, vegan candles are made with natural waxes like soy, coconut, sand, or palm, as well as natural wicks like cotton, wood, or hemp. 

Are there vegan scented candles?

Yes! Many vegan candles use essential oils to infuse them with natural fragrances. Make sure to check the ingredients list before purchasing a candle to ensure it's 100% animal-free and cruelty-free.

Shop Cruelty-Free Candles With a Clear Conscience

Kalamazoo Candle Company’s vegan-friendly candles have you covered for all your burning desires.  Our candle collection has a tantalizing array of popular scents, from sweet and citrusy to warm and woodsy.

We’re talking wholesome candle goodness so you don't have to worry about any ugly animal-based or environmentally harmful ingredients. Go on—light up your spirits without feeling guilty about it.