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  • Writer's pictureLily Smith

Biggest Candle Trends of 2021 (and what to look out for in 2022!)

With the year beginning in a national lockdown, 2021 unsurprisingly saw a huge rise in candle sales, as people sought to make their homes more cosy and pleasant. We also saw certain candle trends in the spotlight, from beeswax candles and wooden wicks to candles with rings in them and female torso candles. Read on to discover the top candle trends of 2021, plus our predictions for the biggest candle trends to look out for in 2022...

Top Candle Trends of 2021

Wild Garden Candle from Essence + Alchemy

Candle Trend #1: Wooden Wick Candles

Unlike regular modern candles, which traditionally use a cotton wick, wooden wick candles feature a wider wooden wick, which can be made from a variety of different woods.

Virtually any type of wood - hard or soft - can be used for making wooden wick candles. One particularly popular type is balsa wood.

So why do wooden wick candles crackle? According to Life-N-Reflection: 'Gas molecules are naturally contained inside the walls of cells within the wood.

'When you raise the temperature of these cell walls, the gas expands and a mini-explosion occurs as the cell walls rupture and the gas escapes. This event causes the crackling, popping sounds we hear from a lit wooden wick.'

While both pure cotton wicks and wooden wicks are good choices, according to @fraendicandles, wooden wicks could be better for the environment.

'Cotton is a very pesticide-intensive crop contributing to polluting rivers and groundwater. It requires large amounts of water, causing degradation of soil fertility, and in some cases the drying up of some of the world’s largest inland water sources.'

Hidden Ring Candles from Royal Essence

Candle Trend #2: Candles with Hidden Rings Inside

With hidden ring candles, the idea is that there is a ring hidden somewhere within the candle's wax. The ring will usually be wrapped or encased, to protect it from the melting wax and the heat of the flame.

When you light your candle, and the wax begins to liquefy, the ring will gradually be revealed. Patience is key: you have to wait for all of the surrounding wax to melt before you can free the ring! This might take a few hours, or a few burning sessions, depending on how deep the ring is.

Once the wax has sufficiently liquified, carefully use a pair of tweezers to fish your hidden ring out from the wax pool. Don't use your fingers: the liquified wax will be hot! Then, you can unpackage your ring, and reveal the design!

Most companies that sell hidden ring candles will have a tool on their website where you can find out the value of your ring. This is particularly handy for the hidden ring candles where the rings can be worth anything from £15 to £5000!

Candle Trend #3: Paraffin-free Candles (Beeswax, Soy and Coconut)

To this day, the most common wax used in candles is paraffin - mostly by large retailers who mass produce cheap candles. However, as people become increasingly aware of the dangers paraffin wax poses, we've seen a huge increase in candles made using renewable, natural waxes, like beeswax, soy and coconut.

So, what's the big issue with paraffin wax? This mineral wax is a petroleum by-product. Unlike natural waxes, paraffin is filled with toxins and carcinogens when burnt.

This causes your candle to release chemicals like formaldehyde, benzene, and soot into your home, polluting the air you breathe every day. In fact, the toxins produced by paraffin candles have been linked to asthma and lung cancer. Yup. We recommend opting for a natural wax candle.

The Lloupe candle from Lluceatt

Candle Trend #4: Geometric and Decorative Candles

2021 has seen a huge increase in decorative candles in a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs.

Unlike traditional candles, these are primarily created to be admired as decorative items, rather than be lit. However, they can be lit, so long as you take precautions, like placing them on a tray to collect wax drips.

Some of our favourite shapes include geometric pillars, circular loops, realistic fruits and cute seashells!

Rose Quartz Candle from Two Libras

Candle Trend #5: Candles Topped with Crystals

Crystal candles are candles that have embedded crystals either within them or on the surface of the wax. The idea behind these candles is that, when lit, both the candle and the crystals will amplify any intentions you make.

Most crystal candle makers suggest you close your eyes, set an intention, light your candle, and imagine the candle and crystal are amplifying your positive thoughts. For best results, try setting an intention that suits the aromatherapeutic properties of the candle, and the healing properties of the candle.

Female Torso Candles from Candles by Jas

Candle Trend #6: Female Torso Body Candles

As the candle industry grows, lots of candle makers are now creating decorative, body-positive candles shaped like beautiful bodies!

The trend began with female busts and has since developed to represent a wider range of body types, including male torsos, curvier females and pregnant figures, along with isolated body parts like legs, hands and lips. We've even some some wonderful breast cancer awareness torsos.

Candle Trend #7: Aromatherapy Candles

With the stresses of lockdown, many of us were turning to alternative health and wellness remedies, like aromatherapy. This could explain why we saw a huge rise in the number of aromatherapy candles infused with essential oils.

Essential oils are a great natural fragrance option for candle makers. Unlike synthetic fragrances or perfumes, which are often filled with nasty chemicals and allergens, pure essential oils are natural and non-toxic.

By using essential oils, the candle will also hold aromatherapeutic benefits. For example, a lavender essential oil candle can promote a calm and peaceful state of mind.

CBD Candle from Epoch

Candle Trend #8: CBD Candles

Similar to the rise in aromatherapy candles, CBD candles have grown in popularity over the past year as people sought to improve their mental and physical well-being.

Cannabidiol, more commonly known as CBD, is a naturally occurring, non-psychoactive substance found in hemp plants. Following a recent surge in popularity, research is underway to better understand the amazing benefits CBD can reportedly provide for the mind and body.

Studies suggest that CBD can bind with serotonin (the ‘happy’ hormone) receptors in the brain, to naturally lift our mood. Like CBD, candles are also used to calm the mind and reduce stress levels, so it makes sense that the market has recently seen a rise in CBD candles.

Skincare Candle from NEOM Organics

Candle Trend #9: Massage and Skincare Candles

Candles are already a relaxing tool for any self-care toolkit. However, massage candles take these benefits to the next step.

These pampering candles use nourishing oils and butters as a candle base. When lit, this base melts and becomes the perfect moisturising body oil. Simply light the wick, wait for the oils to melt, then extinguish the candle and allow the oils to cool slightly.

Next, pour the warm, liquified base into your hand and massage it into your skin. Massage candles usually feature an easy pour spout to ensure simple, spill-free application. Why not step up your pamper session by asking your partner for a massage?

Another way to use your massage candle is to pour the melted oils straight into your bath for a nourishing and relaxing soak. Be sure to clean the bath thoroughly afterwards to avoid any slippages!

Refill Candles from Scentered

Candle Trend #10: Refillable Candles

Before now, many people would use a candle or reed diffuser, then simply throw out the container before buying a new one. Or, these empty candle containers pile up in the corner, waiting for you to fulfil your upcycling promises. (Click here for some candle jar upcycling ideas!)

Now, there's a solution, and it's proven to be popular with consumers: refillable candles! Gone are the days of empty candle containers cluttering up your shelves. With refill candles, you simply buy one candle to start with, then repurchase candle refills each time the candle finishes burning. (Click here for our top tips on cleaning out your candle jars!)

Candle Making Kit from Teepee London

Candle Trend #11: DIY Candles

Loads of us love to try our hand at crafting, and candle making is no exception. 2021 saw a huge rise in DIY candle making - both through the large number of candle making kits available to the huge amount of tutorials on TikTok.

Candle making, while fun and rewarding, takes a lot of time, effort and materials. For one simple candle, you'll need a wax base, fragrance oils, wicks, and containers - not to mention the optional extras, like dyes, dried flowers and crystals.

If you're opening a candle business, then it's definitely worth buying all of these materials in bulk. However, if you're just hoping to dip your toe in the water of the candle-making world, buying all of these raw ingredients can be costly and unnecessary. That's where candle making kits come in handy. These contain everything you need to make 1 or 2 DIY candles.

candle trends
Twisted Candles (Image credit: Monologue London)

Candle Trend #12: Twisted Candles

Another one that was born on TikTok: DIY twisted and bendy candles. Over the past eyar, we've seen lots of tutorials on TikTok and YouTube outlining how to make your own twisted/bendy candles using regular old pillar candles. There is no denying the resulting candles look amazing, plus it's a fun and easy craft to try out!

Stay tuned for our guide on making your own twisted candles!

Candle Advent Calendar from diptyque Paris

Candle Trend #13: Candle Advent Calendars

Gone are the days of plain old chocolate advent calendars: this year, we've seen a hige rise in the number of home fragrance advent calendars available.

Most notably, the £300+ candle advent calendar from diptyque Paris is turning some heads. If you're interested in trying out a candle or wax melt advent calendar this year, click here to see our guide!

Candle Trend #14: Vegan Candles

With the number of people following a vegan lifestyle increasing, it makes sense that more and more of us are seeking vegan-friendly candles.

Luckily for vegans who love candles, there are lots of candle waxes that are suitable for vegans. Here's a list of some of the most common vegan-friendly candle waxes...

  • Soy wax

  • Coconut wax

  • Rapeseed wax

  • Paraffin wax

  • Olive wax

  • Candelilla wax

  • Carnauba wax

  • Sunflower wax

Beeswax, however, is not suitable for vegans, because the process involves animals. Furthermore, the addition of stearic acid can render otherwise vegan candles into candles that are not suitable for vegans.

Stearic acid is often added to candles to harden the wax and make them more opaque. While this ingredient can be sourced from vegetable oils, like coconut, it is most commonly sourced from animal fats. If you see stearic acid in the ingredients list on a candle, be sure to contact the company to find out where it was sourced from!

Candle Trends to Look out for in 2022

Based on the current trends within the candle world, we've got some predictions for what we can expect to see in the new year...

Candles that reveal hidden objects

The hidden ring candle trend this year was huge. As we move into 2022, we reckon there will be a greater variety of candles that melt to reveal hidden objects.

We've already seen some candles that contain crystals, as well as other items of jewellery. But we'll be on the look-out for extra large reveal candels, which can hold larger items like homewear, food and clothes...

Image credit: Trend Hunter

Candle making hacks

Us humans love a good hack, don't we? Following the DIY candles trend this year, we reckon there will be a fair few candle making hacks circulating the internet, as people strive to make crafting quick, easy and simple.

Statement decorative candles

Candles are moving away from 'practical' and closer to 'stylish' these days. Recently, we've been seeing lots of humongous candles, which are created for decorative purposes only. They're so large and impractical, it would be very difficult to light them. We reckon these statement home decor pieces will continue to grow in popularity in the new year.


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