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Everybody has one: That bougie, designer candle you never light because it costs more than half a dozen Erewhon smoothies and you don’t want it to run out too soon. But then it just sits there, collecting dust. We want better for you in 2024, which is why we’ve taken up the (admittedly not at all) arduous task of identifying what to look for when shopping for the best long-lasting candles. It’s time to finally light the dang thing—and enjoy a room that smells like it belongs in the pages of Architectural Digest, even if you’re standing three feet from a Diaper Genie.
The Top 5 Long-Lasting Candles
Meet the Expert:
Charlotte Katona is a recognized expert in the candle industry with a passion for innovation and sustainability. Charlotte served as the National Candle Association Communications Chair for five years. She is also the President of Makesy, the world's largest supplier for elevated, innovative candle-making supplies.
How We Chose the Best Long-Lasting Candles:
Katona provided the framework of what to look for—for the full scoop, scroll to the FAQ’s at the bottom of this story—which we used as we evaluated 50+ top-ranked candles to arrive at our top 14. Essentially, it came down to:
The Best Long-Lasting Candles We’ve Seen
Anthropologie is known for its stunning candle jars, and this speckled beauty is no exception. What’s even better, though, is the floral-but-not-potpourri-ish scent of fresh gardenias that immediately fills the room. A large candle will set you back $98, but it boasts a 210-hour burn time—and its hot throw is strong enough to cover a living room or bedroom on its own.
If there’s a smell that can make you feel like you’re curled up in a weighted blanket, ready to delve into your favorite page-turner (turned Netflix binge), it’s this warming scent. Inspired by bedtime spiced milk tea, it’s got a little cardamom and a little woodsy-piney-ness, but overall, the scents are mild, creating a soothing environment overall.
Remember how Baccarat Rouge took TikTok by storm? Well, you can now get what our home editor calls the “fragrance embodiment of sophistication,” and for a fraction of the perfume’s cost ($80 vs. $325, in case you’re curious). It’s a woodsy-floral scent, and it’s best for medium-sized spaces, but you may love it so much you want one in every room. You’ve been warned.
If you’re expecting a flurry of overly sweetened Nilla wafers and Runts bananas, you’re sniffing up the wrong candle. This collab between the indie candle brand and the Sex and the City-famous bakery is…nothing like what the name suggests. It’s fruity and smoky, with the banana notes balanced by elemi, cardamom, cedarwood and jasmine. So basically, what you’d expect Carrie Bradshaw to smell like as she noshes on Magnolia treats.
You want your house to smell clean, fresh, inviting—and a little like a tropical getaway? This is that scent. It’s the reason Anthropologie stores smell so good (employees have been known to burn it), and it’s been a best-seller for the brand for more than 20 years.
It’s the second-best part of roasting marshmallows around a campfire (the first being toasted ‘mallows, obvi). And boy, does it give off a powerful smoke-and-cedar scent for such a tiny candle. We were pleasantly surprised by how long it lasted, too, thanks to its decently sized wick (a double wick in this size jar would’ve made it burn too fast) and soy blend.
Make your house smell like fresh-baked cookies without having to preheat the oven. This vanilla-forward, maple-y scent gently wafts through the room, without smelling like pure sugar. Just note that Siblings’s candles are kits you melt and pour yourself, so you’ll need a heat-proof jar to pour the wax into, or spring for the bundle, which includes a ceramic jar you can reuse.
A whole season of The Flight Attendant revolved around Le Labo’s Santal 33, but if you ask us, it should’ve revolved around 26—aka this candle. It’s spicy, leathery, musky, leaving you lingering for more.
Diptyque has long been spotted in Meghan Markle’s home, including this Tubereuse (tuberose) scent. It’s bright and potent, making it a great way to wake up and great the day—or manifest warmer days ahead.
OK, so this scent is most reminiscent of summer, which may make it your ideal candle to light up mid-February, when you’re dreaming of a warm getaway. The musk-meets-citrus blend is great for medium-sized spaces (or if you really want to fill a bathroom as you take an everything shower).
It wouldn’t be fall without something pumpkin-scented, and this is hands down the best way to embrace the scent. Many pumpkin-y fragrances can be a cinnamon-laced assault to the senses, but this gives you a whiff of the spice and the gourd, tempered by maple, whiskey and orange notes.
Psst: We have it on good authority that LAFCO candles are interior designers' go-to brand for their longevity, scent throw and elegance. The blown glass vessel looks great on a mantle or coffee table, and you'll get to enjoy the warming, comforting scent of leather, sandalwood, vanilla and frankincense—woodsy, musky, a little sweet—for 50 hours.
A bright, fresh scent doesn’t have to smell like Pledge. Nest is known for how well a scent fills a room, so this mellow blend will give your space a just-spent-hours-cleaning vibe, without smelling like straight-up sanitizer (or giving away that you really spent the afternoon watching Firefly Lane).
Hey, your friend just achieved…some major milestone! Whether she just got a promotion or successfully made it through three days without a Diet Coke (that long-neglected new year’s resolution), celebrate it with this sprinkle-flecked candle.
Why You Should Trust Us
PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.