Best Bedroom Candles for Sleep

By Geoff McKinnen Certified Sleep Coach

Last Updated On January 16th, 2024
Best Bedroom Candles for Sleep

Key Takeaways

  • Benefits of Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy candles with soothing scents like lavender, chamomile, ylang-ylang, and others can create a calming atmosphere in your bedroom. These scents have been shown to help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation, ultimately contributing to better sleep quality.
  • Practice Fire Safety: While candles can enhance your sleep environment, it’s crucial to prioritize fire safety. Always use sturdy, non-flammable candle holders, keep candles away from flammable materials, trim wicks, and never leave candles unattended. Consider flameless LED candles as a safer alternative.
  • Alternatives to Consider: If you’re concerned about indoor air pollutants or fire risks associated with traditional candles, there are alternative options like reed diffusers, room sprays, indoor plants, sachets, potpourri, and pillow sprays that can also create a tranquil atmosphere for better sleep.

Do you often struggle to achieve peaceful sleep or feel like you never catch enough rest? Is insomnia a challenge you face? You’re not on this journey alone. Take comfort in the fact that many others share your plight. But worry not, there’s a simple and relaxing solution – bedroom candles!

Bringing candles with soothing and calming properties into your bedroom creates a serene atmosphere for a restful night. Specific scents can induce feelings of tranquility and relaxation, but not all fragrances have this power.

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In this article, we’ll navigate the diverse world of candles and reveal the top scents for a peaceful night’s sleep. We’ll also provide essential tips on using candles safely in your bedroom.

Types of Candles

Within the realm of luxury candles and scented candles, candle wax takes center stage, offering a diverse array of options to set the mood and promote relaxation. Let’s dive into the world of different candle waxes and discover how these luxurious creations can elevate your moments of tranquility.

Wax Candles

You’ll discover this candle type quickly in stores, and perhaps you’ve got some at home already. Wax candles, which can be crafted from beeswax, soy wax, or coconut wax, create a soothing atmosphere in your room, aiding in a good night’s sleep.

Scented Candles

A scented luxury candle is usually made with essential oils and excels at creating a calm atmosphere and relieving stress and anxiety, making them a great choice for enhancing sleep. Lavender, neroli, bergamot, and vanilla, among other popular scents, not only smell fantastic but also contribute to a tranquil and luxurious sleep experience.

Decorative Candles

Decorative candles, although not primarily chosen for their calming and soothing properties, can still play a role in creating a tranquil atmosphere in your home. They are primarily chosen for aesthetic purposes, yet they can contribute to enhancing the ambiance in your space.

First among the various types of decorative candles are pillar candles, which are tall and cylindrical. Pillar candles are suitable for clustering together to add a decorative touch to your surroundings.

Votive candles, encased in glass, are smaller in size, usually about 1 to 2 inches tall, and can be used for bathroom decoration. You may wish to use them as part of an at-home spa night.

Tea lights, which are even smaller than votive candles, offer versatility as they can be placed throughout your home for both decoration and ambiance.

While these candles may not be directly associated with improving sleep, they can still create an inviting atmosphere that contributes to a more peaceful bedtime environment.

Flameless Candles

Opting for flameless candles is a smart choice if you’re worried about keeping a lit candle by your bed for extended periods, as they come without burn times and are typically battery-powered or rechargeable. You can even enjoy scented options for your bed, infusing a pleasant fragrance without affecting your nervous system.

Best Scented Candles for Sleep

Discovering the best-scented candles for sleep can be a delightful journey toward achieving a deep and restful slumber. With an array of calming scents and soothing options to choose from, we’ll explore the world of scented candles designed to enhance your sleep experience and unveil the best candle scents for your peaceful nights.


The lavender scent is famous for its ability to provide a calming and relaxing effect. A 2022 review Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source of lavender aromatherapy can relieve stress and anxiety.

Lighting a lavender-scented candle on your bedside can assist in easing anxiety, addressing insomnia, and offering a soothing experience, much like drinking a cup of lavender tea before falling asleep.

If the flavor of lavender doesn’t appeal to you but you still want to consider a relaxing before-bed beverage, try a cup of tart cherry juice for sleep.


Ylang-ylang is known for its potential to enhance blood flow, alleviate cardiac symptoms, and maintain a steady heartbeat. Some even suggest using ylang-ylang essential oil to prevent insomnia and alleviate chronic fatigue syndrome. Thus, the aroma of an ylang-ylang scented candle or a reed diffuser in your bedroom can help soothe and promote healthy sleep.

A 2013 study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source found that ylang-ylang’s aroma had a sedative effect on healthy male subjects’ heart rate and blood pressure.


Many people turn to a chamomile candle to induce relaxation, alleviate stress and anxiety, and enhance sleep quality. The soothing scent of chamomile, Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source akin to the comforting aroma of chamomile tea, makes it the perfect choice for those seeking a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere in their surroundings.

It may be an excellent choice if you’re looking to relax at night while dealing with chronic pain. A study conducted Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source in 2024 discovered that the combination of chamomile aromatherapy with oxygen therapy proved more effective in alleviating post-operative pain among cesarean section patients, compared to either treatment in isolation. Nonetheless, each individual intervention still demonstrated a substantial impact on reducing pain.

Another 2024 review Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source noted that studies have suggest chamomile’s scent can have an antidepressant effect.

And an earlier study from 2017 Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source investigated the effects of inhaling Roman chamomile essential oil or its primary component, α-pinene, on depressive behaviors in rats. The results indicated that both inhaling the essential oil and α-pinene led to a reduction in depressive behaviors exhibited by the rats.

You may even want to pair a chamomile-scented candle with a cup of herbal tea for sleep, to maximize your relaxation.


Jasmine functions as a sedative and possesses anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in the relief of emotional distress and physical discomfort that might otherwise hinder your ability to fall asleep and enjoy a restful night. A 2016 study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source found that the aroma of jasmine can have a positive effect on mood and emotions.


The delightful scent of a rose evokes feelings of romance, tranquility, and cherished memories. Combining the floral scent of roses with aromatherapy in a rose-scented candle contributes to a wonderfully relaxing experience that can help you sleep peacefully.

In a 2022 study, Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source aromatherapy using damask rose (Rosa damascena) essential oil was tested on operating room personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inhalation of damask rose oil significantly reduced state anxiety compared to placebo oil at both short-term and after 30 days of use. Damask rose aromatherapy also improved subjective sleep quality compared to placebo after 30 days. The study also provides initial evidence for anxiety-reducing and sleep-promoting effects of rose aromatherapy in healthy personnel undergoing stress.

The aromatherapy was well-tolerated with only minor adverse effects reported. However more research is needed on larger samples to confirm the findings and understand long-term efficacy and safety.


Many find the soothing and calming properties of vanilla’s perfect scent helpful in alleviating stress, blood pressure, and anxiety, creating a year-round perfect choice for relaxation.

One 2021 study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source observed how the scent of vanilla affected the frequency of urination in rat subject. If the relaxing properties of vanilla scent observed in rats can be translated to humans, it may offer a non-invasive and natural approach to alleviate nocturia symptoms. However, further research and clinical studies would be needed to confirm these potential benefits in a human population.


The earthy aroma of cedar wood is renowned for its calming and grounding effects, making it a perfect choice for soothing stressed and weary minds, and for unwinding at the day’s end.


Sandalwood, with its sweet fragrance like a lavender candle, can extend your time in the restorative slow-wave sleep stage. This woody and earthy scent, often blended with black pepper, is renowned for promoting relaxation and relieving anxiety through its soothing aroma.

Alternatives to Bedroom Candles

While scented candles can bring benefits for sleep, it’s possible they will have adverse effects, as well. A 2024 study Verified Source National Library of Medicine (NIH) World’s largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible. View source highlighted the potential health risks associated with scented candles, including the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and phthalates during burning. These chemicals can have adverse effects on respiratory health and hormone levels.

In the study, a total of 117 out of 472 respondents who used scented candles (approximately 24.8% of scented candle users) reported experiencing health-related problems. These health issues included symptoms such as headaches, shortness of breath, coughing, skin irritation, and others.

Perhaps you want to avoid the risk of fire and indoor air pollutants that come with an indoor candle for sleep. If you want to still spice up your bedroom with some of the best scents for sleep, we have a few other options worth trying:

  • Reed Diffusers: Reed diffusers consist of natural reeds inserted into a container of essential oils for sleep. The reeds absorb the oil and release the fragrance into the air. They provide a continuous, gentle aroma to your bedroom.
  • Room Sprays: Room sprays formulated with calming essential oils can be spritzed around your bedroom before bedtime. They help create a tranquil atmosphere that promotes relaxation.
  • Indoor Plants: Certain indoor plants, such as lavender, jasmine, and aloe vera, not only purify the air but also release natural scents that promote relaxation. They can be placed in your bedroom to enhance its ambiance. Just make sure you give your bedroom plants the light and water they need, as different plants have different requirements.
  • Sachets: Sachets are small fabric pouches filled with dried herbs and flowers, often infused with essential oils for a stronger smell. You can place them under your pillow, in your bedding, on your bedside table, or in your dresser drawers to release a subtle, soothing scent.
  • Potpourri: Potpourri made from dried flowers, herbs, and spices can be displayed in decorative bowls in your bedroom. You can customize the blend to include calming scents like dried lavender or rose petals.
  • Pillow Sprays: Pillow sprays infused with essential oils like lavender or chamomile can be lightly spritzed onto your pillow before bedtime. This allows you to enjoy the calming scent as you drift off to sleep.

Practicing Fire Safety in the Bedroom

Knowing fire safety in the bedroom when using candles for sleep is essential. Here are some crucial tips to follow when lighting candles:

  • Choose Safe Candle Holders: Opt for sturdy, non-flammable candle holders that are the appropriate size for your candles. Ensure they can catch any dripping wax.
  • Keep Candles Away from Flammables: Place candles at least 12 inches away from any flammable materials such as bedding, curtains, papers, or decorations.
  • Use Candle Plates or Trays: Set candles on heat-resistant plates or trays to catch wax drips and prevent them from coming into contact with flammable surfaces.
  • Trim Candle Wicks: Trim candle wicks to 1/4 inch before lighting. Long wicks can cause larger flames and more significant heat.
  • Never Leave Candles Unattended: Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to sleep. Even a momentary lapse in attention can lead to a fire.
  • Avoid Drafts: Keep candles away from drafts, as they can cause uneven burning and may lead to accidents.
  • Use Candle Snuffers: Use a candle snuffer or a spoon to extinguish candles. Blowing them out can send sparks and hot wax flying, while water can cause splattering.
  • Use Candle Holders with Shades: Consider using candle holders with shades or glass chimneys. These provide an extra layer of protection against drafts and help contain the flame.
  • Replace Candles Before They Get Too Low: When a candle burns down to within 2 inches of the holder, extinguish it. Burning it closer to the base can overheat the holder and cause it to crack.
  • Store Candles Properly: When not in use, store candles in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Excessive heat can cause candles to melt or warp, increasing the risk of accidents.
  • Consider Flameless Alternatives: To eliminate fire risks altogether, consider using flameless LED candles that mimic the glow of real candles without an open flame.

More tips to keep yourself safe from fires in the bedroom include:

  • Keep Matches and Lighters Away: Store matches and lighters out of the reach of children and away from candles to prevent accidental ignition.
  • Install Smoke Alarms: Ensure your bedroom has working smoke alarms, and test them regularly. Smoke alarms provide an early warning in case of a fire.
  • Have a Fire Extinguisher: Keep a fire extinguisher in your home and know how to use it. It’s a valuable tool in case of a small fire.
  • Monitor Pets: Keep an eye on pets, especially if they are curious or playful around candles. Ensure they cannot knock over candles or get too close to open flames.
  • Educate Household Members: Teach everyone in your household about the importance of candle safety and what to do in case of a fire.
  • Inspect Electrical Wiring: If you use electric candles or string lights as bedroom lighting with your decor, inspect the wiring for any signs of damage or wear. Replace damaged cords promptly.
  • Practice an Escape Plan: Develop and regularly practice a fire escape plan with your household members. Ensure everyone knows the exit routes and where to meet outside in case of a fire.


Where is the best place to put candles in the bedroom?

For safe candle placement in the bedroom with consideration of burn time, opt for nightstands, dressers, wall shelves, or wall sconces, enhancing decor and ambiance. Ensure candles are away from flammable materials like fabrics. Always prioritize safety, keeping candles out of reach of kids and pets, never leaving them alone, and placing them on stable, low-traffic surfaces away from potential fire hazards.

Should you burn candles in your bedroom?

For safe use of candles in the bedroom, be cautious and never leave them unattended. Keep them far from flammable items like bedding or curtains. It’s best to extinguish candles before bedtime to prevent fires, or consider battery-operated flameless candles for added safety.

Proper ventilation is crucial to avoid indoor air pollutants, so choose candles with natural ingredients and ensure good airflow in your bedroom. An air purifier can help keep the air fresh, especially when using candles for sleep.

Why shouldn’t you pour water on a candle?

Never pour water on a lit candle as it can cause hot wax to splatter and lead to injuries or unintended fires. Plus, if the candle is in a glass container, the sudden temperature change from the water can cause the glass to crack or shatter. If you need to put out a candle, blow gently to extinguish the flame or use a candle snuffer. Pouring water on a hot candle is unsafe and can create a mess.

Can candles help with sleep?

Yes, certain scents, such as lavender and chamomile, are known for their relaxing properties. Aromatherapy candles with these scents can create a calming atmosphere that may promote better sleep.

Candles also provide soft, warm light that can help signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Dim lighting can be less disruptive to your circadian rhythm. Lighting a candle as part of a bedtime routine can psychologically signal the transition from wakefulness to sleep, helping you relax.

What is the best scent for a bedroom?

The best candle scent for your bedroom will depend on your personal preferences. However, some scents are commonly associated with relaxation and better sleep, namely lavender, chamomile, sandalwood, vanilla, eucalyptus, orange, and pine-scented candles.  Experiment with different scents to find what works best for you when it comes to relaxation before bedtime.


The use of bedroom candles with a calming scent can transform your sleep environment into a serene sanctuary, promoting relaxation and enhancing the quality of your slumber. With a bit of experimentation, you can hack the power of smell for better sleep. Embrace the soothing effect of these scents and enjoy nights filled with tranquil restfulness.

About the author

Geoff McKinnen is a writer focusing mainly on the healthcare industry and has written articles on everything from foods to help you lose weight to the connection between Alzheimer’s and sleep. Geoff’s passionate about helping readers improve their well-being to lead happier lives. Outside of work, Geoff enjoys cycling and hiking and believes that by leading a healthy lifestyle, he can help others do the same.

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