A woman's hands holding a small white candle
Stacker Connect

Love candles? These 5 cities have the most shops, classes, and more for candle lovers

Written by:
December 12, 2023
This story was produced by Lawnstarter Inc and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

Love candles? These 5 cities have the most shops, classes, and more for candle lovers

What better present than a candle to make your loved one's home smell like gingerbread, evergreen trees, or a locally inspired aroma?

HVAC Gnome ranked 2024's best cities for candle lovers by comparing the 250 biggest U.S. cities based on three categories. We looked at access to candle shops and local candlemakers, candlemaking classes, and supply shops, among seven total metrics. Sniff through our ranking below — and learn how we ranked the cities in our methodology at the bottom of this post.

A chart of 2024’s 20 Best Cities for Candle Lovers
1 / 1
HVAC Gnome

These 5 cities light the way

No. 1: New York | Overall Score: 76

Number of Candle Stores: 128 | Rank: 1

Number of Candle Makers: 32 | Rank: 1

Number of Craft Stores: 149 | Rank: 1

Number of Candle-Making Classes: 24 | Rank: 1

Google Searches for Candle-Related Terms Over Past Year: 16,270 | Rank: 1


No. 2: Los Angeles | Overall Score: 58.2

Number of Candle Stores: 92 | Rank: 2

Number of Candle Makers: 22 | Rank: 2

Number of Craft Stores: 74 | Rank: 3

Number of Members in National Candle Association: 3 | Rank: 1 (tie)

Google Searches for Candle-Related Terms Over Past Year: 7,160 | Rank: 2


No. 3: Houston | Overall Score: 46.8

Number of Candle Stores: 68 | Rank: 3

Number of Candle Makers: 6 | Rank: 5

Number of Craft Stores: 48 | Rank: 7

Number of Candle-Making Classes: 15 | Rank: 7

Number of Members in National Candle Association: 3 | Rank: 1 (tie)


No. 4: Chicago | Overall Score: 42.2

Number of Candle Stores: 43 | Rank: 6

Number of Candle Makers: 9 | Rank: 3

Number of Craft Stores: 33 | Rank: 12

Number of Candle Making Classes: 18 | Rank: 2

Google Searches for Candle-Related Terms Over Past Year: 5,320 | Rank: 3


No. 5: Dallas | Overall Score: 31.9

Number of Candle Stores: 48 | Rank: 4

Number of Candle Makers: 8 | Rank: 4

Number of Craft Stores: 29 | Rank: 15

Number of Candle-Making Classes: 17 | Rank: 3

Google Searches for Candle-Related Terms Over Past Year: 3,000 | Rank: 6

The upshot

Take a whiff of big cities like New York (No. 1), Los Angeles (No. 2), and Houston (No. 3), which finished at the top of our ranking with the most local candle shops and candlemakers. These cities also offer abundant craft stores and candlemaking classes to appease DIY types.

Access to local votives in some cities like Boston (No. 91), Milwaukee (No. 84), and St. Paul, Minnesota (No. 141), doesn't parallel the high demand.

Missouri cities St. Louis (No. 7) and Kansas City (No. 10) stand out with the best access to candlemaking supply shops. Meanwhile, crafty cities along the East Coast like Baltimore (No. 8) and Raleigh, North Carolina (No. 22), landed near the top thanks to their passionate candle-loving communities. 

18 California cities — such as Sunnyvale (No. 244) and Fairfield (No. 247) — melted into our bottom 50 with overall scores of less than 1 point. Not only do these cities lack candle shops and candlemaking resources, but their low Google search volumes indicate an overall lack of local interest. 

Behind the ranking

First, we determined the factors (metrics) that are most relevant to rank the Best Cities for Candle Lovers. We then assigned a weight to each factor based on its importance and grouped those factors into three categories: Candle Access (number of stores and candlemakers); Candlemaking Access (number of supply stores and classes); and Community (number of members of the National Candle Association and number of Google searches about candles). 

For each of the 250 biggest U.S. cities, we then gathered data on each factor from sources AllAmerican.org, Candlefind, Craft Classes Near Me, Google Ads, Made In the USA Matters, National Candle Association, The Real Yellow Pages, USA Love List, and Yelp.

Finally, we calculated scores (out of 100 points) for each city to determine its rank in each factor, each category, and overall. A city's Overall Score is the average of its scores across all factors and categories. The highest Overall Score ranked "Best" (No. 1) and the lowest "Worst" (No. 250). Note: The "Worst" among individual factors may not be No. 250 due to ties.

Final thoughts: Use candles with care

Whether you're buying them for aromatherapy, aesthetic decor, or as a last-minute gift, candles make everything better — except for your indoor air quality.

Although candles enhance ambiance and eliminate unpleasant odors, burning candles releases particles like soot and volatile organic compounds in your home, causing indoor air pollution. Candles aren't the only culprit — toasters, incense, and stovetop cooking pollute the air, too.

Enjoy your candles while keeping your indoor air fresh with our tips below. 

  • Crack open your windows for ventilation when the weather is nice.
  • Install exhaust fans and turn them on while cooking and showering.
  • Change out your HVAC filters every 90 days or when you notice they're clogged. 
  • Inspect your air ducts annually and clean them when needed
  • Update your HVAC system. 

This story was produced by HVAC Gnome and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

Trending Now