Bye, Bye, Mosquitoes! These Citronella Candles Smell Great & Keep Bugs At Bay


Especially popular for patios and backyards, citronella candles are a generally nontoxic, affordable, and attractive method to keep bugs at bay. And the best citronella candles burn for a long time and come in a scent (yes, there are some options here!) that you enjoy. To find the right candle for you, here are a few things to keep in mind.


Citronella has a distinctive fragrance similar to lemongrass, and in candle form it can have a mild or more intense level of citronella depending on what you prefer. If you’d like to downplay the smell of citronella, look for a candle that combines it with other powerful fragrances, such as pine, mint, or rosemary.

Percentage Of Citronella

Though citronella candles aren’t exactly a remedy for mosquitoes, they are a great place to start and can be made even more effective by adding a natural eucalyptus bug spray to the mix.

More effective citronella candles contain concentrations of at least 5 percent of the oil, and this is considered on the high end for popular citronella candle options. That said, many manufacturers won't list the citronella percentages in their blends.

Burn Time

A few factors will dictate the true burn time of a candle, including size, the number of wicks, and how and where you set your candle. A three-wick candle may burn more evenly than a single-wick candle, and it will also be more fragrant. Most candle manufacturers will list an estimated burn time. Generally speaking, larger candles burn longer, but it’s helpful to know that votive candles belie their size by burning for seven to nine hours per ounce of wax, which is a bit better than the five to seven hours of burn time per ounce in a larger candle.

With all this in mind, below are the best citronella candles. Each one is highly rated on Amazon, and I've included a variety of candles with different scent blends and burn times to suit your space.

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The Overall Best Citronella Candle

The best mosquito repellent citronella candle uses a blend of oils of rosemary, peppermint, citronella, lemongrass, and cedarwood. This single-wick candle is intended for the outdoors, and it has a matching lid on its recyclable tin to protect the candle.

This highly rated, portable candle has a burn time of 30 hours. With 5% citronella oil, the high concentration of essential oils is what makes it more effective in keeping mosquitoes away. Murphy's Naturals is also a Certified B Corporation, which means it has shown a commitment to social and environmental transparency and accountability.

A helpful review: “Definitely the best bug repellant candle I have tried! It lasts a long time compared to other citronella candles I have tried. Living in the south, bugs are all over around this time of year. I have noticed that this candle deters bugs from my patio space and allows me to enjoy my patio without being swarmed by bugs. Great longevity for the size and price and the scent is nice and light compared to other citronella candles. Will definitely buy these over any other brand.”

The Most Stylish Set Of Citronella Candles

These stylish citronella candles have a strong citronella scent and repel mosquitoes, according to reviewers, and are aesthetically pleasing enough to leave out on your patio. Reviewers note that this triple set of highly rated three-wick candles has excellent scent throw and each candle has a burn time of about 75 hours. Plus, the decorative tins make them pretty enough to leave out, and with matching lids the candles are protected during rain. The manufacturer is not transparent about the percentage of citronella oil in these candles.

A helpful review: “Absolutely love these candles and the look is so cute. I’m also noticing as I burn through them that the tins will easily clean and could be used for other decorative purposes. This combined with their initial use as porch candles led me to give 5 stars to the value of this product!"

The Best Scented Citronella Candle Set

For an outdoor citronella candle with a familiar outdoorsy fragrance, try this variety pack of scented candles that are perfect for people who hate the smell of citronella and includes alternatives like pine, campfire, and even s'mores. It's highly rated with more than 1,000 reviews, and this candle is designed for portability on camping trips or hanging out in a backyard. The percentage of citronella in these candles is not stated.

With a burn time of about 25 hours, this single-wick pick also comes in a convenient tin with a matching lid. Also, its wooden wick mimics the pleasant sound of a crackling fire.

A helpful review: “[...] The scent is amazing. I buy these for my vacation rental, Glamping at Deer Camp. Nestled in the woods, there are a lot of mosquitos and these candles do an amazing job of keeping the pests away. They are small and cute. Smell wonderful. and they have a wide wood wick so even though it's a single wick candle, they do the job. I've purchased a lot of different [citronella] candles trying to find that perfect one and this is it!!!”

The Best Citronella Votive Candles

Citronella votive candles in this value pack of 72 allow you to use a little bit or a lot of citronella at a time. Reviewers report the citronella scent is strong and does a good job of keeping bugs away. Each candle burns for up to 10 hours. The percentage of citronella oil in these candles is not apparent.

The manufacturer doesn't specify, but each single-wick votive candle is about 2 ounces based on the provided burn time and standard candles of this size. With their powerful fragrance, these candles are best suited to outdoors. Keep in mind you'll need to get your own votive candle holders for these.

A helpful review: “These are a great deal! Work very well for keeping those pesky bugs away. They smell very strongly, make sure to keep them away from everything else. Store them outside if you can because, the smell gets in and on anything they are by (the case of them). I would buy them again because they are a good price.”

The Best All-Natural Citronella Candle

For a citronella candle that is all natural, made from soy wax, and designed in a reusable jar that's better for the environment, this is a top-notch pick that blends together other oils that can stand up to its heavy fragrance: lemongrass, citrus, mint, lavender, and rosemary. This candle is free of petroleum and paraffin and hand-crafted by a family-owned company. The percentage of citronella is not stated.

Reviewers commented they love the fresh scent of this single-wick candle. This jar candle, which is the largest on this list, comes with a screw-top lid, and its burn time is about 80 hours. Plus, it is designed to deter mosquitoes as well as gnats and no-see-ums.

A helpful review: “I LOVE this candle. It seems to work well at repelling bugs especially mosquitos. And I love that it doesn't smell like chemicals, but has a pleasant smell. I plan on ordering a couple more to set up a fortress on my patio that mosquitoes won't penetrate.”