Candles aren't for everyone. The smell can be too artificial, the ingredients a little unnatural, and the price for something nice exorbitantly high. But everyone does want their home to smell good — which is where incense comes in.
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Incense is far from new — it was believed to have been used in southern Asia as early as 3300 B.C. — but its popularity is ever-growing. And with that growth comes the introduction of beautiful devices meant to hold your favorite slow burns. Whether catching ash or funneling smoke, these incense burners offer practicality with beautiful, intricate designs.
These are the best incense burners on the market.
Knotwork LA is a Los Angeles-based, woman-owned shop created by industrial designer Linda Hsiao. Here you'll find her small-batch, ceramic pieces ranging from mugs to pitchers to baby rattles and some unique incense burners. The Mini Terracotta Fish Gift Set comes with both a hand-cut and sculpted fish — whose eye is used for holding incense — and a box of Ritual Incense Handmade Palo Santo Incense sticks.
Artist Julia Finlays credits the invention of her ceramic collection Grandmont Street to her divorce… well, kind of. Looking for something community-based and new, she attended a ceramics class that changed her career trajectory. Her art includes modern, stoneware products, including this grey incense holder. The clay she throws and fires reflects natural elements, making this burner perfect for your meditative spot.
If you like the look of Grandmont Street's stoneware but find that you tend to opt for things with a bit more color, look towards this design by Misc. Goods. The item has an almost unanimous five-star rating from previous buyers.
Cremate London was founded by Junior Adesanya to bring the ritual of the cleansing ceremony to the modern day. Though popular for their incense tins, the brand has expanded to include items beyond just burns, with the Hippy Daisy Burner a personal favorite. A slightly psychedelic white flower, this is the incense burner for a space that leans eclectic.
If your aesthetic is natural and meditative with the end goal being a home that makes visitors think "zen garden," you'll want this burner and incense set from SSENSE. The burner is a basalt stone in a dark grey color accompanied by a set of 50 incense sticks in a hydrangea scent.
While Curious Clay's wholesale and private sales might be closed for now, you can get one of their most stunning incense burners from Los Angeles boutique Belljar. The 10-inch burner, made in Philadelphia, features the beautiful detailing of former painter Jannalyn. The artistry can be seen not only in the design but the added texture. The earthy tones of this burner are perfect for desert modern homes.
For anyone who loves the aroma of incense but finds that the smoke sends them into a sneezing fit, we recommend opting for something like this oil burner from Burke Decor. The item is sleek in design and works by having you fill the circular vessel with water and your favorite essential oil, while the lit candle bouncing off the ball creates a yellowish glow and subtle wafts of that scent.
Etsy shop kinobjects is crafting sleek incense burners for the modern home. The concrete holder is the perfect finishing piece for an office or entrance table. It's a statement in shape but subtle in material and color. And if you love the design but might prefer a different material, they also offer a similar iteration of the burner in bronze.
They're so good we're naming them twice. Kinobject's ripple holder gives the appearance of a stone hitting the water, creating the perfect outward ripple. It's calming to look at and, once the incense is burning, the perfect piece for creating a meditative space. This is a piece you'll want to be displayed even when your incense isn't lit.
This incense burner is expensive, there's no getting around that. But for that price you'll be getting what is essentially a piece of art and healing all in one. The green Aventurine is said to have healing properties, and the incense, running through the center, is said to "[cleanse] and activate the Aventurine holder to restore its energetic properties with every burn…[inviting] good fortune into your home."
Designer Büro Famo took two years to create, test, rework, and finally be happy with this incense holder. And we're glad that time was taken, as the result is a precisely tilted top that allows for immediate "perfum[ing of] you room." These are classic decorative pieces for Christmastime. Created from solid oak, you'll likely want to keep it on your shelf year-round.