The best incense sticks for meditation, yoga and manifestation

When life gives you incense, you burn it…

Incense Sticks

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Lighting the best incense sticks is a great way to add a soothing touch to your home. Just like candles, incense sticks can be used to freshen up the aroma of indoor areas – and sometimes for spiritual purposes, too. You can even pop some incense sticks down by your yoga mat to help support your practice. It’s no secret that fragrances are powerful, evoking many emotions, thoughts and feelings.

So magical, some aromas can transport us somewhere far away and deepen our connection with ourselves, other people and even Mother Earth. At Spirit & Destiny, we’ve rounded up the best incense sticks for you to burn in your home, to leave your home smelling fresh, crisp and fragranced. But, if you're wondering: how do I find the best incense sticks for me? Look no further...

Best Incense Sticks Shortlist

Great variety: Satya Incense Sticks - view on Etsy UK
Best value set: HEM Incense Sticks - view on Amazon UK
Shorter incense sticks: Wild Berry Shorties, 10cm - view on eBay UK

Firstly, set your intention - as this will often influence the scent you pick. Are you going to be using incense to enhance your meditation? Or, are you lighting some lavender to help you drift off after a tough day? Understanding why you're considering incense is a good place to start - especially when it doesn't just involve sweet smells. Next, there is the scent. As touched on earlier, this could be dictated by your intention - or just by preference. Luckily, there are many different types of incense from frankincense to sandalwood. The vast world of incense is at your fingertips.

After this, have you considered the type of incense you want? After all, there are incense sticks - like below. But, there is cone incense, which is best for scenting a room in a short time. Or, if you're seeking a longer burning time, perhaps a coil incense would be better suited to your tastes, ideal for larger areas. Finally, we have burn times. In our picks below, we've included the average burn times for each - but, please choose what suits your lifestyle best. If your practice tends to run over an hour, opt for something that'll last the full length - so you get that boost throughout.

The best incense sticks for your home

Great variety

Satya is hand-rolled in India - each pack contains 15g of Incense sticks, which is approximately ten incense sticks. There is a huge range of scents - from calming meditation aids to spicy warm or fresh cleansing aromas. We're impressed by this large range**,** coming with more than 50, ranging from lavender to romance to meditation.

Our Review: "Another favourite from Spirit & Destiny, you can't go wrong with Satya. They have a great range of scents, even blends that smell great. I love their Opium scent, especially. As for burn time, the smell lingers for hours."

Pros

  • Good range
  • Blends

Cons

  • Small pack size

Best value set

If you're looking for a job lot of incense, look no further. HEM has a set of 24 different scents - which is of great value. The sticks made of natural materials such as wood flour, resin and herbs are immersed in pure essential oil to ensure that the fragrance intensity of each incense stick is as strong as possible. Ethically sourced and made in India, these are the real deal. This set is packed with scents such as Rose, Cedar, Coconut, Rainforest and Blueberry

Customer Review: "Perfect for dispelling cooking odours or to replace air fresheners. The variety of scents is excellent and I was pleasantly surprised with the burn time. I like to move the burner between rooms and the 25-30 minute burn time allows for that. this purchase will last for ages but would definitely buy again."

Pros

  • Great value

Cons

  • Some are smokey

Luxury incense sticks

As a symbol of France and perfumers’ golden ingredient, the Iris flower once perfumed the household linens of the Parisian high society, with its delicate powdery floral notes. These incense sticks are made by craftsmen using natural components: a natural vegetable binder, bamboo sticks, wood powder and sun-treated sticks. If Iris Cashmere doesn't resonate with your tastes, Esteban Paris has a wide range of luxury incense.

Customer Review: "Esteban incense sticks simply have the edge. They produce a delicate smoke aroma that fills the room and lasts well after the stick has been extinguished. Iris Cashemire has a beautiful floral note which is perfect when relaxing or entertaining."

Pros

  • Great reviews
  • Unusual blends

Cons

  • Pricey

Incense stick blends for stress

Coming in packs of 20, these six blends are primed for ultimate relaxation. Why not incorporate one of these incense sticks into your spiritual practice? The burning time for these sticks ranges from 20 to 30 minutes. Whether you are entertaining, relaxing or just wanting to add a bit of style to your home, these Stamford Incense Sticks are sure to do the job. Plus, they're a fantastic price. In this set, you're treated to six blends, which are Meditation, Sensuality, Energising, Stress Relief, Refreshing and Relaxing.

Customer Review: "Stamford is our preferred brand. Arrived today and you could smell the combined scents through the packaging. What you might at first perceive to be overbearing, once lit, the heat combines the scented oil in such a way that it 'calms' the scent and gives a better nose feel. These sticks burn for a good time, a time which will vary depending on angle and draughts, so should vary per person. Overall, for the price, very good value for money and we're very happy."

Pros

  • Perfect for aromatherapy

Cons

  • Not for everyone

Incense sticks for witchcraft

This mixed variety box will do great for a friend intrigued by the world of Wicca. Including Fairy's Mist - White Rose, Witches' Curse - Aloe Vera, Demon's Lust - Green Oriental, Angel's Touch - Sweet Floral, Dragon's Fire - Red Rose and Vampire's Kiss - Musk. Fill the air with these scents and let them bring you back to serenity.

Customer Review: "Very nice fragrance on all. Vampire kiss is without a doubt our favourite. Good value for money. Pop one of these on and the house smells lovely."

Pros

  • Witchy vibes
  • Great reviews

Cons

  • Not ideal if you're not into the occult

Thai incense sticks

Juicy Jay's Thai Incense Sticks come in a variety of different scents. These Thai incense sticks have a rejuvenating and relaxing aroma that can help you build the perfect ambience at home. They come in boxes of 20 and make the perfect gift for friends who practice yoga, and meditation - or those who just take time to sit back and be mindful. We love the fruity and fun-sounding scents which will help you detox after a stressful day**,** which includes Raspberry and Pear.

Pros

  • Fun, fruity scents
  • Larger pack size

Cons

  • No reviews

Shorter incense sticks

Wild Berry has been hand-making incense since 1971, only using the finest ingredients. These are their 10cm long incense sticks with many scents to choose from. So, they're perfect for a small meditation or if you're heading off to slumber. With blends like Fairy's Dust and Dragon's Blood, you can't go wrong…

Our Review: "I really loved this incense. If you're looking for something shorter for a quicker burn time, these Wild Berry sticks are perfect. They come in full-length sizes, too. But, I tried the Fairy Dust and it smelt gorgeous."

Pros

  • Great for small burn time
  • Four for three offer

Cons

  • None

Japanese incense

Want some Japanese incense? Nippon Kodo makes their Morning Star sticks ethically and with high-quality ingredients and fragrances. These Incense Sticks are clean burning with no bamboo core and are easy to use. With scents like Green Tea and Sage, why not cleanse your home and have some time to yourself whilst burning one of these?

Customer Review: "I much prefer Morning Star incense to any other brand as the scent is delicate and doesn't cause headaches. These Frankincense sticks are fab and provide a Christmas perfume together with the Myrrh sticks. Quick delivery. Would use this supplier again."

Pros

  • Larger pack
  • Great value

Cons

  • Only eight scents

FAQs

Which scents do I burn for the Lunar New Year?

As the Lunar New Year approaches, many of us will want to attract luck and prosperity - or you may wish to start fresh. So, we've made a list of the best incense to burn during the Lunar New Year:

Basil - for prosperity

Cinammon - for success

Clove - for new beginnings and abundance

Jasmine - for wealth

Patchouli - for wealth and prosperity.

Vanilla - for good fortune

White sage - for spiritual cleansing

Sandalwood - for destressing

Lavender - for rejuvenation

Peppermint - for uplifting

Palo Santo - to remove negative energy

How do I light incense sticks?

Incense sticks should always be burned in a heat-resistant fireproof holder or dish. Luckily, we have an in-depth guide to our favourite incense holders - perfect for accompanying your picks here. Why are incense dishes so important? Well, like candles or anything alight, you should never leave a burning incense stick unattended or in sight or around children due to fire risk. The angle at which you burn your incense will determine the burn time.

To light incense safely, you must:

1. Light the end (of the thicker part) of the incense stick.

2. Allow the flame to burn for a few seconds - until glowing embers form.

3. Then, extinguish the flame by gently blowing.

4. Your incense stick should be burning now. So, place it in an incense holder.

What are the benefits of burning incense?

Relaxation

Need to chill out a little? The answer may be in lighting some incense. Pair this practice perfect cup of ashwagandha tea, a book, and some lo-fi tunes. Take some time, leave everything else behind and focus on yourself. Try cedarwood, frankincense and sandalwood. Why not make it a ritual?

Reduce stress and anxiety

OK, so relaxation and reducing stress and anxiety are cut from the same cloth. But, taking active steps to calm yourself and leave your worries away may be helped by lighting some incense. Here, you’ll be able to distance yourself from the insanity of modern life and reflect on the day. We recommend sandalwood, lavender and rosemary. Peace, at last. On the other hand, rose and aloeswood is said to help out mood and even raise serotonin levels.

Spirituality

Are you tapping into your spirituality? Burning incense has been utilised for a long time in religion and spiritual practice, including Hinduism and Buddhism. So, incense will very likely aid, enhance and enrich your practice, whether it’s meditation, rituals or yoga. It’s your doorway to your spiritual journey. Step right through with frankincense, sandalwood or myrrh.

Meditation

As said previously, incense has been common practice for thousands of years. As for meditation, incense intends to deepen and uplift your practice by heightening your senses. Take advantage of this precious time with a meditation cushion, paired with some scintillating scents. Why not spend your precious meditation time with a fragrance filling your senses? Sandalwoods and lotus are common for meditation, but choose what suits you best.

Yoga

With yoga, your mind needs to be focused and harmonious with your psyche. Without creating the right atmosphere, your session can fall flat. When you’re down on your non-slip yoga mat, you’re going to want something influential – but not too distracting. Aloeswood can enhance focus. On the other hand, paolo santo can be burned during yoga practice to dispel any negative energy.

Sleep

As you may know, sleep is essential - not getting enough rest can throw us off balance, affecting our well-being, mood and motivation. So, if you’ve tried a few sleep remedies with little success, you could give some sleepy-oriented incense a go. Lavender is a renowned sleep aid; a chamomile stick may also help. Plus, having an Incense stick burning when falling asleep is far safer than using a candle with its naked flame.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Garden and Wellness Product Writer for Spirit & Destiny, an all-rounder: from health to spirituality. When not at her desk, she’s practising yoga or in deep reflection.

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