Which incense holders are best?
Incense has been around for centuries and continues to be widely used throughout the world. Incense usually comes in either cone or stick form and is composed of fragrant material — usually resins, seeds, barks and flowers — that’s bound together using a combustible material. Before burning, incense is placed in a holder, otherwise known as a burner, that is designed to keep the smoke flowing, and often in an aesthetically appealing fashion. The result is a strong, aromatic smoke that lasts about 20 to 40 minutes.
The best incense holder is the Spacekeeper waterfall incense burner, which is made of ceramic and directs the smoke downward in a cascade-like fashion. This set includes a wide variety of incense sticks and cones as well as a set of tweezers.
What to know before you buy an incense holder
Cone vs. stick incense
Depending on what type of incense holder you want, stick incense and cone incense each have advantages and disadvantages. Stick incense is made of small wooden sticks that are dipped in the incense material. The wooden stick not only keeps the incense from resting on a surface and causing burn marks, but it actually helps keep the incense burning. Cone incense, on the other hand, is much smaller, since it lacks a wooden stick. This allows more room for creativity when it comes to incense holders. Many cones utilize waterfall-style burners that burn backward. Keep in mind that some cone incense may not burn as easily or freely as sticks and may require relighting.
There are an endless number of incense scents to choose from. Some of the most popular include patchouli, bergamot, peppermint, vanilla, sandalwood, sage and lavender. Scents can also be mixed and matched; popular combinations include rose with vanilla or lemon with orange and sandalwood. Each smell is said to elicit different atmospheres. For example, lavender is said to have a calming effect, while citrus scents will seem more energizing and lively.
Even though the act of burning incense is relatively worry-free, safety should not be overlooked when burning anything. Be sure you’re burning incense in a well-ventilated room to avoid inhaling the smoke, and be particularly mindful of small children, infants and pets in the room. When you’re ready to light the incense, light the end of the stick or top of the cone for a few seconds until you see a flame on the incense itself. Once it burns for a second or two, gently fan or blow out the flame. You should see a small red ember on the tip of the incense. This means it’s ready to burn on its own.
What to look for in a quality incense holder
Basic science will tell us that heat rises and smoke flows upward. Backflow incense uses specially designed incense holders to generate a backward flow of smoke. This is done by placing the incense cone directly on top of a hollow center tunnel, which immediately cools the smoke as it leaves the cone. As the smoke cools, it turns dense, which causes it to sink. High-quality incense holders will utilize this neat trick and turn your incense into a waterfall of fragrant smoke. Please note this will not work with stick incense.
Handcrafted incense holders are often made by local artisans instead of being produced in a factory. You can expect high-quality handcrafted incense holders to last longer, as they are often made with ceramic or hand-carved wood.
There are a handful of incense accessories that can make burning easier and safer. Higher-quality incense holders will include accessories such as tweezers, which make picking up cones a breeze. Once the smoke has dissipated and the ember has completely burnt out, simply pick up the burnt incense cone, run it under water and discard it. Another useful accessory is a case for your incense. Most incense sticks and cones come in proper packaging; however, if you’d like to display your incense on a shelf, you can find some incense holders that come with additional display containers.
How much you can expect to spend on an incense holder
Incense holders can cost anywhere from $6-$20.
Incense holder FAQ
How often should you burn incense?
A. Incense smoke is often quite strong and can last hours after it’s finished burning. It’s recommended that you burn the same scent for multiple days before switching to another scent. This will help avoid burning two different sticks that might have incompatible smells.
Does incense keep bugs away?
A. Certain incense scents may help keep bugs away while outdoors — most notably citronella, which is commonly used in candles for just that purpose. Other scents include peppermint, lemongrass, rosemary and cedar wood.
What’s the best incense holder to buy?
Top incense holder
What you need to know: This waterfall burner from Spacekeeper is a true all-in-one incense starter kit complete with incense and accessories.
What you’ll love: This kit comes with an impressive 120 incense cones and 30 incense sticks including green tea, mint, jasmine, lavender, sandalwood and rose. It also features a set of tweezers that can be used to safely adjust your incense and remove the burnt remnants.
What you should consider: Some of the included incense cones may not be of the highest quality.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top incense holder for the money
What you need to know: This ornate incense holder is designed to replicate a beautiful brown and gold lotus flower, which symbolizes purity.
What you’ll love: With five incense stick holders and a flat area to burn incense cones, this unique burner is as versatile as it is visual. The stick holder can be detached, which allows for easy cleanup.
What you should consider: The hole that supports the incense may not fit larger sticks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Simple yet effective, this incense burner from Kaizen Casa is made with 100% wood for a natural look and feel.
What you’ll love: Capable of holding high-volume incense sticks, this burner is made wide enough to catch all the ash created from larger sticks. It has two holes on either side, allowing for dual burning sessions.
What you should consider: This burner does not come with any incense sticks or cones.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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