Incense has been burned in religious temples for hundreds of years but, although it can be an effective meditation aid, by no means is it to be only enjoyed during spiritual practice. Incense now comes in such a variety of aromas, that it can be used by just about anyone as a means of setting the scene or relaxing.
However, to burn incense safely and effectively, you’ll need an incense holder. The function of an incense burner is simple, but as with any purchase, it’s always a good idea to know what’s out there before you hand over your money. In this buying guide, we're here to help you find the right holders for incense sticks and cones, ranking the top 10 best in the UK on Amazon, John Lewis, Japan Centre and more!
First and foremost, incense holders are an important safety precaution. Incense doesn’t require an open flame, but it can still get very hot and can be a fire hazard if it comes into contact with the wrong sort of material.
An incense holder grants an extra level of security by creating distance between the burning incense and the surface it’s placed upon. An incense holder also serves a practical purpose, catching the falling ash to be easily disposed of at a later point.
Now you know why incense holders are so important, it’s time to begin the process of picking the right one! In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on what to consider before buying, and even introduce you to some of the different types of incense burners that are available.
The visual presence of an incense holder is incredibly important, whether it sits in the corner of your room as an ornament, or it accompanies you as part of your daily meditation practice. Read on as we discuss some of the styles available.
Considering the associations incense has with eastern religions and spiritual practice, it’s unsurprising that many incense holders utilise styles that draw upon Buddhist themes, eastern aesthetics and iconography.
A large number of incense holders are made of wood as it is a timeless material that suggests hundreds of years of tradition. You will also find many adorned with lotus flowers, or plum blossoms which are steeped in significance within certain cultures and belief systems.
If you appreciate Eastern aesthetics, or wish to acknowledge the historic roots of your incense as you enjoy it, a traditionally-styled incense holder may be just the thing for you!
Perhaps you don’t plan on meditating, or the traditional wooden style doesn’t really go with your décor? If so, don’t fear, as there are plenty of incense holders whose aesthetic departs significantly from the more commonly found woods and browns.
Incense holders made from alternative materials are a little harder to find, but it’ll be worth it for how great your new incense holder will look in your home. For example, ceramic incense holders can be found in a range of colours to suit any household, from muted yellows and greens, to brighter reds and blues.
If ceramic seems a little too fragile for your home, look for ones made from metals such as steel and brass. In fact, some metal burners are so uniquely styled, that they’re barely recognisable as incense holders!
For those with a sense of humour, it may come as a relief to find that incense holders aren’t all deadpan expressions of a commitment to religion and spirituality. Thankfully, there are holders that come instilled with a sense of fun. Humorous incense holders may be less popular with meditators, but that’s by no means a given - after all, there aren’t many people who don’t appreciate a laugh every now and then.
But be warned, many of these irreverent incense holders feature rather morbid characters, such as skeletons or the grim reaper. These will certainly suit some tastes, but if the darker side of life isn’t your cup of tea, you may want to steer clear!
If you’re a fan of alternative therapies, as well as burning incense, you might be pleased to know that the two sometimes cross over. Rather than wood or metal, some incense holders are made from crystals instead.
For example, you can find incense holders that are actually made from rose quartz. So as you appreciate the aromatherapeutic effects of the incense, you can also enjoy the soothing properties of the rose quartz holder. It’s not for everyone, but if it’s your thing, you can practice both at the same time.
Incense most commonly comes in two forms, cones or sticks. In terms of their efficacy, there’s not a lot of difference between the two. However, their shape means that cones burn faster and more intensely, but that’s about it.
That said, they are significantly different in size. Compared to sticks, which are long and thin, cones have a much wider base, which means they'll require differently sized holes to hold them. Many incense holders include holes for both types of incense, allowing you to burn both at the same time if you wish. But if you’re particularly committed to either variant, it’s worth checking before you buy.
Now that you know a little more about how incense holders can differ, you're likely itching to get shopping. We’ve gathered together some of the best and most exciting incense holders currently available online in the UK, so read on to find out which ones made our top 10 ranking!
Pack of 5
|Dimensions||23 x 3.6 x 0.5 cm|
|Dimensions||4 x 3.5 x 0.5 cm|
|Dimensions||7 x 4 x 4 cm|
|Suitable For||Incense cones and sticks|
|Dimensions||27.8 x 74 x 6.2 cm|
|Dimensions||3.5 x 3.5 x 0.5 cm|
|Style||Contemporary, alternative therapy|
|Suitable For||Incense cones and sticks|
|Dimensions||32 x 9 x 8 cm|
|Dimensions||5 x 8 x 9 cm|
Pack of 2
|Dimensions||8.5 cm diameter, 1.3 cm height|
Spirit of Equinox
Rosewood Incense Holder
Lotus Incense Holder
Backflow Incense Burner
Sheesham Wood Tower Burner
Rose Quartz Incense Holder and Incense Set
Plum Blossom Incense Holder
Skeleton Incense Holder
Fog Orientalist Incense Holder
White Cat Incense Holder
Incense Stick Holder
Beauty in Simplicity
Loaded With Meaning and Absolutely Beautiful
Cascading Smoke That Creates a Sense of Calm
Traditional Incense Tower With Buddhist Iconography
A Rugged Incense Holder With Soothing Qualities
A Beautifully Crafted Incense Holder Loaded With Positive Symbolism
An Irreverent Holder For Those With a Wicked Sense of Humour
A Sleek, Aesthetically-Pleasing Design That Breaks Convention
A Cute Design for Cat Lovers
The Cheapest Incense Holders You'll Find
|Style||Traditional, contemporary||Traditional||Novelty||Traditional||Contemporary, alternative therapy||Traditional||Novelty||Contemporary||Contemporary, novelty||Traditional|
|Material||Rosewood||Brass||Ceramic||Wood||Rose quartz||Ceramic||Wood, resin||Brass||Ceramic||Wood|
|Suitable For||Sticks||Sticks||Cones||Incense cones and sticks||Sticks||Sticks||Incense cones and sticks||Cones||Sticks||Sticks|
|Dimensions||-||8.5 cm diameter, 1.3 cm height||5 x 8 x 9 cm||32 x 9 x 8 cm||-||3.5 x 3.5 x 0.5 cm||27.8 x 74 x 6.2 cm||7 x 4 x 4 cm||4 x 3.5 x 0.5 cm||23 x 3.6 x 0.5 cm|
Done safely, the practice of burning incense can also be an effective meditation aid. Meditation has been practiced in various countries and cultures for thousands of years, and although it’s taken a little longer for it to take off in the UK, more and more people are beginning to incorporate it into their lives.
Meditation is not exclusively a religious practice, and there is plenty of scientific evidence of its benefits coming from prestigious establishments including Oxford and Harvard. Mindfulness practices are even being recommended by the NHS.
Incense pairs well with meditation because it can set a relaxing atmosphere, a sanctuary completely separate from the rest of your busy world. By bringing your awareness to your senses, it can also encourage present moment awareness - a central tenet of meditation.
Incense holders are just one of the means by which you can begin to tread the path to spiritual enlightenment or, at the very least, feel a bit more grounded in the present moment. If you’re considering taking your meditations a little more seriously, we’ve got a few more guides on how to find the best mindfulness and spirituality related products available online.
Incense holders are an essential tool for burning incense, whether you’re a keen meditator or you simply want to create some ambience. Some incense holders can even look great as part of the furniture. They may be simple, but we hope our guide has helped you find one that you’re truly happy with!
Author: Ben Willimett
PC and cameras
Home appliances and electronics
Cosmetics and skincare
Food and drinks
Kids and baby
Interior and furniture
DIY and tools
Sports and fitness
Books, CDs, DVDs
Cars and motorcycles
Housing equipment and renovation
Smartphones and mobile phones