The Best Waterfall Incense Burners

Waterfall incense burners use a backflow incense cone or incense stick to direct smoke down a finely-crafted scene, often depicting the levels of a waterfall. Whether you're looking to add a tranquil, aromatic experience to your meditation practice or want to give a seriously cool gift to one of your friends, we've got the scoop on the smoothest burners in town. No smoke and mirrors in this review — we promise.

Spacekeeper Ceramic Backflow Incense Holder

See Your Serenity

Add a gorgeous visual element to your aromatherapy experience with this beautiful ceramic backflow burner.
Best Overall

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Burning incense stands out from other aromatherapy methods because it adds a visual element to the experience. Watching the smoke slowly twist and coil off the incense stick can be almost hypnotizing. But what if we said you could take this effect one step further and make the smoke flow in a predictable way, all for your entertainment? Folks, meet the mesmerizing backflow incense burner. This ceramic version by Spacekeeper features a handcrafted waterfall design and comes in four different color options to fit your space. You can direct the backflow smoke onto the waterfall steps either by using special incense cones or an inverted stick — both of which are included with the burner. Purify your space with the soft scents of sandalwood or jasmine while also bringing visual tranquility into your life.

Pros:

  • Four color options
  • Comes with 120 incense cones and 30 sticks of seven fragrances
  • 8″ height

Cons:

  • Won’t work if there’s any airflow nearby
  • Smoke leaves a residue on the burner, so washing every few uses is recommended

DK177 Waterfall Incense Holder

More Calm, Less Cost

This petite, textured waterfall incense holder provides the same tranquility as other burners at less than half the price.
Best on a Budget

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Burning incense is an easy and quick way to add a calm mood to any space. In addition to the scent, the ritual of lighting the incense and watching it burn can help relieve anxiety and soothe nerves for some folks. This is especially the case with the engaging visuals of waterfall burners. And now, thanks to the clever designers at DK177, you can get the same effect for a quarter of the cost of some other models. This petite waterfall incense holder is only 3″ tall, making it perfect for use in smaller, more intimate spaces. The porcelain holder’s organic, textured shape is complemented by the included lotus leaf and villus pad, which protects your table and adds to the overall effect.

Pros:

  • Can be used with a reverse incense cone or stick
  • Comes with a foam pad to protect your furniture
  • Sturdy, textured design

Cons:

  • Cones burn out very fast
  • 3″ height best suited for small spaces

Spacekeeper Mountain Tower Waterflow Incense Burner

Mystical Mountain Meditation

With its detailed mountain design, this waterfall incense burner can transport you to a faraway place, even when it's not lit.
Most Natural Look

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Not all of us can afford to live in a peaceful forest or by the ocean. The majority of us live busy, dynamic lives that involve more “online” time than “outdoor” time. But that doesn’t mean we can’t bring the calming effects of nature into our homes. We love this natural-looking backflow burner by Spacekeeper because it does just that. With its finely-etched details, this handcrafted resin holder looks just like a towering mountainscape — an effect that increases when the smoke starts flowing down the waterfall path. As it hits the bottom of the burner, the smoke mists up and creates a mysterious atmosphere that will hold your attention better than your computer screen. And at an 8″ height, this piece will look gorgeous anywhere you put it, even when the waterfall’s not flowing.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Burner is safely packaged
  • Cones come in seven different fragrances

Cons:

  • Cones can be wobbly atop the structure
  • Some of the included scents smell stronger than others

VVMONE Dragon Backflow Incense Burner

Dungeons and Dragon's Breath

The treasure guarded by this ceramic beast is a calm mood and gentle fragrance.
Best Fantasy-Inspired Burner

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There’s a reason incense burners are associated with natural health shops and gothic clothing stores — they create a mystical, spiritual atmosphere, both in smell and aesthetic. So it’s natural that this atmosphere pairs exceptionally well with other fantasy-inspired designs. For the D&D megafan in your life, this backflow incense burner shaped like a dragon is guaranteed to be a treasure. The purple sand clay construction creates a dark, natural look that’s complemented by the white smoke that pours out of the beast’s mouth when you light the cones. And while the included cone count isn’t infinite, the holder also works with regular incense sticks. Lastly, because every dragon needs some gold to guard, the protective mat you’ll get with it features a lovely gold-detailed design.

Pros:

  • Artisan design using purple sand clay
  • Comes with tweezers for safe cone removal
  • 20 cones each of five different scents

Cons:

  • Burner may arrive slightly chipped or dusted due to clay composition

N/P Skull Waterfall Incense Burner

Shield the Smoke

This skull-shaped burner comes with a windshield to protect the flow and your nose.
Best Covered Burner

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Despite its aromatic and therapeutic effects, incense isn’t for everyone. Thankfully, you don’t have to sacrifice your respiratory system to watch some sliding smoke. A windshield is a great way to release less odor and irritants into the air while also protecting the smoke’s flow and making it last longer. This makes them the perfect addition to backflow burners like this spooky skull-shaped one by N/P. With a covered burner, you won’t have to worry about plugging any sneaky drafts of airflow in your house or airing out the space after you’re done. Instead, just light the incense, set it atop the holder, and watch the smoke flow.

Pros:

  • Handmade burner from natural clay materials
  • Comes with green tea, lemon, lavender, lily, jasmine, rose, and cherry blossom fragrances
  • Rotating LED light in the skull

Cons:

  • “Glass” shield is actually made of plastic

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I use my waterfall incense burner?

Firstly, you’ll want to position your backflow incense holder on a flat table surface free of drafts or cross-winds. Next, hold the incense cone by its base and light the tip at a sideways angle to ensure the whole top gets lit. Then, rotate the cone in your fingers at the tilted angle until the flame burns down the top third of the cone. Blow out the flame and let it start ashing over. When the burning portion hits the hollow area of the cone, you’ll notice that the direction of smoke reverses, and you can position your cone right atop the hole in your holder. Soon, the smoke will start being pulled downward in a vacuum-like effect.

Is burning incense bad for you?

While incense can be good for relaxation and dehumidifying your space, you’re also inhaling irritants and smoke. Though this is ok every so often, locking yourself in an unventilated room with burning incense all the time can irritate your respiratory system. That being said, there are many ways to reduce these effects, namely opening a window after burning and purchasing natural fragrances and incense products.