How Do Backflow Incense Burners Work?


I absolutely love using backflow incense burners as they look incredible and offer the same amazing scents you can get from burning regular incense.

How does a backflow incense burner work? The backflow burner uses a small backflow incense cone has a tiny hole drilled through it that allows the smoke to flow down the burner to create a beautiful visual effect. Different types of incense cones will change the smoke effect, making it heavier or lighter.

Mountains and waterfalls are very popular backflow incense burners as they create a beautiful water-like effect when the smoke flows down the burner. This is my favorite waterfall incense burner that I use almost everyday.

What Is Backflow Incense?

Backflow incense is created by using incense cones in an incense burner. They get the name backflow because the smoke is pushed down instead of rising up like regular smoke.

If you are used to burning incense you will be pleasantly surprised by how similar a backflow incense burner is.

Using the backflow incense cones is very similar to burning incense sticks as they both produce incense smoke that smells amazing, they just do it slightly differently.

Regular incense is great to use every now and then if you aren’t looking for something that looks fancy and just want a great fragrance spread throughout the room.

If you’d like something that creates a beautiful visual effect while also looking great as an ornament then the backflow incense burners are a great choice.

You can get them in all sorts of different designs such as dragons, mountains, waterfalls, lakes and ponds, plus many more.

OWMMIZ Dragon with Waterfall Incense Holder
JEFFSUN Serene Waterfall & Dragon
OWMMIZ Pterosaur & Waterfall
Spie Backflow Incense Burner
Yinsen Backflow Incense Burner
Semli Incense Burner

How To Use A Backflow Incense Burner

Firstly you’ll want to make sure you have all the correct equipment to get started which is:

  1. A basic lighter however I prefer to use an electric candle lighter,
  2. Backflow incense cones which you can make yourself if you are creatively inclined.
  3. The incense burner.

Now you want to light up the backflow cone at the very top and place the cone over the little hole on the backflow incense burner, if you can’t find where the hole is make sure to contact the company you purchased it from or read the instructions if it came with any.

There’s a small hole on the bottom of the incense cone which you must line up with the hole on the incense burner.

To maximize the visual effects from the smoke, place the burner in a spot that doesn’t have a strong air flow which can ruin the cone incense effect.

Our 2 Favorite Backflow Burners

Here are our favorite burners and incense holder that we absolutely love using everyday.

We love trying new products so let us know what your favorite is and you may find it on this list in the near future.

1. Mountain Waterfall Backflow Incense Burner Tower

Quick View

  • Main Features: easy clean, great for home or office, beautiful smoke waterfall
  • Our Reviews: ★★★★★
  • Check Amazon Price ↠

This beautiful multi-usage backflow incense burner from Spacekeeper is a must have for anyone who loves burning incense in their home, office, bedroom or anywhere else you may want.

In this burner the smoke steam flows down the mountains waterfall and looks amazing and can be used for decor as well.

You’ll love how easy this incense burner is to clean as you just need to flush the body with hot water and any stains will be removed.

Easy maintenance is what makes this one of my absolute favorites.

Right now Spacekeeper has included 30 incense stick and 80 upgraded cones which means you don’t have to purchase those separately and it’s ready to go right away.

Incense Cones Scents & Fragrances:

  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Green Tea
  • Mint
  • Sandalwood
  • Osmanthus


  • Can use both incense and cones
  • Comes with 80 premium cones
  • Comes with 30 incense sticks

2. Lotus Pond Ceramic Backflow Incense Burner

Quick View

  • Main Features: quick and easy to clean, looks great anywhere, inexpensive
  • Our Reviews: ★★★★★
  • Check Amazon Price ↠

This stunning ceramic incense burner is handmade in the design of a lotus pond.

This one comes in at incredible value for money and is highly recommended if you are an incense burning beginner.

You are able to use both backflow cones and incense stick in this burner which allows you more flexibility.

The smoke steam looks stunning as it flows down the lotus pond waterfall and really adds a lovely atmosphere to your home or office.


  • Perfect gift for that someone special
  • Can use incense sticks and cones
  • Incredibly relaxing
  • Looks amazing

Tips For Using Backflow Incense

Keep Your Incense Burner Clean!

It’s important to take care of your burners as they can be expensive and fragile if not taken care of correctly.

We put together a great article explaining exactly how to clean your backflow incense burner to make sure it keeps working for many years to come.

Having Trouble Getting Your Burner To Work?

If you have having trouble with your backflow incense burner the first thing you want to check is the bottom of the backflow cone and make sure there is a hole in it. If there is no hole that means you have a regular incense cone and not one for a backflow burner.

The hole is essential as that it what allows the smoke to get pushed out of the cone into the holder.

If your burner is working correctly you will notice the smoke rise after you first light the cone and there will be a bit of ash built up.

Can I Use Regular Incense Cones?

If you only have regular incense cones then you could try drilling the small hole into the cone yourself with a hand drill and a really small drill bit (under 1/8″ should be good).

I wouldn’t really recommend this as it’s much better to buy the correct cones for your burner holder in the first place and they are quite cheap.

Are There Any Alternatives to Backflow Incense?

Using incense is not for everyone, sometimes the smells can be too strong for sensitive people and if that’s you then I would highly recommend a great scented meditation candle as they very relaxing but not as overwhelming. You may also be interested in the benefits of lavender incense sticks as they are a much cheaper and easy to use solution and have many great properties.

Is Backflow Incense Safe?

Some backflow incense cones may have harmful chemicals which could be harmful to your health if used incorrectly for more information we have written an talking about whether or not backflow incense is safe. Always make sure to buy a high quality backflow cone to keep yourself safe while enjoying the stunning effects.

About the author


Olivia spends her time writing about topics such as meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, astrology and natural healing. Olivia's blog is a place to find love for oneself through the practice of self-care.

She also enjoys spending time camping with her two kids while cooking up delicious meals at home. It doesn't get much better than that!