Different Types of Candles

Candles are a great addition to anyone’s home, but not all candles are created equal. There are a large variety of different types of candles for several different uses and occasions.


types of candles

Types of Candles

Before purchasing a candle, it is essential to determine how it will be used. Some candles are made for durability, while others are meant to burn quickly and brightly. 

All of the different types of candles can be categorized into distinct categories: novelty, container, votives & tea lights, and pillars and tapers.


Novelty Candles

Novelty candles are not necessarily made for one specific purpose or occasion; they work well in many places. These candles tend to have interesting shapes that often get burned down in unusual ways so their life spans tend to be shorter than other types of candles.


Taper Candle

This is the most classic type of candle. It is long, slim, and straight. These are very popular for decorating homes during the holidays or on special occasions (e.g., weddings). Taper candles come in different colors and scents. They also come in two forms: dripless or standard. 

Dripless candles have a built-in drip guard so that there is no dripping wax while being lit or burnt down. Standard tapers need to be placed in an appropriate holder so that they do not drip hot wax onto your furniture!


Tea Candle

Similar to both pillar and votive candles, tea lights are small, relatively flat candles that are great for smaller tabletops or spaces where there simply isn’t room for larger candleholders. They can be any color of the rainbow, and usually have a small metal or ceramic holder that can be used as a base for the candle.


Pillar Candle

A pillar candle is one of the more popular types of candles out there. They are generally thick, very long, and feature a uniform shape from top to bottom. Pillar candles come in many different scents and colors, although pastel shades are most common. Candles of this type can be made from paraffin wax or from soybean oil (like most “greener” candles).


Votive Candles

These small candles look like tea lights but are bigger around and taller than tea lights. Votive candles come with a votive cup which helps protect furniture from forms of molten wax while also making it easier to extinguish the candle.


Container Candle

This is the catchall term for any candle that does not fit into another category. Container candles are generally round or square and come with their own container of sorts (e.g., a glass jar). These are best suited for an evening at home with friends or family, as they tend to be larger than other types of candles.


How to Know Which Candle Suits You Best

There are a variety of types of candles out there, but only one will suit you best. To figure out which candle is right for you, consider what purpose the candle will serve and how it looks in your home. 

Some people prefer tall, thin pillar candles while others have a fondness for short votives with a specific scent to them. 

If the candle is being used to provide light instead of fragrance (e.g., emergency lighting), then choose between tea lights and votive candles considering the size and number of rooms that need to be lit up.


Things to Consider When Choosing a Candle

There are a few things to keep in mind when trying to find the right candle for you. Decide where it will be lit and how often it will be used, as this will determine its lifespan. Find a candle that is made from a renewable resource if possible, as burning these types of candles reduces waste from petroleum-based waxes or paraffin wax.

Consider what purpose the candle serves: Is it being used to provide light? To create a pleasing aroma? Or perhaps both? Depending on your answer, consider using votive, tea light, pillar, taper, container, or other types of candles.

Also, think about safety concerns such as dripless vs. standard tapers or safety holders for pillar and votive candles.

Lastly, consider how long it will burn and if you need to extinguish the flame or not. If it will be burnt for a short amount of time (e.g., as part of a religious ceremony) then passive extinguishing such as wicking up the wax with a candle snuffer might be best. If it is going to burn for several hours then normal extinguishing methods may work better.


Should you consider the candle’s wax as well?

Yes, you should. Like most candles, many are made with paraffin wax. Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum refining which is generally considered to be environmentally hazardous. Soy-based candles are typically made with soybean oil instead, but they don’t have as long of a burn time as paraffin-based candles do.


Are paraffin wax candles recommendable?

Decide for yourself. Either way, try not to burn candles carelessly as many people have gotten their homes burned down because they left a candle lit too long or knocked into the holder.



Once you take all of this advice into consideration, choose a candle that will fit your needs and personalize it with a special jar or container! If there are any other types of candles out there that we missed then feel free to add them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

Hopefully, now you have an idea of what type of candle is best suited for your needs and be able to choose the right one after considering these helpful tips! Just remember: choose wisely and enjoy your candlelight dinner.

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