Candles come in all shapes and sizes, but can you identify six of the most common types by name? We’ve compiled a quick guide to candles we see quite frequently, what makes them unique, and how they can be utilized throughout the home.
Container candles are those with wax poured into a vessel. These are commonly made from glass, plastic, ceramics, or metal. These candles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but most vessels that are less than three inches in diameter will contain one wick. These types of candles are common for gifting due to their already cohesive presentation. Many enjoy re-purposing their beautiful jars after burning a candle to completion.
Pillar candles are sturdy and thick. They are usually two to three inches wide. While often shaped in round columns, they may vary in size and shape—they can be short, tall, square, or even hexagonal. These candles are especially attractive when placed on a candelabra and styled in a nonworking fireplace or as a dining table centerpiece.
Taper candles are long and slim. They are usually a standard size at the base and measure about 7/8” or ½” in diameter to fit standard taper candle holders, as they cannot stand on their own. Taper candles are frequently used atop a dining table for a romantic, ambient touch.
Tealight candles are short, disc-shaped candles and are about one inch high. Tealights get their name from being used to warm tea pots, but they also look elegant displayed in glass jars and set on tabletops, particularly in outdoor settings. These petite candles have a short burn time, lasting about two hours in total.
Votive candles are short, small candles that are about two to three inches high and two inches in diameter. They are wider than tapers but smaller than pillars. These also look lovely displayed in glass jars throughout the home.
Flameless candles are exactly as they sound—they have the look and feel of candles without the flame. They may be made of plastic or wax and are excellent to keep lit for extended periods of time, if needed, given that it is best practice to extinguish a traditional candle after four hours.
Whether you prefer a uniform display or enjoy showcasing an eclectic mix of candle types, you can’t go wrong. The more types of candles you choose to feature in your home, the merrier.
Updated December 8, 2022.