How To Choose Candle Types For Your Home

Candles are a great way to add ambiance and warmth to your home. There is no better way to set the mood for a romantic evening or just relax with friends and family than by lighting some candles. They come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and scents so you can find one that matches your decorating style as well as giving off the right kind of light for whatever occasion you have planned. So what type of candle do you need?

Pillar Candles

Pillar candles come in many different sizes and styles. They are perfect for creating a warm, cozy atmosphere. These long thin candles can be burned on their own or with short taper candles to create an even more dramatic effect. Pillar candles burn evenly down the length of the wax so you do not need to worry about wax dripping or smoke rising from the wick. They are a great choice for people who enjoy burning candles and candle holders that have character, as they often add an interesting spire-like shape to your arrangement.

Pillars can be made of different types of waxes which burn at various speeds. The different waxes produce unique smells so you can either choose an "unscented" pillar or one to match your scent preference. They also come in colors so you can choose a color that matches your room décor and holiday decorations. Candles such as these are sold at many retail stores, craft shops and even through online candle merchants.

Votive (small) Candles

Small votive candles are also perfect for special occasions such as weddings or birthday parties. They can be used to create a soft and romantic look while sitting on the cake table or around the room when placed in candle holders of varying heights. Votive candles come in many different colors, sizes and even shapes so you can match them easily to whatever theme you are following. They also come in scented or unscented versions so again, there is a votive candle for everyone!

Votive candles can be used by themselves as decoration pieces with special holders that are made just for them. These holders may have been purchased somewhere specific or you can make your own out of recycled materials such as unwanted candles, pieces of glass or containers.

Regular candles

Regular candles come in a lot of different sizes, colors and scents so you can match your existing décor as well as find a scent that will make you feel more relaxed after a hard day's work. Designers who revamp homes often use a lot of candles to set the right tone for their rooms. For example, a candle that has a fruity scent will normally be used in a room with an all orange décor or during those spring and summer months when citrus scents are popular.

The other benefit of regular candles is that they can be burned either alone or grouped together in a container that will hold them. They are the best choice if you want to use a candle as both a decorative piece and for lighting purposes too (although it is not recommended that any candle be left burning unattended).

Dinner Candles

Dinner candles are really just regular size candles but they have been created with different heights so that they can be used for candle-lit dinners. These candles are usually sold in sets of 2 or 4 and they come with either brass or silver holders that are made to hold the entire set. The holders themselves may have been purchased somewhere specific but if you want to make your own you can use a variety of different materials such as glass, metal or a decorative container that holds your regular candles.

Taper Candles

Taper candles are really just smaller versions of pillar candles that can be made out of the same materials. They have a pointed tip at one end and provide wonderful lighting for any room in your home, from living rooms to bedrooms and dining rooms. The tall thin shape is often used as a decorative piece by itself with holders made just for tapers also available. Many people enjoy using their taper candles regularly and for this reason they usually come in scented versions too (normally with a citrus smell). They are sold at many stores both online and offline, along with candle holders made to accommodate them.


Tealights are nothing more than miniature round candles. They are sold in quantities of 12 to 144 (depending on the company) and come either unscented or scented. Tealight candles can be used for various purposes such as throwing them into potpourri arrangements, lighting up a room after dark or even as floating candles in water. They can be burned either on a flat surface such as glass or they may have wick holders that are made to accommodate them. Tealights come in a variety of colors and sizes and the smaller ones are often referred to as votives because of their small size.

Beeswax Candles

Beeswax candles are known for their long burn times, pleasant fragrances and wonderful light. They do however need to be formulated properly so that the wicks are not made from lead or other toxic components. Beeswax is also a natural moth repellent and it is best used in areas where woolen items may gather. Beeswax candles are not sold in stores and people usually make them at home.

Paraffin Candles

Paraffin candles have been around for many years and they provide lovely lighting for everyday use. Paraffin is a petroleum-based product that is easy to mold into different shapes, sizes and colors. The wax has also been formulated to burn for long periods of time without any odor. It is sold in stores and also made at home by people who are very interested in candle making as a hobby.

Paraffin candles tend to be inexpensive and they can be used in various ways including being placed inside holders that have been purchased specifically for paraffin wax candles or in holders that have been purchased for use with regular candles.

Cotton Candles

Cotton candles provide a very soft light and are often used to create ambiance during the evening or in places where people gather for relaxation such as spas, hotels and resorts. Cotton wicks come tightly rolled up inside of parchment paper cones which can be used to create attractive arrangements. They are sold in packs of 12 and can be lit using regular candle holders.

Coconut wax Candles

These candles are made from a special type of palm oil that is rich in the natural ingredient lauric acid and it comes with a wonderful aroma all on its own without any added scents. Coconut wax has become very popular in recent years and is made from the remnants of coconut pulp. The product is sold premade in stores or it can be found online if you prefer to buy in bulk.

Jelly Candles

Some people like using jelly candles because they can be squeezed into different shapes and sizes with a variety of scents. Jelly candles tend to be very affordable and you can purchase them in packs of 8, 12 or more. If you like making your own candles then jelly beeswax has several advantages over regular beeswax (see comparison).

Floating Candles  

Floating candles are made with a special formulation so that they float vertically in water instead of sinking. They have been very popular for many years and are sold in small sizes that work well for party favors or other decorative purposes. Most floating candles are round in shape and come either scented or unscented. Some people also associate them with Halloween because of their resemblance to jack-o-lanterns and they have also been known to come in various Halloween colors. Floating candles are sold in packs of 8, 12 or more (depending on the company) and need to be lit using floating candle holders.

Cake Candles

Cake candles are designed to look just like a real slice of cake and they come with colorful frosting that is set in place using a special formula. Cake candles are very popular during holiday times especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. It is important to follow the instructions so that the frosting will remain soft and pliable on contact with heat.

Cake candles are sold in packs of 2 or more and individual cake candles are made in place so you cannot purchase them individually. Cake candles can be lit using regular candle holders.

Dripless Candles   

Dripless candles are called such because they have been formulated to prevent dripping and smoking which is a problem with some types of regular paraffin wax. Dripless candles are sold in packs of 8, 12 or more and come in various shapes and sizes. You can also purchase them online if you like making your own candles but it may be more cost effective to shop at a local store for your needs.

Solar Candles   

These are an interesting type of candle that is designed to look like the sun. Solar candles come in a variety of colors and sizes and they work by melting slowly so that they can be placed inside bowls or other decorative containers. You can find solar candles in packs of 8, 12 or more (depending on the company).

Solar Candles come with a small compartment in the base that holds wax. The wax is heated by solar power and heats up a bulb inside of the candle which causes it to melt.

Ceramic Candles   

Contemporary ceramic candles are made from a mixture of glass and pottery materials so they can be used for a wide variety of needs. You can use ceramic candles for purposes ranging from night lights to decorations and they are available in several colors and shapes. Ceramic candles are sold in packs of 8, 12 or more (depending on the company) and individual pieces cannot be purchased directly.

Ceramic Candles come with a small compartment in the base that holds wax. The wax is heated by a small bulb and heats up a bulb inside of the candle which causes it to melt.


Are these safe for everyday use?

Yes, they are but you may have to dispose of them once they burn out due to the fact that some models do not come with replaceable bulbs.

What are the benefits of floating candles?  

Floating candles can be used for a variety of different purposes. They can be bought in packs of 8, 12 or more and they come unscented or scented. Some people even use them to create patterns in their pools which is a very nice display when it comes to holidays or summer time. You can also use them to decorate your house during the holiday season as they come in a variety of festive colors such as red, green and gold.

How do cake candles work?  

Cake candles are sold in packs of 2 or more and each pack includes a candle mould that is very easy to use. You simply place the wax inside of the mould included in your pack, place it on a heat resistant surface, pour the heated wax into the mould and wait for a few minutes until the wax has completely cooled. The candle should pop right out of its mould once it is ready and you will have a sweet confection that can be enjoyed by any age.

You can either use regular candle holders or glass bowls to display your cake candles. Cake candles are available in several flavors including strawberry, apple and cherry. The wax can be melted down if you like as it can be used for other purposes as well such as creating art or jewelry pieces.

How can I keep my cake candles from melting?  

The best way to prevent your cake candles from melting is to place them in the refrigerator. You should be able to enjoy them for at least 6 months if you store them in this manner.

How long will floating candles last in water?  

Floating candles can be expected to stay lit for at least 4 hours, but you may have to replace them after a few days if they begin to lose their scent or light.

Can I use candlesticks instead of candle holders?  

This is a matter of personal preference but some people may not like the way that candlesticks look. The best thing to do is choose whatever type of display you like the most and purchase a few different pieces if you have any interest in making your display more versatile.

What can I use melted candle wax for?  

You have quite a few options when it comes to using melted candle wax. You can use it on paper as you might have done with crayons as a child or you can make your own jewelry and other accessories that are unique and fun to wear. If you do not have any other uses for the wax left over from your candles then you can always use it to make a candle tree.


Candles come in many different shapes, sizes and colors.  Some types of candles are even used for various purposes.  The most famous is the floating candle which is a small thin candle that floats in water and emits a pleasant scent.  Floating candles can be used in pool areas, especially during the summer months to give off a pleasant aroma or to simply look attractive.

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