If you’re making candles, you may wonder what each type of candle is called. After all, candles come in a large variety of shapes and sizes. This list helps demystify the terminology:
Container Candles A container candle is a non-flammable container filled with wax and a wick. They have several advantages that make them popular: First of all, they are a bit like a candle and a candle holder rolled into one. They never drip. Also, because they are in a container, we can get away with using lower melting point waxes that enhance scent throw. That fact alone gives scented container candles the ability to effectively throw more scent than their free-standing counterparts.
Pillar Candles Pillar candles are candles which are extremely wide, allowing them to be burned for an extended period of time since they have more wax available to fuel the flame. There are a variety of ways to use pillar candles, and they come in an assortment of shapes and sizes. The defining characteristic of the pillar candle is its width, which separates it from tapers and other, narrower candles. Pillar candles also tend to be fairly tall, and they are most commonly square or round.
Votive Candles A small cylindrical candle, usually about 1½ inches in diameter and 2 or 2½ inches high, designed to be placed in a votive holder to hold the melting wax that results from burning.
Dipped Candles Dipped candles are made by repeatedly dipping a wick into a pot of wax, with most producers looping an extra-long wick so that they make two candles at once. One advantage to dipping is that it allows candle producers to change colors, creating a colorful array of layers in a single candle. Well-made dipped candles are also very smooth, although some producers deliberately create a lumpy look for aesthetic reasons.
Rolled Candles Rolled candles are made with pliable (roll-able) sheets of wax with a wick at the center. They are great, safe, easy candles to make.
Gel Candles A transparent candle material made primarily from gelled mineral oils or gelled synthetic hydrocarbons. The soft gels are poured into a container to maintain the candle’s shape. Hard gel candles have a consistency that is suitable for free standing much like a pillar candle. Decorative wax items are frequently placed inside a gel candle to visualize a specific theme.
Tealights A small, cylindrical, candle that is often poured into an aluminum or other metal holders. They are usually about 1.5 inch in diameter and 1 to 1.5 inches high. Tealights are available scented or unscented.