Types of Candles

Posted by Julia Khantimirova on

Modern candles are mainly decorative and there are various to choose one that suits you best. You will find in this article basic information on different types of candles:


  • container candles
  • pillar candles
  • votive candles
  • taper candles
  • tealight candles
  • floating candles
  • rolled candles

types of candles

Container Candles

Container candles are very common. They are not made to be free standing but are rather made in a jar (container) to be used. Hence, their name. The containers used are mostly round. However, nowadays one can find containers of various shapes: rectangular, square, even hexagonal etc. These candles can be purchased, and can also be homemade. For homemade candles, you will still need to purchase jars or tins online or at local craft shops. Otherwise, you can also make use of used empty glass jars at home. If you will be making your container candles yourself, make sure that you use a thick and heat-resistant glass. This is because of the hot melted wax that would be poured in. Hot wax (especially gel wax ) has been known to shatter glasses so you have to be careful in this regard.

While using your container candles, you can be assured that melting wax will not drip onto the surface the candle is placed on. Container candles are also very versatile. They can accommodate all kinds of wax. This is important because it means you can even use waxes with low melting points and get effective scent throw. Besides, they are safe. Since they are housed in jars, you can be assured that flammable materials around the candle will not catch fire. Also, containers are reusable. With container candles, you are good to go.

container candles


Pillar Candles

Unlike container candles, pillar candles are free-standing candles. They are not made with jars but rather with special molds. The molds are first of all used to form the candles which are then removed and are made to stand alone. Metal molds are very common, though you would find plastic and silicon molds okay too. Silicon molds particularly come in various shapes and are cool to use if you are making the candles yourself. However, most pillar candles come in round shapes. You would find them in various colours but mostly unscented. Hard waxes are most suitable for making them. This is because pillar candles have no support, so they need to be strong. Paraffin wax works well while palm wax is a good natural alternative.
One advantage with this type of candles over container candles is that you can make various designs on the surface of the candles themselves. This is a luxury one cannot get with their container counterparts. Also, they hold more wax than container candles and therefore burn for a longer time. But a source of concern is that they drip on whatever surface they are placed on and really create a mess around the candle. You should not keep flammable materials around pillar candles as this can be terrible in case the flame goes wide or the candle falls over.

pillar candles

Votive Candles

If you are a very religious person, chances are that you have seen or used votive candles before. They are especially common in some Christian denominations. Votive candles are very small candles widely used in religious circles but can also be used in home decor. They are typically only two inches tall and about an inch wide. They are meant to be used with special candle holders made of glass, metals, ceramics etc. When used with glass holders, they can be very similar to traditional container candles, with the main difference being size. The candles are made separately and placed in the holders.
When using votive candles, make sure that the holders fit the candles tightly. If not, you will waste wax and reduce burn time aside from the messy surface you will get. Apart from being versatile and inexpensive, they also burn for a long time (some up to ten hours). Votive candles are very beautiful particularly when they are grouped together and lighted.

votive candles


Taper Candles

These are tall, slim candles. They are similar to pillar candles in most respects except that they are meant to sit in a candle holder. Votive candle holders are different from the ones used for taper candles. They are usually a little wider at the bottom than at the top. A slightly wider bottom means they can fit into standard candle holders. You will find them in different sizes from 6 inches to even about 16 inches long. They are also called ‘dinner candles’ since they are mostly used as centrepieces on dinner tables. Like pillar candles, they also drip wax and can easily fall over, which can result into a fire. Therefore, they should not be left unattended.
Taper candles provide a long burn time and come scented and unscented. Most taper candles are unscented though. The scented ones do not throw scent well because they have a small melt pool. Also, most of them are made with paraffin wax and are coloured with candle wax dyes which make them even more beautiful. They can be made with a mold or traditional dipping method or one can simply wrap beeswax sheets around the wicks to make them.

taper candles


Tealight Candles

These are another type of small candles. In size, they are usually about an inch and half in diameter and an inch in height. They are very popular and are made in metal or plastic containers. Like votives, arranging many tealight candles in a group is really a cool way to light up the room. They can be used to keep food warm or to warm scented oil in oil diffusers and let the scent spread through the air. The scented ones do not throw scent effectively because they have small melt pool. They are also less likely to create a mess since they are in their own containers. Though small tealight candles are more common, slightly larger ones provide longer burn time.

tealight candles

Floating Candles

This can be surprising but yes, there are candles that float on water. Floating candles are small candles about two to three inches wide and can be used anywhere there is water. Some tealight candles also float but nothing beats a traditional floating candle. You need to be careful when placing a floating candle in water. The wick has to be dry so that it can burn well. To effectively do so, you can hold the wick gently so that the water will not splash onto it. They are usually made in round shape, and unscented.
We agree they are special candles but nonetheless are also affordable. You can use them to decorate dinner tables. For an extra touch of beauty, if you are placing a floating candle in a glass jar filled with water, you can put decorative objects such as flowers and so on in the water. They are nice for parties but they need to be monitored regularly.
Candles are very beautiful objects. With the types mentioned above and others, you can decorate your home to your taste. Choosing a particular type of candle for your home, parties or even as a gift should be very easy now with the information given.

floating candles


Rolled Candles

Rolled beeswax candles are the easiest to make of all candle types. Even children can make rolled candles without difficulty. They are made by literally rolling the wax sheet around the wick. Rolling candles are a method of making taper candles which are similar to pillar candles but are placed in special holders to burn.
Apart from the fact that making them comes without stress, they are also the quickest to make. There is no need for melting wax, waiting for it to cool and all such processes associated with other candle making methods. You would find it very interesting to make your own DIY rolled beeswax candles, especially with friends or family.
Because they are quick and easy to make, several rolled beeswax candles can be made at once and kept for future use or even packaged as gifts. The major shapes they can be easily made are round and square. 

rolled candles


Please do not hesitate to buy our candles or candle making supplies on our website - click the pictures below!


MASSAGE CANDLE W/ PHEROMONES NETFLIX & CHILL BERRY YUMMY 4OZCozyours DIY Soy Candle Making Kit for Adults. Complete Beginners Set. Candle Kit for Making Candles

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