13 Best Types of Candle Shapes & Styles: Light Up Your Space the Right Way

Different Types of Candle Shapes & Styles

Unlock the secret world of candles and elevate your space instantly! Candles come in various shapes, sizes, and fragrances that cater to different needs and preferences. From pillar candles that serve as table centerpieces to scented tealights that infuse rooms with delightful aromas, the options are abundant. A well-chosen candle can not only illuminate your room but also bring a sense of tranquility. Discover how different types of candles and styles can transform your living spaces and evoke unique moods.

Choosing a Candle: Key Takeaways

  • Candle types serve different purposes and can evoke different moods.
  • They can be decorative, aromatherapeutic, emergency-ready, or ritualistic.
  • The materials and scents of candles influence their burn time and the ambiance they create.
  • Candles can transform living spaces, set moods, and serve as functional lighting or decor.
  • They can be made from various materials, including beeswax, soy, and paraffin.
  • Colors and fragrances can evoke different feelings and meanings.

Why Candle Shape and Style Matter

Different candle shapes and styles have different uses and meanings, so it’s important to consider these when buying a new candle for a specific purpose.

Taper candles are long and slim, while pillars are sturdy and thick. Tealights are short and disc-shaped, perfect for accent lighting in glass jars or outdoor settings. Votives are small but require holders due to their size. Container candles come in various shapes and sizes with one wick—often used as gifts.

Pillar candles can be used as centerpieces or on candelabras. The materials and scents of the candle also matter; beeswax is natural with a honey scent, soy is longer burning than paraffin, and fragrances like floral and citrus evoke different feelings depending on the occasion. Colors from white to purple carry symbolic meaning.

Candles can be decorative, aromatherapeutic, emergency-ready, or ritualistic—all depending on your needs! Because of the different benefits and drawbacks of these various types of candles, it’s important to know what you need a candle for and use that to influence what style of candle you want to buy.

How to Choose the Best Type of Candle

When choosing the right candle, think beyond just appearance; consider also the purpose, setting, and duration of use. For example, candles with shorter burn times, like tealights, are ideal for brief events, while long-lasting options, like pillar candles, work well for extended gatherings or as home decor. If you’re seeking elegance, go for slender and tall options that fit into candelabras or candle holders.

The scent is another critical factor. Fragrant candles with a lot of scent throw are excellent for setting a specific mood or for smaller spaces where you’d like a noticeable aroma. On the other hand, unscented candles may be more appropriate for dinner settings where you don’t want competing scents.

Finally, consider convenience. Container candles are generally less messy and easier to manage since they come in their own holder, making them good all-in-one options for gifts or for personal use.

In essence, to find the perfect candle, match its characteristics—burn time, shape, scent, and convenience—to your specific needs and settings.

Pros & Cons of Different Types of Candles

Type of Candle Benefits Drawbacks
Taper Candles Elegant, good for formal settings, easy to handle Short burn time, may drip, need a holder
Pillar Candles Long-lasting, standalone, sturdy, variety of shapes Can be expensive, heavy, may require a plate/tray
Votive Candles Small, versatile, longer burn time than tapers Require a votive holder, limited in design
Tea Light Candles Compact, inexpensive, good for ambiance Very short burn time, limited scent throw
Candle Pots Stylish, often scented, safe with contained wax Can be expensive, harder to clean
Container Candles Convenient, safer (wax is contained), often scented Container may get hot, limited to container’s shape
Floating Candles Unique aesthetic, float in water, good for events Require water container, short burn time
Gel Candles Transparent, decorative, longer burn time May crack, expensive, scent may not be as strong
Liquid Candles Clean burning, easy to refill, efficient Flammable liquid, special holders required
Citronella Candles Repel insects, good for outdoor use Strong odor may not be pleasant, less effective indoors
Birthday Candles Small, colorful, special-purpose Very short burn time, not reusable
Cartridge Candles Easy to replace, standardized Limited sizes and styles, cartridges may be expensive
Flameless Candles Safe, long-lasting, can be scented or have timers No real flame, require batteries, less authentic feel

Taper Candles

Taper candles are elongated and slender, designed to bring elegance and sophistication to settings like formal dinners or romantic evenings. Unlike their shorter and stouter counterparts, such as votive or tea light candles, taper candles generally require a holder for stability. They offer a longer burn time, usually around 10 hours, making them ideal for events that last several hours. To get the most out of your taper candles, it’s essential to place them in a suitable holder that complements their style while ensuring they remain upright for the duration of their use.

Characteristics of Taper Candles

  • Long and slender shape
  • Requires a candle holder for stability
  • Typically burns for around 10 hours

Benefits of Taper Candles

  • Adds elegance and sophistication to any setting
  • Ideal for formal events and romantic atmospheres
  • Longer burn time compared to shorter candles like tea lights

Drawbacks of Taper Candles

  • Requires a separate holder, which may need to be purchased
  • Less sturdy and more prone to tipping over
  • Not ideal for casual or outdoor settings due to their delicate nature

Pillar Candles

Pillar candles are sturdy and thick, varying in size and shape to fit different needs. They can be used for nonworking fireplaces, adding a decorative touch to any room. Pillar candles provide a warm, cozy atmosphere perfect for special occasions or romantic dinners. These candles also look lovely displayed in glass jars or even as centerpieces.

Characteristics of Pillar Candles

  • Thick and sturdy, can stand alone
  • Variety of heights and diameters available
  • Longer burn time compared to smaller candles

Benefits of Pillar Candles

  • Versatile for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Excellent as a decorative centerpiece
  • No need for a separate holder

Drawbacks of Pillar Candles

  • Can be more expensive due to larger size and longer burn time
  • Takes up more table or surface space
  • Wax can pool around the base if not burned evenly

Votive Candles

Votive candles are small and about 2-3 inches high, can stand with or without a holder, and come in a variety of colors. These candles are typically made of paraffin, soy wax, or beeswax.

They’re used in churches for prayer and also look beautiful when displayed in decorative glass jars around the home. Votives can be used to create an intimate atmosphere during meals with loved ones or special occasions. They provide just enough light to give off a soft glow without being too bright.

When lit, votive candles make any room feel cozy and inviting. As they burn down, they gradually fill the space with their lovely aromas. Votive candles can be a great addition to any setting!

Characteristics of Votive Candles

  • Small and typically about 2-3 inches tall
  • Generally unscented
  • Require a votive holder for best results

Benefits of Votive Candles

  • Suitable for smaller spaces or as accent lighting
  • Less expensive than larger candle types
  • Often used in religious or spiritual settings

Drawbacks of Votive Candles

  • Shorter burn time compared to other types like pillar or taper candles
  • Require a separate holder for optimal burning
  • Less impactful for larger spaces or outdoor use

Tea Light Candles

Tea light candles are short and disc-shaped, perfect for creating a romantic ambiance in your home. They are about one inch high and were originally used to warm tea pots. Tea lights look elegant in glass jars or outdoor settings, making them a popular choice for special occasions. Their burn time is usually two hours.

These practical yet beautiful little candles can provide the perfect atmosphere to make any event memorable. With their versatility, tea lights will continue to be an excellent choice for adding charm and warmth to any setting.

Characteristics of Tealight Candles

  • Small and disc-shaped
  • Usually contained in a metal or plastic cup
  • Short burn time, generally around 2 hours

Benefits of Tealight Candles

  • Perfect for short events or temporary ambiance
  • Inexpensive and often sold in bulk
  • Versatile for both indoor and outdoor use

Drawbacks of Tealight Candles

  • Very short burn time compared to other candle types
  • Limited in terms of visual impact
  • Not suitable for long events or as standalone centerpieces

Candle Pots

Add a unique touch to your home with candle pots. They are made from terracotta or other pottery and are available in various sizes and colors. Candle pots are sturdy and thick, making them perfect for placing on candelabras or as centerpieces. They can also be used in nonworking fireplaces to provide a decorative touch.

These candles are wider than tapers but smaller than pillars. They measure about two to three inches high and two inches in diameter. They look lovely displayed in glass jars, providing a warm ambient glow.

Characteristics of Candle Pots

  • Contained in a small pot or jar, usually ceramic or glass
  • Often scented and may come with a lid
  • Burn time can vary depending on the size and type of wax used

Benefits of Candle Pots

  • Convenient, as the pot acts as a built-in holder
  • Visually appealing, often used as decorative pieces
  • Typically safer due to enclosed nature

Drawbacks of Candle Pots

  • Can be more expensive than simpler candle types
  • Limited burn time compared to larger candle varieties
  • Pot or jar may become hot to the touch, requiring careful handling

Container Candles

Container candles offer an excellent way to elevate the aesthetic of your home with both visual and olfactory appeal. Made from various materials like glass, plastic, ceramics, or metal, these candles come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, and colors, seamlessly fitting into any decor style. From minimalist cylindrical glass jars to intricate ceramic designs, container candles can match any theme or mood you’re trying to set in your living space. Their containers not only provide an elegant casing but also serve a functional purpose, catching melted wax and making it safer and cleaner to burn the candle.

Beyond their decorative aspects, container candles make for thoughtful and customizable gifts for a range of occasions—be it birthdays, anniversaries, or even as a simple ‘thinking of you’ gesture. With options for personalized labels, scents, and colors, you can easily tailor a container candle to resonate with the person you’re gifting it to. Plus, they’re a sustainable choice; once the wax is burnt out, the containers can often be repurposed for other uses like storing trinkets or as a decorative vase. Whether you’re looking to enhance your own home or find the perfect gift, container candles offer a versatile and stylish solution.

Characteristics of Container Candles

  • Enclosed in a jar, glass, or other types of containers
  • Often come with a lid
  • Burn time varies based on size and type of wax used

Benefits of Container Candles

  • Convenient and less messy due to built-in container
  • Suitable for gifting or repurposing the container
  • Generally safer as the flame is contained

Drawbacks of Container Candles

  • Generally more expensive due to the cost of the container
  • Takes up more space compared to simpler candle types
  • Container can become hot, requiring caution when handling

Floating Candles

Floating candles are great for adding a unique and elegant touch to any event, as they provide an eye-catching display in pools or ponds. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, making them perfect for all sorts of occasions.

Floating candles are typically made from beeswax or paraffin wax. They feature a wide wick that helps them float on the surface of water. These candles can be used to light up pathways, gardens, fountains, or any other area where you want to create a romantic ambiance.

Additionally, they can also be used to decorate special events like weddings or anniversaries. However, it’s important to ensure safety when using floating candles. Make sure they’re not placed too close together, as they may cause a fire hazard.

Characteristics of Floating Candles

  • Designed to float on water
  • Usually flat-bottomed and rounded on top
  • Varying burn times but generally shorter than other types

Benefits of Floating Candles

  • Unique and visually captivating when placed on water
  • Ideal for special occasions like weddings or outdoor events
  • Can be used in pools, bowls, or water features for decorative effect

Drawbacks of Floating Candles

  • Require a water-filled container or pool for use
  • Shorter burn time compared to traditional candles
  • Limited impact if not used in an appropriate setting

Gel Candles

Gel candles are a great way to add a unique and decorative touch to any room or event. They are made from a combination of mineral oil and polymer resin, which gives them their translucent appearance.

Because they’re translucent, gel candles can also hold decorative objects such as shells and pebbles, making them stand out in a crowd.

Whether you want to set the mood for an intimate gathering or just brighten up your living space, gel candles are sure to do the job!

Characteristics of Gel Candles

  • Made from a mixture of mineral oil and a polymer resin
  • Transparent and often decorated with objects inside
  • Burn time varies, but generally longer than wax candles

Benefits of Gel Candles

  • Visually striking due to transparency and decorative elements
  • Longer-lasting compared to traditional wax candles
  • Versatile in design and suitable for themed decorations

Drawbacks of Gel Candles

  • Can be more expensive than traditional wax candles
  • Not suitable for all settings due to decorative nature
  • High mineral oil content makes them less eco-friendly

Liquid Candles

Liquid candles are a unique type of candle that typically come in decorative containers and can create an intriguing lighting effect. They are made of wax or oil, often with added scents and dyes, that is heated until it liquefies.

The liquid is then poured into the container, which acts as a wick when lit. Liquid candles burn slowly and evenly, providing a gentle glow that can last for many hours. They also come in various shapes and sizes to fit any décor or occasion.

Liquid candles may be used indoors or outdoors but should always be placed on heat-resistant surfaces away from flammable items such as curtains or furniture. With their beautiful glow and pleasant scents, liquid candles add beauty to any setting and make for an enjoyable atmosphere.

Characteristics of Liquid Candles

  • Use liquid paraffin or other liquid fuels
  • Contained in a sealed cartridge or refillable chamber
  • Burn time varies based on fuel volume and wick size

Benefits of Liquid Candles

  • Clean-burning with minimal soot or odor
  • Convenient and easy to refill or replace
  • Suitable for commercial settings like restaurants

Drawbacks of Liquid Candles

  • Require special containers or cartridges
  • Fuel can be expensive and less readily available
  • Less traditional aesthetic compared to wax candles

Citronella Candles

Citronella candles serve a dual purpose: they act as a stylish addition to your outdoor decor while also functioning as a natural insect repellent. Made with essential oils from the citronella plant, these candles emit a pleasant citrusy aroma that most humans find enjoyable but is less inviting to pesky mosquitoes and other insects.

Available in various sizes, shapes, and container types—from simple tins to elaborate glass jars or even as part of outdoor lanterns—citronella candles can effortlessly blend into any patio, garden, or deck setting. As the sun sets and you light these candles, they not only ward off bugs but also provide a cozy, flickering light that enhances the ambiance of your outdoor gatherings.

Using citronella candles is an environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing way to improve your outdoor experience, particularly during the warm months when insects are most active. Perfect for barbecues, garden parties, or just a quiet evening on the patio, these candles allow you to enjoy your outdoor space to its fullest without the constant swatting and annoyance that bugs can bring.

Characteristics of Citronella Candles

  • Made with citronella oil, which is derived from lemongrass
  • Often used outdoors
  • Comes in various forms such as pillars, jars, or tins

Benefits of Citronella Candles

  • Effective in repelling mosquitoes and certain other insects
  • Adds a pleasant, citrusy scent to the surroundings
  • Suitable for outdoor events like barbecues and garden parties

Drawbacks of Citronella Candles

  • Generally not as effective indoors or in windy conditions
  • Some people may find the scent overwhelming
  • Not ideal for those with citronella or fragrance sensitivities

Birthday Candles

Birthday candles are a classic way to celebrate special occasions, providing a fun and festive atmosphere. They come in various shapes and sizes, usually no taller than two or three inches. The traditional color is white, but other colors like red, blue, green, and purple can also be found.

Birthday candles are made from paraffin wax or beeswax, which provide a bright flame. They’re typically placed on birthday cakes for the celebrant to blow out while making a wish. Burning time varies depending on the size of the candle but usually last for about 10 minutes before needing to be replaced.

Birthday candles bring joy with their vibrant colors and exciting flame effects when they’re lit up as part of the celebration!

Characteristics of Birthday Candles

  • Small and thin, designed for short-term use
  • Often colorful or themed
  • Very short burn time, usually a few minutes

Benefits of Birthday Candles

  • Adds a festive touch to birthday cakes and celebrations
  • Easy to use and inexpensive
  • Comes in a variety of designs, including numbers and characters

Drawbacks of Birthday Candles

  • Limited to one-time, short-term use
  • Can be a fire hazard if not monitored closely
  • Wax can drip onto the cake if not removed promptly

Cartridge Candles

Cartridge candles are made of glass, plastic, ceramics, or metal and come in a range of sizes and shapes. They have one wick which makes them perfect for gifting or repurposing jars after use.

These candles look beautiful when placed on a candelabra as a centerpiece to add a decorative touch to any room. Plus, they provide an elegant ambiance when used at dinner tables or outdoor settings.

Characteristics of Cartridge Candles

  • Contained in a cylindrical cartridge, often made of plastic or metal
  • Designed to be inserted into specific holders or fixtures
  • Burn time can vary depending on the size and type of fuel used

Benefits of Cartridge Candles

  • Convenient and easy to replace
  • Minimal mess, as the cartridge contains the wax or fuel
  • Often used in commercial or religious settings for ease of maintenance

Drawbacks of Cartridge Candles

  • Require specific holders or fixtures, limiting versatility
  • Cartridges can be expensive to replace
  • Less traditional aesthetic compared to classic wax candles

Flameless Candles

Flameless candles offer the warmth and ambiance of traditional candles without the associated risks of an open flame, making them a safe and convenient choice for various settings and occasions. These candles are battery-operated and feature LED bulbs that realistically mimic the flicker of genuine flames. This technology significantly reduces fire hazards and concerns about burns, especially in households with children or pets.

In addition to their safety features, flameless candles come in an array of shapes, sizes, and colors to suit different tastes and decorative schemes. You can even find scented versions to fill your space with your favorite fragrances. Durability is another strong point for these candles; their long-lasting batteries ensure that you can enjoy the ambiance for extended periods without worrying about messy wax residue. Whether you’re setting the mood for a romantic dinner, decorating for a holiday, or simply relaxing at home, flameless candles offer a versatile and worry-free option.

Characteristics of Flameless Candles

  • Battery-operated or electrically powered
  • Often made from wax, plastic, or silicone to mimic real candles
  • No actual flame, but may have an LED light to simulate one

Benefits of Flameless Candles

  • Safe to use around children, pets, and in areas where a flame could be hazardous
  • Reusable and can last a long time
  • Often come with features like timers and remote controls

Drawbacks of Flameless Candles

  • Lack the natural flicker and scent of real candles – though you can take steps to make your flameless candles look more real
  • Require batteries or an electrical source
  • Can be more expensive upfront compared to traditional candles

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the different types of candle waxes and how do they affect the burning experience?

A: Different types of candle wax can be broadly categorized into paraffin, soy, beeswax, and palm wax. Paraffin is the most commonly used but burns faster and may produce soot. Soy candles burn cleaner and slower but are generally softer. Beeswax candles burn the slowest and cleanest, offering a natural honey scent and maximizing the life of your candle. Palm wax is eco-friendly and holds scent well but can be more expensive. The type of wax affects burn time, scent dispersion, and soot production.

Q: How do scented candles differ from unscented ones in terms of materials and longevity?

A: Scented candles often contain additional oils or fragrances that can influence how long they burn and how the scent is dispersed. Unscented candles usually last longer because they don’t have these added elements that may change the consistency of the wax.

Q: What are pillar candles, and what makes them different from taper candles?

A: Pillar candles are usually thicker and can stand on their own, whereas taper candles are slender and need a holder. Pillar candles generally have a longer burn time due to their larger size.

Q: What is the difference between single-wick and multi-wick candles? How does the number of wicks affect the burn?

A: Single-wick candles are suitable for smaller rooms and produce a more controlled flame. Multi-wick candles burn faster but produce more light and a stronger scent. The number and type of wicks used affect the rate at which the candle burns and how evenly the wax pool forms.

Q: What are votive candles typically used for, and how are they different from tea lights?

A: Votive candles are usually used for short periods and often in religious or meditative settings. Tea lights are smaller and come in a metal tin, typically burning for 4-6 hours. Votive candles generally have a longer burn time but need a special holder.

Q: How do specialty candles like beeswax or soy candles impact indoor air quality compared to traditional paraffin candles?

A: Specialty candles like beeswax and soy are considered to be better for indoor air quality and do a better job of minimizing the production of soot and smoke that will need to be cleaned. Paraffin candles may release soot and toxins when burned.

Q: What are the best candle styles for different home décors, such as modern, rustic, or vintage?

A: For modern decor, geometric shapes and sleek lines work well. Rustic settings might benefit from handmade or distressed candles. Vintage settings often suit ornate or classically shaped candles like tapers or pillars.

Q: What are the benefits and drawbacks of jar candles versus open candles?

A: Jar candles are safer as they contain the wax and flame, reducing the risk of fire. However, they may not provide as much scent throw as open candles. Open candles offer better scent dispersion but are riskier in terms of potential spills and fires.

Q: How do seasonal or holiday-specific candles vary in terms of materials and fragrances?

A: Seasonal candles often feature scents that correspond with a particular holiday or time of year. For example, cinnamon and pine for Christmas or floral scents for spring. The colors and designs may also vary to match seasonal themes.

Q: What types of candles are safest for homes with pets or young children?

A: Flameless or LED candles are the safest options for homes with pets or young children. If you prefer real candles, opt for those in protective jars or containers and place them well out of reach and make sure you’re using dog-friendly candles with safe scents.

Enjoy the Best Candle Styles For Your Space Today!

Choosing the right candle shape and style for your needs can be a tricky task. With so many options available, from taper to tealight, votive to birthday candles, you’re sure to find the perfect fit.

Remember that each type of candle has its own purpose; whether it’s for ambiance, aromatherapy, emergency or ritual use. So shop smartly and select sensibly – because the size, scent and shade of your candle all matter!