Different types of candles

How Many Different Types of Candles Are There?

One of the main reasons why candles are such popular presents is because they are so versatile. They can be used for so many different things.

You can use them purely for practical reasons, like lighting up a room or to create ambience. You can use them for a get-together or celebration, like a birthday or wedding. You can use them for their aromatherapy benefits or you can use them as decor items, to dot around the home.

Another reason why they make such great gift ideas is because they come in so many different styles, shapes and sizes. So, no matter what you’re into, there will be a candle to suit you and your surroundings.

So, read on to find out about the 7 best types of candles you can buy…

1. Jar Candles

One of the most popular candle types around are jar candles, also known as container candles. This is when the wax is poured into a vessel of some kind, usually made out of glass, ceramic, plastic or metal.

Because the jars and containers are often nicely coloured or decorated, these types of candles make perfect gifts as is.

When the wax runs down, the jars can be cleaned and reused for either another fragrance or for something completely different, such as storing jams, holding stationary, keeping coins or displaying flowers.

Jar and container candles are also one of the safest ways to burn fragrance as the wick and hot wax stay inside the heat-proof vessel. They also have a long burn time (between 20 and 100 hours depending on their size) and usually have a very strong scent throw – especially when they come with two or three wicks.

Here at Nerridah & Ross, most of the fragrance brands we stock make candles in containers, including Glasshouse Fragrances, Circa Fragrances, Myles Gray, The Commonfolk Collective, Ecoya, Scarlet & Grace, Sheike Industries and Surf Coast Candles.

Glasshouse Fragrances Lost in Amalfi container candle

2. Tealight Candles

A tealight is a small, disc shaped candle in a thin metal or plastic cup. When lit, it can liquefy, and they are usually the cheapest variety of candle on the market. 

Although they are tiny, tealight candles can produce a fair amount of heat and generally burn for 2-5 hours.

Tealights get their name from being used to warm teapots, but they also look elegant displayed in glass jars or lanterns and set on tabletops, especially outdoors. They can come in many different scents, but the unscented variety is just as popular for its meditative and stress-relieving qualities.

Elume comes out on top for making the most tealights.

3. Votive Candles

Votive candles are a mix between jar candles and tealight candles, because they often come in containers (or votive holders) but they are small.

Traditionally, votives were white and unscented and used in religious ceremonies and in churches to create a calming, spiritual ambience. 

These days, they are most commonly used in and around the home like you would a regular candle. They’ll add a soft light to your living room or bedroom, and you can get them in an array of fragrances too. They will give you around 60-80 hours of burn time in total.

Wyck are our votive specialists.

4. Pillar Candles

A pillar candle is a stand-alone candle made from a sturdy and thick wax like plant or paraffin wax. It can hold its own cylindrical shape without a container.

Pillar candles come in an array of sizes, from tall and slim to short and wide, but almost always they just feature one cotton wick on top.

A pillar is the best type of candle when it comes to decorating for an event or special occasion. They look really good when styled as a dining table centerpiece, and they are also great dotted around a garden or church, free-standing.

They have a burn time of 50 hours for a small pillar candle, and 75 hours for a large one.

Wyck and Elume are our two main pillar candle companies.

Wyck pillar candles and votives

5. Wax Melts

If you’re looking for a flameless way to burn wax and emit fragrance, look no further than wax melts.

Wax melts are pieces of scented wax, often designed in striking colours, shapes, and sizes. When heated in the top of an oil burner (which beats using traditional, messy liquids) they release a beautiful aroma into the room.

Soy wax melts in particular will give you up to 30 hours of clean, soot-free fragrance, which is good for your health and the health of the environment.

So far, Elume is the only brand we stock that has released wax melts as part of their wider candle range.

6. Taper Candles

When you think of a romantic dinner by candlelight, taper candles are what you’d be thinking of. They are tall and slender, and made to fit into standard sized candle holders and candelabras.

They come in many different colours and are smokeless and slow-burning. Typically unscented with a tall flame, they can be really elegant additions to the centre of a dining table.

White taper candles in gold holders are especially popular at weddings, and mini candy-stripe tapers are widely used atop birthday cakes.

7. Floating Candles

And last but not least are floating candles. Made out of lightweight wax and designed with a rounded base to help them stay afloat, they are made to burn whilst floating on water. Think baths, small ponds and pools, and even in vases, glasses and shallow bowls as decor items.

They can burn for anywhere between 3 hours up to 7 hours, and are completely safe to leave alone as long as the container they are in is heatproof.

Floating candles are great statement pieces at special occasions and will add a magical touch to an outdoor event in the evening when the light starts to go.


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