Scented candles offer aromatherapeutic benefits. One of the aromatherapeutic benefits of these scented candles is their ability to help someone with insomnia sleep through the night. This quality is peculiar to some specific fragrance. You may have considered burning your scented candle overnight for this reason or perhaps because you love perceiving the beautiful fragrance these scented candles produce. If you have ever considered leaving your scented candles burning all night but have not tried it, good a thing you have not. If you have tried it, I’d like to advice for you to stop.

It is not okay for you to burn your candles all night, irrespective of what you feel you stand to gain. Before sleeping you must always blow out your candles. This is because burning candles all night is very risky. There are several risks involved in burning candles overnight. In this article you will learn why you must never leave your candles burning overnight.

Why it isn’t okay to leave your candles burning all night

If you leave your candles burning all night –unchecked, it may lead to health and also fire hazards that may cause damage to lives and properties. 

Below are possible happenstances when you leave your candles burning all-night:

  • You may inhale toxic substances

Whether over night or not, you must not stay in a room where a candle is burned for too long. When candles are burned their waxes and even fragrance oil release certain substances that are harmful to the health, especially the respiratory system. If candles are burned properly, the amount of these toxic substances produced may not be capable of causing health damage. Lighting a candle in room where you are sleeping for 6-8 hours is not proper candle burning. When candles are burned for this long, the toxic substance build up and are taken in in large quantities which may cause poisoning. A very popular poisoning that occurs as a result of this long time candle burning is carbon monoxide poisoning

It is advised that you get some fresh air after burning candles for like 2 hours, before you come back into the room where a candle is lit.

  • The candle could be knocked over. 

Your candle may be knocked over by something or someone. For instance, a pest may move around where your candle was lit and knock it over. Even an insect is capable of knocking your candle over. Your lit candle can also be knocked over by a strong wind, if it is lit near a window as supposed. If the candle is knocked over and falls on anything that is ignitable (e.g. cloth, beddings, plastics, papers etc.) the fire may escalate and increase to a level that may be uncontrollable before you find out. And if this fire gets out of hand properties may be damaged. 

  • The glass may break

Glasses break under high temperature and pressure. When a jar candle is heated through the night i.e. for 6-8 hours, the temperature of the glass jar may increase above the allowable threshold, especially when the candle has burned to the bottom of the jar. The heat at the bottom of the jar may cause the glass to break and then lead to cracking or outright breakage of the glass which in itself can result in fire outbreak which may escalate if it goes on unnoticed.

If a fire out break does not occur, wax may spill onto the surface on which the candle jar was lit and this spillage may damage the surface on which the wax was spilled.

  • The candle wax may ignite an object

An unsupervised candle may ignite a particle or cloth that falls into it and cause a fire outbreak. This concept is known as secondary ignition and it may occur when you burn your candle overnight. The ignited material may further spread the fire to other parts of the house. A very common object that may be ignited in this regard is a moving curtain.

Do I want to add fragrance to my space

Avoiding hazards: The right way to burn your candles

  1. The right time frame: most candles come with instructions as to how long you are supposed to burn the candles. After this time frame, carbon may accumulate on the wick leading to the candle burning with an unstable flame. This unstable flame sometimes becomes too big that soot will be released that may be hazardous when inhaled. The maximum burning time for most container candles is 3-4 hours.
  1. The right place to burn candles: candles shouldn’t be burned on rough surfaces to avoid knocking it over due to uneven surface. Also the room in which the candle is burned must be well-ventilated. The candles should be kept away from window and air vents to prevent unstable flames. They should also be kept away from flammables and ignitable substances.
  1. The right time to burn candles: All other guidelines should be followed when you are awake and to supervise the burning of the candles. Candles must never be burned unsupervised; therefore you must never leave a candle burning overnight.


You may be tempted to leave your candles burning overnight, maybe because the candle has a very long usage span and you feel like nothing dangerous may occur because of that. Some unforeseen circumstance or situation may arise. The candle light may just be knocked over or a cloth may just fall on the light and a fire outbreak may occur. Do avoid all these – do not take the risk. 

If you feel like you may forget blowing out your candles before going to bed, you may want to replace your open flame (candle) with other night time lights to avoid trouble. Common alternatives to open candle flame include: flameless candles, table lamps, and wax warmers, essential oil diffusers, stick diffusers, liquid air fresheners and oil diffusers (in place of scented candles)

Lots of people have burned their homes down through overnight burning of candles. Avoid this being your lot by turning of your candles before going to bed. 

Read next: can candles heat up a room?


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