Different Categories of Candles


Why should the knowledge of different categories of candles matter to you? You might be cringing at the question thinking that all candles are the same. All candles burn, drip, and burn out. But do you know there as many types of candles as many needs and materials? For years, I, myself, knew about only a few types of candles.

The first one is the colorful small birthday candles that we all have been blowing since our first birthday. The second is the long pillar candles that are very common, and the last is the fancy glass candles you have been seeing around in the market or online stores. There’s a long list of candles with a diversity of sizes, shapes, and colors to choose from. Let’s start digging into different types of candles based on their wax.

Categories of candles based on their wax


Paraffin wax candles are the most commonly used candles. Paraffin wax is made of petroleum products with high melting points. This ensures the durability and strength of the pillar or votive candles. These candles come in many colors, sizes, and scents. But the soot it produces makes it less desirable for luxury candles.


Liquid wax candles are made of mineral oils or liquid paraffin. The candles are cleaner than the traditional (paraffin) candles. They do not produce soot or create a mess with melted wax drippings. Liquid wax candles last longer than most candles (about 100 hours) depending on their thickness.


The popularity of soy wax is reaching sky heights for its non-pollutant nature. These are some of the cleanest burning candles. Soy wax candles don’t produce petrol-carbon soot like paraffin wax candles. Being cool while burning, these candles last about 50% longer than other candles.


The beeswax candles are made from natural honey-bee wax. The candle burns with a warm golden glow and honey-fragrance. These candles clean the atmosphere by absorbing the pollutants that might induce allergy or asthma. Naturally, derived wax candles burn cleaner than paraffin wax candles or soy wax candles. Beeswax candles are expensive but the best alternatives to the dripping candles.


As the name implies, bayberry candles are plant-based candles. The candles have a refreshing aroma. For absorbing certain indoor air pollutants, they can also be labeled as eco-friendly candles. Bayberry wax is mixed with beeswax x to enhance the durability of candles. These candles are adored by people in the holiday season for their light natural odor and indoor ambiance.


Under extreme pressure and temperature, the fatty acids pressurize out of palm oil are used to make palm wax candles. Palm wax candles burn for longer hours as the palm wax is thicker than other waxes. Being biodegradable, these candles are an eco-friendly product for a sustainable lifestyle.

Let’s now look at other types of candles based on their dimensions, longevity, and uses.

Ever wondered where the candle was go as it burns?

Types of candles based on their dimensions, longevity, and uses


Have you ever been out on a candlelight dinner? The tall and slender candle plugged in a metal candle holder at the center of your table is the Tapper candle. That’s why they are also known as Dinner Candles. These 18 inches long and 1 inch thick candles last for about ten hours. They are available in varying lengths and colors.

They are the perfect choice for classic aesthetics and sophisticated dinners. Or they can be lit simply to improve the ambiance of the space as window candles or tabletop candles. Don’t forget to buy a complimentary candleholder for your diner/taper candles.


The tall, sturdy pillar candles are molded from wax. These are free-standing non-smoky candles that don’t need a holder. They can be easily placed on a heat-resistant glass plate or inside a lamp. They come in a variety of colors, diameters, and heights; up to 16 inches tall.

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Tall pillar candles can have multiple wicks to increase the light. You can have a large decorative centerpiece with different small sized candles. They can burn for up to 12 hours. With their warm glow, they would create a comfortable ambiance in a hanging chandelier in the living room. They are available as both, real and flameless candles.


The small candles are made of paraffin, soy, or beeswax. Votive candles size about 2.5 inches high and 2 inches wide. They are widely known as prayer candles. These smokeless candles are available in beautiful small, glass containers of square or cylinder shape; perfect for dining area, table sides, and bathroom shelves as well.

Surprisingly for their small size, they can burn up to 15 hours depending on the wax. When it reaches the bottom, it burns itself out so no need to worry about extinguishing them. Flameless votive candles as mini hurricanes are also available in the market.


Tea light candles are smaller than votive candles. Usually contained in a lightweight metal cup; these candles burn for about two hours. Thus, perfect for in-house party decor. The name comes from their use in warming teapots or as food warmers.

These are made of palm wax or soy wax and come in multiple colors. Small and inexpensive; you’d love to use them in numbers. When grouped together, these candles are a sure thing for a non-pollutant party.

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The paraffin or soy wax poured in a non-flammable glass container makes up the container candles. They come in different shapes and sizes and scents. Container candles burn for about 5 hours.

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They can be freely used to accent dining tables at homes or in restaurants. It illuminates the surroundings brilliantly without creating a mess for cleanup. Different types of layered candles can also be made.


The floating candles, as the name says, are primarily used for decorative purposes to add beauty to your homes. The candles have a large top and smaller bottom to aid in floating on top of the water. These are made of paraffin or palm wax and are about 3 inches wide and up to 8 inches in height.

They burn for only a few hours. They come in a variety of colors, and sizes. You can place them in a fancy bowl of water to set as a centerpiece. In large bowls, they give off very attractive light. And you don’t have to worry about the candle holders or spillage of hot wax on the tabletop.


Gel candles are made of low to high-density gel. And take the shape of the container, usually glass jar, they are poured in. It is advised not to burn them longer than 2 hours as the gel heats up. The scented gel candles are a trend at birthday parties. Add some glitter and you can custom them as per your creativity.

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You may forget the birth date of your friend, but you never forget the birthday candles for their cake to make a wish on. The small candles are made of pure beeswax. Beeswax as I mentioned earlier, burn without soot and drippings.

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They come in vibrant colors to add colors to your special day. You can topple your cake with these 7 inches slender candles. They are also available in a wide range of shapes and design, so can get a customized one reflecting your age or alphabets as HAPPY BIRTHDAY. They don’t usually drip down on the cake so it is safe to use.


Cartridge candles are most widely used for candlelight vigils or any other occasion. They resemble the Tapper candles but burn far longer than taper candles; about 90 hours on liquid paraffin. Cartridge candles also come in a variety of colors, and dimensions to add sophistication to your place.


Molded candles, as the name suggests, can be molded into any shape. Once the wax has hardened, remove the mold.

Rolled candles are made from rolling the sheets of wax, mostly beeswax, with a wick at the center. The candle dimensions are 8 inches wide and 16 inches tall. They can be made in two different colors as per occasion or decoration theme.

Carved candles are hand-made with paraffin wax. The wax is dipped (a piece of the wick is dipped to create layers) about 40 times in different liquid waxes. The hot wax can then be carved or twisted in different shapes or designs.


Scented candles are made of mineral oils and other fragrances to freshen up your body and space. They come in a variety of scents you can select the one you like. They are also beneficial in Aromatherapy.

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The warm glow and light scent heightens the ambiance and mental well being. The scent can be listed as the top note, central note, and base note. The top notes are noticed first but the base notes take time to develop.


Candles are not just a light source but offer other services as well. You can increase the aesthetic beauty of your home with their different shapes and sizes of pillar candles, container candles, or floating candles. You can show off your creative skills with gel candles and carved candles.

Scented candles will heighten the ambiance with their warm glow and light scents. Taper candles can be counted for the elegant candle dinner or as the classic tabletop candles. You can have customized birthday candles. And if you are environmentally conscious, you can select your candles based on wax, either beeswax candles or soy candles. You can always choose what matters to you.

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