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How to Choose The Best Candle

Updated on February 19, 2015

Candles make an excellent gift for Christmas or birthdays. A small candle is a wonderful hostess gift.  Easy to find and ever popular, candles come in a wide variety of prices and types. You can buy candles at retail stores, big box stores, or online.

The warm glow of a burning candle turns a dull room into a romantic retreat. Candles add a warm ambiance to your home. They can ring out a celebratory atmosphere or create a sense of peaceful sanctuary.

There are so many kinds of candles to choose from! Soy or wax? Scented or unscented? Real or battery operated? You need to think about the person that you are gifting. If they have allergies or are prone to headaches, you may want to purchase unscented candles.

When deciding on a candle, think of the person you are giving it to. Do they like sweet scents? Or something more spicy. When you go into their home, does it smell like baked goods? Or is there a floral scent in the air? When in doubt, almost everybody likes cinnamon.


Never leave a candle unattended.

Keep those wicks trimmed to 1/4 inch

Place all candles, even jar candles, on a heat resistant surface such as a plate or trivet.

Buy Quality Candles For Best Scent

In general, a more expensive candle will burn cleaner and longer. The scent will seem fresher and truer to the name of the candle (a candle called balsam will smell like a Christmas tree instead of Pine Sol). That's because the more expensive candles are made of high grade wax and essential oils. If you want to keep your costs down, go with a high quality candle in a smaller size.

Jar candles are more fragrant than pillar candles. Jar candles are produced with high quality essential oil which make the candle too soft to stand without support.

Safest Candle - Battery Operated Candles

Battery operated candles are safer, obviously, than an open flame. My daughter, a young woman with Down Syndrome, loves candles but I didn't feel comfortable giving her a real candle - way too dangerous. So, I gave her battery operated candles. She enjoys them and appreciates the safety factor.

Battery operated candles are great when young children are in the home and are a safe bet for the frail elderly or someone who might forget to blow out a real candle.

Battery operated candles are great for homes with frisky pets as well.

Enjoy Lighting offers lovely scented wax LED pillar candles that may just be the best battery operated candles around. They are made of real wax. The aroma is wonderful and the light is realistic. It actually flickers!

Gerson Everlasting Glow Flameless Wax Candles with Drip Effect come in ivory, and produce a warm, romantic glow.

The Best Wax Candles

Wax candles are made from paraffin, sometimes mixed with beeswax. The best wax candles, for my money, are Yankee Candles. They are popular, easy to find, and last a long time. Strongly scented, they fill an area quickly and are able to mask cooking odors. They come in a wide variety of scents, sizes and colors.

The larger jars candles usually produce the best fragrance because the flame, in the large jar, creates a large pool of melted wax. Make sure that you replace the lid when the candle is not burning to keep it fresh.

Soy Candles

Soy candles last longer than paraffin wax candles. They are soy by-products and usually American-made. Soy candles are cleaner burning than paraffin wax candles and don't release soot or possibly harmful chemicals into the air. Up until recently, soy candles were hard to find and usually offered by specialty shops. Increasing popularity has made them more readily available.

Scented Candles are Part of Your Room's Decor


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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      katrinasui - thank you! I just bought my daughter who has Down Syndrome some of those flameless candles. She loves candles and these are safe for her to use!

    • katrinasui profile image

      katrinasui 7 years ago

      I love candles. I didn't know that there are so many different types of candles. Great hub Dolores!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thank you, Shalini. There are so many different types of candles now, depending on how you use them and who is using them.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

      I just love the warm glow of candlelight - there's really nothing as romantic, is there? I've never heard of soy candles though. I also like the idea of battery operated ones for the young and the very old.

      I just can't resist buying them - especially the aromatherapy ones. Thanks for a wonderful hub, Dolores!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thanks, Putz. The scented ones are great to get rid of old cooking odors too.

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 7 years ago

      We love candles and wife wife likes to use them to brighten our kitchen. The ones with scent are especially nice and we have given and received candls as gifts. A great hub.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      sweetie - well when is Diwali? That sounds like a beautiful holiday - it must be wonderful! But be careful!

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 8 years ago from India

      Well In Hindus Diwali is candle time and we all lite 100s of candles on that day.. all around the house and on roof..

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Coolmon, I'm glad that you enjoyed my hub. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Learned a lot about different types of candles - Good Hub Thanks

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      K - glad that you enjoyed the hub. Thank you for leaving a comment.

      Journey - although I don't use them myself, they are a great substitute for the real thing.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 8 years ago from USA

      Great hub Dolores! I've been enjoying flameless candles very much.

    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Hey DM I really enjoyed this hub, I will share it with my wife as well, she loves her candles, and all kinds of crafts too. Thanks K.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Thank you, mininfo. Candles make great gifts!

      dohn - thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I have some Yankee candles as well as soy candles and enjoy giving them as gifts too. And thanks for the encouragement!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      My favorite Yankee Candle has got to be Macintosh, especially during the fall and winter months! I usually have at least one in which I can fire up and enjoy/dispel odors :D

      Thanks for a great hub! This is the first time I've heard of soy candles (sorry, I'm out of the loop). I hope you sell a ton of candles by writing this one!

    • mintinfo profile image

      mintinfo 8 years ago

      very informative. My girlfriend loves candles especially the scented ones.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Glad that you enjoyed it, Albert. I thought how great it would be if you could smell some of these wonderful candles but settled for a youtube of a flickering candle instead.

    • Albertttt profile image

      Albertttt 8 years ago

      I really enjoyed your hub. Good work.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hendrika - sure the real ones are ideal. But I've met firefighters who think people are crazy for keeping an open flame indoors. I only use real candles. But if one can't - it's nice to have alternative. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I love candles, but I like the real thing. I appreciate the safety factor though, I did not think of it before for my granddaughter.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      habee - I'll deffinitly check out your hub! By the way, I friended you on facebook!

      alek - oh yes, my friend and I were big on making candles for a while. We made more mess then kids ever could. We made the drip kind, had them hanging from poles over chair backs - I heard a funny sound - the candles started plopping off of their wicks. What a hoot! What a mess!

      ethel - I just bet they can do that, smelling so strong as they do. Thanks for stopping by!

      Nancy - I don't use the battery candles but they are the best idea! Safety is a big issue when you have an open flame burning in your home. Thanks for stopping in!

      Nemingha - candle light is so beautiful but you can't read by them! And that cost of electricity - whew- I keep the heat turned down to 64 but whoop it up and turn it up to 65 if we are sitting around! haha. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 8 years ago

      I have a daughter who is very into incense and candles, so guess what she's getting for Christmas? With the cost of electricity increasing all the time, I am thinking about using candles more all over the house, so I found this article very interesting, thanks.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      Nice hub and info on the variety of candles. I "love" the idea of battery operated ones for safety reasons too. However, Soy (vanilla :-])is my favorite of the wick candles...

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yankee candles smell fab but give Hubby a headache. Boo

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Nice hub, Dolores. I like candles too. My kids and I used to make all of our own. It was so much fun and a nice think to do with kids.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 8 years ago from Georgia

      I'm a candle junkie! I wrote a hub about Yankee candles. Enjoyed this!