April 7, 2020


Candles, everyones favourite way to bring new fragrance into the home. Colourful and really smelly, you can get your hands on all different types of candles. Your jar candles are the standard and my personal favourite. Little pots of joy that we light up to bring some flare to our homes. That is if we are not trying to cover that bad smell thats hanging around. Of course there are a whole host of different types of candles. You have your floating candles, dinner candles, artistic candles, and tealights. These are the most common varieties you will find and the ones I am going to tell you about in this article.

Why do you get different types of Candles

A fair question to ask yourself is, why are there different types of candles? The simple answer is different candles serve different purposes. They can provide a source of light, provide fresh scents, or add to the decoration of a room, candles have many uses. The same type of candle can also be used for different purposes by different people. Take the container candle on your coffee table. You got it for the fragrance and thats why you light it each night. However, as the night rolls on and the lights go out, you may end up using the light to help you navigate or find things.

Candles as decoration is also a very common thing to see. People place decorative candles on their tables, baths, and shelves. A carefully placed candle gives the instant impression of a room that is used and often. It can also encourage people to enjoy a candle who would not normally buy one. Take the humble bath candle. We put it there to make our baths more relaxing but we always notice when someone else has decided to take advantage of our generosity.

Where can you get different types of Candles

If you are reading this article, you’ve probably already got your go-to store. Supermarkets and DIY stores are known to have a small selection of candles on the shelves. These candles are almost always big brands and usually have a broad range. There are loads of other options though. Online there are loads of small businesses across the country making candles. They each have their own unique quality but almost all are hand made, and made using high quality sustainable ingredients. A true market place of beautiful candles that are waiting to be discovered.

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What goes into different types of Candles

The core of any container is the wax. This is the main source of fuel for the flame and holds the colour and fragrance, if your candle have those. You can read about the different types of candle wax in our guide here. Mixed into the wax may also be colouring and fragrance oils. This can be purely decorative or to create a unique home fragrance products. The colouring and fragrance for candles is made by specialist that explore the different combinations of ingredients to create the desired scent and hue for a candle.

The process of making a candle can take anywhere from an hour to 24 depending on the style being made and the size of the candle. As candles are made using a melting process, they need to be left to rest before being ready to use. This proofing process is what makes the candle look and smell as great as it does. It also creates an even burning process. This takes a fine balance of heat and patience and is the first mistake most new candle makers experience.

different types of candles are mainly designed for specific uses

A guide to different types of candles

Now that you understand why and how different types of candles are created. It is time to look at the major types that you can find in shops and online. You should know that different types of candles do not always indicate how long they will burn or how strong their fragrance will be. That is down to the maker. The different types of candles are mainly designed for specific uses and now let me tell you about them;

Container Candles

Container candles are the most common you’ll find to buy in shops. They are called this because the core wax of the candle is housed within a type of container. Normally this is glass, it can also be metal and more recently stone has become a fashionable container to use. Container candles are my personal favourite of all the different types of candles. The container keeps all the wax inside and close to the flame. This reduces the need to clean up or remove wax when the candle is not alight. Relatively cheap, clean, and with some awesome fragrance options. You can also find them everywhere which is a great option.

Container Candles are my personal favourite…

Container candles are perfect in any location. The self contained style and safety of the surrounding container are ideal. You can place them on a coffee table, bath tub, shelves, or any flat service. As long as there is at least 5cm space between the container and other objects. Most container candles also come with lids that allow you to store away. This enables you to switch up your scents day to day and not have to worry about cleaning or moving loose wax.


One of the most versatile and available type of candle you will discover is the humble tealight. A small short candle that can be used for decoration, fragrance, or as part of a wax melt burner. Tealights vary a lot between manufacturer but they are always around 1.5cm tall and are generally unscented. Tealights are the cheapest type of candle you can buy and almost always come in larger batches.

Tealights are the cheapest type of candle

Tealights have risen to popularity because of their versatility and creative accessories. Shadow casters are my favourite of these. They are jars that fit a tealight and when lit cast shadows on the walls around them. There are also rotating versions to give you a moving shadow show for your ceilings and walls. Another use for tealights is as a heat source for wax melts/tarts. Placing a tealight below the melt dish provides the heat that turns the solid mass into a colourful pool of liquid. If that was not enough, tealights can also be coloured and scented in their own right. Making these little beauties, one of the nations favourite of the different types of candles.

Dinner Candles

These ancient beauties are the stuff of movie magic. A dinner candle is that long free standing candle that you see at dinner tables or in a candelabra. Similar to Church Candles, dinner candles are usually coloured to match the decor of the room or the theme of the party. Historically much more common, changing habits have effected this candle the most. Cutting the number of shops and retailers that stock them. The fact that you need a large candle holder and that the wax can drip onto surfaces below means that the maintenance of this candle also makes it less attractive. Especially when a container or tealight will do the same job with less mess.

the dinner candle still has an elegant beauty

Notwithstanding, of the different types of candles, the dinner candle still has an elegant beauty. Long, thin, and lasting for many hours, they represent a great cost per burn ratio compared to most other types of candle. They also come in a huge array of magnificent colours. While burning them at dinner parties may not be ideal. They are a wonderfully cheap and striking decorative item. They also give you an air of opulence that is worth the buy.

Floating Candles

If you have not yet experienced floating candles, you are missing a treat. These little tealight type candles are specially designed to float on water. Like mini ships, they bobble along the top of the water sharing their light and ambiance. Add 4 or 5 to your bath, cut the lights and you will instantly notice the mood change in the room. Relatively cheap, they are a real reward to yourself. Especially when you are laying back and enjoying the flickering shadows on the ceiling. They last on average at least a couple of hours so you can be sure that you willl be done in your bath before they are. You should remove the candles from the bath before they fully burn out though. Otherwise you could end up having a waxy bath.

Relatively cheap, they are a real reward to yourself.

Of the different types of candles I have mentioned, these are probably the most unique. Like dinner candles they can be both practical and decorative. Place them into any small bowl of water and you could even have a floating candle in your living room. Versatile, relaxing, and cheap, floating candles are an easy and effective way to brighten your home.

Artistic Candles

The last candles on our list are the really special ones. Artistic candles are a whole different type of candle. Where others are specifically intended to be burnt. Artistic candles are designed and crafted to be looked at. They are created by applying multiple layers of colours to a traditional dinner candle. This is done until the candle is several inches thick. Once the layers have been added and while the wax is still soft, the carver gets to work. Peeling back layers and turning them into floral and artistic shapes, the combination of colour and design are truly magnificent. One of the most expensive candles in our list, artistic candles are a decoration upgrade and are a growing sight in peoples homes across the world.

Artistic candles are designed and crafted to be looked at

All the Different Types of Candles

There you have it, a list of the different types of candles available. Whether you are looking to change up the smell of a room, or spend a relaxing hour in a hot bath. There are specific candles that are designed for your needs. Apart from being a natural source of light that can turn any situation in a romantic night in. Candles are some of the most versatile and unique products available. They come in hundreds of styles, colours, and fragrances. Plus they are cheaper than almost any other home decor item.

If you think we have missed an important contender or would like to share some of your own creations/discoveries, I’d love to see them. Share with us on social media or write a comment below. If you’re wondering what goes into a candle I would recommend you read our guide to different types of candle wax. Please also remember that if you are going to burn candles at home, follow the instructions, do so safely, and keep them away from young children.

About the Author

I'm the Chief Candle Maker here at Penseth Company. I also write guides and updates for the blog.

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