6 Experts Tips To Choose Candles

Timeless and reliable, candles are now more popular than - well, since the invention of electricity, at least - thanks to slow-living and Scandinavian trends like hygge. After all, nothing beats their romantic flickering lights and warm cozy feel!

Since they can be both functional and decorative, there are a few things that you should consider in order to choose candles that work well together and for you. Let's make sure that your lighting game is on fire!

1. What Are the Different Types of Candles?

  • Pillar candles: they can come in different heights and shapes, but they're usually round;

    • thanks to their length, they take a long time to burn and are rather smokeless, so we recommend them if you're after some candles that you don't have to replace every other night;

  • Taper candles: undeniably attention-grabbing, these candles are thin and tall;

    • because of their shape, they'll need some kind of support: if you're trying to achieve a traditional old-style feel with candle holders or candelabra, this will be the right shape for you;
    • however, be even more careful than you'd be with other candles if you've got kids, as they're rather alluring and easy to tip;

  • Votive candles: they're quite similar to their pillar-shaped cousins, but are characterized by glass containers;

    • a great choice if you're looking for a safe, smokeless option that lasts a long time;
White Unscented Pillar Candle Set
Unscented Pillar Candle in White
Unscented Taper Candle Set in Cream
Colorful Unscented Taper Candle
Mini Pressed Unscented Votive Candle Set
Battery Operated Unscented Votive Candle Set
  • Jars and candle pots have the same perks as votive candles but are available in many more shapes and colors and their wax fills the entire container;

    • they're the best choice if you're looking to add a strong decorative element (why not choose some in your room's accent color?) and don't want to have to worry about leaving your candles unattended for a few hours;

  • Tealights: small and affordable, tealights are one of the most versatile options: you can either keep them in their little metal containers or place them inside glass jars;

    • they won't usually last longer than an evening, so they're a good option if you're after something to set the mood during special occasions or if you already own a few small jars to fill;

  • Floating: thanks to their large top and smaller bottoms, they're perfect to float in water-filled containers;

    • they're a quirky choice that can create a stylish or bohemian feel thanks to their ever-changing pools of light;

  • Flameless: combining tradition and modern commodities, these electric candles don't actually involve any fire, and can sometimes come with a remote to turn them on and off;

    • flameless candles will last you for years and are the safest option if you've got young kids or adventurous pets running around the house.
Beige Scented Jar Candle
Green Scented Jar Candle
Black LED Unscented Tealight Candle Set
Classic Extended Burn Unscented Tealight Candle
White Unscented Floating Candle Set
Unscented Floating Candle Set in Amber

2. How Do You Arrange Candles?

  • For the best results, put candles of different heights together, with the tallest one at the back (for example, three pillar candles on the same plate);

  • Bare standalone candles can help you convey a more minimalist feel or, if they're rather big, become the main centerpiece on a table; opt for natural colors such as cream, dark blue or forest green for a Scandinavian spin;

  • Candelabra with taper candles work particularly well on tables and longer surfaces;

  • If you have a chandelier, thick pillar candles can help you create a dramatic feel, whereas taper shapes would add an element of elegance;

  • Tealights could be used to surround or accent a specific area, such as the top of your fireplace;

  • Jars and candle pots in different shapes and colors are perfect to create a bohemian feel;

  • Placing multiple candles in front of a mirror will trick you and your guests into believing that there are many more; votive candles are particularly handy for this effect;

  • Don't put different scented candles together if you don't know much about aromatherapy, as it could result in clashing smells!

  • Make sure that your candles are away from your curtains or any type of object that could easily catch fire.

3 Pieces Vanilla Scented Candle Set
Battery Operated Mini Unscented Pillar Candle Set
Multicolor Scented Pillar Candle
White Scented Novelty Candle
White and Blue Beach Theme Favor Candles
Colonial Scented Jar Candle in Black

3. Should I Choose Scented or Unscented Candles?

  • Scented candles can make your room even cozier and make it smell delightful, crafting a specific atmosphere;

    • for example, you could have a different scent in each room of your house or go for scents that help you achieve a particular mood;

  • Unscented candles are the best choice if you're only interested in the lighting side of things or if you're already using an oil diffuser as a fragrance;

    • they're a better choice in kitchens and dining rooms, as they help you keep the focus on the smell of your food and avoid combinations that could compromise your appetite.
Unscented Flameless Candle Set in White
Unscented Flameless Candle in Red
Long Unscented Pillar Candle in White
Scented Pillar Candle Set in Grey
Round Rose Scented Flameless Candle Set
Garden Scented Jar Candle

4. How Do I Choose a Scented Candle?

If you've decided to opt for scented candles, you can either go for your favorite smells, something that evokes pleasant memories (such as the ones that your grandmother used to light up!), or a scent that can help you stimulate a specific effect:

  • If you want to relax, choose lavender, sandalwood and sweeter candles in general (perfect in your bedroom);

  • To relieve stress and anxiety after a long day at work, the smell of lemon and jasmine can work wonders;

  • Lemon and rosemary can also help you concentrate, so they could be a better choice in your studio;

  • If you're after a little energy boost, look for peppermint and cinnamon.

Lavender and White Musk Scented Jar Candle
Lavender Essential Oil Soy Scented Jar Candle
Fresh Scented Jar Candle Set
Mint and Cedar Scented Jar Candle
Fresh Exotic Scented Jar Candle
Bergamot Ceramic Scented Jar Candle

5. Are Scented Candles Safe for Pets?

Unfortunately, scented candles are not safe for pets, because they release volatile compounds that can cause stress and airway irritation. You should stick to unscented candles and opt for natural materials, including a cotton wick instead of metal.

Keep in mind that, if you have pets (especially particularly curious cats), any type of candles could constitute a hazard, because they could easily tip them and start a fire.

6. What Is the Healthiest Type of Candle Wax?

The healthiest types of candles, both for pets and humans, are the ones made of natural wax, such as soy, beeswax or rapeseed.

Most candles contain paraffin, a petroleum-derived product that undergoes chemical treatments; it's popular and cheap, but it can sometimes result in an irritation of your respiratory airway, especially if you already suffer from conditions like asthma.

Jessica started out as an interior photographer, but her love of pretty settings took her to the field of interior design, where she can combine two of her greatest passions, creating and then capturing the beauty of homes.