6 Types of Candles Explained: From Functional to Decorative

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Once, they were simply a way to navigate the darkness, but these days, candles have become essential for setting the mood and adding style to your home or event. You can get candles in a rainbow of colors and any shape that tickles your fancy. But even with all these options, there are six standard types of candles that serve specific purposes around your home, in hospitality venues, and in houses of worship. In this article, we'll explore the different types of candles that Kisco carries, their size, uses, and other essential details to help you choose the right one for your needs.

1. Taper Candles

Of all the candle shapes, tapers are the true classics. They're your go-to for special dinners and elegant events. Slim and tall, taper candles fit into most standard holders and instantly enhance any table setting.

  • Burn Time: From 4 to 12 hours, depending on the size
  • Features: Dripless and smokeless
  • Size: From 7" to 11.5" tall
  • Uses: Quiet tête-à-têtes for two, weddings, and candlelight celebrations

Ideal For: Tapers are perfect when crafting a sophisticated ambiance. Their elegant shape and reliable performance make them a staple for formal occasions, romantic dinners, and any event where a touch of class is desired. Use Kisco dripless taper candles in rustic or colored varieties to enhance your events and brighten your home.

Taper candles

2. Pillar Candles

One of the most distinctive types of candle shapes is the pillar candle. This versatile candle comes in various sizes and is great for both indoor and outdoor use. Use it solo or group it for a stunning effect. Browse rustic, sunset, or classic colored pillar candles to see which suits your style.

  • Burn Time: From 15 to over 100 hours, depending on size
  • Features: Long-lasting with even melting
  • Size: Wide range from 2" wide x 3" tall to 3" wide x 10" tall.
  • Uses: Setting the mood at special gatherings, wedding receptions and spas

Ideal For: Pillar candles are perfect for creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Their substantial size and long burn time make them ideal for centerpieces, mantel displays, and outdoor settings. Whether used in lanterns, on candle plates, or in decorative holders, Kisco customers appreciate the versatility and elegance of our pillar candles to enrich their home décor and make special occasions more memorable.

Pillar candles

3. Floating Candles

Floating candles sail along on the water, creating a serene and magical ambiance, perfect for adding a romantic touch to pools, fountains, or bowls.

  • Burn Time: Between 4 and 8 hours, depending on the size
  • Features: Great for weddings and parties, they make any water feature look dreamy
  • Size: 1" tall x 1 3/4" wide (or x 3" wide)
  • Uses: Wedding venues, backyard parties, and other special celebrations

Ideal For: Floating candles are perfect for adding a magical touch to any setting. Their ability to float gracefully on the water makes them ideal for pool parties, wedding receptions, and outdoor events. Whether used in bowls, ponds, or decorative water features, Kisco customers love using our 3 inch floating candles to create enchanting, luminous displays that captivate and delight.

Floating candles

4. Tealight Candles

Small, versatile tealight candles are perfect for accent lighting and creating a cozy atmosphere. Find them in clear or aluminum cup varieties.

  • Burn Time: From 3 1/2 to 9 hours, depending on the size
  • Features: Compact and versatile
  • Size: Standard tealight sizes
  • Uses: Decorative holders, centerpieces, accent lighting

Ideal For: Tealight candles create a cozy and intimate ambiance. Their small size and versatility make them ideal for votive holders, lanterns, and centerpieces. Whether scattered around a room, used in aromatherapy diffusers, or placed in decorative holders, Kisco customers love our tealight candles for adding a soft, flickering glow to any space.

Tealight candles

5. Votive Candles

Often used in religious settings or as decorative accents, votive candles provide a steady, bright flame.

  • Burn Time: 6 hours or 24 hours, depending on the wax content
  • Features: Compact with a steady flame
  • Size: 2" tall x 2 3/4" wide
  • Uses: Religious ceremonies, meditation spaces, decorative accents

Ideal For: Votive candles create a warm and inviting atmosphere in any setting. Their compact size and strong, steady flame make them ideal for use in votive holders, sconces, and larger candle arrangements. Whether used to add a soft glow to a cozy dinner or to enhance the ambiance of a special event, Kisco customers appreciate our votive candles for their versatility and ability to transform any space into a welcoming haven.

Votive candles

6. Ball Candles

Elegant ball candles add a unique, modern touch to any space.

  • Burn Time: 16 or 24 hours, depending on the size
  • Features: Even burn with a stylish shape
  • Size: 2 3/4" x 2 3/4" or 3" x 3"
  • Uses: Casual or formal get-togethers, garden parties

Ideal For: Ball candles are perfect for adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any décor. Their unique spherical shape and even burn make them ideal for use in centerpieces, decorative bowls, and as standalone pieces. Whether used to enhance the ambiance of a festive occasion or to bring a stylish flair to everyday settings, Kisco customers love our ball candles for their ability to create a visually stunning and harmonious atmosphere.

Ball candles

Types of Candle Wicks

Choosing the right wick for your candles is essential for ensuring a clean, even burn and enhancing the overall candle experience. Here's a look at some of the most common candle wicks.

Cotton Wicks

Cotton wicks are the most popular type of candle wick, known for their clean-burning properties and consistent flame. They're made from braided or twisted cotton fibers, which promote an even burn and minimize the production of soot and smoke. All candles from Kisco have high-quality cotton wicks that ensure a longer burn time and a pleasant, smoke-free experience. These wicks are ideal for all types of candles, from votive and pillar candles to tealights and tapers, making them a versatile and reliable choice for any setting.

Wood Wicks

Wood wicks are a unique and increasingly popular option, known for their natural crackling sound reminiscent of a fireplace. They're typically made from softwood or hardwood and offer a rustic charm. However, wood wicks can be more challenging to maintain and may require more frequent trimming to prevent excessive smoke.

Zinc and Tin Core Wicks

Zinc and tin core wicks have a metal core that helps them stand upright in the wax pool, making them ideal for container candles. They provide a steady flame and are easy to work with during the candle-making process. However, they may produce more soot compared to cotton wicks and are not considered environmentally friendly.


Frequently Asked Questions: Types of Candles

Below, we've answered some common questions about the types of candles you'll find at Kisco. Please contact us if you'd like additional information.

What Are the Different Types of Candles?

The standard candle styles are taper, pillar, floating, tealight, votive, and ball candles. Each type caters to different needs and styles, from functional lighting to decorative elements.

What Candle Types Do You Sell in Bulk?

We carry bulk unscented candles in these types: pillar, taper, floating, ball, and tealight.

What Are Tealight Candles Used For?

Tealight candles are ideal for accent lighting. They're versatile, easy to use, and can be placed in decorative holders or as part of centerpieces.

What Makes Ball Candles Unique?

Ball candles have a spherical shape, adding a unique, modern touch to any décor. They provide an even burn and are great for both casual and formal settings.

Explore All Types of Candles at Kisco

Whether you're planning the perfect wedding, throwing a party, or creating a calm space at the end of a long day, Kisco has the types of candles needed to light your space beautifully. Our unscented European candles are of the finest quality, so you don't have to worry about smoke, popping, flickering, or dripping wax. There are plenty of candle types and sizes to choose from. Order yours today and experience the difference for yourself!

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