Updating a room’s decor can be as easy as setting out a few strategically placed pillar candles, and picking out the right candles can make all the difference. You’ll want to make sure they’re the right size, color and scent for your space. Not to mention, if you’re an eco-friendly shopper, there are a few things you need to know before choosing the type of wax you’ll be burning. For the best-looking pillar candles at a reasonable price, go with Melt Candle Company Burgundy Unscented Pillar Candles.
There are four main types of wax that can be used to make a candle. Paraffin wax is the most common as it's the cheapest. However, paraffin wax is a byproduct of crude oil refining, so if you’re looking for an eco-friendly candle, this is not the material for you.
Beeswax is also a popular choice. Beeswax candles are made from the wax produced by bees, so they aren't vegan-friendly. They're comparable to paraffin, as 100% beeswax candles are still hard and can maintain their shape while they burn.
Soy wax candles are an eco-conscious choice — they're made from soybean oil and burn clean. However, soy wax is quite soft, so it must be mixed with another type of wax to create a standalone pillar candle.
Finally, pillar candles can be made from palm wax, which is harvested from the leaves of palm trees. This option is generally not eco-friendly, but you can find certified sustainable products if you’re set on using palm wax.
Pillar candles generally measure 2-4 inches across and 4-6 inches tall. Specialty pillar candles can be much larger, measuring up to 12 inches in diameter in some cases.
As you consider what size pillar candles to buy, think about where you’ll put them and whether they need to fit inside a glass candle holder or not. Larger shelves, tables and rooms can accommodate more robust candles, as larger candles can emit more scent and burn for longer. However, a larger candle size generally comes with a higher price tag.
Although they’re called “pillar” candles, these sturdy candles can come in other shapes, as long as they have a large, level base to support the candles as they stand freely. Pillar candles can come in the form of cylinders, as well as cubes, spheres and pyramids. Keep in mind that the more sophisticated the shape, the higher the price is likely to be.
Pillar candle wicks are either flat or cored. Flat wicks are made out of a single material, while cored wicks usually feature a hidden core made of wire. Look for a wick that's 100% cotton, linen, paper or cellulose to be sure it burns as cleanly as possible.
Ultimately, the color and texture you choose for your pillar candles is up to your personal preference. Some candles have textures embedded into the outside of the wax to give them more depth and visual interest. If you prefer a more glossy look, go for a smooth candle without any added texture. As you browse, you’ll likely find pillar candles in all sorts of colors and shades. Picture how you’ll arrange them to help guide what colors complement each other and your space.
Candle scents can range from citrus or floral to spicy or sweet. Like choosing a color, choosing a scent is up to you. Keep in mind that whatever scent you choose, you’ll be smelling that fragrance repeatedly. You may want to pick out specialty scents for specific seasons like the winter holidays or the first month of spring.
Depending on the materials, scent and bulk discounts, you can expect to spend $3-$15 per pillar candle.
A. Though all candles release toxins as they burn, some candles burn more cleanly than others. Regardless of the type of wax, find a candle with a 100% cotton or biodegradable wick with a plant-based core instead of metal. Soy, beeswax and vegetable wax candles burn the cleanest, though they tend to be challenging to find in a pillar candle shape. Paraffin wax is the most popular choice of wax for pillar candles because of its low cost and sturdy structure. If you’re looking for a cleaner pillar candle, search for one with a blend of plant-based and paraffin waxes.
A. Pillar candles are explicitly designed not to drip. You may even notice some candles claim to be “dripless.” However, pillar candles are made of wax and may occasionally drip if not properly cared for. Before you burn your candle, trim the wick to 1/4-inch long and toss the trimming in the trash. The first burn should last for an hour per inch of diameter. If the candle is 2 inches wide, you should burn it for 2 hours the first time, then let it cool completely. As you continue to enjoy your candle, you can slightly extend the burn time by gently folding in the outer edges of wax into the center of the candle so they melt inward. Never burn your candle under or next to a fan. Always snuff out your flames rather than blowing on the wick.
What you need to know: This pack of three solid pillar candles is a steal for the quality, burn time and color variety.
What you’ll love: These pillar candles measure 3 inches wide by 6 inches tall, burn for 70 hours and come in a wide variety of color options. The hand-poured rustic texture lends visual interest. The cotton wick is non-toxic and smokeless.
What you should consider: These are marketed as “dripless,” but the wax may drip after long burn periods.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This pack of 12 brilliant white pillar candles is an excellent deal, no matter how you plan to use them.
What you’ll love: The value pack includes 12 unscented candles that burn for more than 40 hours each. This is a great deal if you’re decorating your home, planning an event or storing them for an emergency outage. The candles are dripless and lead-free with a cotton wick.
What you should consider: The price per candle is very affordable, but the entire pack is a bit of an investment up front.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: These scented candles are top-of-the-line for aromatherapy candles.
What you’ll love: The scented pillar candles are available in three different sizes and seven different scent combinations. They feature food-grade wax, non-synthetic fragrances and burn for 50 hours each.
What you should consider: Some sizes and scents may be unavailable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.