Candlelit events always evoke a unique mood that no other lighting system can match, no matter how advanced it may be. The unpredictable flicker of the flames scatters an almost living light on the surroundings. The curling smoke, once extinguished, makes impossible patterns in the air.
And the wax gets everywhere. That's why to accompany your candles, you need candle holders. They help control the wax, keep your candles from falling over and add their own extra sense of atmosphere to the proceedings.
It's rare to find candle holders sold individually unless the holder is particularly special in some way. Instead, they come in sets. There's no quantity that's more common than another. For example, you're just as likely to find sets of four or fewer as you are sets of 10-plus. It's rare, however, to find sets of more than 12, though they do exist.
If you're buying candle holders for a specific event and don't plan on using them again, at least for some time, just get the number of holders you know you need. If you like to break out the holders with regularity, it's wise to get extras. This way you’ll have matching replacements should you lose or break one as there's no guarantee you'll be able to order exact replacements.
Candle holders come in single and multi sizes. As the names suggest, single holders hold one candle while multi-holders hold several. Single holders are more common and come in the widest range of designs. Multi-holders are typically designed to hold several tea-light candles.
Candle holders typically hold one of three types of candles: tea lights, taper candles and wide candles. Tea light holders are usually small and shot-glasslike. Taper candle holders are usually extra-tall or extra-short. Wide candle holders usually come in the form of a dish.
Candle holders must be able to withstand high temperatures, so most are made of the same group of materials. Metals, particularly iron, and glass are the most common by far. Ceramic is the next most common.
And, surprisingly, so is wood. However, wood candle holders typically have some kind of protection or design decision that keeps the flames at a distance. For example, some use glass dishes.
Most non-designer candle holder sets cost $10-$50 depending on the quality and quantity, though the largest of sets can cost more. Designer holders can cost as much as $400-plus.
These candle holders are made of agate to add some earthiness to your aesthetic. They come in blue, purple, pink, teal and "natural." You can order quantities of 1-20 at a time. Sold by Etsy
This set of six tall and slender holders draws focus to the candles by being unusually tall. It includes two 9.1-, 11- and 13-inch tall holders each. They come in silver, gold and black. Sold by Amazon
These holders are wide, short dishes for holding chunkier candles. Three are included and they look best when kept together. They're all 4.4 inches in diameter. Sold by Amazon
This holder breaks from usual designs by being a winding, twisting snake of a thing. It's perfect for people with a kooky or eccentric sense of style. It's 15.75 inches tall. Sold by Etsy
This beautiful tea light holder is hand-painted to order and comes in widths of 3.9 and 4.7 inches. The candlelight casts the colored shadows of the painted butterflies on the wall. Sold by Etsy
This candle holder calls to mind old-fashioned designs meant to make walking in the night with a candle easy and safe. It comes in seven colors and you can order quantities of 1-36 at a time. Sold by Etsy
These flared and glittery yellow tea light holders buck the usual plain and clear design. The tiny dots in the frosting help the light shine all the more. There are 24 included. Sold by Amazon
These holders combine the tall, slender design of most taper candle holders with the dishes of wide candle holders. It comes in black with two equal-height holders or white with two equal-height and one taller holder. Sold by Amazon
This lantern-like holder is expensive and only one is included, but the glass and metal design is difficult not to love. It comes in heights of 18.5 or 23 inches. Sold by Amazon
This set of three tea light holders is handmade of mouthblown stained glass; the flames make the colors dance. There are three bowllike sets and one cuplike set. Sold by Amazon
Each of the three included holders is a different height to make it more visually interesting. They're made of metal with cutouts that look like shells so the light can cast patterns on the surroundings. Sold by Amazon
This set of six tea light holders are fashioned to look like turkeys, including having little legs poking out in front. They're perfect for hosting a back-to-roots-style Thanksgiving meal. Sold by Etsy
While the design is plain, the sheer volume — 36 are included — gives you the opportunity to set them up in whatever fascinating pattern you can think of or find on the internet. Sold by Amazon
These holders have narrow holes to accommodate taper candles but are wide and flat enough to comfortably hold bigger candles, too. Two are included in black, or you can buy a single silver one. Sold by Amazon
All of the candle holders in this set can hold a taper candle on one side, but some can also be flipped over to hold a tea light. They come in multiple quantities and colors. Sold by Amazon
The ridges of these tea light holders make them more interesting to look at than most. Plus it makes them fun to twiddle with. They come in amber, yellow or clear and in set sizes of 12 or 24. Sold by Amazon
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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.