Best Outdoor Tiki Torches

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

33 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
472 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best outdoor TIKI torches

Last Updated September 2020

Lighting doesn’t just set the right mood inside your home. The right lights can also create the perfect atmosphere in outdoor settings like your backyard, patio, terrace, or deck.  If you really want to set a fun, festive mood in your yard, tiki torches are definitely the way to go. 

Traditionally, tiki torches were made of a bamboo stick or pole with a container of fuel and wick at the top. You light the wick to burn the fuel to produce a flame that lights the surrounding area. Today, tiki torches are made of a variety of materials, including wood, glass, and copper. You can also find solar-powered models that don’t use flames. And not all tiki torches are set atop poles. Tabletop models can easily be moved around your yard. 

But because there are so many tiki torches to choose from, finding the right ones for your landscape can be a challenge. If you’re having trouble deciding, our buying guide has plenty of tips to help you find the best tiki torches for your backyard. Still confused? We’ve offered up some specific recommendations to make your shopping entirely stress-free.  

Tiki torches originated in Polynesian culture and are still used in some Southeast Asian festivals today.

Key considerations

Fuel

Traditional tiki torches use a flame to produce the light that illuminates the surrounding area. If you opt for traditional tiki torches, you have to decide what type of fuel you prefer: oil or gas.

Oil: Oil is typically the more affordable and easy-to-find fuel. Both kerosene and paraffin oil work well as fuel for tiki torches, though paraffin oil tends to burn cleaner. They both offer several hours of illumination

Citronella oil: This burns like other types of oil, but it also offers the added benefit of repelling mosquitoes and other insects. It burns more slowly than kerosene or paraffin oil, and it doesn’t produce smoke. Citronella oil is usually more expensive than other oils. 

Gas/propane: This is typically the most expensive option. Not only is the fuel pricier, but the torches themselves tend to cost more, too. However, they usually produce brighter light and don’t require as much maintenance as torches that use oil. You can adjust the gas flow with the twist of a knob to control the size of the flame, and you don’t have to deal with a wick. Most gas tiki torches use small blow torch gas canisters, but some are permanently installed and connected to underground natural gas lines.

Solar

Most modern torches still use fire, but for homeowners who aren’t comfortable with an open flame in their yard, there are other solar-powered alternatives.

Solar tiki torches have an LED light bulb and solar-powered battery instead of fuel and a wick. The sun charges the battery during the day, so the torches only light up after dark. If you have children or pets and are worried about using traditional tiki torches, models with solar lights are the perfect substitute. You don’t have to worry about your kids or dog knocking over the torches and causing a fire. 

There are some drawbacks to solar tiki torches, though. You have to carefully position them in your yard so they receive full sun exposure to charge the battery. These tiki torches typically require at least three to four and as many as eight hours of sunlight to recharge, which means they don’t always fully charge on cloudy or overcast days. Also, solar-powered tiki torches generally aren’t as bright as traditional tiki torch flames.

Tabletop vs. pole

While traditional tiki torches sit on top of poles or sticks, you can also find tabletop models. Traditional pole torches usually have a more impressive appearance and can be staked in the dirt, so you can place them in a wide variety of locations throughout your yard. Tabletop torches must be set on some type of surface to illuminate your yard, but they can add plenty of visual interest to a table at an outdoor dinner party. 

EXPERT TIP

The longer the wick, the taller the flame. If your tiki torch is smoking too much, it might be a sign that the wick is too long.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Material

You can find outdoor tiki torches in several different materials, including bamboo, metal, and glass.

Bamboo or rattan: These models offer the most traditional, rustic look and are typically the most affordable. The poles can be inconsistent in length and straightness, though.

Metal: Copper, aluminum, stainless steel, brass, and iron tiki torches are usually the most durable and can stand up to more extreme weather conditions. They’re typically more uniform in terms of pole length and straightness, and they’re generally more expensive than bamboo torches. 

Glass: These tiki torches offer a beautiful, decorative look, but they’re also the most fragile. They can easily break if knocked over, so it’s usually best to opt for tabletop glass torches since you won’t have to worry as much about them being jostled. 

Quantity

Many tiki torches are sold individually, but you can also find sets that include 2 to 12 torches. In general, the more torches, the better the overall value. It’s usually recommended that you install one tiki torch every 15 feet in the space you want to illuminate, so measure the area to determine how many torches you need. 

Height

The height of pole-mounted tiki torches typically ranges from 3 to 6 feet. The taller the tiki torch, the greater the area it can illuminate. For the most versatility, look for torches with an adjustable pole, which allows you to select from a few different heights to find the option that works best for your landscape needs.

Snuffer cap

To extinguish a tiki torch with a flame, you need a snuffer cap. You place it over the wick and leave it there until you suffocate the flame. Once the torch is fully cooled, you can put the snuffer cap back in place to keep the wick safe from the elements. Most tiki torches include snuffer caps, but some require you to purchase them separately. 

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Never use water to put out a tiki torch. Water can spread the oil without putting out the flame.

Outdoor tiki torch prices

Tiki torches vary in price based on material, size, and the number of torches included in a set. Most sets with three or four torches cost between $12 and $140. 

Inexpensive: The most affordable tiki torches are glass tabletop torches. They run on oil and are more decorative than functional. These typically cost between $12 and $55. 

Mid-range: These tiki torches are usually pole-mounted models made of bamboo or rattan. They typically run on oil, though some are solar. These generally range from $20 to $110. 

Expensive: The most expensive tiki torches are pole-mounted torches made of metal. They can run on oil, gas, or solar power. They typically cost between $64 and $140. 

After each use, wipe the heads of your tiki torches to remove any debris or residue left behind from burning.

Tips

  • Make sure the poles are secure. When you’re placing pole-mounted tiki torches, stick the stakes at least 6 to 8 inches into the ground to make sure they’re stable. 

  • Never leave lit oil or gas tiki torches unattended.  

  • Allow plenty of space between torches. Position tiki torches at least 6 to 8 feet apart to make sure your guests have room to move around them. There should also be at least 6 feet between a torch and your house, garage, shed, or other structures. 

  • Clean up any spilled oil. If you accidentally spill the fuel, soak it up with absorbent clay granules meant for cleaning oil, paint, and other substances. Kitty litter works well, too.

  • Store torches upright. You can leave unused oil in your tiki torches when not in use, but make sure that you store the torches in an upright position where they’re not likely to be knocked over. 

Other products we considered

With so many tiki torches on the market, we weren’t able to include all the worthwhile models on our short list. We love the Gold Armour Solar Tiki Torches if you need lights for a path and don’t want to worry about open flames. You get four torches in the pack that are just over 3.5 feet tall and feature solar lights with up to 12 hours of illumination when they’re fully charged.

We also really like the 6-inch TIKI Brand Marine Glass Table Torches if you prefer tabletop lights. The three torches come in three different colors to add a decorative look to any table. They run on oil to produce actual flames to truly set the mood. 

Tiki torch wicks are usually made of fiberglass or cotton. Fiberglass wicks can be reused several times, while cotton wicks burn up during use.

FAQ

Q. Are tiki torches safe? 
A. Traditional tiki torches have open flames, so they pose a fire hazard just like candles. They’re much larger than candles, obviously, so you have to take great care when using them. Read the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer, and always follow them to the letter. Position the torches so they’re not too close to your house, other structures, tree branches, and other combustible materials. Have a fire extinguisher on hand whenever the tiki torches are lit, too. 

It’s best not to use tiki torches on a windy day, because strong winds could knock them over or spread the flames toward nearby objects. If you have children or pets, you may prefer to use solar-powered torches, so you don’t have to worry about the possible danger of an open flame. 
 

Q. How do I fill a tiki torch with fuel? 
A. First, make sure that the torch is completely cool. Next, rotate and remove the ring at the top that holds the torch’s wick. Use a funnel to pour the oil into the fuel chamber, and then replace the wick and the ring. 
 

Q. How should I store tiki torch fuel? 
A. Tiki torch fuel should be kept in a cool spot, where there’s no risk of flames. You don’t want your fuel to freeze, though, so opt for an insulated location if you live in a climate with freezing temperatures in the winter. 

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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