Best Taper Candles

Updated May 2021
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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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How we decided

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

33 Models Considered
18 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
84 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 taper candles

Using real candles can create the perfect atmosphere. Just a few flickering flames are all it takes to drastically alter the character of a room. Of course, safety must always be your foremost concern. 

While votive candles and jar candles are nice, there are situations in which they simply cannot compare to the effortless elegance of taper candles. Taper candles are long cylindrical candles that are narrower at the top and wider at the bottom. The size, color, and scent of taper candles all impact ambience. In addition, you must consider the type of wax and wick a candle offers. And don’t forget about candle holders: most taper candles don’t come with their own holders, although a few do.

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To be safe, it is recommended that you only use candles in well-ventilated rooms that are not drafty.

Key considerations

The wax and the wick are a taper candle’s two main components.


While many types of wax can be used, the two most common (and best) types are paraffin wax and beeswax. Soy wax can be used as well, though it is not always an efficient option.

Paraffin: This is the most common type of wax in taper candles. It is also called straight wax because it contains no additives. Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum that is manufactured to be colorless, tasteless, and odorless. Another benefit of paraffin is that it is inexpensive.

Beeswax: This is an all-natural wax that, as it sounds, is made by bees. In its purest form, it is white, but when stained by pollen and/or propolis, it becomes a golden yellow. While it may be more expensive, beeswax burns cleaner than paraffin.

Soy wax: This has a lower melting temperature than other waxes. Consequently, a number of additives (including paraffin) are incorporated to allow the soy to function better as a candle, especially a taper candle. Soy candles tend to last a little longer, and they also tend to be more expensive.


The wick draws the melted wax into the flame for fuel. If too much wax is drawn into the flame, it creates more soot. If not enough is drawn, the candle will have trouble staying lit. 

There are many types of candle wicks, but taper candles tend to have either flat braided wicks or square braided wicks. 

Flat braided wicks are the most common type of taper candle wicks. The design allows for consistent burning and “curls” the flame, which can produce a self-trimming effect. 

Square braided wicks are similar to flat braided wicks, but they tend to produce a more robust flame. These wicks are well-suited for beeswax candles.

When placing a taper candle in a holder that has a spike, lightly warm the bottom of the candle before gently pushing it onto the spike for best results.




The standard diameter of the base of a taper candle is 7/8 of an inch. This is important to understand because the majority of taper candle holders are designed to accommodate a candle of this size.


The length of a candle is a matter of preference and safety. Longer candles obviously burn longer, but they are also easier to knock over. While most taper candles are in the 6- to 18-inch range, it is possible to get custom candles that are 24 inches or longer. 


Often, taper candles are unscented. However, if you want an added dimension, you can find scented taper candles. While these may create a more nostalgic atmosphere, they can also trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. If anyone in your home suffers from fragrance sensitivities, it is probably best to stick with unscented taper candles.


While white candles are elegant, sometimes you need a little color. Certain religious ceremonies, for instance, may require a specific color. If you’re decorating for pleasure, the choice is yours. You can choose anything from soft pastels to deep reds to metallic golds and silvers.

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Statistics reveal that the majority of candle fires happen in December between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m.


Candle holder: Eastland Clear Taper Candle Holder 
Eastland's 4-inch glass candle holders (set of 12) are an elegant solution for your taper candle-holding needs.

Wick trimmer: EricX Candle Wick Trimmer
To keep your candles burning efficiently, you must occasionally snip the wick. This durable stainless steel candle wick trimmer does the trick in style.

Candle snuffer: Godinger Candle Snuffer 
The safest way to put out a candle is with a snuffer. This silver-plated candle snuffer is gorgeous and efficient.

Candle Adhesive: Fox Run Stick-Um Candle Adhesive 
Candle adhesive helps secure your taper candles in their holders to prevent accidents.

Taper candle prices

At first glance, it may seem like taper candles have a wide price range. However, upon closer inspection, you will see that most cost somewhere between $1 to $2 per candle. Bargain candles may be a little less than $1 each. Beeswax, colored, and scented candles tend to hover around the $2 mark.

The main reason for the wide variety in price is how many you get in a pack. If you purchase 10 budget candles, you will be spending $10 (or less). If, on the other hand, you'd like a dozen beeswax candles, that will cost $24 (or more).

To keep your candle burning smoothly with the least amount of smoke possible, trim the wick to approximately 1/4-inch tall before lighting it.



Anytime you are dealing with an open flame, there is risk involved. In fact, it is estimated that candles are responsible for approximately 15,600 house fires each year. Following are a few safety tips to keep in mind when using candles.

  • Only place candles on solid, heat-resistant surfaces.
  • Do not place candles near flammable objects such as drapes or decorations.
  • Keep candles out of reach of pets and children.
  • Do not place candles in a heavily trafficked area.
  • Do not use candles in a drafty room.
  • Trim the candle wick to 1/4 inch before using.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended.
  • Do not extinguish candles with your breath or your fingers. Instead, use a candle snuffer.
  • Double-check that all candles are extinguished before going to bed.
  • Never burn candles all the way down. Extinguish the candle when there is at least a half-inch of wax left.
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Not all candles burn the same way. Quality candles come with instructions. Follow all accompanying instructions to have the best possible experience.


Q. How long does a taper candle burn?

A. Candle thickness, air temperature, humidity, and elevation are all factors that affect how quickly a candle burns. In general, however, the rule of thumb for taper candles is that they burn down roughly one inch every hour. Therefore, if you have a 6-inch candle, the total burning time will be nearly six hours. Note: never let a candle burn all the way down. This can create a dangerous situation that could result in fire. Once a candle burns down to a half inch, extinguish it for good.

Q. Why is my taper candle dripping?

A. As a taper candle melts, the wax should stream down the sides and harden before it reaches the base. If a candle is dripping, however, that means something is wrong, and the situation should be fixed immediately. 

There are two main reasons why a taper candle might drip. One: the candle may not be completely vertical, causing wax to drip instead of run down the sides. Two: there may be a significant draft causing the candle to burn unevenly. This can lead to excessive wax build-up and dripping. 

To remedy the situation, make sure the candle is fully vertical and there are no drafts in the room where the candle is operating.

Q. My taper candle is not straight. Is there anything I can do to fix it?

A. Yes. Thread a string through the base of the candle, and carefully tie it to a pen or a pencil. Hang the candle upside-down in a glass jar or vase that is deeper than the candle is tall. Place the container in front of a sunny window until the candle regains its shape. Afterward, move the container to a cool area so the wax can harden. Take care not to leave the candle in the sunlight for too long, or you will end up doing more harm than good.


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