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These popular candles have earned the reputation for producing long burn times and praise for how well they float. Cotton wicks deliver smokeless burn. Available in several multi-pack options.
Some complaints of broken or misshapen candles upon arrival. Occasionally candles won't light, possibly due to wax coating on the wicks.
A good pick for the budget-conscious, as you get a pack of 20 classic floating candles for an incredibly low price. Flames burn strong and smoke-free. 4-inch diameter is a bit larger than others in this class.
Mixed reviews on burn time – some users say they burn longer than indicated; others say they have shorter burn times. Some packs contained candles that didn't float smoothly.
Basic, clean-looking white floating candles that come in an affordable pack of 24. Flames burn without producing smoke. Attractive packaging.
Reports of packages arriving with broken, defective, or melted candles. Not likely to burn for the indicated 10 hours.
A generous pack of 24 tealights that operate with batteries. Candles earn praise for offering long battery life and produce an inviting glow that flickers like real flames. Waterproof. A good option for windy days. Batteries included.
A few reports of occasional "duds" upon arrival. On the small side, and some users wish they were a bit larger.
LED floating candles with a pretty rose shape. Made of wax, yet flameless. Available in white, warm white, and multi-colored. Users love them for weddings. Comes with batteries that provide long-lasting glow. Waterproof.
Expensive per-candle price. You only get four candles for the price.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether you’re setting the mood for a dinner for two or decorating for a family and friends get-together, the flicker of candlelight adds a warm and cozy ambience. One safe and simple way to add candlelight to any event is with floating candles.
You can light these small candles and set them adrift in a vase or bowl, basically any container that can hold water. They can also float in an outdoor pond or other water feature to add a festive flourish to your outdoor living space.
When choosing floating candles, your first decision is between wax candles that burn and candles that use LED lights. While both are festive, they each have benefits and downsides. Knowing these can help you to decide which type will best meet your needs.
Wax: Traditionalists maintain that the only way to truly enjoy candlelight is by using wax candles that burn. These floating candles are less expensive than LED candles, and you don’t need to worry about replacing batteries.
However, burning candles can smoke if you don’t keep the wicks trimmed (although many floating candles have smokeless wicks). The flame can also be inadvertently doused by water or drafts. And there is the obvious danger of open flames, although this is mitigated by the candles floating in water.
LED: The safety of LEDs is a huge plus with these candles, so these floating candles are a great option to use around children and pets. LED candles stay lit in breezy conditions, and the lights use so little power that you don’t need to replace the batteries too frequently. Many LED floating candles also have the ability to have colored light or change colors, which opens up a whole range of decorating options.
On the downside, these floating lights produce a nice candle effect, but that’s all it is: an effect. Purists might argue that they don’t compare to the light of wax candles. Also, LED floating candles are considerably more expensive than wax floating candles.
Much like votive candles, floating candles typically come in a set usually ranging from a dozen to 100 or more. Some retailers offer you several options, so you can easily pick up the number of floating candles you need.
A larger set of floating candles has a couple of benefits. Not only do more candles give you more options for how you use them, but the price per candle is less than getting one or two at a time.
Wax floating candles vary a bit but typically burn from 4 to 10 hours depending on the wax type and the size of the candles. Most are one to a few inches in diameter. Those with a smaller diameter burn for less time than those with a larger diameter. If you need floating candles to burn for a specific length of time, such as for a party, be sure you choose candles that are large enough that you don’t have to replace them halfway through the event. The batteries in LED floating candles last much longer, so “burn” time is less of an issue.
Wax floating candles typically have smokeless wicks, so they should burn without creating soot or smoke. That said, be sure to verify this by checking the description carefully.
Most floating candles have a round shape. This allows the candle to float evenly and keeps it from capsizing and extinguishing the flame.
Most floating candles are a few inches in diameter. If you have a specific container in mind for your candles, measure it before ordering to verify that the candles will fit.
Most floating candles are rounded in shape so they float and remain upright in the water. You can find some floating candles in other shapes, such as flowers, but these are less common. Floating candles shaped like roses make an elegant touch for a wedding or other festive occasion.
Most of these candles are white, but you can find them in colors ranging from pink to blue to bronze, as well as white candles stencilled with colorful patterns.
Paraffin is the overwhelming option here, although you can also find floating candles made from beeswax and soy wax.
Floating candles are generally unscented, but some are scented with citronella, a pleasant lemon scent that also repels mosquitoes and other insects and a good choice for outdoor events. For a natural honey scent, try candles made of beeswax.
Inexpensive: Floating candles in the $5 to $15 range are mostly wax candles, typically smaller in diameter and fewer per package, often fewer than a dozen. These candles are usually made of paraffin.
Mid-range: Between $15 and $25, you can find larger floating candles, up to a few inches in diameter, that burn for a longer time, usually up to 10 hours. Both wax and LED floating candles are common in this range. These candles typically come in sets of one to three dozen.
Expensive: At $25 to $40 and up, you can find large sets of floating candles of three dozen up to 100 or more. High-quality LED floating candles and candles made of beeswax are common in this price range.
Some LED floating candles have an outer coating of wax to add to the illusion of real candles.
A. While they technically can, you might want to consider other options, such as floating candle lanterns. There are two issues with using these candles in a swimming pool. First, when the candles burn out, they leave bits of wax that need to be cleaned out of the water. Second, if you plan to use your pool while the candles are lit, any movement of the water will likely extinguish the candles fairly quickly.
A. Floating candles are made from different types of wax. Some of the more common include the following:
Paraffin: Petroleum-based paraffin is by far the most common type of wax used in floating candles. It’s also the least expensive wax. But because it’s made from petroleum, some users have issues with this option.
Beeswax: All-natural beeswax is also a popular choice for floating candles. Beeswax has a nice yellow color, delivers a soft ambient light, and releases a mild honey aroma when it burns. While beeswax is slow burning and environmentally friendly, it can be considerably more expensive than paraffin.
Soy: Because it’s a softer wax, soy is more often found in jar candles than in floating candles. But you can find floating candles made of wax blends that include soy wax.
A. If you want a candle to burn floating on water, your best bet is to go with a floating candle that is specifically designed for the task. If you try to float something like a pillar candle, it would quickly topple over, extinguishing the flame. In a pinch, you could float votive candles, but consider using candles made to float for maximum effectiveness and safety.
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