Types of Candles & Their Burn Times: What You Need To Know


Candles come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own burning time. It is important to understand your candle’s burn time when creating or purchasing them.

On average, candles burn for four to eight hours, but this can differ depending on the wax used, the size of the candle, and the wick. External factors, including wind and ambient temperature, can also impact your candle burn time.

This article will explore the different candle types you can make or purchase and their burn times. We will also discuss the factors that impact candle burn times so you can understand the science behind it all!

Variables that impact candle burn time

Wax Type

The type of wax used in a candle can impact the burn time. This is because each wax type has a different burn velocity and density. Both of these factors affect how quickly the wax melts and is consumed.

Below we have included a table that includes the different burn velocities and densities of popular wax types.

Higher Burn Velocity = Lower Burn Time

Higher Wax Density = Longer Burn Time

We encourage you to check out our burn time calculator if you want to determine the burn time of your candle creations accurately. We also discuss how burn time is calculated and how you can boost your candle burn time.

Candle Size

The size of the candle also impacts the burn time. This is because a larger candle has more wax and will take longer to consume than a smaller candle. The size of your candle is determined by the diameter and height of the candle.

The larger the candle, the more wax volume, providing more fuel for the candle flame. The burn time increases as the candle size increases.

Wick Type and Placement

The type of wick you use in your candle can also impact burn time. This is because wicks come in different sizes, with some being able to handle more wax than others. The size of the wick also impacts the burn rate. A larger wick will have a lower burn time than a smaller wick. This is due to the wick consuming more fuel and providing a larger flame. This is required to ensure an even wax pool is created across the surface of your candle.

The placement of the wick can also impact your candle’s burn time. If the wick is placed too close to the side of the candle, it will consume the wax too quickly and cause the candle to tunnel. This will result in a shorter burn time and an uneven wax pool.

We recommend reading our wick placement guide to learn more about this topic.

External Environment

The environment in which your candle is burning can also impact the burn time. If the room temperature is too hot, the wax will melt too quickly, resulting in a shorter burn time. If the room temperature is too cold, the wax will harden, and the candle will take longer to burn.

Wind can also impact your candle’s burn time. If there is a draft in the room, the flame will be blown out frequently, causing the candle to take longer to burn. Drafts can also cause flames to flicker, resulting in an uneven burn and soot build-up on the sides of the candle.

We recommend burning your candles at an ambient temperature of 18-22°C (64-72°F) free of drafts for the best burn time.

Additives

The final factor that impacts candle burn time is additives. This is because some additives can increase the burn time of your candles while others can decrease it.

Stearic acid is a popular additive used to increase the burn time of candles. This is because it increases the melting point of the wax, allowing the candle to melt slower. This means that the wax will not be consumed as quickly and will result in a longer burn time.

Taper Candle Burn Time

Taper candles are a popular type of candle used for decoration and lighting. They come in various sizes, with the average burn time ranging from four to eight hours. The burn time of a taper candle can be affected by the factors we discussed above, such as wax type, size, and wick type.

We have listed standard taper candle lengths and burn times in the table below.

Height of CandleBurn Time (hours and minutes)
6-inch Taper Candle6h
8-inch Taper Candle8h
10-inch Taper Candle10h
12-inch Taper Candle12h
18-inch Taper Candle18h

Pillar Candle Burn Time

Pillar candles are another popular type of candle used for decoration and lighting. They are available in a wide range of sizes, with the average burn time being six to eight hours. The burn time of a pillar candle can be affected by the same factors as taper candles, such as wax type, size, and wick type.

We have listed standard pillar candle sizes and their corresponding burn times in the table below.

Height of CandleBurn Time (hours and minutes)
2-inch Pillar Candle4h 19m
3-inch Pillar Candle17h 57m
4-inch Pillar Candle34h 28m
6-inch Pillar Candle51h 42m

Container Candle Burn Time

Container candles are a type of candle poured into a container, such as a jar. They are available in a wide range of sizes and shapes, with the average burn time being eight to ten hours. The burn time of a container candle can be affected by the same factors as taper and pillar candles, such as wax type, size, and wick type.

We have listed popular container candle sizes and their corresponding burn times in the table below.

Gross WeightBurn Time (hours and minutes)
4 oz Container Candle15h 7m
6 oz Container Candle22h 41m
8 oz Container Candle30h 14m
10 oz Container Candle37h 48m
12oz Container Candle45h 22m
14oz Container Candle52h 55m
16oz Container Candle60h 29m
20oz Container Candle75h 36m

Votive Candle Burn Time

Votive candles are a type of small candle named after their small and dainty size. They are typically used for decoration, lighting, and aromatherapy. The average burn time for a votive candle is 15 hours. The burn time of a votive candle can be affected by the same factors as taper, pillar, and container candles, such as wax type, size, and wick type.

We have listed standard votive candle sizes and their corresponding burn times in the table below.

Diameter of CandleBurn Time (hours and minutes)
1.5-inch Votive Candle5h 13m
2-inch Votive Candle9h 16m
2.5-inch Votive Candle14h 29m
3-inch Votive Candle20h 51m

Tea Light Burn Time

Tea lights are a small candle used for decoration, lighting, and aromatherapy. They come in various sizes and shapes; the average burn time is four hours. The burn time of a tea light can be affected by the same factors as taper, pillar, container, and votive candles, such as wax type, size, and wick type.

We have listed standard tea light candle sizes and their corresponding burn times in the table below.

Diameter of CandleBurn Time (hours and minutes)
1-inch Tealight Candle1h
1.5-inch Tealight Candle2h 11m
2-inch Tealight Candle3h 54m

Candle Burn Time Tips

Now that you know how long your candles should burn, we have some tips to help you make the most of their burn time!

To get the most out of your candles, we recommend following these tips:

  • Keep the wick trimmed to ¼ inch. This will help the candle burn evenly and prevent soot build-up.
  • Avoid drafts. Drafts can cause the flame to flicker and the candle to burn unevenly. Don’t touch or move the candle while it’s burning. This can cause the flame to flicker and the candle to smoke.
  • Extinguish the candle with a snuffer. This will help prevent hot wax from splattering. Be sure to wait until the wax is solid before moving the candle.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended. This is a fire hazard.

Now that you know how to make the most of your candles go out and enjoy their beautiful light!

Final Thoughts

Candles are a popular way to add light and ambiance to any setting. They come in various shapes and sizes, each with a different burning time. The average candle will burn for around four to eight hours, but this can vary depending on the type of wax, size, and wick used. So, before you light that candle for your next dinner party, check how long it is supposed to burn!

We hope this guide helped teach you about the different types of candles and their corresponding burn times. For more information on candles and candle care, be sure to check out our other blog posts!

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