The Best Flameless Candles of 2022

Flameless candles create a warm ambiance with no dripping wax, leaving soot residue and risky open flames behind.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated Mar 2, 2022 1:36 PM

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Flameless Candles Options

Photo: amazon.com

Flameless candles, also called “meltless” candles, look an awful lot like real candles—many even flicker like real candles! They are terrific as decorative elements, such as centerpieces on dining room tables, and are welcome additions to outdoor dining settings.

Because flameless candles don’t actually burn, they rarely need to be replaced. They’re even safe for use in children’s rooms. The best flameless candles for your situation will depend on whether you need lots of pillar candles to create a candle-centric showpiece. Ahead, learn what to look for when shopping for flameless candles, and find out why the following selections are at the top of their class.

  1. BEST OVERALL: YIWER Flameless Candles, 4″ 5″ 6″ Set of 3
  2. BEST BUDGET: CANDLE IDEA Flameless Flickering Tea Lights Candles
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Vinkor Flameless Candles Flickering (Birch Effect)
  4. BEST TAPER CANDLES: Incredle Flameless Taper Candles Dripless Real Wax
  5. BEST TEA LIGHTS: Homemory Realistic and Bright Flickering Tea Light
  6. BEST WITH GLASS HOLDER: Aku Tonpa Flameless Candles Battery Operated Pillar
  7. BEST WITH SCENT: Luminara Flameless Candle: Vanilla Scented
  8. BEST LIGHTING EFFECT: DANIP flameless Candle, with Embedded String Lights
Best Flameless Candles Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Flameless Candles

You might be surprised at how realistic some of today’s flameless candles are, but there are tricks to getting the most realistic-looking flameless candles for a decorative bathroom element, outdoor ambiance, and bedroom accent. The first consideration when choosing a flameless candle is to buy one with an LED light because they flicker in a way that’s similar to real flames. Shoppers may also want to consider candle size, whether the flame effects can be changed, whether the candle comes with a remote control, and whether the candle emits an aroma.

Size

Flameless candles are available in the same sizes, shapes, and styles as standard candles and can be used for similar purposes.

  • Pillar: A flameless pillar candle ranges from 2 inches to 4 inches in diameter and stands from approximately 3 inches to 9 inches high. These cylindrical candles are elegant design elements on their own, and they’re even more aesthetically pleasing if they’re placed on decorative candle stands. Grouping three or more pillar candles of staggered heights together creates a dramatic display.
  • Taper: Traditionally used in candelabras and formal dining settings, flameless taper candles range in diameter from .5 inch to 3 inches and are usually between 6 inches and 18 inches tall. Because of their relatively tall and narrow design, flameless taper candles are best used in candleholders of similar dimensions in order to keep them vertical and secure.
  • Tea light:These small flameless candles are typically just 1.5 inches in diameter and no more than 1 inch high. They’re useful in a variety of applications, including banquet table centerpieces or in lanterns and luminarias that are designed to hold traditional tea lights. The best thing about flameless tea light candles is that they’ll last a long time compared to real tea lights, which are so small that they tend to burn down within an hour or two.
  • Votive: Similar in diameter to tea light candles but slightly taller, flameless votive candles look stunning in multicandle displays, such as arrangements on a coffee table or a dresser top, or paired with a vase, books, or even stuffed animals on a nightstand.
  • Filled: This type of candle comes in a container, typically either brushed tin or glass, which gives the candle a home-crafted look. Flameless filled candles come in various sizes, up to about 4 inches in diameter and from 3 inches to 8 inches tall. Use them in a single-candle display or in combination with additional filled candles to create a focal point in the room.

Material

Most flameless candles are made from either real wax, paraffin, soy wax, or beeswax, depending on the type and style. Some are infused with a scent—vanilla is a popular one—that gradually releases into the air. Like regular candles, wax-type flameless candles can soften and melt if they’re exposed to high temperatures (approximately 115 degrees Fahrenheit or above), so avoid placing them in a sunny summer window.

A few flameless candles are made of a plastic material instead of wax, and though these candles won’t soften, lose their shape, or melt, be aware that they’re not as realistic looking as the wax candles are. Flameless candles intended for outdoor use should be equipped with waterproofing features, such as a silicone seal that keeps moisture from entering the LED light and battery compartment. Candles that are not waterproof can be used outdoors, but they should be brought inside after use.

Light Effects

Great flameless candles feature LED lights that flicker in random patterns that mimic the flicker of real flames; some models have settings for both flickering and steady flames. Still other flameless candles feature color-changing LED lights for creating specific moods, and many come with remote controls for adjusting color and flame brightness and for turning the candles on and off.

Style

The flameless candles that have the biggest visual impact in a home are those that are virtually indistinguishable from their traditional open-flame counterparts. Flameless candle manufacturers understand this and many add artistic details, like dripping wax or a wavy edge around the “wick” that looks like the candle has begun to melt. Other decorative options, such as candles with designs on their sides or candles that are dressed in farmhouse-inspired burlap or jute wrappings, are available to complement specific types of home decor.

Longevity

A good-quality LED candle flame can last 10,000 hours or more, but the batteries that power the candle require replacement every 300 hours or so. Batteries may last longer if the candle features an automatic shut-off setting that turns the candle off after 1 or 2 hours. Consider automatic shut-off candles for use in bedrooms. These candles will emit a soothing flicker at bedtime and then shut off after the occupant has fallen asleep

Our Top Picks

To qualify as a top pick, a flameless candle should look like a real candle and be easy to operate. One of the features that makes candles easy to operate is a remote control. Candles that offer unique features, such as color-changing flames, are also included below. The following flameless candles are suited to different decor styles and uses, but each one of them is made from quality materials and will provide hours of cozy enjoyment.

Best Overall

The Best Flameless Candles Option: YIWER Flameless Candles, 4 5 6 Set of 3
Photo: amazon.com

This YIWER set of three ivory-colored, flameless candles is an instant ambiance upgrade for the living room, family room, or fireplace mantel. Made from real wax, the set includes pillar candles that are each 3.15 inches in diameter and range from 4 inches to 6 inches tall. Each candle comes with a warm-tone LED flame whose gentle flickering creates a soothing and relaxing effect.

Each candle requires two AA batteries (not included) and has an on-off switch on its underside. Once set to “on,” the candles can be operated via the remote control that’s included with the set. Users can use the remote to program the shut-off timer and dim or brighten the LED flames.

This set of flameless candles would look just right on a dresser or nightstand or incorporated into a coffee-table or mantel display. YIWER also produces various other sets of flameless candles like these, including some made of a deep-red wax.

Product Specs

  • Style: Pillar
  • Size: 3.15 inches thick, 4, 5 and 6 inches tall
  • Effects: Static, flicker, dimmer

Pros

  • Remote controlled
  • Dimmable
  • Great for coffee tables

Cons

  • Can sometimes make a clicking noise

Best Budget

The Best Flameless Candles Options: Flameless Flickering Votive Tea Lights Candles
Photo: amazon.com

Host an outdoor summer party or dress up the tables at a reception or banquet with this budget-friendly set of 24 flameless votive candles from Candle Idea. Measuring 1.5 inches in diameter and 2 inches high, each candle has a flickering LED flame that shines a warm golden glow.

The candles are made from flexible plastic and operate on tablet-size lithium-ion batteries (included) that run for an estimated 120 hours. These candles operate with a simple on/off switch on the bottom of each one.

Product Specs

  • Style: Tea light
  • Size: 1.5 inches in diameter, 2 inches tall
  • Effects: Flicker

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Ideal for large functions
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Brightness issues

Upgrade Pick

The Best Flameless Candles Options: Vinkor Flameless Candles Flickering Candles
Photo: amazon.com

Add rustic appeal to a dinner party or evening at the fire pit with this set of flameless candles from Vinkor, which are designed to look like birch logs. Each pillar candle in this three-pack measures 3.2 inches in diameter and ranges from 4 inches to 6 inches in height. The golden tone of these flameless candles comes from real wax that emits a warm glow when the LED flame is on.

Each candle runs on two AA batteries (not included). After turning the candles on, users can use the remote control to set the candles to remain on for 2 to 8 hours and then turn off automatically. They can also be programmed to turn on automatically. The remote is also handy for turning the candles on and off as a unit and adjusting their brightness levels. Though the LED lights should last for up to 50,000 hours, the batteries will need to be replaced after about 150 hours of runtime.

Product Specs

  • Style: Pillar
  • Size: 3.2 inches in diameter; 4, 5, and 6 inches tall
  • Effects: Static, flicker, dimmer

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Can function on a timer
  • Faux wood look

Cons

  • Higher price than most
  • Batteries not included

Best Taper Candles

The Best Flameless Candles Options: Flameless Taper Candles H9
Photo: amazon.com

Set the stage for a romantic dinner with these flameless taper candles from Incredle, which are made from real wax for an authentic look. The candles come in sets of two and measure 9 inches tall and 1 inch in diameter. They fit most standard candleholders and can even be used in hanging candelabras and sconces, replacing traditional candles that present a fire hazard.

The tapers look authentic, particularly from a distance, because they have a dripped-wax pattern around the top of the “wick.” The creamy ivory hue of these candles complements formal and casual decor settings alike. Each candle requires two AA batteries (not included). After turning each candle on, use the accompanying remote control to set a timer that automatically snuffs them out after 6 or 8 hours.

Product Specs

  • Style: Taper
  • Size: 1 inch in diameter, 9 inches tall
  • Effects: Static, flicker, dimmer

Pros

  • Multiple colors available
  • Realistic moving wick
  • Great for candelabras and sconces

Cons

  • Remote can be temperamental

Best Tea Lights

Best Flameless Candles Options: Homemory Realistic and Bright Flickering Bulb
Photo: amazon.com

Replace fast-burning tea light candles with Homemory’s realistic-looking flameless tea lights. This set of 12 candles is made from plastic, all with flickering LED “flames.” Each has a straightforward on/off switch on its underside and operates on disc-type lithium-ion batteries (included) that run for 100 hours or more.

Some of the best ways to use these flameless tea lights are in decorative glass holders that will reflect their flickering flames or in luminarias to line a pathway. The safe flames flicker gently from creamy ivory bases that feature wavy “melted” edges, giving them a realistic candle look.

Product Specs

  • Style: Tea light
  • Size: 1.4 inches in diameter, 1.25 inches tall
  • Effects: Flicker

Pros

  • Great for mood lighting
  • Batteries are included
  • Bright light

Cons

  • Brightness can reveal plastic seams

Best With Glass Holder

The Best Flameless Candles Options: Aku Tonpa Flameless Candles Battery
Photo: amazon.com

Those looking for a filled-style candle need look no further than Aku Tonpa’s set of three flameless pillar candles set in clear glass-like cylinders. Each candle measures 3 inches in diameter, and the set includes one 4-inch, one 5-inch, and one 6-inch candle. The candle fill features real paraffin wax, and the LED flames are realistic enough to pass as actual flames. Each candle runs on two AA batteries (not included).

When the candles are switched to the “on” position, users can use the set’s remote control to turn the flames on and off, adjust flame brightness, and set a shut-off timer that will automatically turn the candles off after 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours. Show these large candles off in a group for a big visual impact, or place them in different areas of the home to create a warm and homey atmosphere.

Product Specs

  • Style: Pillar inside glass
  • Size: 3 inches in diameter; 4, 5, and 6 inches tall
  • Effects: Static, flicker, dimmer

Pros

  • Made with real wax
  • Realistic flame effect
  • Multiple light settings

Cons

  • Batteries not included
  • Real wax can melt and deform

Best With Scent

The Best Flameless Candles Options: Luminara Flameless Candle
Photo: amazon.com

Add both a flickering ambiance and a sweet hint of vanilla to the home with Luminara’s vanilla-scented flameless candle. This real-wax pillar candle measures 3 inches in diameter and stands 7 inches high; its ivory color is the hue of beeswax. Its wavy “melted” top looks like a candle that’s been burning.

The Luminara candle has a timer that can be programmed to a “5 hours on, 19 hours off” cycle, which seems the perfect length of time to span dinnertime to bedtime. The user can activate the timer function at, say, 6 p.m., and the candle will shut off automatically at 11 p.m. The candle will come on again the next day at 6 p.m. and repeat the same cycle every 24 hours.

The Luminara candle is compatible with the manufacturer’s remote control, although it’s sold separately. The candle runs on two AA batteries (not included).

Product Specs

  • Style: Pillar
  • Size: 3.5 inches in diameter, 7 inches tall
  • Effects: Flicker

Pros

  • Pleasant vanilla scent
  • Can work on a timer
  • Realistic design

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Remote sold separately

Best Lighting Effect

The Best Flameless Candles Options: flameless Candle, with Embedded String Lights
Photo: amazon.com

Embedded fairy lights add a magical touch to this set of five flameless pillar candles from DANIP. In addition to a flickering LED flame, each candle features a string of 12 to 16 sparkling fairy lights embedded in the sides of the candles’ genuine wax bases. Each candle in the set measures 2.2 inches in diameter, and the five candles come in graduated heights: 5 inches, 6 inches, 7 inches, 8 inches, and 9 inches.

Each candle requires two AA batteries (not included) and has an on/off switch on its base. Once the candles are switched on, users can turn them on and off from the set’s remote control and set a shut-off timer for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours.

The remote also controls the brightness of the LED flames and can change the flame’s look from steady to flickering. The sparkling fairy lights in each candle look magical in darkened rooms, where users can appreciate the full effect of the glittering string lights.

Product Specs

  • Style: Pillar
  • Size: 2.2 inches in diameter; 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 inches tall
  • Effects: Static, flicker, dimmer, embedded string lights

Pros

  • Sophisticated design
  • Great for special occasions
  • Custom effects and timers

Cons

  • Clicking sounds can be distracting

Our Verdict

Our top pick, the YIWER set of three pillar candles is a great all-round addition to a home decor for shoppers looking to add a touch of intrigue to a room. For those on the hunt for some kid-friendly candles to add to a special occasion, the CANDLE IDEA tea lights are great value for money and come in a pack of 24.

How We Chose the Best Flameless Candles

When gathering our favorites into this list, we ensured that each recommended product stood out from the crowd in terms of battery life, realistic flame effect, and construction. In our research, we found that there was no difference in quality comparing products that come with batteries included against ones that are sold separately, so we have made sure to include a mixture of both options.

Depending on shopper preference, there is a wide range of choice for people looking for simple on/off candles as well as those who may wish for a little extra control over the settings using a remote control. Either way, our list of recommendations spans the wide range of flameless candles available and gathers the best of the best into this list for shoppers to choose from.

FAQs

Flameless candles provide a safe alternative to traditional candles, and there’s no dripping wax mess. For those shopping for their first set of battery-operated candles, some questions are expected.

Q: Do flameless candles get hot or catch on fire?

No. The LED lights used to create the candle’s flame remain cool to the touch, even after hours of being on, so there’s no risk of overheating or fire. Flameless candles are safe in places such as bookshelves, where regular candles can present a fire risk.

Q: How do you decorate using a flameless candle?

Group three or more flameless candles together with other items, such as ornaments or a dried arrangement, to create an attractive centerpiece. Alternately, place small votives or tea light-style flameless candles in glass jars or tins with cut-out sides to enhance their reflective properties.

Q: Can you paint flameless wax candles?

Sure you can! Nontoxic acrylic paints are suitable for painting either real wax or plastic flameless candles.

Q: How long do flameless candles last?

The LED light of a flameless candle can last 50,000 to 100,000 hours, depending on quality, but the batteries will require replacement every 100 to 500 hours of use.