For those summer barbecues that linger long after the sun goes down, nothing adds ambiance and flair to the outdoor lighting in your backyard like the classic tiki torch.
Tiki torches are available in the classic bamboo style or in the more sophisticated glass and metal models. Most of them use a small canister and a wick to burn oil, giving the torch its characteristic open flame, although some newer models use an LED light powered by a solar cell to create a faux flame. Standard tiki torches feature a pointed end for easy mounting in the ground. Smaller models serve as festive centerpieces for outdoor dining tables. In addition to standard oil, they can also burn citronella oil, which keeps insects from ruining an evening event.
To add flair to an outdoor space, read on to learn about some of the best tiki torches for your next backyard gathering, whether it’s a barbecue, a pool party, or even an outdoor wedding reception.
- BEST OVERALL: Backyadda Bamboo Torches; Decorative Torches
- RUNNER-UP: BIRDROCK HOME 4 Pack Outdoor Garden Torches
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Matney Bamboo Torches
- BEST SOLAR: DIKAIDA 6PCs Solar Torch Lights
- BEST BAMBOO: TIKI Brand 57-Inch Luau Bamboo Torches – 4 pack
- BEST GLASS: TIKI Brand 64-inch Swirl Metal Torch
- BEST TABLETOP: TIKI Brand Herringbone White Glass Tabletop Torch
- BEST FOR WALKWAYS: Aityvert Solar Lights, 43” Flickering Flames
- BEST FOR BUGS: Deco Home Set of 4 Tikki Citronella Torch
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Tiki Torch
There are a variety of options to consider when shopping for these trendy tiki torches, including material, fuel choice, torch type, aesthetics, and additional features.
Tiki torches are made of three possible materials: wood, glass, and metal. While wood tiki torches offer the traditional bamboo look and the lowest price tag, they aren’t as durable as their metal or glass counterparts. There is also the danger of wood torches catching on fire. Glass tiki torches offer a more artistic look and better durability against wet weather. Though less traditional in style, metal tiki torches are the safest and will hold up the best in the elements. They are also more expensive than wood torches but less expensive than glass torches.
Tiki torches use one of two power sources to illuminate your outdoor space—oil or a solar cell. Oil-powered tiki torches typically last five or six hours on a full canister. They use either standard oil or citronella oil, the latter of which has the added effect of driving away insects with its citronella scent. Solar-powered tiki torches use LED lights that flicker to mimic the look of a real tiki torch. These models are safer because they don’t use oil or a flame and will last anywhere between five and 12 hours, depending on how much direct sunlight the solar cell receives during the day. High-end gas-powered tiki torches run off of a natural gas line from your home. These torches are permanent and require professional installation.
A standard tiki torch stands about 60 inches tall and features a pointed tip to drive it into the ground. These torches use either a solar cell or a canister with a wick that holds around 16 ounces of oil to power the flame. This type of torch is most typical as an accent for backyard parties. Some tiki torches feature poles that allow you to adjust the height from the standard height of 60 inches to as low as 30 inches. Shorter tiki torches are best suited for lighting walkways and driveways.
Tabletop tiki torches are much smaller at about six inches tall. Like their larger cousins, they feature an oil reservoir with a wick. True to their name, tabletop tiki torches sit on a table and usually serve as a centerpiece, similar to a candle at a restaurant.
Tiki torches feature a pointed end to drive them into the ground, making installation in the backyard easy and tool-free. They also come equipped with a snuffer that is usually attached to the torch, to easily and safely extinguish the flame.
While the classic bamboo tiki torch may be the most common and recognizable style, tiki torches are actually available in a variety of styles. Metal tiki torches offer a more refined look, with some resembling a more medieval-style torch. Other tiki torches feature colored bubble glass to add an artistic flair that diverges from the standard tropical island look of bamboo tiki torches. Solar-powered tiki torches often feature flame-like designs on the canister to enhance the faux flame effect.
Individual vs. Set
Tiki torches are sold both individually and as a set with multiple torches. High-end metal and glass torches are typically offered individually and come with a higher price tag. Wood tiki torches usually include a set of four or more, giving you the option to add the atmosphere of a tropical paradise to your entire yard. These sets are an affordable way to buy multiple tiki torches.
Unless you live in a warm climate and can entertain outdoors year-round, make sure to store your tiki torches for the off-season. Wood tiki torches do not hold up well against the elements, and while glass and metal torches will better endure the elements, they are still susceptible to rust, mold, and mildew if you don’t store them for the winter. Shorter solar-powered tiki torches that are meant to light walkways and driveways are usually designed to endure all seasons.
Our Top Picks
Our top picks below feature some of the best tiki torches on the market for an outdoor space, categorized by type, power source, and additional factors.
These tiki torches from Backyadda combine the classic look of bamboo with a burnt sienna color and a wicker weave to create a more sophisticated look for your outdoor gathering. This set includes six oil-powered torches, each of which holds a whopping 16 ounces of fuel—enough to keep your backyard luau illuminated deep into the night.
Each torch is equipped with a long-lasting fiberglass wick and a wood snuffer for extinguishing the flame when the night is over. These torches stand 59 inches tall and have a pointed end for easy mounting in the ground. A wide mouth on the metal fuel canisters allows for easy refilling.
This set of four rubbed bronze tiki torches from BirdRock Home offers a classy variation on the classic bamboo look. The iron construction and satin silver coating of these oil-powered torches add durability that is lacking in their wood counterparts; they will hold up in inclement weather and extreme temperatures longer than wood while also providing a more sophisticated look. A three-part pole construction allows for adjustment in the height of the torch from 44 inches to 64 inches. These torches feature 8.5-ounce canisters, which hold enough fuel for up to six hours of burn time, and the wide-mouth opening on the canisters allows for easy refilling without spilling the oil.
For those large-scale backyard luaus, you need a lot of tiki torches. With this set from Matney, you’ll have a full contingent of 12 oil-powered tiki torches at a bargain price. Each torch stands 60 inches tall and features the classic bamboo tiki torch construction. Large 16-ounce canisters are capable of burning standard oil or bug-fighting citronella oil for up to five hours, and their pointed bottoms make them easy to drive into the ground. Each torch is equipped with a snuffer cap for extinguishing the flames when it’s time to leave paradise and return to reality.
For the unmistakable effect of tiki torches without the messy oil and risk of open flames, look no further than this set of six tiki torches from Dikaida that will keep a patio or deck lit through solar power. Simply let them charge in the sun all day, and then watch them automatically light your outdoor space after dark.
The torches provide a flickering effect that mimics real flame. They will stay lit for up to 10 hours during the summer and five hours in the winter when fully charged with eight hours of direct sunlight. Each torch is 30 inches tall and features a stylish pattern that enhances the effect of the faux flames.
These classic bamboo tiki torches from TIKI—the company that started it all in the tiki torch industry more than 60 years ago—will add that island touch to your deck or patio. They are oil-powered and feature 12-ounce, wide-mouth canisters, allowing you to fill them without any spills. A full canister will provide up to five hours of burn time, and a snuffer attached to each torch makes it simple to extinguish the flame when the party is over. Each 57-inch torch is constructed with durable bamboo and a fiberglass wick.
If you desire a more elegant look for your backyard soiree than a traditional bamboo tiki torch, then these glass and metal oil-powered torches from TIKI are a unique alternative. This torch replaces the classic bamboo style with a blue glass cask and a decorative metal holder, and—at 64 inches tall—it is one of the taller tiki torches on the market. Its thick glass design means this torch will hold up against the elements for a long time and also isn’t at risk of catching on fire.
With an oil capacity of 8 ounces, this torch will burn for about five hours before needing a refill. Additionally, you can easily dismantle the torch’s four-piece metal pole for easy height adjustment and storage.
Add tiki torch flare to the table on your deck or patio with this set of three tabletop torches from TIKI. These oil-powered torches feature a modern herringbone design in either white or blue glass. Each torch holds enough fuel for up to four hours of burn time, while a wide-mouth opening makes it easy to refill without spilling. A durable fiberglass wick creates a tall flame, and a metal snuffer accompanies each torch so you can extinguish the flames when the dinner party is over. Since each torch is only about six inches tall and 3.5 inches wide, you can use them either together or separately to create a striking centerpiece for outdoor entertaining.
This 4-pack of solar-powered tiki torches from Aityvert offers a convenient way to light walkways and driveways around your home. With their solar-powered batteries, you don’t need to worry about wiring these lights to a power source or manually lighting them at night. They’ll stay lit for up to 12 hours in the summer or five hours in the winter once they’ve charged from six to eight hours of direct sunlight.
With no wiring necessary, you can simply mount these tiki torches in the ground to light the way. Each torch features a faux flame that flickers, and the accompanying support pole comes in multiple sections, giving you the option to adjust the torch to a height of either 30 inches or 43 inches. A waterproof and dustproof design ensures these torches will endure the elements.
Tell those tiny uninvited guests to bug off with this set of four citronella tiki torches from Deco Home. By filling these torches with citronella oil, you can create a relaxing island ambiance while keeping those pesky bloodsuckers at bay. Each torch holds enough fuel for more than six hours of bug-repelling flames.
A bronze look and all-metal design add sophisticated style and durability to the classic tiki torch design. These torches are 60 inches tall and feature metal snuffer caps for extinguishing their flames. A spike at the end of each pole allows you to securely drive each torch into the ground.
FAQs About Your New Tiki Torch
If you’re wondering how to safely use a tiki torch, continue reading for answers to your burning questions.
Q. Are tiki torches dangerous?
Any time you are using a product that features an open flame and a fuel source, there is an inherent danger. With that in mind, it’s crucial to arrange tiki torches with a buffer around each torch as wide as it is tall to prevent the open flame from catching something on fire. It’s also important to avoid spilling oil on the torch when filling the canister, as this oil could later ignite, causing the torch itself to catch fire.
Q. Can tiki torches stay out in the rain?
Tiki torches can stay out in the rain; however, it’s essential to cover the wick with the snuffer cap to ensure that it doesn’t become wet since a wet wick is very difficult to light. Consider storing a wood tiki torch in your garage or shed when not in use to protect it from the elements.
Q. How do you light a tiki torch?
Once you’ve filled the canister, allow the wick to soak up the oil, which should take a few minutes. Then, use a lighter to light the wick.
Q. How do I fill a tiki torch with fuel?
First, open the lid to the canister. If the canister has a wide-mouth opening, carefully fill it with oil, making sure to wipe up any drips or spills afterward. If the canister has a small opening, use a funnel to fill the canister to avoid making a mess.
Q. How do you store tiki torch fuel?
It’s safe to leave leftover oil in a tiki torch when it’s not in use. However, if storing a torch for an extended period of time, make sure to store it upright to avoid spills. Store tiki torch fuel in a closed container and away from children and pets, preferably inside a locked shed or garage.