How Tall Should a Candle Be on a Candle Holder?

Candles are available in different colors, and so are the candle holders. Thus, you should also consider the candle holder size when buying the candles. If you get it wrong, then you can end up with a wobbly candle, or the fit is not just great.

It is then best to understand what kind of candle sizes are available and how best to pair them with the candle holders. We look at that in this guide to help you accessorize better.

Does the Size of a Candle Matter?

Candles can be available in different colors, scents, and also sizes. As such, you have to always consider the size as it can determine how best to use the candle and enjoy it.

Most of the time, the candle burners are grouped as samplers, rotators, and all-day burners. It is not a standard measure, but this categorization can help you understand which candle size to get.

  • The sampler

This person loves to try out different scents in their homes. Let us say you want to experience the scent in a small room before choosing such a scent for the whole house. In such a case, you are better off using the small-sized candles first.

Once you are confident about a scent, that is when you can buy a larger candle.

Some brands can often sell you several mini candles at once for you to try out before settling for a scent you like. That is when you can get the full-size versions of the candles.

  • The rotator

The rotator is someone that loves to rotate through several scents, mostly based on mood. If you enjoy certain scents more often, it is best to have them as medium-sized candles. The best part is that you can burn different scents in one day.

These medium-sized candles are also seen as good gifts to get a person who also enjoys the scents you like.

  • All-day burners

As the name suggests, these people love burning candles the whole day. It is no doubt you can see that using large candles is the only option here. Of course, you would only burn the candle the whole day if it smells good. So, order the largest size possible to keep your house having a good scent the whole day.

tips on getting the right size candles

What Is a Good Candle Size?

A good candle size is relative. It will vary from person to person and how you want to use the candle. Sometimes you might find larger candles are preferred, but at times the small or mini candles will just do the job.

Considering there are many candles in the market, we cannot go through all of them, but we can highlight a few to help you understand what kind of candle size you should expect with each type.

Here are some candle types with their respective sizes.

  1. Tealight candles

The tealight candles are known for being small and shallow. They are mostly put in a metal or plastic tray, making it easier to contain molten wax. Expect them to have a burn time of around 5 hours.

Expect the tealight candles to have an average diameter of 1.5 inches and a height of up to 1 inch. So, teaming up these candles with small candle holders should be possible. The candle holders will likely come in different colors, so mix them up for a good look.

  1. Votive candles

There are also votive candles that are as small as tealight candles. The only difference is the height. Votive candles are mostly 1 to 2 inches in diameter, but the height can go up to 3 inches. That is two inches taller than tealight candles.

You can expect them to also be used in tealight candle holders and vice versa. So, if you like these two types of candles, you should end up with the best versatility.

  1. Pillar candles

Pillar candles are for those in need of more burn time. These candles can last up to 60 hours and are bigger at 2 to 4 inches in diameter. As for the height, it is anywhere between 3 to 9 inches.

You may find them mostly being used in spiked candle holders, large candle lanterns, or glass wall sconces. So, ask the candle holder vendor for large candle holders which pillar candles can fit correctly.

  1. Taper candles

If you have attended dinners, then you know taper candles seem to be the staple. Their overall size makes them quite tall. Most of them are 6 to 18 inches and have a diameter of 0.5 to 3 inches. Take note that they get slimmer as you go up to the top hence their name.

With 10 hours of burn time, expect to have quite the romantic dinner you have always wanted.

Unlike other candle types, the taper candles cannot stand on their own. You must have them held in the appropriate candle holders before lighting.

Below is a chart with a quick summary of the candle types, their diameter, and height. Once you understand their sizes, it becomes easier to source a candle holder.

Tea Light1.5 in0.75-1 in
Votive1-2 in2-3 in
Filled Candle4 in3.25 in
Pillar2-4 in3-9 in
Taper0.5-3 in6-18 in
FlamelessAll sizesAll sizes

Get the Right Size Candles for Your Candle Holder

Getting the right size candles for the candle holder is important. It is the only way you can actually use the candle holder correctly. So, how would you do it?

  • Measure the diameter

You have to measure the diameter of the candle holder to get the right size of candles. This should not be hard if you have a ruler or tape measure around the house.

Simply measure the diameter across the opening of a candle holder or cup, and you should have the right candle diameter to consider.

Write down the diameter of each candle holder and stick to it at the bottom. This will help for future reference if you need to get some new candles. There will be no need to keep measuring again.

  • The circumference

Although it might not be used more often, knowing the diameter can get you the circumference of a candle you can use in the candle holder.

You can simply get a flexible tape and measure the circumference of the candle. This would be a good method for the larger candles, such as the pillar candles. From having the circumference, compare it with that of the candle holder to see if they fit.

  • The height

This can also be referred to as length. This is easy. Take your tape measure or ruler can measure from one end of the candle to the other to find the height.

The choice based on height is mostly important if you want to stagger the different candles. So, you might need some of the candles short while others tall.


A good candle size paired with the right candle holder makes the two work just great. It is why you always have to take your time to read the product description to understand the different sizes of a candle before buying. Since the candle holders outlast the candles, it is best to choose the candles based on the candle holder size. Simply get the candle holder diameter, and you should easily find the candle that fits.

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