Candle Warmers

Michelle Radcliff
Tart warmer that uses a candle
Tart warmer that uses a candle

Candle warmers are one way to fill a room with the fragrance locked inside the wax of a scented candle. A wide variety of styles and designs makes them a wonderful accessory for practically any type of décor. Find a great place to shop and pick out the one that suits your style.

Plate Style

Traditional plate warmers are more functional than decorative. Plate warmers have a very low profile and you simply place a jar candle directly on the warming plate. The candle is heated from the bottom up until it eventually liquefies completely. Although limited to shades of white and gray, they go with practically any color scheme and won't detract from professional office settings or contemporary, modern or minimalist decorating styles.

Use plate warmers in small spaces such as bathrooms, office cubicles (with permission), studio apartments and bookcase cubbies, end tables or shelves situated near electrical outlets. Use them with decorative or colorful small and medium-sized glass container scented candles and candles with beautiful labels.

Candle Warmers Etc.

Candle Warmers Etc. offers two plate styles:

The Original Candle Warmer is also found at Hobby Lobby with additional information indicating it plugs into a standard outlet and uses a dial on off switch on the cord. The heating plate measures about 4 inches in diameter. The dimensions for the Auto Shut-off are also in this range, so consider a candle more than 4 inches in diameter too large for these plate warmers.

Candle-licious

Candle-licious says you can expect about 210-250 warming hours from a quality scented 16-ounce candle placed on their plate candle warmer, which costs about $7. The plate warmer is 5 ½ inches wide, 1 ¾ inches tall, and has a 3-inch heating surface diameter. The warmer was tested with a 16 oz. Candle-licious candle and was left on continuously, 24 hours a day for about three weeks and the scent was still filling the area around the warmer at the end of the time period.

Pros and Cons

One advantage of plate warmers is that the flameless design works well near vents, fans or windows where drafts of air can cause sooty, uneven burning of a lit candle. They are cheap and good options in settings where candles can't be burned. A candle warmer can be left on much longer (continuously unless you leave the home) than is safe to burn a candle. You can melt the wax at the very bottom of the jar candle, which is unsafe to melt with a burning wick.

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to warmers. For instance, once a candle is melted in the warmer, the wick sinks and it can't be lit anymore. Electric candle warmers don't provide the same ambience as lit candles do.Although a candle warmer is less of a fire risk, it can still pose a danger to children or pets, who can be burned by hot melted wax.Liquefying an entire jar candle releases a burst of fragrance that is strong at first but light towards the end. Plate warmers are too small to accommodate large jar candles.

Candle Crocks

Looking much like a mini crock pot, jar candles are placed inside the candle warmer crock with only the very top of the candle peeking out. Heating elements built-in to the sides and bottom of the warmer melt the entire candle much faster than a standard plate warmer. Most crock type candle warmers contain a dial switch power cord that plugs into any standard wall outlet. The product's description or specifications should indicate what size candles can be used but most accept candles up to 4 inches in diameter.

A candle warmer crock looks right at home in the kitchen where you can warm scented candles that smell like delicious cakes and pies baking, the soothing scent of vanilla or the spicy notes of cinnamon. Place a crock on a dining room sideboard or dress up a living room side table with a candle warmer crock and fill the room with your favorite floral scent. Move it to the master bedroom and warm up date night with an opium candle.

Springhouse Candles

Springhouse Candles offers a large variety of ceramic crock type candle warmers, with 10 different embossed, painted designs and six additional colors/styles. They can hold candles up to 4 inches in diameter and work perfectly with Springhouse's 15 oz. or 23.5 oz. jar candles. Choose from chili peppers, flowers, grapes, apples, snowmen and more. Springhouse claims one of their highly scented jar candles left in a candle warmer 24 hours a day will produce aroma for almost 4 weeks. Springhouse Candles did impress a reviewer at Candlefind.com.

Springhouse Candles crock-style Candle Warmers cost about $29. Springhouse candle warmer crocks are perfectly suited for country, rustic or traditional decorating styles.

Candle Warmers Etc.

Currently just two designs are offered on Candle Warmers Etc.'s ceramic candle warmer crocks. One has a creamy white glaze with raised designs and the other features a crackled turquoise glaze with a distinctive medallion design in the center. Each crock can accommodate candles up to 18 ounces and has an interior width of 4.13 inches. Retail orders ship at a flat rate of about $6 and free shipping is offered on orders totaling $60 or more.

Crossroads Candles' warming crock costs about $22. The cream colored crock could work in a shabby chic or contemporary room.

Advantages and Disadvantages

One potential advantage to using crocks are that they might improve the scent throw of some candles. Crocks can melt larger jar candles than plate warmers, which are only recommended for candles up to 12 ounces. Crock warmers come in stylish designs that look more attractive than simple plate warmers.

Keep in mind that the candle is almost totally hidden inside a crock warmer, so you don't get to enjoy its color, the glass container or any special labeling. Also, the hotter the wax gets, the quicker it releases the fragrance, so the scent might be stronger but it will also fade quicker.

Lamp and Lantern Designs

Lamp and lantern type candle warmers work a little differently than plate and crock style warmers. Lamp warmers heat the candle from above and only melt an inch or so of wax, more similar to burning a candle. According to Door County Candle Company, a scented candle's life span is about the same whether it is used in a candle warmer or burned with a flame.

Candles used in lamp and lantern style warmers release fragrance one layer at a time but still do not burn off the wax the way a lit flame does. Door County Candle Company recommends pouring off the liquid wax after a day or two of use in a lamp style warmer to refresh the wax melt pool and release more fragrance.

Courtney's Candles and Creations

At Courtney's Candles and Creations, you can find various styles of candle warmer lamps and lanterns by Candle Warmers Etc., including:

  • Jar Candle Gift Pack - Get a free Aurora Lamp candle warmer when you buy a gift pack of six large 26 ounce jar candles. Choose from nine different scent collections or pick each candle scent on your own. They're around $84. Free shipping is offered on orders over $75.
  • Hurricane Rustic Brown Candle Warmer Gift Set - Select your favorite scent in Courtney's 26 ounce jar, paired with a rustic hurricane style lantern that warms the candle from above. The vintage design of both the candle warmer and candle within is sure to delight the vintage enthusiast in your life. It's about $45.

Find more lamp and lantern warmer styles at Courtney's candle warmers page.

Shopping Based on Décor Style

If you want a candle warmer that looks as good as it functions and really fits in to your decorating style, go with a lamp or lantern type candle warmer.

  • Colonial style home - Check out a carriage style lantern that costs $40 to $60 from Candle Warmers, Etc.
  • Craftsman style home - Available through Candle Warmers, Etc., a Mission style lantern is a good deal for around $45.
  • Ranch or farmhouse style home - Pick up a wooden lantern from Courtney's Candle Creations. It'll cost about $40.
  • Industrial chic loft apartment - Go outside the box and check out sites like Etsy, where you can find a custom pipe robot lamp for around $175. Just be sure you check the shipper's policies and location before ordering.
  • Mediterranean style home - This home style befits a scrolling design that's available through Keystone Candle Company for about $45.

Create a warm and inviting atmosphere in your entry way with a lamp or a lantern type candle warmer. With the right style, they can even be appropriate in a "man cave." Bring some aroma therapy and accent lighting to your home office with a candle warmer lamp.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Fortunately, lamp and lantern candle warmers come in a wider range of styles than crock or plate warmers. The fragrance release is much more similar to burning the candle, slow and even. No need to worry about the type of wax the candle is made from since the wax isn't being burned.

However, if you are expecting the strong throw of a plate or crock warmer, you might be disappointed by the lighter scent release of a lamp warmer. You must pour off the liquid wax in order to melt more of the candle and buy replacement bulbs. Shopping options might also be somewhat limited.

2-in-1 Fragrance Warmers

Some wax tart warmers are designed to be interchangeable as candle warmers. A separate ceramic dish is included for melting wax tarts or you can remove the dish and place a container candle directly on the warming plate. The low profile of classic 2-in-1 fragrance warmers makes them a perfect accessory for a bedside table. Picture one in a shabby chic powder room or on a contemporary coffee table. A flickering fragrance warmer makes a lovely addition to a table centerpiece or use one to enhance the ambience of a coastal style bedroom, a French Country bathroom or a country style family room.

These multi-use candle warmers come in two designs. The first type is shorter without any decorative lights and has a slightly larger warming plate. The second design is a couple of inches taller and includes flickering LED lights inside to make it look like a tea light burner. The LED lights never need to be changed (LEDs have about a 20 year life span) as the wax tarts or candle is warmed by a heating element inside the warming plate at the top. The lights just make it look prettier.

Crossroads Original Designs

Crossroads Original Designs is a family owned manufacturer of scented candles. They offer a small selection of both flickering and classic 2-in-1 fragrance warmers. The classic warmers cost about $19 and the flickering warmers cost about $25.

Crossroads Original Designs guarantees the quality of the products they sell and will work with you if you are unhappy with your purchase. They also offer a 30-day return policy from the time you receive your product and will exchange or refund the purchase price.

Positives and Negatives

On the plus side, you can use these warmers for both candles and wax tarts. The warmer can be left on for a longer time period than burning a candle. The fragrance warmers are more attractive and stylish than basic plate warmers

However, the warming plates on fragrance warmers are slightly smaller than basic plate warmers and can only accommodate candles up to 12 ounces. Most fragrance warmers are more expensive than plate warmers.

Fragrance Tart Warmers That Use Candles

Tart warmer

A final type of warmer commonly found is the tart warmer that uses a candle as the heat source rather than electricity or batteries. These decorative warmers come in virtually any design or style you desire, so you're sure to find one to fit your country décor or blend seamlessly with your modern design.

Fragranced tarts are used on the top. Tea lights or small votive candles are placed in the bottom and the heat from the candle warms the tarts at the top to slowly release fragrance.

Yankee Candle

Yankee Candle is a company famous for producing classic and seasonally scented candles and accessories. Look in their classic selection of tart warmers to find gorgeous options for your home:

  • Turning Stone - Add this sleek white warmer to a contemporary home where the clean lines will blend into your décor. Use tarts and tea lights in colors that complement your room's accents. It costs around $15.
  • Harmony - Luxury rooms, entryways, and bedrooms will be enhanced by this pastel tulip-shaped warmer. The geometric shapes with light colors will produce a lovely light. It is about $17.

Pluses and Minuses

On the plus side, these affordable warmers can be placed virtually anywhere. There's no need to find an outlet and you don't have to replace any batteries. They come in a variety of styles to match seasons and the color scheme of your room.

However, you still need to remember to blow the candle out before leaving. Also check on the warmer periodically as the wax in the candle may burn down. Fragrance may not be released as quickly as a warmer powered by electricity will heat quickly and more evenly.

Fill Your Room With Fragrance

With inexpensive options on both scented candles and candle warmers, give one a try to fill your room with fragrance. You can even use small wax melts or tarts with many warmers as well.

Candle Warmers