Knowing how long votive candles burn helps you plan for special events and usage. We tested four different brands of votive candles to see just how long they last. These roughly two-inch tall candles can burn for anywhere from about two to four hours according to our experiment.
Votive Candles Tested
We tested four candles from popular manufacturers and stores to see which lasts the longest and to determine an average burn time for this size of candle.
Interiors by Design Brand From Family Dollar
You can purchase a four-pack of white, Clean Linen scented votives for about $1 at Family Dollar. While the box clearly states they are votive candles, this candle was about an inch shorter than any other brand and only .8 ounces in weight. The votive stands about one inch tall with a half-inch long wick and features a very small rounded section on the top.
Mainstays Brand From Walmart
These votives are sold individually, without any packaging, and come in a variety of colors and scents for about 50 cents each. For this experiment, we used the burgundy Warm Apple Pie candle. This is a one and three quarter-inch tall candle with a half-inch wick. It features smooth sides and a flat top, and this candle has no notable design elements.
Known for their extensive scent collections, the Yankee Candle votive is 1.75 ounces and sells for just under $2. The blue Warm Luxe Cashmere variety was used for the experiment and stands one and three-quarters inches tall with a three-quarter inch long wick. This candle features a flat top with a thick edge around the top that is wider than the base.
This yellow candle stands about one and a half inches tall with a half-inch wick. It was purchased for about $1 at a local party supply store. The candle weighs 1.35 ounces. On the top of the candle there is a small tapered section that starts out thinner than the rest of the candle and spreads out to meet the flat part of the top. It also features a ridged design around all sides instead of a smooth finish.
After removing all packaging and stickers, each candle wick was pulled up straight. The candles were all placed on a level surface indoors where there were no open windows or fans. All candles were lit at the same time.
On average, the votives burned through most of their wax within about three hours. However, the wicks on each candle burned for another half hour to an hour after all the wax melted. The Yankee Candle lasted longer than any of the other votives, but didn't make the company's predicted burn time of up to 15 hours. Because of its size, the Family Dollar candle burned out long before any other votive.
Experts suggest votives can burn for ten to eighteen hours depending on wick size and candle weight, however this test showed that votives burn for a much shorter time. If you are planning for an event, you may want to have extra votives on hand in case they don't burn as long as you expected. Comparing all the data helps you make an educated guess about how long your specific votives will last.
|Brand||Color||Height||Wick Size||Wax Burn Time||Wick Burn Time|
|Interiors By Design||White||1 inch||half inch||2 hours||2.5 hours|
|Mainstays||Burgundy||1 3/4 inches||3/4 inch||3 hours||4 hours|
|Yankee Candle||Blue||1 3/4 inches||3/4 inch||3.5 hours||4.5 hours|
|Citronella||Yellow||1.5 inch||half inch||3 hours||4 hours|
Because the candles weren't all the same height, were potentially made from different materials, and had different wick lengths, the comparison is not completely equal. Different design features and scents could also play a part in varying melt times. While many believe white candles burn faster than dyed candles, there's little evidence to support this claim.
Short Candles for Short Occasions
Votive candles only burn for a few hours, making them ideal for home relaxation, spa services, or short parties. The higher quality the candle, the longer it will burn and look beautiful.