Are Candle Warmers Worth It?

What Are Candle Warmers?

Candle warmers are devices that melt candle wax and disperse its fragrance without an open flame. They consist of a heated plate or basin that holds a candle or melts wax cubes. When the candle wax or wax melt is warmed, it releases its aroma into the air.

Unlike burning candles, candle warmers do not require a wick or flame to operate. They are powered by electricity and use a low-wattage light bulb, ceramic plate warmer, or other gentle heating element to liquefy wax. This allows them to provide ambient fragrance from candle wax safely and without the smoke, soot, or risk of an open flame.

Candle warmers come in many styles, from basic warmers that plug into a wall outlet to more decorative models with lamp-like bases. They are designed to accommodate jar candles, wax melts, tarts, and other candle wax forms. The melted wax pools in the warmer’s basin and continuously emits scent when turned on.

Benefits of Candle Warmers

One of the main benefits of candle warmers is that they are safer than burning candles. Candle warmers use a light bulb or electric heating element to melt candle wax, rather than an open flame. This removes the fire hazard associated with traditional candles. With no flame, candle warmers generate no smoke and don’t pose a risk of accidentally starting a fire. This makes them a safer option for homes with children or pets.

Candle warmers are also better for indoor air quality than burning candles. Lit candles release smoke and soot into the air, which can aggravate asthma and allergies. Candle warmers gently heat the candle wax to release fragrance, without generating any smoke. This makes the scent they put off gentler on lungs. Using a candle warmer can improve indoor air in a home.

While removing the flame, candle warmers still provide many of the benefits of traditional candles. The warmed wax emits ambient fragrance to scent a room. Candle warmers allow you to experience the scented candle experience, without lighting a wick. They provide a flameless alternative for setting a relaxing or romantic mood.

Finally, candle warmers are very convenient to use. You simply place a jar candle or melt, turn on the candle warmer, and enjoy the scent within minutes. There’s no need to monitor the flame or risk forgetting to blow it out. Candle warmers allow you to safely scent your home with minimal effort.

Downsides of Candle Warmers

While candle warmers provide many benefits, there are some potential downsides to consider as well. Here are a few of the most common downsides of using a candle warmer:

Higher upfront cost than candles – The initial investment for a candle warmer is typically more than buying a regular candle. Warmers can range from $10 for basic models up to $50+ for high-end versions. This cost is amplified if you want to use candle warmers throughout your home. Meanwhile, you can buy scented candles for just a few dollars each. So the cumulative cost can be higher with warmers.

Limited fragrance options compared to candles – There are countless candle scents and styles to choose from, while candle warmers have a much more limited selection. Most warmers are designed for standard wax melts or tarts. So you miss out on the variety of candle shapes, sizes, container styles, and fragrances.

Some find aroma is not as strong as burning candles – While warmers produce noticeable fragrance, some people feel the scent throw is not as strong as a burning candle. With a candle, the flame helps disperse and circulate the aroma. Candle warmers rely on melting wax alone to release fragrance, which can result in a lighter or more localized scent.

Types of Candle Warmers

There are two main types of candle warmers – electric and non-electric. Here are the differences between the two:

Electric Candle Warmers

Electric candle warmers plug into an outlet and use a lightbulb or heating element to melt candle wax in a dish or potpourri dish. Some common types of electric warmers include:

  • Ceramic Warmers – These often have a ceramic bowl or plate that sits on top of a base with a lightbulb inside. The bulb heats the plate to melt the wax.
  • Crock Warmers – These feature a heating element in a crock pot style base to warm wax in a removable dish.
  • Lamp Warmers – These look like regular lamps but have a lightbulb close to the top to melt wax in a dish on the lamp hood or shade.

Electric warmers allow you to switch them on and off and give you more control over the warming process.

Non-Electric Candle Warmers

Non-electric candle warmers do not require batteries or plugging in. They use flameless heat sources to warm candle wax. Some common non-electric warmers include:

  • Tealight Warmers – These use tealight candles to heat a plate above the candles to melt wax.
  • a candle warmer releasing a pleasant fragrance into a living room

  • Terra Cotta Warmers – Small terra cotta pots hold tealight candles with a metal warming plate on top.
  • Oil Warmers – These use heated lamp oil instead of candles to warm scented wax on top.

Non-electric options give you candle warming without cords. They offer a more natural and traditional look as well.

Cost Comparison to Candles

When comparing the costs of using a candle warmer versus traditional candles, the warmer ends up being more economical in the long run. Here’s a breakdown of the costs over time:

Initial Costs

– Candle warmer device – $10 to $50 depending on style and brand

– Traditional candles – $5 to $30 per candle

So the upfront cost of the candle warmer itself is higher than buying a single candle. However, that device can be used over and over.

Long-Term Costs

– Candle warmer uses the same wax cube indefinitely. The wax lasts through many warming cycles before needing to be replaced at around $1 to $3 per cube.

– Traditional candles must be completely replaced each time they are used up. A frequent candle user might go through 2-4 candles per month at a cost of $10 to $120.

Over the course of a year, wax cubes for a candle warmer would cost $12 to $36. Traditional candles for frequent use would cost $120 to $480. The candle warmer device pays for itself quickly and saves money in the long run.

Safety Tips

Using candle warmers safely requires paying attention to proper placement, monitoring melted wax, and regular cleaning and maintenance. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Proper placement is key to avoiding fire risks. Keep your candle warmer on a stable, level surface away from anything flammable. Allow adequate ventilation around the unit and never place it under cabinets or on surfaces where heat could build up. Make sure cords do not come into contact with the warmer’s hot plate.

While in use, check on the warmer periodically to prevent excess wax pooling. Turn the unit off once the candle has fully melted to avoid overheating. Wipe up any spilled wax immediately with a dry cloth.

To keep your candle warmer working properly, unplug and allow it to fully cool before cleaning. Gently wipe the ceramic plate with a soft cloth to remove dust and wax residue. Use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to clean the grooves and corners. Let the plate air dry completely before using again.

With proper precautions, candle warmers can be used safely for years. But always supervise them when in use and take care during cleaning and maintenance.

Top Candle Warmer Brands

There are a number of great candle warmer brands to choose from. Some of the most popular and well-reviewed options include:

Yankee Candle

Known for their candles, Yankee Candle also makes a variety of electric and candle plate warmers. Their warmers come in various styles and scents, and use a 25-watt bulb. Reviews praise Yankee Candle warmers for providing even heating and lasting a long time.

Candle Warmers Etc

This brand offers a wide selection of candle plate and electric warmers at affordable prices. Their warmers feature ceramic plates, faux wood finishes, and modern designs. Users commend them for quality construction and good fragrance throw.


In addition to warm wax bars, Scentsy makes electric candle warmers in various shapes and sizes. Their multi-color changing LED models are popular for adding ambiance. Scentsy warmers work exclusively with their wax bars.

Lampe Berger

For a luxury option, Lampe Berger offers high-end warmers made of quality materials like porcelain, pewter and crystal. Famous for their unique lamp-fuel warmers, they also have electric models. Lampe Berger is praised for beautiful design and home decor appeal.

DIY Candle Warmer Ideas

Making your own candle warmer is a fun craft project that can save you money. Here are some tips for DIY candle warmers:

Glass Jar: Wash out an old glass jar and fill it with a few inches of water. Place a tea light in a small glass votive holder and set it on top of the water. The candle flame will heat the water to release the candle’s fragrance.

Crockpot: For an easy stove-top warmer, place a tea light or votive candle in a small glass holder and set it in the bottom of your crockpot. Turn the crockpot on low to gently warm the candle.

Ceramic Bowl: Choose a ceramic or glass bowl and add some sand or uncooked rice to cover the bottom. Place a tea light in the bowl and the grains will diffuse the heat. Decorate the bowl with gems, beads, or seashells.

Upcycling: Turn thrift store finds like trays, cups, and small plates into candle warmers. Place a tea light in the vessel and enjoy the scent.

Terracotta Pot: Paint or stain a terracotta plant pot in your favorite color. Add a few inches of sand to the bottom along with a tea light or votive in a holder.

Decorating with Candle Warmers

Candle warmers can be an elegant and stylish addition to any room’s decor. Here are some tips for incorporating candle warmers into your home’s design and finding the right placement for these handy devices:

For a unified look, match your candle warmer’s finish and style to your existing decor. For example, rustic bronze warmers pair well with farmhouse styles, while sleek stainless steel looks more modern. There are also warmers designed to blend into your surroundings, like ones made of faux wood or marble.

Place your warmer on a end table or side table next to seating areas to create cozy ambiance. The soft glow of a melted candle is perfect for living rooms, bedrooms and dining spaces. Make sure the warmer’s cord can reach an outlet easily.

Display your warmer on top of kitchen counters or islands to fill the room with scents of baked goods, coffee, vanilla and other yummy aromas. Just keep it away from stove heat and be sure to unplug it if you’ll be cooking underneath.

Set your warmer on a bathroom vanity to fragrance soaps and lotions. Citrus and floral scents complement morning routines. Remember to keep wax away from sink and tub areas.

Use taller warmers on buffets, dressers, shelves and mantels to elevate a candle’s light. Place shorter warmers on sideboards, desks and nightstands. Arrange multiple warmers throughout a room for a coordinated look.

In entryways, warmers can provide guests a welcoming first impression. For outdoor entertaining, weather-resistant warmers allow you to take the ambiance outside.

With some creativity, you can find the perfect spot to highlight your candle warmers’ charming glow. Their versatility makes it easy to incorporate these functional decor items into almost any space.

Are Candle Warmers Worth It?

When weighing the pros and cons, candle warmers provide many benefits over traditional candles. Warmers eliminate smoke, soot, and blown-out wicks, creating a safer way to fragrance your home. They also last longer than candles, providing more hours of use per fragrance wax cube. Warmers allow you to switch scents frequently and are available in a range of styles at affordable costs.

The downsides are minimal – warmers do require electricity, some models can get very hot, and the wax melts don’t produce as strong of a scent as burning candles. However, with proper placement away from flammable objects and supervision around children, warmers are quite safe.

Overall, candle warmers are worth it for most households. They provide an efficient, customizable, and safer alternative to traditional candles. The benefits of no smoke, no soot, reusable wicks, scent switching flexibility, and cost savings make them a worthwhile investment. Just take basic safety precautions, and candle warmers can be an excellent option for home fragrance.

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