What Do You Use Tealight Candles For?

Tealight candles are a type of small wax candle sold in thin metal or aluminum tins. They are approximately 1 to 1.5 inches tall with a diameter around 1 inch. Tealights get their name from their teal-blue colored wax, though they come in other colors as well. The metal tin holds the melted wax during burning so tealights can be used without a candle holder. The wick is in the center of the wax and trimless, so it does not require extinguishing between uses.

Tealights are inexpensive, affordable candles that are widely available at grocery stores, big box retailers, craft stores and online. They are produced by many manufacturers and come unscented as well as in a variety of scents like vanilla, apple cinnamon, pine, etc. Their small size makes tealights versatile – they can be used in groups, placed in holders, floated in water, incorporated into crafts, and more.

Common Uses of Tealight Candles

Tealight candles may be small and inexpensive, but they are incredibly versatile. Here are some of the most common ways that people use these mini candles.

Ambiance and Decoration

One of the simplest yet most popular uses for tealights is to provide mood lighting and decoration. Just a few tealights can lend a warm, cozy glow to any room. They look lovely lined up on a mantel, windowsill, table centerpiece, or outdoor space. You can find tealight holders in a wide variety of shapes, colors and materials to complement any decor. Floating tealight candles in glass bowls or vases also creates a beautiful ambiance.


Tealights are ideal for aromatherapy. Just add a few drops of essential oils to the wax before lighting. As the candle burns, it will slowly release the aroma into the air. You can create custom scented candles matching your favorite essential oil blends. Lavender, chamomile, eucalyptus and citrus oils are calming options. For an energizing lift, go for peppermint, rosemary or lemon scents.

Heat Source

Although tealights don’t generate much heat, they can come in handy as a small supplemental heat source. Place several tealights under a potted plant to provide warmth for helping seeds germinate. Tealights are also handy for keeping food warm at the dinner table. They can be tucked into Mittens and set inside boots or gloves to dry out dampness.

Candleholder Crafts

Tealight candles lend themselves nicely to DIY craft projects. You can easily turn them into unique candleholders. Some ideas are filling glasses or jars with beads, flowers or other decorations, then nestling a tealight inside. Paint the exterior of tin cans, mugs or small bowls, then add a tealight. Or assemble tealights with items like sea shells, coins or stones for pretty shadow effects.

Tealight Candles for Ambiance

Tealight candles can be used to create mood lighting in any space. A few tealights scattered around a room can make a cozy atmosphere for relaxation. They give off a soft, flickering glow that feels soothing and peaceful. Tealights are an easy way to set a romantic or calming mood.

For dining tables and outdoor areas, tealights make excellent centerpieces and accent lighting. Group several tealights together in glass votives or clear containers. The warm glow lends an inviting ambiance to any tabletop. For patio areas, line walkways or steps with tealights in luminaries. The small candles cast just enough light for safety and give an enchanting quality to outdoor spaces at night.

With their small size and narrow wax pool, tealights are safe for ambiance lighting. Their short burn time of 2-4 hours works well for creating atmosphere during cozy evenings at home or outdoor dining. Tealights give just enough soft, warm light to transform any space into a place of tranquility and peace.

Aromatherapy Uses

One of the most popular uses for tealight candles is for aromatherapy purposes. The small size and enclosed design of tealight candles makes them perfect for infusing rooms, drawers, or other confined spaces with lovely scents.

Simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the top of an unlit tealight candle. As the candle melts, it will slowly and safely release the essential oil’s aroma into the air. You can create custom scented tealights with oils like lavender, eucalyptus, citrus, vanilla, peppermint, rose, and more for relaxation, energy, or to evoke certain moods.

Tealights can also be used in essential oil burners specifically designed to hold a tealight candle. As the candle warms the burner, aromatic essential oils in the reservoir will evaporate into the air. This method allows you to reuse the same tealight to continue warming the oil burner over multiple uses. It’s a cost-effective way to fill your space with lovely scents.

Additionally, tea light candles can be used when simmering potpourri on the stovetop. Simply place the potpourri mixture and tealight in a saucepan with water. Heat it up gently, allowing the candle to melt and mingle with the dried flowers, herbs, spices, and essential oils in the potpourri. This will infuse the whole house with festive seasonal scents.

As a Small Heat Source

One of the key uses for tealight candles is as a small, portable heat source. Their candles provide a gentle warmth that’s perfect for a variety of purposes where you need just a bit of heat. Here are some of the most popular uses of tealight candles as a heat source:

Keeping food warm: Tealights work great for keeping food warm at the dinner table. Place a tealight candle below your plate to keep your meal hot while you eat. The candle gently radiates heat to ensure your food stays at an ideal temperature.

Heating a cup of tea or coffee: Don’t let your tea or coffee get cold before you’ve finished it! Light a tealight and place it under your mug to keep your beverage nicely warm as you sip away. The candle will maintain the ideal drinking temperature.

Hand warmers: Tealights are the perfect solution for warming up your hands on a cold winter day. Place a tealight inside each mitten to get gentle, soothing warmth right where you need it most. Your hands will stay toasty for hours.

Crafting with Tealight Candles

Tealight candles can be used in a variety of fun and creative craft projects. The small size makes them perfect for melting down to use as candle wax for other projects. The possibilities are endless when it comes to crafting with tealight candles.

One popular craft is making candles and wax melts from old tealight wax. To do this, simply remove the wick and collect old tealight wax in a heat safe container. Melt it down in the microwave or over a double boiler. Then pour the melted wax into silicone molds to make new candles, wax melts, or wax tarts. Add essential oils or candle colorants to personalize your homemade candles and wax melts.

Tealights can also be used to make candle holders from recycled jars, glasses, and tins. Clean out an old jar, fill it with decorative elements like pebbles or seashells, and top with a tealight candle. The small size allows tealights to fit in a variety of small containers turned candle holders.

For an artistic touch, create shadow box art displays with tealight candles. Arrange small figurines, flowers, or other decorative pieces in a shadow box frame. Place a lit tealight behind the objects to cast intriguing shadows on the backdrop for beautiful candlelit artwork.

With a little creativity, tealight candles can be incorporated into all kinds of craft projects to add ambiance, scent, and decorative charm.

Safety Tips

When using tealight candles, it’s important to follow some basic safety guidelines to prevent injuries or fire hazards.

Always place tealight candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface. Glass votives and metal tea light holders work well. Avoid placing tealights directly on wood, plastic or flammable surfaces. Keep them away from tablecloths, curtains or anything else that could catch fire.

Never touch a tealight candle that is lit or still hot. The small size makes them easy to accidentally tip over, so take care when lighting or extinguishing them. Allow cooled tealights to fully solidify before disposing to prevent reignition in the trash.

Do not leave burning tealight candles unattended. Keep them out of reach of children and pets who could knock them over. Be prepared with a candle snuffer, damp tea towel or metal lid to safely extinguish the flame if needed.

Properly ventilate the area when burning multiple tealight candles. The small size allows fitting many in one place, but the accumulated heat and smoke can become hazardous in an enclosed space.

In summary, with some simple precautions tealight candles can be used safely. Follow handling guidelines, watch for fire hazards, and properly extinguish and dispose of them when finished.

Top Tealight Candle Brands

When shopping for tealight candles, you’ll want to look for brands known for their quality, affordability, and aroma. Here are some of the top options to consider:

Yankee Candle

Yankee Candle is one of the most well-known candle brands, offering an extensive selection of tealight scents and styles. Their tealights burn evenly and provide fragrance for up to 4 hours. They come in glass containers or as unscented wax tealights for votive holders. Prices range from $1-$2 per tealight.

Bath & Body Works

For deliciously scented tealights, Bath & Body Works is a top choice. They offer fruity, floral, and seasonal scents perfect for setting a mood. Their tealights burn for about 3 hours and cost around $1.50 each. Bath & Body Works frequently has sales on their candles too.


If you’re looking for an affordable option, Ikea’s tealight candles can’t be beat. A pack of 100 tealights costs just a few dollars. The wax quality isn’t quite as good as Yankee or B&BW, but they work great for short-term use. Ikea tealights burn for up to 4 hours.

Chesapeake Bay Candle

Chesapeake Bay Candle offers premium tealights in a wide variety of nature-inspired scents. Their wax is a soy-coconut blend that provides even burning and vivid fragrance. Expect to pay $1.25-$1.50 per tealight. The quality is excellent for the price point.


If you want elegant, sophisticated scents, check out Voluspa’s tealight collection. Their fragrances evoke exotic locations like Mandarin Rose and Santiago Huckleberry. The custom tin containers make them perfect for gifts. Voluspa tealights cost around $2 each.

Tealight Alternatives

While tealight candles are popular for their small size and convenience, there are some other options to consider if you want a similar effect without using real wax candles:

LED Flameless Candles

LED flameless candles are a safe alternative that mimic the look of a real flickering flame without any live fire. They come in tealight sizes and shapes, run on batteries, and can be turned on and off as needed. Flameless candles are great for avoiding the hazards of open flames, especially in places like bedrooms, nurseries, and seasonal displays.

Real Wax Candles

If you want real wax candles, there are mini and votive sizes that are slightly larger than tealights but provide more light and fragrance. Votive candles are about twice the size and burn for up to 10 hours. Pillar candles come in very small diameters too. With real candles, be sure to take proper fire safety precautions.

Other Small Candle Options

For more variety, you could try floating candles, which come in tiny cups to set in water. Battery-operated candles offer flickering lights without flames. Small electric wax warmers allow you to melt wax without lighting a wick. There are also some creative options like mini candle tarts that melt in tealight holders to release scent. Explore different small candles to find the right ambiance and functionality.


In summary, tealight candles have a variety of uses that make them a versatile addition to any home. Their small size allows them to provide cozy, ambient lighting and pleasant aromas in any room. Tealights can also be used as a safe, portable heat source for food and drinks. Crafters may find inspiration in tealights for DIY projects and home decor. Most importantly, proper precautions should be taken when burning tealights to prevent fire hazards.

The benefits of tealight candles include their affordability, customizability with scented oils, and decorative appeal. Just a few tealights can transform a space into a warm and welcoming environment. Their size makes them an accessible way to incorporate candles into small or crowded areas. With creativity and care, tealights can be used to enhance relaxation, fragrances, warmth and beauty in your surroundings.

In closing, tealight candles punch above their weight when it comes to versatility and value. With a few simple precautions, they can be used in countless ways to create cozy, aromatic and beautiful spaces. Keep tealights on hand to instantly elevate any room, event or DIY project. Use them thoughtfully to enjoy their many benefits safely.

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