pillar candles on a mantle

A Brief Guide to Pillar Candles

In this brief guide to pillar candles, we’ll take a dash of history, a sprinkle of technical detail, and add a pinch of practical advice for the best use of your new pillar candle.

What is a pillar candle?

As the name implies, pillar candles are tall and sturdy. If you want candles with a long-lasting burn and striking look, pillar candles are probably your best choice. Varying in height, thickness, number of wicks, and color, these candles typically use denser wax which means you get a longer burn.

Typically, the time it takes to completely burn a candle depends on the amount and type of its components. Therefore height and diameter are important factors to consider in pillar candles. For instance, a six-inch tall pillar candle with a diameter of three inches can burn for up to 75 hours. These candles are also smokeless. Wax burn efficiency is also important. Consider high quality candles for the longest burn time. Pair wax quality with wicks made specifically for pillars and you’re set for a long-lasting, full-flamed pillar experience.

There is a variety of options when it comes to pillar candles, not only in terms of size but also in terms of:

  • Design
  • Color
  • Number of wicks
  • Shape
  • Type of wax
  • Texture
  • Layers


3" x 12" Classic Pillar Candle
3" x 12" Pillar Candle


How to burn a pillar candle evenly

Whether you have homemade or store-bought pillar candles, their longevity will partly depend on how evenly you burn it. Factors such as size, type of wax and density of wax all matter, but there are ways you can improve the longevity of your candles:

  • Keep the wick trimmed to ¼” - trim before and after each burn - remove any wick trimmings before lighting
  • For the first burn, let the candle burn for one hour per diameter inch then extinguish the flame and allow it to cool completely - for example, if the pillar is a 3” diameter, the first burn should last 3 hours
  • For a bit longer burn, keep the top of the wax folded in toward the flame
  • If burning a pillar candle in a hurricane holder leave at least 1” between the candle and the inside edge of the hurricane 

Pillar candles are more effective, beautiful, and long-lasting if you take good care of them. 

Where to burn a pillar candle

If you are the romantic type, you could use pillar candles for special occasions such as anniversaries and Valentine’s Day. They look great by a fireplace, on the dining table - even outside. And you can avoid the hassle of cleaning up because they don’t melt into wax puddles. Pillar candles should always be placed on a flame resistant surface.

Tall, sturdy and self-supporting, pillar candles balance out a dainty decor setup. You can find pillar candles gracing a tablescape, alongside thin tapers in elegant holders. They fill out a tablescape adorned with flower arrangements, acting as a supporting character. Or, they can set the scene. Try ultra-large eye catching pillars on an outdoor table to keep the night burning for hours on end. These beauties offer a variety of use options in an all-in-one package. 

Creative Candles pillar candles

Our pillar candles are all made by our local artisans, with every one hand-poured in small batches and flame-polished for a uniquely contoured exterior with no hard edges. Their long-burning warm glow comes from our proprietary blend of waxes, and our wide range of sizes is enhanced with colors that match and complement our tapers and other specialty candles. Take your pick from the widest and most unique selection from any manufacturer - you’re sure to find one that sets your scene. 


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At Creative Candles, we've been creating small-batch, artisan-made premium candles since 1961. By preserving the centuries-old art of candle making, we’re ensuring that the world has access to premium, high-quality candles that provide the perfect ambiance for any occasion.

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