How to spot a quality, high-end candle

How to Spot a Quality Candle

And what it means for your burning experience

Knowing what to look for when searching for your perfect, high-quality candle ensures you won’t be disappointed by poor quality craftsmanship, burning experience or an unpleasant scent. Each candle is unique. As experts in the field of beautiful burners, we’ve created this handy buyer’s guide to seeking out only the highest quality candles. 


The characteristics of a quality candle

We know what you’re thinking, how hard can it be to find the perfect candle? Candle shopping is relatively straightforward, right? Actually, it isn’t! The craftspeople who make high-quality candles have a lot of expertise and experience, and incorporate all that into their designs to ensure that each and every candle offers quality and luxury. 

From burn time to a rich depth of color, we explore how a quality candle is created and what to look for if you want to buy quality candles. 


Color is core

Any fans of interior design will appreciate just how much a colored candle adds to a room’s ambience. You can often recognize a quality candle crafter by the range of colors they offer, and they should provide a palette guide to assist you in selecting the best shades for your dream color scheme and those that suit your personal style. 

The colors you choose and use around your home are often a direct reflection of your personality, and can instantly affect your mood. Whether it’s fiery reds and warm shades that make you feel inspired, or blue ocean hues that bring you happiness, you can accessorize your interior based on your personal style. 

It’s also important to make sure that the candle maker has used a high-quality dye, and that they offer an extensive range of shades to ensure you can find your perfect pigment. 

As home décor trends shift and evolve, look for a candle crafter that is constantly updating the range of colors, finishes, types, sizes, and even the scents they offer their customers. 

You can also tell a quality colored candle because the color runs through the whole candle, rather than just having a colored layer on the outside with a white core. This is a typical feature of mass-produced candles, which are made by dipping a white wax core into colored wax. A full-colored candle can help distinguish between a molded candle and a hand-dipped candle. 


Keep the flame alive

A quality candle will typically have a far longer burn time than a candle that’s been mass-produced. You’ll not only get more hours of pleasure from a quality candle, but it will also usually be both smokeless and dripless, and create a much more pleasant burning experience. 

The proof is in the expected burn time for each candle. This often makes a big difference in a buying decision, because you’re getting more for your dollar since you’re able to use them longer. You pay for what you get: this is a truism for most purchases, but you’ll no doubt notice that you’ll pay more for a better quality candle. While the price point might be higher, you’re paying for a much more luxurious, quality candle that lasts longer, burns cleaner, and looks better.


Beeswax strip holders

A mark of high quality candles is their unique features - each candle is different (albeit minimally different), due to their hand-dipped development. Over the course of 27+ dips, there are bound to be variations in the final product. 

To ensure each candle fits perfectly in its taper holder, high-quality candle makers include a beeswax strip in the packaging. This allows the user to cut the amount needed to wrap around the base of the taper to fit snugly and symmetrically into its holder. If you’ve ever had an issue with your tapers tilting, make sure the candles you’re purchasing include sizing tools, like beeswax strips, to display them properly.


Perfect pairs

When shopping for taper candles, a helpful hint is to look for pairs that remain connected by the wick. This means they’ve been handcrafted using the traditional, artisan method of candle dipping.

Dipping involves a careful process whereby the wick is cut to the desired length for two candles, before each end is dipped into hot wax. By dipping each end, two candles are created, and they are hung to dry by the connecting length of wick. The dipping and drying process is repeated until the desired thickness is reached. 

A uniquely artisan process that favors ancient tradition, candles created by dipping have a more unique and exclusive appeal as opposed to those mass-produced from molds.

Dipped candles are always a better choice over candles that have been poured into a mold. Why? Dipped candles burn more smoothly because of the multiple layers of wax that promote excellent, even burning.


Flame-polished pillars 

Another handy tip is to look for exactly what processes are followed in the production of the candles. Compared to mass-produced pillars that appear shiny and plastic, high quality pillar candles are finished using a live flame to create a rich matte texture. This also gives the candles a unique, individual appeal and a truly sublime surface, with no square edges or typical “mass-produced” markings. 

Each batch of our very own pillar candles is hand-poured in small numbers before being flame-finished for unique contours on each exterior. We also offer the widest variety of sizes available from any manufacturer for perfect styling!


Our 5-point checklist for finding the perfect candle

With all of the above in mind, we’ve compiled this fail-safe list of the top things to look for when it comes to finding your perfect candle. 

  1. Check the wick area before burning - is it nice and clean? A clean wick combined with a smooth, heavy feel in your hand shows that the candle has been hand-dipped, and is therefore of a better quality.
  2. Check the color at the top and bottom of the candle. As we mentioned earlier, the color will run all the way through a quality candle, and not just act as an exterior coat. 
  3. When burning, the flame of your candle should be bright, vivid, and eye-catching. Mass-produced candles are likely to be either too big or too small, without that fetching flicker of a quality candle. 
  4. Check out the wax blend. Slow and even burning means a premium blend of wax has been used. Our proprietary blend of waxes and other ingredients in our recipe provides the candle with what it needs to create a slow, even burn.
  5. A high-quality flame will burn clean without producing smoke or soot. The size of the wick is incredibly important. The wick pulls the liquid wax up for the flame to burn. At Creative Candles, we use a very unique 100% cotton wick designed for taper candles. Our wick sizes are perfectly matched with our taper candle diameters so you get a clean, dripless candle every time you burn it.

When it comes to handmade candles, imperfect is perfect! Any undulations in shape showcase the organic, artisan nature of each individual product. By purchasing something handmade, not only are you supporting a small business, you are also adding something truly unique and beautifully bespoke to your home. 

Buy quality candles from Creative Candles. Shop the collection.

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