Best Candles for Candle Warmers: Can You Use Any Candle?

Scented candles are all the rage these days and people from all over the world use them regularly to spruce up their living spaces. They come in a mind-boggling array of fragrances to meet any requirement or need one may have. But not everyone may want to light candles just for the scent as they also pose a fire risk. This is where candle warmers come in handy.

When it comes to candle warmers, you may have asked yourself whether candles can be used in them. If so, then the answer is no in most cases. Only candles that come in a glass jar and the right size to fit the warm plate can be utilized.

So, how can you know which candles can and cannot be used? To understand, you need to know how candle warmers work in the first place.

Can You Use Any Candle in a Candle Warmer?

Best Candles for Candle Warmers Can You Use Any Candle

Unfortunately, you can’t use just any candle for most traditional candle warmers. Candle warmers are designed to melt the candle without using a flame and do so with the help of a heat plate at the bottom.

Therefore, the base of the candle needs to be around the size of the heat plate to ensure that heat is evenly spread. There are different types of candle warmers such as the top-down ones, which will be more flexible in terms of the candles you can use.

Let’s look at a traditional candle warmer and a popular DIY one to see their key differences.

  • Plate Candle Warmer – It comes with a heat plate at the bottom, which helps to melt the wax. A candle in a glass jar is kept on top of the plate after which you will connect its plug into an electrical socket. Since the heat is generated at the bottom of the candle, the wax will get transformed into a liquid and stay in the jar. One issue you may face, however, is how hot the jar will feel once the wax has melted. So, it’s always better to use small candles to limit the amount of wax that melts and therefore minimize the chances of your getting burnt.
  • Top-Down Candle Warmer – This is essentially a directional halogen bulb lamp. Once the lamp is plugged in, the halogen bulb will get hotter and start melting the candle wax. There is a small catch here though as you will have to dump the melted wax once it stops producing scents. In a plate candle warmer, the wax will eventually mix and burn OFF since there is a strong heat source at the bottom. When you use a top-down lamp candle warmer, however, it won’t be as efficient and so there will be wastage of wax. 

Best Candles for Candle Warmers

There are no best candles per se for candle warmers as it will mostly depend on the burn time and quality of the candles. So, any well-known brand that makes high-quality candles and has the right size will be ideal for usage. Ideally, you should go for wickless candles as warmers are designed primarily for them. Some of them are Diptyque, Trapp, Nest and so on.

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So, if you have a favorite brand you can just do some quick research online to see if they are compatible or not. Some big brands don’t recommend candle warmers for their products and will mention it in their care and instructions guide.

Do note that vegetable wax-based candles should not be used in heat plate candle warmers as they tend to explode sometimes. This is because some waxes expand when they melt and the buildup in pressure may break through the glass. If your candle warmer is a top-down one, you won’t have to worry about this happening as much as you have to scoop out melted wax regularly.

Pros and Cons of Candle Warmers

Knowing about the pros and cons of the two types of candle warmers can also help you to understand which candles might work well with them.

Top-Down Lamp Candle Warmers

They are safe to use as the glass container won’t be subjected to direct heat.You need to throw away wax layers once the scent disappears.
They come with added illumination functionality.It results in higher power bills.
Candle wax lasts longer due to less heat.

Heat Plate Candle Warmers

Once the wax melts completely, you can turn it OFF and extend the life of the candle.The glass container gets very hot if there is a large amount of wax
There is no wax wastage.Some candles cause the container to crack or explode.
The warmer is very efficient and convenient to use.


You can’t use any candle in a candle warmer, it needs to be the correct size, and should come in a glass container. The best candles to use are wickless candles as that is what they are specifically designed for. Always do your research before making any purchases to make sure your candle and candle warmer is compatible with each other.

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