What is a Taper Candle?

Have you ever come across a long, slender candle with a tapered shape and wondered what it was called? That elegant lighting option is known as a taper candle. Taper candles have been used for centuries, adding a touch of sophistication and ambiance to various settings. In this article, we will explore the definition, characteristics, uses, popular designs, and safety tips for using taper candles.

Definition of a Taper Candle


A taper candle is a long and slender candle that has a gradual taper from the base to the tip. They are typically made of wax and are known for their elegant and timeless appeal. Taper candles are often used for decorative purposes, but they also serve practical needs such as emergency lighting.


Taper candles serve both aesthetic and functional purposes. They add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any setting, whether it's a formal dinner party or a romantic evening at home. In addition to their decorative value, taper candles also provide a reliable source of light during power outages or when camping outdoors.


Taper candles have a rich history that dates back centuries. They were traditionally made by hand by dipping a wick repeatedly into melted wax. Taper candles were often used in religious ceremonies and rituals, symbolizing light and spirituality. Over time, taper candles became popular in homes for their decorative and functional qualities.

Characteristics of Taper Candles

Shape and Size

Taper candles are known for their long and slender shape, which gradually narrows towards the tip. The elongated shape adds a sense of elegance and sophistication to any space. They come in standard sizes, typically ranging from 6 to 18 inches in length, allowing you to choose the size that best fits your needs and preferences.

Material and Color

Taper candles are commonly made of wax, with beeswax and paraffin wax being the most popular choices. Beeswax candles have a natural golden hue and emit a subtle honey-like scent when burned. Paraffin wax candles, on the other hand, offer a wide range of color options. From classic white and ivory to bold and vibrant colors, taper candles can be found in various shades to suit any decor or occasion.

Wick Options

Taper candles come with different types of wicks, including cotton, paper, and metal-core wicks. Cotton wicks are the most common and require regular trimming to ensure an optimal burning experience. Paper wicks are self-trimming and eliminate the need for maintenance. Metal-core wicks offer stability and reduce the risk of the candle bending or drooping during burning. Regardless of the type of wick, it's important to keep them trimmed to about ¼ inch to prevent smoking or uneven burning.

Different Uses of Taper Candles

Decorative Purposes

Taper candles are widely used for decorative purposes, adding an enchanting touch to special occasions such as weddings, anniversaries, or holiday gatherings. Placing a cluster of taper candles in an elegant candle holder can create a stunning centerpiece that becomes the focal point of the room. The flickering flame and the soft glow of the candlelight create a warm and inviting ambiance.

Ritual and Religious Uses

Taper candles hold symbolic significance in many religious and spiritual ceremonies. They are used for lighting candles during prayer, meditation, or religious rituals. The act of lighting a taper candle represents the illumination of the divine or the inner self. The soft glow of the candlelight adds a serene and peaceful atmosphere to these sacred practices.

Emergency Lighting

Taper candles serve as reliable backup lighting in case of power outages. Their long burn time makes them a practical option for emergency situations. Whether you're stuck in a blackout or camping in the great outdoors, taper candles can provide a steady source of light. Their compact size and portability make them easy to carry and store in case of emergencies.

Popular Taper Candle Designs

Smooth and Solid Colors

Classic taper candles are often seen in smooth and solid colors. Whether you prefer timeless white, soft pastels, or bold and vibrant shades, you can find taper candles in an array of colors to suit your taste and decor style. The simplicity of their design allows them to complement any setting without overpowering or clashing with other elements.

Dripless and Smokeless

For those who prefer a cleaner burning experience, dripless and smokeless taper candles are available. These candles are designed to minimize mess and smoke, making them ideal for indoor use. Dripless taper candles are crafted with a special formula that reduces the amount of wax drippings, while smokeless taper candles are made with high-quality materials that produce little to no smoke.

Scented Taper Candles

If you want to add fragrance to your space while enjoying the gentle glow of taper candles, scented options are available. Scented taper candles come in a variety of fragrances, ranging from soothing lavender to invigorating citrus. The subtle scent released as the candle burns can create a relaxing or uplifting atmosphere, depending on the fragrance you choose.

Tips for Using Taper Candles Safely

Proper Candle Holders

When using taper candles, it's important to choose the right candle holder to ensure stability. Look for holders that are sturdy and wide enough to securely hold the candle. This will help prevent tipping or accidental fires. Avoid placing taper candles in holders that are made of flammable material or that have a loose grip, as this can pose a safety hazard.

Never Leave Unattended

Whenever you have lit candles in your space, it's crucial to supervise them and never leave them unattended. Accidents can happen if a candle is left burning and unattended, posing a risk of fire. Whether you need to step away from the room or go to bed, make sure to extinguish the candle beforehand to prevent any potential hazards.

Keeping Away from Flammable Objects

Clear the surrounding area of any flammable objects before lighting taper candles. Keep them away from curtains, furniture, or any other items that could catch fire. Creating a safe distance between the candles and flammable materials significantly reduces the risk of accidental fires. This simple precaution can help ensure the safety of your space and everyone in it.

In Conclusion

Taper candles are not just ordinary candles; they are an elegant and versatile lighting option. Whether you're looking to create a romantic ambiance, add a touch of sophistication to your space, or have a reliable backup lighting source, taper candles are the perfect choice. With a wide range of designs, colors, and scents available, you can easily find taper candles to suit your style and preferences. Just remember to use them safely and responsibly, following the tips we've provided to ensure a delightful and hazard-free candle experience.

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