How to smell your candles without lighting a match

People choose to light candles around their living spaces to create a relaxing ambiance, warm up on a chilly day or to fill their space with a wonderful scent. However, candles may burn out quickly or potentially become a  fire safety hazard when not used properly. A candle warmer is an alternate heat source used to heat the wax of a candle just enough to release the fragrance — without having to burn the candle wick, according to the National Candle Association

We spoke with experts at the National Candle Association who said that a candle warmer or a heat lamp has the same effect as a traditional flame, the only difference being that the candle wax may or may not melt when using a  candle warmer. Because of this, candle warmers don’t need a match to be lit, which extends the life of the candle. They are great alternatives when you’re not allowed to light candles with an open flame such as in college dorms or when you want to make a candle last as long as possible, says the National Candle Association. 

Best candle warmers

Using our expert guidance, we rounded up top-rated candle warmers. 

Marycele Candle Warmer Lamp

This candle warmer from Marycele comes with everything already included — lampshade, halogen warming lightbulb, wooden base, built-in timer and an electric dimmer that you can use to adjust the brightness. The elegant design would be a welcome addition to any coffee or side table and it comes in the lampshade color amber or a flower design. 

Size:  6 in. D x 13.8 in. W x 5.5 in. H 

Candle Warmers Etc. Warmer Plate

This candle warming plate has a minimalist design and is perfect for those looking for a simple yet efficient candle warmer at a lower price point. It includes a light on the bottom letting you know whether or not the warmer is on, and it automatically shuts off after 8 hours, keeping both you and your home safe. 

Size: 5  in. D x 5 in. W x 1.57 in. H 

Dennie Candle Warmer Lamp

With a beautiful mid-century modern design, this Vakkerlight candle warmer is great for those who also want a statement home decor piece. It also comes in the colors white and green

Size:  6.7 in. D x 12.6  in. H 

Mauyue Candle Warmer Lamp Dimmable Timer

This Mauyue candle warmer melts candle wax from the top down. It has halogen bulbs and a dimmable timer with two-hour, four-hour and eight-hour timing options that will automatically shut off once finished, which provides peace of mind if you’re using it while sleeping or out of the house. It also comes in white

Size:  4 in. D x 4 in. W x 9 in. H 

Flower Candle Warmer Lamp

For those looking for more of a statement piece, this candle warmer from Ping Lighting is for you. It has a pink and green floral design, which adds a pop of color to your living space while also warming up your candle. It comes with dimming and timing capabilities, but if you don’t think you will get much use out of the timer you can just purchase the dimming version. Both versions still include the halogen light bulb. 

Size:  6.3 in. D x 11.8 in. H 

Softanzi Candle Warmer Lamp

With auto-timing capabilities, a dimmable light switch and a lightbulb included with your purchase, this candle warmer from Softanzi is the perfect warmer for yourself or to give as a gift. It also comes in other fun pastel colors like blue, pink or a more traditional black

Size:  5.9 in. W x 11.2 in. H 

Perpurity Candle Warmer Lamp

Featuring a modern half moon design, this candle warmer lamp from Perpurity comes with a non-slip base to make sure your candles stay in place. It also includes a dimming feature and two halogen bulbs that will melt candle wax from the top down.

Size:  15 in. D x 12 in. W x 7.5 in. H 

Candle Warmer Lantern

This candle warmer lantern is ideal for those looking for a more rustic design. It melts candle wax from the top down, assuring the candles fragrance is spread evenly around your living space. The design is also able to fit taller candles, as well as those with a larger base. It also comes with the necessary light bulb for use. 

Size:  7.2 in. D x 7.2 in. W x 11.5 in. H 

Coffee and Candle Warmer Dual Plate

For those looking for a multipurpose appliance, this modern looking candle warmer plate can also be used to keep beverages warm. Featuring a one button design for control and temperature adjustment, the plate will heat up to between 122 and 144 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also waterproof and has an automatic shut off after being in use for eight hours. 

Size:  4.72 in. D x 4.72 in. W x 0.51 in. H 

Aikut Candle Warmer Lamp

This candle warmer is fitting for those looking to add a bit of a rustic style to their home. With a modern design that can also be used to keep cups of tea and coffee warm, Aikut’s candle warmer lamp is multifunctional. It’s also equipped with a dimming light switch, timer and comes with two halogen light bulbs. 

Size:  5 in. D x 6.3 in. W x 7.9 in. H 

Pantheon Dome Candle Warmer

This candle warmer, inspired by the ancient Pantheon located in Rome, Italy, is a welcome addition to the desk of any history buffs or dark academia lovers. It features both adjustable heat and light, which is good for melting candles at different speeds. It also has a time function for two hours, four hours and eight hours. 

Size:  6.5 in. D x 5.3 in. W x 9 in. H 

Kelary Candle Warmer Lamp

This candle warmer  is perfect for the first time users with height adjustment, dimming and timing capabilities.. It includes two halogen bulbs to make sure your candle burns evenly, which is also more eco-friendly. It comes with a beautiful crystal glass lampshade and can also be bought with a black stand

Size:  5.79 in. D x 8.35 in. W x 12.24 in. H (adjustable)

Safety tips for using a candle warmer  

Regardless of burning a candle traditionally or with a candle warmer, fire safety is always a priority, says the National Candle Association. “Just because a product does not have an open flame, does not mean it is fire resistant,” our experts say. 

  • Do not touch: Both candle warmers themselves and the candle become hot when in use so we urge people not to touch either until cooled. 
  • Never burn your candle simultaneously: NCA also wants to reiterate the importance of never burning your candle while the warmer is in use. This has the potential for the wax to reach a flash point and ignite. 
  • Read the labels: Always make sure to read labels and follow manufacturers instructions for both the candle and the candle warmer.

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • National Candle Association: The trade association representing US candle manufacturers and supplies and technical authority on candle manufacturing, safety and science.

Why trust Select?

Hannah Fuechtman researched different products and how to use candle warmers safely. 

Carolyn Chun interviewed experts at the National Candle Association which is an organization serving as a technical authority on candle manufacturing, science and safety.  

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

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