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Using a Candle Warmer vs. Burning Your Candles

The right candle creates a uniquely cozy ambiance, but it’s not all about the flame. The right fragrance can transform any space and you don’t necessarily need to light the candle – you can just use a candle warmer.

Candle warmers bring out the fragrance of a scented candle without lighting the wick. By heating the wax, these devices disperse fragrance without the risk of leaving a lit candle burning unattended. Some candle warmers melt the wax from above with a halogen light bulb while others heat the candle from below with an electric heating pad.

If you’re looking for a flame-free fragrance solution, a candle warmer could be a good option. But what are the benefits over actually burning the candle and which solution is right for you? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Candle Warmer?

A candle warmer is a device that distributes scent from a candle without the use of an open flame. They typically involve some kind of heat source either above or below the candle that warms the wax to diffuse the fragrance. Because these devices require a heating element, they generally need to be plugged in, though smaller battery-operated models are available.

Some candle warmers are designed to be used with regular scented candles, though you can also find varieties that use scented wax melts. Much like a traditional candle, these are made from wax, but the melts come in smaller pieces and the wax itself typically has a lower melting point than regular candle wax. Because candle warmers only melt the wax instead of burning it, these wax melts enable you to use smaller quantities of wax at a time so it’s easier to dispose of when the scent runs out.

Pros and Cons of Candle Warmers

Before opting to use a candle warmer, know that these devices do not actually “burn” the wax in a candle. Like the name suggests, a candle warmer simply heats the wax to disperse the fragrance. This means you may need to dispose of each layer of melted wax once the fragrance has been exhausted – this is more likely with a lamp warmer than a plate warmer.

That being said, candle warmers may actually make the candle last longer. The more slowly the wax melts, the more slowly the fragrance oil will evaporate.

Though, before you jump to purchase one, there are some limitations to candle warmers you should consider. The biggest of which is size of the warmer determines the size of the candles you can use. Most candle warmers will only fit up to LAFCO’s Signature sized candles and not 3- or 4-wick.

You should also factor in the additional cost of purchasing the candle warmer. While they range in prices, you’ll want to go with a design that matches the environment and candle you choose to use with it. Many lamp-style warmers feature attractive designs that can complement your home décor just as much as a beautiful candle.

Speaking of décor, another potential benefit of using a candle warmer versus burning a candle is that the candle itself can be used decoratively even after the scent has diffused. This is more likely with a plate-style warmer that doesn’t require you to pour off the melted wax, of course. Even if you use a lamp-style warmer, however, you can always reuse the empty candle vessel.

Is It Better to Burn Your Candles?

The entire point of a scented candle is to fill your home with fragrance – burning the candle and using a candle warmer will both accomplish this goal. Which you choose is largely a matter of preference.

Aside from the flame-free convenience of a candle warmer, the end result is similar. There’s no way to know for sure whether the fragrance will last longer burning a candle or warming it, so think about where and how long you plan to use the candle. Candle warmers are size-limited, so it may be better to burn a multi-wick candle in a large space than to use a small candle warmer.

Candles should burn at least as long as it takes to melt the top layer of wax, so a candle warmer might be preferable if you plan to use the candle for less than an hour. It is, of course, also safer to leave a candle warmer unattended than a burning candle, if you’re looking for longer lasting fragrance.

Whether you prefer burning candles or using a candle warmer, it’s important to start out with a high-quality candle. LAFCO candles are made with solid soy wax and fragrances with pure essential oils. Choose from six different sizes including the new 86-ounce Luxe 4-wick candle.

Not sure which scent is right for you? Try three with the LAFCO Discovery Trio. Choose among thirty unique fragrances to build a trio of sample-sized candles for just $16 (free shipping included). Once you’ve sampled the fragrances, you’ll receive $16 your next full-sized order.

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