Unlike burning candles, flameless candles provide ambiance without smoke, dripping wax, or the risk of a house fire. They're also a great alternative for creating a sophisticated display on multiple tables at an event.
We researched the best battery-powered candles available online, ranking them on brightness, battery life, and adjustability. Our top overall choice is the Simply Collected 3D Flickering Flameless Candle, a realistic-looking option with a four-hour automatic timer and long battery life.
Here are the best flameless candles for your home.
Best Overall: Simply Collected 3D Flickering Flameless Candles
Made of real wax
Four-hour automatic timer
Remote is sold separately
What do buyers say? 89% of 2,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
The Simply Collected 3D Flameless Candles are as close to the real thing as you’re going to get. Made from extra-thick, unscented real wax pillars, they throw out a bright warm flame that looks just like candlelight from every angle. You can turn the light on and off manually, or set the 4-hour automatic timer if you want the candles to shut off on their own. There’s also a remote (sold separately) that can operate all of the candles at once, so if you have more than one, you can turn them on and off simultaneously.
The candle comes in two colors—white and ivory (for a more golden glow)—and three sizes, so you can create a tiered trio or mix and match around the house. Customers love the white color for its realistic appearance, while the ivory adds a warmer touch to any space.
Hundreds of satisfied customers relay that the candle is even more realistic than expected. Plus, the battery lasts a long time and they are inexpensive compared to normal candles.
Best Budget: Homemory Battery Tea Lights with Timer
Can standalone or fit in a holder
Subtle yellow glow
No remote or timer
If you want to set the mood on a budget, these realistic flickering tea lights from Homemory are up for the job. They can be used as a standalone decoration or placed into any tea light holders for a totally authentic vibe. The light is warm white, with a subtle yellow glow that looks just like real candlelight. There’s no automatic timer or remote, but you can easily control the light when a tab switch that’s conveniently placed on the bottom of each candle. And they include batteries that last for 100+ hours of use. Each set includes 12 tealights.
Best with Remote: JHY DESIGN 3D Flameless Candles Set
Eight-key remote with timer options
Authentic candle effect
Batteries not included
With their exposed wicks, ivory wax body, and warm white LED lights, these pillar candles from JHY Design have an authentic candle effect that makes it difficult to differentiate them from the real thing. The remote allows you to turn them on and off, set a four- or eight-hour timer, or control the brightness level to set the mood you’re after. The candles also have a “candle” option that emits a flickering light and a “light” option that turns the candles into static nightlights. The package includes three candles in varying heights, plus the eight-key timer remote control.
Best with Timer: Luminara Real-Flame Effect Pillar Candle
Wick moves and dances like a real flame
Made of real wax with a vanilla scent
Each size sold separately
Made with a combination of LED lights and electromagnetics, these Luminara Pillar Candles move and dance like a real flame, creating a unique flickering effect that will make you forget they’re flameless candles. They’re made with real wax and have a soft vanilla scent that freshens up the room like a real scented candle without being too overpowering. You can turn the candles on and off manually or set the five-hour timer and let them shut off automatically. While each candle is sold individually, there are three height options—three, five, and seven inches.
Best Pillar: World Market Ivory Flameless LED Pillar Candle
Bright enough to double as a nightlight
Each size sold separately
These Ivory Flameless LED Pillar Candles from World Market don’t have a concentrated light like the other options on this list. Instead, the whole pillar illuminates, doubling as a warm-toned nightlight and creating a cozy ambiance in any room. You can operate the flameless candles manually or turn on a five-hour timer that kicks the candles on at the same time every day. At four inches wide, these flameless pillar candles are slightly wider than others (most are three inches) and come in three different height options.
Best Outdoor: Frontgate Soft Glow Outdoor Flicker Candle
Realistic candle glow
10 size options available
Each size sold separately
As their name implies, these lifelike flameless candles from Frontgate add a soft, realistic candle glow to your outdoor space. You can set the five-hour timer so that the candles automatically turn on around dusk and flicker throughout the bulk of the evening. The candles make a statement on their own, or you can combine them with an outdoor lantern that coordinates with your space. Also, there are more than 10 size options, from 3 x 4.5 all the way up to 6 x 18 inches, so no matter what type of outdoor area you’re decorating, you’ll find something that fits your vibe.
Best Scented: Pottery Barn Flameless Oil Diffuser Pillar Candle With Remote
Doubles as a water-free diffuser
3D moving amber flame
Dimmer function with four timer settings
One of the things that’s missing from flameless candles is the scent that comes with real candles, but with this Flameless Oil Diffuser Pillar Candle With Remote from Pottery Barn, you can get the best of both worlds. Rather than utilizing artificial scent, this flameless candle doubles as a water-free diffuser, allowing you to switch up your scent in a natural way. It also features a 3D moving amber flame, plus a dimmer function with four timer settings. If you want the ambiance of a candle but don’t want the scent, you can also turn the candle on sans essentials oils.
Best Rechargeable: FPOO Flameless Remote Tea Lights Rechargeable Candles
6- or 12-pack offered
Flicker feature is not realistic
A rechargeable set of flameless candles is a great alternative for anyone who frequently hosts events and doesn't want to fuss with replacing batteries, or for anyone looking to simplify preparing for their holiday displays. These petite LED tea lights are charged via a USB cable that has six plugs to easily keep track of each light. These lights are offered in both a 6- and 12-pack, so you can choose the number that's right for your needs.
Other thoughtful features such as a remote control that turns the candles on and off, adjusts the brightness, and sets the timer are also included in this set. Although we love the design that went into this set, we are worried that these candles may not be safe to use around children or pets because they are quite small. We recommend keeping them out of reach of wandering hands, if you do decide to purchase them. The flicker feature on these candles is also not completely realistic, but we don't consider this a dealbreaker, as imitating flames is challenging. Overall, these rechargeable tea lights are not only an affordable option, but they're also practical for savvy hostesses and avid Halloween decorators alike.
Best Flickering : Luminaria Ivory Flameless Candle Pillar
Uneven burned wax look
5 hour timer
Each size sold separately
All of the flameless candles on this list flicker, but this pillar candle from Luminaria takes it up a notch. Not only does the light itself flicker, but the “flame” also moves independently, throwing the light around in a really authentic way. The top of the candle is higher on one side and lower on the other to mimic the look of unevenly burned wax, a trademark of real candles. The candle comes in three sizes from five to nine inches tall, so you can create a trio.
Best Taper: GenSwin Flameless Ivory Taper Candles
Made of real wax
Remote control with 10 functions
A little shorter than a traditional taper
If you prefer tall tapered candles to a shorter and wider pillar style, this set of six from GenSwin is the way to go. Each candle is 9.64 inches tall, ending in a flame-shaped tip that flickers and emits a warm glow that adds to the ambiance of any room. Made from real wax, these candles can stand up on their own but will also fit in a candlestick. The remote control has 10 convenient functions including timer settings, brightness, and flicker mode.
You can't go wrong with the Simply Collected Flickering Flameless Candles, an all-around versatile option that's made of real wax and has an 800-hour battery life. If you're looking for something scented, we recommend Pottery Barn's Flameless Oil Diffuser Pillar Candle. You can customize the included diffuser with an oil of your choice to totally transform the mood of your space.
What to Look for in a Flameless Candle
Flameless candles are available in the same size and style as traditional candles. Choose one according to your decor style and needs. Tealights are typically 1.5 inches in diameter and can usually fit in traditional tea light holders. They can also be used in small lanterns depending on how much light you need. Pillars vary in size but tend to be tall and wide and can also be used on a table or other surface to create a warm ambiance. Taper candles are tall and skinny and are typically placed on a dinner table or mantle. Since these candles are flameless, you can place them almost anywhere.
Unlike a real candle, flameless candles are available with lots of convenient features and settings. Battery operated, some flameless candles come with a timer so you can set them to turn off automatically after a few hours. Others come with a remote control that includes a timer as well as different modes to control the flame style. The look, tone, and style of the flame can vary as well with some options appearing to look more realistic than others. Some options are made of real wax so they look and feel just like a traditional candle.
Scented vs unscented
Similar to traditional candles, flameless candles can be found scented or unscented. You can even find options that double as a diffuser to use with your favorite essential oils. If you want to enjoy the glow of a candle but don't like a strong odor, choose unscented.
How can you make flameless candles look more realistic?
The style of the wick and flame can vary on a flameless candle. Some look more realistic than others, with a flame that has more of a random flicker, or a flicker that appears to dance. No matter the style, flameless candles can look more realistic if they are placed in a holder or other realistic-looking setting, since traditional candles are not usually placed by themselves.
What is the best way to clean a flameless candle?
You can clean a flameless candle with a microfiber cloth or other soft cloth. Since this type of candle is battery-operated, it's best not to use water.
Are flameless candles safe?
Unlike a traditional candle, flameless candles do not have an open flame, so you don't have to worry about wind or other hazards that could cause a fire. Also, even if they are made of wax, they will not melt, so you don't have to worry about wax dripping on surfaces and causing harm.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Lindsey Lanquist, a Nashville-based home and lifestyle writer who has been contributing to The Spruce since 2019. When selecting picks for this article, she pored over dozens of customer and third-party reviews, considering the design, battery life, and cost of each option. She landed on this list of realistic options that are sure to add a warm ambiance to your space.