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Though there’s something undeniably compelling about a burning candle—the look, the aroma, the fragrance—flameless candles are a safer alternative if you’re concerned about leaving a candle burning. And don’t worry if you ruin it will stand out in your well-curated space. Today’s options are much more aesthetically-pleasing, plus have desirable convenience features like timers and remotes.
Here, the best flameless candles available today:
This five-piece set hits all of the marks. The pillar candles are not only realistic, but they’re also affordable and have a proven track record. Each candle is crafted out of paraffin wax, not plastic, so they look as realistic as possible. Plus, the ivory color will complement various decor styles.
This set contains two 4-inch candles, two 5-inch candles, and one that's 6-inches tall. They look great clustered together, but can also be separated and scattered around a room. If you do separate them, you don’t have to worry about walking around to turn the candles on and off—they have built-in timers that will automatically shut off after six hours. They also come equipped with AA batteries so you can start using them right out of the box!
One of the biggest downsides to flameless candles is that they can be very pricey. Sure, they last a long time, but it’s a definite investment that can tuck at your purse strings. Unless, of course, you find a great budget option, like these votives.
You can score the entire set of 12 for a price that, in many cases, would get you a single flameless candle. But they’re not cheap, per se. The candles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, making them endlessly versatile. Plus, each one realistic-looking flickering LED light that casts a pretty golden glow for up to 45 hours with a fresh set of batteries.
Pillar candles make lovely additions to coffee table vignettes, mantles, and dining table centerpieces. But as the star to such forward-facing areas of your home, it’s important to find a flameless one that both looks great and functions well. This pillar candle does both. It has a very realistic look, thanks to an ivory beeswax construction and a molded design that makes the candle look like it’s been carefully burned before. It also has four- and eight-hour timer modes, so you don’t have to remember to turn it on and off each evening.
What’s more, this affordable candle goes the distance, with an impressive glow time of approximately 1,000 hours.
Even if you generally prefer traditional candles, flameless is a great option for tapered candles, which have a tendency to drip a lot of stubborn wax onto the surface below.
And if you find the right one, you don’t have to worry about them making your tablescape look cheesy. Take these tapers, for instance. The set of four battery-operated dinner candles have a realistic, smooth wax finish and warm white LED lights that cast a soft glow.
The included remote gives you access to a variety of functions—eight, to be exact!—including both four- and eight-hour timers, as well as brightening and dimming features.
Another versatile set of pillar candles in three sizes—four, five, and six inches—so you can decorate to your heart’s content. Cluster them together, or spread them out—the choice is entirely yours.
And no matter how you choose to display the flameless candles, you can’t go wrong, because they’re beautifully realistic. Each one is crafted with real paraffin wax for a natural look. The flames also mimic the look of a traditional candle, thanks to flickering LEDs that deliver approximately 50,000 hours of lamp life.
A convenient remote gives you access to 10 cool features, too, including a dimmer and two-, four-, six- and eight-hour timers.
When you want something as realistic as possible, flickering is the way to go. And there’s nothing quite like the way the battery-powered “flame” on the Pottery Barn pillars moves. The candle base itself is also very realistic, as the premium product has a wax construction that comes in both ivory or white, so you can pick just the right shade for your decor. What’s more, it comes in six different sizes, from just over three inches to 10 inches tall, so you’re bound to find just what you need.
Beyond the absence of a fire hazard, one of the nicest things about flameless candles is the hands-off convenience factor—especially if they come with a remote for easy on-off functionality.
This set of three candles (4-, 5-, and 6-inch pillars) has the remote you want—a 10-key control that brightness, flicking, or static options, plus a variety of timer cycles—but also has the other features you want, including a realistic wax construction and soft glowing LEDs that provide approximately 300 hours of illumination.
For a great value, check out the Enpornk flameless candles. The set of nine comes at a very fair price—you won’t find much better anywhere else—but doesn’t sacrifice on the aesthetic or convenience factors of other much more expensive options. Each candle has a real wax construction, plus the whole set comes with a very useful 10-key remote that lets you adjust the brightness on the LED “flames,” choose from static and flickering settings, plus cycle through a variety of timers.
This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of buying guides, particularly in the home space, for various publications over the course of the last 10 years.