It’s almost impossible to fathom in our plugged-in, battery-driven existence, but there may come a time when the power goes out, the Netflix ceases to stream, and all the batteries breathe their last. For those moments, old-school solutions like candles can save the day. The best emergency candles have an extended burn time, use a high-quality wax, and come in a style and price point that meets your needs.
The most important feature of an emergency candle is its ability to burn far longer than your regular everyday candle. On average, emergency candles are intended to last anywhere from 20 to 115 hours, and depending on what you’re stocking up for (whether that’s a hurricane or a temporary power outage) your burn time needs will vary.
There are three types of wax most often used in emergency candles:
- Beeswax: This eco-friendly type of wax has the highest melting point of the bunch, which means it burns slower and brighter — ideal if you find yourself relying on candles for light. It also doesn’t drip as much, a feature you may appreciate while navigating a blackout. Bonus features: it’s biodegradable and good for people with allergies because it is hypoallergenic.
- Plant-Based Waxes: Similar to beeswax, soy wax has a long, clean burn but you’ll also pay more for it. Palm wax and vegetable wax are also biodegradable, made from renewable sources, and often have an extended burn time due to their density.
- Paraffin: Whether liquid or solid, this petroleum-based wax burns fast and creates soot. That said, it’s cheap so you can buy in bulk to be fully stocked for any looming disaster.
From pillars and tapers to votive and tea lights, here are the best emergency candles in all price points and types — with a practical lantern and candleholder thrown in for good measure.
1. These All-Natural Beeswax Pillar Candles With A Light Scent
- Wax Type: Beeswax
- Burn Time: 12 to 15 hours per candle
These emergency candles are made from 100% eco-friendly beeswax, come in a pack of nine, and you can relax knowing they will each burn up to 15 hours and are conveniently dripless. Coming in a small pillar shape, the 3.5-inch candle is intended to be used in a candle lantern, a hurricane candle holder, or on any other flat surface intended to catch wax. They have a light scent, in case you are sensitive to fragrance.
A Helpful Review: “These candles are great. I loved their long lasting burn. Great for the power outage we endured this year for 11 days. Gonna keep stocked up on these. Nice product.”
2. A Long-Burning Emergency Candle That Lasts Literally 9 Days
- Wax Type: Vegetable Oil
- Burn Time: 216 hours per candle
If you’re looking for something seriously long lasting, this pack of three unscented emergency candles fits the bill with a flame that can last over a week. Originally intended as a vigil candle, it doubles as a good emergency option and can burn up to 216 hours per candle. Though reviewers noted the flame is small, the fact that it lasts so long still offers a lot of comfort. These 7-inch candles come in a pack of three and are made from unscented vegetable oil.
A Helpful Review: “I wasn't sure about these candles because they are in plastic. When the winter storm hit and we lost power for four days, I was grateful to have them. They burn slow and I was able to leave them alone without feeling endangered.”
3. This 2-Pack Of Citrus-Scented Soy Candles That Burn For 35 Hours
- Wax Type: Soy and vegetable wax
- Burn Time: 35 hours per candle
While these can be functional for daily use, they’re actually emergency candles in disguise. With a 35-hour burn time per candle, this set of soy candles (which is also blended with vegetable wax) is a great option to help you prepare for the long haul. It not only uses a more natural material but comes in a 7.2-ounce recyclable glass jar in a pack of two, so it will last a long time. This pick comes in three scents: lemon verbena, lavender, and basil. It boasts more than 9,000 reviews on Amazon.
A Helpful Review: “Clean burning, fresh smelling, and great value.”
4. A 115-Hour Emergency Oil Candle That Doubles As A Sterno For Cooking
- Wax Type: Liquid Paraffin
- Burn Time: 115 hours
If you’re concerned about messy wax spills or just looking for something long lasting that can be stored easily and conveniently, this emergency candle already comes in its own holder with a plastic storage cap to prevent spills, so it’s ready to go. Its liquid paraffin burns odorless and smokeless and creates a small but steady flame. Though it’s priced higher than most paraffin candles, you can count on this one being a solid choice to turn to in any kind of emergency. You can even use it as a sterno to cook food when your stove or oven is out for the count.
A Helpful Review: “We lose power from big storms quite often and this is the perfect solution to have continuous light and not have candles all over the place. No dripping and odorless too.”
5. These Crowd-Favorite Bulk Tea Lights For A Great Price
- Wax Type: Palm
- Burn Time: 6 to 7 hours per candle
At an extremely budget-friendly price, these unscented tea lights come in a pack of 200 and are a great option for seriously stocking up for that possible emergency. A highly popular pick with over 14,000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, this tea light is made with renewable palm wax and burns for up to 7 hours.
A Helpful Review: “These are amazing! They advertise 6-7 hours and they burn for every BIT of that!! The box was exactly as pictured, the 200 tea lights within are flawless.”
6. These Hand-Dipped Beeswax Taper Candles That Double As Elegant Home Decor
- Wax Type: Beeswax
- Burn Time: 12 hours per candle
These 100% beeswax taper candles are the ultimate throwback to the candles of old. Backed up by a 4.8-star review, the candles give off bright, steady light and are virtually dripless, though you’ll still need candle holders to safely use them. Made from sustainable materials and coming in nine different color options, these are at a higher price point for a pack of two, however you can feel assured of their good quality and lasting power. They come in four sizes (the ones featured here measure 12 inches) and are unscented.
A Helpful Review: “These are well-made hand-dipped 100% beeswax candles. They burn evenly with a warm, welcoming light and last many hours. They do not smoke, and even more importantly, they do not drip.”
7. A Set Of 6 Paraffin Candles That Each Burn For 35 Hours
- Wax Type: Paraffin
- Burn Time: 35 hours per candle
Clocking in at the midrange of average burn times for emergency candles, these wider sized unscented pillar candles burn for up to 35 hours. Coming in a pack of six, the paraffin candles are offered in four different sizes (this one measures 3 by 4 inches), depending on your preference, and can be placed standalone or inside a large lantern. These have nearly 9,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating on Amazon.
A Helpful Review: “Great value for your money. Scentless and long lasting. Our power happened to go out weeks after buying these and I'm SO happy we did. Great light cast in cases of emergency. Lit three around the living room, making everything cozy.”
8. The Budget Votive Candles In A Pack Of 36
- Wax Type: Paraffin
- Burn Time: 15 hours per candle
These portable votives are perfect if you want diffuse lighting across your space and will burn for up to 15 hours. Made out of unscented solid paraffin wax and in a pack of 36 for a reasonable price, the 2-inch candles can stand alone on any flat surface to catch dripping wax or be set inside glass votive holders. You also have the option of choosing among several different burn times (including 8, 10, and 15 hours), depending on what you need.
A Helpful Review: “We used these during 'snowpocolypse' in Texas to provide light. They were great, long lasting, and thankfully unscented. They also provided a little heat. I was able to read through a book during the snow-in.”
9. A Sustainable Soy Tea Light In A Pack Of 50
- Wax Type: Soy
- Burn Time: 6.5 to 10 hours per candle
Another pick for diffuse lighting, these small tea lights are not only portable like votives but are made from sustainable soy wax. They’re unscented, come in a pack of 50, and are contained in clear polycarbonate cups. Though a bit more expensive than maybe you’d expect for a tea light, you can know you’re getting an eco-friendly wax and a higher quality candle that will burn up to 10 hours. They boast an impressive 4.8-star rating.
A Helpful Review: “I like everything about these quality non toxic tea lights, although the flame burns a bit lower than I'm accustomed to. They burn clean, last longer than 7 hours and there is no wax remaining when the flame flickers out [...] They re-light nicely; I successfully relit one three times and still got 7 plus hours of burn time.”
10. This Self-Contained, 3-Wick Candle That Burns For 36 Hours
- Wax Type: soy wax top layer, palm wax bottom layer
- Burn Time: 36 hours
This emergency candle has three wicks, giving you three different lighting (and warmth) options depending on how many you choose to burn. It comes conveniently in its own tin container, making this super convenient to carry on the go. Be sure to note that the 36 hour burn time refers to all three wicks being used at the same time, therefore allowing roughly 12 hours per wick. It’s made with an unscented and eco-friendly soy wax top layer and palm wax bottom layer.
A Helpful Review: “This candle is perfect for preparing for power losses. We lose power at least twice a year and this candle is great for giving long lasting light.”
Nice To Have: This Portable Candle Lantern
This candle lantern is a perfect way to safely get the light you need in an emergency. This lantern fits UCO 9-hour candles, such as the one featured in the top pick, but will also handle any candle in the right dimensions. The candle fits snugly inside the aluminum holder and and slide glass provides great wind proofing, allowing your candle to stay lit in tough conditions. Hang this lantern anywhere convenient with the provided hanging hook and when you need to store it away, collapse it down to a smaller size for storage. If you’re looking for an even larger light source, there’s an additional model that can hold three candles, giving you some serious warmth as well as light.
A Helpful Review: “Great for when the power goes out or for a go bag in an emergency. Compact, durable and it’s made in the U.S.A!”
Also Nice: A Tapered Candle Holder That Gives You Movability In The Dark
If you’re looking for a tapered candle holder that can both catch dripping wax as well as be transported easily throughout your space, this set of two wrought iron candle holders will do the trick. Available in black or matte white, these have an ornate but functional handle for you to use while you’re getting yourself from room to room in an emergency situation. As an added bonus, you get to feel like a Dickensian character.
A Helpful Review: “We live in a place with lots of storms and we've had the power knocked out a few times this year. It's come in handy, both in catching the wax from the candle and from maneuvering through the house with a little bit of light. I felt like Ebenezer Scrooge, lol!”