Can Regular Tealight Candles Float In Water?

Can Regular Tealight Candles Float In Water?

A floating tealight candle can be a great way to put the finishing touches on your next big dinner as a centerpiece on the table, or you can float some in the pool or fountain to class up your next party. Is it necessary to buy special floating candles or can regular tealights float? I looked into this, and this is what I’ve found.

Can Regular Tealight Candles Float In Water? Yes, regular tealights can float in water because they are flat enough to remain buoyant. The weight of the water displaced by the candle is less than the weight of the candle itself.

Tealights come in a variety of brands and sizes but the most common is the 2″ and 3″ tealight candles. Buying the traditional floating candle may save you some time and trouble if you do not have the time to test a specific brand before your big party.

Why do regular tealight candles float?

In general, things float when they are positively buoyant.

This means that the candle displaces more water by weight than the weight of the candle. Alternatively, things float by having a greater ratio of empty space to mass than the fluid they are sitting in.

Some candles are specifically designed for this purpose, and you will find many of the floating candles are flat like tealights.

It is the flat bottoms on the candles that give them the ability to float. You will never find a floating pillar or a votive floating candle, as they are less flat and more verticle. This will cause them to tip over in the water.

Regular tealights vs floating tealights

We are going to do some comparisons of regular tealights vs floating tealights from the most popular products on Amazon.


  • Regular Tealight Price $ .09 each
  • Floating Tealight Price $ .49 each

Burn time

  • Regular Tealight Burn Time 4 Hours
  • Floating Tealight Burn Time 4 Hours

Burn time is exactly the same, but you can see a big difference in price. If a normal tealight candle can float then you have the potential to save hundreds of dollars on candles for your next event.

You can also see that some tealights on amazon have a slightly different design when it comes to floating, they have more rounded corners. This difference in design is likely to increase the buoyancy of the candle.

Seal The Wick If You Don’t Use The Container

How do you use a floating tealight?

So now you have an interest in floating tealights, but have you decided what application you want to use them in?

For example:

  • Water bowl centerpiece
  • Hot tub
  • Pool
  • Fountain
  • Bathtub
  • Wine glasses
  • Mason jars
  • Jelly jars

A floating candle can be used in nearly any water application that you can imagine. Try to avoid any quick moving water as its likely to splash the wicks and put the candle out or prevent you from even lighting it.

Floating Candle Tips

Here are some tips to help you quickly and efficiently place and prepare your floating candles.

  • Insert candle by holding the wick to keep it dry
  • Do not completely fill water with candles and flowers
  • Add marbles or food coloring to the water
  • Always test a candle before buying

Insert candle by holding the wick to keep it dry

When lowering the candle into the water be sure to hold the wick and make sure it is floating before releasing. If you let go and the candle dips below the surface, even for a second you likely won’t get it lighted.

Do not completely fill the water with candles

Leave some open space on the surface of the water and it will give your candles room to move, enhancing the experience of floating candles.

Add marbles or food coloring to the water

This can really make your floating candle display pop or look unique from what everyone else is doing.

Always test a candle before buying

If you want to have a big party that could take dozens of candles buy one and test it first. Make sure it will float the way you want, burn the way you want and smell the way you want.

Should you buy regular or floating candles?

A variety of tealight candles float but the only way to make sure you will get what you need is to actually test the candle beforehand.

If you are planning a wedding or a big party on a budget taking the time to test a few candles beforehand might save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

I would suggest always buying the candle designed to fit your situation so that you are not left with a candle you can not use.


In conclusion, floating candles can be beautiful and mesmerizing to look at, and they will definitely take your next party or event up a notch.

If you take your time to test a few regular tealights and see if they will float you might end up saving you hundreds of dollars just by using them.

If you do not have the time to do this, there are no guarantees the tealights you buy will float. Which can leave you in a bad situation, so do your due diligence.

Personally, if I was going to buy them from a local store I might buy one pack of regular tealights and test them at home. If they work I would go back and buy the rest of the candles I need.

If I can not find a decent option at a local store then I would just order all of the floating candles that I need on amazon and pay the extra money.

Can Regular Tealight Candles Float In Water

Carl Adamson

Hi, I'm Carl Adamson, one of the founders here at Candleers. A few years ago I got really into the art and craft of candle making, initially with soy wax container candles. My friends started asking me to make candles for them and pretty soon it turned into a nice side-business. I started this website as a way to document what I've learned over the past few years and hopefully help others in the process. I still love candle making but I'm learning that what I enjoy even more is the business side of things - and for this reason I've started consulting others on how to start and grow their own candle-making businesses and side-hustles.

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