12 of the best flameless candles to create the right ambience for all occasions

These best flameless candles are safe, realistic, spectacular to look at, and long-lasting – what's not to love?

collage image of three of the best flameless candles including a concrete vessel, solar powered pillars and decorative shell candles
(Image credit: Cox & Cox | Lights4fun | Tamara Kelly)
Best flameless candles

1. Best overall: Lights4fun LED Pillar Candles
2. Best luxury: Amagic Flameless Candle
3. Best decorative: TruGlow Shell Wax Pillar Set
4. Best solar-powered: LED Solar Pillar Candle Trio
5. Best outdoor: LED Concrete Candle
6. Best tea lights: TruGlow LED Mini Votive Candles
7. Best taper: Etsy Flameless Taper Candles
8. Best three-wick: Lamplust Store 3-Wick
9. Best outdoor: Luminara Outdoor LED Candle
10. Best budget: YIWER Flameless Candles
11. Best glass votive: Wayfair Glass LED Candle Set
12. Best realistic: Lights4fun 3-Wick Winter Candle
How we tested

The best flameless candles, also known as LED candles, are ideal if you want to display gorgeously lit candles in your home, outdoors, or for an event such as a wedding without the worry of an open flame. 

An LED-operated flameless candle may not sound romantic, but the models available now are almost indistinguishable from real candles and can help you create the atmosphere you want in any space. While they can't do the job of the best scented candles, they can help make your home feel cosy.

Once dubious, we're now complete converts because flameless candles are much safer than regular candles. No open flame means you can place them around more freely, they don't let off smoke or toxins, nor do they drip hot wax, and there's no need to worry about kids or pets touching them. 

Best of all, LED candles can be reused time and time again for several years, all you need to do is replace the batteries. These flameless alternatives are therefore longer lasting and more eco-friendly than their real counterparts. Good news on all fronts.

We've tried and tested the top flameless candles on the market at the moment to create a list of the best flameless candles you can purchase for just about any occasion, at a variety of price points.

The best flameless candles to buy in 2024

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How we tested the best flameless candles

Collection of the best flameless candles during testing

A selection of the best flameless candles in Tamara's home during testing

(Image credit: Tamara Kelly | Future)

We selected the below flameless candles in order to share products within a range of different prices, from budget options to more expensive, luxe flameless candles. 

To determine the best flameless candles we judged each product against the following criteria: 

  • Realism and overall look: how realistic do the candles look? Is their appearance subtle or striking?
  • Price tag: Is there good value for money? Can you buy the candles in bulk?
  • How they are operated: Is the candle operated by a switch or remote? 
  • Level of lighting: What sort of light do they give off and what is the ambiance that they create like?
  • Special functions: Can each one be put on a timer, for example? Or dimmed to the user's preference depending on the time of day?
  • Battery life: How long does the candle last?

What is a flameless candle?

A flameless candle is a battery-operated candle that has no real flame, also known as an LED candle. Most, if not all of the best flameless candles feature a life-like flickering light that emulates the look of a real flame to create exactly the same ambience of a traditional candle. 

The main purpose of a flameless candle is to avoid a naked flame in any environment where it could be deemed dangerous. You can position a flameless candle next to items in a household, such as fabrics and foliage, that might otherwise pose a fire hazard were you to use a real candle with a flame. Flameless candles also offer a longer 'burn' time because they can be left on for hours, meaning they are also more practical for longer use.

Flameless candles on a side table in a bathroom surrounded by plants

"I love having a candlelit bath but am often nervous about where to place real candles to avoid them burning or scorching surrounding items, but with my flameless candles there is zero worry." – Tamara Kelly, lifestyle editor.

(Image credit: Future)

FAQs

Are flameless candles toxic?

No, flameless candles are not toxic in any way and are safer to use than normal candles that require a firelight. They also don't let off any smoke, so offer a cleaner way to get the candle effect. Also, since they are unscented, flameless candles don't emit any artificial—and potentially toxic—chemicals that can be sometimes used to fragrance candles into the air. These factors make them ideal for use around babies, children and pets. 

They're also a good option for those who suffer from migraines, which strong smells can often make worse, or people who suffer from fragrance sensitivities. If you want to fragrance your home but are wary of toxin risks associated with scented candles, you can also see our list of the best essential oils and the best essential oil diffusers.

What are the benefits of flameless candles?

We could write a long list of the benefits of flameless candles. Some of them include:

  • Safe around children and pets: As opposed to real candles that require a firelight, flameless candles have no flame so don't run the risk of burning or injuring people, especially pets and children. They also don't give off any smoke so they're not harmful to ingest, nor do they contain artificial fragrances. 
  • Eco-friendly: Typically the best flameless candles have a long battery life, so you can reuse them again and again, unlike new candles. With flameless candles, you'll only need to buy one (or a set), every few years, cutting down on waste.
  • No wax drip: Unlike even the best aromatherapy candles, flameless candles don't drip wax, so they won't ruin a surface, tablecloth—or even clothing.
  • Good on a budget: Flameless candles won't ever need replacing unless they break. They will need their batteries changed, but other than that they should be good to use for years to come. 

 “LED candles are the ultimate accessory when it comes to decorating your home, especially throughout the winter months,”  says Lights4Fun’s director of products, Amy Mason. “Safe for both children and pets, the hyper-realistic flameless candles cast a warm ambient glow throughout your home. Choose from an assortment of sizes, colours, and designs and simply style along the dining table, windowsills and side tables to achieve the perfect cosy display.”

How do flameless candles work?

Flameless candles, otherwise know as LED candles, work by battery power or solar power to emit an artificial flame. They are cool to the touch and safe, unlike real candles that provide a flicker flame that is a hazard in comparison.

Can you leave flameless candles on all night?

Yes, you can leave flameless candles on all night, though we suggest putting yours on a timer if you're likely to forget to switch them off. Leaving one of these candles on all night will run their battery low and waste energy, but popping them on a timer will help conserve their battery life.

"An optional timer function allows the candles to illuminate for 6 hours at the same time each evening, before automatically switching off," explains Amy, "and with a battery life of 200 hours, they’ll continue to provide a warm welcome home."

Regular Contributor

Annie Collyer is the UK Shopping Editor across various well-known homes titles, including Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc, Gardeningetc and Homes & Gardens. Previously a writer for Country & Townhouse, covering everything there is to do and see in London, she started off in the homes sector as Deals Editor on Real Homes in 2018.

When she's not advising you on the best storage furniture for a small home, browsing for luxury bed linen, or picking a sofa bed for your spare bedroom, you can find Annie testing anything from candles to reed diffusers and exercise bikes.

With contributions from