The Pro’s And Cons Of Using A Candle Warmer!

If you love the ambiance and warm white glow that candles create but prefer a worry free approach to distributing fragrance, then an electric candle warmer may be just what you’re looking for. Unlike traditional candles that release scent through burning an open flame, a candle warmer uses electric heat to melt wax melts, crumbles, or tarts. Fragrance is released into the air after the wax is heated to a certain temperature. This not only offers a safer alternative to burning candles but also allows for a more controlled and consistent scent experience.

So, if you’re interested in exploring a new way to fill your space with delightful aromas, keep reading to discover the benefits of using an electric candle warmer.

What Is A Candle Warmer?

candle warmer sitting on table

A candle warmer is a “wickless” way to experience the fragrance of a candle. Candle warmers consist of a tray or removable wax dish that sits on top of a heating element. The heating element can be a light bulb directly underneath a warming bowl or tray, or it can be a flat plate you set a small bowl or dish on. Fragrance is then released by putting wax crumbles or wax melts into a bowl placed on the warmer. Simply plug the warmer in the wall, flip the switch, and warm the wax cubes.

Some may call them electric candle warmers, wax warmers, warmer lamp, or electric candle. Regardless of their title, they all serve the same purpose which is to heat wax.

After the wax is warmed, the fragrance is then disbursed into the room, just like with traditional candles.

What Are Pro’s And Cons Of A Candle Warmer?

a lit candle compared to a candle warmer lamp sitting on tables

As with everything, personal style and preference come into play when deciding whether to use a candle warmer or to light scented candles with a flame. Here are some of the pros and cons I see as a person who uses both.

Pros of A Candle Warmer

house in flames caused by a candle fire

Flame danger –

Flame danger is one of the biggest pros of using a warmer lamp vs burning traditional candles. Forgetting to blow out a candle before you leave the house can be detrimental should the candle malfunction or an open window cause the flame to jump onto a combustable material.

Candle fires cause 2% of house fires in the US and 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries and 4% of direct property damage to homes. Thirty seven percent of these fires were started in bedrooms, and 10% of these fires happened when someone fell asleep.

These percentages compute to an average of 20 reported home fires started per day by candles. Even more crazy is that 60% of these fires were started by something combustable catching fire that was placed near a candle.

On the bottom of every candle is a candle safety warning label which CLEARLY states to not burn a candle near any combustable material.

candle warning label image

When burning traditional scented candles, the candle must be blown out before leaving the house. It is not safe to leave a burning candle unattended. In the situation you forget to blow the candle out before you leave house, you must turn around and blow it out.

The great thing about candle warmers is that they typically have a timer which allows you to set the amount of time the warmer is on. If a person puts in some wax melts, sets the timer, and then for some reason, forgets to turn the warmer lamp off when they leave, no worries. It will automatically shut off on its own in the allotted time.

lamp warmer with auto shutoff feature

Air Quality

Not all waxes and fragrances are non toxic. If you are burning candles in your home that are not “clean” and could use potentially toxic ingredients, then the air quality in your home could be polluted.

Using a candle warmer with wax melts, rather than an open flame candle releases less toxins into the air than when burning. Additionally, there is no smoke associated with using wax melts in a candle warmer, which is the perfect solution for someone with allergies or air sensitivities.

candle showing smoke coming off the wick


Fragrances last longer in wax melts, and crumbles than in traditional candles. Fragrance oil is not burned off when using a wax warmer like it is when burning candles with wicks. Therefore the aroma of the fragrances from wax melts in candle warmers lasts much longer.

Cons Of A Candle Warmer

wax on warmer showing no visible flame

no visible flame

The main disadvantage of using candle warmers, and wax melts instead of burning a traditional candle is that there is no visual flame. Candle flames create a cozy feel, and can be associated with the following:

  1. Ambiance: The warm glow of a lit candle can create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere which is perfect for unwinding after a long day. Additionally, it can set the mood for a special occasion.
  2. Aesthetics: The beauty of a flickering candle flame can be captivating and add a decorative element to any space. Candles are sleek, stylish and come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. This makes them a versatile and customizable option for any home decor.
  3. Rituals or Religions: For many people, lighting a candle and letting it burn can be a meditative or spiritual practice, offering a sense of calm, symbolism, and focus.
  4. Sense of warmth: Burning can provide a sense of warmth, emotionally and physically. It can be a source of comfort during cold or dark evenings, or when dealing with stress and anxiety.
  5. Flickering effect: Light from the flickering flame of a candle can create a dynamic visual effect that can be mesmerizing and relaxing to watch.

The visual flame of a burning candle can create a multi sensory experience that engages a person’s sight, and smell. Not having the flame can be a major deterrent for people who are less worried about the smell and burn candles for the reasons listed above.

Different Types Of Candle Warmers

There are a few different types of candles warmers available on the market. In my opinion, some work better than others, and I have tried them all! Depending on your style, and decor you have going on in your room, one may suit your fancy more than the other.

Candle Warmer Type #1 – Top Down Candle Warmer Lamp

top down candle warming lamp

The top down electric candle warmer typically looks like a lamp with either a fabric or glass shade. A light bulb pointed straight down produces heat on a candle that sits on the lamp base. One can find a shade that fits the decor of their home, and it can be quite stylish if chosen correctly.

In my opinion, the con of using a lamp shade as a candle warmer is that unless you are using a candle with a shallow bowl, only the top of the candle melts. When the scented wax in the candle no longer smells, a person has to dispose of the melted wax on top of the candle to allow the heat from the lamp to get to the unmelted wax at the bottom of the candle.

Candle Warmer Type #2 – Plate Style Warmer

The plate style warmer is a flat plate that warms to a specific temperature. The candle vessel or bowl of wax melts or crumbles sits on top of the warmer. When the wax melts melt, the fragrance is distributed into the air.

The con of using a plate warmer is that the cheap ones don’t have a temperature regulator or auto shut off. If the candle being warmed is made from cheap glass there is a potential for it to crack if the warmer gets too hot. This would cause hot candle wax to spill everywhere. Although much better than a fire, it would be quite a pain to clean up!

This being said, many amazing high quality candle warmers on the market can double as mug warmers! They have auto shutoffs and temperature regulation features. Many of them are very sleek and stylish and also have USB connections so you can charge your phone using the same device!

candle warming plate

Candle Warmer Type #2 – 2 in 1 Candle Warmer

This type of candle warmer is very stylish, popular, and a best seller. There are many of them on the market today ranging in price from $7 – $75.00. Undoubtedly there is a style to fit any type of home aesthetic.

2 in 1 electric candle warmers are available in a couple different styles. They are called 2 in 1 because the electric wax warmer serves two different purposes.

Option 1 – This style of scented wax warmer serves as a both a source of light and a candle warmer.

2 in 1 light candle warmer

You will have your light style warmer with a shallow dish sitting on top of a bulb in a decorative container which warms the wax.

Option 2This style of candle warmer serves as both a flat plate warmer and also a bowl styler warmer.

2 in 1 dish and plate style candle warmer

It will typically have a flat base like the plate style candle warmer. Placing a candle in a jar or tin on top of the electric plate will warm the vessel, and release the scent.

It also comes with a bowl that sits on top of the warming plate. The bowl is meant to be filled with either wax melts or wax crumbles. The heat from the plate warms the bowl, which then heats the scented wax, releasing the fragrance.


There is no right or wrong way to experience fragrance or create ambiance in your environment. I use both candle warmers with wax melts, and traditional scented wax candles. To each his own.

I believe the moral of the story is if you are going to chose to burn traditional candles, make sure to do it safely. Don’t be the person that adds negatively to the candle fire statistics!

She Said Candle Co and Heather Kiddoo

In addition to my candle shop where I push eco friendly, non toxic ingredients, I am Nutrition Business Consultant for HSN Mentoring, and a real estate transaction coordinator. I’m a mom and a blogger on a mission to help the females in the world become confident, live a healthy lifestyle, accomplish great things and feel hot!

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