In a case of disaster or catastrophe, especially one which results in an extended power outage, it is nice to have some survival candles available. These are candles that burn longer than the average candle, providing light through darker times of the day for as many days as possible. These candles may also provide a bit of heat in a small room, which can be helpful if the house’s heat is powered by electricity.
A common question is what kind of candles last the longest? This depends on several factors, but mostly has to do with the materials used to make the candle. While candles are largely made of wax, there are different kinds of wax, some of which burn faster or slower; some waxes may contain toxins. A palm wax or beeswax candle will burn much longer than a paraffin wax blend. Many survival candles are made with vegetable oil.
Another factor is the wick. A cotton wick will absorb wax and burn without burning the wick as quickly. A cotton and paper wick is generally most effective. Wooden wicks can also be a good choice but may be more difficult to find in a survival candle. The shape of the wick also affects how quickly the candle burns, with flat wicks being the least efficient, wicks with a core of zinc more so, and square wicks being the most efficient with the longest burn, especially with beeswax candles.
Those who are looking for what type of candle burns the longest will find that there are some that can burn up to 120 hours, while some only burn for 9. Each has its own pros and cons, but in general the candles that will burn the longest will be the most useful in a survival situation.
Some of the available candles are listed here, in order of the length of burn time.
3 packs of six unscented 5” emergency candles provide up to 81 hours of light. Each candle burns for four and a half hours. These are easy to store and easy to use, making them a convenient choice for survival candles.
This box of tea lights contains 300 tea lights, unscented, that will burn 6 hours or more. Made from palm wax, these tiny candles are 1.5 inches in diameter and ¾” tall. Lead-free cotton wicks burn without smoke.
The white wax in these candles is made to melt at high temperatures, resulting in longer burn time, less dripping, and little soot. 3.5-inch candles burn for nine hours, which will give heat and light throughout a dark night.
9 natural beeswax candles work well in UCO Candle Lanterns. Each of the 3.5-inch candles will burn for up to 15 hours, depending on conditions, with very little smoke and a natural scent that is nice. Paraffin-free beeswax burns cleanly without soot and minimizes dripping with a high melt temperature. The cotton wick is geared to keep the flame at ideal height to provide optimal burn time.
36 clean burning candles are made from paraffin wax and cotton core wicks. Each candle is 2 inches tall and 1.5 inches in diameter, allowing them to fit neatly into standard candle holders. They are made in the USA and free of any fragrance. Each candle will burn up to 15 hours, providing warm light.
These pillar candles are made of high-quality paraffin with 100% cotton wicks. They can be used inside lanterns or hurricane lanterns or set on a mantel or table. Each candle is individually wrapped and set in a divided cardboard box to protect the candles during shipping and storage. Candles are 3 inches in diameter and 4 inches tall.
A compact candle with three wicks provides 12 hours of light per wick in a metal canister. The included cover will protect the candle between burn times. Matches are included with this six-ounce candle. Easy to pack in a backpack and easy to carry, this is an ideal survival candle.
These soy wax candles are poured into aluminum tins on top of a palm wax bottom layer. Each of the three wicks will burn 12 hours, which means the candle provides more light and heat for 12 hours or slightly less by burning one wick at a time for 36 hours.
Six candles in jars made with 100% beeswax will each burn 48 hours. These are made in USA. They are safe, smoke-free, and made to keep surfaces safe with tall glass sides.
A mini column liquid wax candle is six inches in diameter, providing a wide, stable base. The wind guard shade allows the candle to be used outdoors as well as indoors.
These three emergency candles are made with liquid paraffin. It has no scent and does not smoke; the included storage cap prevents spills when not in use. Each candle will burn for more than 115 hours, making it an excellent choice for a survival candle.
Soy wax with a cotton-and-paper wick is unscented and uncolored. The wick is 100% natural fibers and the candle comes in a glass jar which is recyclable.
100% vegetable oil wax is poured into a glass jar with a 100% cotton wick. The soft light is consistent and burns for 7 days. There is no scent and no dye; they can be burned indoors or outside. The slow-melting wax leaves behind minimal residue.
These vegetable oil candles are made to burn slowly and long, to last 9 days. The candle stands without needing anything to support it; its tall sides retain the flame inside to prevent it from affecting any surrounding surfaces. These are hand-crafted in Europe to provide a soft glow without scent or smoke.