Best Hanukkah candles

Holiday

A traditional menorah only has seven candle holders and is used in religious ceremonies and during services, while a Hanukkah menorah is specifically designed for the Hanukkah celebration and includes candle slots for all eight days plus the shamash candle.

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Which Hanukkah candles are best?

Hanukkah is meant to rededicate the Second Temple of Jerusalem, which was the center of worship in ancient Jerusalem. Many Jewish people use this as a time to celebrate the rich history of their people and enjoy the company of family and friends. One of the most important parts of Hanukkah is the lighting of eight candles (plus an extra helper candle) that represent the eight nights of the Hanukkah celebration.

The best Hanukkah candles are the hand-decorated Hanukkah candles from The Dreidel Company. These beautiful, multicolored candles feature the Jewish colors, blue and white, alongside a splash of purple and pink for added appeal. 

What to know before you buy Hanukkah candles

Hanukkah tradition

Hanukkah begins on the 25th day of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar. This usually falls between November and December in the Gregorian calendar. The festivities are celebrated for eight days and nights. Each evening families gather together to sing Hanukkah songs, play games of dreidel and eat delicious foods such as latkes and sufganiyot. These foods are traditionally made using hot oil, which symbolizes an important miracle in Jewish history where a small amount of oil burned for eight straight nights. Hanukkah has become a major event in North America in particular as Jewish people have begun celebrating it near the Christmas holiday. 

Number of candles

In total, 44 candles are required for each Hanukkah celebration because one new candle is lit for each of the eight nights. You start with two candles — the shamash, which is the helper candle that’s used to light each subsequent candle, and one more candle representing the first night. Every night moving forward, you will replace the burnt candles from the night before with a fresh candle. The shamash candle is the only candle that can light all the other candles, starting with the newest addition each night. 

Candle material

In ancient Israel, Hanukkah candles were made with animal fat. Nowadays, however, the candles are most commonly made with paraffin wax or beeswax. For vegans, you can also find candles which use vegetable wax. Be sure to look for the vegan label on your candles to ensure they don’t use animal products. For the cleanest burning candle, look for natural beeswax or soy candles, which burn with less smoke and are toxin-free. 

What to look for in quality Hanukkah candles

Traditional colors

The traditional colors of the Jewish people are blue and white. This combination represents purity, peace and light. Many high-quality Hanukkah candles are made with blue and white dyes to stick with the traditional colors. If you are looking to stick with the colors that most represent the Jewish festival, look for blue and white candles. That being said, there’s nothing in Jewish tradition that says other colors can’t be used. Many celebrations include multicolored candles that add more flair and vibrancy to Hanukkah. Some candles have multiple colors swirled together while others use varying solid colors for each candle. 

Unscented 

Similar to colors, unscented candles are what has traditionally been used in Hanukkah celebrations of the past. The majority of high-quality candles are unscented so as to provide the purest form of celebration. After all, these are the tenants of the Jewish people. Some candles, such as beeswax, do offer a subtle natural scent. These candles are acceptable during Hanukkah, so don’t worry about breaking any traditions. 

Candle base size

Candle base size largely depends on the size of the Hanukkah menorah that you’re using. Many people have issues fitting candles into their candle holders once they arrive. This is because different menorahs have different-sized candle holders and there isn’t one standard size. The most common candle size for menorahs is 5/16 inch. The second most common size of candles is 3/4 inch. Before purchasing a set of candles, double-check the exact size of your menorah candle holders. 

How much you can expect to spend on Hanukkah candles

Hanukkah candles cost between $7-$16 per box.

Hanukkah candles FAQ

Which Hanukkah candle should be lit first?

A. It’s commonly agreed you light the newest candle first. Once the shamash is lit, you should start at the candle that was last placed in the menorah. This would mean that each night you light from left to right using the shamash candle to light each new candle.

How do you light Hanukkah candles?

A. How to light Hanukkah candles is simple. On the first night, one candle is added in the center, known as the shamash, and another is added on the right side. For the next eight nights, a new candle is added until the entire menorah is filled. On the final night, all eight candles, including the shamash, should be lit. 

What are the best Hanukkah candles to buy?

Top Hanukkah candles

The Dreidel Company Hanukkah Candles

The Dreidel Company Hanukkah Candles

What you need to know: The Dreidel Company has produced a set of 45 gorgeous, high-quality, dripless Hanukkah candles.

What you’ll love: These candles won’t leak wax onto your Hanukkah menorah due to their dripless material. The colors are vibrant and include the traditional Jewish colors of white and blue alongside splashes of pink and purple. 

What you should consider: The candles don’t exceed 3/4 inch in width so are best for smaller Hanukkah menorahs. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Hanukkah candles for the money

Menora Hanukkah candles

Menora Hanukkah candles

What you need to know: This set of 44 Hanukkah candles from Menora are made in Israel and include a wide variety of colors.  

What you’ll love: There are two different packs to choose from. The first includes a multi-colored pack of red, blue, yellow and white candles while the second pack is 44 white candles. Each pack comes with two sets of 44 candles, meaning with one order you’ll receive 88 candles in total. 

What you should consider: This set is for a regular-sized Hanukkah menorah, not a mini menorah. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Lite Rite beeswax Hanukkah candles

Lite Rite beeswax Hanukkah candles

What you need to know: For those looking for a more natural version of Hanukkah candles, look no further than the Lite Rite beeswax set. 

What you’ll love: There are 45 candles in this pack, each made with all-natural beeswax for the longest, brightest and cleanest burning candle available. Each candle is hand-dipped and offers a pleasant yet discreet odor. 

What you should consider: Beeswax candles will cause dripping wax to form at the base of the candle holder.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Jordan Beliles​​​​​​ writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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