As restaurants and bars remain closed, making mealtimes and mantelpieces feel special while cooped up at home can be a creative hobby and is perfect for occasions such as date night, birthdays and anniversaries.
You can go all out with floral centrepieces, ornate tablecloths, decorative napkins and pampas grass, or keep it simple with just a few taper candles dotted about to make a change to your surroundings. Taking up little space, they’re also a fun opportunity to invest in some statement candle holders.
The candles themselves have become home decor accessories in their own right. Pastel soy bubbles, abstract objects and naked figurines are just some of the styles that have proven popular.
The tapered candle, however, is a classic design that remains a constant. There’s more choice than ever in slim candlesticks that are thicker in shape at the bottom and finish in a tip at the top by the wick.
In an effort to add a bit of fun to the last gruelling few months (we hope) of lockdown, we’ve searched high and low for tapered candles, from the lavish to the budget friendly.
Whether you’re looking for spring pastels, muted neutrals or swirled shapes, you’ll find your next homeware buy here.
You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.
Fairholme Studio hand-dipped taper candles set – the rainbow: £32, Etsy.com
These candles are hand-poured in London by Fairholme Studio, a company created during the first lockdown. The set of eight is perfect if you can’t decide between your pastel shades and want simple, slim candles to decorate a larger table with. The summery palette will add a wash of colour to a plain tablecloth too, or you could pair it with napkins and dinnerware in clashing prints for an explosion of shades. They burn well too, with little dripping or bending to contend with.
Hay conical taper candles set of six: £29, Selfridges.com
You can also find elegant tapered candles more fitting for a tonal palette, such as this set from Danish design brand Hay. Taking pride of place on our mantelpieces, tables and even our bedside, they’ll add an artistic flair to the everyday. Mix and match them or keep to a uniform look by burning them in pairs – either way, they’ll give a contemporary finish to your humble abode.
Edition94 green swirl candles: £6, Theedition94.com
Available in every colour you can think of, from olive green to cappuccino brown, chances are you’ve spotted a few variations of this swirled style on your Instagram feed. These handmade candles come with an unbleached cotton wick in a glossy finish and can be bought individually. The red one caught our eye for its jewel-toned colour that would compliment a centrepiece of flowers beautifully – you could even match your lipstick to it.
Sienna Goodies twisted candle set: £19.49, Trouva.com
You don’t have to stick to singular colours with this interiors trend – instead, opt for an eclectic mix of metallics, ombres and swirls. Keep your table looking unique and stylish without being cluttered by letting this set of six do all the talking. Simple candlestick holders will be the perfect complement, though we can’t wait to match our tableware with the metallic gold shade.
Lex Pott twist tapered candle: £25, Earlofeast.com
There’s a lot to love about Dutch designer Lex Pott’s abstract candle art, and his twisted tapered pairs are a statement piece of decor in their own right. Besides being a stunning spectacle, they don’t require a candle holder, staying upright due to the bendy design. You can choose from pink, lavender, yellow, peach, mint, light blue, white or orange, and the candle promises a burning time of 10 hours – if you can bear to light it, that is. Yellow is our favourite – it’s a striking shade that’s instantly eye-catching.
Hand dipped taper candles in spruce six pack: £18, Curiousegg.com
Hailing from Denmark, the slender shape of this jewel-toned green set is perfect if you’re keen to get in on the trend but are limited on space, be it on your table or windowsill. Taking up barely any room and being supposedly non-drip, we’d recommend treating yourself to gold holders for a luxurious looking display. Keep for best or make the most of them as soon as they arrive on your doorstep.
Rustic dinner candle in mustard gold: £2.95, Rockettstgeorge.co.uk
Affordable but in no way cheap-looking, these warm-coloured candles are perfect for your next dinner party, lockdown permitting. They come with an imperfect, textured wax finish that will make dinner feel extra cosy. Whether you keep them for display, or let them burn for hours, they’re a cheap and cheerful way of adding ambience within your four walls.
Ester & Erik taper candles boxed set of four: £18, Libertylondon.com
Love candles but don’t feel the spring shades reflect your tastes? No problem, as this navy set of four will add an air of Scandinavian sophistication to any table. Made using fragrance-free paraffin wax, they have a unique shape that will get your future dinner guests talking. Tasteful, matte and understated, they’re ideal for any minimalist, with a hand-dipped, non-drip design that has a 100 per cent cotton wick and will fit in most candlestick holders.
Hand painted floral lavender taper candles: £10, Etsy.co.uk
If you like the traditional taper candle style often reserved for restaurants and religious alters, but want to give the look a modern twist, this hand-painted pair is the perfect compromise. So pretty we want to keep them for when we can finally have friends over after lockdown, the hand-painted stems of lavender are the perfect understated table accompaniment.
For more interiors inspiration, read our guide to the Seventies-inspired homeware buys to give your space a retro feel
IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.