Do tea light candles float?

Do tea light candles float?

When it comes to using candles, the main goal is always to create a cosy atmosphere at home. However, for some people, simply lighting candles can be boring after some time. For those, making a floating candle decoration can be a great idea to shake things up a little bit. For that, you need to know if tea light candles float and how to best use them. 

Our blog post will guide you through why tea lights can defy gravity and how to make them float successfully for your next gathering or quiet evening at home. Keep reading to become a floating candle pro!

Key Takeaways
  • Tea light candles can float because their small size helps them displace enough water to remain buoyant.
  • For best results, use a floating candle holder or choose smaller tea lights to help keep the candles stable and afloat.
  • It's not safe to put tea light candles in large bodies of water due to unpredictable currents that could cause safety issues.

Do tea light candles float?

To begin with, the answer is yes. Tea light candles do float because they actually displace more water by their weight than the weight of the candles themselves.

This allows them to float when placed in water.

do tealights float


When placed in water, tea light candles float due to the displacement of water. The volume of water that a submerged object displaces is equal to the volume of the object itself. Tea lights have a density lower than that of water, causing them to displace an amount of water weighing more than their own weight, which enables them to float.

Furthermore, their size and shape also play an important role. With the small size and round shape, they can float more evenly. That is why tea light candles can be used as floating candles.

However, the question is logical why we can also find floating candles made for the same purpose. What’s the difference and how to choose? Let’s see what you need to know!

Tea light candles or floating candles?

As seen above, tea light candles can actually float. But then what are floating candles? They are made specifically for this purpose, while tea light candles are generally not just for floating.

Floating candles are pretty similar to tea light candles when it comes to size and shape, but you can still easily tell the difference. While the top and bottom of the tea light candles are completely flat, floating candles have rounded shapes.

This makes them perfect for floating, and with a rounded top the flame is more protected from the water as well.

Based on this information you can see that both regular tea light candles and floating candles can be used for floating candle decoration.

Therefore, it is really up to you which one you would prefer. However, there is one small difference. As floating candles were specifically made for this purpose, they might cost a bit more than the simple tea light candles.

How to use them?

After the main differences and clarification, let’s see how you can best use candles for floating. The general idea is always to make a nice decoration using candles.

Usually, people simply put the candles in a decorative bowl with water in it. You might also add flowers or flower petals in the water to make the overall picture even more amazing.

When creating this decoration, there is one step which has to be done before actually floating the candles. In case you chose simple tea light candles, you have to prepare them first.

That means that you have to seal the wick tab that can be found on the bottom of your tea light candles. Sealing them with wax will protect them from the water which is essential.

You can do this by simply melting some wax and pouring on the wick tab itself. Wait until it cools down and solidify before actually using them. Apart from this, there is nothing else to worry about.



In conclusion, tea light candles can indeed float in water due to their shape and size. Using a floating candle holder or opting for smaller tea lights can help ensure they stay afloat.

However, it's important to avoid using them in large bodies of water to prevent any safety hazards.


1. Can tea light candles really float on water?

Yes, many tea light candles are designed to be buoyant and can float on water, making them perfect for setting up a magical ambiance similar to the Harry Potter floating candles.

2. What's special about submersible tea lights?

Submersible tea lights are water-resistant candles specially made to operate under water without going out, so you can use them in floating candle bowls or as part of a tea light centrepiece.

3. How long do votive candles burn compared to floating tea lights?

Votive candles typically have longer burning times than regular tea light candles; however, both types provide sufficient time to enjoy their soothing glow during your event or relaxation time.

4. Are waterproof tea lights safe to use around children and pets?

While waterproof tea lights offer candle safety due to their protective features against water, it is still important to keep an eye on children and pets around any type of candle.

5. Besides using them in bowls of water, how else can I display floating candles creatively?

You can enhance your space by placing buoyant candles into lanterns for an elegant touch or arrange them as a stunning centrepiece that captivates the attention of your guests.