Ah, candles flickering! The thought conjures up the most wonderfully luxurious and relaxing feelings in a lot of us.
Whether it is relaxing on the couch before bed, taking a long soak in the tub or burning a relaxing scented candle in your bedroom to help you get to sleep.
Should I Be Sleeping with Candles Lit? NO, you should NOT be sleeping with candles burning. It doesn’t matter whether the candles seem to be contained in a safe glass jar or similar holder accidents happen. Jars can be knocked over, soft furnishings can catch alight on the flame, even the surface the candle sits on can catch fire if heated up enough.
Let’s face it the question “should I be sleeping with candles lit” is a valid one. But the truth is that candles should never be left unattended while burning and unfortunately they are unattended if you are sleeping.
I have outlined below some of the consequences of sleeping with candles lit and I have also come up with some awesome candle alternatives you can safely enjoy.
What Can Happen If You Leave a Candle Burning While Sleeping?
Well if you are really lucky nothing will happen it will simply burn itself out. But let’s go through some of the things that could happen if you are in the habit of leaving candles on while sleeping or even if you fall asleep accidentally.
1. The candle could become unbalanced or accidentally knocked over during the night.
2. The surface that the candle is sitting on could implode from the heat of the glass. Not all timbers, plastics or other surfaces you sit a candle on are heat resistant.
3. A slight breeze is all it can take for a flame to lick the bottom of a wispy sheer curtain, drape or lampshade and the fabrics will ignite quickly.
4. These other items in your bedroom will make a fire catch hold quickly:-
- Quilts and Bedding
- Dust and cobwebs
Is Burning a Candle in Glass Jar Safe?
Burning a candle in a glass jar is safe unless you go to sleep or leave it unattended. If you do you risk any of the above scenarios happening.
How to Burn a Candle in a Glass Jar
To burn a candle safely inside the jar carry out the following:-
- Make sure that the candle is tightly secured to the bottom of the jar and not able to fall over. This can be done by melting the bottom of the candle wax a little then holding it in position firmly onto the bottom of the jar until it dries. It will take a couple of minutes for it to become secure.
- That the wick when alight is at least an inch below the top of the jar.
- Do not put a lid on the jar as the candle needs the correct ventilation to burn.
- Extinguish the candle before it reaches 1/2 inch to an inch of wax remaining.
Will Candles Burn Themselves Out?
When candles burn down to the end of their wick and wax they will burn out. Providing they get the opportunity to do this in a safe environment.
Manufactures strongly advise against letting a candle burn all the way to the end. It should be extinguished just before it reaches the end.
How Long Should You Leave a Candle Burning
Candles should not be burnt for more than 4 hours. After 4 hours the wick collects carbon, becomes unstable and the candle will start to smoke because the flame is too large.
What Is the Safest Way to Extinguish Candles?
It is best practice not let your candles self-extinguish. Also whatever you do don’t blow the candle out as the hot wax will spray everywhere then there are possibilities of burns.
Not only to skin and eyes but to anything in the vicinity such as light fabric, plastic, and paper.
The safest way is to use a candle snuffer to extinguish the flame.
1. If the candle is not contained in a candle holder smother the flame out when there are approximately 2 inches of candle wax left at the bottom of the candle.
2. If the candle is contained in a candle holder, glass jar or similar put the flame out when there is about 1/2 inch of wax left at the bottom of the candle.
Tip – Remember that your candle holder will be hot too. Take care!
Burning Candles Safely
1. Reading the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions before use is always beneficial. The manufacturer will advise of a recommend burning time – stick to it!
2. The standard recommended time to stop burning a candle is when 2 inches of wax is left at the bottom of your candle. If your candle is contained in its own built-in holder when there is a ½ inch of the candle remaining.
3. Wicks that are long or crooked will cause the candle to burn unevenly this is when the wax will drip and potentially cause a fire to start.
Carrying out the following routine before using your candles will help alleviate uneven wick burning. Trim candlewicks to a ¼ inch. You can use a wick trimmer like the one pictured.
4. Check and clean up the area around the candle regularly for pooling wax, matches, wick trimmings, and other debris. These are all potential fire hazards.
Can Candles Cause Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is a gas that is produced when a flame is burning. Very small amounts of carbon monoxide are emitted from a lit candle. Candles should always be burned in a ventilated room without drafts and breezes.
If strick candle burning instructions are followed the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning would be minimal.
Just the very fact that this question is asked should reinforce how dangerous the burning of candles can be.
So take extreme care whenever you light up a candle!
Should I Be Sleeping with Candles Burning? Safe Alternatives
Alternatives to Burning Traditional Candles
See my list below for all the safe alternatives to burning candles available today. The modern alternatives on the list below offer you the ambient surroundings you are after without the fire hazard. There are even fragrant options available.
Not a flame insight if you choose one of the products below the lamps are generally LED and the power options are energy-saving and run with either batteries or electricity. They will not use a lot of power to run so you will save money.
I encourage you to search around for an option that suits you, you will not look back and you can save candle wax burning for when you are present and can supervise and enjoy.
1. Flameless Candles
Flameless candles come in all shapes and sizes. Including tealight candles and traditional column candles as pictured.
This particular set is battery operated with flickering wicks.
Some have different colored LED modes to induce ambiance.
They are LED so they are energy efficient and they have a remote control with a built-in timer. You can program them to turn off to save some money on battery power you can.
You will be able to enjoy these wickless candles with peace of mind.
2. Fairy Lights
Fairy lights are a great alternative to candles as they are so versatile especially if you want to give your bedroom a luxe look in the night.
There are so many options available at a very low price point. Some would argue cheaper than candles and the damage they can cause. So use your imagination and enjoy this safe option of ambiance.
Some of the features you can expect are:
- Battery operated
- Complete with remote
- Fairy light curtains
- Complete with clips for hanging on pictures
- Warm white
- Power saving LED
Create an ambiance like this:
- Hang a fairy light curtain behind your bed head
- Hang them around furniture, walls, doorways and window sills
- Use clips to attached them to picture frames or prints in your bedroom
- Stuff them in beautiful glass holders like mason jars, vases even wine bottles
3. Himalayan Salt Lamps
The amber light that radiates off a salt lamp induces calm which in turn will give you a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.
Amber is also the perfect sleep-inducing color.
4. Lava Lamps
Colors and styles to suit any room, relaxing and hypnotic.
- All colors
- Traditional lava style
- Glitter and sparking
- Jellyfish lava lamp looks like a small aquarium
- All Sizes
- Some shapes available are rockets, Lightsabers, mermaid tail shape, hello kitty and many more for any decor
- Blue tooth speaker lava lamp
Go here to check out these awesome lava lamps at Amazon.
5. Lamps for The Bedroom
Bedside lamps or standard lamps for a bedroom are always versatile. You can read with your bedside lamp and it is safe if you fall asleep.
There are the decor and decorating advantages of lamps in a bedroom.
You can also select a sleep-inducing colored bulb into any lamp, which makes it even more versatile.
6. Video – Candles Burning
Open your laptop, set up your iPad or smartphone and turn on this candle flicking video. You can choose to listen to the soothing music or turn the volume down and just have the beautiful candlelight flickering. You will be asleep in no time!
7. Wax Warmers
This Silver Mercury Glass Illumination Fragrance Warmer is just one form out of hundreds that these wax melt holders come in. They are run by electricity with a bulb inside the holder that safely melts the wax and emits beautiful fragrances throughout your home.
The bulbs are easy to replace and the wax melter itself is easy to clean when you want to use new fragrances.
Check out the huge range here at Amazon you will be surprised at what is available.
An essential oil diffuser does a lot more than just emit fragrances some have built-in ultrasonic cool mist humidifier which assists with keeping the air moist allowing you to breathe easier.
This one pictured is one of many designs and has a warm white color just like a real candle. The patterns on the outside of the holder disperse ambient light throughout the room as well as the relaxing fragrances. So sleep is imminent.
These diffusers run much the same as a wax melter. This one has a remote control, LED bulbs, various color options, and a warranty.
Best of all you can use these throughout the home at any time.
You can see this one at Amazon here…
9. Reed Diffusers
If you want a totally safe fragrance option these reed diffusers do not require any power at all.
They come in many shapes sizes and fragrances, the one pictured is lavender so it will assist with relaxation and sleep.
I would caution you to purchase one with good essential oil, some of the cheap ones can be nasty and will not help you sleep at all.
To Finish – Should I Be Sleeping with Candles Lit?
Is it safe to sleep with a candle lit? Unfortunately no it is not safe to sleep with a candle lit.
Who doesn’t imagine relaxing and ultimately drifting off to sleep with candles flickering all around us?
Well, you absolutely can soak in the tub, watch television while relaxing before bed and even go to bed with flickering candlelight.
But for everyone’s safety just not the old-fashioned way with a burning flame.
Choose one of the new safe ambient options and sleep safely.
Candle Burning Safety – Extra Tips
- Never leave a burning candle unattended.
- Keep out of the reach of children, the elderly and pets.
- Extinguish all candles when unattended or before going to bed. Use a snuffer do not blow the candle out
- Always use a candleholder that is heat resistant, large enough to catch any drips or melted wax.
- Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s use and safety instructions.
- Let your candles and its holder cool and the wax hardens before touching it. You will get burnt if the wax is liquid form.
- Candle snuffers for extinguishing the flame are great and you will not make a mess or get burned.
- Do not be tempted to use it as a nightlight. You will relax and end up going to sleep while it still burning.
Even with rules around burning candles the main safety tip is to never leave candles burning unattended, so keep them in sight.
Visiting this site The National Candle Association will give you more insights and safety tips around Candle Safety Rules. There is also a downloadable PDF document with a complete list of candle safety rules.
As always here’s to better sleep!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Leave a Candle Burning Overnight?
The answer is NO if you are not watching the candle burn all night and YES if you are going to be with the candle all night AWAKE!
As we have already ascertained there is no way to burn a candle safely if it is left unattended.
Is It Safe to Burn a Candle in a Closed Room?
NO, it is not, some ventilation is required. A window or door slightly open will allow fresh air into the room.
Can You Put the Lid on a Candle After Blowing It Out?
Yes, you can place the lid on top of the candle and it will die out. Alternatively, you can place (not screw down or snap-on tightly) a lid over the jar/candle then due to lack of oxygen the candle will go out by itself.
Although, putting a candle out this way does not give off much smoke leaving the lid on will stop any smoke smell coming from the smoldering candle wax and wick from escaping the jar and spreading through the room or house.