Best Hanukkah menorah picks
The time to celebrate the eight days of Hanukkah has almost arrived. This year’s Festival of Lights spans from sundown on Dec. 7 through sundown on Dec. 15, so there’s still time to purchase a beautiful menorah to display your faith — or a fun one that will bring joy to a child.
From classic to contemporary, the best Hanukkah menorah designs come in different shapes, sizes and styles, from straightforward candelabras to ones in the shape of things as whimsical as dinosaurs or doughnuts. Whether adding to your collection or looking for your first menorah for a new home, the right one will be enjoyed for years to come as you light each branch to mark the annual Hanukkah celebration.
The basics of the Hanukkah menorah
The oldest symbol of the Jewish faith, the Hanukkah menorah represents the miracle of the single day’s oil supply at the Temple of Jerusalem that burned for eight days. Also called a hanukkiah, this nine-branch candelabra traditionally includes an elevated ninth center candle, or Shamash, used to light the other eight menorah candles during the celebration. The Shamash is also called the servant or helper candle because of its important role.
During the eight-day Festival of Lights, one candle is lit each night until the entire menorah is glowing. Menorahs are traditionally placed close to or in a window as a symbol of dedication and of sharing the light of the season with those who pass by.
Materials used to make menorahs
According to the Bible, the original Jewish menorah is believed to be made of real, solid gold. Although beautiful, a solid gold menorah would be expensive. Fortunately, metal menorahs are available that are made of materials such as brass, iron or aluminum. Many come in gorgeous finishes that resemble precious metals, including bronze, gold tone, copper, iron and silver tone.
Menorah sizes and candles
While there is no standard size for a menorah, most models range from 7 to 14 inches in height and width. These menorahs work with traditional candles of various sizes. Some small menorahs work with miniature candles that are used for birthday cakes. Most companies list the size of the candles they accommodate, so check this information before you stock up on candles.
In addition to candles, some menorahs also accommodate small glass cups that are used to hold oil for burning. Flameless options are also available. While they look like typical Hanukkah menorahs, they have lights powered by batteries, cables or electricity.
Best traditional menorahs
This menorah has a durable build with nice weight and a sturdy base with a slip-resistant rubberized bottom. It features a sleek silver-tone finish with the Star of David below the Shamash. It works with most standard Hanukkah candles.
This menorah’s Tree of Life design has a branchlike appearance with detailed leaves. It’s available in several antique finishes to match different décor.
An alternative to traditional Hanukkah menorahs, this model doesn’t work with flames as it’s powered by three AAA batteries, a USB cable or electricity. It has the Star of David beneath the Shamash and comes in a choice of several finishes. It’s a nice decorative piece to use in areas where flames aren’t practical.
Because it comes with inserts, this attractive menorah works with candles of various sizes. Constructed by hand of durable iron, it has impressive weight and is stable when placed on a flat surface. It features a stylish wavelike appearance that looks great in a window.
The treelike appearance with branches and roots gives this menorah a rustic style. It’s made of brass that’s strong and has weight that keeps it stable on a flat surface such as a tabletop or windowsill. You can choose from several finishes including silver, copper, pewter and gold.
Although it’s small, this classic Hanukkah menorah has a heavy feel and a stable base. Unlike most menorahs, it works with standard birthday candles. It’s a good choice for small spaces. You can pick between blue and silver finishes.
If you are looking for a colorful menorah, you’ll like multiple shades of blue in the finish of this model. It has a modern structure and works with standard candles or oil cups. It’s made of aluminum that’s sturdy and long-lasting.
In addition to strong iron construction, this menorah offers a contemporary design with the Shamash on one end instead of in the middle. It has a powdered-coated finish that protects the metal from developing corrosion or rust.
This menorah is a stunning option, featuring enameled pewter with floral and crystal embellishments. The blue, gold, green and white color scheme is truly beautiful. The Shamash candle goes in the extended branch in the middle.
Best fun and eclectic menorahs
This menorah is perfect for pup parents and dog enthusiasts. It displays seven dogs of various breeds on a bed of grass, with eight of the Hanukkah candles placed in bowls and the Shamash atop a dog house. We like the intricate details, especially the themed bowls featuring sweet text such as “Latke Labrador” and “Dalmatian Dreidel.”
It’s only fair that we represent both dog and cat lovers. This feline-filled menorah features nine cats of various breeds, one for each night of Hanukkah, accented with a paw-print border. The Shamash goes in the elevated holder in the middle.
This whimsical dinosaur menorah is sure to turn heads at a Hanukkah party. The Shamash goes on the T. rex’s head, with the other candles lining the body and tail. You can get this Jurassic-era piece as a green dinosaur or in all gold.
This funky menorah is great for sports fans, decorated with tennis, football, basketball, lacrosse, hockey, baseball and soccer gear. Eight candles are placed in holders with multicolored bases, and the Shamash goes in a holder atop a scoreboard.
This menorah can help get kids in the mood for Hanukkah or honor a firefighter in the family. The display features a fire truck, fire hydrant and hose alongside a Dalmatian wearing a bandana. The Shamash candle goes in a holder on top of the driver compartment with the remaining eight candles lining the rest of the vehicle.
Here’s another fun option to get kids in the Hanukkah spirit — each of the nine candles are held in ice cream cones that add up to a cute and colorful display.
If your child dreams of becoming an astronaut, they’ll love this menorah. The spaceship is decorated with “Happy Hanukkah,” menorah and dreidel imagery complete with an astronaut holding a flag. Eight candles fit in holders along the top of the spaceship, with the Shamash elevated at the back.
While this menorah is designed for children, a baker will love it just the same. The Shamash goes in the chef’s hat, with the other candles held in colorful doughnuts with subtle dreidel and menorah imagery.
This menorah brings the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark to life. The Shamash is in an elevated holder atop the ship, surrounded by the other candles lining the top. It’s got a lot going on; dolphins jumping over the water, turtle candle holders, rhinos, tigers, elephants and giraffes (two of each, naturally).
This brightly colored and buildable foam menorah doubles as a toy for young kids. It will teach them about the menorah-lighting ceremony, without the hazard of real candles. The Shamash is shown elevated in the middle, with the dreidel and Star of David symbols functioning as a match-the-shape game.
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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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