A decorative lantern is one of the easiest ways to add some cozy ambient lighting and touch personal style to your outdoor or indoor space. With a large variety of sizes, styles and colors to choose from, there is almost certainly something that’ll be exactly what you’re looking for. In general we’ve found the H Potter Decorative Hurricane Lantern to be the best choice for most folks. It has that wonderful rustic outdoor charm and is made from high quality, durable materials. Plus, it’s available in both small and large sizes to fit in perfectly with any existing patio decor.
We’ve put together the below table so you can easily compare our other top choices side by side. If you’re interested in learning more, you can click here to skip straight to our number one choice or scroll down to read the rest of the article and full reviews.
Decorative Lantern Review Criteria
When it comes to the best decorative lanterns, especially if they are for outdoor use, we know that build quality and durability are the top factors to consider. We’ve paid careful attention to both as well as made sure to go over the various materials, sizes, styles, wind resistances and more. Our goal is to ensure you get the best outdoor lantern that will not only function perfectly, but fits with the overall style and personality of your backyard patio, so you can relax next to those beautiful flickering flames for night after night.
Tip: If you plan to use your new candle lantern outdoors, it’s best to use a flameless candle as they can’t be blow out by the wind and are much safer to use. If you’re dead set on a real candle be sure to position your decorative lanterns out of any potential wind and rain and away from wood surfaces.
#1 H Potter Decorative Hurricane Lantern
A warm, welcoming glow easily draws in guests while the beautiful charcoal brown exterior provides a wonderful contrast to the flickering flames. The H Potter Decorative Hurricane Lantern is the most robust, high quality, and in our opinion stylish outdoor lantern on our list. Made from solid cast iron and hand blown glass, it is extremely weather proof and resistant to the elements. Available in two sizes it can easily be tucked in among existing decor to provide a bit of added lighting and snazz to your outdoor space.
Use with: Moonflor Luminara Vanilla Scent 9-Inch Wax Flameless Candle With Timer and Remote
The sturdy construction is perfect for any outdoor environment whether it’s a backyard patio or a hardtop gazebo, this lantern is up for the challenge. The removable top with included decorative hanging loop makes it easy to swap out candles, while the included vents prevent soot build up and are a great extra design element. However we’d recommend getting a remote operated candle such as the one above to make your life just a little bit easier. Overall this is the easily the best decorative lantern on our list as it simply has a superior quality build and is hand crafted with exquisite care.
What makes it great
- Superior high quality cast iron construction
- Extremely detailed rustic design
- Available in two sizes
- Gorgeous charcoal brown powder coated exterior
- Very resilient to high winds
- Hand blown hurricane glass
#2 Vela Lanterns Mid-Size Table/Hanging Glass Hexagon Moroccan Candle Lantern Holders
When you’re looking for something more than just a simple decorative lantern, the Vela Lanterns Moroccan Candle Lantern Holders are the perfect choice. Offering a wide range of colored glass options and patterns, they give your outdoor patio an enticingly exotic feel. This fully assembled outdoor hanging lantern is made with a 6” pane of colored glass available in 9 vibrant colors, each having a different mood and feel. Plus the unibody design allows for a functional ring on the top that is perfect for hanging the lantern near doorways, gazebos or pergolas.
Use with: Eastland Premium Votive Holders & Royal Imports Votive Candles
This colorful outdoor hanging lantern is sized such that it is able to use a variety of different candles, from three small tea candles up to a single larger pillar candle. We chose to use the above votive candles as the offered a long 10 hour burn time and provide some excellent light to reflect off the colored glass. Once fully lit and the door closed, the pattern on top of the candle lantern is clearly visible on the ceiling and looks wonderful, we had ours on a hanging chain and seeing the pattern twist and move was simply majestic. We have to admit though, that along with the lower price tag, these are not nearly as durable as the H Potter Decorative Hurricane Lantern. They are however, great for those on a budget or who just want to add some color and style to their outdoor space.
What makes it great
- 9 different colored glass options
- 3 different style options, table, hanging and pyramid
- Fully functional hanging loop
- Very budget friendly
- Unibody design
- Beautiful light patterns
#3 H Potter Pantheon Decorative Candle Lantern
Next up on the list is another extremely high quality large rustic lantern that provides a great sense of old school charm mixed with modern materials. The H Potter Pantheon Decorative Candle Lantern is absolutely stunning with its stainless steel accents and rustic copper finish. We loved the tree motif as it really gave this outdoor lantern a natural feel, something that works perfect on a patio. The hand blown hurricane glass is extremely tough and very resilient to wind and cracking, perfect for outdoor environments. Meanwhile the large copper top and well designed vent make an impressive statement and really help to make this rustic lantern a focal point for your backyard.
Use with: Luminara Flameless Candle
The H Potter Pantheon also has a built in side door which allow for quick and convenient swapping of candles with no hassle. With such solid, handcrafted construction this outdoor lantern got compliments from nearly every single one of our guests. We found that these are best bought in pairs as large outdoor lanterns look great framing entry ways or positioned at the end of tables to provide that extra bit of ambient light. Plus, as decorative lanterns they are as perfect for a quiet evening under the stars as they are for a festive gathering with friends. These make an incredible additional to our list, and while pricey, they will last a lifetime and unlike their flimsy competitors are built for extremely high quality materials, after all, only the best can make the cut.
What makes it great
- Stunning rustic copper finish and stainless steel accents
- Easy to open door for quick candle replacement
- Beautiful natural tree motif
- Heavy duty design is perfect for the outdoors
- Hand blown hurricane glass for extreme durability and wind resistance
#4 Vivid Volts 13″ Country Style Rustic Lantern with Flickering Flameless LED Candle
While we could have included more high end lantern in the number four spot, we really wanted to mix it up and have a variety of price points covered. As such the Vivid Volts 13″ Country Style Rustic Lantern with Flickering Flameless LED Candle made an excellent budget outdoor lantern to our list. This plastic and glass lantern requires three AAA batteries for it’s included flickering LED candle, which is able to put out quite a bit of light! We loved the rustic design with it’s square window cutouts and defined edges, and while not as stylish or as durable as metal alternatives, it does look great at a distance and holds up well to weather and sun.
Use with: AmazonBasics AAA Performance Alkaline Batteries
The batteries are stored underneath the unit and are easily replaced by removing the small battery cover. However be warned the Vivid decorative lantern goes through batteries quite fast. We were impressed with the built in timer which is able to cut off the power after four hours to help conserve the batteries. It did have a it of a learning curve to master, but once we got the hang of it, it was easy enough. The lantern measures in at just 13” tall and 5.5” wide, making it perfect for hanging off tree branches or placing around the edge of your patio for a decorative border. Plus with the plastic construction and budget friendly design if one does happen to break it won’t be nearly as soul crushing. In the end though this is a great outdoor hanging lantern that is offered at an excellent price point.
What makes it great
- Includes flickering LED candle
- Traditional rustic design
- Built in timer function to save batteries
- Can be used as a hanging lantern with included ring
- Durable plastic construction, perfect for accident prone areas
#5 Home Impressions Decorative Flameless Hurricane Lantern
The peaceful and relaxing glow that emanates from the Home Impressions Decorative Flameless Hurricane Lantern is perfect for every occasion. However, what really makes this outdoor lantern stand out are the 12 included snap on magnetic pattern plates. With 6 festive designs they are easily changed out to create the ultimate seasonal lantern. From spooky pumpkins to crisp fall leave there is a pattern for every season. If you’re someone who likes to customize their decor month after month this decorative lantern will be absolutely perfect for you.
Use with: Energizer C Cell Batteries, Max Alkaline
The Home Impressions Lantern comes standard with an LED candle that can last for up to 1000 hrs on a single set of two C batteries. Plus, it includes an automatic timer, that once set, lets the candle lantern come on at the same time every day for 4 or 8 hours at your choosing. This is perfect for relaxing on your patio and having the light come on just as dusk falls, creating the ultimate outdoor living area. Once the timers up it’ll quickly shut of the lantern which helps to conserve the battery for months of flickering flames. Overall this is a very well designed decorative lantern and is excellent at creating a festive atmosphere. It has a durable design and it offered at an excellent price point creating a truly top notch product.
What makes it great
- Windproof hurricane lantern design
- Includes 12 interchangeable pattern plates, 2 of each scene
- Includes flameless amber LED candle
- Designed for indoor and outdoor use
- Includes multifunction automatic timer
What is the best decorative lantern for outdoor use?
If we had to choose a single outdoor decorative lantern that is just a step above the rest we’d have to go with the H Potter Decorative Hurricane Lantern for it’s beautiful look, high quality design, and superior materials. Closely following it would be the H Potter Pantheon Decorative Candle Lantern for all the same reasons, it simply has a more distinct look.
The other options, while great, are better for those with a more creative and festive side and don’t offer anywhere near the same level of durability and robust design that is needed for a true rustic, outdoor lantern. If you’re interested in adding some additional lighting to your patio or simply don’t feel an outdoor candle lantern is for you, check out our reviews of the best decorative string lights or even look into adding a soft top canopy to truly create the ultimate outdoor entertainment space.
Kristofer Van Wagner says
Thank you for sharing these different types of metal lanterns that are great for outdoor gardens. My wife mentioned she would like to have metal lanterns installed in our backyard. I will share with her this article so that she will have a rough idea of which lantern will best suit our home.