Comparing Candle Waxes: Paraffin, Soy, Beeswax, and More


Candles have been used for centuries to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in homes and other spaces. However, not all candles are created equal, and the type of wax used can have a significant impact on the quality of the candle. In this article, we will compare some of the most popular types of candle wax, including paraffin, soy, beeswax, and more.

Why Candle Wax Matters

The type of wax used in a candle can affect its burn time, scent throw, and overall quality. Each type of wax has its own unique properties and benefits, and choosing the right one for your needs is essential. For example, soy wax is a popular choice for those who prefer a natural and eco-friendly option, while paraffin wax is often used in mass-produced candles due to its affordability and versatility.

Whether you are a candle enthusiast or simply looking for the perfect candle for your home, understanding the differences between various types of wax can help you make an informed decision. Read on to learn more about the benefits and drawbacks of paraffin, soy, beeswax, and other candle waxes.

paraffin wax candle

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is a popular type of candle wax that has been used for many years. It is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, and is a byproduct of the crude oil refining process. Paraffin wax is a versatile wax that is commonly used in candles, cosmetics, and other products.

Advantages of Paraffin Wax

  • One of the main advantages of paraffin wax is its affordability. It is one of the cheapest types of candle wax available, making it ideal for mass production.
  • Paraffin wax has a high melting point, which means that it can hold a higher concentration of fragrance oils and dyes. This makes it a popular choice for scented candles.
  • Paraffin wax is also easy to work with and can be poured into a variety of molds and containers.
  • It produces a bright, steady flame that burns for a long time, making it a popular choice for emergency candles and outdoor use.
  • Paraffin wax candles are widely available and can be found in almost any store that sells candles.

Disadvantages of Paraffin Wax

  • Paraffin wax is made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, which means that it is not an environmentally friendly option.
  • When burned, paraffin wax releases chemicals such as benzene and toluene, which can be harmful to human health.
  • Paraffin wax can produce soot and smoke, which can stain walls and ceilings and cause respiratory problems.
  • It is not biodegradable and can take a long time to break down in landfills.
AffordableNon-renewable resource
High fragrance loadProduces harmful chemicals
Easy to work withProduces soot and smoke
Long burn timeNot biodegradable
Widely available

soy wax candle

Soy Wax

Soy wax is a vegetable wax made from the oil of soybeans. It is a popular choice for candle makers because it is renewable, eco-friendly, and biodegradable. Soy wax is also known for its clean burn and ability to hold fragrance well.

Advantages of Soy Wax

  • Renewable: Soy wax is made from a renewable resource, making it a more sustainable choice than paraffin wax.
  • Eco-friendly: Soy wax is biodegradable and doesn’t release harmful chemicals into the environment when burned.
  • Clean burn: Soy wax burns cleanly and doesn’t produce black soot or smoke, which can be a problem with paraffin wax.
  • Good fragrance retention: Soy wax has a natural ability to hold fragrance well, making it a popular choice for scented candles.
  • Easy to work with: Soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin wax, making it easier to work with and pour into containers.

Disadvantages of Soy Wax

  • Higher cost: Soy wax is generally more expensive than paraffin wax, which can be a deterrent for some candle makers.
  • Less durable: Soy wax is softer than paraffin wax and can be more prone to dents or scratches.
  • May require additives: Some soy waxes may require the addition of other ingredients, such as stearic acid or vybar, to improve performance.
  • Not suitable for all types of candles: Soy wax may not be the best choice for certain types of candles, such as pillars or votives, as it may not hold its shape as well as other waxes.
Comparison of Soy Wax and Paraffin Wax
Soy WaxParaffin Wax
Environmental impactBiodegradable, eco-friendlyNon-biodegradable, can release harmful chemicals
Burn qualityClean burn, good fragrance retentionMay produce black soot and smoke
DurabilityLess durableMore durable

beeswax candle


Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees. It is a byproduct of honey production and is widely used in the production of candles. Beeswax is a renewable resource and has been used for centuries for its various benefits.

Advantages of Beeswax

  • Natural: Beeswax is a natural product that is free of harmful chemicals and additives. It is a safe and healthy alternative to synthetic waxes.
  • Long-Lasting: Beeswax candles burn longer than other candles, making them a cost-effective option in the long run.
  • Air Purifying: Beeswax candles release negative ions when burned, which can help purify the air and improve air quality.
  • Pleasant Aroma: Beeswax has a natural, sweet aroma that is soothing and calming. It can help create a relaxing atmosphere in your home.
  • Dripless: Beeswax candles are dripless, meaning they do not create a mess or leave residue behind.

Disadvantages of Beeswax

  • Expensive: Beeswax candles are generally more expensive than other types of candles due to the cost of production.
  • Not Vegan: Beeswax is a product of honeybees, making it not suitable for vegans or those who prefer to avoid animal products.
  • Not Fragrant: While beeswax has a natural aroma, it is not as strong or noticeable as scented candles. If you prefer a strong scent, beeswax candles may not be the best option for you.
Long-LastingNot Vegan
Air PurifyingNot Fragrant
Pleasant Aroma

candle wax

Other Candle Waxes

In addition to paraffin, soy, and beeswax, there are several other candle waxes available on the market. Here are a few:

Palm Wax

Palm wax is a natural wax derived from the oil of palm trees. It is a popular choice for environmentally conscious candle makers since it is a renewable resource that is biodegradable and sustainable. Palm wax candles have a unique crystalline appearance and a long burn time. They also have a slightly higher melting point than soy wax, making them a good choice for warmer climates.

Gel Wax

Gel wax is a translucent, rubbery wax that is often used to make decorative candles. It is made from a combination of mineral oil and a polymer resin, and can be colored and scented to create a variety of effects. Gel wax candles have a unique, jelly-like appearance and can be molded into a variety of shapes. They also burn longer than traditional wax candles, but can be more difficult to work with.

Bayberry Wax

Bayberry wax is a rare and expensive wax that is derived from the berries of the bayberry bush. It has a natural greenish color and a pleasant, woodsy scent. Bayberry wax candles have a unique, rustic appearance and a long burn time. However, bayberry wax is difficult to work with and is often blended with other waxes to improve its burn properties.

Comparison of Other Candle Waxes
Wax TypeAppearanceBurn TimeEase of Use
Palm WaxCrystallineLongEasy
Gel WaxTranslucent, jelly-likeLonger than traditional waxDifficult
Bayberry WaxNatural greenish color, rusticLongDifficult

candle wax

Conclusion: Which Candle Wax is Right for You?

Choosing the right candle wax for your needs can be a daunting task, but it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. Here are some key takeaways to consider:

Paraffin Wax

  • Paraffin wax is affordable and widely available.
  • It produces a strong scent throw and bright flame.
  • However, it is derived from petroleum, which some may find concerning.

Soy Wax

  • Soy wax is a natural and renewable resource, making it a popular choice for eco-conscious consumers.
  • It burns longer and cleaner than paraffin wax.
  • However, it may not have as strong of a scent throw and can be more expensive.


  • Beeswax is a natural and renewable resource, making it a popular choice for eco-conscious consumers.
  • It burns longer and cleaner than paraffin wax.
  • It has a natural honey scent and a warm, golden color.

Gel Wax

  • Gel wax is a clear, translucent wax that can hold embeds and decorative elements.
  • It has a longer burn time and produces a unique, shimmering effect.
  • However, it may not have as strong of a scent throw and can be more expensive.

Other Wax Blends

  • Other wax blends, such as coconut wax or palm wax, offer unique properties and benefits.
  • Coconut wax is a natural and renewable resource, while palm wax is a byproduct of sustainable palm oil production.
  • Both offer a longer burn time and strong scent throw.

Ultimately, the choice of candle wax depends on your personal preferences, budget, and values. Consider what is most important to you, whether it be eco-friendliness, strong scent throw, or affordability, and choose a wax that aligns with those priorities.

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