If you are part of the Bath and Body Works cult following, you probably love that there are hundreds of fragrances but may be wondering why there are two different types of candles.
In this article I will point out the exact differences between 3-wick and 1-wick candles and how you can expect each one to perform. Avoid burning the wrong candle in your home by following my advice outlined below.
Bath & Body Works Candles Overview
Bath & Body Works (BBW) candles are manufactured in the United States using globally-sourced ingredients that meet their strict quality standards.
Read this older article to learn more details about the company.
In short, BBW places an emphasis on familiar scents and eye-catching colors that compliment seasonal changes and help highlight your favorite celebrations. Bath & Body Works candles exist to help you create fun-filled experiences inside your home.
Bath & Body Works 3-Wick vs 1-Wick Candle: What’s the Difference?
Aside from the number of lead-free wicks used to make the candles, the primary differences between Bath & Body Works’ 3-Wick and 1-Wick candles are:
- Wax composition
- Fragrance throw
- Fragrance options
- Lid type
BBW’s single wick candles are about half the size of their 3-Wick candles. The dimensions of a 1-wick candle are 2.75 inches wide x 3.5 inches tall. It weighs 7 oz (198 g). Their compact size makes them perfect for smaller spaces, like powder rooms.
On the other hand, 3-Wick jars are 4 inches wide x 3.5 inches tall and weigh 14.5 oz (411 g). Almost twice as wide, these larger jars are a better fit for master bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens.
The top four ingredients of both candles are:
- Hydrogenated soybean oil (soybean wax)
- Paraffin wax
- Hydrogenated palm oil (palm wax)
- Fragrance (parfume; fragrance ingredient)
BBW uses two wax formulas that combine soy, paraffin, and vegetable wax (in this case palm wax). The exact blend for each candle size varies, but each contains some combination of the three waxes.
Whatever is listed first on an ingredients list usually indicates the largest proportion of ingredients for a particular product. While there is more soybean wax than the other types, BBW can’t refer to their candles as soy candles because they don’t solely use that type of wax.
This is why they carefully use the phrase, “soy wax blend” on their packaging labels.
Although both candle sizes describe use of natural essential oils, note the term, “parfume” on the ingredients list. Natural essential oils are not synthetically produced perfumes, therefore, it’s likely that only a portion of the scent comes from essential oils.
This is why they use very specific language, “with natural essential oils.” Some people don’t realize that “with” makes a huge difference. It loosely translates into: “a portion of,” meaning, we blended synthetic fragrance oils with natural essential oils to produce this scent.
There’s really nothing wrong with blending synthetic and natural oils, but the company is highlighting one over the other. I believe it’s Glasshouse that does a good job of explaining why this is sometimes necessary.
Since natural essential oils can smell different depending on the crop, where it is grown, and when it is harvested, companies combine natural and synthetic scents in order to create a consistent scent experience for their customers.
And this must be true for Bath & Body Works. None of their top fragrances, like Champagne Toast, would have been a customer favorite for as long as it has if the scent was different from batch to batch.
Beyond the type of scents used, the number of wicks does help determine how well you smell the candle once it burns.
A single wick candle smells best in smaller spaces because the wax pool is small and won’t carry fragrance very far. This is why Bath & Body Works’ 3-Wick candles can fill a large room full of fragrance. Since there are three wicks, a larger wax pool forms, throwing more intense fragrance throughout the room.
The fragrances available for 1-Wick candles are taken from BBW’s 3-Wick candle selections. You might notice that there are about half as many single wick candles as there are the larger 3-Wick ones.
I counted about 48 of the 1-Wick candles and about 100 of the 3-Wick scent options. This is excluding their White Barn scents that are blended in on each results page.
Lastly, there are differences in the types of lid included with each candle. Smaller, 1-Wick candles have a screw-on lid. The larger candles have a slightly more elegant fitted lid that can extinguish your candle once you’re done burning it.
But no matter how they look, lids help candles retain their fragrance. When you use lids, you can be sure that your candles will have a strong scent until all the wax is gone.
Here’s an example of how they look side by side:
|Warm Vanilla Sugar||Frozen Lake|
|No. of Wicks||3||1|
|Weight||14.5 oz (411g)||7 oz (198g)|
|Dimensions||4 in. wide x 3.5 in. tall||2.75 in. wide x 3.5 in. tall|
|Burn Time||Up to 45 hours||25 to 45 hours|
Are Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candles Better?
Yes, but it depends. Here’s what I mean. There are three main benefits that I can see when choosing a 3-Wick BBW candle over the 1-Wick version.
1. More Ambient Light
Since you will be lighting three wicks instead of one, this candle will produce more light.
This means if you light one or more of these 3-Wick candles in a room, you can use them as a dim light source. If your goal is to accompany a nice fragrance with a softly lit atmosphere, then this is the better choice.
2. Intense Fragrance
Not only is the fragrance in 3-Wick candles more intense, the scent lingers for much longer after the candle has been blown out.
Some people love this feature but there are others who feel that BBW’s 3-Wick candles are too strong. If this is the case for you, then there might be a solution.
Shirin Bhasin shared a good suggestion for balancing out scent expectations in her video below.
What she suggests is that if you like Bed Bath & Beyond’s more subtle scents but feel that you can hardly smell them when you burn the single-wick candle, then that is the scent you might want to purchase as the larger, 3-Wick candle because the scent will be stronger.
Similarly, if you like a particular fragrance but feel that it’s overwhelming when burned as a 3-Wick candle, you may want to purchase that scent as a 1-Wick candle because the fragrance and throw will be less intense.
The only downfall to that is not all 3-Wick scents are available as 1-Wick scents.
3. Longer Burn Time
Although BBW claims that both their 3-Wick and 1-Wick candles can both burn for up to 45 hours, this is not always true.
The 3-Wick candles burn quickly because as more wax melts, it creates more fuel for the wicks to burn. Even thought they burn faster, the 3-Wick candles tend to last for a total of 40-45 hours.
For single wick candles, the actual burn time is usually on the lower end at about 25 hours total. So you are still getting more for your money with the larger candle.
Takeaway: So, are these 3-Wick candles a better choice? In terms of strong, lasting fragrance and long burn time, then yes, the larger candles are the winner. If you are burning candles in a smaller room, then a 3-Wick BBW candle might be overpowering and you should instead choose their single wick option.
How Can You Increase The Longevity of Your Candle?
No matter how many wicks your candle has, burn time significantly decreases if your candle isn’t properly maintained. Here’s what you can do:
Allow the wax to fully pool before blowing out the candle. This means that the melted wax should reach the edge of the container in all directions. If you put out the flame prematurely, you will experience tunneling, which causes a lot of wax to build up around the edges, making it nearly impossible to ever melt evenly again.
Keep the wick trimmed as this allows for a more even burn. If the wick is too long, then it will melt the wax more quickly, which also releases more fragrance than desired.
Keep debris out of the candle wax because it can interfere with burn time.
Keep them away from drafts as strong winds can cause the flame to get out of control, which causes the candle to burn more quickly and unevenly.
Lastly, never burn a candle of any size for more than four hours. Burning them for too long can cause the wick to mushroom and begin to smoke.
For your safety, never burn candles, and then leave them unattended.
You can choose the right candle to burn in your home by thinking about the pros and cons of each type of candle.
Choose Bath & Body Works 3-Wick candles if:
- You want more fragrance options
- You plan to burn it in a larger room
- You want to smell a stronger, lasting scent
- You prefer candles that burn evenly
Choose Bath & Body Works 1-Wick candles if:
- You want a slightly less expensive option
- You plan on using it in a smaller room
- You prefer less intense fragrance
- You want to try out scents for the first time or rotate them more often
As always, the choice is up to you but at the very least, make sure you consider fragrance intensity and burn time when making your decision.