Paraffin vs. Soy vs. Beeswax: Which Wax is Best for Scented Candles?


A scented candle can be a great way to fragrance your home. You can even make your own candles so you can control how strong or how subtle the scent throw will be. When you make your own candle, though, you have to make the decision as to which type of wax is best for a scented candle.

Generally speaking, all of these waxes have benefits when making scented candles. If you want a maximum scent throw, paraffin wax is the best option but there are many different aspects to figuring out which wax is best for you.

These waxes differ by price, fragrance hold, and personal preference. All of these candles will provide you with a good scented candle, but it all dwindles down to choosing the one that’s wort your money. You’ll have to take into account the amount of fragrance they wax will hold, what the wax is composed of, and which wax you’ll be most comfortable using.

Paraffin vs. Soy vs. Beeswax

The Types of Waxes

When deciding which kind of wax is best for your candle making, you need to know all about each wax. In this section, I will go over what the different kinds of waxes are and what their benefits of each are.

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax is probably the most common wax to be used when making candles. Many big name mass production candle companies use this wax in their candles. The reason this kind of wax is so popular is because it holds fragrance and color really well.

Many people trying to live a green lifestyle tend to choose not to use paraffin wax. This is because of the way it is created. Paraffin wax is petroleum based and comes from what is left over from the refinement process of crude oil. Because of this, many people claim it is toxic, which isn’t necessarily true.

Companies producing paraffin wax have to have their supply pass federal regulations to prove that the wax burns cleanly. By passing the federal regulations, this means that burning the candles will not be toxic to your home.

Even though this wax has to pass regulations, there are still arguments against using it. Many people talk about how when paraffin wax burns, it releases soot, which can be harmful when breathed in. Paraffin wax can also produce chemicals when it burns which can negatively affect the air quality in your home.

Benefits of Paraffin Wax

  • It’s an inexpensive wax.
  • It burns and cools at a higher temperature than other waxes.
  • This wax gives a stronger scent throw and a longer lasting fragrance.

Disadvantages of Paraffin Wax

  • The wax lets off soot and chemicals when burning.

Read our full review on Best Scented Candles.

Soy Wax

Soy wax is a generally new type of wax used in candles. This type is created from soybean oil. This makes soy wax a sustainable resource and a better option for people who are trying to live a green, environmentally friendly lifestyle.

This wax also has a cleaner and slower burn than its paraffin counterpart. This will give you a longer lifespan for your candle than you would get with a paraffin wax candle. Soy wax is also inarguably non-toxic, unlike paraffin wax.

If you’re looking for a more subtle scent throw, this would be a good wax for you. While giving off a more subtle scent throw doesn’t mean you’re going to be given a weak scent throw, it does mean that you will not get as strong of a throw as you would with a paraffin wax candle.

When using soy wax, many companies use a soy wax blend. This means that the candle is at least 51% soybean oil but has other vegetable oils mixed into it, such as coconut, and other waxes, such as beeswax.

Benefits of Soy Wax

  • You are given a slower burn, which means your candle will have a long lifespan.
  • It is a more eco-friendly wax compared to paraffin wax.
  • Soy wax gives off less soot than paraffin wax.

Disadvantages of Soy Wax

  • A soy wax candle doesn’t provide as strong of a scent throw as a paraffin wax candle.

Beeswax

Beeswax is the oldest type of wax used for making candles. The use of this wax stems back to the ancient Egyptians who would burn papyrus leaves that were coated in the beeswax. This is also the most natural type of wax to use in your candles. Like the name displays, beeswax is naturally sourced from bees.

Beeswax is considered the healthiest of the three waxes in this post. They don’t give off smoke or soot and there are no chemicals given off during the burn. Burning a beeswax candle can actually help purify the air, too. Along with beeswax being the healthiest wax, it’s also cruelty free and vegan and vegetarian friendly. No bees are harmed during the harvesting of beeswax.

Beeswax is more expensive than paraffin and soy wax because it is naturally sourced. This makes it more expensive to buy candles made with this wax and less likely to be used when making candles. Even though it’s expensive, the quality candle you get with this wax is well worth the money you’re spending.

There is a slight sweet, honey fragrance that comes off naturally from the wax. Beeswax can also take away pollutants from the air. This is great for people who are affected by yearly allergies or those that have asthma. It’s also been known to help with relaxation.

Benefits of Beeswax

  • It’s a natural sourced product that burns completely cleanly.
  • It is the healthiest of the waxes and can purify the air.
  • Beeswax doesn’t drip so there is no wasted wax and no mess, which makes it safer to burn.

Disadvantages of Beeswax

  • This wax is more expensive than paraffin and soy wax.

Read our full review about Best Beeswax Candles.

Other Types of Waxes

While paraffin, soy, and beeswax are the main waxes for candle making, there are other kinds of waxes too.

The other kinds of waxes popularly used in candle making are:

  • Palm wax
  • Gel wax
  • Rapeseed wax
  • Coconut wax

With soy wax candles, many companies will combine it with different waxes. A popular wax that they blend their candles with is coconut wax, but palm and rapeseed wax are also used. There are many reasons for blending waxes. It can be to make a cleaner burn or to help the fragrance become stronger.

Gel wax is used on its own for candle making. This type of candle has a gelatinous texture to it and is transparent. One of the popular uses of this wax is to make candles that look like popular drinks. Because it is transparent, this is a good type of wax to add decorations into the middle of the wax. Also, even though it’s gel, this wax holds fragrance and color well.

Final Thoughts

Choosing what type of wax to use can be a difficult decision. If you want a maximum scent throw, paraffin wax is the best option for you. Paraffin wax is used by countless different companies, whether they make 100% paraffin wax candles or if they blend the paraffin with waxes like soy or coconut. Regardless, paraffin wax is known for being able to hold color and fragrance well.

If you don’t want to use paraffin wax then either beeswax or soy wax are great alternatives. They burn cleaner than paraffin wax and are more natural waxes than paraffin. While they are more expensive than paraffin wax, they give your candles a longer lifespan which means more time for you to fragrance your home.

No matter which wax you choose, paraffin, soy, and beeswax are all great waxes to use when making scented candles.

gege

Welcome. My name is Gege. I am a professional freelance lifestyle writer. Over 1.5 million fans take my lifestyle advice and use products from my recommendations.

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