Best Wax For Candle Making Guide - candle junkies
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Comparing Different Kinds Of Wax For Candle Making

Looking for the best wax for candle making? It’s not as simple as it might seem. Different candle waxes can make your candles smell, burn, and look unique, turning an ordinary candle into something extraordinary.

Whether you’re an expert or just starting out, understanding the various types is key to finding that perfect wax.

In this guide, we’ll explore the different options to help you discover the best candle wax for your next candle creation.

Want a lesson on wax types? Let’s get started!

A Brief Glow into Candle Wax History

Candle-making dates back thousands of years, with each era favoring different materials based on availability and technological advancements.

Ancient Times: The earliest known candles were made from tallow, a form of animal fat. These provided a smoky flame and were widely used in ancient Rome and China.

Middle Ages: Beeswax became a preferred material, especially in Europe. Unlike tallow, beeswax burned cleanly and emitted a pleasant aroma. However, it was expensive, making it a luxury item often reserved for churches and the wealthy.

19th Century: The industrial revolution brought significant changes, with stearin wax derived from animal fats or palm oil becoming popular. The discovery of paraffin wax, a byproduct of crude oil refining, further revolutionized candle-making. Paraffin was odorless, burned cleanly, and was more affordable.

Modern Times: Today, the candle industry continues to innovate, introducing various plant-based waxes like soy, coconut, and palm. These cater to growing environmental concerns and offer more choices for crafters and consumers.

The evolution of candle wax reflects both technological advances and shifts in cultural values. From ancient tallow to modern plant-based options, the history of candle wax is a fascinating journey that illuminates human innovation and creativity.

The Different Types Of Candle Wax ( + Pros & Cons)

Soy Wax

best wax for candle making soy wax


  • Renewable Resource: Soy wax is made from soybeans, a renewable resource, making it an environmentally friendly option.
  • Clean Burning: It burns cleaner than many other waxes, such as paraffin, producing fewer soot particles.
  • Biodegradable: As a natural substance, soy wax is biodegradable and easier to clean.
  • Long-Lasting: Soy candles burn slower and cooler, meaning they generally last longer than paraffin candles.
  • Good Scent Retention: Soy wax holds fragrances well, allowing for a pleasant and consistent scent.
  • Vegan Friendly: It doesn’t contain any animal products, making it a suitable choice for vegans.


  • Frosting: Soy wax can develop a frosted appearance, which may not be desirable for some.
  • Sensitivity to Temperature: It can be sensitive to temperature changes, potentially affecting appearance or performance.
  • Weaker Scent Throw: Compared to some other waxes, the scent throw may be less intense.
  • Inconsistent Quality: The quality of soy wax can vary depending on the manufacturer and the blend.
  • Potential GMO Concerns: Many soy products are genetically modified, which might be a concern for some users.
  • Challenging for Some DIY Projects: Pure soy wax can be tricky to work with in certain applications, such as molding.

Soy wax offers several appealing features, especially for those looking for a clean, environmentally conscious option. However, it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations that might make it less suitable for certain applications or preferences.

Paraffin Wax

comparing different types of candle wax


  • Affordability: Paraffin wax is usually more affordable than other types of candle wax, like soy or coconut.
  • Easy to Work With: It’s known for its ease of use, especially for beginners and in various types of candle-making projects.
  • Strong Scent Throw: Paraffin wax often provides a strong scent throw, which makes for more fragrant candles.
  • Smooth Appearance: Candles made with paraffin wax typically have a smooth and glossy finish, adding to their aesthetic appeal.
  • Availability: This type of wax is widely available and can be easily found in many stores.


  • Non-Renewable: Paraffin wax is derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource, making it less environmentally friendly.
  • Potential Health Concerns: It may release toxic chemicals when burned, which could be concerning to some users.
  • Soot Production: Paraffin candles tend to produce more soot and can leave residue on walls and other surfaces.
  • Less Sustainable: The extraction and production process of paraffin wax raises sustainability and environmental concerns.
  • Not Biodegradable: Unlike natural waxes, paraffin is not biodegradable.

Paraffin wax is often favored for its affordability, strong scent throw, and smooth appearance. However, its environmental impact and potential health concerns might make it a less desirable option for some users.

Coconut Wax

best wax for candle making coconut wax


  • Sustainability: Coconut wax is a renewable and biodegradable resource, making it an environmentally friendly option.
  • Clean Burning: It burns cleaner than many other waxes, releasing fewer toxins and pollutants.
  • Slow Burning: Coconut wax tends to burn slower than other types of wax, which means the candles last longer.
  • Great Scent Throw: It holds fragrance well, allowing for a strong and consistent scent throughout the candle’s life.
  • Smooth Appearance: It generally provides a beautiful, smooth finish that is aesthetically pleasing.
  • Non-Toxic: It’s considered a safe and non-toxic option, especially compared to some traditional paraffin waxes.


  • Expense: Coconut wax is typically more expensive than other common waxes like soy or paraffin, which might deter some users.
  • Temperature Sensitivity: It may be more sensitive to temperature changes, potentially affecting the candle’s appearance or performance.
  • Availability: It can be harder to find compared to more common waxes, particularly in certain areas.
  • Potential Allergen: For those with specific allergies or sensitivities to coconut, this wax might not be a suitable option.
  • Challenging to Work With: It may require specific handling, temperatures, or additives to achieve the desired consistency or appearance, making it a bit more challenging for DIY candle makers.

Beeswax For Candles

best wax for candle making


  • Natural and Renewable: Beeswax is a natural substance produced by bees, making it a renewable resource.
  • Clean Burning: Beeswax candles burn cleanly, with little to no soot or smoke, and release negative ions that can purify the air.
  • Long-Lasting: Beeswax burns slower and lasts longer than many other types of wax, providing good value for its cost.
  • Pleasant Aroma: The natural honey-like scent of beeswax adds a pleasant fragrance to candles without needing added scents.
  • Hypoallergenic: It’s known to be beneficial for those with allergies and sensitivities, as it doesn’t produce toxic byproducts.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: Beeswax has a beautiful golden hue and a smooth texture that adds elegance to candles.


  • Expensive: Beeswax is typically more expensive than other waxes like soy or paraffin.
  • Harder to Work With: It can be more challenging to handle in candle-making, especially for beginners.
  • Limited Scent Options: The natural fragrance might clash with or overpower added scents, limiting fragrance options.
  • Availability: Beeswax can be harder to find in large quantities, especially if looking for organic or sustainably sourced options.
  • Potential Allergen: For those with specific allergies to bee products, beeswax might not be a suitable option.

Beeswax offers an appealing natural, clean-burning, and aesthetically pleasing option for candles. However, its higher cost, limited scent compatibility, and potential challenges in handling might make it less suitable for some users.

Palm Wax

palm wax candles


  • Hard and Durable: Palm wax is known for its hardness and durability, making it suitable for various types of candles, including molded shapes.
  • Unique Textures: It often creates beautiful crystalline or feathered patterns in the candles, adding visual appeal.
  • Clean Burning: Palm wax generally burns cleanly with minimal soot, making it a desirable option for those concerned about air quality.
  • Strong Scent Throw: Like paraffin, palm wax can carry fragrance well, allowing for strongly scented candles.
  • Biodegradable: Being a natural wax, palm wax is biodegradable.


  • Sustainability Concerns: The production of palm oil (from which palm wax is derived) has been linked to deforestation and environmental harm, leading to concerns about sustainability.
  • Expense: It can be more expensive than other common waxes like paraffin or even soy.
  • Potential Difficulty in Working: Some find palm wax challenging to work with, especially in achieving consistent texture or appearance.
  • Availability: Depending on your location and the specific type of palm wax you seek (e.g., sustainably sourced), it may be harder to find.
  • Potential Cracking: Palm wax candles might crack if not cooled under the right conditions.

Palm wax provides a unique aesthetic and is valued for its hardness and clean burn. However, concerns related to sustainability, cost, and potential difficulties in handling may deter some users from choosing this option.

Less Common Wax Types Used In Candles

Bayberry Wax

bayberry wax


  • Natural Source: Bayberry wax is derived from the berries of the bayberry shrub, making it a natural and renewable resource.
  • Unique Fragrance: It has a distinct, pleasant fragrance that can add a unique scent to candles without the need for artificial fragrances.
  • Clean Burning: Like many natural waxes, bayberry wax tends to burn cleanly, producing minimal soot.
  • Historical Significance: Bayberry candles have a rich tradition, especially in some cultures, adding a sense of nostalgia or authenticity.
  • Biodegradable: As a plant-based wax, bayberry is biodegradable.


  • Expensive: It takes a significant amount of bayberries to produce a small amount of wax, making bayberry wax one of the more expensive options.
  • Limited Availability: Bayberry wax can be hard to find, especially in large quantities or specific quality grades.
  • Challenging to Work With: It can be more difficult to work with compared to more common waxes, potentially requiring special handling or additives.
  • May Require Blending: Pure bayberry wax may be too brittle for some candle types, requiring blending with other waxes.
  • Not Suitable for Strong Fragrances: The natural scent of bayberry may not mix well with strong artificial fragrances.

Bayberry wax offers a unique, natural option with a lovely inherent fragrance and clean burn. However, its high cost, limited availability, and potential challenges in handling might make it less suitable for general use or large-scale candle-making projects.

Gel Wax

gel wax candles


  • Unique Visual Appeal: The clear nature of gel wax allows for stunning visual effects, such as embedding objects.
  • Long-Lasting Burn: Tends to burn more slowly than traditional waxes, providing extended candle enjoyment.
  • Versatility: Adaptable to various container shapes and designs, allowing for creative expression.
  • Strong Scent Throw: Can hold a significant amount of fragrance oil, resulting in robustly scented candles.


  • Challenging to Work With: Gel wax can be more complex to handle, particularly for those new to candle-making.
  • Limited Applications: It’s generally suitable only for container candles, not for pillars or molded forms.
  • Potential Safety Concerns: Specific temperature requirements and potential flammability necessitate careful handling.
  • Higher Cost: Often more expensive than common waxes like paraffin or soy, making it a more premium option.

Gel wax is known for its unique clear appearance and ability to create visually stunning candles. It’s often used for artistic or decorative purposes and can carry strong fragrances well. However, its complexity, limitations in application, and cost might present challenges or deter some from using it.

Finding Your Perfect Match: A Solution That Burns Bright

Picking the right wax for your candles is like choosing the right ingredient for a recipe.

If you’re just beginning with making candles a candle making kit could be your perfect introduction. They include different waxes, wicks, and fragrances, these kits offer everything you need in one place. It’s a fuss-free way to ignite your creativity and explore the world of waxes without the guesswork. Check out this kit for a good starting point!

Want something natural? Try coconut, beeswax, or soy.

Looking to get artistic? Gel and cream waxes offer cool visual effects.

If you prefer something tried and true, paraffin might be the way to go.

Every wax has its perks and quirks, but there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It’s all about what you’re looking to create. So, explore the options, play around with different types, and most importantly, have fun with it!

In the world of candle-making, the right wax can spark creativity and make your project shine.

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