Candle making is a popular hobby that DIYers have elevated to an art form. Employing various waxes and processes, they create pillars, votives, tea lights, and tarts, as well as container candles housed in charming vessels. DIY candles make thoughtful gifts for friends and family and add warmth and a pleasant scent to the home.
Different types of waxes exhibit different qualities, making them suitable for specific candle-making purposes. Read on to learn more about soy and palm waxes, beeswax, and paraffin wax. Discover the pros and cons of each as well as their individual uses in candle making. Then, select the best candle wax for your next project.
- BEST OVERALL: Hearts and Crafts Soy Wax and DIY Candle Making
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: American Soy Organics- 10 lb Freedom Soy Wax Beads
- BEST BEESWAX: Sky Organics Organic White Beeswax Pellets (1lb)
- BEST PARAFFIN WAX: Blended Waxes, Inc. 1 lb. Block – Household Paraffin
- BEST PALM WAX: Hearts and Crafts Feathering Palm Candle Wax & Wicks
Features to Look for in the Best Candle Wax
Various types of wax offer suitable qualities for producing a variety of candle types. Based on natural or synthetic sources, degrees of hardness, melting temperature points, and scent-holding capabilities, candle waxes vary in their compositions and functions.
When selecting the best candle wax for your projects, consider the type of candles, the type of wax, and its usability, burning time, and capacity for exuding aromatherapy scents.
Candlemakers use various types of wax for different types of candles.
- Soy wax, which is made from 100 percent hydrogenated soybean oil, is affordable and easy to work with. It melts at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and may be used for container candles. Soy wax is not hard enough to function as a material for freestanding pillar candles.
- Beeswax is an ancient material for candle making, and it’s suitable for pillar and taper candles as well as those in containers. With a 145-degree Fahrenheit melting point, beeswax gives off a natural honey scent.
- Paraffin wax is versatile, inexpensive, and available in a range of melting points from 90 degrees to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s useful for votive, pillar, and container candles. Environmentally conscious candlemakers may avoid using paraffin because it’s a by-product of the crude oil refinement process.
- Gel wax is a combination of mineral oil and resin. Technically, it’s not a wax. It holds scent and is suited for container candles. Due to its transparent quality, colored gel wax exhibits an attractive and novel appearance.
- Palm wax is a natural substance made from hydrogenated palm oil. Its melting point is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Due to its firm texture, palm wax works well for pillar and votive candles as well as container candles.
Candlemakers use different types of wax to create different types of candles. Freestanding candles, including pillars and tapers, offer the advantage of maintaining their shape as they burn and melt. Due to their hardness, candlemakers use paraffin, beeswax, and palm wax to make the freestanding pillars and tapers.
Freestanding pillar candles should be placed on heat-resistant, fireproof bases. Slender tapers need candle holders for upright support, and the dripless variety features an outer layer with a higher-temperature melting point than the inner layers.
Container candles, such as votives and tea lights, require heat-resistant containers to hold them as they burn and melt. Otherwise, the candles made from softer waxes would melt into a liquid puddle. Votives are generally placed in glass jars, whereas tea lights are small votive candles contained in little tin cups.
Tarts consist of candle wax that emits scent from fragrance oil as it melts in tart-warming containers. Candlemakers employ paraffin, beeswax, soy wax, palm wax, and gel wax to make container candles.
Among natural wax candles, poured beeswax candles burn the longest. Plant-based soy and palm waxes exhibit a medium-long burning time and are less expensive than beeswax. Paraffin, produced as a by-product of crude oil refinement, exhibits the shortest burning time, although it is the least expensive wax for candles.
For different types of candle wax, a higher melting point translates to a longer burning time. The burn temperature for beeswax is 149 degrees Fahrenheit, while the burn temperature for soy wax is 130 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, the burn temperature for paraffin is only 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gel candles burn longer than natural wax and paraffin candles. Gel wax is not actually a wax, as it is made from mineral oil and polymer resin. Due to its petroleum or synthetic hydrocarbon base, gel wax may emit toxins into the air as it burns.
The term “aromatherapy” applies to the practice of inhaling fragrant essential oils for therapeutic purposes. Fragrance affects mood, as scent molecules travel directly from the olfactory nerves to the emotion center of the brain (the amygdala). Aromatherapy enthusiasts inhale scents to promote relaxation and to relieve stress and anxiety.
By inhaling the scents of essential oils in burning candles, many users feel the calming effects of aromatherapy. The capacity for a candle to emit a scent into the air is known as scent throw.
Cold throw refers to the scent emitted while the candle is unlit, and hot throw refers to the scent emitted from a burning candle. For aromatherapy candles, paraffin and soy waxes exhibit the strongest scent throw capabilities.
DIY candlemakers mix fragrance oils into melted wax during the candle-making process. The most common scent load is 6 percent, although some waxes can hold more scent than others. Candlemakers may read labels and follow manufacturers’ recommendations for successfully mixing fragrance oils with DIY candle waxes.
Ease of Use
Soy wax is the easiest candle-making wax to work with. Available in bags of small chips or beads, soy wax melts and pours evenly for trouble-free candle making. Many beginners’ kits for candlemakers include soy wax because of its economical price and ease of use.
Palm wax and beeswax are also available in bags of small chips or shavings. It’s easy to measure and weigh the proper amount of wax when pouring it from a bag. By contrast, paraffin comes in a hard block, and candlemakers must cut the desired wax from the block. This makes paraffin a more cumbersome wax to work with.
Gel wax, composed of mineral oil and polymer resin, takes the form of a transparent, rubbery mass. It takes longer to melt, using a lower temperature than traditional waxes. Therefore, the candle-making process for gel candles should not be rushed.
Our Top Picks
With numerous available choices, the selection process for the best candle wax may seem confusing. To help DIY candlemakers, below is a list of the top picks. The various applications for creating different types of candles, as well as sourcing, scent throw, melting points, and burning time, are all taken into account. These high-quality waxes are made by reputable manufacturers and yield high-quality results for candlemakers.
Enjoy the subtle scent throw and gentle glow of candles made from this all-natural, organic soy wax. Unlike paraffin wax, this soy wax from Hearts and Crafts contains only soybean and vegetable oils with no chemical or mineral ingredients.
Achieving a balanced hot throw of fragrance at a 120-degree Fahrenheit melting point, candles made from this soy wax fill the home with relaxing scents from added fragrance oils.
Along with the 10-pound bag of raw wax chips, this kit contains 100 pre-waxed wicks and two wick-centering devices. Each wick is cut to 6 inches, and the centering devices hold wicks in place as the wax begins to cool.
Use this all-natural and organic soy wax to make attractive and healthy candles in safe containers. Heat-resistant glass jars (such as jelly jars) and pretty teacups make attractive and safe containers for soy candles.
Soy wax beads melt quickly and evenly in the microwave to facilitate candle making with minimal equipment and mess. Affordable and easy to work with, they’re ideal for beginners getting started with DIY candles.
These soy wax beads melt at 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and candlemakers can add color and fragrance via dye chips and essential oils. Soy wax beads melt evenly to prevent problems such as lumpy tops, uneven fragrance, and inadequate adhesion to the walls of containers.
Made from soybeans grown in the American midwest, this soy wax from American Soy Organics is produced according to sustainable, renewable, and ethical agricultural practices.
Certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), these white beeswax pellets boast 100 percent purity. They’re made from responsibly sourced, all-natural beeswax. The package from Sky Organics contains 16 ounces of beeswax pellets.
In addition to making candles, crafters use these organic beeswax pellets to produce lip balm and natural skincare products. In the production process, the beeswax for these pellets is triple filtered, ensuring high quality and purity. Users can feel confident that products made from this beeswax are safe and nontoxic.
Beeswax exudes a mild, natural honey scent. Produced with no additives or synthetic ingredients, these beeswax pellets hold their original pleasant scent. Candles made from the pellets release that honey scent as they burn.
Blended Waxes offers this 1-pound block of paraffin for candle making as well as multiple craft and household purposes. With an approximate melting point of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, this paraffin mixes well with other natural waxes.
Colorless and odorless in its original form, paraffin mixes easily with fragrance oils and color chips. The process results in attractively colored candles that exude pleasant scents while they burn. Due to its hard texture, paraffin is used by candlemakers to produce freestanding pillars and votive candles as well as container candles.
Blended Waxes ensures the high quality of their paraffin through testing according to standards of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). Its manufacturing processes are certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 9001-2015). Paraffin is produced as a by-product of the oil refinement process.
This feathering palm wax from Hearts and Crafts exhibits a hard consistency, making it suitable for freestanding pillar candles as well as container candles. It’s completely natural, containing no chemical additives, so it burns smoothly and cleanly.
This palm wax is ready to pour at a temperature range of 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Candlemakers can achieve variations in the crystalline finish of each candle by adjusting the pouring and cooling temperatures. This feature allows artisans to achieve remarkable feathering effects in individual candles. Color dyes and fragrance oils add more richness to palm wax candles, as the wax holds and throws scent well.
Hearts and Crafts palm wax is certified all-natural and eco-friendly by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). This certification means that the palm wax is produced via sustainable methods that have zero negative impact on the environment and animal life.
FAQs About Candle Wax
As a popular hobby, candle making allows DIYers to express their creativity while fabricating useful products for their homes or gifts for friends and family members. To achieve optimal results on the next project, you may benefit from the answers to these frequently asked questions.
Q. What is the healthiest candle wax?
Soy wax, beeswax, and palm wax, in 100 percent pure form, provide the healthiest options for candle making.
Q. What is the safest wax to use for candles?
For those who desire a non-toxic, non-polluting indoor environment, soy wax and beeswax candles with 100 percent cotton wicks and all-natural fragrance oils provide peace of mind.
Q. Which candle wax lasts the longest?
Gel wax burns longer than natural waxes, but it is not an all-natural product and may exude pollutants. Among natural waxes, soy wax and beeswax make the longest-burning candles.
Q. What wax holds the most fragrance?
Paraffin wax generates the greatest scent throw from added fragrance oils. Soy wax also creates a substantial scent throw, although some fragrance oils do not work well with soy wax.
Q. How do I calculate how much wax I need for a candle?
Candle wax is less dense than water and weighs 20 percent less than water. Therefore, one pound of wax equals 20 ounces when filling jars or containers. Use this calculation: Multiply the number of candles you will make by the fill-ounces of your containers and divide by 20. For example, wax for 10 candles poured into 8-ounce containers equals 80. Divide 80 by 20 and you’ll find that the project requires 4 pounds of wax.