Beeswax Candles: Is It Really a Better Alternative?

Traditional candles make use of paraffin wax as their main ingredient. However, as the times change and people become more conscious of their health, the demand for natural ingredients in candles has increased drastically. That is when beeswax candles come into the light. Although toxic-free and safe, many are still questioning if beeswax candles are the best choice for candles. 

Beeswax candles are the best choice for all-natural and 100% safe candles. These candles do not produce smoke and soot. They help purify the air to provide relaxation and health benefits to people dealing with asthma and allergies. They may be expensive but are definitely worth your money. 

In this article, we will go into detail about the pros and cons of using beeswax candles. This article will help you decide whether beeswax candles are the best to use and what other alternatives you can have. Lastly, we will also give a non-bias comparison between three of the most known waxes in candle making, beeswax, soy wax, and paraffin wax, in terms of price, burn time, and other factors. 

Beeswax Candles: The Healthiest Candles to Burn

A star in the candle making industry, beeswax candles are made from all-natural ingredients harvested from honeybees. It is named the healthiest candle wax to burn and is highly suitable for natural candles. Furthermore, beeswax candles are cruelty-free as no bees are harmed in their production and contain zero amount of paraffin. 

Beeswax candles are available in different types, such as tapers, votives, tea lights, and pillars.  It is a better choice for people with allergies as it is the only candle that helps purify the air. These candles pull toxins while ionizing the air by having the negative ions bind toxins and remove them from the air. Thus, providing a cleaner surrounding for your family, especially for candles inside the house.

For people with sensitive skin, beeswax candles would not cause any allergic reactions since the ingredients of this candle are all-natural. It rarely has additives and contains a natural honey scent, so there is no need for additional fragrances. Also, it has a natural yellowish color as the color of honey, so you can save yourself from buying color dyes. 

As the ancestor of all waxes, beeswax has been used for years as a trusted candle making wax, even before the advent of electricity, making it easier to make at home. The versatile beeswax can also cater to rolled candles, novelty molded candles, and special DIY candles.

Use Beeswax for Best Candle Experience

There are many candles made from different waxes that provide us with varied benefits. Let us look at the three most common and used candle making waxes, beeswax, soy wax, and paraffin wax. In this section, you will be able to decide whether beeswax candles stand by their reputation to be the best candle to burn. 

Source of Candle Making Wax: Synthetic Vs. Natural

Beeswax is a naturally sourced material excreted by bees into their honeycombs as part of their food-making activities. This wax is great for making pillars, votives, and container candles. A major factor to consider in choosing this wax is its amazing health benefits, which are more improved when partnered with essential oils like vanilla, lemon, and lavender.

Another great contender when it comes to healthy candle making ingredients is soy wax. It is harvested from soybean oils and is an environmentally friendly, renewable, and biodegradable product from soybean. It is a widely available byproduct of the massive soybean industry. 

Soy wax can also be blended with other waxes, often with paraffin wax, as it produces better candles from both attributes of the waxes. However, concerns over deforestation are raised with its continued usage as well as the harmful effects of the use of pesticides and fertilizers in growing soybeans.

Paraffin wax, a byproduct of the oil industry, is another known candle making wax. It is not an eco-friendly choice for home candles and may produce harmful fumes when burned in candles. 

Burn Time: How Long Each Candle Type Lasts

Both beeswax and soy wax candles burn longer than paraffin candles. Beeswax burns well even in high temperatures because of its higher melting point. A small beeswax votive candle can even last up to four hours and can be used multiple times.

Soy wax candles burn well even in cold temperatures because of their lower melting point. It burns slower, 50% longer than paraffin candles. When compared, beeswax candles would still top the burn time criteria as the longest burning candle among the three. Beeswax is denser and harder than soy wax, making it melt slower than other waxes. 

Paraffin candles, on the other hand, are fast-burning and melt easily. Hence they wouldn’t last long. It is not an efficient and economical choice as it drips excessively; thus, some candles are added with chemicals to reduce their dripping. Considering the chemical content of paraffin candles, additional substances may not do your candles any good. 

Melting Point Also Determines the Burn Time

In terms of melting point, beeswax candles have high melting points, in fact, the highest among all known candle waxes. It burns two to five times longer than other candles with very little melted wax dripping, making it suitable for taper candles. Beeswax candles transform your dining table from the ordinary into a more special and elegant one. 

If you are looking for candle waxes with varied melting points, soy wax and paraffin are what suit your preference. The varied melting points of these waxes make them suitable for producing any type of candle. However, since they are sensitive to different temperature changes, they often shrink and frost in inappropriate temperatures. 

Paraffin Content: A Component You Should Avoid

Paraffin wax is often mixed with other candle making wax for better results. However, with all the good qualities of paraffin for candles, the biggest worry when using this is its harmful chemical content. 

Paraffin candles emit toxic chemicals when burned. The wax is made from petroleum, a known carcinogen, containing up to 11 toxic chemicals and compounds like benzene and toluene. These chemicals may cause allergic reactions to people with sensitive skin or allergies and asthma. That is why paraffin candles are not 100% safe to use. 

Soy wax candles may contain an amount of paraffin which produces harmful toxins when burned on candles. This amount may be inevitable to soy wax candles as making the wax involves the use of a small amount of paraffin. Note that even packages labeled as 100% soy wax may still contain paraffin as it only takes 50% soy wax to be labeled as pure soy wax. 

Beeswax candles are 100% free of paraffin. These candles are best to use if you have allergies, as they will not trigger any allergic reactions. It is a great candle choice for people suffering from dust allergies and asthma, as beeswax candles help purify the air.

These natural candles have the lowest toxicity compared to other candles. When burned, it releases no harmful chemicals and produces negative ions, which help neutralize pollutants present in the air like dust and mold. It can also purify the air of unpleasant odors and is responsible for increasing oxygen flow to the brain, enhancing mental energy.

Always look for 100% beeswax candles as other candles labeled as beeswax candles may contain an amount of paraffin. Remember, like in the case of soy wax candles, it only takes 51% of beeswax to be labeled as beeswax candles, and the other percentage may be made from toxic chemicals such as paraffin. 

The Price Also Determines the Wax’s Value

Beeswax candles are expensive and may cost up to ten times more than paraffin candles. The high price stems from many reasons, starting with the limited supply of rare beeswax. Furthermore, it takes time and a lot of bees to process the wax, producing only a pound of wax for every 100 pounds of honey. 

Another thing that adds to its value is the cost of beeswax production. Bees need to be fed a lot to produce more beeswax, therefore, adding to the total selling cost of the candle making wax. These reasons would tell us how worthy of our money are beeswax candles. 

Soy wax candles are the more affordable choice for natural candles. The wax used for these candles has an abundant source and is highly sustainable, making it less expensive than beeswax candles. 

Paraffin candles are the cheapest among the three candle waxes. They are widely available in the market, making up 95% of candles in the world. 

Natural Scent Present in Natural Waxes

The natural scent of candle wax may be an advantage for candle makers as you would not be adding fragrances to your candles. It may also be a downside for others as natural scents need a good sense of matching to blend well with other fragrances.

Beeswax candles smell sweet since they are infused with honey from the worker bees. The fragrance varies depending on the flowers and plants the bees ate. Since it is a natural scent that cannot be removed from the wax, it needs to be balanced with other scents to make scented candles.

You can mix and match beeswax candles with other scents. The resulting scent will still depend on the strength of the honey aroma and your other mixing fragrance. The natural scent lasts longer, and beeswax candles have more oil retention. Hence it is not a perfect choice for scented candles.

Although beeswax would be difficult to mix with other scents, you can leave it as it is. The sweet honey scent of beeswax has relaxing properties which ease stress and provide meditation. This would be enough fragrance to be considered scented candles in the most natural way.

Soy wax and paraffin wax do not have their natural scent, making them perfect for producing scented candles. 

Beeswax Candles and Its Perfect Health Benefits

The provision of health benefits is what sets beeswax candles apart from the others. Beeswax candles are good for individuals with breathing difficulties such as asthma and allergies. You can burn a beeswax candle for 30-60 minutes in your bedroom to clean the air and provide you with more restful and sound sleep. 

A kitchen is also a place for beeswax candles. They help neutralize odors from food and remove any lingering odors from cooking. It can also be placed in nurseries as it aids in clearing the air for kids with delicate lungs.

Beeswax candles are hypo-allergenic and would not cause any symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, head pains, and skin rashes as paraffin, or other synthetic candles do. 

Scent Throw: How Much Fragrance Each Candle Handles

Beeswax candles have a good scent throw. Since beeswax is a natural wax, it might be best to use essential oils rather than fragrance oils. This way, you can match the natural wax with another natural ingredient.

Fragrance oils are synthetic scents produced with chemicals, whereas essential oils like beeswax are 100% all-natural, extracted from real plants, herbs, and flowers.

Soy wax candles also have an excellent cold and hot throws. The wax distributes scents evenly because of its density and lower burn temperature. Scents in these candles last 50% longer than paraffin candles. However, it does not hold much fragrance and can produce a more subtle scent than other waxes. 

Paraffin candles are best at distributing strong scent throws (both hot and cold) and can hold high amounts of fragrances. These candles are added with synthetic fragrances to produce a better smell.

The chemical composition of paraffin candles is harmful when inhaled and is compared to breathing in diesel fumes. Burning paraffin itself smells bad as it comes from crude oil and is treated with other chemical solvents. They may also include the use of lead wicks which is another chemical-based material. 

Flame: Difference With Each Candle’s Glow

Let us talk about the flames produced by each candle type. Beeswax candles produce a natural light similar to sunlight (Green Rhino Spectrum, Solar Spectrum). The flame is warmer and brighter than soy wax candles but does not cause eye strain. When beeswax candles are burned, they produce no smoke and soot, making it an ideal indoor candle. 

It would just take a while for the wick to light, so you’ll need to hold the flame over the wick longer.

Soy wax candles, when lit, produce a light similar to a fluorescent lamp, a white cool-toned flame. Like beeswax, soy candles are also smokeless and healthier to bur than paraffin candles.

Paraffin candles, when lit, produce smoke and soot that may stick to the walls and ceilings of your house or wherever indoor area it is placed. It exposes you and your family to harmful pollutants and is not a recommended candle to use inside your home. 

Beeswax Candles Bloom with Time

Lastly, let us discuss each candle type’s appearance. 

Beeswax candles can be white to light brown. Some candle makers add bleach to beeswax to produce light-colored candles and lessen the smell of honey in the wax. The bleaching process also helps filter the beeswax as unfiltered beeswax may contain small bits of wood or parts of the bees.

The charm of natural candles is that they burn more beautifully with age. As time passes, they develop a natural white powder on the sides of the candle called blooming. Blooming naturally occurs in beeswax taper candles and is a good indication that the candle is made from pure beeswax.

Blooming, as the word implies, is a desirable feature for old beeswax candles. It does not lessen the performance of the candle, and you can just easily wipe it out. You can also purchase beeswax sheets, another form of wax used for making rolled candles perfect for kids’ activities.

Beeswax is a dripless material. When melted, the wax would not make a mess and spill but rather melt evenly in the candle and have a smoother surface texture than other candle making waxes.

After being burned for some time, soy wax candles would form bumps which are undesirable in candles. One good trait of soy candles is that they are produced with various colors as they accept color dyes easily. They are great for container candles and would not stick hard on the mold. 

The colorless paraffin wax can be easily colored. It holds many colors but is very hard to clean up and does not bloom as time passes.

Conclusion 

In terms of its credibility as a healthy and clean-burning candle, beeswax candles are indeed the perfect choice. The high price reveals that beeswax candles are worth your money, providing you with amazing health benefits that you can’t find in other candles. The time beeswax had spent as the top candle making wax further proves its high-level qualities of being the best candles in the market.