Each type of candle wax has it’s positives and negatives making it hard to pick an all out winner. This is why there are so many different types of candle wax (and candle wax blends) on the market. In the sections below we discuss the benefits and disadvantages associated with each style of wax, allowing you to decide which wax is best for you. I hope this helps!
Paraffin wax is a very inexpensive wax and is most widely used across candle brands because it can hold a high amount of fragrance and color. It also comes in various melt points which makes it suitable for many different types of candles, from containers to pillars. However, it's not considered the most eco-friendly type of candle wax, since it's made from a byproduct of the oil industry. Another downside: If not properly cared for, paraffin wax candle will create soot.
Soy wax is a mid-range wax with a slow burn and generally a clean burn, making it a great value. Soy wax is generally considered to have the longest burn time, however each year new improved candle wax formations are being created using new ingredients that allow for even slower burning candles. Soy wax is made from soy beans and is considered more eco-friendly than paraffin wax. That said, it is a byproduct of the soybean industry, and there are growing concerns over deforestation, fertilizers, and pesticides used in the process. The wax doesn't hold quite as much fragrance either, though this can be a pro or a con, depending on how heavy of a scent you like.
Beeswax is one of the oldest forms of candle wax and is another eco-friendly option, since it's derived from bees during the honey making process. Because of this, beeswax has a very subtle naturally sweet aroma that helps purify the air. Beeswax candles are considered the healthiest as they are smokeless and sootless, and actually can help purify air. Beeswax is sourced naturally from bees; they create it by eating honey and make it as part of their daily hive building activities. Beeswax is also a harder, more solid wax that's often used in blends for container candles or to make unscented pillars.
This newer type of wax is harvested from coconuts which is a high-yield and sustainable crop. Coconut wax is popular for this reason, but also because it holds fragrance and color very well, plus has a clean burn that produces very little soot. Coconut Wax is a soft creamy white color and is the eco-friendly choice. Harvesting the oil is an organic process with coconuts themselves being a sustainable high yield crop. And of course, it tends to be most expensive candle wax of the bunch.
The type of candle and wax you choose is ultimately a matter of personal preference, depending on what type of candle you want, how much you want to spend, what strength of fragrance you prefer, and how eco-conscious you are. At the end of the day, these popular types of candle wax all have their own draws and drawbacks.
And remember: No matter what you choose, the combination of wax, grade of fragrance, wick, and vessel are all extremely important to the overall marker of quality and the resulting experience you will have.