Candle wax - what's the difference?

Whats the difference between candle waxPhoto by Rebecca Peterson-Hall on Unsplash

There's a lot that goes into making a scented candle. We have spent a lot of time deliberating over the type of materials we use, our supply chain and the type of candle we want to make. For us it’s important that we align our materials to the experience we want to create for our customers.

When it comes to choosing our materials, it has been about balancing a fine line of creating beautiful candles that burns well and has a great scent throw. Our choice of raw material is the magic of our product and we’ve taken time to consider our options when it comes to the variety of materials on the market.

For our candles, candle wax is probably one of the most important aspects of this choice. From Beeswax dating back to the Egyptians time to tallow and whale fat, we’ve come a long way in terms of candle wax innovation. Since the 20th century new variations of wax are readily available on the market from soy wax, paraffin wax, palm wax, rapeseed and coconut wax and more. The choice for candle makers is now endless.

It is important to note that all waxes have their pros and cons and most wax used in the candle making process are non toxic and safe. However not all wax are created equal and wax from different materials behave differently depending on what type of candle you are looking for. 

Wax For Scented Candles

Here we take answer some of your burning questions - where does wax come from? What is paraffin wax? And what’s the difference between soy wax, rapeseed wax, coconut wax? Let’s break down the various types of wax for candles and their pros and cons. 


Probably the oldest type of wax available is made from honey cons. When worker bees eat honey they secretes beeswax from glands located on its abdomen which are then used to build the familiar hexagonal honeycomb that makes up the insides of beehivesBeeswax picks up bits of honey, pollen, and propolis which darkens its colour giving it a naturally subtle sweet fragrance and famous golden hue which means that there's no need to scent the candle in any way. Beeswax can be costly for candle makers but they make lovely candles that purifies the air, burns the longest, and is smoke free.

Soy Wax

Soy wax was invented in 1966 and is a relatively new wax to the market. Soon after, soy wax candles made its mark as the alternative environmentally friendly option and is fast becoming the makers choice of wax to use. Soy wax is soft and creamy in texture with a low melt point which means it melts quicker but burns longer. Soy wax candles provide a gentle way to fragrance your home and offer subtle scent throws for those who don't like strongly scented candles. 

Paraffin Wax

Paraffin or mineral wax is the most widely used wax in the world. Paraffin wax is a natural by-product left over from the crude oil refinement process. This part of the oil is upcycled and can be seen used across a multitude of industries from food to cosmetics to wax polishes and household goods. Fully refined paraffin wax is non toxic and offers a brilliant scent throw, stays truest to the intentions of the fragrance formulation and great for those who love a strong scented candle. 

Gel Wax Scented CandleStoneglow's Candles 

Gel Wax

Made with resin and mineral oil and is in fact not wax at all. However, like wax it holds colour, has low odour and turns into liquid when hot. Gel wax for candles is a patented wax that has a clear jelly like material capable of burning almost twice as long as paraffin wax. Due to its translucent nature it is a great wax for embedding ornaments and decorative features.

Palm Wax 

Similar to soy wax, palm wax is a natural wax derived from palm oil. It is an all natural and renewable material mainly sourced from Southeast Asian. It resists melting in hot summer months, holds fragrances well and can be easily mixed with other waxes. A small number of producers are now devoted to producing truly sustainable palm oil that doesn't contribute to deforestation. Be sure to look out for ethically sourced palm oil as the popularity of this product continues to grow.

Coconut Wax

The newest of all the natural waxes, coconut wax material is very soft and melts easily in warmer weathers which is why most coconut candles are blended with other waxes to provide stability and consistency to make them more suitable for candle making. It is fully sustainable and renewable material with a high crop yield and would suit customers looking for a wax with the green credentials. 

Rapeseed Wax

Rapeseed is a bright-yellow flowering member of the family Brassicaceae (mustard or cabbage family) it is a vegetable wax marked by its creamish tone. Grown extensively in the UK and Europe and unlike the crops grown in Canada and elsewhere these are not genetically modified. Rapeseed offers a gentle scent throw when burned and similar to coconut wax it needs to be blended with other waxes for candle making purposes. However it offers great environmental attributes and green credentials.