Soy wax and Beeswax are both eco-friendly candle options that I discovered when I was looking for sustainable and healthy replacements for paraffin candles but which one is better and why? Well, I’ve done a good amount of research and here’s what I found.
When comparing soy candles to beeswax it’s surprising how many similarities they share such as environmental impact, health concerns and aesthetics. The main differences between these candle types include burn time, fragrance and cost with soy wax candles being the only option for vegans.
I came up with various criteria to help me compare these popular candle types such as environmental and health impact, as well as price, aesthetics, burn time and more but first let’s have a look at each wax type in greater detail.
If you are looking for a comparison of Soy vs Paraffin candles then why not read my other article “Soy Candles vs Paraffin Candles: There is only one winner” next?
Or if you’re wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of beeswax candles then my article Pros and Cons of Beeswax Candles, we review the facts will help you decide if beeswax candles are for you.
What is beeswax?
Beeswax is the wax produced by honeybees. Eight wax-producing glands in the abdomen segments of worker bees shape this wax into scales.
It is used by hive workers to construct the cells for honey storage as well as larval and pupal protection within the beehive – the comb.
It is the earliest known material used in the manufacture of candles.
Beeswax has the lowest toxicity of any candle ingredient, it emits no hazardous byproducts or heavy soot into the air.
When beeswax candles are lit, they emit negative ions that remove dust, mould, and bad odours. As a result, they are great for people who suffer from asthma, hay fever or dust allergies.
Because beeswax does not drip, it is safer and easier to burn. It also emits a pure and brilliant light that is extremely similar to natural sunlight.
What is soy wax?
Soy wax is a refined version of soybean oil. In fact, it is derived from the same source as tofu: hydrogenated soybean oil.
Because soy wax has a lower melting point than other forms of wax, it is usually used in container candles. Soy wax burns cooler and lasts longer than other several other types of wax, but not beeswax.
Soy wax candles are a great alternative to regular candles. They are 100% natural and vegan, significantly safer for your health because they do not emit pollution, toxins, or carcinogens and are less likely to cause allergies.
Because it is derived from the fast-growing and low-demanding soybean plant, soy wax has a very low environmental impact.
Aside from the benefits listed above, soy wax is water-soluble, making it much easier to remove stains!
Soy Wax Candles Vs Beeswax Candles
In order to compare soy wax candles with beeswax candles I decided to research and rate the candle types against several criteria.
1. Impact on the Environment
One of the primary reasons people are trying to transition to non-paraffin wax candles is the environmental impact. Paraffin wax is harmful to the environment, but how do soy and beeswax compare?
Soy and beeswax are both natural products, the former being a plant and the latter produced by bees that eat plants.
When utilized for direct consumption rather than livestock feed, soy products are particularly land-efficient. Beeswax is also produced efficiently because bees travel to other locations to collect pollen, which they convert into honey and then secrete the wax to protect their honeycomb.
Because soy wax, which is derived from soybean oil, can contribute to deforestation and the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers, it is critical that we seek out products that enforce sustainable techniques such as organic farming and sustainable forest agriculture.
Beeswax is difficult to describe in terms of sustainability because bees will go where the food is, which may or may not come from sustainably produced plants. What we do know is that bees are one of our amazing pollinators which are key to sustaining our plant life.
2. Health Concerns / Clean Burn
Another major concern for users of candles is their health.
Soy and Beeswax candles are both fantastic options for people who have environmental allergies, sensitivities, or asthma because they are often hypoallergenic by using natural smells or are scent-free.
Unlike candles that contain paraffin, both types produce less soot when burned, which means your home will be cleaner as well.
3. Burn Time
One of the most noticeable distinctions between beeswax and soy wax is undoubtedly the burn period.
In general, when the same sized candle is used, beeswax burns longer than soy wax. This is due to the greater melting temperature of beeswax.
When I compared the burning times of various types of 8 oz candles, the beeswax candle lasted approximately 56 hours to burn while the soy candle took 48 hours to completely burn out.
If burn time is important to you read my article “Do Soy Candles Last Longer? We test 4 wax types to find out” next.
4. Scents & Fragrance
Although beeswax candles burn for longer, they come with a disadvantage. Because of their high melting point and natural makeup, beeswax is not as good at throwing smell as soy wax.
If you want a scented candle, soy wax will generate a stronger, more consistent scent that will last the whole of the candle’s burn time.
Beeswax, on the other hand, works best as an unscented candle that allows the natural oil scent to permeate the air.
5. Aesthetics – How Good do they Look
Soy wax and beeswax may both be moulded and formed into various sizes and designs. There is no discernible difference in the ability of these candles to be aesthetically pleasing.
While many people prefer raw beeswax, both soy wax and beeswax can be coloured and scented. I advise you to look for candles with natural colouring and scents to ensure that they do not harm the environment or your health in any other way.
The price difference between beeswax and soy wax is one of the most significant along with the burn time. By far the most costly candle wax on the market is beeswax.
Soy wax, on the other hand, is one of the most affordable wax choices, particularly in the eco-friendly candle market. Both are worth the extra cost from an environmental perspective as well as the longer burn time.
7. Vegan / Cruelty Free
Another noticeable distinction between these eco-friendly candle options is that beeswax is of course not vegan.
Beeswax cannot be considered a vegan product because it is generated by animals that rely on it to safeguard their honey and hives.
Soy Wax and Beeswax Candles Compared
All the information I have gathered in this research is presented in this table so it is easier for you to compare these two types of wax and ultimately decide which candle works best for you.
|Criteria||Soy Wax Candle||Beeswax Candle|
|Environment / Eco Friendly||Yes||Yes|
|Health Concerns||Clean Burn||Clean Burn|
|Burn Time||48 hours (8 oz)||56 hours (8 oz)|
|Scents & Fragrance||Many||Few|
|Cost||Medium $22 (8 oz)||High $36 (8 oz)|