Most of the candles on the market today are made of paraffin wax or at least a wax mixture containing paraffin. Paraffin wax is inexpensive but is it really the best option for our pocket, our health and most importantly our environment when compared to soy wax candles?
When comparing soy candles to paraffin the only properties they share are aesthetics and the fact they are both vegan. That’s where the similarities end as these types of candles differ in cost, burn time, environmental impact and health concerns with soy wax candles coming out as a clear winner.
In order to compare these two types of candles I gathered my research into various criteria which you’ll find below but before we review them let’s take a quick look at what soy and paraffin wax is.
By the way, if you are looking for a comparison of Soy vs Beeswax candles then why not read my other article “Soy Candles vs Beeswax: Which is the best for you?” next?
What is Soy Wax?
Soy wax is a purified form of soybean oil. It is, in reality, made from the same source as tofu: hydrogenated soybean oil.
Soy wax is commonly used in container candles because it has a lower melting point than other types of wax. Soy wax burns more slowly and for a longer period of time than other forms of wax.
Soy wax candles are an excellent substitute for traditional candles. They are completely natural and vegan, far safer for your health because they don’t release pollutants, toxins, or carcinogens, and are less prone to trigger allergies.
Soy wax has no negative environmental impact because it is obtained from the fast-growing and low-demanding soybean plant. Aside from the benefits described above, it is water-soluble, making stain removal much easier!
What is Paraffin Wax?
Since its discovery in the 1800s, paraffin wax has been a mainstay of the candle industry. The majority of candles on the market today are made of paraffin wax, which according to some reports is not the safest chemical to breathe when burning.
Paraffin wax is a petroleum-based product made from crude oil, a fossil fuel.
Crude oil is referred to as a “natural” product since it is a molecular mixture of hydrocarbons derived from decomposing plants and animals.
It is also classified as a clean-burning fuel source because it meets the various regulatory requirements in this regard.
Many people, however, believe that, while paraffin wax is widely used in candle making, it is not the ideal option, particularly when compared to soy wax.
One of the main drawbacks of paraffin wax is that it creates a sooty residue, which makes creating a clean burn with paraffin wax candles difficult.
Paraffin candle emissions can build on walls, destroying paint and discolouring ceilings.
Furthermore, there are accusations that paraffin candles contain carcinogenic elements, which is obviously problematic.
Soy Wax Candles vs Paraffin Wax Candles
In order to compare soy wax candles with paraffin candles I decided to research and rate the candle types against several criteria.
1. Impact on the Environment
Soy wax candles are completely natural.
when compared, soy wax candles have a lower environmental impact than paraffin wax candles.
Traditional candles are typically made of paraffin, which has harmful qualities that are neither environmentally friendly nor healthy.
As a vegetable, soybeans reduce bio-waste in landfills and prevent the release of toxins in your home.
A soy wax candle burns cleanly and produces less soot compared to paraffin candles which produce more soot easily identified as it gathers on the container.
Furthermore, soybeans are a biodegradable and renewable resource. Compare this to unsustainable paraffin wax made from fossil fuels that simply cannot be replaced. This is neither ecologically friendly nor healthy!
2. Health Concerns / Clean Burn
According to the American Lung Association, paraffin wax emits 11 recognized toxins. Toxins are any substances that are hazardous to one’s health. Two of these chemicals, toluene and benzene, are carcinogenic.
Unlike paraffin wax, soy wax is non-toxic. It is made from oil extracted from an edible plant that contains no known toxins.
3. Burn Time
The distinctions between soy wax and paraffin wax do not end with environmental and health considerations.
Paraffin wax has a higher melting point due to its crystal structure.
This implies that it takes more heat to burn, reducing the lifespan of your candles.
Soy wax candles, on the other hand, have a lower melting point, allowing for a longer burn time.
4. Scents & Fragrance
When a candle is lit, the smell it emits is referred to as a “throw” and soy candles produce more aroma than paraffin wax candles.
Because of the usage of synthetic perfumes and additives, paraffin wax can generate a chemical odour when burnt but it’s just not as good as soy candles in my opinion. Because soy wax candles are natural, they produce a purer, more intense smell profile than paraffin wax.
5. Aesthetics – How Good do they Look
Both soy wax and beeswax can be poured and moulded into numerous shapes and sizes.
There is no discernible difference in these candles’ ability to be aesthetically pleasing however soy candles tend to come in jars.
Because traditional beeswax was so expensive, candle makers sought a less expensive substitute which ended up being candles made from paraffin wax.
Paraffin is now the most preferred ingredient for mass-produced candles due to its inexpensive cost and remains the cheapest candle you can buy today.
Along with beeswax, soy wax is also recognized as a natural substitute for paraffin.
They are more expensive than paraffin candles but less than beeswax.
7. Vegan / Cruelty Free
The petroleum byproduct produced when crude oil is processed into gasoline is used to make paraffin wax.
Although paraffin wax is deemed vegan, its harmful impact on the environment cannot be ignored
Soy wax candles are cruelty-free, eco-friendly, and manufactured with the most conscientious ingredients and of course, are 100% vegan as they do not contain any animal byproducts in their creation or use.
Soy Candles and Paraffin 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||Paraffin Candle|
|Environment / Eco Friendly||Yes||No|
|Health Concerns||Clean Burn||Dirty Burn|
|Burn Time||48 hours (8 oz)||32 hours (8 oz)|
|Scents & Fragrance||Great||Good|
|Cost||Medium $22 (8 oz)||Low $14 (8 oz)|