We all want the best candles we can possibly get, or make. We also want the best bang for our buck when it comes to buying or making those candles. It is nice if you can find a particular wax that can last longer than the others, but the question is… What candle wax lasts the longest? Let’s take a look.
What type of candle wax burns the longest? The longest lasting candles are made with beeswax. Beeswax is the longest lasting wax because it is naturally harder than other types of wax. Beeswax requires a hotter temperature to burn than most other types of wax. However, soy wax is much more affordable and economically viable.
So the type of wax you choose will come down to making the decision between buying candles less often or spending less money whenever you are ready to buy candles.
It is also important to point out that beeswax is often used in pillar candles and soy wax is used in container candles. So that distinction will also factor into your choice.
Average Candle Burn Times
Each type of wax is made differently and each type of wax has its own density and melt temperature. This means when you get candles made from different types of wax, each candle will have a different burn time. Let’s take a look.
Types of Candles and Their Burn Times
As you can see each type of wax has its own specific burn time, however, it is important to factor in cost as you will see later in the article.
You must also factor in the size and shape of the candle, including how many wicks the candle has. If a candle is more verticle with a single wick then it may last longer than a flat horizontally shaped candle with multiple wicks.
These factors play a huge role in how long candles can last. If you buy a tall beeswax pillar candle that is the same weight as a short, wide-base container soy wax candle them it is a certainty that the beeswax candle will last longer than the soy wax candle.
Burn Temperature and Candle Burn Time
Burn temperature plays a huge factor in how long a candle lasts.
Harder types of candle wax such as beeswax require higher temperatures to burn, but what happens if you use a larger or faster burning wick in a softer type of candle wax?
Well, the answer is the candle burns faster. Moreover, if you use a larger or hotter wick in a soy wax candle then it is probably going to produce a lot of candle soot and smoke as it burns. The wick will mushroom, the flame will get large and it will cause all sorts of problems.
The end result being the candle doesn’t last nearly as long as it should have.
This is why it is important to have a wick that is balanced and carefully selected for the type of wax you are using in your candles.
Longest Lasting Candle Wax Types Ranked
Let’s go through and take a look at some of the different types of candle wax and why they last as long as they do when used in making candles.
Beeswax is one of the slowest burning candle waxes and has a melt temperature of approximately 150 F. Beeswax is typically used to make pillar candles or votives, it is even quite popular for making decorative candles.
One of the main drawbacks to beeswax in candle making is concerns about sustainability and the cost of the wax.
Beeswax is by far the most expensive wax that is popular for use in making candles.
It also comes with ethical concerns about sustainability and what impact harvesting the wax has on bee populations.
2. Blended Wax
Blended waxes are what most people end up getting when they buy candles, and a lot of candle makers enjoy blending waxes to come up with their own formulas!
For example, you can combine soy wax with beeswax or add coconut wax to your soy wax to give your candles the characteristics that you desire.
Soy wax is well known for its surface issues and rough tops the candles can sometimes have, however, adding coconut wax to your soy wax candles can go a long way to solving those problems. The drawback of this is that coconut wax will lower the melting temperature of your candles.
For that reason, you see a lot of people adding a small amount of palm wax or beeswax to their blends in order to get the right combination of smooth tops and a melting point that doesn’t prevent shipping in the summer.
3. Soy Wax
Soy wax is one of the most popular types of wax right now not only with small candle makers, but even large candle companies are making the change from paraffin to soy.
Soy wax is an all-natural wax that is produced from soybeans and is 100% sustainable and renewable.
One of the most important benefits of soy wax is that it is far more affordable than beeswax. However, almost all soy wax is used for making container candles. You will never see a 100% soy wax pillar candle.
Soy wax melts at too low a temperature to be used for pillar candles. If you want to make votives or pillars with soy wax then you are going to need to use additives or blend it with beeswax, palm wax, or paraffin wax.
The vast majority of container candles you see in stores or on Etsy are made with soy wax or a blend containing a large amount of soy wax.
4. Paraffin Wax
Paraffin wax is still popular with the largest candle making companies, but you won’t find it being used much by small and independent candle makers.
Paraffin wax is produced as a petroleum byproduct and many candle makers are turning their backs on it because it is not sustainable and questions linger about its health-related consequences.
The main thing paraffin wax has going for it is its cost. It is the most affordable candle wax you can get, and it produces candles that are among the best performing in burn duration, burn profile, and scent throw.
However, paraffin wax candles can smoke a little more than other types of candles.
Paraffin wax candle scan also be used to make a variety of candles. They can be used to make pillar candles, container candles, votives, and tealights.
For those reasons, it is a solid wax to use because of performance and cost, if you can get past the health and sustainability concerns.
Cost vs Burn Time
If you are concerned at all about the cost of the candles you are burning then you have to consider cost vs burn time.
It doesn’t matter if a candle burns 40% longer if that candle costs 100% more.
However, when it comes to this ranking you also have to consider other factors such as sustainability, health consequences, and if it is even ethical to use the wax.
Candle Wax Burn Time Value Ranked
1. Soy Wax
Soy wax costs slightly more than paraffin wax, but it can burn approximately 20% longer than paraffin wax. Which makes it a better value than paraffin wax.
2. Blended Wax
A blend of soy wax and paraffin wax will cost less than paraffin wax, while giving you a longer burn time than paraffin wax alone. However, it won’t be as cheap or as long burning as soy wax.
3. Paraffin Wax
Paraffin wax is a few cents per pound cheaper than soy wax, however, its burn time is approximately 20% less than soy wax. So while it is slightly cheaper, it burns considerably faster than soy wax.
Beeswax is the most expensive wax on the list, but it is also the slowest burning wax on the list. It can cost as much as double as any other wax on this list, however, you will not get double the burn time out of it.
Make Your Candles Last Longer
No matter what type of wax you choose, there are a few things you can do to make your candles last longer.
How To Make Your Candles Last Longer:
Keep wick trimmed
Keep your candlewick trimmed to the correct length and it will keep your candle from overheating or consuming too much wax.
Let your candle burn until the surface wax melts from side to side completely across the surface of the candle to avoid any tunneling issues or concerns for a ruined candle.
Let the candle cool
Let the candle completely cool between burns, this will help slow the rate of burn and make them last as long as the manufacturers intended.
Keep the lid on
Keeping the lid on your candles can help keep them clean which can help reduce mushrooming or smoking. Mushrooming can make the flame larger than intended increasing candle temperature and wax consumption.
Frequently Asked Questions
Beeswax burns longer than paraffin wax. Not only does it burn longer, but it also burns cleaner than paraffin wax. It is also an all-natural and sustainable option.
Yankee candles burn for a long time because of a combination of the jar shape and size and the additives used in the wax. They are generally made of paraffin wax or a paraffin soy wax blend with various proprietary additives, however, the jars are wide and tall which makes the candles burn longer.
The difference between soy candles and wax is that soy candles are made with soy wax and the wax regularly used in mass-produced candles is paraffin wax. Soy was is all-natural and sustainable made from soybeans and paraffin wax is produced as a petroleum byproduct.
In conclusion, if you want a candle that’s going to last for a while regardless of price, then beeswax is the wax for you. However, if you are a little more price-conscious then soy wax candles might be right for you.
If you are not concerned with the sustainability or the potential health impacts of your candles then paraffin wax might be right for you.
Ultimately you have a few different options and the one you choose will depend on your stance when it comes to cost, sustainability, organics, and vegan options.