Soy vs. Paraffin Wax Candles: Everything You Need to Know

This is a guide covering soy vs. paraffin wax candles.

The soy vs. paraffin wax is a pressing debate among candle users.

Whether you are a newbie who is just discovering their love for candles or someone who owns a considerable variety of candles, you must have found yourself in the midst of this debate.

So, are paraffin candles better than soy candles? Or is it the other way round? To answer these questions, there are multiple things to consider.

This article analyses the stark differences between soy and paraffin candles.

It will ensure that you are well informed about both soy and paraffin candles.

Consequently, you will be able to settle the quarrel yourself!

Soy vs Paraffin Candles – Which Burns Longer?

Soy candles. Given that the size and height of both soy and paraffin candles are equal, soy candles burn longer! In fact, they burn around 30 to 50% longer than paraffin candles.

To be more accurate, an average 4 oz soy candle would burn for 3 more hours compared to a paraffin candle of the same size.


This can be explained by the fact that soy candles have a slower burning time and a cooler burning temperature.

Several other factors, such as those listed below also contribute to a candle’s overall burning time.

● Wick size
● Additives in the candle
● Size of the candle

However, the type of candle wax is the primary contributor to a candle’s burning time.

Soy vs Paraffin Candles – Which is All Natural?

Soy wax is made from soybeans, which is a natural and renewable resource. Paraffin wax, on the contrary, is made from petroleum, which is a non renewable resource.

Using candles made from soybeans would mean that you are enjoying your favourite scents without incurring a cost on the environment.

Burning paraffin wax, however, will release immense amounts of carbon into the air, which is a greenhouse gas.

Additionally, petroleum containing products are not biodegradable either, creating disposal issues.

Using soy candles, which are all natural and environmentally friendly, avoids both these issues associated with paraffin candles.

Given that soybeans are renewable resources, making soy wax won’t burden a ready limited resources. Furthermore, there will be no issues concerning disposal because soybeans are biodegradable!

Soy vs Paraffin Candles – Which Emits Less Soot?

What exactly is soot? It’s a solid particle, which results from the incomplete combustion of fuels that contain carbon. For example, petroleum.

Such soot is called petro-carbon soot.

Soy Candles do not release petro-carbon soot at all. For this reason, soy candles are often referred to as ‘clean-burning candles’.

This is simply due to the fact that soy wax is not made from petroleum.

Since soy candles do not emit any petro-carbon soot, burning soy wax does not lead to the deposition of soot on curtains and ceilings inside the house.

This is a very common problem in regards to burning paraffin wax candles.

Soy vs Paraffin Candles – Which Releases Less Toxins?

Is Paraffin Wax Toxic?

Paraffin wax is known to emit 11 known toxins, according to the American Lung Association.

Toxins are essentially any substance which is harmful to one’s health.

Among these toxins, two are carcinogens- namely toluene and benzene.

Moreover, significant research indicates an association between these toxins and the development of asthma and lung cancer.

Are Soy Candles Safer Than Paraffin?


Soy wax, unlike paraffin wax, is not toxic.

Soy candles are made from soybeans, which can be eaten. This is proof that soybeans don’t contain any harmful or toxic substances. Hence, soy wax is safe to burn.

A study titled “Candles from Soybean Seed Oil Extract” by Ruth and Daniel is a testament to the fact that soy candles are safer than paraffin candles.

They state, “From the flame colour observations, soy wax is considered a healthier alternative to the paraffin wax, hence soy candles are more eco-friendly than the paraffin candles in the sense that there are lesser or no toxic gases given off when burning soy candles.”

Soy vs Paraffin Candles – Which Has a Lower Melting Point?

Soy candles have a lower melting point. This makes it easier to burn soy candles during colder months.

On the other hand, paraffin candles have a higher melting point due to paraffin wax’s structure. It has larger crystals, which require more heat- around 49 to 71 ℃- to break down.

This difference in melting points also impacts the structure of both waxes at room temperature.

Soy wax is soft and if you live in areas with higher temperatures during the summer, soy wax will melt on its own. On the contrary, paraffin wax tends to be hard and brittle at room temperature.

A major advantage of soy candles having a lower melting point is that if you drop hot wax on your hand, it is less likely to burn than paraffin wax.

For this reason, it would also be a smarter choice to buy soy candles if you have pets around. Dogs and cats tend to knock things over.

So, if they drop some hot soy wax on themselves, it won’t scald their skins too much.

Soy vs Paraffin Candles – Which Smells Better?

Soy candles have a reputation of being able to carry fragrances better. Since soy wax releases less soot and toxins, barely any chemicals interfere with the scent being released by the wax.

Moreover, due to the lower melting point of soy wax, there is a pool of liquid wax around the wick. This helps to slowly release the scent into the surrounding air.

Since paraffin candles don’t enjoy any of these benefits, chemical amplifiers have to be added in the wax, so the candle can emit the fragrance better.

This is not the case with soy candles. Meaning, you will only be inhaling the scent and no added chemicals, which may be harmful for your health!

Soy vs Paraffin Wax – Price Difference

Soy candles are generally more expensive than paraffin candles. Alas, don’t let that put you off! While soy candles may require a higher initial investment, they prove to be cost effective in the long run. Why is that?

  • They last for a longer time period than paraffin candles. So, you can enjoy your favourite scent for longer!
  • Soy candles emit the scent better. You’ll be able to enjoy the scent better!
  • While you are enjoying the aroma of your candles, your physical health will not be compromised at all.

So, the choice is pretty clear- you should pay more in order to enjoy greater benefits!

Conclusion – Which is Better Soy or Paraffin Wax?

The answer is pretty clear now- soy wax! It’s good for the environment, it’s good for your health and it’s better suited to be used in candles!

Many are hesitant to pay a little extra because the benefits of soy wax are not evident to them. However, this article has made sure that that’s not the case with you!

Make sure to pay the extra buck and get the better product.