Beeswax is basically what bees make the comb out of, you know, the place where they store their honey and protect their young. When the comb is full of honey, bees cap the comb with more wax. So beeswax is a really useful by-product of honey making. The wax caps can be scraped off and collected and the combs themselves can be harvested when the bees no longer need them. Once the honey has been drained, the comb, or more often in candle making and cosmetics, the purer cleaner wax caps, are washed, melted and cut into blocks ready to make into candles.
That’s it! No chemicals, modern technology or factory processing necessary. You could make a beeswax candle at home from scratch. They are about as natural as you can get have been around for thousands of years.
What do they smell lke?
Because beeswax candles are 100% natural they all vary in strength, in fact, even different batches of the same candle vary between having a very subtle aroma to a more noticeable sweet honey smell.
Generally speaking, however, unscented, beeswax candles have a fresh, subtle and aromatic sweet honey smell. The more honey-scented ones are usually the result of only lightly filtering the wax after harvesting.
Beeswax candles can also be scented though, and as such, when blended with essential oils they give off a lovely scent throw.
They’re clean-burning, naturally last much longer than regular candles and are the least likely of any candle to cause allergies.
Let’s take a look at the best ones out there.
Best Overall Beeswax Candle:
Best Unscented Glass Beeswax Candle:
Bluecorn Beeswax Candle
|Best Beeswax Tea Lights: |
Bluecorn Beeswax Tea Lights
Best Scented Beeswax Candle:
Root Scented Beeswax Blend Candle
| Best Beeswax Taper Candle: |
XYUT Hand Rolled Beeswax Tapers
|Full review coming soon.|
| Best Beeswax Pillar Candle: |
Bluecorn Beeswax Holiday Candle
|Full review coming soon.|
|Beeswax vs Soy Candles|
|Candle Care – A Handy Guide …Coming Soon|
The Best Beeswax Candles Reviewed:
Best Overall Beeswax Candle: Bluecorn Beeswax Glass Candle
Best Beeswax Glass Candle: Bluecorn Beeswax Glass Candle
These sweet little 8.5oz votive glass candles come in either a clear or frosted glass option. They measure 2 1/2″ across the top and are 3″ high but for their small size, you’ll get around 45 hours of burn-time.
Whether you go for frosted or clear glass, the glass itself is a nice quality. In fact, it’s pretty substantial, so isn’t prone to breaking too easily. This is great, not least because you can easily reuse the glass for the refill candles which are available and cost less than those with the glass, or of course, you can reuse the glass for anything else you can think of. If you didn’t know, a handy tip is to add 1/8″ of water to the bottom of the glass before placing the candle into it. This will make clean up much easier in the long run.
You get one candle in a box but can buy a batch of six if you prefer. This, of course, works out a little cheaper.
The candle, it’s self, is a good clear honey color, and since no dyes have been added, the shade is completely natural.
You’ll notice that Bluecorn comes up a lot in our reviews. That’s because as a company they are really good at what the do. Jon Kornbluh, founder of the company, started making his own beeswax candles in 1991 in a one-room cabin in Telluride, Colorado simply because he was living without electricity. Although factory-made candles made by reputable companies should adhere to strict guidelines, policies, and regulations, it’s nice to find hand-made candles made by artisans in small companies who are skilled and passionate about what they do. Think of freshly brewed coffee made by a barista as opposed to instant.
What We Like:
- 100% Pure Beeswax – No blends with other waxes, no dyes, or scents, so it goes without saying that they’re paraffin-free and 100% non-toxic.
- Cotton Wick – And that’s 100% cotton with no added chemicals. Some candles that boast to be pure and all-natural, actually have wicks that are dipped in paraffin wax or treated with chemicals. If you are looking for the purest candle you can buy, it’s good to know that there are no hidden nasties in these wicks.
- Handmade – Bluecorn candles are made in Ridgway, Colorado by hand. Bluecorn Beeswax is a small company who ethically source their beeswax and their candles are hand made by artisan candle makers. Think gourmet dish, not ready meal.
- Votive Glass Container – The glass itself is of good quality. That means it’s not going to break too easily if you accidentally knock it. The thickness also adds to the overall look in that the candles look well made and more high-end. You’d be more than happy to leave them out around your home. They’ll only add to your decor.
- Custom Refills Available – And that’s great because it makes the candles more economical. The glass is absolutely reusable so there’s no need to buy the candle with the glass once you have one. You might as well save some money and just go for a custom 8.5 oz refill and it’ll give you another whopping 45 hours of burn time. If you buy the pack of six refills you’ll save even more money and be able to fill your home with lovely soft light and the clean sweet scent of beeswax as often as you like and, of course, even though you’ll love the candles, you’re not going to feel too precious about burning them so they’ll be much less likely to sit around collecting dust because you feel they are too expensive to use too frequently. You can get them here.
Things to Consider:
- Uneven Burn – Sometimetimes this happens if the wick is not completely in the center. That said it can also happen if you’re not clued up on how to care for your candle. You can refer to the guide here. Bluecorn candles are made by hand with care but if the wick is too far off the center, you may consider exchanging it to avoid tunneling or leaving an unmelted edge on one side of the glass.
Best Beeswax Tea Lights: Bluecorn Beeswax Tea Lights
These sweet little beeswax tea light candles come in packs of six, twenty-four and forty-eight. At first glance, they look like they have fine and delicate, little glass cups. This actually makes them look much classier than the traditional metal cup ones, which tend to look unfinished and in need of something to disguise the metal holder. That said, they do look very delicate and therefore easily breakable, but don’t worry they’re not! In fact, they aren’t even made from glass at all. They are polycarbonate, which is tough, heat resistant, fully reusable and what’s more, it’s recyclable.
Tea lights are designed to melt when burned so they need to be in a snug heat-resistant container or you’ll end up with a pool of hot liquid wax all over your table before you know it.
You can, if you like, place them in pretty colored glass holders, the ones shown below are Bluecorn Beeswax Heavy Glass Votive and Tea Light Candle Holders and they are perfect for that, but you can equally use them as they are. They are pretty enough just by themselves. Either way, leave them in the cups!
The tea lights are each well filled, right to the top and should last up to five hours but in order to get the maximum burn time you are going to have to burn them for at least two hours at a time. That’s because they are specifically designed to melt in order to burn efficiently so lighting them for short time only decreases their lifespan.
These beeswax tea lights are tiny by nature so you won’t really get any scent from them, but you will, of course, get a much healthier, cleaner burn than you would from regular paraffin tea lights.
What We Like:
- Poly Cups – They just look so much better than traditional metal ones. They look like delicate glass so you’ll be more than happy to uses them as they are. If you prefer to place them into a clear or even colored glass holder, you’d still be happy to leave them in the cups because you won’t have any metal showing through to ruin the look and so your tea lights will look much prettier. And don’t worry they are completely heat resistant so they won’t melt any give off any fumes.
- Hand-made 100% Beeswax With 100% Cotton Wicks– These tea lights are not blended with any other waxes nor do they have any other additives. The wicks are made from 100% cotton and aren’t dipped in paraffin wax unlike some, nor are they treated with any chemicals. The wick bases, are flat-rolled steel with a zinc coating. There is no lead in these candles whatsoever or any other harmful material or chemicals.
- Refills Available Without Cups – If you have your own container, which should snugly fit the tea light or the tea light won’t work, it’ll just melt and spread out, you can choose the same 100% beeswax tea lights without the poly cups, or alternatively, they are also available with traditional metal cups.
Things to Consider:
- Cups Not Eco-Friendly – Paoycarbon is made from fossil fuel which is not a renewable source nor is it biodegradable. That said, the cups are fully recyclable and reusable, they just aren’t strictly eco-friendly if that is a concern to you.
Best Scented Beeswax Candle: Root Scented Beeswax Blend Candle
You don’t really find too many scented beeswax candles. They are traditionally left in their natural state, and that’s because beeswax has its own qualities, not least, its distinctive but subtle scent throw.
But that doesn’t mean that beeswax doesn’t blend well with other scents or other natural vegetable-based waxes. It actually blends really well with other waxes, and its natural scent is a wonderful addition to the aroma of a scented candle. In fact, when blended with fragrances from natural sources and essential oils, it only enhances the candle’s overall scent throw. And the bonus is, you get all the benefits of a much cleaner, healthier and frankly more pleasant smelling candle than you’d get with a regular paraffin wax candle.
Root’s Scented Beeswax Blend Candle is the perfect example of this. Root use an all-natural blend of beeswax and other natural waxes. That means no petroleum-based or paraffin waxes are used in their candles and the scents they use are from all-natural sources and are essential oil based.
These scented candles come in a range of different container styles to suit any taste. The one shown at the top is the large 10.5oz Veriglass Candle which has a tumbler style glass container, there is a smaller 6.3oz version available of this one too, shown left. In case you were wondering what a Veriglass is, it apparently means a”thin coating of ice” and was the inspiration behind this style of candle.
The glass itself is of good quality. It’s not too thin so it’s not going to break or chip easily and the candle comes topped with an embossed bronze metal lid. That’s great because it will keep the dust out. Candle wax and dust are not a good combination! It will also keep the candle fresh and prevent any scent evaporation.
The candles themselves, have a good scent throw, there are around 30 different scents to choose from. Most have lovely vibrant colors to match or contrast any decor, and they’re long-lasting too. The 10.5oz Veriglass Candle for example with give you a whopping 70 hours of burn time.
What We Like:
- All-Natural Beeswax Blend with Pure Essential Oils – When you see the word “blend” in a candle that purports to be made from beeswax or soy, for example, it usually means paraffin wax has been thrown in the mix. Root candles contain only pure beeswax and natural vegetable waxes in their candles. They even manufacture their own all-natural cotton wicks, so you will get a healthier cleaner burn with this candle than you’d get with any paraffin “blend” candle.
- Wide Choice Of Container Styles – This is great because once you have chosen your scent you can also choose from a range of sizes and styles to suit your needs. You could even choose a travel candle if you’re going away from home. That way you’ll feel relaxed and at home, even when you’re away.
- Wide Choice Of Scents – There are lots to choose from. French Vanilla, Vineyard Chateau, Peach Blossom and Pineapple Papaya to name just a few. Having a wide choice of scents by the same candle company is great because if you love the scent throw, in this instance, of one Root’s candles, you’ll likely love the other scents by Root, just as much too.
- Minimal Labeling – Although the label is very much just the Root logo, it doesn’t obscure the candle. There is no intrusive paper label or sticker, covering the entire height and width of the glass, so you will be able to see the flame and the actual candle clearly when lit. With some jar style candles, you can hardly tell it’s a candle at all. Also, Root have been around since 1869 when founder and expert beekeeper Amos Ives Root first opened his business in Medina, Ohio. Root candles are still made in the US, on the same plot of land Amos Ives Root bought over 100 years ago, so there is quite a bit of history attached to the name. It’s not just a made up factory brand. There’s even a sweet little video about the company’s history which you can watch below:
What We Don’t LIke:
- Beeswax Blend – They are not 100% beeswax, although as we’ve already said, Root candles contain only pure beeswax and natural vegetable waxes in their candles. Unlike in other wax blends, there is no paraffin wax in these candles, but if you prefer your candle to be made from 100% beeswax, these candles are not for you. You may prefer to go for any of the other candles reviewed on this page.
Beeswax vs Soy Candles
Firstly it must be said that there are a number of important similarities between beeswax and soy candles. For a start, neither contain paraffin wax. That is if they are pure soy or beeswax and not some dubious soy or beeswax blends.
What’s wrong with paraffin wax though?
The problem with paraffin wax candles is that when burned they can release VOCs or Volatile Organic Compounds, these are actually the same VOC emissions that you get from diesel fumes namely benzene and toluene. Needless to say, VOC’s are toxic. They are carcinogenic by nature but they can also cause damage to the liver, kidney and central nervous system as well as causing short-term adverse effects such as eye nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness.
Even if occasionally burning a paraffin candle in a room with good ventilation probably isn’t going to give you a significant health risk, although again, if you have allergies, paraffin candles are definitely not going to help, you don’t want to add anything that could potentially be harmful to you and your family’s health if you can buy a safer and more natural alternative that will give you a cleaner burn as well as more natural and pleasant aroma.
Both beeswax and soy candles are completely safe, natural alternatives to paraffin.
Soy Wax Candles
Soy candles much longer than regular candles, but not generally as long as beeswax candles. That’s because beeswax is denser.
They have a softer consistency and a lower melting point so they aren’t suitable for pillar candle making. You will always find pure soy candles in vessels such as jars or tins simply because they need support.
They blend well with scents in fact unscented soy candles are not too easy to find, the tea lights by Soyworx , shown right, are unscented, however, and much healthier than regular tea light candles.
A big plus point about soy wax is that it’s water-soluble so it’s super easy to clean up.
It’s also vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Are Soy Candles Eco-Friendly?
Soy is a sustainable and renewable recourse which makes it, in theory, carbon neutral.
However, the environmental impact of producing soy is pretty much dependant on how and where the soy is grown.
Not all soy is certified as sustainably grown but here in the US, almost all soy production is regulated by the Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol. The SSAP provides strict guidelines and conservation practices for farmers growing soy. If you’re concerned about the environment, knowing where the soy in your candles comes from is important.
There is no deforestation or degradation in the production of responsibly farmed soy and organic so rbicides. Soy wax is also 100% biodegradable.
Beeswax Candles are about as natural as you can get. The first records of their use date back to Ancient Egypt in 3000bc. You don’t need any chemicals, modern technology or factory processing to make a beeswax candle you could make one at home from scratch.
The wax is self-supporting so they make great alternatives to regular pillar or taper candles. They are much healthier than paraffin candles and they last longer than soy or regular paraffin candles too.
Beeswax candles also have unique properties of their own. Unscented, the natural wax has a fresh, subtle and aromatic sweet honey smell. There is no need to add any scent to them. Some are more honey-scented than others which is usually the result of only lightly filtering the wax after harvesting so a little of the honey residue remains.
They are also the least likely of any candle to cause allergies.
You may have heard that they emit negative ions or, more specifically, more negative ions than other candles. Negative ions attract dust and particles which clump together and fall to the ground due to their accumulated weight so they are not hanging around for you to breath in. However, although they do emit negative ions, as all candles do, there isn’t any real scientific evidence to support this as a particular health benefit of beeswax or any other candles for that matter.
Are Beeswax Candles Eco-Friendly?
They are completely natural, and bees are vital to our environment. Beekeeping is a way of looking after and protecting bees from extinction and beeswax is a sustainable and renewable resource but you should always choose beeswax candles that have been responsibly and ethically sourced.