If you’re like us, you love candles. Not for their room lighting ability—which was replaced by the commercial light bulb in 1879—but for their aesthetics and the relaxing atmosphere they bring to your home.

If you haven’t yet tried burning soy wax candles instead of traditional paraffin, you don’t know what you’re missing. We’re here to fill you in.

7 Reasons to Choose Soy Wax Candles

  1. It’s natural. Soy wax is composed of hydrogenated veggie oil made from soybeans and solidifies at room temperature. Old-fashioned candles contain paraffin wax which is made from petroleum oil. Current guidelines allow “soy” candles to have a small amount of paraffin in them. Some producers use it to speed the release of fragrance.
  2. Cleaner burn. That black soot you see on the lid and lip of your candle jars are caused by the petroleum in traditional candles. The smoke from these candles can also stain walls, curtains, and other furnishings in your home.
  3. Fresher air. As they burn and melt, soy candles do not release dangerous petroleum-based carcinogens into the air. The American Lung Association advises paraffin based candles release at least 11 known toxins and two of them are carcinogenic.
  4. Eco-friendly. Soybeans are a renewable resource while petroleum-based paraffin is not.
  5. Lower melting point. Soy burns at a lower temperature which means it burns cleanly and slowly. There’s also less risk of burn injury as the candles don’t burn as hot as “regular” ones; they cool much faster, too.
  6. Cost savings. Though soy candles can cost more upfront, because they typically last 50% longer than paraffin candles, they save you money in the long run. And because they burn more evenly, there’s no waste that clings to the side of the jar, which adds to their lifespan.
  7. Strong scents. Soy wax candles have just as strong a scent as paraffin candles but because they melt more slowly it may take a little longer for the scent to be released into the air. The scent is also generally more pleasant and because there are no toxins, less likely to cause headaches and other allergic reactions.

Is That Candle You’re Burning Really Soy?

One final tip. There are a few unscrupulous manufacturers out there selling “soy” candles that aren’t really soy at all. Hint: they’re usually a lot less expensive than the real deal.

When shopping for soy-based candles, read the packaging or ask the seller some important questions:

  • Do the candles contain any synthetic scents? You want natural oils!
  • If colored, is the dye safe?
  • Is the wick made of non-cored hemp or cotton? Cored wicks contain metal.

If you’re a big fan of candlelight but don’t like the associated risks of paraffin, making the switch to soy wax candles is the way to go. They’re renewable, biodegradable, and best of all, non-toxic.