Coconut wax and other types of natural waxes have risen in popularity over the years, but they’re not always the best wax for the type of candle you’re making. Before you invest in any wax, it’s important to be sure that it will be the right one for your needs.
Today, we’ll talk more about the pros and cons of coconut wax candles.
Pros and Cons of Coconut Wax Candles
Coconut wax is a sustainable material that burns cleaner than many other types of traditional candles. It’s a soft wax, making it an ideal choice for almost any kind of candle going in a container.
This soft wax usually makes great melt-and-pour projects quick and easy (though, like most natural waxes, they have a longer curing time).
With coconut wax candles, you get a burn that lasts longer than most paraffin waxes and paraffin blends. Coconut wax candles might be expensive, but you won’t go through them nearly as quickly as you will paraffin ones.
Its almost pure-white color makes it a great choice for natural colorants that might not hold up very well in waxes with yellow tints (like yellow beeswax).
It also doesn’t really have a scent, making it perfect for adding your favorite scents without interference. (I personally still love the smell of a nice beeswax candle, but its natural scent can get in the way of more subtle essential oils if you’re using those in your candles.)
Coconut wax possibly offers the best scent throw of all the natural waxes. You’ll see it work its way into soy wax blends and other natural wax blends to get a better scent and help stabilize the coconut wax. (More on this below.)
Lastly, between things like paraffin and palm wax, many people have been moving away from candles due to health concerns and their negative impact on the environment. Coconut wax is possibly the most eco-friendly and sustainable option on the market.
But as with all things, coconut wax does have its downsides, which we’ll get into below.
Depending on how you make your candles and what type of projects you’re interested in, some of these might be a deal-breaker! We’ll also cover some alternatives that will allow you to stick with healthy, eco-friendly options.
The single biggest con of coconut wax isn’t so much due to the wax itself, but due to the lack of transparency from manufacturers and the tricky language they use (and sometimes outright lies).
Amidst all the craze among “all-natural” candle makers to get their hands on coconut wax comes a big problem—lack of education and being too trusting of manufacturers. Unfortunately, in this industry, you have to use quite a bit of discernment and be very wary of new products and sources.
It’s actually pretty difficult to get your hands on pure coconut wax for a few reasons. It’s costly, not the most practical of waxes for people that are shipping their candles, and most coconut wax on the market is some sort of blend.
That’s not to say all coconut wax blends are bad! This brings us to the next big con of coconut wax:
The melting point.
Coconut wax is a very soft wax that has a much lower melting point than most waxes. This makes them a bit tricky to ship, especially during the summer. Just a bit of summer heat is enough to ruin a pure coconut wax candle in transit.
For that reason, you’ll find that most coconut wax is actually blended with beeswax, soy, or paraffin wax to help stabilize it and keep it from melting so easily. (One of the blends I recommend for candlemaking is actually a soy/coconut blend, which I’ve included below.)
If you’re just concerned with making your candles with ingredients known to be safe and natural, the first two are fine! But obviously, you don’t want paraffin getting in the mix, which happens far more often than it should.
The issue often lies with the manufacturer rather than your favorite candlemaker. Especially in an industry with few regulations on labeling and safety requirements, you tend to run into a lot of issues with candlemakers not really knowing what’s in their candles, particularly when they don’t have the testing resources of larger candlemaking companies.
You can mitigate this with a bit of research on the company you’re buying from. Go through reviews, ask more experienced makers for their recommendations, and get in touch with the manufacturer (or other candle companies who aren’t selling in your area!).
The last con: you’re a bit limited in what types of candles you can make.
You’re definitely not going to be making taper, pillar, or any other freestanding candle with coconut wax. Even most coconut wax blends are far too soft for that.
For freestanding candles, you’re better off looking at beeswax or other similar blends that hold up better to heat. While it can have a strong scent, beeswax makes wonderful wax for pillar candles or carving projects.
Ready to get started?
Check out some of our other articles on candle making and choosing the best wax and scents for candle making. And if you have any photos, we’d love to see your projects! Feel free to link them in the comments below.