Difference Between Paraffin & Beeswax

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When buying candles, most consumers are confronted with choosing between those made of beeswax or paraffin. While paraffin candles are cheaper, it is important to know the key differences between the two products.


Beeswax is created by bees, making it 100% natural. Meanwhile, paraffin is created by the oil industry as a by-product.


Paraffin gives off toxic fumes similar to those from car exhaust when burning. Beeswax burns safely.

Time Frame

Beeswax burns more slowly than paraffin candles. Also, beeswax candles do not drip like those made of paraffin do.


The fragrance of beeswax candles is natural. The fragrance of paraffin candles has been added artificially, usually as a result of additional chemicals.


Petroleum, the source of paraffin, is nonrenewable; beeswax is renewable.


David Harris

David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.