Candles can turn an ordinary night at home into an extraordinary one. They make your room’s atmosphere seem special. Scented candles take the experience to another level by working to reduce your stress levels and providing a mood-enhancing boost of aromatherapy.
But finding the best smelling candles for you isn’t just a matter of picking your favorite scent and rolling with it. You should also consider the type of candle and what benefits that scent might provide to you before you make your selections.
The Basics of Candle Safety
Before getting an armful of home candles to burn in every room of their house, some people feel more comfortable learning about the wide selection of candles and their safety first.
For those who don’t know, candle wax can be made from a variety of ingredients, including paraffin, soy wax, beeswax, coconut wax, and even gels. Candles will be solid at room temperature, and then become a liquid as the heat of the flame melts them.
When candles are burned, small quantities of the compounds in them can be released into the air. That could include things like petroleum distillates, benzene, toluene, fragrance, and more.
If you use candles occasionally or have a rather large, well-ventilated room, there appears to be no cause for concern. But because candles do give off some by-products when lit, some people like to play it safe by burning candles that give off fewer by products.
Studies have shown that vegetable-based candles, like soy candles, don’t make the carbon dioxide in a room increase like paraffin candles, which are created by using petroleum oil, do. That’s good news for people who like using candles that smell good every day but worry about their indoor air quality.
While soy candles are generally more expensive than petroleum candles, they release fewer worrisome compounds into the air. Plus, they use a renewable resource, compared to the ones that use petroleum oil, so they are more sustainable as well. So, if you enjoy burning candles, but worry about the health repercussions, you can feel good about using vegetable-based candles in your home.
If you have asthma, investing in candles that give off less byproduct should be a priority. Some of the most fragrant candles may trigger asthma symptoms, while others won’t. You may have to use the trial and error method to find ones that work for you.
Keep a running list of candle scents that don’t seem to aggravate you, so you can fill your home with the soothing aroma of candles, too.
The Different Types of Wax
If you’re new to candles or if you’ve never paid attention to which type of wax the candles you buy use, here’s a comprehensive list of wax types.
- Soy wax: Soy candles can be expensive, but it’s worth the extra money for people who like to burn candles while not worrying about their air quality. They can be a good value, too, because they are slow-burning, so they last a long time.
- Paraffin wax: Paraffin wax, or mineral wax as it is also called, is made from petroleum or coal. It releases more potentially harmful compounds into the air when burned and isn’t a renewable source for candles. It is a popular choice for candles, though, because it’s more affordable than some other waxes.
- Coconut wax: This wax is smokeless and soot-free, and it also burns slowly and evenly. Coconut wax can be a good pairing with essential oils in candles because it burns cooler than some other waxes do, retaining more of the benefits of the essential oils.
- Beeswax: Beeswax candles won’t go rancid, which is a risk you run with vegetable wax candles that are stored for a super long time. Plus, beeswax is hypo-allergenic, non-toxic, and naturally has a light, clean scent.
- Gels: Some candles are not made of wax at all, but gels. Gel candles are often made from mineral oil and resin.
- Palm wax: Palm wax is made from palm oil from the palm fruit. It is a clean burner, like coconut, soy, and beeswax. These candles also have a longer burn time because of their high melting point.
What Types of Candles Are the Best?
There is no one definitive best type of candle. Some people swear by paraffin candles because they are so inexpensive, but others dislike them because of the sometimes smokier smell they can have and their shorter burn time.
Other people love how clean-burning vegetable-based candles are, but hate the expense of them. Plus, it can be harder to find the scents you want in a 100 percent soy candle. To combine the best of both worlds, some manufacturers make candles with a blend of paraffin and soy.
Some people love coconut wax, gels, palm wax, and beeswax candles as well. To find which suits you best, do some experimentation. Buy an assortment based on the candle scent names and the type of wax they use. It can be fun to check out different styles, brands, and scents of candles.
You might love White Barn candles, or you could want a mixture of brands. You may find that your favorite candle brand or scent is one you didn’t think you’d even like. Even if you’re typically into fruitier scents, you might end up liking sea salt or white tea scents.
If you don’t like supporting big companies or you want a product with a more human touch to it, you can buy hand-poured candles.
The Benefits of Burning Candles
While candle burning seems like such a simple thing, there are benefits to it.
- Candles offer a created and maintained sense of relaxation any time you need it.
- They can be used as a simple but beautiful decoration in your home.
- Some people find that they focus better on the task at hand when a candle is burning.
- Scented candles can impact your emotions, creating a sense of calm or energy, depending upon which one you burn.
- Candles can set the stage for a romantic night.
- They can be a tool used in meditation, which has several health benefits of its own.
MelaComfort’s scented candles can offer you all of these benefits. A scented candle and eucalyptus Tencel sheets can give you an affordable, cozy, relaxing night at home to recharge your batteries.
Tips for Burning Candles Correctly
It may seem easy to burn candles, but there are some tips you should know before you light any wicks.
- Trim the wick before burning, down to no more than one-quarter of an inch. This will help your wax burn evenly. You can trim it with a wick trimmer or with nail clippers.
- Candle snuffers are better at blowing out that flame than your breath will be. Blowing out the candle may keep it smoldering longer.
- Use the lid that it comes with. The lids are there for a reason -- they help keep the dust off the candle and to stop it from drying out.
- Remember, never fall asleep when candles are burning at your house. That’s a huge fire hazard.
Bask in the Glow
Lighting candles is one of life’s simple pleasures, and seeing the golden glow can be a magical moment in your day. Whether you burn candles daily or only on special occasions, treasure those little relaxing moments.