What’s the Difference Between Candles and Wax Melts

You’ve hit the right place if you want to know the differences between candles and wax melts.

Below we’ll cover the differences between the two, and in the end, I think you’ll find that both can be great options.

Let’s get started.

Differences Between Candles and Wax Melts

How the Wax Is Melted

One of the biggest differences between melts and candles is how they melt the wax.

With candles, we’re using old-fashioned combustion to get the job done.

When you light the wick, the flame gets very hot, melting the wax into a liquid that is sucked up through the wick and provided to the flame as fuel. The flame’s heat then vaporizes the wax, and the process continues until there’s no more wax to feed the flame.

With wax melts, there isn’t a direct flame or any flame.

Instead, a wax warmer (wax melter) is used for melts. These wax warmers are commonly electric, although also come in other variations, which may include utilizing a tealight candle’s heat to melt the wax.

The wax melt is placed on or in a wax warmer, and the heat generated from the warmer melts the wax.

Since there is no flame directly on the melt, the wax is not vaporized and will remain in the warmer.

Although the wax from a melt does not disappear, the fragrance oil will burn off each time you melt the wax until you no longer have any fragrance.

Are Wax Melts More Potent than Candles?

Not necessarily, but there can be some advantages for wax melts.

Since wax melts aren’t dealing with wicks, you can have a higher concentration of fragrance in a wax melt without worrying about impacting the performance of a wick.

Another advantage of wax melts is you have more control over the fragrance. You control how strong or light the scent is based on how much wax you put in the warmer.

With candles, the fragrance highly depends on how the candle is made, which comes down to how well the wax, wick, and fragrance work together.

Candles are no slouch in fragrance though. The candle’s flame will disperse the fragrance at a faster rate than wax melts and fill a room with aroma at a quicker pace.

Ultimately, both are great options to fill a room with your favorite fragrances.

Burn Time

Since wax melts have no direct contact with a flame, wax melts, on average, will have a longer burn time.

Wax melts are slowly melted and release fragrance at a steady pace over a more extended period.

Candles can also have a steady fragrance throughout the candle lifespan with the proper blending of materials and additives like vybar.

When using candles, make sure to properly burn the candle to avoid memory issues and extend the candle’s lifespan.


Wax melts require fewer materials to produce and, on average, will be cheaper than candles.


When using an electric warmer, wax melts can be a safer option because there’s no flame to worry about.

If a candle is made correctly, there should be no visible smoke, but wax melts may be a good option for those sensitive to soot or smoke.


Wax warmers come in all shapes and sizes, but there’s nothing quite like the ambiance created by traditional candles.

Candles make great table settings and decor and can transform the atmosphere of a room.

Of course, this is subjective, so this all comes down to your personal preferences.

Do Wax Melts Use the Same Wax as Candles?

Though there are exceptions, traditional candles and wax melts can use the same wax.

Some waxes are specifically for wax melts. These waxes are only for wax melts because they are formulated to be used without a wick and wouldn’t be suitable for a traditional candle.

Also, soft waxes that work great for container candles, like pure soy wax, will have a tough time with wax melts.

You want a firm wax when making melts because wax melts don’t have a container to hold them together. Melts need to hold their shape and easily be removed from the package.

Soy wax is popular for making wax melts, but the soy wax is typically blended with additives or firmer wax.

Firmer waxes made for pillar and votive candles also work well for wax melts. Soy blends, paraffin, and beeswax are popular options.

Can I Use a Candle as a Wax Melt?

If you’ve ever wondered if you could do anything with the leftover wax at the end of candles, here it is.

You can scoop that leftover wax out and place it in a wax warmer.

The easiest way to get the wax out will be to melt the wax using a heat gun or double boiler method. Once melted, you can pour the wax into a mold for wax melts.