Having a nice smelling home has always been one of my top priorities. I have always been an obsessive candle burner and love the way I can burn different scents and always have a nice smelling home, especially when those unexpected visitors come knocking at the door.
Recently, I have noticed that many of my friends have started using candle warmers instead of traditional burning candles and I became curious. Maybe I needed to invest in a candle warmer as well. I decided I wanted to do a little research. Why are candle warmers becoming so popular? Should I join the trend or stick with what I know?
If like me, you are considering making the switch to candle warmers, the first thing you need to know is the difference between candle warmers and burning candles. Both of them allow you to choose your favorite scents and make your home smell amazing, so how do they really differ?
Burning candles are a huge industry, and they seem to be getting more popular every year. Although scent is hugely important, many people also love the cozy, homely feeling you get when your burn a candle. The flame creates the feeling of a warm, cozy fire – especially when you burn candles at night.
However, candle warmers are becoming popular in their own right. Usually flameless, candle warmers run through electricity. They are heated via electricity and this heat melts the wax which in turn releases the scent. Candle warmers are known for long-lasting, strong fragrances which is a huge draw to many buyers.
So both candle warmers and burning candles seem to do a similar job – make your home smell great. So how do you choose between the two? To help you decide which one is best for you, I’ve prepared a comparison of candle warmers and burning candles. Let’s take a look.
Which is safer to use?
Concerns about safety is one of the main reasons that many people are considering moving away from traditional burning candles. An open flame can, of course, be a fire risk. Let’s face it, how many stories have we heard about house fires being caused by candles?
Although you can buy candle warmers that still use an open flame, electric candle warmers are becoming increasingly popular. The absence of any kind of flame is one of the most attractive things about electric candle warmers, especially for people who have children or pets at home or if, like me, you can be forgetful and may not always remember to blow your candles out!
You can leave your candle warmer burning for long periods of time and do not have to supervise it in the same way you would a burning candle.
Of course, because electric candle warmers work via electricity, there are other hazards you should be aware of such as overheating and you should always make sure you keep the candle warmer away from water.
Which has better aroma?
There are several factors to consider when comparing the aromas of candle warmers and burning candles. The first one is the intensity of the smell. Because of wick issues, most candles use a fragrance load below 7%. Anything higher than this could cause the wick to fail or even explode.
Wax melts, however, can have a fragrance load as high as 12%. The higher the fragrance load, the stronger the aroma will be. This means that your candle warmer could produce a stronger smell than your burning candles. Of course, you need to check the fragrance load of the wax before you buy it, as this may vary.
Another reason why many people now favor candle warmers is the ability to control the intensity of the smell. With burning candles, you light the candle and then have no control over the strength of the smell. If you want a stronger aroma to help mask other household smells, your only option is to light more candles – which isn’t very cost-effective.
With candle warmers, you can choose how much of the wax melt you want to add to the warmer. If you are looking for a more muted scent, you can break the bars up and add smaller amounts. If you want a stronger scent, you just need to add more wax.
The opportunity to change the intensity of the aroma is one of the main selling points for candle warmers, and one of the main reasons they are becoming more popular. You can add smaller amounts of wax if you are using your warmer in smaller rooms and more wax if you are using it in bigger rooms.
Another thing I love about the aromas in a candle warmer is the opportunity to mix and match the scents. I love breaking a small part of one scent and warming it with a small part of another scent. This means I can change the smell of my house from day to day without spending a small fortune.
Cost Comparison of Warmers vs Burning Candles
The initial cost of buying an electric candle warmer discourages many people from making the change from burning candles. Although the candle warmer may be more expensive than buying a burning candle, bear in mind that they last for much longer.
Some people also worry about the cost of electricity when using a candle warmer, especially those who like to burn their candles for several hours a day. Let’s face it, we all want to keep our household bills as low as possible.
This is something I was also worried about, so I made sure to research the cost carefully before making my decision. I looked into how much electricity my candle warmer was going to use each year if I used it every day.
Candle warmers use a low wattage – usually about 25 watts. If you use your candle for eight hours a day, every single day, your electricity cost per year should be around $9. This is very low, especially considering that most people won’t be using it quite this much.
Burning candles vary hugely in price. Although you can buy cheap ones at the supermarket, these don’t usually have good reviews and will not usually give you a long-lasting aroma. The average price of a candle in the U.S is $20, and the average burn time is 60 hours.
The average price of a wax melt is $15 and the average burning time is 225 hours! This is a saving of more than 5 times.
Environmental Impact of Warmers and Candles
The environment is something of a hot topic at the moment. Many people are concerned about protecting the environment and having the least negative impact on the environment. This is why I have decided to consider the environmental impact of candle warmers vs. burning candles.
There are several environmental factors to consider, the first one being waste. Did you know that glass takes more than 1 million years to decompose? In the U.S alone, nearly 30 billion glass containers make their way to landfills every year.
Reducing glass waste would have an extremely positive impact on the environment. Although candles do last a while, inevitably they’re going to run out of wax. Unless you’re crafty and reuse the jars for something else, they’re likely to get thrown in the garbage (although hopefully you are at least cleaning and recycling the glass).
One of the positives of candle burners is their longevity. A candle warmer can last for years – as long as you take care of it. This reduces waste as you are not throwing out and replacing it every month.
It is even possible to reduce waste when you buy wax. One way to do this is to make sure you don’t buy wax that is wrapped in plastic. There are many places that you can buy wax wrapped in paper or with no wrapping at all. These options will reduce your environmental impact.
The environmental impact of burning candles can also depend on which type of candle you burn. The most common wax material used in candles is paraffin. Paraffin is made from the sludge that is found at the bottom of crude oil barrels. It comes from petroleum and is a non-renewable resource.
If you are concerned about the environment, but still want to burn candles, you should consider soy or beeswax candles. They are both made from natural substances and are a renewable resource – making them friendlier to the environment. They are also biodegradable. Bear in mind that soy and beeswax candles are more expensive than paraffin candles.
It is important to be aware that some wax melts that are used in candle warmers are also made from paraffin. Choose wax melts made from other materials to reduce your environmental impact.
What Do They Release into Your Home?
Another important thing to consider when burning candles is soot. Burning candles usually releases soot into your home. This can cause stains on your walls, ceilings, curtains, and furniture. This is especially true for long-term candle burners. Candle warmers do not produce soot because there is no flame.
Additionally, burning candles is more likely to release chemicals and toxins into the air. This is especially true for paraffin candles which contain as many as seven different toxins. It is widely claimed that paraffin releases harmful substances when you burn it. Studies have shown that burning paraffin releases benzene – a chemical shown to promote cancer growth.
Burning candles can also be more problematic for people with asthma or other respiratory problems. Although beeswax candles are hypoallergenic and don’t usually release soot into your home, they are also more expensive than other candles.
Which looks better?
The visual look of candle warmers and burning candles are very different and I can’t really say which one is superior – it depends on your taste and what you prefer. One of the big advantages of candle warmers is the versatility of their look.
There are so many different looks to chose from, with different materials, colors, shapes, and sizes. You can choose a warmer that matches your home decor or one that stands out and just looks fabulous.
However, some people believe that you can’t beat the look of a real burning candle. The sight of that orange flame, especially on a fall or winter night somehow just makes you feel cozy and homely. This is something that you just can’t achieve with a candle warmer.
Burning Candle vs Candle Warmer
So now I’ve taken you through a comparison of candle warmers and burning candles, I hope you’re closer to making a decision. There are definite pros and cons to both and making the switch from something we know and love to something new is always difficult!
Think about what you are trying to achieve and what is important to you – whether that be look smell, cost, or something else. If you’re still not sure, it could be worth visiting that friend or family member who uses a candle warmer and seeing if that helps you to make your decision.
As for me, I decided to take the plunge and give candle warmers a try. Luckily, a few weeks in, I feel like that was a great decision! I’m loving the smell of my home and the fact that I can leave my candle warmer running while I’m busy doing other things.
However, I’m still not ready to give up my burning candles. I still have some around my house for decoration and I know I’ll definitely be lighting them when those cold, dark nights set in again.