Fragrance Feud: Scented Candles Vs Wax Melts

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Opalhouse candles at Target

We love fragrance! It instantly sets the mood when we walk in our homes. That said, not everyone agrees on whether or not the best benefits come from candles or wax melts. Read on for the pros and cons to both, plus some of the top brands (and where to find them).


holding Opalhouse pink glass candle

Candle Pros:

  • They make rooms feel cozier with their warm glow.
  • Easy to use, light, and enjoy.
  • The aroma of most candles is noticeable in your home.
  • Creates ambiance and a feel-good atmosphere.
  • An easy gift that almost anyone would love and use.
  • Many containers available and can double as decor.
  • Can be placed on almost any flat surface.
  • Many scents (and unscented) options available.
  • Candles have many significances:
    • Used during prayer.
    • Lit in memory of loved ones.
    • Used for celebrations (weddings, special dinners, concerts, anniversaries, etc.).
  • You can make your own candles.

Candle Cons:

  • Open flames can be hazardous.
  • Not safe for nearby children when lit.
  • Cannot be left unattended.
  • Not practical to use all day long.
  • Burn times vary.
  • The average cost of candles is more expensive.
  • Some candles release chemicals.

Paris Cafe Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles

Here are some of our favorite, top-rated candle brands to buy online:

⭐ Bath & Body Works –  3-wick candles

⭐ Target – Opalhouse candles

⭐ Yankee Candle – Large jar candles

Wax Melts & Warmers

white wax melt plugged into wall with light on and reflection in the mirror

Wax Melts & Warmers Pros:

  • Come in various styles to fit your home decor.
  • Most can be left unattended.
  • Can double as night lights.
  • There are no flames involved when turning them on.
  • Have longer burning times that candles.
  • Less expensive than candles.
  • Can be used in places where flames are not allowed (work, offices, etc.).
  • You can control the amount of scent by the amount of wax you melt.
  • They don’t create soot as candles do.
  • Wax melts can make for a really unique and cute gift.
  • The wax doesn’t get too hot, therefore it’s not hazardous to your skin.
  • No matches needed.

Wax Melts & Warmers Cons:

  • Many people grow immune to the scents when they’re lit for long periods.
  • Wax can be messy and hard to clean up if spilled.
  • Needs to be plugging into an electrical source.
  • Won’t work if your electricity goes out.
  • Needs special bulbs in order to melt the wax.

Yankee Candle Wax Warmer

Here are some of our favorite stores to buy top-rated wax warmers and wax melts online:

⭐ Bed Bath and Beyond

⭐ Yankee Candle

⭐ Amazon

hand holding a white cotton ball with glass wax melt sitting on window sill

Hip Wax Warmer Cleaning Tip: Here are two easy ways to clean and change the wax from your warmers:

  1. Add cotton balls to melted wax until absorbed (change as needed), use to wipe clean, and dispose of the cotton ball.
  2. Carefully place warmer top in the freezer until wax freezes. Then it will easily pop out!

Candles vs Wax Melts: What’s the Hip2Save team verdict?

Yankee Candles sitting on ottoman in living room

Candles vs. 👎 Wax melts & warmers

“I do love my wax warmers, but overall I’d have to pick my candles! I feel like they have such a better fragrance overall, and the smell is easier to notice in my opinion. Plus, I just love a lit candle.”Paige 

I use both, but I personally like the candles better because I can smell them a lot quicker. Our little 1200 sq. foot house has 5 warmers and then probably about 4 candles that are ‘active’. We keep the warmers on 24/7 and then light the candles when we want a burst of scent. The warmers I tend to not be able to smell after a day and being the only girl in a house full of boys, I’m kinda obsessed with making sure my house smells amazing. LOL.”Alana 

“I love candles because I like open flames. It makes space feel warm. I don’t have small children at home, so this is a factor as well.” – Jamie

“Wax warmers are all fun and games until they spill everywhere! I like to stock up on the Bed Bath and Beyond candles when they’re cheap at Christmas.” – Lina

“I love the look of candles! Since my daughter and I are so sensitive to chemicals and fragrances, I try to buy beeswax candles that have a nice, natural scent, and I still can enjoy the coziness of a lit candle.”Jami

“I do love my wax melts to plug into our bathrooms, however, my kids have knocked into them constantly and the wax has spilled and made horrible messes on the counter and floor that are so hard to clean up! I love lighting candles, they’re so relaxing and great for when guests come over, too.” – Sara

Yankee Candle pink wax melts

Wax melts & warmers vs. 👎 Candles

“I love candle warmers! Having a little one at home, I don’t want to worry about an open flame. Plus, I feel like it’s so easy to change out wax and store it, rather than storing a bunch of glass jars. I also enjoy changing out my scents a lot so that we don’t get too used to the scents. It’s so easy to just pop a new one in, and I can leave them on all the time and not worry about burning down my house.” – Chelsey

“I used to love burning candles until my daughter was born, then I was too afraid to have them around. I felt that warmers were a bit safer. I do have a tendency to spill the wax everywhere on occasion, but I’m getting better at that (and it just takes a blow dryer to heat it up and wipe it off). I also absolutely love the different warmers and scents! I have at least one warmer in each room, and some larger rooms like the living and kitchen have two!” – Jessica 

“I think candle warmers have a much more concentrated scent, so I prefer those. Plus, my kids are obsessed with blowing out candles, so I can never keep those going for an extended period of time.” – Stacy 

The verdict? Candles – 6 vs. Wax warmers – 3

It’s pretty clear, some of us really love our wax warmers, but the majority of us think they’re more of a hassle. Plus, we really just love lighting up a great smelling candle and enjoying the ambiance.

See which candle won in my Aldi vs. Bath and Body Works candles test!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 3

  1. JBH

    I can’t believe Yankee candle is on this list. They suck now. Back in the day hey were great, but since they have been bought out their fragrances are so weak you can barley smell most when lit- they have minimal or NO scent throw, especially compared to how they used to be.

    Kringle candle- started by the founders of Yankee on the other hand is what Yankee was 10 to 20 years ago. They are strong scent that fill the room- and are a more modern take on the Yankee scents.

    Second favorite is bath and body works, but Yankee is now a hard no. I am done wasting money with them. They may be a fun place to visit, but the candles themselves are duds when lit unless all you want is expensive light.

  2. Clayton

    Thank you for posting this article. Aside from potency, do scents react or smell different with when used in melts as opposed to candles? I’m curious about this for using melts for testing before I create the candles.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re welcome! GREAT question. ❤️ I have used left over candle pieces in my melt warmer and found that the warmer didn’t pull out as deep of a scent of the wax as when it was burned as a candle. Hoping that is helpful! 🤗

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