Want to ensure your home always smells divine? Check out our pick of the best wax melts
While candles are still a popular choice to scent the home, many of us are making sure our homes smell delightful with something approved by Mrs Hinch herself – wax melts. The best wax melts will fill your home with the most delightful scents, but how do you choose the right one? Most supermarkets and home stores have an abundance of different types on offer and it can seem easy enough to pick the first one you see off the shelf. But that won’t always be the best choice for you.
A huge range of factors can affect the quality of your wax melt, from the combination of fragrances to the type of wax used. If you want to make sure that you’re getting bang for your buck – and that your home will smell delicious all day long – you need the best of the best. Keep reading and you’ll find our buying guide, as well as our selection of the best wax melts on the market starting from as little as £2.
How to choose the best wax melts for you
What does a wax melt do?
A wax melt is exactly what you’d think from the name: a piece of wax that melts. They’re wickless, scented blocks of wax, which melt in a burner. As the burner heats up, warmed by a candle underneath or by electricity if you have a plug-in option, the wax dissolves into liquid and its scent is released into the room.
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Although the fragrances are often available in candle form too, many users prefer a wax melt due to a reduced amount of smoke and burning smell from flames. Those with electric burners can forget about the risk of an open flame altogether and still enjoy the benefit of a gorgeous scent.
There’s an additional benefit of reduced waste, too. Many wax melts from small companies come unwrapped or packaged in eco-friendly wrapping, so you don’t need to throw away a glass jar after each use as burners are almost infinitely reusable. They also produce far less smoke and are more affordable and smaller than full-sized candles, so you can try out different fragrances with less risk. Oh, and you won’t have to worry about tunnelling, either.
Are there different types of wax and fragrance?
Some wax melts use fragrance oils, while others use essential oils. Fragrance oils are synthetic, whereas essential oils are often plant-based. Many people prefer to opt for the natural option, but it’s worth noting that fragrance oils can be more sustainable and last longer. Which one you choose is entirely down to personal preference.
If you have pets, you might need to think about the contents you’re burning and how frequently you’re doing it. Many essential oils can cause irritation to animals and are toxic if ingested. The same goes for humans, so if you’ve got a little one in the house, keep your burner and wax melts out of reach. It’s important to remember that any kind of wax melt can trigger respiratory or allergic reactions in humans and pets, so always use them in a well-ventilated area and test a small dose at first if you’re prone to allergies.
How long will my wax last?
As the wax doesn’t come into contact with the flame, it won’t fully evaporate but the scent will eventually fade. You can typically find out how long the scent will last from the product’s packaging or website. You might also see some retailers refer to “scent throw” – the term is used to describe how well the wax distributes its intended smell. Once the scent has gone, you can simply throw the dry wax in the bin.
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What type of wax is best?
There are a plethora of different waxes to consider, each with its own pros and cons. Some of the most popular include:
Paraffin wax: This has a powerful scent dispersion, but is often avoided by those searching for eco-friendly options because of its crude-oil-refining process. It’s usually a less costly option than other alternatives, though.
Soy wax: This is a more eco-friendly alternative to paraffin and the most common type used in wax melts nowadays. It’s made from soybean and resin that is non-toxic. Usually, there are added antioxidants to improve the wax quality, and the naturally derived ingredients mean it doesn’t give off a plasticy smell.
Beeswax: This is a natural option not only used in candles and wax melts but in lip balms, hand creams and household polish. Even though beeswax is considered vegetarian and cruelty-free, it isn’t typically regarded as a vegan product because of how it’s harvested.
Coconut wax: This is a newer variety of wax taken from the high-yield crop, coconuts. It holds fragrance and colour well, and has a clean burn. It’s usually more expensive but is potentially the most eco-friendly and sustainable option out there.
You’ll also find gel wax, palm wax and blended waxes used to make melts, though these are less common. If you want to avoid certain ingredients, it’s always worth double-checking what a melt is made from before making a purchase.
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The best wax melts to buy in 2023
1. Só Soy Bamboo Milk + Mandarin Wax Melt: The best long-lasting wax melts
Price: £3 | Buy now from Só Soy
Wax melts from Só Soy are hand-poured using 100% natural soy wax and vegan fragrance oils. This wax melt was big enough to be cut in half and used twice, and has the most divine fragrance that fills the room without being too overpowering. Expect a blend of fresh citrus, creamy coconut, bamboo and vanilla, which resemble the sort of fragrance you’d expect in a spa somewhere sunny and warm.
It’s both affordable and long-lasting, giving users everything they’d want in a wax melt – high quality and a unique scent. Even the packaging of these melts feels luxe, making them ideal for gifting, too.
Key features – Main scents: Grapefruit, mandarin, coconut, bamboo, vanilla, milk and lychee; Wax: Soy; Burning time: Up to 12 hours
2. Yankee Candle Majestic Mount Fuji: The best affordable wax melts
Price: £2 | Buy now from Yankee Candle
Yankee Candle has been a wax favourite since the company started up in 1969. While it might be most famous for its candles, Yankee also offers individual wax melts at a bargain price. This scent is reminiscent of coconut water and dewy pear, with added cherry blossom for sweetness. Each melt is made from paraffin wax and is the perfect size for an individual burner, so there’s no need to fuss around chopping up chunks.
There’s nothing particularly spectacular about the appearance of the wax melt, but the scent is strong and long-lasting. It’s an ideal way to test out the fragrance before investing in a full-size Yankee Candle for those looking to try out wax melts before investing in a full bar or pack.
Key features – Main scents: Bergamot, pear, coconut water, amber wood, cedarwood; Wax: Premium paraffin; Burning time: Up to 8 hours
3. Whist Timperley Maple Leaf Melts: The best luxury wax melts
Price: £8 | Buy now from Whist
Whist only uses essential oils that are ethically farmed and sustainably grown. Moreover, each melt is made from UK and European rapeseed wax, with a blend of ethically farmed coconut wax. The Maple Leaf melts are our favourite and are created using a blend of perfume-grade, phthalate-free fragrance oils, as well as botanical essential oils. More impressively still, each highly scented melt will provide you with 12 to 15 hours of fragrance.
Each box contains eight leaves, which fill the air with a scent that smells quintessentially British – it’s warm, rich and full of dark, fruity notes. Instantly, you’ll notice the sharp and refreshing smell of British rhubarb, and once the wax begins to melt more, you’ll begin to smell the sweet tones of pear and dark damson plum.
Key features – Main scents: Rhubarb, pear, damson plum; Wax: Rapeseed and coconut; Burning time: Up to 12 to 15 hours
4. Sassy Shop Wax Hotel of Dreams Wax Melt: The best-looking wax melt
Price: £3.50 | Buy now from Sassy Shop Wax
Sassy Shop Wax offers dozens of incredible scents that will remind you of some of your favourite fragrances, cleaning products and even childhood memories. A small cube or two broken off from the melt is plenty to burn at any one time and offers around 12 hours of beautiful fragrance.
Hotel of Dreams is sweet from cherry and strawberries, balanced out by fresh sandalwood and creamy vanilla, offering a truly luxe aroma. The glitter that rests on the top of each melt looks beautiful as the wax melts down and is biodegradable.
Key features – Main scents: Cherry, strawberry, sandalwood and vanilla; Wax: Soy, mineral and vegetable wax; Burning time: Up to 12 hours
5. Sorcha Candle Co. At the Spa Wax Melts: The best spa-like wax melt
Price: £8 | Buy now from Sorcha Candle Co.
Made from a natural rapeseed wax blend, using paraben-free and vegan-friendly fragrance oils, these wax melts might be a little on the pricey side, but they offer a more eco-friendly alternative to others on the market. The scent is also incredibly potent and truly lasts as long it suggests – up to 12 hours per melt.
Alongside their long-lasting smell, each melt is unique and filled with dried lavender, which looks gorgeous floating in the melted wax as the scent spreads across the room. Perfect for relaxing and winding down on a Sunday afternoon.
Key features – Main scents: Amber, lavender, tonka bean and vanilla; Wax: Rapeseed; Burning time: Up to 12 hours
6. Cutch Fireside Soy Wax Melts: The best wax melt for cosy vibes
Price: £5.95 | Buy now from Cutch Company
Derived from the Welsh word “cwtch”, which means to give a loving hug or embrace, women-led brand Cutch is the creator of these beautiful wax melts, which stimulate the mind and body. You’ll easily be able to imagine yourself sitting next to a cosy log fire, book in hand, when you’re burning this warm wax melt. Sunny bergamot is blended with lemon leaf and spice, before more floral scents are brought out. It feels like a big hug.
A warming fragrance that’s well worth its value, each pouch contains six squares that burn up to an impressive 20 hours. Better still, each melt is filled with dried botanicals, only adding to their relaxing fragrance and appearance.
Key features – Main scents: Bergamot, eucalyptus, frankincense, musk and lavender; Wax: Soy; Burning time: Up to 20 hours
7. Good Aura Co. Moon Lake Musk Wax Melt: The best fresh scent wax melt
Price: £5 | Buy now from Good Aura Co.
Moon Lake Musk is a fresh and powdery scent that’s ideal for burning on date night or during some dedicated self-care time. Full of creamy, powdery floral scents that lift the mood, it’s a bit like what you’d imagine a romantic walk in the snow to smell like if it was bottled up.
One or two squares is plenty when broken up into your burner and the scent travels really well. What’s more, the melts are designed to be reused and can be smelt all across the house when heated.
Key features – Main scents: Freesia, jasmine, violet, sandalwood and rose; Wax: Biodegradable soy wax; Burning time: Up to 8 hours
8. Feu Candles Zoantharia Skull Wax Melts: The best unusual wax melts
Price: £4 | Buy now from Feu Candles
These unique skull wax melts from Feu Candles are named Zoantharia, after an order of cnidarians commonly found in the deep sea. The scent is fresh and cool, packed with aqua blossom, amber, vanilla and fresh cyclamen.
Although the colour and skull design might not initially look the most soothing, once the fragrance fills the air, your house will smell incredibly clean and refreshing. At just £4 for a pack of two, there’s great value in these long-lasting melts.
Key features – Main scents: Amber, vanilla, cyclamen and musk; Wax: Soy; Burning time: Around 12 hours
9. Witchy The Star Crystal Wax Melt: The best wax melt for fun
Price: £6.50 | Buy now from Witchy HQ
Witchy wax melts come with a hidden surprise. Designed to replicate some of the most recognisable tarot cards, The Star is just one from the collection that we love and is filled with rich, floral notes of vetiver and fig.
Inside the wax melts you’ll find a hidden crystal, which not only looks beautiful floating in the melted wax, but is a sweet little trinket to keep after you’re done using it. Made from natural ingredients, these highly scented wax melts will fill your home with a rich aroma that lasts for hours after they’ve finished burning.
Key features – Main scents: Fig and vetiver; Wax: British-sourced soy; Burning time: Up to 60 hours
10. Village Wax Melts Snow Fairies Wax Melts: The best sweet-smelling wax melts
Price: £2.99 | Buy now from Village Wax Melts
These Snow Fairy wax melts are packed with a strong and uplifting scent combination, which instantly fills the air with an aroma that resembles bubble gum and candyfloss. Made using sweet vanilla, cherry and pear oils, these wax melts are incredibly sweet, but not too sickly.
Each heart burns for around eight hours, but you can expect the aroma to linger long after they have finished burning. They’re also easy to scoop out of the burner once they’re finished with and don’t leave any residue behind.
Key features – Main scents: Pear, candyfloss, vanilla and cherry; Wax: Soy and mineral; Burning time: Up to 8 hours
11. Cotswold Wax Co. Small and Mighty Snapbar Clamshell: The best wax melts for cleanaholics
Price: £3 | Buy now from Cotswold Wax Co.The Cotswolds clamshell snap bars are super convenient to use – just break off the amount you need and then seal the rest back up to keep them fresh and full of fragrance. Better still, you get a lot of fragrance burning time for very little money.
Small and Mighty is reminiscent of clean, line-dried linen – think a freshly opened bottle of fabric softener. So if you’re doing a spring clean or just want to spruce up the house before guests come over, burn a chunk of this and your house will smell as fresh as your laundry, all day long.
Key features – Main scents: Lily, amber and rose; Wax: Coconut and soy wax; Burning time: Up to 4 hours