Coconut wax is the new kid on the block. It hasn't exploded in popularity yet, but I have a feeling it might and I'll tell you why I personally feel it's one of the best waxes available.
I'm sure you've heard by now that paraffin = bad. I'm not going to go into too much detail, but paraffin is a by product of crude oil. Paraffin is extracted with chemical solvents from petroleum by dewaxing it from lubricating oil stocks. It may contain residual oil, and then is bleached a white color. It's not a sustainable wax and is hard on the environment. My other concern is that most wax melts, despite their labels, have paraffin wax mixed in. Paraffin has an excellent hot throw and is super cheap which makes it very popular with candle producers.
Another wax you're probably familiar with is soy wax. It is made from the oil of soybeans that is hydrogenated to turn the oil from unsaturated to saturated. This is what makes soy wax solid at room temperature, or higher. The leftover soy is then used in the agricultural industry. And although soy is the most heavily pesticide sprayed crop and can lead to deforestation, organic soy wax grown in America is available. Not terrible! It is absolutely a solid alternative to paraffin wax.
So why did I settle on coconut wax? Well, because...
Coconut wax is not associated with deforestation. In fact, coconut trees can live for 60 to 80 years and they don't need to be cut down in order to harvest the coconuts. They are mostly grown by small family farms, harvested by hand, and are naturally pesticide free! This also means it's a non-GMO crop as well.
It is considered clean burning. Coconut wax has a pretty, white creamy look and has a hot throw similar to paraffin without all the issues I mentioned above. If wicked correctly, a coconut wax candle will not leave a black soot on your ceiling or wall.
Last but not least, coconut wax has a slow and even burn which means your coconut wax candle will last longer than soy, and especially paraffin.
Coconut wax on it's own is very soft. Sometimes it's mixed with paraffin or soy, or both and often just labeled "Coconut Wax Blend." I've chosen to keep my candles as natural as possible and use beeswax to harden it. Beeswax has it's own lovely benefits as well!
Overall, I feel coconut wax is one of the best eco-friendly waxes currently available.