Updated at: 24-08-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

The wick of a candle is usually made of braided cotton, with a little amount of thin wire added as a support. When a candle or lamp is ignited, the wick acts as the source of heat. What we don’t know, though, is what goes into making candle wicks.

To keep the flame going, fuel is transported to it via capillarity and the wick. Liquid fuel, melted wax or spirit can be used as fuel in lamps. When combined with oxygen, these materials burn to produce a flame.

A wick is encased in a substance that can be ignited, such as wax or a flammable liquid. In addition to providing light and fragrance, it can also be utilized for special occasions such as birthdays, candle-lit banquets, and memorials. The primary purpose of a wick is to feed the flame with a constant supply of oxygen.

Burning wax is drawn up into the flame by the wick, which acts like a pump for the liquid. The size of the wick determines how much fuel is drawn into the flame. There are times when there is too much fuel, and times when there is not enough fuel.

Wicks are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. It is important to consider the type of wax used in a candle as well as the dimensions of the wick. You must select the suitable type of wick to ensure a clean and efficient burn.

History of Candles

Middle English word candle, which means “to shine,” is the origin of the name “candle.” Before candles, oil lamps with wicks were in use. The Romans invented dipped candles in 500 BCE, and they have been around ever since.

3 Ways to Make Candle Wicks - wikiHow

Around 200 BCE, China’s Han Dynasty began producing candles. By the Middle Ages, candle-making had evolved into a specialized art. Beeswax candles were popular in religious rituals because they burned the cleanest.

Most individuals opted to use tallow candles instead since they were less expensive. As far back as 1834, Joseph Morgan created the first machinery for mass-producing candles. Candles were more affordable as a result of this innovation, which completely changed the industry.

Characteristics of a Wick

How a flame burns is determined by the wick’s qualities such as stiffness, circumference, stability, and fire resistance. A thin copper wire can be found in a wick. It acts as a conductor, allowing the wax to melt more easily, while also stiffening the wick.

Stiffening a wick with paper or synthetic fibers is another option. Previously, lead was employed. However, because of the potential for lead contamination, it is currently prohibited in the United States and other countries.

Flat braided wicks occur naturally and are self-contained in nature. They curl back into the flame as soon as they start to glow.. To prevent them from catching fire, wicks are usually preconditioned with noncombustible substances like borax and salt.

Types of Candles

It is easier for a candle to burn out if the wick has a greater diameter. Tea lights are made with a metal component affixed to the wick of the candle. Tea light candles’ wax can get hot enough to melt.

As a result of the metal, the wick does not burn out before the wax since it cannot float on top of it. Floating candles are another option. There is a bottom seal to protect water from getting in between the bottom of the candle and the wick.

Small stump wicks on some birthday candles lead them to burn out quickly. Other materials than cotton and string can be used to make wicks, but this is uncommon. In certain situations, wicks have been fashioned from natural materials like wood.

Are Candle Wicks Important?

Candle manufacturers believe that the wick is the most significant part of a candle after the color, shape, and fragrance. Quality and burn time are better with braided and knitted wicks than with carelessly twisted ones. It is essential that the wick of a candle be chosen carefully to guarantee that the candle burns correctly and safely at all times.

What is Candle Wicks Made Of?

Cotton Wicks vs Wooden Wicks

If you’re curious about the composition of candle wicks, a wooden wick is a good option to start with. To make candles, thin slabs or tubes of wood called “wicks” are shaped specifically. They make a great sound, but require a little more attention and care. Waxed and pressed cotton fibers are used to make cotton wicks, which are used in candles to keep their shape.

It’s common practice to use cotton wicks in the creation of inexpensive candles that are easy to maintain. When lighted for the first time, both hardwood and cotton wicks burst into flame quickly. The second and future burnings of the wooden type will necessitate a higher level of attention.

A three-second light is all it takes to start a cotton wick, while a twenty-second burn is possible with a hardwood wick.

It may take up to three attempts to extinguish a wooden wick candle. In order to get to the more charred, outer layers of wood, the fire must travel farther and consume more fuel. When lighting candles with wooden wicks, a match is very impossible to use.

We noticed that the length of a match isn’t long enough to efficiently light a wick of wood. Candle wax will contain match stubs from the time it took to hold the flame on the wick. Because of the increased risk of fire, it’s not something you want to happen to your new sofa.

Choosing Candle Wicks: Where to Start

Candle wicks are an example of a skill that can only be learnt by trial and error. Every time I ran into a candle-making issue, I went back and looked at what I had done before.

The following are some key considerations when selecting how to select candle wicks:

  • maintaining a steady flame with no self-extinction
  • a consistent pool of melted wax around the candle’s circumference
  • safe and moderately warm
  • no soot while burning, no smoke
  • burn time – also known as candle life
  • little flames that are safe to use
  • clean, non-toxic burn

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when selecting your candle wicks. A candle that burns efficiently and effectively, with good aroma throw and no toxic waste is one that is made with these criteria in mind. For all of your homemade candles, we’ve put up this handy guide to help you pick the perfect wick.

Candle Wicks: Where To Start

In order to choose the right candle wick size, there are few considerations to keep in mind before making your selection from the candle wick charts below. (And if you’re just getting started, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to creating candles once you finish reading this.)

If you’re manufacturing candles, start here when deciding on the best sort of wick to use:

1. The Diameter of the Candle

The diameter of the candle is the most important thing to consider when selecting a candle wick. Fortunately, the first step is straightforward. Using a ruler or reading the information provided, you may determine how big your candle containers should be before you place an order.

2. Fragrance Load and Color

Step two is deciding whether or not you’ll add any more smell or color. The thicker your wick, the more color or smell you’ll need to include. This is where our fragrance load calculator comes in in!

3. Candle Wax Type

Next, you’ll need to choose a wax for your candles. The melting point and density of candle wax vary from one variety to the next. As you’ll see below, these variations have an effect on the recommended candle wick type.

Simply Living Library’s swipe file will assist you choose a candle wax type if you haven’t already. Our candle wax calculator is a handy tool if you’re unsure of the exact amount you’ll need.

4. Candle Burn Time

Consider the wax’s burn time as a final consideration. Because soy wax burns more slowly and for a longer period of time than paraffin wax, a thinner wick may be preferable. When burning for shorter periods of time than the suggested four hours, such as 1 to 1.5 hours, it is better to use a larger wick in order to immediately develop a melt pool across the candle and prevent funneling from occurring.

What are the different types of candle wicks?

Candle wicks are more than just a measurement of length and diameter. Candle wicks, for example, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. There are many sorts of candles, therefore I’ve listed some of the most regularly used candle wicks here, along with information on which wicks are ideal for each type of candle. Wicks for beeswax candles, soy candles, and more can be found here!

ECO Candle Wicks:

Weaved from 100 percent organic cotton and paper fibers, the flat braids that make up ECO candle wicks are extremely strong. All of these have a little amount of mushrooming and a clean burn. Waxes with a lower melting point will benefit from this product. Pre-coated in soy wax and equipped with wick tabs, these candles are a snap to light and maintain.

  • To make soy pillars and tall containers such as mason jars, this set of ECO wicks is the ideal choice.
  • Instead, this set of eco-friendly candle wicks is designed for soy and blend candles with a diameter of 2 34–3 14 inches and a height of no more than 5 inches.

Flat LX Candle Wicks:

Natural cotton threads are used to braid LX wicks, which have a very flat finish. Because of their curling ability, they aid in maintaining a constant flame for candles, reducing mushrooming, afterglow, soot, and smoke. Each one is made from 100 percent natural soy wax, making it completely biodegradable and kind to the environment.

  • Candles with a diameter of 2 to 3 inches and a height of no more than 5 inches are ideal for wax mixtures and soy containers.

Hemp Candle Wicks:

To be clear, hemp candle wicks are created from 100 percent organic hemp and are non-toxic and biodegradable, as you might have guessed from the name. It’s all natural beeswax dipped. There are pre-tabbed or spools available to make any desired height of candle. In my experience, the pre-tabbed wick is the best for beeswax candles.

  • Beeswax pillars and container candles up to 7 inches tall work best with these hemp wicks.
  • Alternatively, you can use hemp wicks on a spool for any candle size.

Do candle wicks need to be waxed?

Are pre-waxed candle wicks a must, you ask? In a nutshell, it’s no. When it comes to creating candles, pre-waxed wicks are considered superior, especially when it comes to smell throw!

For those who don’t buy pre-waxed wicks, you’ll have to do it yourself. With pre-waxed candle wicks, I can tell you from personal experience that the process is a whole lot easier!

Despite this, there is one notable exception…

20pc No Fume Wood Candle Wicks Base Clip Safe Diy Candle Making Supplies For Wicks Materials Holder Stand Handmade Kit - Wicks - AliExpress

Wood Wicks:

Pre-waxing wood wicks isn’t necessary for a good burn. Made in America using wood supplied from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), these are my go-to wicks for candles (FSC). They create a smoky, crackling campfire mood! Take a look at our video to discover how we make our own wood wick candles.

  • The best wicks for all kinds of candles are made of wood: soy, palm, coconut, bee’s wax, and blends of all of these. Wood wicks are available in four different sizes to suit your specific candle-making requirements.

How do you know if you are using the wrong candle wicks?

The improper candlewick might lead to a slew of issues with your lighted wick. If you think you’re having one of these problems, here are some warning signs and solutions:

One of two things could be going on here: Either the candle wick is self-extinguishing, or it isn’t burning at all.

  1. Use the wick size charts above to adjust the candle wick if it is too thin or too short.
  2. Use a fragrance load calculator the next time to make sure you don’t add too much fragrance.

As it burns, a mushrooming wick splits apart. Doing two things will help you avoid this:

  1. After each usage, remove any excess accumulation from the wicks.
  2. Consider using a slender wick.

A flickering wick, other than a wood wick, might result in smoke or soot if it is excessive. A common cause of this problem is a faulty candle wick.

  • You’ll see the flame flickering when the candle’s wick is too big for its container because it’s too thick.

Tunneling: If the candle doesn’t melt from one edge to the other, it will most likely form a tunnel, resulting in a weak scent throw. There are two possible explanations for the formation of tunnels in candles:

  1. A tunnel will appear if the candle is only burned for a brief period of time before the melting pool reaches across the candle’s diameter. For best effects, space out your candle burning by four hours.
  2. An insufficient amount of strength was provided by the wick, which was too thin.

The life of a candle is considerably reduced if the melt pool is too deep, which is why it is important to keep the melt pool as shallow as possible. Keep an eye on this:

  • More than half an inch of wax can collect in the wick if it is too thick for the candle’s diameter.

Top Best Candle Wicks

EricX Light 100 Piece” – Best Cotton Candle Wicks

Light candle wicks created by EricX are of the highest quality and are composed of pure cotton. They produce a large, steady flame that is perfect for producing candles of any size. There is no zinc, lead, or other metal in these because they are pre-waxed and tabbed. With a gentle and clean burn, they deliver a great burning experience.

Most containers and pillars can be used with this wick. When creating candles, care must be taken to avoid overdosing on dye and aroma, which can generate smoke and diminish the candle’s capacity to burn.


  • a large and well-established flame
  • Very well-done burn job.
  • Ideal for manufacturing candles of any size.
  • Free of paraffin
  • Non-toxic cotton is used in its construction.


  • Soot is emitted.
  • Dirty residue is left behind

EricX Light 8″ with Stickers – Wicks For Soy Candles

Pre-waxed, tagged, and sliced, the EricX lite candlewicks are ready to use. Candlewick stickers are included to enhance the brightness and enhance the aroma of the candles. Heat-resistant glue keeps the wicks in place even when the sticker is applied to a heated surface.

A candle wick-centering device ensures that the smell is dispersed evenly. Making candles at home with a centered wick not only saves time and effort, but it also makes it easier to work without becoming fatigued.


  • Metal-free
  • Non-toxic cotton is used in its construction.
  • There is no odiferous scent in the air.
  • Stable lighting


  • In many cases, containers of various sizes will not accommodate them.
  • The centering component for the wick may corrode with time.

DGQ 6″ Natural Candle Wicks With Tabs – Wholesale Candle Wicks

What if I told you there was an all-purpose candle wick out there? Tabs on the DGQ 6′′ natural candle wicks keep them upright for optimum aroma throw. This wick can be used to make all kinds of candles at home. The thinness of these wicks makes it possible to utilize more than one to get a larger diameter.

Because of the care used during manufacturing, the all-cotton core produces a smoke-free flame. DGQ natural candle wicks are ideal for setting a bright, romantic, or calming vibe in your space.


  • A small amount of soot is produced.
  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Stability of the burning process


  • The lack of soot could be a problem.
  • Burning at a low wax temperature causes it to become unstable.

EricX Light – Organic Wicks

We have the best candle wicks in the business. Natural Beeswax and Organic Hemp are the only ingredients in EricX Light Organic Candle Wicks. Candle wax made from beeswax has a wide range of applications, and the performance of beeswax candles depends on how the beeswax is acquired and transformed into wax.

Although waxing beeswax may be difficult, it creates a calming and relaxing atmosphere by ionizing the air. Using the EricX light organic candle wicks is a great way to ensure that your candles burn evenly.


  • Ecologically sound
  • Increase the amount of energy you put forth.
  • Free of smog
  • Create a spooky vibe
  • It’s quite simple to use.


  • Expensive
  • Additives are needed to enhance the aroma.

Youngrich 100 Pieces – Wood Candle Wicks

A DIY enthusiast who takes satisfaction in using their own handcrafted goods? The well-knitted 100-percent cotton pieces burn cleanly and quickly without releasing any smoke into the air. It’s ideal for those who enjoy doing their own home improvement projects and would want to produce pillar or teacup candles.

The iron stands that assist the wicks stand straight during the candle-making process keep them in place. Combustion improvers, which increase the efficiency of burning fuel and the spread of aroma, are supported for improved burning.

The metal bases of Youngrich wood candle wicks may support two wicks, allowing for a better burn. In the unlikely event that you happen to be reading this, I have a feeling you have a strong preference for repurposing wax from burned candles. Because the wicks of Youngrich candles are so large, the wax can be melted to manufacture tall candles from previously used ones.

For those who find other types of wicks difficult to work with, here’s a simple but sleek wick. You only need to hold the top of the iron stand while gently pouring wax till it cools to fix the candlewick. There is nothing more romantic than lighting this beautiful candle with your loved one on a romantic getaway.

The Youngrich wicks can be used in a variety of ways because they are both natural and environmentally beneficial. Outdoor weddings, private residences, public spaces, and cafes can all benefit from their services, as can engagement parties and other types of social gatherings. Because they may be customized through do-it-yourself projects, they have a wide range of uses.

A baby shower or an engagement party can both benefit from them. With this, you’ll get the best of both worlds.


  • Widely applicable (for DIY projects)
  • It is possible to burn without producing any black smoke.
  • Ample in size
  • Keep wicks in place with an iron stand.
  • It’s quite simple to use.


  • It’s difficult to keep the wick burning for an extended period of time.
  • Inconsistent melting
  • Hole appears in the middle, which alters the appearance

How to Conduct a Burn Test

You need to conduct a burn test in order to maintain quality control and verify that your candle goods are safe to use. All three candles must be made of the same wax kind and have the same fragrance concentration, color, and container. You’ll need three different wick diameters for each candle.

To make it easier to keep track of each candle, just the wick should be different in size. The testing candles should be wicked and allowed to cure for at least 24 hours before being cut into quarter-inch pieces and lit.

Definition of Terms

Burn Rate

The candlewick consumes this much wax every hour, measured in grams. You may test the burn rate of your wicks to determine how much wax they consume.

Wax Consumption

It is the size and structure of the candle wick that determines how quickly the wax is consumed. If both braids are constructed the same way, a loose one uses more fuel than a tight one.

Smoking Wick

More wax will be consumed than the flame can properly burn if you use an excessively large wick. Smoke or soot commonly eludes the flame when materials fail to burn. When the amount of fuel in the wick exceeds the amount of oxygen available for combustion, smoke is created.


Candle wick carbon head mushrooming can be produced by a variety of factors. Due to their rigidity, cored candle wicks are a primary source of carbon generation. Wax formulation by-products are more likely to clog the core, which is constructed of a stiff braid or stiff core material.

Candle wicks with cores tend to burn in the cooler part of the flame, where impurities build up and form a carbon head. Make careful to verify your wax and candlewick combo to avoid this issue.

Choosing the Right Wick Size

The correct wick size is an important consideration in candlemaking. Candles that are the proper size burn more evenly and have a longer burn period and more consistent aroma. It also keeps the flame from flickering and guarantees a clean burn with minimal to no carbon buildup. Properly wicked candles have a longer burn time than those that are excessively wicked.

Instead of burning out to the edges, an under-wicked candle burns in the middle of the container. It’s common for the wick to burn out before all the wax has been consumed since it’s too small for the candle. The flame of an excessively wicked candle flickers constantly and is excessively tall.

Factors that Determine Proper Wick Size

• What kind of fuel do you use?

• Candle’s physical dimensions

• Fragranced oil

• The proportion of colorants


Design of the environment

• Type of colorant

• The point at which the fuel begins to combust.

• Candle type

Types of Wicks

Zinc Core Wicks

Pillars, votives, and gel candles, to name a few, all use them. Because they are wire-cored, they are easier to keep straight when burning or pouring. Zinc cores for wicks became popular when lead cores were phased out.

How to Fix a Broken Candle Wick | Martha Stewart

Using a 20mm diameter by 10 mm tab, a crimp is made on the wicks, which are then trimmed to the desired length. Size 44-24-18 votives, pillars, and tiny containers should have a diameter of 2 to 2.5 inches. For pillars and medium containers, a diameter of 3 to 3.5 inches is suggested for sizes 51-32-18.

It is recommended to use 60-44-18 pillars and containers with a diameter of between 3.5 and 4 inches. Note that the diameters are based on the basic paraffin wick and need you to estimate the wick by one or two sizes in order to get an appropriate melt pool.

Paper Core Wicks

There’s a lot of melt when these burn. They only ever operate out of very enormous containers. To make a crimped wick, a 20mm diameter by 10mm height tab is crimped onto a wick that has been cut to the desired length.

Size 60-44-18 can be used in containers ranging from 4 to 4.5 inches in diameter. This is based on the fact that the paraffin wax base’s wick is employed. A larger wick or more wicks are needed to obtain a proper melt pool with vegetable and paraffin waxes.

CD Series Wicks

Many seasoned candlemakers prefer these wicks over others. This paper thread is weaved around the flat braids to give them their unique look and feel. The wick-trimming flame posture is ensured by this design, which promotes maximal and steady burn.

They are widely applicable and compatible with viscous waxes that are harder to melt of vegetable and paraffin bases. The wicks are cut, primed with a high melting point wax at 212 degrees F, and crimped with a 20 mm diameter by 10 mm tall tab.

They can be applied to a wide range of waxes, including those that are difficult to melt from vegetable and paraffin bases. It is necessary to cut the wicks into 20-mm diameter by 10-mm height tabs, prime them with a wax with a high melting point, and then crimp them at 212°F.

Viscose waxes, which are difficult to melt from vegetable and paraffin bases, can be used with these products. After cutting, priming, and crimping, the wicks are finished with a 20-mm diameter by 10-mm tall tab and a 212°F melting point wax primer before use.

  • CD-4 Votives and tiny containers with a diameter of 1.25 to 1.75 inches
  • CD-5 votive and small containers that are 1.75 to 2 inches in diameter
  • CD-6 Pillars, votives, and tiny containers with a diameter of 2.25 inches or less
  • CD-7 pillars and small containers with a diameter of 2.25 to 2.5inches
  • CD-8 pillars and medium containers measuring 2.5 to 3 inches
  • CD-10 pillars and medium containers measuring three to five inches
  • packages of CD-12, measuring 3.25-3.5 inches in height
  • Large containers and pillars of CD-14 3.5 to 3.75inches
  • Large containers and pillars with a diameter of 3.75 to 4.0inches
  • CD-18 pillars and large containers with a diameter of 4.25 inches or more
  • Large containers and pillars with a diameter of 4.25 to 4.5inches
  • CD-22 pillars and big containers of 4.5 to 4.75 inches in diameter

ECO Series Wicks

For natural waxes, these wicks are specifically designed. The burn is stabilized by using a flat, coreless cotton wick braided with thin paper filaments. Additionally, it provides greater stiffness than typical paper-cored wicks. The wicks are self-trimming and less likely to produce smoke, soot, or mushrooms thanks to their specially treated threads.

To eliminate smoke and afterglow, ECO series wicks are designed to use paper cores. Vegetable wax, rather than paraffin wax, is used to prime them, so they are completely natural. A 20 mm diameter by 10 mm height tab is crimped to the necessary length.

The diameter of the wick in a soy wax should be used to determine the appropriate size.

  • ECO-1 votives and tiny containers with a diameter of 1.25 to 1.5 inches
  • ECO-2 votives and tiny containers, 1.5 to 2 inches
  • ECO-4 votives and small containers with pillars of 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter
  • Small containers and pillars in the 2.5 to 2.75-inch range.
  • ECO-8 pillars and medium containers with a 2.75- to 3-inch diameter
  • Eco-10 pillars and medium containers are 3 to 3.25 inches in diameter.
  • Eco-12 pillars and medium containers have 3.25 to 3.5inches in diameter
  • ECO-14 pillars and large containers measuring 3.75 to 3.75 inches in diameter

HTP Series Wicks

Cotton is the only material used in the construction of these wicks. When burning, they bend at the top to force the wick’s tip into the hottest part of the flame, which results in less carbon buildup because the wick is completely combusted.

Pillars, votives and gel candles can all use them. A 20mm diameter by 10mm height tab is used to crimp them once they have been trimmed to the desired length. They are additionally coated with a wax that melts at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

The recommended diameter is.

  • HTP-31 1.5- to 2-inch votives and a small vessel
  • votives and pillars up to 2.5inches in diameter can be used with HTP-41.
  • HTP-52 Smaller containers and pillars of 2.25 to 2.5inches
  • HTP-62 containers with 2.5 to 2.75-inch pillars
  • HTP-73 pillars and medium containers with 2.75 to 3 inches in diameter
  • HTP-83 pillars and medium containers with 3 to 3.5 inches in diameter
  • HTP-104 huge containers and pillars of 3.5 to 4 inches
  • A wide range of HTP-105 pillars and large containers are available.
  • HTP-1212 pillars and large containers with a diameter of 4.5 to 5 inches

LX Series Wicks

Flat braided cotton wicks with a 212°F melt point have been chemically treated with a high melt wax. They prevent carbon from accumulating at the wick’s top. Self-cutting if utilized correctly, they also minimize soot and smoke emissions. They can be found in nearly every industry. Using a 20mm diameter by 10mm height tab, the wicks are cut to the desired length and crimped together.

The recommended diameter is.

  • LX-8 votives and tiny containers with a diameter of 1.25 to 1.5inches
  • LX-10 votives and tiny containers with a diameter of 1.5 to 2inches
  • LX-12 votives, pillars, and tiny containers 2 to 2.25 inches in diameter
  • Small containers and pillars of the LX-14 2.25 to 2.5 inches
  • LX-16 pillars and medium containers with a diameter of 2.5 to 3 inches
  • LX-18 pillars with a diameter of 3 to 3.25 inches and medium containers
  • pillars and medium containers for the LX-20 3.25 to 3.5 inches
  • Large containers and pillars of LX-21, measuring 3.75 to 3.75 inches
  • Large containers and pillars in the LX-22 3.75 to 4 inches
  • LX-24 pillars and large containers with a diameter of 4.25 inches or more
  • Large containers and pillars of LX-26 4.25 to 4.5 inches
  • Large containers and pillars of the LX-28 4.5 to 4.75 inches
  • Large containers and LX-30 4.75 to 5 inch pillars

Wooden Wicks

So far, the candle business has used both softwood and hardwood wicks in the production of wooden wicks. Because of their excellent properties, softwood wicks can produce the distinct sound of a wood-burning fire and even pop when they’re burning. Softwood wicks are made by pressing together two pieces of wood that are somewhat similar.

Natural waxes like soy and waxes that can hold a lot of fragrance oil are perfect for these waxes. To get a pleasant cracking sound, you need to use the proper amount of dye, fragrance oil, and type of wax, all of which should not include excessive amounts of fragrance oil.

How to Use Multiple Wicks in a Candle

It’s possible to utilize multiple wicks when making candles. The size of the wick, the location of the wicks, and when to employ more than one wick are all significant considerations.


So, what’s the deal with candle wicks? Most people mistakenly believe that the thread we use to hang our candles is nothing special. There is more to it than that, though. Our candles are noticeably better as a result.