How to choose the right wick for your candles?

How to choose the right wick for your candles?

4 mins read

We’re often asked which candle wicks work best with which waxes, especially with the number of wick types available increasing every year. You may have everything else perfect with your candles, however the wrong wick can mean your candles aren’t burning as well as they could be. 

This guide provides an overview for selecting the best wick for your candles, and getting the best results from whichever wick you choose.

HTP Wicks:

Using a blend of cotton and braided paper fibres, HTP wicks provide a rigid and robust wick for candle making. HTP wicks are self trim and have a softer burn, making them ideal for soy wax candles.

CDN Wicks:

Using a flat braid style, CDN wicks provide greater flexibility to candle makers. As CDN wicks offer enhanced rigidity and are zinc-free, allowing makers to choose from a wide variety of waxes in production. These wicks are ideal for palm, paraffin and soy waxes.

Wedo Eco Wicks:

These are flat, coreless wicks made from interlacing pure cotton and thin paper filaments, which provides a stable, consistent burn. These wicks are a great choice when using higher concentrations of fragrances and dyes.

CL Wicks

CL wicks (cotton & linen) are innovative flat wicks, made from unbleached cotton, interwoven with a linen thread. These wicks offer excellent rigidity, and minimize afterglow and smoking. They’ve been specially developed for vegetable and heavily fragranced mineral waxes and are a great choice when working with our rapeseed and coconut waxes. 

TCR Wicks: 

These are a flat-braided wick, made from long strands of ring-spun cotton and paper, with an outer jacket, giving the wick a stiffer structure. These wicks provide an excellent burn profile with vegetable-based waxes like soy and rapeseed.

Stabilo Wicks:

Stabilo wicks are coreless, flat braided wicks with a special paper filament woven around them. This promotes maximum and consistent capillary action while ensuring a wick trimming flame posture. These wicks work well with highly scented paraffin and blended waxes, like rapeseed and coconut, and other vegetable-based waxes, which are generally harder to melt.

Wooden Wicks:

Wooden wicks are a more modern and increasingly popular choice and produce a crackling flame reminiscent of a fireplace. These wicks typically produce a lower, wider flame for a slow, even burn. 

How should I choose my wick?

You’ll likely see four numbers when selecting a wick: Burn Diameter, Wick Length, Diameter and Tab Height. These all provide useful guidance for the candle product you're looking to make.

A good starting point for testing is to measure the diameter of your container and match this to the burn diameter of your wick. 

It’s important to note that results may vary when using different glassware, waxes and fragrances. We recommend checking the specifications of the containers you’re using and always testing your candle when working with new supplies.

Colour and fragrance type impact the burning process, as some are harder to burn and need a larger wick. It's important to change variables such as wax, wick, container or colour as a systematic testing process. 

Consider the entire burning process in your testing as candle wax burns out and then down for short durations, the wax may not reach a full molten pool and residual wax can remain on the sides of the container. If you’re looking to burn the candle for shorter or longer periods, adjusting the wick size is important. 

As a rule of thumb, for longer burn durations go down in wick size and for shorter burn durations, go up in wick sizes. In our experience, an average burn time is 2-3 hours.

Why do I need to test when making candles?

Testing is important for the long-term viability of your business by maintaining quality control and assurance for all of your candle products. We recommend burning a minimum of 3 candles to ensure consistency. As mentioned above, any changes to the variables in your candle production should be monitored and implemented systematically.

The following video is quite long but worth taking the time to watch to gain a better understanding of what to look for when test burning your candles:

What should I do next?

To find out more information about choosing the correct wick, why not take a look at our FAQs or our Resource Centre

If you’re unable to find the information you're looking for, we’re always happy to help via our online chat, email or telephone.

This blog was originally posted in February 2018 and updated in October 2022.

2 Response(s)

NI Candle Supplies LTD
Andrea Smith

Hi I’m using paraffin container wax for my Christmas candles and having no luck with the wicks I use a30 cl jar and 8% fragrance oil I think I’ve tried nearly every wick under the sun and loosing the will to live lol I hope you can help thanks x
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Thanks for your comment Andrea, we need some more info in order to help; please email us at for support.

NI Candle Supplies LTD

Hi, new to candle making, and finding a suitable wicks seems like a minefield, I understand you measure the diameter of your jar and take into account the wax you use, so, if I’m using rapseed wax and my moulds don’t have a diameter i.e pear shape or oblong/ square, Christmas tree, how do I calculate which wick to use?
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Welcome to the world of candle making Allan! Firstly, it’s important to ensure the rapeseed wax you’re using is suitable for pillar candles. From there, it can be quite tricky to wick candles that aren’t circular in shape – this is because a wick will always burn in a circular pattern and as a result quite often, there will be un-melted wax left at the edge of the candle. One solution for this is to use multiple wicks, you can work out the diameter of the wicks you need based on how many wicks you would like to use. You can do this using this calculation: diameter ÷ the number of wicks you want to use + .64cm = your wick size. You can then look for a wick with this burn diameter. Unfortunately, candles that change diameter from top to bottom are very tricky to get right due to a different size wick being required over the burn cycle of the candle. These candles are best suited to decorative purposes but if you do decide to wick them, we would suggest calculating the median diameter and using this as your starting point for testing. Good luck, we hope you have lots of fun along the way!

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