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.

9 Response(s)

NI Candle Supplies LTD
Rebecca Curtin

Hi, I have made some peony candles (3" in diameter) from a mix of soy and beeswax. What would be the best wick to use for these to have them as stand alone candles (ie not on top of a container candle). Also, if I were to change the wax to a pillar wax, what wick would you recommend for that please? Thanks
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Thanks for your comment Rebecca. You could try the HTP 105 as a starting point with either wax type, you would need to test for suitability and adjust your size up or down depending on your testing results.

NI Candle Supplies LTD

Hello, I’m making beef and venison tallow candles, 25% beeswax and have troubles keeping a wick burning. I do not see tallow listed above, do you have a wick suitable for keeping tallow candles burning?
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Thanks for your comment Suzanne. We don’t have specific experience in making candles from tallow and beeswax but the same process would apply in that you need to ensure the size wick being used is large enough for the diameter of your vessel, so that it does not drown or tunnel. Given you are using a unique combination for your candles, it will then be a case of testing a range of wick sizes based on how the suggested wick performs. Good luck!

NI Candle Supplies LTD
Aisling Murray

Hi there
I am interested in making candles (hobby to begin with), I would be grateful if you could advise the best WAX and WICKS to use please.
I was gifted a start-up kit which has 4 small metal containers in it (7cm diameter, 7cm high). This kit contained beeswax and some fragrance oils, however, I would like to purchase additional materials and would be grateful for your professional advice.

NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Great to hear you’re interested in learning how to make candles Aisling! We would suggest starting with Golden Wax 464 and the HTP 105 wicks based on the diameter of the vessels you have there. We’d also suggest having a read through our Resource Centre for lots of useful articles to help get you started on the right foot with your candle making journey.

NI Candle Supplies LTD

Hi, I’m trying to recycle old wax from assorted candles and regardless of the size of containers they all burn until there is a small circle of melted wax (approximately 1/2cm) and then drown leaving the rest of the candle untouched?
I have some candle colours and essential oils but I rarely have a nice smell either
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
Thanks for your comment Cilla, it sounds like the wick size you are using for your candles is too small and this is causing them to tunnel. Please reach out to us via email letting us know the diameter of the vessels you are using and we will do our best to assist further.

NI Candle Supplies LTD

Hi this article is super helpful. I think I’ve got my head around candle wicks for fragrance oils with a rapeseed and coconut wax. I have also been trying out essential oil candles but I am really struggling to find the right wick. I’ve tried a variety of CL wicks in a 20cl jar with coconut and rapeseed and they don’t burn very well at all. The melt pool doesn’t reach the edges. What wicks would you recommend for essential oils and more complex blends with heavier oils?
NI Candle Supplies LTD replied:
You’re very welcome Claud. CL wicks usually work quite well in the Rapeseed and Coconut Container Wax, it may be that a bigger size again is needed in order to achieve the correct melt pool or possibly that the percentage of oil being used needs to be reduced to prevent the wick from clogging (this is a common problem with heavier oils). If the supplier of the CL wicks has assisted with the correct size and you are still not having success, then we would suggest trying the HTP wick as an alternative. 

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