What Are Candle Wicks Made of? A Complete Guide to Candle Wicks

What Are Candle Wicks Made of? A Complete Guide to Candle Wicks

11 minute read

As a candle consumer, you might be wondering what exactly candle wicks are made of. As a candle making company, we're here to break it down for you.

A candle wick is the part of a candle that draws the melted candle wax up into its center. The wick provides oxygen and keeps the flame burning evenly over time. There are many different types of wicks, each with their own unique characteristics. As a candle company, it's important for us to optimize for the best candle wick quality and take into consideration the material, environment aftermath of our decisions, as well as some of the health ramifications that surround this decision.

Here we will explore some of these differences so that you as a consumer understand where our decision making process lies and why we chose the type of wick we chose.

1. Wood Wicks

Wooden Wicks are a natural material that we prefer in all our candles. They've been gaining momentum in popularity these past few years, but cotton wicks still make up the vast majority of the market. We believe that wooden wicks, from an environmental, performance, and aesthetic standpoint, is the best option out there.

Here are some of the characteristics that won us over when we decided to use wooden wicks in our candles:

  • Cleaner Burn - Wooden wicks tend to produce lower amounts of soot and doesn't "mushroom" like cotton wicks. A little maintenance is required for wick trimming the black stuff after burning but it's totally worth it!

  • Long Lasting - Wood wicks burn at a slower rate than cotton wicks so as a result it actually elongates the burn time! Because of this you get to enjoy your fragrance longer.

  • Potent Fragrance Throw - They are better at diffusing candle fragrance oils! Meaning you get a great hot throw without compromising burn time.

  • Aesthetic - If you like neutral aesthetics, you'll definitely like wooden wicks. They are natural, eco friendly, and has that minimalist aesthetic that is so trendy and calming. With our name being declutterd, we had to choose these types of wicks!

  • Toxic Free - Our non toxic candles include wooden wicks which are toxic free and 100% wood; they do not contain any lead or preservatives! Feel good about burning it.

  • Eco Friendly - Our wood wicks are FSC Certified, a certification that represents a responsibly managed forest system as we extract the necessary raw materials to make these wicks. It means these wicks are responsibly sourced! Not all wooden wicks have this certification, but we made sure that our suppliers had this taken care of.

  • Crackling Sound - One of the best sought after attribute of wooden wick candles and why many people prefer it is the crackling sound that these wicks give off. It sends a steady, crackling sound while it burns, coming from the rapid micro steam that is released when the moisture from the wick is heated up. It's totally safe and is enjoyed by many, just like a mini bonfire!

If you're into candles with wooden wicks, check out some of our candles! Below the perfect candle gift set we recommend.

2. Cotton Core Wicks

Cotton core wicks are made of 100% cotton. They burn at a medium rate, which means they'll last longer than paraffin and gel wicks. Cotton wicks are extremely popular and make up the majority of the candle market.

With a lot more other style wicks in the market, some consumers still prefer the classic look of a cotton wicked candle and it's most definitely a safe option to go with. They are safe to burn but sometimes has trouble with heat distribution, causing candle tunneling and sometimes has trouble with candle mushrooming, something that wooden wicks do not have.

Overall they are a safe choice and can definitely be a part of a fantastic candle if all the other components are done right!

Alternative Wick Styles

Aside from cotton or wooden wicks, there are other wick styles that uses different materials that each have their pros and cons. These wicks are less popular because of some of the drawbacks that they contain.

3. Wickless Candles

Wickless candles are a newer, greener alternative to traditional candles. These types of models don't use wicks and typically have an integrated reservoir of wax. You use a wax melter like this one to melt the wax and activate the oil.

While these are less popular and has no flames (if you like the aesthetic of flames), they are more attractive in that they're usually a few dollars cheaper (from the cost savings of wicks) and provide a safer alternative if you don't want an open flame (if you have pets or a toddler walking around). These types of candles work best with aromatherapy products if you strictly want to experience the oil scent's benefits

4. Hemp Wicks

Hemp wicks are made from hemp fiber, which is a plant-based material. Hemp is more durable than cotton and does not have the same fire hazard as synthetic wicks. In addition, hemp burns with a yellow flame that can be seen through most glass containers. Because of their high cost and the fact that they burn at higher temperatures than cotton, hemp wicks are more often used for decorative candles than for general household use. Because of price, quality, material, and accessibility, what are candles wicks made of is an extremely important question you need to answer when picking out a candle even as a gift.

5. Paper Core Wicks

If you're looking for an unscented candle that has a long burn time and warm flame, paper core wicks are the way to go. You'll find these types of wicks in many scented candles because they don't add any scent to the wax or alter its appearance. Their neutral color also allows you to use them with different colors of wax without affecting the final result.

Paper core wicks are generally made from 100% cotton fibers and can be used in both taper and votive candle holders. They work best when a flat-wick is used instead of a twisted one, which produces more smoke than necessary while burning. The paper core melts down into liquid form once it's heated up enough by the flame; this allows it to soak up all excess oil so there aren't any burnt spots left behind on your candle!

6. Brass Core Wicks

Brass core wicks are another option that can produce more luminous flames than cotton cores while still allowing for proper burning conditions throughout a candle’s lifespan. Brass cores are typically thinner than those made from cotton or polyester but they can last longer when exposed to high heat environments like those found in churches or synagogues where people may be lighting many different kinds of candles throughout worship services (this type is often used). People who prefer not having any metal near their food should avoid brass because trace amounts might leach into what you're eating!

7. Polyester Core Wicks

Polyester core leads do not contain any metals inside them which makes them ideal if there's concern about contamination but they tend not produce as bright flames compared with brass or cotton options since they don't absorb wax well enough nor give off much smoke during combustion (which means less fragrance should be released).

The Scent of a Candle: Fragrance Fundamentals

A significant part of the candle experience is the fragrance it exudes. Fragrances can evoke memories, set moods, and even promote relaxation.

Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils: Essential oils are natural extracts, while fragrance oils are synthetically made. While essential oils offer therapeutic properties, fragrance oils provide a wider range of scents and are often stronger.

1. Fragrance Load: This refers to the percentage of fragrance oil in a candle. A higher fragrance load translates to a stronger scent throw.

2. Cold Throw vs. Hot Throw: Cold throw is the scent a candle gives off when not lit, while hot throw is the aroma it releases when burning. Achieving a balance between the two is crucial for an optimal candle experience.

Candle Jars and Vessels: More than Just a Container

The vessel or jar holding the candle is as essential as any other component. It determines how safely and efficiently the candle burns and can also be a statement decor piece.

1. Glass Jars: A classic choice, glass jars are widely used because they offer an elegant look and showcase the candle's color.

2. Metal Containers: These offer a rustic or vintage appeal. They're durable but may get hot, so it's essential to handle them with care.

3. Ceramic Vessels: A more artisanal choice, ceramic vessels are unique and can be reused once the candle has burnt out.

4. Silicone Molds: Not exactly a container for burning, but great for making shaped candles. They are flexible, which makes it easy to release the candle once it's set.

5. Heat Resistance: Whatever the choice of vessel, it's essential to ensure it's heat-resistant. A container that can't withstand heat might crack or shatter, posing a fire risk.


One of the most important things to remember when choosing a candle wick is that different types can impact the scent, burn time, and warmth of your candle. If you're looking for a clean burn with minimal smoke, then wood wicks are probably what you need. If you want something more natural like hemp or paper core wicks will work best for this purpose. There's no right answer when it comes down to finding out which one fits your needs best because they all have their own unique qualities; however there are some key factors that should be considered before making any final decisions such as material safety ratings (MSRs) and price point. Hopefully that gives you some insight on how to best answer the question what candles are made of the next time you shop for a candle.

A candle is much more than just wax and a wick. From the fragrance that fills the room to the vessel that holds the molten wax, every component plays a role in creating the perfect ambiance. Whether you're a candle-making pro or a beginner, understanding these components can help you craft the perfect candle, optimized for both aesthetics and functionality. As the saying goes, "It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen." In the world of candles, this couldn't be truer.

Fancy wooden wicks? Check out our entire candle collection that we've worked hard on. We have a ton of candle scents that fit every season! 

Five Beginner-Friendly Candles from Our Collection

For newcomers to the world of scented candles or those looking for easily lovable aromas, here are our top five beginner-friendly recommendations:

Stillness Wood Wick Candle

The perfect choice for those seeking tranquility. The soft, comforting aroma paired with the crackling sound of the wood wick provides an ambiance of relaxation and calm, akin to a silent evening by a peaceful lakeside. As mentioned, its gentle, soothing fragrance combined with the wood wick's calming crackle makes it an ideal introduction to premium candles.

Flowers by the Sea Wood Wick Candle

A harmonious blend of floral and oceanic notes that's universally adored, offering beginners an immersive scent journey. Be transported to a coastal garden where the breeze carries the scent of blooming flowers mixed with the briny freshness of the sea. This candle combines floral notes with a hint of salt, making every light a beachside escape.

Lemon Custard Wood Wick Candle

Its delightful aroma is both fresh and comforting, perfect for those just starting their candle adventure. A delightful blend of zesty lemon with the creamy, sweet undertones of custard. The wood wick’s crackling pairs beautifully with this comforting scent, reminiscent of a warm, sunny kitchen where a lemon pie just finished baking.

Thai Iced Tea Wood Wick Candle

An exotic yet familiar scent, this candle introduces you to the world of international aromas in the most pleasing way. Experience the aromatic journey to the streets of Thailand. The unique blend of sweet, creamy notes mixed with subtle hints of spices promises an exotic olfactory experience every time you light it up.

Evergreen Forest Wood Wick Candle

A natural and refreshing scent that's universally loved, making it a perfect choice for those new to wood wick candles. Bask in the refreshing and invigorating fragrance of pine, cedar, and fir. It’s like a walk through a dense, dew-kissed forest just after a light rain, with the wood wick adding the gentle sounds of nature.

« Back to Blog