Candle Wicks: Everything You Need To Know

Whether you are walking through the aisles of a store or scrolling through the internet looking for a new favorite candle, the choices can feel overwhelming. In addition to the scent notes, wax options, and vessel designs, it’s also important to understand the types of candle wicks to choose from. 

Picking out your new go-to candle should be fun and easy, so we’re here to provide the TLDR on candle wicks. The main goal of picking a candle wick is to give your candle a strong, safe, and long-lasting burn experience.

To understand which wick is the best wick for you, we’ve outlined the different types that you might come across on your candle search.

What Are the Different Types of Candle Wicks Materials?

Below are all of the main types of candle wicks that you’ll encounter online and in local stores.

Cotton Wicks

Tiny cotton fibers come together and are twisted and cured with wax to create the new modern standard for a cotton wick. These wicks are generally curled together so that they uncurl while the candle is lit, which distributes an even burn and smooth wax melt.

Cotton wicks also create a much higher, sleeker flame at the tip of a candle. The flame’s distribution affects the strength of your candle’s scent — and cotton wicks help you get the bold, vibrant smell you’re craving.

Another big bonus of cotton wicks is that they are easy to take care of. All you need is a quick wick trim before or after each time you light your candle to ensure an even and safe burn. Easy maintenance and upkeep = happy candle owner. 

Every Snif candle is made with a pure cotton wick. We specifically picked cotton for its extended burn time and sustainability, bringing you the best possible burning experience from the scent to the materials. 

Wooden Wicks

Wood is always trending.

You've probably seen wooden wicks almost every candle aisle you’ve ever walked down. They’re aesthetically unique and even burn with a distinct sound, setting them apart from other wick styles. 

Not only do they look nice and give off a slightly woody smell, but they also crackle softly, which can give you the illusion of a little campfire in all of your favorite places. That crackle (or the “whisper”, as some candlemakers call it) can make your city apartment feel like a cozy cabin. 

These wicks can be crafted entirely of wood or a wood-cotton blend and decoratively shaped for a homey, comfy effect. 

While these wicks are generally a little bit harder to maintain since they can’t be easily trimmed, they still tend to last a while. That means you get the crackle of a campfire without dealing with that one friend who needs to pull out his guitar. 

The wood wick experience can be appealing to some, and gimmicky to others. It just depends on the experience you’re looking for in your candle. 

What About Candle Wick Shapes?

It’s not just about what your wick is made of — the shape of your wick can affect your burn, too. 

Flat Wicks

These are undoubtedly the most common wicks in the game, and you can’t go wrong with a classic.

Flat wicks are typically plaited or braided. These wicks are extremely consistent in their burn time and curl up into the flame, which gives it a self-trimming effect. 

Not only are candles with these wicks less work for you, but they will also keep your favorite candle burning for longer. You can’t argue with consistency.

Square Wicks

These wicks can be slightly rounded and more robust in shape. Usually braided or knit, they curl into a flame similarly to a flat wick but provide more stability and melting safety for the candle. The main goal of the design is to get that distinct flame shape and avoid tunneling 

(Put the shovel down, it’s not that kind of tunneling!)

Square wicks are also key ingredients in our sustainable, cruelty-free candles, which are made from vegetable and soy wax blends. They help to prevent any wax clogs that can occur in the wick because of the candle’s formulation, fragrance, or color.

If you’re trying to stay sustainable and get a high-quality candle, a square wick is probably what you will find in your candle of choice.

Cored Wicks

These braided or knitted wicks use some sort of core material to keep the wick up straight or upright while it burns, which leads to a satisfyingly even wax melt. These wicks also have a rounded cross-section that helps them stand upright. 

The most widely-used core materials for these wicks are cotton, paper, zinc, or tin. While materials like zinc and tin aren’t always considered the most sustainable, they keep the wick upright better than any other variety. 

These core wicks help to ensure that your wick has abs of steel and that your candle has a nice even burn and wax melt — the true pride of any candle wick.

Why Do Some Candles Have Multiple Wicks?

So we’ve covered the different type of wicks, but what about when there are multiple wicks on one candle (like our XL candles with four-wicks each)? 

From the purpose of multiple wicks to how to best care for these candles, we’ve got the answers to your burning questions. 

More Wicks = Burning Evenly, With Less Tunneling

We all know that uneven burns and tunneling in your candles are an annoyance. Thanks to candles with multiple wicks, you can totally avoid these hassles. 

So, why do candles have multiple wicks anyway? One of the reasons is because they help evenly distribute a candle’s wax melt while it’s lit. It also allows you to enjoy much larger candles in general, so you can have more of your favorite scents in your space. 

Multiple wicks are even more useful in bigger candles. A larger diameter means more heat is necessary to distribute a melt evenly. When there are multiple wicks, the work of one tiny flame is spread out between however many wicks are on the candle.

Say Goodbye to Soot

When our wicks don’t work as hard, they also let off less soot. So, candles with more wicks will also decrease the chances of black smoke puffs interrupting your favorite cozy space. Avoid that bummer and get the big candle fragrance all in one by trusting multiple weeks. 

Do You Need To Light All Those Wicks at Once?

The point of multiple wicks is to keep the wax melt even and the tunneling to a minimum. Of course, it’s ultimately up to you, but if that is your goal, you’ll always want to light every wick.

If you’ve made the mistake of lighting only one in the past, check out our article on how to prevent and reverse candle tunneling for some quick tips.

What Type of Candle Will Burn the Longest?

In addition to the many types of candle wicks, there are also multiple types of candle wax. Like wicks, the different wax options affect the way a candle burns. However, not all types of candle wax are equal. 

At Snif, we pair square wicks with a blend of vegetable and soy wax. Sustainable, long-burning, and vegan, this wax and wick combination gives you over 50 hours of burn time for each candle. Plus, the use of square wicks makes these candles less prone to tunneling and uneven burning. 

Meet Your New Scenterpiece

For a scented candle that you know is safe, non-toxic, and long-lasting, pick a new candle from Snif’s collection. All of our candles are cruelty-free and vegan with pure cotton wicks because you deserve the best. 

With the Snif collection, you can even give our candles a try before you decide to commit with our 7-day trial. That way, you can test a few scents and find the ones that fit you and your space best. 

We always want to be super transparent about what is in all of our great smelling products, and our candle wicks are no exception. While many other candle wicks have their own unique attributes, we believe that a pure cotton wick not only helps our fragrances last longer but is also better for our planet.

So, give us a Snif and decide which scented candle fits your vibe!. 



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