Cotton Wicks vs. Wood Wicks

Wick, the heart of a candle, is the core element that delivers fuel to a candle's flame. Those who love candles may have already seen various types of candle wick and may wonder about the difference between burning a cotton wick candle versus a wood wick candle. As a candle lover and a candle maker, we are here to share some facts and thoughts that we learned through numerous trials and errors and why we finally chose wood wicks for Luminose candles. 

What are Cotton Wicks Made of?

Cotton wicks are made from braided strands of cotton. Cotton is compressed and pre-coated with synthetic wax or beeswax to maintain its shape. As they burn, they also curl back into the flame, thus making them self-consuming. 

Braided or plaited are considered high-quality cotton wicks as they encourage a consistent and slower burn. Whereas twisted wicks are considered lower quality and burn faster due to their loose construction. 

What are Wood Wicks Made of?

Wood wicks are thin strips of wood especially made to be used as a candle wick. They can be made from various wood and at different widths depending on the vessel's diameter. Our wood wicks are made from FSC Certified Wood, which means they come from responsibly managed forests. 

Due to the horizontal shape of the wood wick, it heats up the candle quicker and creates a slower burn. When lit, wood wicks offer a unique sound of crackle and pop, we find it to be pleasantly soothing. 

Which Wick Type Burns the Cleanest? 

We started using cotton wicks for our candles and tested with various types of cotton wicks (cored wicks, HTP wicks..). After many trials, we concluded that cotton wicks often "mushroom" while wood wicks don't. Cotton wicks create a black ball on the top of the wick that lingers and smokes after burning. On the contrary, wood wicks burn much cleaner because they provide minimal carbon, soot, and debris buildup. See below for the big contrast!  

Which Wick is More Sustainable? 

Sustainability is a huge priority for us when it comes to sourcing materials, so we try to ensure our selected ingredients conform with the value of eco-friendliness. Wood wicks are considered more sustainable- one single tree can produce thousands of wood wicks, while a small field of cotton requires thousands of gallons of water. Cotton also remains one of the most chemically intensive crops in the world. So, when wood wicks are combined with eco-friendly wax like our coconut wax, along with a reusable candle vessel- burning candles isn't harming the environment like it used to. 

Which Wick is The Best for Candles? 

The answer to this depends largely on many factors, such as: 

  • The type of wax 
  • The wax melting point 
  • The shape of the candle 
  • The candle's size  
  • The type of candle  
  • The fragrance oil  

Finding the right candle wick is a learning process. At Luminose, we are proud of our combination of eco-friendly wood wick, 100% natural coconut wax, and clean, healthy fragrance oil inside our candles! For any questions, feel free to email us at; we are always happy to chat about our candles. :)