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Which Wick - Wood vs Cotton

Ever wondered what the difference is in the various wicks that present themselves on the market?

I for one love using braided cotton wicks which are easy in the candle-making process but am beginning to implement another type of wick which is wooden wicks.

Wood and cotton wicks are the two most popular options for candle wicks on the market. Even then, the major differences between them may be unknown to many and it is not just a question of aesthetics.

Here's my handy guide to the differences each type brings to your candle.


Wood wicks are the most natural alternative wicks for candles. You can identify them from the distinctive crackling sound they make when the burning candle is exhausted.

These wicks are basically slim pieces of wood, usually balsa wood, which are used exclusively for candles and can be used for soy, paraffin and gel wax.

They are great to work with than most wicks because of their stable position in the container but also require being kept upright unless you use a metal clip at the base of your candle.

For those seeking an added touch of "hygge", wood wicks diffuse a beautiful aroma compared to cotton wicks.


Great Scent Throw

Wood wicks offer an impressive scent throw due to their unique natural aroma of wood that instills a calm and soothing state of mind.


Made With Love by Natalia only uses wicks that are obtained from woods of sustainable forests meaning that there is no guilt of harming the environment by enjoying my candles.

There is also no harmful chemical involved in producing wooden wicks. They do not emit any dangerous toxins while burning.

Even Burning

You can rely on a wooden wick to maintain an even burning pattern until it has reached the end and because of this, there is no residual wax ring left in the container.

This means that it is easier for you to clean up the container if you are using a container candle once the entire candle is burnt down. You have to deal with a lot smaller mess than usual by relying on wood wicks.

Large Long-lasting Flame

You can enjoy the warmth of a larger flame for a longer time with wood wicks. A wooden wick flame is horizontal and has a lower reach to the wax than the alternatives. So it starts to spread its gorgeous scent faster.

At the same time, these wicks do manage to burn slower which in turn makes the scent last for a prolonged period of time making your candle last so much longer and meaning even more "hygge" for longer.


High Maintenance

Your candle needs to burn until the top is fully melted like a pool of melted wax in order for the wood wick to avoid burning a tunnel in your candle. If the flame is up for a short while, the candle will not have enough time to melt the wax evenly.


First time you burn the wooden wick, all will be fine, the second may be trickier as you may need one or two goes before it lights up.

Wood wicks take such a long time to catch fire because their outer layers are harder to penetrate than other materials.

Keep at it for a minimum of 20 seconds to light up the wood wicks. If you are someone impatient then this kind of wick may not be for you.


The best method to light a wooden wick is using a lighter rather than matches due to the time it takes to get the flame going.

Have a peek at my MADE WITH LOVE BY NATALIA elegant tea candles in gold and wooden wick here.


Cotton wicks are my favourite and are the more traditional choices for candles. Besides, for my shaped candles without containers, they are the ultimate solution to keep the wick upright and centred.

The wick is made up of strands of cotton fibres that are braided to form the actual wick. It helps the fuel to reach the flame which can then ignite properly.


Lights Up Fast

If you have been looking for a quick solution to make winter a little more cosy, cotton wicks can be an easy answer. These light up fast enough for you to enjoy warmth instantly. You won’t need to wait longer than 4 seconds for them to ignite!

Compatible With Matches

Unlike wooden wicks, you can use matches comfortably to light up candles with cotton wicks. That is because these don’t take up much time to ignite the flame as the cotton quickly absorbs the flame from the match.

Good For Outdoors

For those of you who love having candles outdoors, cotton wicks will be the better option. Cotton wicks have proved their capability to withstand wind gusts more effectively than other alternatives.

Remember – this does not guarantee that its flames will not struggle to stay lit in the face of strong wind.


Burns Fast And Uneven

Although a cotton wick lights up much faster than most alternatives, the flame doesn’t last very long. If you don't let it burn long enough at the start, it can burn unevenly causing one side to exhaust before the other. One way to get rid of these issues is trimming the cotton wicks regularly.

Safety Issues

Maintaining safety measures of a cotton wick is not that difficult but skipping these steps can lead to serious dangers and we all know how consuming a fire hazard can be.

All MADE WITH LOVE BY NATALIA cotton wick candles can be found in the e-shop here.

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