Why Do Candles Have Multiple Wicks?

Multiple wicks improve heat distribution, can achieve full melt pools more efficiently, and lead to a higher quality burn, especially for larger candles.

A single wick can have problems achieving a full melt pool on larger candles leading to wasted wax and poor burn quality.

That’s where multiple wicks can save the day.

Below we’ll go over the benefits of multiple wicks and how to use them in your candles safely.

Benefits of Double and Triple Wick Candles

Create Larger Candles

Using multiple wicks can open the door to creating larger candles without sacrificing burn quality.

Stronger Fragrance Throw  

More wicks will give you a larger melt pool and a stronger hot throw. The hot throw is your candle’s ability to emit its fragrance.


More wicks, more flames, more light.

Great for adding a light source to a room or for creating ambiance.

Clean Burn

Multiple wicks can reduce mushrooming, and the amount of soot and smoke emitted from the candle.

Mushrooming is when the flame consumes more wax than it can burn, leading to carbon buildup, which appears like a mushroom on the wick.

For larger candles, if you go with a single wick, you will need a larger wick which is more prone to soot buildup, emitting smoke, and mushrooming.

How to Use Multiple Wicks in Your Candle

The wick you choose will have a significant impact on the performance of your candle.

Experimenting with variations of wicks for your specific candle project will be vital to finding what works best for you. Testing is part of the fun and necessary to ensure your candles have a safe and quality burn.

Check out the how to choose a wick article to help you get started.

When Can I Start Using Multiple Wicks?

There isn’t a hard science on when to use double wicks, but it’s typically for candles with a 3.5 – 4-inch diameter and above.

Some candle makers use double wicks for any candles above a 3-inch diameter, so it’s a case-by-case scenario though the closer you get to 3-inches, the more heat problems you’re likely to have.

Remember that multiple wicks for smaller candles can lead to heat and burn quality issues.

What Size Should My Wicks Be When Using Multiple Wicks?

To get a baseline size for your wicks, take the diameter of your container and divide it by the number of wicks you want to use. The result will be the size of the wick you’ll need.

For example, let’s say you have a 5-inch container and want to use two wicks.

5” container / 2 wicks = 2.5

Each wick will need to be designed for the size of a 2.5-inch candle.

Another example is that you have a 6-inch container and want to use three wicks.

6” container / 3 wicks = 2

Each wick will need to be designed for the size of a 2-inch candle.

This sizing guide is a good starting point for your candle. Depending on your project, you may need to size the wick up or down.

Some containers aren’t uniform and will taper in either direction. Use the smallest width on the container to determine if or how you will use multiple wicks.

Placing Your Wicks

Don’t place the wicks too close to the edge of your containers. You’ll want about an inch of space between your wicks.

Always space wicks evenly from each other.

Candle Safety

Double wicking a small-diameter candle can lead to a container that gets too hot and may not meet safety requirements.

When purchasing wicks, the wick supplier will give you the recommended size to use according to the diameter of your candle. If you use multiple wicks, you must not use this size but instead size down.

These recommendations are for single wick candles, not multiple wick ones unless expressly stated otherwise.

If you use the same size wick for a multiple wick candle, you’re most likely creating too much heat and will be at risk of a fire hazard.

Follow the “What size should my wicks be when using multiple wicks?” guide above to get a starting point.

Are You Supposed to Light All Three Wicks?


Light all three wicks on your candle at the same time every time you burn the candle.

If double wicked, light both wicks simultaneously for every burn.

The purpose of the multiple wicks is to have a quality burning candle that would otherwise be impossible with just one wick.

Not lighting all the wicks will lead to uneven melt pools, less fragrance throw, an underperforming wick, tunneling, and wasted wax.

So, ensure you always light all the wicks to get the cleanest, highest-quality burn out of your candles.


Having multiple wicks can become necessary for larger candles to achieve the quality burn you expect to have from candles.

The benefits of multiple wicks are:

  • Even melt pool with no wasted wax.
  • Stronger scent.
  • Less soot and smoke.
  • Prevent wick from mushrooming.
  • Brighter illumination.

Remember always to be testing to ensure the safety of your candles. Especially look out for how your candle handles the additional heat that comes with using multiple wicks.