A Guide on the Best Wick for Oil Lamps

Have an oil lamp that you want to use to light up your rooms? You no doubt have to acquire and incorporate the best wick for oil lamp.

It is the wick that draws up the oil from the tank and burns it up to generate the light output that subsequently illuminates your rooms. Picking any wick randomly is never advised at all. Your chances of getting the very best experiences might never be assured.

We are here to help you get the very best wicks for oil lamp that may do you some good. Please take the time to read the explanations keenly to gain the guidance you need.


What Is the Best Wick for Oil Lamp?

cotton wick for oil lamps

The best wick for oil lamp has to comprise the following characteristics:

  • Comfortable Length

That wick has to be a comfortable length. The length in question here is not universal but subject mainly to the height of the lamp and the distance that exists between the fuel tank and the burner.

You have to give an allowance to cater for the extra room that the wick has to leave when installed in the lamp.


  • Highly-absorbent Material

Considering that the oil is the primary source of the fuel that powers the lamp, it is imperative that the wick be made of highly-absorbent materials.

It is thanks to this arrangement that the wick may draw up the oil at a pace that is faster and more convenient.


  • Moderately Flammable

It is important that the wick also be moderately flammable. Too much flammable and it may burn out too fast.

Excessively non-flammable and it may have a hard time generating the light output that is needed to illuminate the rooms. You really have to mind about the materials you pick for the job.


  • Less Sooty or Smoky

Soot or smoke are by-products that arise whenever the wicks burn with time. Though these two ends are inevitable, it is important that the material you pick for the job be less sooty or smoky.

That shall spare you from the likelihood of sustaining respiratory tract infections.


  • Easily-to-trim

From time to time, the wick shall be charred at the tip and require some trimming.

Given the delicate nature of the trimming exercise, the wick you pick for the job has to be easier to trim. For this to happen, it must manage a firm grip with the pair of scissors or the cutting tool.


  • Relevance to the Fuel Type

There are different kinds of oils you may use to power your lamps. These oils may only work alongside different kinds of wicks or materials that make them up.

It is important that you pair these two to manage better outcomes. Check out the manufacturer’s recommendations before going forward.


  • Compatibility with the Lamp Type

Apart from the relevance of the wick to the respective kind of oil, the wick you pick has to be compatible with the type of oil lamp.

As is the case with the oil types above, these wicks are designed to fit different kinds of lamps. Make deliberate efforts to match these two metrics to have an easy way forward.


  • Simpler Care and Maintenance

Besides trimming the wicks, you will also have to carry out some related care and maintenance. These could take the forms of washing, drying, or even stitching the wicks.

The one you settle for has to be easier to care for and maintain. That is to prevent unnecessary hassles along the way.


  • Braided Stature

When all is said and done, the best kind of wick is that which contains or is heavily braided. The braiding adds some strength and reliability to the wicks.

That way, they last longer and also stand taller to the risks of damages that potentially come about.


Of all the wicks that exist, the one that is made of braided cotton stands out. It is the most durable and is also able to draw many kinds of fuels for you.

That is over and above being capable of fitting diverse kinds of lamps, a fact that goes a long way in making your life more convenient.


Top 10 Best Wicks for Oil Lamps and Lanterns


Fiberglass Wicks vs. Cotton Wicks

best wick for oil lamps reviews

There are two kinds of wicks that stand out in the market at the moment. These are the fiberglass and the cotton wicks respectively. But how do the two measure up? We examine these in finer details here below:

– Longevity of Service

Of these two, it is the fiberglass wick that lasts longer. That stems mainly from the fact that its material is hardly ever consumed in the course of burning out the fuel.

The cotton wicks lose here owing to the fact that they burn out rapidly when dipped in the fuel and lit.

– Relative Efficacy

A typical fiberglass wick is more effective than a similarly typical cotton wick when both are deployed for use to illuminate a room.

The reason underlying this arrangement is that the former does not burn out but instead delivers brighter light outputs that are steady and resistant to the strong winds.

– Cost

You should expect to part with more money to purchase a fiberglass wick compared to the money you would ordinarily use to purchase a cotton wick.

The reason underlying this is that the former is strong, steadier, and manages more cycles of use throughout its lifetime.

– Care and Maintenance

The fiberglass wick is never consumed during the burning process. Instead, it retains its shape and form throughout.

As for the cotton wick, it is consumed in the process of burning. That calls for its constant trimming, replacement, and consistent washing throughout its whole lifetime.

– Fuel Compatibility

Of these two, it is the fiberglass wick that is able to draw its fuel power from more kinds of fuels. These include diesel, paraffin, pure paraffin, and kerosene.

The cotton wicks on the other hand are too flammable to draw the fuel from the diesel and the liquefied petroleum gas.

– Lamp-type Compatibility

As pertains to the matters of the compatibility with the lamps, the fiberglass wick loses. It can only work in special kinds of lamps that are stronger and more resilient.

The cotton wicks however find wider applicability by virtue of being compatible with many lamps.




We now ask and answer some of the hotly asked questions surrounding this particular topic:

1. How Long Should the Wick Be on an Oil Lamp?

8 inches long, it is! Out of this, it is the 5 inches that shall be used to burn the fuel to generate the light that ultimately illuminates your rooms.

The remaining 3 inches on the other hand acts as the lead space at the bottom and the adjustment space at the top portions of the lamp.

2. How to Change an Oil Lamp Wick?

Follow these steps to change the oil lamp wicks:

  • Place the lamp on a flat surface that bears a covering
  • Leave the lamp and the chimney to cool
  • Remove the shades and the chimneys and place them aside
  • Unscrew the burners from the brass collar of the lamp
  • Slot the new wick into the burner from the bottom moving upwards
  • Fill the oil lamp with the fresh oil and leave it untouched for some time
  • Return the burner to the collar

3. How to Trim a Wick?

The steps below shall help you to trim the wick:

  • Remove the chimney of the lamp to expose the wick
  • Extinguish the flame of the lamp just in case it is lit
  • Turn the regulating wheel that adjusts the height of the wick
  • Cut off the charred tip of the wick with a pair of scissors
  • Adjust the height of the wick as need be
  • Remove the charred part of the wick which you already have cut

4. How to Make Homemade Wicks for Oil Lamps/Lanterns?

Follow these steps to make the homemade wicks for your oil lamps/lanterns:

  • Select the right kind of material for the job. These could be old newspapers or bags or even cloth.
  • Cut this material into tiny strips and then twist or intertwine them to form a thread
  • Dip this thread in a solution of water and salt and leave it overnight
  • Remove the thread from the solution in the morning and dry it out in the open




Alright! We have worked really hard to showcase to you what you may need to know with regard to the best wick for oil lamp. Have we not?

We now trust that you are well and that you can now proceed with confidence. When are you planning now to lay your hands on a wick or even trim yours as need be?