Are Woodwick Diffusers Safe?

WoodWick candles are a popular candle brand known for their signature wooden wicks. The patented wood wicks are made from natural wood and produce a distinctive crackling sound when lit. Unlike regular cotton wicks, the wooden wicks have multiple wood grains stacked together that rub against each other as the flame burns, creating the signature crackling noise. WoodWick candles come in various styles, including jar candles, scented candles, and hourglass candles. The wooden wicks are designed to curl over as they burn, which helps the candle burn slowly and evenly until the end. WoodWick advertises their wooden wicks as providing a more relaxing, natural ambiance than regular wick candles.

How Wooden Wicks Work

Wooden wicks are made from natural materials like bamboo or compressed wood fibers. They have a wood grain structure that allows them to burn slowly and evenly as the candle wax melts (SOURCE). Unlike regular cotton wicks that just burn down silently, wooden wicks make a natural crackling or popping sound as they burn. This is caused by pockets of sap or air trapped within the wood grain bursting as the wick heats up (SOURCE). The crackling creates a pleasant fire-like ambiance.

As the candle wax melts, it creates a pool of liquid wax around the wick. This allows the wick to stay soaked with wax so it burns slowly and evenly. Wooden wicks are designed to curl over as they burn, which exposes more of the wick to oxygen and the melted wax pool. This helps ensure an even burn and full melt pool (SOURCE). The wood grain texture also creates a larger surface area for the wick to absorb melted wax compared to smooth cotton.

close up image of a woodwick candle burning, showing the wooden wick structure

Wooden wicks do require a bit more maintenance than regular wicks. Their natural structure can sometimes produce small charred bits of debris that should be trimmed off to prevent smoking. But their crackling sound and warm lighting effect make wooden wicks a popular choice for scented and decorative candles (SOURCE).

Safety Concerns

Some of the potential safety issues around wood wick candles include indoor air quality, lead in wicks, and flame height.

Studies have found that candles can generate indoor air pollutants like fine particulate matter, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, benzene and toluene [1]. However, wood wick candles do not appear to produce more indoor air pollutants than regular candles
[2]. Proper ventilation is still recommended when burning any candle.

In the past, metal core wicks that contained lead were used in some candles, but lead-core wicks have been banned in the US since 2003 [3]. Reputable wood wick candle brands like WoodWick use lead-free, zinc core wicks.

Some users find that wood wicks produce taller flames than regular wicks. It’s important not to leave a burning candle unattended and to keep them away from flammable objects. Trim wicks to 1⁄4” before lighting to help control flame height.

Lead in Wicks

Some candle wicks contain small amounts of lead to help the wick stand upright and burn evenly. However, lead exposure can be dangerous, especially for children. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, exposure to lead could potentially harm the brain and nervous system over time.

WoodWick confirms that their wicks are lead-free and have been independently tested and verified to contain no detectable levels of lead ( This makes WoodWick candles a safer option compared to wicks containing lead.

Indoor Air Quality

When burned, scented candles release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fine particulate matter into the air. Studies have examined the emissions from various scented candles to determine their impact on indoor air quality.

One 2021 study tested emissions from three types of candles: a plain paraffin candle, a WoodWick candle, and a WoodWick Petite candle. Researchers found high emissions of VOCs like acetone, limonene, and other chemicals. The WoodWick candles emitted lower levels of VOCs than the plain candle, but still contributed nanoparticles to the air (Karpus, 2021).

Overall, research indicates scented candles including WoodWick varieties produce potentially concerning levels of VOCs and fine particulate matter when burned indoors. Proper ventilation is important to dilute these emissions.


Flame Height

One of the potential safety concerns with candles is having too high of a flame, which can lead to the candle getting too hot. WoodWick candles are specifically engineered to burn at the proper flame height for safety.

According to Wooden Wick Candle Care & Safety, WoodWick wicks should be trimmed to 1/8″ before each new burn. This helps ensure the wick lights properly and the flame stays at a safe height. The guidelines state “If not properly trimmed, the wick may not light, or flame may be too high.”

Additionally, Vibes Candles recommends keeping wicks trimmed to control flame height, as “Too big of a flame will cause the candle to burn to hot which is a potential fire hazard.” Proper wick trimming is key for WoodWick candles to have the right engineered flame height.

With the unique flat wood wick design, WoodWick candles burn at the intended flame height for that candle when used properly. The wood helps regulate the flame for optimal safety compared to other candle wick types.

Fire Safety

Like any open flame, WoodWick candles should never be left burning unattended (are woodwick candles/). Always keep WoodWick candles out of reach of children and pets. According to the WoodWick website, their candles should not be burned for more than 4 hours at a time and the wick should be trimmed to 1⁄4 inch before relighting to avoid excess smoke and uneven burning (Are WoodWick diffusers safe?).

It’s important to keep WoodWick candles away from flammable materials like curtains, books, and newspaper. The National Fire Protection Association recommends placing candles at least 12 inches away from anything that can catch fire ( Like any candle, a WoodWick should be fully extinguished before leaving a room or going to sleep.

WoodWick provides the following fire safety tips on their website:

  • Keep wick trimmed to 1⁄4 inch before lighting.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Keep away from flammable objects.
  • Place on a stable, heat resistant surface.
  • Keep candleholder clean of wax drips and debris.
  • Extinguish candle if the wax pool comes within 1⁄2 inch of the holder’s rim.
  • Always use a candle snuffer to extinguish.

By following proper fire safety precautions, WoodWick candles can be safely enjoyed in the home.

Use of Candle Warmers

Using an electric candle warmer instead of lighting the candle directly can offer some safety benefits. Candle warmers heat the candle using a lightbulb or heating plate, melting the wax to release fragrance without an open flame (Woodwick 2022). This helps avoid potential issues like flame height or soot buildup from burning the candle. It also eliminates the risk of knocking over a burning candle accidentally. With candle warmers, you don’t have to worry about blowing out the candle or supervision when it’s lit. Many warmers also have auto shut-off features as an added safety measure in case they get left on (Woodwick 2022). So using an electric candle warmer can provide a safer alternative to burning WoodWick candles directly in some circumstances.

Proper Candle Care

To ensure safe and proper burning of WoodWick candles, it’s important to follow some basic care guidelines.

First, trim the wick to 1⁄4 inch before lighting to avoid excessively high flames. Allow the wax pool to form completely across the top of the candle before extinguishing the flame. This helps prevent tunneling.

Additionally, avoid drafts and placing the candle near vents, windows, doors, or fans that can affect the flame. According to WoodWick, candles should not be burned in temperatures below 50°F or above 85°F.

Following these simple candle care tips will maximize burn time and minimize safety risks when enjoying WoodWick candles.


WoodWick candles can be safe when used properly. The unique wooden wick produces a crackling sound but does not pose any additional safety risks compared to regular wicks. As with any open flame, it’s important to follow basic safety precautions – trim wicks to 1⁄4 inch before lighting, keep wicks free of debris and match/candle length, place on a stable heat-resistant surface, keep away from drafts and flammable materials, and refrain from burning for over 4 hours. Never leave a burning WoodWick unattended. With proper care, positioning, and frequent monitoring, WoodWick candles can provide an enjoyable and safe experience in the home.

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