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How Do Crackling Wood Wick Candles Work?

Crackling wood wick candles have steadily increased in popularity since the early 2000s. Candle & home decor enthusiasts and eco-conscious gift shoppers admire their unique and all-natural qualities. Are you a fan?

These calm-inducing wooden wick candles offer an appealing visual aesthetic and create a soothing ambiance with their distinctive crackling sound.

Here, we’ll welcome you into our world of crackling wood wick candles by sharing their benefits, types, and how wood wick candles work.

Wooden wicks are vital to our candle-making process here at Spoken Flames. So we’ll share the science behind the sound of these captivating candles and provide tips for burning them properly to ensure you experience a clean burn and enjoyable experience.

Plus, we’ll share important safety considerations when using wooden wicks and their potential hazards. But don’t worry. The cautions apply to any open flame, whether a cotton wick or a wooden wick.

Finally, (because yes, there’s more!) you’ll learn about the different sounds produced by various crackle wooden wicks, how some wooden wicks are actually designed to NOT crackle, and discover key characteristics that make up the best quality options available in today’s candle market.

By understanding these elements, you can confidently choose the best crackling wood wick candle for your self-care needs or as a thoughtful, luxury gift for someone special.

RELATED: This Crackling Wood Wick Candle Was Named ‘Best-Smelling Candle’ by New York Magazine


Here’s 5 reasons why a candle gift set makes the perfect gift:

What are Crackling Wood Wick Candles?

A crackling wood wick candle is a candle with a wooden wick that naturally produces a crackling sound, unlike a conventional cotton wick with no ambient sound to enhance your candle experience.

A crackling wooden wick candle can be scented or unscented, though there’s an advantage to wooden wicks in scented candles, which we’ll explain.

A wooden wick enhances the visual appeal with its unique teardrop-shaped flame. But it most notably creates an audible crackle sound as it burns - reminiscent of sitting by a cozy fireplace or an outdoor campfire.

This soothing sound adds to these candles’ overall ambiance in your space and improves the mood for relaxation.

Benefits of a Crackling Wood Wick Candle

The growing popularity of crackling wood wick candles is thanks to their many advantages over traditional wax-and-cotton-wicked counterparts:

1. Mindfulness & Relaxation

The gentle crackle sound produced by burning wooden wicks adds a sensory element that promotes mindfulness and helps create a relaxing atmosphere.

2. Aesthetic Appeal

Wooden wick candles often come in various wick shapes that can add sophistication to any space. There are round wooden wicks, flat wooden wicks, X-shaped wooden wicks, and even colored wooden wicks. Ensure that your candle’s manufacturer indicates that their colored wooden wicks are made with non-toxic dye to confirm a clean burn.

3. Eco-Friendly

Most wooden wick candles use sustainably sourced materials making them an environmentally responsible choice for consumers who value sustainability in their purchasing decisions. At Spoken Flames, our wooden wicks are sourced directly from forests certified by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

4. Better Fragrance Throw

Wooden wicks produce a more even heat distribution, resulting in a better fragrance throw and overall scent experience.

5. Longer Burn Time

Some wooden wick candles have been reported to burn longer than their cotton-wicked counterparts, so you can enjoy your favorite candle scents even longer!

Crackling wood wick candles add light, warmth, and ambient sound to your home. Ready for the fun science behind how a crackling wood wick candle works?


Spoken Flames named Best Candle Gift to Give by Architectural Digest
Best crackling candles with wooden wicks in Spoken Flames studio

How Do Crackling Wood Wick Candles Work?: The Science Behind the Sound

The unique sound of a crackling wooden wick candle is caused by the very composition of the wood. The natural wood fibers contain small pockets of air and moisture that heat up when lit—thanks to the candle flame. The heat causes these pockets of air and moisture to expand rapidly and combust. As a result, you hear that distinct cracking or popping sound.

While tiny combustions may sound dramatic, the thin wood slices in wooden wicks help this scientific phenomenon become much more gentle and relaxing-sounding.

Consider it a soft, ambient sound when your wooden wick candle is lit, which can be great for candle meditation or simply as the gentle background sound to your peaceful home. For these reasons, a wooden wick candle can also be the perfect candle gift!

What Sounds Do Crackling Wood Wick Candles Make?

Nature is unpredictable, and that logic applies to why there are different sounds a crackling wooden wick can make, like:

Soft Crackles: Some crackling wooden wicks produce soft and subtle crackle sounds that add enough background noise to enhance your environment without overpowering.

A Snap, Pop, or a Hiss: Other crackle wooden wicks may have louder snap, pop, or hiss sounds that can be more noticeable but still provide a comforting ambiance.

Varying Intensity and Sound Volume: Depending on factors such as humidity levels or the type of candle wax that is used, you might experience different intensities and volumes of crackling sounds throughout the life of your wooden wick candle.

Why Some Crackling Wood Wicks Make Different Sounds Than Others

The specific sound produced by each crackle wooden wick depends on several factors, including material composition, size, shape, and design features like notches or grooves, which affect how air flows through them during combustion. Some reasons behind variations in sound include:

Wood Type: Different types of wood have unique characteristics that can affect the sound produced. For example, softer woods may produce quieter crackles, while harder woods might produce louder pops. Spoken Flames’ wooden wick candles are made of softer woods that make the experience more relaxing.

Wick Size and Shape: The size and shape of a wooden wick can also impact its sound production. Thicker or wider wicks create more intense crackling sounds than thinner or narrower ones.

Airflow: Proper airflow is essential for optimal combustion and sound production in crackling wooden wicks. Notches or grooves cut into the wick can help facilitate better airflow, leading to more consistent crackling sounds throughout the burn time.

The Mechanics of a Crackling Wood Wick Candle

Apart from producing soothing sounds reminiscent of sitting around a campfire or cozying up next to a fireplace at home, crackling wood wick candles also offer other functional and environmental benefits:

Cleaner burn: Wooden wick candles generate less soot than cotton-wick candles because they require fewer additives during manufacturing. Cotton wicks are naturally limp and need a core stiffener or wax to help them stay sturdy in a candle. Wooden wicks are naturally sturdy, so no additives are required.

Stronger scent throw: Wooden wicks tend to produce a stronger scent throw than traditional cotton or paper ones because they burn hotter and release fragrance oils more efficiently.

Sustainable choice: Many wooden candle wicks come from sustainably sourced forests certified by organizations such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

Tips for Burning a Crackling Wood Wick Candle

To ensure you get the most out of your crackling wood wick candle, follow these tips:

Focused candle with crackling wooden wick
  • Trim the wick before re-use: Spoken Flames wooden wick candles are pre-trimmed right out of the box for the first burn. But before lighting your candle on the next burn, trim the wooden wick to about 1/4 inch in length to prevent re-burning already used portions of the wood wick.
  • Burn evenly: Allow the entire surface of the wax to melt during each burn session. This is called a melt pool, and it helps prevent tunneling and ensures an even fragrance distribution.
  • Avoid drafts: Keep your candle away from drafty areas or open windows. This can cause uneven burning and affect sound quality.

Incorporating these practices into your routine will help prolong the life of your crackling wood wick candles while maximizing their sensory candle benefits.

Ready to indulge in this luxurious experience that combines soothing crackling sounds with captivating scents?

How to manifest

Are Wooden Wicks Safe?

Wooden wick candles are generally considered safe when used correctly.

As with any open flame source in your home, there are basic candle safety rules that you should keep top of mind for wooden wicks, like:

  • Extinguish the flame properly: Always ensure the candle flame is fully extinguished before leaving a room or going to bed.
  • Remove excess debris: Wooden wicks burn down naturally but may occasionally produce small fragments that could drop into your wax. Keep an eye on your candle while it’s lit, and remove any debris (with a fork or tweezers, for example) as needed.
  • Keep an eye on the burn time: Time flies when you’re enjoying its fragrance, but your wooden wick candle should stay lit for no more than four hours at a time. Burning candles for too long or placing them near flammable materials increases the risk of an accident.

FAQs About Crackling Wood Wick Candles

Is it normal for wooden wick candles to crackle?

Yes, it is normal for wooden wick candles to produce a crackling sound. The natural combustion of air and water molecules in the wood creates this distinctive crackling sound. This feature adds extra ambiance and relaxation while enjoying your candle.

Are crackling wood wicks good?

Crackling wood wicks are considered a good candle option for their many benefits, like clean and even burning, all-natural components, producing a stronger scent throw, and creating an improved atmosphere with their soft and ambient crackling sounds.

What’s so special about crackling wooden wick candles?

Crackling wood wick candles stand out because of their natural aesthetic and audible features. Plus, they offer various advantages over traditional cotton-wicked candles, and their signature crackle sound is reminiscent of a fireplace without needing to install one in your space.

The Conclusion About Crackling Wood Wick Candles

Crackling wood wick candles offer aesthetics and naturally ambient audio. This uniquely sensorial candle experience is safe to burn in your home or office, and you can even experience a stronger scent throw because of the wooden wicks. Wooden wicks are all-natural and all-inspiring to improve the ambiance in your space or your mood for any time of day.

Spoken Flames candle gift sets

6. Candles can help increase focus in a work from home environment

The rise in WFH and remote work means our workspaces are full of comforts—and distractions. But why would anyone light a candle at their work desk? To keep those distractions at bay. From chatty co-workers (albeit via Slack) to social media, candles are a thoughtful corporate gift that can help us focus and create space for us to do our best work.

Consider it a productivity hack. 💡

The presence of a candle flame can set a calming mood. Wooden wick candles in particular have a unique soft-crackling sound, which can serve as natural and relaxing ambient sound in one’s space. Plus, select scent profiles, like citrus, woody or a floral scent of a scented candle can influence physiological responses that help keep the mind on track.

7. Candles can be an environmentally responsible gift choice

First, it‘s a candle, next it’s their favorite whiskey glass. 🥃

Depending on the candle’s vessel, most candle jars can be upcycled after the burn cycle of the candle. It can be used as storage, glassware and more, so you can feel good knowing that your gift will keep on giving! And your candle gift (once upcycled) can be a pleasant reminder, if not a conversation piece in their home, of your thoughtfulness.

A candle gift set solves my gifting needs—but wait! I don’t know what candle scent they may like 😟

Bonus tip: How to pick a candle scent for a gift

So a candle gift set meets your needs, but you’re not sure what scents they like 😟 Pro tip: consider an unscented candle or a gift set that offers a variety of scents.

The unique thing about Spoken Flames’ Trio Sets is that each candle gift set has a variety of scents with great range—from woody, citrus and floral in our F, Yes Collection, for example.

Your gift recipient would never get bored, and it increases your chances for satisfaction with a broad range of scents in their hands.

Because Spoken Flames candles are message-driven, our motivating candle statements (even without scent) mean that you’ll still win big with this meaningful gifting choice!

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