Should You Get a 1-Wick or 2-Wick Candle? What’s the Difference?

Some of the best-selling luxury candles at the Harlem Candle Company come in both 1-wick and 2-wick versions. This might be a little confusing for first-time customers ordering candles online. Should you buy the single wick version or the double wick version? Which one is better? 

In this article, we'll explain the difference between 1-wick and 2-wick candles, and how to choose the right one for you. 

1. Burn Time

Generally speaking, you want your candles to have a long burn time so that you can enjoy them to the fullest.

The term "burn time" is the total length of time your candle can be burned. This depends on several factors, such as the amount of wax, the type of wax, the shape of the candle, and the type of wick used. 

Single wick candles typically have a slower burn than double wick candles, so their burn time is slightly longer (assuming the other factors mentioned above are equal). 

After all, with two flames being lit instead of one, 2-wick candles will burn hotter and cause the wax to melt at a faster rate. This results in a slightly shorter burn time compared to single-wick candles.

However, the difference isn't that big. The notion that 2-wick candles burn twice as hot and twice as fast as 1-wick candles is a common misconception. The 1-wick candles typically last a couple of hours longer than their 2-wick counterparts.

At the Harlem Candle Company, both the 1-wick and 2-wick versions of our 12 oz. candles have approximate burn times of 80 hours, give or take a few hours. 

2. Scent Throw

We use the term "scent throw" to describe how a candle's fragrance fills up a space. In other words, how strong is the scent before the candle is lit? How strong is the scent after the candle is lit? How quickly does the scent permeate an entire room? 

Like with burn time, a candle's scent throw depends on a variety of different factors. For example, the type of wax, the temperature of the flame(s), and the amount of fragrance oil inside can all impact the smell. 

That makes comparing the difference in scent throw between 1-wick and 2-wick candles a bit tricky.

With all else being equal, a 2-wick candle will have a stronger hot throw than a 1-wick candle. In other words, the scent will be stronger and you'll notice it filling up the room faster. That's because having 2 wicks lit generates more heat, causing the wax to melt and release fragrance at a higher rate. 

But in reality, whether or not the scent throw is different depends on how the candles are made. 

At the Harlem Candle Company, we wanted to give customers the option of 1-wick candles with the same strong scent throw as our 2-wick candles. To do that, we adjusted our recipes and increased the amount of fragrance oil used in the 1-wick candles compared to the 2-wick candles.

As a result of the higher fragrance load, our 1-wick candles smell just as great as our 2-wick candles. The main difference is that the 2-wick candles will fill up a larger room in a shorter amount of time. 

3. Efficiency

Having multiple wicks helps distribute heat more evenly across larger candles, which leads to a cleaner, more efficient burn with less wastage.

for example, you've probably heard that you should leave a candle burning for at least 1 hour per inch of diameter. This is to achieve a full melt pool, which prevents your candle from tunneling

In general, a 2-wick candle will reach a full melt pool faster than a 1-wick candle since you have 2 flames distributing heat across a larger surface area. As a result, you don't need to keep a 2-wick candle burning as long as a 1-wick candle. 

Plus, double wick candles are less likely to tunnel for the same reason. By getting to a full melt pool each time, it maximizes the burn time of your candle while minimizing wastage (leftover wax). 

4. Ambience

Lastly, there's an obvious difference in the visual appearance and overall ambiance. With 2-wick candles, you get two bright flames that produce more light than a 1-wick candle.  

Whether or not that's something you want is subjective and depends on the lighting ambiance you're aiming to achieve. 

Should You Get a 1-Wick or 2-Wick Candle?

Between 1-wick and 2-wick candles, neither is strictly "better" than the other. Both have their own merits as well as drawbacks. It all depends on your personal preferences and what you're looking for.

But if you're having trouble choosing between the two, here are some simplified recommendations.

Get 2-wick candles if:

  • You like to burn your candle for only a few hours at a time over the course of several weeks.
  • You plan to burn the candle in a large room or area, such as a living room or office.
  • You want to set a brighter, more welcoming ambiance.

Get 1-wick candles if:

  • You like to keep your candle burning for long periods of time ranging from several hours to an entire day (albeit trimming your wick every four hours or so). 
  • You plan to burn the candle in a small room or area, such as a bedroom, bathroom, or foyer. 
  • You want to set a dimmer, more intimate ambiance. 

Ultimately, there's no "wrong" choice here so don't feel too distressed if you can't come to a clear decision. Both the 1-wick and 2-wick versions of our Harlem Renaissance-inspired candles will give you the same rich, luxurious fragrance that you're sure to fall in love with!