All You Need to Know About Oil Lamps with Wicks

All You Need to Know About Oil Lamps with Wicks

In ancient times, oil lamps were widely used. In fact, it was the only light source at the time. However, we hardly use oil lamps for light or heat nowadays, as we have better modern options to meet these specific types of demands. 

You might be interested in using oil lamps with wicks for decorative purposes. Therefore, it is crucial to know how to use oil lamps. Make sure you know what type of oil to use and how to light it in a proper and safe way. 

In this article, we will have a closer look at the above-mentioned aspect of oil lamps with wicks. After reading this text, we can guarantee you that you will know everything there is to know about oil lamps with wicks. 

If you are interested in checking out the best lamp oil you can find it by clicking here

Different Types of Oil Lamps

There are many different types of oil lamps available. Most of them are affordable and super easy to use. In fact, oil lamps are also easy to create yourself. Anyone can do it! As long as you have a suitable container, a wick, and the right type of oil, you are good to go. 

If you prefer to buy an oil lamp online, it’s good to know that they come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, there will always be one that will fit your needs and desires. Oil lamps can be hook-hanging, free-standing, and wall-mounted. 

On average, almost every type of oil can be used for oil lamps with wicks. However, some are more suitable than others and it is important to do research on how the wick will interact with the oil. Later on in this article, we will have a look at the different types of oil that you can use in your oil lamp. 

Hanging Oil Lamps

Most traditional oil lamps can be hung, which makes them multifunctional and easy to move around. These lanterns are a great option when purchasing a new oil lamp. They are made from strong material and will last a long time. They come in different shapes, from round to square and from large to smaller ones. 

The average traditional oil lantern has a height of approximately 25 centimeters. The weight can differ, anywhere between 300 grams to one kilo. Of course, this depends on the measurements of the product.

On the link below, you will find a great example of a hanging oil lamp. 

Kerosene Oil Lamp & One roll of Wick – Vintage

This vintage, traditional oil lamp is a great choice. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor use. It will illuminate and decorate your space, giving it the old-school vibe you are looking for!

Free-Standing Oil Lamps

Although most standing oil lamps also have a handle to hang the light on a higher level, some lamps are solely created to stand on a flat surface. These are primarily small table models. They are used more for decorative purposes, as they are not easy to move around. 

However, they can be a valuable piece of art in your living room. They create a romantic vibe and have the ability to light up a small space. 

Click the link below to find a great example of a standing table lamp. 

Mayflower Vintage Glass Oil Lamp 

This is a very affordable vintage oil lamp. It is entirely made from glass and can be a great addition to your living room! 

Wall-Mounted Oil Lamps

Perhaps you didn’t know, but some oil lamps can be mounted on the wall. As in old times, they served the purpose of providing light; it was quite common to hang oil lamps on the wall. You can still bump into these traditional models, usually in old pubs or restaurants. 

Nowadays, they can be a creative addition to your living room. They are usually a little smaller than the average oil lamp. Also, they are light weighted, and therefore easy to mount on any wall in the house.

The Wick

The wick is one of the most important parts, as the lamp will be useless without it. Perhaps you wonder what kind of wick to use for your oil lamp, as there are many different kinds. Luckily, it is quite simple. For an oil lamp, pretty much any type of wick is suitable. Overall, you are free to use anyone you can find.

Oil lamp wicks absorb the fuel and transport it to the top of the burner. However, it is essential to make sure that the wick properly fits the lamps. When it doesn’t, it can affect the brightness that it is supposed to offer. You can choose one depending on the type of lantern and the available space.

Most wicks are made of one hundred percent cotton. These usually do the job best. Wicks are affordable, and one piece will last for a long time. The half-gallon of the lamp oil will burn only to an inch of your wick. If you buy an 8-inch wick, it can be used to burn about fifteen gallons of lamp oil.

Types of Oil for Oil Lamps

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, almost every type of oil can be used for oil lamps with wicks. In the list below, you will find some examples of what you might use.

  • Seed oil
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil
  • Hemp oil
  • Castor oil
  • Kerosene oil


The last one on the list, Kerosene, is the most famous option. People all around the world use Kerosene to light their oil lamps. It is easily accessible and very cheap as well. 

The downside of Kerosene is the fact that it contains impurities such as sulfur. This can result in an unpleasant smell while burning. When using it outside, it probably won’t bother you. However, if you want to use it indoors, it might not be a great option. Besides the fact that it smells, it is not very healthy to inhale. 

If you choose to use it indoors anyway, take care of proper ventilation. It is crucial for your health and that of your loved ones. 

Lamp Oil

A good alternative for kerosene is lamp oil. It comes from the same family as kerosene. The difference is that lamp oil has been purified to burn cleaner. As a result, it will produce fewer pollutants in comparison to kerosene. 

Furthermore, lamp oil doesn’t produce the unpleasant odor you are most likely to experience when using kerosene. 

Click here to try it out for yourself!

How Much Oil Do You Need?

Types of Oil for Oil Lamps

The next question that is most likely to rise is how much oil you are supposed to put in your oil lamp. It is important to use the correct amount to ensure safety and stability. As a general rule, all the oil lamps are expected to burn around an ounce of lamp oil or kerosene per hour. They might burn a bit longer in cold conditions. Some other alternative oils will provide a ten percent lower output than conventional oil. 

For optimal burning, it is crucial to keep your oil lamp half full. Otherwise, the wick will rapidly consume the oil. A low oil tank results in the wick consuming more oil. 

It is advised to fill the oil at room temperature, as some oil can freeze in cold environments. Also, avoid using alcohol and gasoline in your oil lamps. These items could damage your oil lamp in the long run. 

Can Oil Lamps Cause Health Concerns?

As mentioned before, large doses of kerosene can be damaging to your health. The wick of kerosene lamps will produce black carbon as a partial combustion byproduct of kerosene. Therefore, it is important to trim off the wick after every use. 

Black carbon is considered an air pollutant and can cause different health complications, including minor and severe diseases. Some examples:

-Respiratory issues

-Heart problems

-Complications of the longs

Although using kerosene in your oil lamp doesn’t guarantee any of these complications, you might want to use an alternative to play it safe. Olive oil, for example, is a good alternative to use. 

When buying a new oil lamp, make sure you choose one that supports the usage of different types of oils. You might want to try different options, to make a well-considered choice. When buying an oil lamp that only supports one kind of oil, you are limiting yourself and the use of your product. Therefore, try to avoid making this mistake. 


In this article, we were able to get some insight into the different types of oil lamps with wicks. It turns out there are many different models you can choose from. Are you going to go with a hanging lamp on the wall, or do you prefer a table model? Anything is possible. 

When it comes to the type of oil to use, we noticed that most people use kerosene. This is a popular choice, as it is easily accessible and also quite affordable. However, this article also showed us that kerosene could have some unpleasant and even dangerous byproducts. Therefore, we would advise you to take one of the alternatives that we offered above. 

Don’t forget to always keep your oil lamp half full of fuel for optimal burning. Also, make sure that you buy a wick that fits the lamp you own. If the size is not right, it might affect the brightness that it offers while burning. 

Did you know that you can also make an oil lamp with a wick yourself? As long as you have a suitable container and a wick, it is not even that hard! I bet you can do it. 

Related Questions

Are oil lamps better than candles?

Now you might wonder, which light source is better? Oil lamps or candles? Oil lamps are giving off much greater light than candles. This makes them more suitable in case the power goes out. The oil and wicks are very affordable and can last much longer than most candles. 

Besides, oil lamps can be a great fashion item in your house. Prettier than most candles, one would say. Furthermore, oil lamps give off more heat than candles. 

Are oil lamps safe indoors?

As mentioned before, oil lamps are safe to use inside the house. When using it correctly, there is no danger whatsoever. However, it is important to be aware of the possible pollutants of the different kinds of oil that can be used in oil lamps. To provide the safest environment, make sure to use lamp oil instead of kerosene as it burns cleaner and has fewer pollutants than kerosene. 

Some oil lamps can also be used outdoors, for example, in the barn or outdoor living space. Thus, it can contribute to the true feeling of living in the countryside. 

How Can I Make My Oil Lamp Burn Brighter?

To make your oil lamp burn brighter, the first thing that you can do is not turn your lamp up too high too fast. Therefore, let your lamp burn for 10 minutes before turning it up to full power. For the oil lamps to burn brighter, we recommend using kerosene. Kerosene burns the brightest; however, it has an odor and will smoke. Maintain your font at least half full, so the fuel does not have to travel far up the wick. Additionally, you should replace wicks every six months of regular usage. Finally, keep your wick trimmed neatly, and keep your chimney clean.

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