Incense Cones vs. Sticks: Which is Right for You?

Incense cones and sticks are the most commonly used forms of incense. The incense stick is a wooden stick wrapped in the ingredients while the incense cone is a hardened cluster of incense ingredients in a cone shape.

Here is everything you need to know about incense cones vs. sticks.

What is an Incense Cone?

An incense cone is a small cone made of resin, wood, or other aromatic materials that’s about 1-inch high. They come in a variety of different colors, with the most common being a brown color. Though some brands opt to use brightly colored options.

Essential oils are often soaked into the material of the cone and when the incense is lit, it releases the scent into the air. Incense cones are used for a variety of reasons, ranging from meditation, cleansing, and mood setting.

Pros of Incense Cones

Incense cones are small, so they burn for only 30 minutes or less. This makes it perfect for a quick meditation session or times when you’re simply on a time crunch.

You typically need to use incense cones for smoke waterfall incense burners. These burners create the illusion of a waterfall over a rocky background. Using these burners tends to keep the scent around for a longer period of time.

If you’re looking for a lower-priced option, then you’ll find incense cones fit into that niche. Incense cones cost around $7 for around 120, compared to $12 for 120 incense sticks.

Cons of Incense Cones

If you’re not using a waterfall incense burner, the scent of incense cones tends to dissipate fast. So if you’re looking to create an ambiance for the day, you’ll find the cones burn out too fast.

You’ll also find the smoke of incense cones to be a little overwhelming if you’re near it. This is because more resin or wood burns at one time compared to incense sticks.

What is an Incense Stick?

An incense stick is around 10-inches long and much thinner than an incense cone. These are more traditional options are often used in spiritual ceremonies for strengthening connections, cleansing negative energies, and creating certain ambiances.

Incense sticks tend to burn for around 60 to 90 minutes, making them last much longer than incense cones. You can pair an incense stick with just about any incense burner.

Pros of Incense Sticks

Incense sticks burn much longer than incense cones. These make them a better option for those who are looking to do cleansing and protection rituals. The longer-lasting resin and wood used on incense sticks allow them to hold on and release the aromas over the entire time it’s burning, rather than all at once.

If you’re looking to make your own incense, sticks are relatively the only cost-effective option. You can buy around 200 unscented incense sticks for around a quarter of the price of unscented incense cones. The process to make incense sticks is also much more straightforward forward unlike incense cones.

Cons of Incense Sticks

Incense sticks do come at a higher cost than incense cones. But this is mostly because they burn for longer periods of time, so the cost tends to even out.

Depending on the incense burner you buy, you might find an issue with the ashes of the incense stick not falling into it. Instead, it ends up all over the table and causes a mess.

If you’re using incense for a cleansing ritual, then you need to let it burn all the way down. Because it can take upwards of an hour and a half, you need to plan ahead of time. If you stop the burning too early, you’ll need to restart the ritual another time.

Incense Cones vs. Sticks: Which Incense is Right for You?

At the end of the day, there’s no clear winner when it comes to incense cones vs. sticks. Here at Opulent Charms, we tend to keep some of each type on hand to burn when we see fit. There’s very little difference in price between the two and they both serve a purpose for everyone.

Here are a few things you can consider when choosing which one to buy from here on out.

Longer-Lasting: Incense Sticks

Incense sticks burn for longer periods of time. On average, you can expect at least double the burn time compared to incense cones.

Affordability: Incense Cones

While the cost difference isn’t much, you will end up spending less on incense cones than you would if you bought incense sticks. Though if you’re burning incense frequently, this could cut into the cost quite a bit.

Smell: Incense Sticks

Incense cones may have a more fragrant smell initially, the scent disperses quite fast. You’ll find the aroma is gone even burn the incense cone completely burns out. Incense sticks release a consistent smell that lasts the entirety of the time you’re burning it.

Burning Experience: Incense Cones

Overall, the inclusion of a waterfall burner makes burning incense cones a very pleasant burning experience. Plus, the cleanup and upkeep of incense cones are quite a bit easier than incense sticks.

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