Deciding how to light your sparklers is not a huge priority to most people, but it can make a huge difference on your experience. Whether you are trying to light sparklers for weddings or just in your backyard, the ignition source plays a bigger role than you might think. Some people choose to light sparklers with matches, and it can present a unique set of challenges to overcome. Are matches the best option, or is there another method that works better? Here is everything you need to know about using matches to light your sparklers and whether or not they are the right decision for your needs.

Benefits of Choosing to Light Sparklers with Matches

There are a few benefits of choosing matches as your ignition source for your sparklers. Typically, they are best used at events like weddings or birthday parties. So, I will focus my attention on those scenarios for this list of benefits. Here is what you need to know.

Price and Availability

The most obvious reason to choose matchbooks is the low price. You can pick up generic versions at most stores for less than five bucks, and you’ll get enough of them to service your entire event. Since they are easy to find and very affordable, many couples look at this option first.

Elegant Appearance

One of the best assets that matches offer couples is they are very elegant in appearance. Most ignition sources are very ugly sitting on wedding reception or birthday tables, but matches blend in nicely with every type of décor. They are easy to find in a variety of different color options, so it’s not hard to choose a style that matches your theme. If appearance is important at your event, they are one of the best options at your disposal.


Image og Custom Matchbooks on a Marble CounterBeyond looking amazing out of the package, you can easily customize the appearance of matchbooks to fit your needs. There are plenty of places to buy matches that are already customized, and it doesn’t add much to the cost. However, you can also decorate the matchbooks yourself with some inexpensive items. Consider using stickers, stamps, or stencils to customize them in any way you see fit. It can be a fun DIY project, and it will result in an appearance that is perfect for your needs.

Fun Souvenir for your Guests

Lastly, they can be a great keepsake item for your guests to take home! When you light sparklers with matches, usually it only takes a few of them to get the job done. Since most matchbooks contain dozens of them, the leftovers can be a cool reminder of the celebration. Additionally, they may come in handy one day when they need to light a candle or campfire.

Drawbacks to Using Matches

Conversely, there are also negatives to lighting sparklers with matches. Most of us have burnt our fingertips from holding one too long, so this shouldn’t be surprising. Here is a breakdown of their drawbacks so you can make an informed decision while planning your event.

Small Flame

One of the biggest hindrances these create is the lack of ability to light several sparklers at the same time. For most circumstances, this isn’t a huge problem. However, if you’re planning a coordinated wedding sparkler exit or similar activity, it can be very problematic. There are far more efficient options available if you need to light several of them quickly.

Won’t Stay Lit for Very Long

Similarly, a cardboard match doesn’t last very long before fizzling out. As I mentioned before, most of us have burnt our fingers while holding a match; but there is actually a more important problem. It can take a few seconds to get each sparkler lit, so having time is vital. That makes matches a very poor choice for events such as weddings.

Won’t Work in the Wind

Image of a Couple Kissing at a Wedding on a Windy BeachLastly, windy conditions can render a match useless. It’s hard enough to light sparklers on a windy beach with a windproof lighter; much less a tiny piece of “cardboard”! If you are looking to use them outdoors, particularly in windy conditions; it will be a complete waste of your time. There are plenty of great options to consider instead of matches in these scenarios, so make the decision that suits your needs the best.

Alternatives to Matches

Of course, there are several different options available for lighting sparklers. Choosing to light sparklers with matches is attractive for a variety of reasons, but ultimately it is one of the least efficient options. Here are a few items to consider before you settle on matchbooks.

  • Butane Sparkler Torches
  • BBQ Lighters
  • Disposable Butane Lighters
  • Windproof Lighter (Zippo)
  • Propane Torch
  • Candles
  • Another Sparkler (Already Lit)

Overall, I tend to encourage people to choose anything except for matchbooks. In my opinion, they are much more hassle than they are worth. Yes, they are the least expensive option and they look marvelous on reception tables; but they don’t do the job very well. At the end of the day, I always prefer the method that works best. Hands down, a traditional lighter will run circles around a match.