Hello Mason Jar Lifestylers! Today we’re doing a deep-dive into one of the questions that we are most
often asked – What is the difference between a wide mouth and a regular mouth Mason jar? Let me start by saying this: one of the greatest things about Mason jars is that there are only two lid sizes: again, regular mouth and wide mouth. This means that any regular mouth lid will fit on any regular mouth Mason jar, and any wide mouth lid will fit on any wide mouth Mason jar. For instance, if you like regular mouth jars and you have kiddos, you can give them their milk in a regular mouth 8 oz. jar with a straw lid at breakfast. You could then wash off that very lid and stick it right on your regular mouth 16 oz. jar and take a smoothie with you to work.
Back to the question, though. What is the difference between these two lid sizes?
The quick, dirty, and literal answer is: about 0.63 inches at the diameter of the jar mouth. But, as
everyone knows, it’s not the width of the jar opening that matters, it’s what you can do with it that
does. So, here are some of the characteristics, width notwithstanding, that truly differentiate the wide
mouth jars from the regular mouth ones:
Wide Mouth Jars: These jars are heralded for their ability to accommodate larger items such as pickles,
beets, whole fruits, etc. They are believed to be easier to clean since you can usually fit an entire sponge
or hand inside. This attribute, in and of itself, is enough to sell Mason jar enthusiasts on the wide
mouth jar. But did you know that the wide Mouth jar is specially designed for stacking? With its flat,
wide bottom (I feel you there, wide mouth!) and an equally large top opening, this jar is ideal when
space is at a premium, whether being used for storage or for canned goods. *Editor’s Note: We realize
that stacking canned goods is a polarizing topic. We will be sharing our thoughts on this at a later date!
Regular Mouth Jars: Most people know and love this more traditional/familiar Mason Jar shape. A
regular mouth jar is tapered at both the top and bottom and has a narrower mouth than its cousin, the
wide mouth. Many users prefer this type of jar for jellies, salsas, and sauces. They are also great for
holding smaller, loose items, such as spices, thumbtacks, or bobby pins as the smaller mouth facilitates
the pouring out of the contents. Regular mouth jars can be slightly more difficult to clean, depending on
the consistency of their contents (nut butters, for example), and thus slightly less user-friendly. Also, due
to their tapered tops/bottoms, they do not stack very well and tend to wobble or tip. This may not be
an issue for you, but it is something to consider when choosing which jars to use for your specific needs.
For those of you that are visual learners, check out this gem of a video by Maggie from 2015. Mason Jar
Lifestyle was just getting started and she gives you the run-down on the types of jars, specifically wide
mouth vs. regular mouth, and accompanying products that MJL offers. This video is an oldie, but a
goodie, much like Mason jars (regardless of mouth size) themselves! Enjoy the info and the video and
then drop us a line to let us know your preference in jar type.
Also, be sure to join us on our new Facebook Community – Living the Mason Jar Lifestyle. We’re a few
hundred members strong and we’re loving the conversations and sharing going on over there. We’d
love to have you there with us! Until next time, keep on keeping on with the Mason Jar Lifestyle!
Michelle Kettleborough is a life-loving, Denver-based writer and mother-of-two. She has just recently embarked on the Mason jar lifestyle. Keep up with her chronicles here.