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Wide Mouth vs. Regular Mouth Mason Jars – The Same, But Different

UPDATE!

We’ve taken an even deeper look into the difference between regular mouth and wide mouth Mason jars – PLUS added details about all the different sizes and shapes of jars too in our new blog post!

Hey there, Mason jar fans!

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. 

A line up of Ball and Kerr regular and wide mouth mason jars include 4oz jelly, regular and wide mouth half pints, 12oz jelly, regular and wide mouth pints, and regular and wide mouth quart Mason jars.

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?

A line up of Ball and Kerr regular and wide mouth mason jars include 4oz jelly, regular and wide mouth half pints, 12oz jelly, regular and wide mouth pints, and regular and wide mouth quart Mason jars.
Comparing regular vs wide mouth Mason jars such as Ball, Kerr, and other canning Mason jars
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.

Wide Mouth Pint
mason-jar-lifestyle-pin-cushion-lid-regular-mouth-pint-ball-mason-jar-thread-pins
Regular Mouth Pint

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 have thousands of members 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.

17 thoughts on “Wide Mouth vs. Regular Mouth Mason Jars – The Same, But Different”

  1. Another thing to consider is the cost difference between wide-mouth and regular jars and lids. Jar prices can vary A LOT, depending on where you get them, and if they are on sale. But the lids with the wax seals are “consumables” (not reusable) if you are using the jars for canning. On Amazon, the wide-mouth lids were 15% more expensive than the regular sized lids.

  2. I… um… have several different size lids on several different size Ball-brand jars. There are more than two sizes in this world. You also haven’t mentioned the distinctions between metric jars with metric lids and Imperial jars with inch-size lids.

  3. Question…..
    My wide moth jars plinked / sealed as soon as I took them out of the hot water bath …the other 3 of 7 (4 were wide mouth) have still not plinked. …..30 minutes later….do wide mouth jars typically seal before the regular mouth?

  4. I have always used these jars for freezing then defrost in the jar. I cannot find the wide mouth jars that are not tapered at the top, but straight at the top so the slightly defrosted food just slides out.
    Can you help? They are perfect.

    1. Hi Jean,

      The only wide mouth jar I can think of without shoulders is the pint and a half (24oz) Mason jar. I freeze in both the 16oz and 24oz Mason jars all the time!

  5. Harriet Donoghue

    I have a 16oz. Atlas Mason jar with a smaller than regular screw-on opening. Where can I get a lid for it?

  6. Hello there
    I am new to this community and would like to ask:
    Seasonal times you purchase
    Regular mouth canning lids ?
    Wide Mouth Canning lids?
    Thank you for your advice
    Libby

  7. I made vegetable soup tonight and I didn’t know there was a difference in the jar lids and I put the vegetable soup in there and I never did hear anything pop on any of them so was I post to do the hot water bath with a vegetable soup in them first I’ve never done this before

  8. I made vegetable soup tonight and I use the big mouth lids and I haven’t heard them pop I didn’t know you were supposed to put them in hot water bath while they still work

  9. My lids do not always pop when they’re cooling with her big mouth or regular so I always check after I take the band off to see if the actual lid is sealed if not it’ll lift off, if it is it won’t you can actually lift the jar in the air. So maybe that’ll help answer the question

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We’re Maggie and Ryan, the Chief Mason Jar Geeks, founders, and owners of Mason Jar Lifestyle. We’re here to help eco-fabulous people (like you!) find the most innovative, charming, and useful Mason jar accessories anywhere (in one convenient location – lucky you!) so that you can “Live the Lifestyle” too!

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