Wide mouth or Regular mouth jars for canning

Wide Mouth or Regular Mouth Canning Jars

My first canning jars were Regular Mouth. I don’t recall why at the time, but maybe that was the predominant choice at the store. I really didn’t give it much thought. The decision was simply choosing Pints or Quarts (most of what I have canned are in Pint jars). But each of the two come in either Regular Mouth or Wide Mouth lids. So, which one is better, or, what are the pros and cons?

Like I said, I began with Regular Mouth pint jars. Therefore, my focus on replacement lids were strictly Regular Mouth lids. But at some point, I began buying Wide Mouth jars. Why?

Pros and Cons of Wide Mouth versus Regular Mouth Canning Jars

Are there advantages of one over the other?

I found that I didn’t have to use the filler funnel as often as I had to for filling up Regular Mouth jars. Wide Mouth jars/lids are, well, wider! A larger diameter is easier to put ‘stuff’ in (at least in my general opinion).

  • Wide Mouth jars have an opening of about 3-1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Regular Mouth jars have an opening of about 2-3/4 inches.

It seems like Wide Mouth jars are easier to clean the Regular Mouth jars. The sides of WM jars are pretty much straight. Whereas RM jars have a curved shoulder on top, which may present some cleaning challenges – depending…

But here comes a potential ‘con’ from the pros and cons of Wide Mouth versus Regular Mouth canning jars. The comparative height and width of the jars, and how that may affect how many you can fit inside your pressure canner per batch. The RM jar is a bit taller than the WM jar. And the WM jar looks to be a bit wider than the RM jar, especially at the outer diameter of the mouth ring threads.

My All American (model 930) pressure canner will hold 19 Regular Mouth pint jars. But it will only hold 16 Wide Mouth pint jars.

I also have a Presto pressure canner (my first one). I haven’t used it in awhile and don’t recall exactly how many pint jars fit (WM versus RM). But I believe it was a similar situation… a few more Regular Mouth jars fit inside than Wide Mouth jars.

What about the cost differences, and are there any differences between the cost of jars and/or replacement lids? Well, lets have a look…

Doing a quick amzn price check, a case of Regular Mouth (Ball) jars cost less than the Wide Mouth jars. Same thing with the lids. Regular Mouth wins.

As of the time of this price check, RM lids were 23-cents each. Whereas WM lids were 35-cents each. So it’s clear that the apparent conveniences of Wide Mouth will cost you more.

72 RM Ball Lids

72 WM Ball Lids

So you home canners out there, I’m curious to hear your opinion on the comparison between the two sizes. What do you use?

[ Read: The All American Pressure Canner That Will Last Forever ]

[ Read: Canning Outside – The Best Hot Plate or Propane Burner ]


  1. Wow, finally got logged back in. It was easier to get a passport to South America. Ken was very patient with me.
    Now about those jars. Like Ken, I started out with the small mouth. When I switched over. to the wide mouth, I was a very happy camper. I still use the funnel every time, in case I drip on my way into the jar.
    Wide mouth are easier to wash and to enable one to get all the food out into the kettle.
    There I times I like reg. mouth. When I make juice or soup that is mostly liquid, like asparagus soup, bone broth, that kind of thing. I also have a ball plastic lid that screws on the reg. mouth after I remove the flat. It has a small cap attached to it, which keeps it fresh in the fridge..

      1. I just got these through the link. They will come in handy and avoid reusing used lids with metal liners.
        The one I have actually has a pour spout, which is great for a bottle of homegrown juice.

      2. I like using canning jars for stuff i use a lot in the kitchen like my rubs and mixes for grilling and baking, use them a lot for storing leftovers of soups and stews too, just easier and take up less space, handy, i have used my sprouting lids as shaker lids with rubs and stuff. The ones i use are plastic and i get them from true leaf market, the regular canning lids usually fit under them

    1. Times they are a changing! It’s tough to see folks have to go through this effort for secure sites; but nearly everyone is forced to do so.

      Glad Ken has upgraded the security a bit.

      This is a great site with lots of good information.

  2. What I haven’t seen anywhere in the stores for a couple years now are the wide mouth pint-and-a- half jars.

    1. I like the pint and a half also, since you can get one more in the pressure cooker and it is a nice amount for two people. My Asian chicken thighs fit nicely in those. Like yoo, Amony Lee, I have not seen them. I checked around some this year.

    2. I like the pint and half also. perfect portions for TWO people.

  3. I prefer the wide mouth jars but pretty much have a good mix of both and really notice no real difference between the two ther than the obvious, i really like the wide mouths for sprouting though.

    1. I use the Quart Wide Mouth jars for sprouting (broccoli) yum and healthy! I’ll be doing an article on it pretty soon.

  4. I prefer large mouth for beans, pickles, meats or anything that is solid and use the small mouth for liquids like stews, soups, sauces etc. as it is easier going in and coming out. By having each jar mouth size on hand you aren’t limited to what size lids may or may not be available. I use both traditional Ball lids and the Tattler reusable lids and keep at least a hundred of each on hand.

    1. I have the same preference… small mouth for liquids/soups and wide mouth for all others. I really noticed this when I canned apple cider… pours better (no dripping) from a small mouth. Beans, meat, etc. I use wide mouth jars.

      1. That has been a really great tip… regular for liquids. Makes sense when you think about it, given the neck and smaller diameter for easier pouring.

  5. Didn’t realize I didn’t have an account. Anyway, I find there is a place for both. One thing to remember is the regular mouth takes up less room on your shelf.

  6. I use either. I only can meat, so far. Pint jars. I used to have lots of jars from my mom. I gave them away. I have some new quarts but I only store things in them. The soup sounds good though.

    The lids look interesting. So much to learn. Thank you Ken.

  7. Large mouth lids will hold to the jar with greater force than small mouth lids. Lid area divided by circumference is greater for WM than SM. Large Carl

    1. @LC, Wow, that is a great piece of information and physics. That may logically translate to a better likelihood of maintaining a good seal over time. Thus, you might say that WM may be preferred over RM for planned long term canning jar storage.

  8. As per “Canning Jars”.
    I have quite a few of about every size and style one can imagine, even a lot of off brand Jars that work quite well.
    But ya know the ones I like and charrish the most?
    The old, very VERY Ole bule/green glass ones with the glass lids that use a lever/spring style wire loop and the old rubber gasket.
    Have a couple of dozen from my great grandmother.
    Than some with the old heavy galvanized screw type lids. From my grandmother.
    Like 600 rolls of TP, is 3000 Canning Jars really enough????

    1. WOW, I thought I was the only one who still used those glass lid jars. I found new rubber seals. I use them for my dried herbs. Zinc lids, Yep, got about 2 doz in fine shape.

      I have a lot of qt Atlas jars, square not round, they are way heavier than these new jars, probably form the 20’s.

      3000 canning jars, come on man, that just getting started. I think I got you beat by about 7000 jars, and I’m Not kidding.

      However, you do have me beat on the TP, not by much but you’re still the TP KING.!

    2. I have a bunch of those glass lid jars as well. They look lovely on my apothecary shelves!

  9. We’ve got an “All-American”, too. Prefer wide-mouth jars, but since we still have several dozen regular-mouth jars, we’re beholden to stock both lids

  10. I prefer wide mouth jars. They are easier to clean which is critical to me. I use Tattler lids primarily, but do keep some metal lids for when I seal herbs or dehydrated fruits with O2 absorbers. I never thought about the surface area of the lid and the seal but that is a bonus. I like and use quart, pint, and pint and a half as well as smaller jelly jars. And the All American canner is the best. The WM quarts fit 7 at a time, but I can run two canners at a time. I don’t like to double decker with pints but I will when time is critical. I don’t worry about shelf space as I have plenty but I track my items by sizes- each size holds a certain number of servings.

  11. If I had it to do over, I’d have bought only wide mouth jars and lids. Too late now, as I have too many to start over.

  12. I actually prefer wide mouth for MOST canning. If it is strictly liquid, I might use the regular mouth jars (like for oils or tinctures) but anything with bulk I prefer the wide mouth.

  13. I have all three sizes of canning jars, regular mason, wide mouth and the ‘Gem’ lid (medium size). I have a small supply of metal lids/rings and glass lids/zinc rings for the gem jars.
    I prefer jams and liquids in regular; relishes in gem and everything else in wide mouth. But, sometimes I just make due with what is available should the preferred size be in use!
    I did start using empty VH sauce jars for my syrups … they pour better and are easier to spot on a shelf full of canning jars!

  14. Speaking of canning, has anyone checked the price of an All American 921 pressure canner lately? They appear to have doubled in price the last two years….if you can locate one.

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