Choosing the Right Mason Jar


Mason jars come in a number of different shapes and sizes, but the one thing they have in common is mouth size: wide or regular. Although the sizing is simple, the incredible number of options can make selecting the right one complicated.

In this article we outline 4 different Mason jar styles and what we recommend using them for so you know exactly which jars to buy! 

Psst! Not sure how Wide and Regular Mouth sizing works? Click here

24oz Wide Mouth Mason Jars by Masontops 

Most Mason jars are designed specifically for canning, that's why Masontops decided to design our own Mason jar, ideal for fermenting and storing. Our Mason jars still follow the standardized sizing that Ball, Kerr and Bernardin follow, so you can use lids and accessories interchangeably. 

Get a set of four 24oz Wide Mouth Mason Jars PLUS 4 Chalk Top blackboard lids, 4 Tough band rust-proof screw bands, and 1 Top Chalk marker all in one handy kit here

4oz Regular Mouth Mason Jar 

This size of Mason jar is perfect for storing spices, seeds, condiments, beauty supplies and small crafting items. You could ferment in these jars, but we don't recommend it because they're too shallow. These jars typically have straight sides with a universal diameter from the mouth to the base, but there are some versions available with a curved neck and large body cavity. We prefer the straight sided jars because they're easier to store and stack.

Masontops Chalk Top Blackboard Lids are the ideal lid for these jars because they won't add any extra bulk. Best of all, you can label with chalk or Top Chalk Markers over and over again for easy kitchen organization. 

Straight Sided Wide/Regular Mouth Jars

Jars with straight sides are the same size from the mouth to the base, with no curve at the neck. This means food weights, like our Pickle Pebbles, will fill the entire circumference of the jar no matter where placed. This is great if you're not fermenting a full jar worth of food or if you're fermenting small shredded veggies that could easily slip past a food weight. These jars are also often used for fermenting long and lean vegetables vertically for better presentation, like asparagus, carrot sticks, or green beans. They're the most versatile kind of Mason jar because they make for great drinking glasses and present nicely for storing beauty supplies, dry food, and other household items. That's why Masontops came our with our own line of straight sided jars. Get 4 jars of this style in a 24oz wide mouth style, with 4 Chalk Top blackboard lids, 4 Tough Band screw bands and 1 Top Chalk chalk marker here

All Masontops fermentation and storage tools are compatible with this style of jar.

Classic Wide/Regular Mouth Mason Jars

These Mason jars curve outwards from the neck and have a bulging body to increase storage capacity. This classic style of Mason jar is the most commonly found and is great for fermenting large vegetables and large batches. You'll find these jars have a wide selection for volume, which is why they're so popular.

All Masontops fermentation and storage tools are compatible with the above styles of jars. If you're interested in fermenting larger batches, you'll likely have to buy wide mouth jars. Our Complete Fermentation Kit is perfect for anyone looking to ferment in wide mouth Mason jars: it has everything you need!

 Bale, Fido or "Swing Top" Jars

Bale and fido jars with a hinged "swing" lids aren't traditionally considered Mason jars and Masontops products aren't designed for them. If you prefer using this style of jar, it's important to note our Pickle Pebbles and Pickle Packer are the only Masontops products compatible with them. We don't recommend fermenting in fido jars because they require daily burping and can explode if the fermentation gases aren't released. 

Mason Jar Brands We Recommend

To be sure you're buying a real Mason jar, make sure the packaging says "Mason" or "Canning" jar and specifies the mouth size. The safest bet is to buy brand name, like Masontops, Ball, Kerr or Bernardin, and stay away from unlabeled decorative jars that may not be intended for kitchen use. Following this rule will also ensure the lids come with two separate pieces: a screw band and fitted lid. Our Pickle Pipes and Chalk Tops all need to be secured with a screw band, so be sure to save them!