I don’t know about you, by my kids love glow sticks (and so do I for summer backyard parties). I’ve shopped around to compare prices, so here are the cheapest places to buy glow sticks. Prices are pretty consistent, but slight variations occur and are noted where possible. Two things you should know first:
- Glow stick bulk pricing starts at a cost of about six cents per stick. Compare unit cost carefully; many bulk packs of glow sticks list the total number of pieces at 300, for example, when there are only 150 sticks in the pack and 150 connector pieces that are counted toward the ‘pieces’ printed on the front of the package. This varies by manufacturer, so read carefully.
- Glow sticks come in a variety of sizes, from the classic 6″ fat stick to the newer 4″, 8″, and 22″ flexible sticks. The 8″ lengths are good for glow stick bracelets, while 22″ lengths are good for glow stick necklaces. I personally love the 8″ sticks. They’re the most versatile for creating endless glowing accoutrement.
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1. Amazon has the best price on glow sticks, just $0.06 each.
Amazon is the best all around place to buy glow sticks. No other retailer competes with Amazon’s cost per stick, especially if you’re buying in bulk. There are hundreds of sellers to choose from. Check it out:
- 100 8″ sticks $10.95 ($0.11 each) (priced between $9.95 – $11.95 over the last year)
- 400 8″ sticks $23.95 ($0.06 each) (priced between $21.95 – $24.95 over the last year)
- 296 variety kit advertised as 605 $21.99 ($0.07 each) (priced between $19.99 – $21.99 over the last year)
2. Walmart glow sticks take second place at $0.10 each.
Walmart carries glow sticks year-round under the brand name Way to Celebrate. Find glow sticks near stationery and party supplies. Walmart also carries seasonal glow sticks around 4th of July and Halloween in the seasonal section.
- 4 6″ fat sticks $0.97 ($0.24 each)
- 8 8″ sticks $0.97 ($0.12 each)
- 4 22″ necklaces $0.97 ($0.24 each)
Bulk Glow Sticks at Walmart
3. Dollar Tree glow sticks are $0.13 each, and you don’t have to buy in bulk.
Dollar Tree glow sticks come in many of the same sizes and quantities as Walmart. I find inventory is consistently available at Dollar Tree, when my local Walmart will often be low on glow sticks. Dollar Tree carries four- and eight-packs of solid colors, and around 4th of July, they carry red, white, and blue packs.
Pricing for glow sticks at Dollar Tree is just three cents more than Walmart.
- 4 6″ fat sticks $1.00 ($0.25 each)
- 8 8″ sticks $1.00 ($0.13 each)
- 4 22″ necklaces ($0.25 each)
4. Target glow stick variety packs also cost $0.13 each, but for smaller sized sticks.
Target also carries Spr!tz brand glow stick variety packs year-round in their party favor aisle. This brand is one of the many that states the total number of pieces (not the total number of glow sticks) on the packaging, so be careful. The pack that says over 220 pieces actually contains only 109 mostly 8″ glow sticks and 92 connector pieces.
- 1 100 piece Spr!tz glow stick variety pack $7.00 ($0.13 each)
- 1 200 piece Spr!tz glow stick variety pack $14.00 ($0.13 each)
5. Party City glow sticks are mostly overpriced, but the glow stick necklaces are a decent deal.
Glow sticks at Party City are also way overpriced, but they’ve got some unique inventory — some of which is actually a good deal. Make sure to join the Party City email list for 15% off your purchase.
6. Oriental Trading Company is the last place you should ever buy glow sticks.
Glow sticks at Oriental Trading are, quite frankly, a giant ripoff. There is nothing, not even a great promo code, that should make you want to buy here. So, I don’t know why this next part matters, but if for some reason, you are buying from Oriental Trading, just use a promo code for free shipping on orders over $49. At the time of this publishing, the promo code is COUPON21.
- 150 (50 of each size) 4″, 8″, 22″ $44.59 ($0.30 each)
Glow stick shopping FAQ:
Are glow sticks toxic?
Glow Sticks are definitely slightly toxic and possibly really toxic. Phenol is the byproduct in the glowing liquid that can irritate skin, burn eyes, or even cause nausea in extreme cases. An ingredient in some glow sticks, dibutyl phthalate, is potentially more dangerous. California put it on a list of suspected teratogens.
How do glow sticks work?
Inside the hard plastic glow stick is a small glass inner-tube that breaks when you bend the stick in half, causing two chemical agents to mix and produce light through a process called chemiluminescence.
How long do glow sticks last?
Glow sticks last up to 24 hours, but begin to dim after the first eight hours.
What’s your favorite store to pick up glow sticks? Let me know in the comments below.