How to Make Yarn Pom Poms and Pick the Right Size Yarn

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Ever wondered how to make yarn pom poms for your craft projects?  I got you covered, including a full sizing comparison with pom pom makers and different-sized yarns.  You can see exactly what your pom pom will look like before you even start. 

I created this post because I planned on making a few fairly large projects with pom poms and I wanted to make sure I purchased the right size yarn for my crafting.  I figured it was good information and did up this post to share with you guys. 

If you’re curious about what the project was, I made an adorable daisy pom pom rug.  I am so glad I took the time to do this post because I picked the right yarn in the end for my rug! 

Brightly colored, different sized pom poms on a white background

5 different size yarns – 20 different pom pom results!

Oh so pretty. 

Something about piles of coloured yarn just gets me. 

I ordered five different bright colours ranging from super fine to super bulky and tested 100% wool, 100% cotton, Acrylic blends, and 100% acrylic.  

By no means is this an exhaustive test.   Even the yarn sizes I picked are not entirely representative of what those sizes are across all brands.  The different yarn brands all seem to think a size 2 yarn means something different.

But it’s a decent little cross-reference that helped me make decisions on what size and type of yarn to order for an upcoming project. 

I hope the information might help you too. 

Materials & Tools 

~This post may contain affiliate links.  If you click one and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no additional cost to you. 

I only ever recommend what tools or materials I use for my projects.  I also test all my projects before publishing and if something doesn’t work, I don’t share it!  ~

Brightly rainbow colored pom poms with four sizes of pom pom maker spread out on a white background

Size 2 (extra fine) yarn pom poms

4 sizes of red yarn pom poms lined up on a white back ground smallest to largest

So the first yarn I tested was size 2. 

It was also the yarn that was 100% wool.

This wool is very stiff and very thin.  The wool pom poms have no real give or bounce to them, primarily because of the stiffness of the wool.  But, they do have a very interesting look.  I find these 100% wool pom poms, regardless of how much I trimmed them, looked raggy.  I kinda liked it. 

A similar size yarn in acyclic would make much softer pom poms. 

It did take a long time to wind the yarn around the largest pom pom maker and admittedly I found the process very tedious at that size, but it did make for a very unique kind of pom pom.  

From the smallest size pom pom maker to the largest the yarn struggled to fill the pom pom maker.  Even when I felt the pom pom maker was overstuffed, these yarn poms poms still never looked perfectly full. 


Summary Size 2 yarn pom poms

Pom pom maker size 1 3/8 – Yes, but the pom poms will not be entirely full

Pom pom maker size 1 5/8 – Yes, but the pom poms will not be entirely full

Pom pom maker size 2 1/2 -Yes, but the pom poms will not be entirely full

Pom pom maker size 3 3/8- Yes, but the pom poms will not be entirely full

Size 3 (fine) yarn pom poms

4 sizes of orange yarn pom poms lined up on a white back ground smallest to largest

Hands down the best-looking pom poms of the lot.  This was the yarn I would use if I wanted really round bouncy and full-looking pom poms for a project. 

The yarn took a while to wrap around the largest pom pom maker, and that was the only thing that was negative with this size yarn. 

TIP:  If you have a lot of pom poms to make and you are using more than one skein of yarn my advice is to use 2 -3 skeins at once and wrap the strands around the pom pom maker at the same time. 

I loved the feel of these pom poms as well, they were quite soft and fluffy.  This yarn was perfect for this project and I plan on purchasing it again.  It is 100% acrylic, and very inexpensive and washable, so not a bad yarn for craft projects. 

This is the yarn I would use to make garlands, rugs, flowers, or even something as small as a topper for a pen.  You really can’t go wrong with this size yarn in any of the pom pom makers. 

Summary Size 3 yarn pom pom

Pom pom maker size 1 3/8 – Yes 

Pom pom maker size 1 5/8 – Yes 

Pom pom maker size 2 1/2 -Yes 

Pom pom maker size 3 3/8- Yes

Size 4 (medium) yarn pom poms

4 sizes of yellow yarn pom poms lined up on a white back ground smallest to largest

Cotton does not make for great-looking pom poms. 

The 100% cotton pom poms don’t quite fill up and that’s probably because they lack the fuzzy texture of wool or acrylic.  

Pom poms are generally self-healing, these were not. 

What?  What does that mean?!  I mean if you poke a finger into one, and pull it out the pom pom usually (if it is super fluffy!) bounces back and the fingerprint will vanish. 

With the cotton yarn, any poking or moving of the yarn results in a permanent gap or hole. 

I didn’t mind this yarn spooled on the two mid-size makers.   The largest one never could get enough yarn on spooled to make the pom pom full, and the smallest one just looked like a weird yellow spider.

This is, however, the perfect yarn if you want to make flower centers because that’s what they resembled.  They also looked very much like dandelions.  

but what about the size of the yarn?

So I remade ALL the pom poms with a size 4 acrylic blend to see how it behaved to get a better comparison for the size.   Across the board, the size 4 yarn worked equally well, created nice fluffy full pom poms and all looked very similar to the size 3 yarn. 

Summary size 4 yarn 

Pom pom maker size 1 3/8 – Yes 

Pom pom maker size 1 5/8 – Yes 

Pom pom maker size 2 1/2 -Yes 

Pom pom maker size 3 3/8- Yes

Size 5 (bulky) yarn pom poms

4 sizes of green yarn pom poms lined up on a white back ground smallest to largest

As the yarn size gets thicker the pom poms start to bulk up.   With the size 5 yarn, the pom poms look very full and lush, especially with the two largest size pom pom makers. 

And although the photography doesn’t really show it, the two smallest pom poms are very odd looking.  They need a lot of trimming at that size to look normal, and even then the thickness of the yarn doesn’t quite look right on the smaller pom poms.

But on the positive side, the bulk of this yarn makes pom pom making quick work.   You can wrap a large pom pom very quickly and get a great-looking full, bouncy, lush-looking ball. 

With this size 5 yarn –  Smaller sizes are meh – I wouldn’t use this size yarn for your smallest projects for sure, but for anything larger, this size yarn works very very well. 

This yarn was also the acrylic wool blend (25% wool, 75% acrylic), and I found it had a really nice sheen and fuzziness.  I cannot say for sure it was the extra wool content but this yarn did make for nice looking pom poms. 

This heart-shaped pom pom wreath will give you a good visual to see how a project made with this size yarn works out.  I used the 2 1/2 inch pom pom maker for the wreath. 

Summary size 5 yarn 

Pom pom maker size 1 3/8 – Yes, but not ideal, requires lots of trimming. 

Pom pom maker size 1 5/8 – Yes, but not ideal, requires lots of trimming, but better than 1 3/8 size. 

Pom pom maker size 2 1/2 -Yes 

Pom pom maker size 3 3/8- Yes

Size (super bulky) 6 yarn pom poms

4 sizes of royal blue yarn pom poms lined up on a white back ground smallest to largest

You can see in the photo above the super bulky size 6 yarn is just not working for those smaller pom pom sizes, even the large ones the yarn fibers look very exaggerated.

The size 6 yarn would barely wrap around the small pom pom maker (no shock there, the maker is tiny and the yarn is huge! So yeah, of course) but it is interesting to see what kind of texture or design comes out of testing.  

I like this size yarn for exaggerated pom poms, like in a wreath, or using the larger size pom pom makers to make a pillow or even a pom pom rug.  It just depends on the look you’re going for. 

Summary size 6 yarn 

Pom pom maker size 1 3/8 – Not ideal 

Pom pom maker size 1 5/8 – Not ideal 

Pom pom maker size 2 1/2 -Yes 

Pom pom maker size 3 3/8- Yes

Side-by-side comparisons of size and yarn types

a table of brightly colored pom poms organized vertically by color and horizontally by size.

From left to right:

When you’re making a pom-pom for the top of a hat, you usually just make your pom pom from the yarn that you’ve used to make the hat.   

But when you’re making a larger project it’s nice to have a visual comparison before you decide on what yarn to use.   I’ve been burned on projects in the past, especially with yarn, so now I test before I move forward with BIG projects so I don’t put in all that time and effort only to be disappointed. 

No more of that for me! 

Plus, it was super fun making all these pom-poms for this post.

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  1. I am making a snowman x large pompom rug..3feet by 24inch my own pattern…
    What size pompom. And which yarn would be best??

    1. Hi Teresa, it all depends on what kind of look you want to go for, and how much time you want to spend on the rug. If you used a chunky yarn, like a 5-6, you will get a very defined pom and that is what I would use if I was making a snowman rug. I’d use a much finer yarn ( size 2-3) for the buttons, hat, eyes (etc) to give those areas a different definition, or you could reverse all that and use the finer yarn for your white snow pom-poms and chunky yarns for the details. It will take much longer to make the fine yarn pom-poms so I would save those for the details. I wouldn’t use any kind of wool on a rug like this because it will not wash well, so stick to acrylic yarns or blends. I would LOVE to see your rug when you are done with it, it sounds like it’s going to be a great project!

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