Guide to crochet hook sizes
Not sure which crochet hook to use? Find out everything you need to know in our guide to crochet hook sizes!
Crochet hooks come in all sizes, shapes and materials, and knowing where to start can be a little tricky. All you really need from a crochet hook is that it’s fairly short, thin, smooth and strong enough to enable you to turn yarn into the stitches used to make crocheted fabric. But of course, things aren’t quite that straightforward.
There are many factors that will determine the best crochet hook for a project - the thickness or fibres of the yarn you’ll be working with, if you need to achieve a specific tension, personal preferences, and the fact that no one hook will work for all the projects you’ll want to make - so once you've mastered the basics it’s a good idea to invest in a set of several hooks.
We'll cover some of our favourite hooks for different types of yarn below, but you can jump straight in and check out our pick of the best crochet hooks or our favourite luxury crochet hooks, where you'll find more awesome sets!
Keep reading for our full guide on choosing crochet hook sizes, or use these handy links to jump to a specific part.
- Crochet hook sizes conversion chart
- Adjusting your crochet hook size for tension
- Best type of crochet hook material
- Which crochet hook sizes with which yarn size
Crochet hook sizes for beginners
When you’re first learning to crochet, it’s best to use the crochet hook size recommended on the yarn’s ball band. For example, a DK yarn will usually recommend a 4mm hook, and this is a great combination for beginners to start practising with. Once you get more confident, you can vary the hook size to achieve different effects with the same yarn.
You don’t need to have all the different sizes in your hook stash to start crocheting. You’ll probably find you use 3mm and 4mm hooks most often, so start off with these. You can pick up old crochet hooks for a great price at car boot sales and charity shops – just make sure they’re in good condition and not chipped or bent.
You can also get crochet hooks that are very small, going right down to 0.25mm – these are sometimes referred to as ‘steel’ hook sizes and can be used to crochet lace, jewellery and other tiny items using embroidery thread. We'd generally advise beginners to avoid these at first, as not only does the scale make crocheting very challenging, but you'll also need the eyes of a hawk to see those tiny stitches!
Crochet hook sizes UK vs US
Most hook sizes are measured in millimetres (mm), but you might also see hooks in traditional UK sizes (in numbers from 000 to 14) and traditional US sizes (a combination of letters and numbers, for example G/6 which is a 4mm). If you're ever in doubt you should just look for the size in millimetres. We’ve included a handy conversion table below so you can easily switch between the different sizes.
Crochet hook sizes conversion chart
But what if your hook is a bit old... and those handy measurements have rubbed off and disappeared? Well, that's where you can use a handy thing called a hook gauge - a piece of wood or plastic with drilled holes that you can place your hook through to determine the exact size!
Adjusting your crochet hook size for tension
We're all different, so your personal tension is also important in determining your crochet hook size (you can find out more about crochet tension in our How to perfect your crochet tension guide). Essentially, tension is all about how tightly or loosely you crochet. If you're following a pattern that requires a specific tension, you will be given instructions for making a swatch (a small piece of fabric, usually 10cm x 10cm) to ensure that your finished project is made at the same size as the designer has intended. So for example, if you crochet quite tightly, your swatch may come out smaller than it should - and this is where you need to adjust your hook size - you would try increasing to a bigger hook size which should hopefully help you to achieve the correct tension. Of course the same applies if you crochet loosely, you might need to use a smaller hook to get the correct result. When adjusting your hook size for tension, normally using a hook that is 0.5mm or 1mm smaller or larger will do the trick, however if you find yourself needing to use anything more than 2mm in difference then there may be something wrong (i.e. are you doing the correct stitch or using a yarn that is a different thickness to what is recommended). If you want to use a different yarn than what a pattern requires, then you can find some helpful advice in our guide on how to substitute yarns.
Best type of crochet hook material.
Before we start looking at which crochet hook sizes are best for different yarn weights, it's also worth us quickly mentioning the materials that your hook will be made from. Generally crochet hooks comes in three different types of materials - metal, wood or plastic. There's no simple answer as to which is best, it's down to personal preference - but each does have it's own particular qualities.
- Metal crochet hooks are perfect for ‘stickier’ yarns such as acrylic because they’re smooth and the yarn slides along easily, meaning you can crochet faster. If you have arthritis or similar problems, you might find metal hooks are a bit hard to work with. While metal hooks are generally very strong, very fine metal crochet hooks can bend easily (but so can bigger ones if you stand on them for example), and one they're bent they won't feel right - so take good care of them!
- Wooden crochet hooks are good to use with slippery yarns such as silks and fine wools, because they grip the yarn better than metal hooks do. Many crocheters also find them to be gentler on their hands and more comfortable to work with. They're also a bit more forgiving as they can be quite flexible, however this can go the other way and people who crochet tightly can find they're not quite strong enough and before you know it... snap!
- Plastic crochet hooks are light, strong, and great for getting new or young crafters to learn to crochet. Plastic hooks are an inexpensive way to build up your hook stash, especially since plastic is often used for larger hooks. Acrylic hooks are similar to plastic, but they can be a little heavier. Both are comfortable to use, and plastic hooks can be moulded to ergonomic shapes that will fit perfectly in your hand.
Which crochet hook sizes with which yarn size
It’s important to use the appropriate size of hook for the thickness of the yarn you’re using. For example, when you’re using a chunky yarn, you need to use a thicker hook or you’ll end up with tiny stitches and a stiff, dense fabric. Similarly if you use a big hook for thin yarn, your stitches will be really open and loose. Of course, sometimes you may want to do this intentionally to create a specific effect, but generally specific yarns will require a hook in a specific size range to create the best result (allowing for slight adjustments for tension). If you would like to know more about the different types and weights of yarn, check out our guide to choosing the best yarn for crochet.
Best crochet hook size for lace yarn: 0.75mm - 2mm
When it comes to lace yarns or crochet threads, there can be differences in the thickness of the yarn, so correspondingly they can require a few different hook sizes. However, as a general rule anything below a 2mm crochet hook is going to be best with lace yarns. Because these hooks are so small and thin (and can be quite tricky to keep hold of), we'd recommend one that has a good grip on it, specifically one with a flat grip section will help you achieve even more control. Which is why we'd recommend the Clover soft touch steel crochet hook - it's got a solid strong steel hook, but with a nice balanced flat plastic handle that has an extra rubber part to give you extra grip. Another reason why we think control is so important with these hook is due to the fact that because the hook section is so small, it can also be quite easy to snag on your yarn and can feel quite sharp if you accidentally catch your fingers with it - so a good handle should give you increased manoeuvrability and hopefully keep any incidents to a minimum.
Buy the Clover soft touch steel crochet hook from Amazon
Best crochet hook size for 4ply yarn: 2.5mm - 3.5mm
With 4ply yarns the size of your crochet hook will likely be affected by the type of fabric you are making - if you're making airy lacy fabrics then you'll probably use a smaller hook such as a 2.5mm, whereas if you're making a straight-forward fabric of repeated simple stitches then you're more likely to use a slightly larger hook like a 3.5mm. Whatever sort of project you're making, you still need to have a good level of control as well as being comfortable while you're making lots of small stitches. We'd recommend trying Prym ergonomic crochet hooks, as they've been specifically designed to give you the most comfortable crochet experience and feel super-comfortable in your hand. Made from high quality plastics, they feature a smooth polished shaft and slip resistant handle, but are also incredibly lightweight which will really help when working with finer yarns.
Buy the Prym Ergonomic crochet hook from Amazon
Best crochet hook size for Dk yarn: 3.5mm - 4.5mm
Dk yarns are probably one of the most common yarns used in crochet, so it's important you have a good comfortable hook to use with them. a 4mm crochet hook is almost universally the standard size to use with Dk yarns, normally with 0.5mm allowance either way - and after you've been crocheting for a while you'll start to find your own preference of hook size, for example we almost always prefer to use a 3.5mm hook with dk yarns. Now you might be surprised to hear that we'd recommend keeping it simple with your hooks for dk yarns, in fact we'd recommend the Pony Aluminium crochet hooks that were the very first hooks we ever tried! The reason for this is that Dk yarns give you nice average sizes stitches, that aren't too fiddly and don't require too much effort, and once you get going you'll want to fly through rows of stitches. So you need a simple yet sturdy hook that allows you to crochet as fast as you want, that isn't too small or too bulky in your hand. We find the Pony aluminium hooks are perfect for this, they have a flattened thumb rest which is subtle but gives you that extra level of grip, and the smooth aluminium means you'll glide through your stitches as well as providing the perfect balance of strength and flexibitlity.
Buy the Pony Aluminium crochet hook from Amazon
Best crochet hook size for Aran/Worsted yarn: 5mm - 6mm
You can think of Aran or Worsted yarns as essentially one step up from Dk yarns - slightly bigger, slightly thicker. So similarly your crochet hook size needs to step up too! You still want a smooth and sturdy hook that allows you to quickly glide through stitches, but you're not quite into the realm of chunky yarns which sometimes need a bit more extra grip to work the yarn. With this in mind, we think the KnitPro Waves hooks are the perfect choice - they still have that smooth and sturdy aluminium hook, but with a rounded soft grip handle (the handle does looks like it's completely spherical on the larger sizes at first, but does actually have a slightly flattened area to provide you with grip).
Buy the KnitPro Waves Aluminium crochet hook from Lovecrafts
Best crochet hook size for Chunky/bulky yarn: 7mm and bigger
While many of the aluminium crochet hooks we've looked at so far are perfectly fine for using with most chunky yarns, once you start getting into the realm of jumbo yarns or chunky yarns of a different style (such as tape yarns) then it's worth considering switching to a wooden hook instead. The main reason for this is simple - weight! Once you start getting into larger crochet hook sizes many of the aluminium crochet hooks we love change to being constructed of plastic instead (a solid 10mm aluminium hook would be pretty weighty). While this provides a lightweight hook, sometimes it's a little... too light. This is where we find wooden hooks work best, as they give you a natural feeling weight, are thick and solid enough that they give you plenty of strength (some people find it easy to break smaller wooden hooks), as well as still being smooth enough to crochet your stitches with ease. These KnitPro wooden hooks are a great choice, and have some handy grooves to give you a good grip, plus being made made from laminated Birch wood they not only look pretty but also give you an extra level of strength.
Buy the KnitPro Wooden crochet hook from Lovecrafts
Now that you know all about crochet hook sizes, why not learn about choosing the best yarn for crochet or check out our crochet kits for beginners guide. Or take your crochet to the next level by learning how to read crochet charts and how to read a crochet pattern. Don’t forget, if you need any help with your crochet stitches you can always check out our crochet for beginners guide.
Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.