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A Guide to the Different Types of Vapes

December 20, 2023

Given how popular vapes have become, it's difficult to believe that at the start of the century, they were barely heard of. These days, vapes are both ubiquitous and varied - and all that choice can be overwhelming. 

To help with that, we're here to walk you through the five key types of vape that currently dominate the market. By the end, you'll be an expert with more than enough knowledge to support your next purchase. 

What Are the 5 Different Types of Vapes?

Given the sheer variety of vapes on the market, it might be surprising to hear that they can be condensed into five distinct categories. Understanding the differences between these five types will help you make an informed purchase when the time comes. To help with that, we've created detailed descriptions for you to review. 

Cigalike E-Cigarettes

As one of the first vape types to hit the market, the cigalike e-cigarettes hold an iconic place in the hearts of many vapers. Although the history of vaping is extensive, it wasn't until the introduction of the handy cigalike that their popularity really took off. They bear a striking resemblance to the traditional cigarettes they're meant to emulate, only without the harmful chemicals associated with tobacco. They were also considered quite stylish and modern at the time of their release. 

Although vape technology has come a long way since the introduction of the cigalike, it remains a highly popular option for many seasoned vapers. 

Cigalike E-Cigarette Pros

  • Highly affordable – Cigalike vapes remain one of the cheapest varieties of vapes available and are easy to use, making them perfect for beginners and seasoned vapers alike.
  • More subtle than other varieties – Cigalike vapes don't produce the enormous clouds that different vape styles might, so they're perfect if you're trying to be more discrete.

Pod Kits

In all likelihood, pod kits may be the kind of vape you're most familiar with. They're primarily considered the next stage in the evolution from the original cigalike. They do away with the traditional cigarette design and instead resemble something far more modern. They're streamlined and chic and, in many ways, appear more like a USB drive than anything you'd take a hit from. 

The name ‘pod kit’ comes from the removable pods that you can swap out from the end of the mouthpiece. These pods allow you to have full control over your vaping experience, giving you the ability to change flavour and potency whenever you wish. This versatility is part of the reason they remain so popular among vapers. 

Another attractive quality of pod kits is how easy they are to use. There's usually no button system or anything complicated to get your head around. You only need to inhale at the mouthpiece to receive a hit. It couldn't be easier. 

Pod Kit Pros

  • Perfect for beginners – Pod kids are simple to use and highly affordable. If you're new to vaping or simply curious, these are a great first step.
  • Wide flavour selection – The removable pods provide you with numerous flavours to choose from whenever you feel like mixing things up.

Vape Pens

There's a lot of diversity when it comes to vape pens, but one thing that unifies them all is their thin, cylindrical shape. These devices were the first in the vaping range that really leaned into user customisation. Almost all of the individual parts can be altered and changed to the user's liking, which opens up a world of vaping possibilities.

They're highly versatile and allow you to make changes - not just the flavour of your vape but the nicotine strength, the tank capacity, and the heated coil. The coil is an integral component of all vape pens. It's what provides the heat that evaporates the e-liquid, providing you with that delicious flavour. 

Although this heightened customisation is a blessing and appealing factor in many ways, it does bring with it a heavy emphasis on maintenance. You need to stay on top of the condition of your vape - otherwise, you'll experience a significant drop in quality. If you're prepared for this, a vape pen could be the perfect choice for you. 

Vape Pen Pros

  • Significant customisation options – The world's your oyster with this kind of vape customisation.
  • Longer battery life – If you want your vape to go the distance, this is the one for you. They're also rechargeable, so the fun never ends.

Disposable Vape Pens

One of the most popular and commonly referred to of all vape varieties, disposable vape pens are likely what you first think of when you think about vapes. They currently dominate the market - and with good reason. They're easy to use, highly affordable, and require no maintenance whatsoever.

Disposable vape pens also arrive in a wide variety of flavours, and although you can't customise these devices in the same way you can others, that actually adds to their appeal. Once you're finished with your vape, all you need to do is dispose of it properly and purchase a replacement. Easy!

These devices are the perfect choice for anyone new to vaping. If you're curious about vaping but don't know if it's a habit you want to commit to, disposable vape pens are the ideal way to find out.

Disposable Vape Pen Pros

  • Highly affordable – Due to their disposable nature, these vape pens never come with a high price tag.
  • No maintenance – Once you're done, you just need to dispose of disposable vapes. 

Box Mods

Lastly, but by no means least, we have the iconic box mods. These vapes get their name from the box ‘modification’ added to the vape. They often look like a regular vape with an additional block on the side. As their size and stature indicate, they often produce the biggest clouds and are capable of storing significantly more juice than your average vape. 

They also generally have a much stronger battery life than comparative vapes. Box mods are often the choice for vapers who are committed to the lifestyle and want a device that can keep up. They're rarely used by absolute beginners, largely because they can seem a little daunting to the uninitiated. To the experienced, however, they may seem exciting. 

Similar to vape pens, box mod vapes do require some maintenance. This shouldn't be a problem, and the maintenance required isn't anything too daunting, but it's definitely something to bear in mind before moving forward with your purchase. 

Box Mod Pros

  • Highly customisable – Almost all box mod features can be changed out to match your personal preferences.
  • Longer-lasting – We aren't just referring to extended battery life here, either. They're also much more durable than other vapes.

Considerations Before Choosing Which Type of Vape To Buy

Besides personal preference, the best e-cigarette will depend on several factors related to your vaping style, budget, maintenance, and battery life.

Vaping Styles

When exploring the features and functions of a vaping device, you may run into many new terms and abbreviations. Some of these pertain to the style of vaping your product is suited to and how you prefer the vapour delivery. 

Here are some usage terms that are important to know:

  • MTL (Mouth to Lung) — This style of vape works by allowing the vapour into your mouth that you can then inhale. In this respect, this style could be considered similar to cigarette smoke but without most of the chemicals associated with it.
  • DTL (Direct to Lung) — These products allow users to inhale the vapour directly into the lungs without first holding it in the mouth. More experienced users often seek this type, as the feeling can be strange to beginners.
  • RDTL (Restricted Direct to Lung) — This style is similar to DTL but is a smoother and more restricted experience for those bridging the gap from MTL to DTL. Some box mods might even contain the option for switching from DTL to RDTL at will.

Disposable or Refillable

Some devices are disposable, meaning that you can purchase the product, use it, and toss it in the bin when the cartridge runs dry.

Refillable options may allow you to refill the tank yourself or purchase replaceable pods. 

The difference between these affects not only the use but the costs. Disposable devices are on the lower end of the price range, while refillable ones are on the higher end. 

However, depending on your usage levels, refillable ones may be more affordable in the long run, especially if you have to replace your pods frequently. 

Price Point

Depending on what E-cigarette type you choose, you could be spending anything from £5 to £2,000. The cost depends on what kind of experience you are after and how long you plan to use the product.

Generally speaking, for short-term use, e-cigarettes are on the cheapest end of the spectrum, but the prices can stack up for long-term use. With most e-cigarette users in the U.K preferring to use these products long term, this might not be the best bet.

Pod vapes are the best solution for a moderate, consistent user on a budget. They require little to no fuss, and the device is usually relatively affordable. 

On the most expensive end are pen vapes and box mods, which offer a wide variety but customisation options that can get extremely expensive for users with specific preferences.

Level of Maintenance

Another consideration to determine what vape is best for you is maintenance. Depending on the device, you may have to expend some effort to keep your vape in good working order. 

Some users like to have customisation and will happily perform routine maintenance to achieve this. Others prefer to pick up their vape and be ready to use it straight away. It's all about preference.

A vape pen or box mod will require more maintenance, including changing out coils, cleaning, and swapping out parts. It’s best to perform this routine maintenance every two weeks. But the payoff is that you can expect more options when it comes to your product.

On the other hand, for those who want to have a product always ready to use, consider pod vapes or traditional cigalike e-cigarettes. These devices work as soon as you pick them up. The battery is always ready to start heating your liquid, and the only thing you might have to replace is the pod or cartridge.

Battery Life & Charging

There's nothing worse than being on the go and having a product not work when you need it. It's true of mobile phones and wireless headphones, and the same is true for your e-cigarette too!

The more battery life, the more expensive the products become with vapes. It is worth considering what battery you need by figuring out how often and where you would likely use it. 

For example, if you plan to use your product at home mostly, you will not need to prioritise battery, and there are even desktop models for this purpose. E-cigarette products with low battery life are usually cigalikes and some vape pens.

Consider a pod vape for those interested in having their vape last the day. The most extended battery life is box mods, but they can be at a significantly higher price point.  


Final Thoughts

So, there you have it! Now you're an expert (or close enough!) on the five key categories that most vapes fall into. Every vaper has their own personal preference for which they'll use most often. The only way to truly find your favourite is by trying different kinds and comparing your experience.

If you're looking for some inspiration, shop our full collection today. We're certain you'll find something to love in our wide range, as we provide multiple kinds of vapes and flavours. All you need to do is make your first purchase.

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