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What are the Different Types of Vapes? (In-Depth Guide)

Vaping can be a fun way to relax or get a quick boost, but it can also seem incredibly complicated initially. Do you understand the difference between vape pens and vape kits? Do you need to buy vape juice or a pod vape system? We’re going to cut through the clouds and help you understand the many types of vapes and prices on offer.

First, we’ll review the most common vape devices, from the most straightforward and convenient to the most elaborate.

We’ll also spotlight some of the best options in each category and discuss the different substances they can include, from traditional e-cigarette constituents to melatonin, CBD, and other nicotine-free vape ingredients.

What if you’re just looking for a simple, low-risk way to start your vaping journey? In that case, you might want to start with our line of plant-based melatonin vape pens. With only three gentle ingredients, zero nicotine, and a vast rainbow of natural flavors, MELO Air diffusers offer a chill and pleasant vaping experience while helping you get better rest.

Keep reading to learn about all the types of vapes you can choose from and what users like about each one.

Types of Vapes: Devices and Mods

When you’re new to vaping, the most confusing aspect may be the sheer variety of vaping devices available. Here, we explain the key categories, from the simplest to the most elaborate.

Disposable Vapes

Pink disposable HELO vape next to colorful box

A disposable vape is a single-use device that doesn’t use refillable tanks or accept new pods. These can come in many shapes and sizes, from boxy “bars” to “cig-a-likes” that mimic the look and feel of cigarettes as closely as possible.

Most people getting into vaping for the first time begin with disposable devices. The up-front cost is usually lower compared to other types of vapes, and they’re easy to use — all you need to do is put the vape up to your mouth and inhale.

There are also no removable parts to worry about. Every component of a disposable vape, including the atomizer heating coil, power supply, and vape juice reservoir, is contained inside a single plastic shell. These vapes also have a reputation for sweeter, more concentrated flavors.

Disposable vapes support a “mouth-to-lung” (MTL) vaping style in which you draw a puff of vapor into your mouth before inhaling. This setup may be easier on your lungs than “direct-to-lung” or (DTL) vapes. Hitting an MTL vape will also feel more familiar if you’re used to cigarettes.

The best disposable vapes include:

HELO Plus Caffeine Vape

A quick puff on a HELO Plus vape gives you a burst of non-jittery energy that kicks in faster than coffee. Our diffusers contain just a handful of simple, plant-based ingredients, giving you the fun of vaping without harsh chemicals or an expensive nicotine habit.

The Plus model is also cost-effective, delivering twice as many puffs as many similarly-priced disposables.

Shop HELO vapes

Geek Bar Pulse 15000

The Geek Bar Pulse is a traditional-style nicotine vape sporting a fun, slightly retro sci-fi design. It’s gained a reputation for robust and tasty flavor and features an adjustable airflow with a “pulse mode” that allows a more potent hit.

Shop Geek Bar vapes

OXBAR Magic Maze Pro

OXBAR claims this 18 mL vape will give you an impressive 10,000 puffs before running dry, and there’s a highly visible readout to tell you how much e-juice is left. However, the nicotine level is higher than some users may prefer.

Shop Magic Maze vapes

Vape Pens

pencil and pencil on container

A vape pen is almost as simple to use as a disposable vape, but its refillable tank allows it to be reused repeatedly.

You can vape different kinds of e-juice with the same pen, trying different flavors and concentrations to find the ones you like best. There are even flavor-only liquids you can use to experience the benefits of vaping without nicotine.

Vape pens last longer than disposable vapes. However, they’re more expensive initially and often require more maintenance. You’ll need to periodically change out the coil, recharge the battery, and clean the tank to keep one functional.

These pens usually provide MTL hits similar to those of disposable vapes, but some have adjustable power and airflow settings that allow users to create more giant puffs.

The best vape pens include:

Innokin Endura T18 II

The second version of Innokin’s T18 series has gained a strong reputation as a great “starter kit” for those needing a disposable vape. It combines strong battery life with adjustable wattage and airflow. This vape has a handy magnetic cover to keep dust and debris off its mouthpiece.

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Vaporesso Orca Solo Plus

This lightweight vape pen features a mesh coil for richer flavor, several power modes, and a robust battery life. The Orca Solo is an excellent option for MTL vapers who don’t need gigantic clouds with thick billows.

Shop Vaporesso vapes

Aspire PockeX

A classic starter vape device, the PockeX provides enough power for a smooth DTL hit with a streamlined, tightly sealed build. The only drawback is that the glass can easily crack if dropped, so you may want to invest in a protective band.

Shop Aspire vapes

Pod Systems

Closeup of person holding yellow vape

Many types of vapes and flavors today are variations on the basic pod vape design. (The infamous Juul, for example, is a pod vape system.) This style combines some of the convenience of disposable vapes with some of the power and customizability of more complex devices.

In pod vapes, the heating coil and the e-liquid reservoir are combined into a small plastic cartridge that can be quickly swapped out when depleted.

Some vape pods are prefilled and disposable, which is more straightforward and removes the potential for messy spills while refilling (but is now illegal in the US for most flavors). Others are refillable, which is less wasteful and allows you to use a broader range of e-juice options.

The downside of a pod system is that you can only use vape pods that are compatible with your device — generally, this means those from the same manufacturer. Many pod kits also have relatively limited battery life compared to more advanced vaping devices.

The best pod vapes include:

Vaporesso XROS 3

Reviewers praise this refillable pod system for its solid but lightweight construction and consistent performance. It charges quickly and offers good battery life for its size.

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SMOK Nord 2

One of SMOK's more reliable models, this device offers several different replaceable heating coil options, spanning the range from MTL to DTL puffs. It’s got a hefty feel, and it’s easy to refill.

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Uwell Caliburn G3

Users report that the G3 does an excellent job minimizing leaks, and its coils are built to last (though they’re disposable rather than reusable, which is a bit wasteful). The wattage is adjustable so that you can fine-tune your hit.

Shop Uwell vapes

Vape Mods

color red vape device

Also known as “box mods” due to their more square and beefy profile, vape mods are the go-to choice for users who want to customize their vaping experience as much as possible. This kind of vape kit offers a broader range of settings, including fine-tuned control of wattage and sometimes temperature — which allows you to change the vapor's volume, taste, and feel.

Every piece of a vape mod, including the battery, the tank, and the atomizer coil, can be swapped out, letting you adjust the configuration as much as you like. That includes using low-resistance “sub-ohm” coils that provide thicker, smoother clouds.

Since various parts can be replaced if they fail, a mod may last longer than the other vape devices we’ve examined.

Vape mods are better suited to experienced vapers than beginners. Taking advantage of all their settings may require a fair amount of knowledge, and the starting price is generally higher than other types of vape kits.

The best vape mods include:

Innokin Gozee

This relatively simple and lightweight vape kit is notable for its long battery life and impressive power. While it’s not as customizable as some models, its wattage is easy to adjust, and the device is powerful for its size.

Shop Innokin vapes

Geekvape L200 Classic

Its rugged, rubberized design makes this an excellent mod for those who value durability. It holds dual 21700 lithium batteries for long-lasting performance and offers power and temperature control.

Shop Geekvape vapes

SMOK Morph 3

This box mod, which can produce up to 230 W of power, could be a good pick for vapers who want the chunkiest clouds possible. The Morph 3 includes a wide range of settings to tweak your vaping experience, though it might feel a bit bulky for some.

Shop SMOK vapes

Non-Nicotine Vape Options

group of people sitting on boat dock

Vape devices tend to be designed with nicotine users in mind. However, there are lots of other options for those who enjoy the experience of vaping and don’t want to get caught up in an addictive habit.

Melatonin Vapes

Melatonin is a hormone your body produces to signal that it’s time to rest — but its production can get thrown off if your sleep cycle is disrupted. Many healthy vape brands offer melatonin vapes that can help you get more shuteye when you’re stressed or tired. Simply taking a few hits from one of our best-selling melatonin vapes can give you a feeling of calm drowsiness that will help you rest.

Caffeine Vapes

If you aim to stay awake rather than rest, you can also vaporize a small amount of caffeine-enriched vape juice. Since this method bypasses your digestive system and hits your bloodstream directly, you’ll feel alert and focused even with a relatively small dose. A caffeine vape also kicks in much faster than coffee, tea, or energy drinks.

Cannabis and CBD Vapes

Many vape devices can be adapted to use e-liquid containing cannabis compounds. In some places, this is restricted to non-intoxicating ingredients like CBD for relaxation and pain relief.

People in states where recreational cannabis is legal may be able to get high-THC juice for their vape pens or mods. Some sellers offer disposable CBD vapes for those who appreciate the convenience of impermanence.

Flavored Vapor

Sometimes, you may want the feeling of drawing in and releasing a big cloud of smoke. Many of the best nicotine-free vapes don’t contain any ingredients that will alter your mood, thinking, or energy level. They simply provide a satisfying, flavorful vapor hit for you to enjoy with a clear head.

What to Consider When Choosing Your Vape

vape heating coil and wick with dropper of liduid

Hopefully, you now know what type of vape will be best for you. But to make the decision a little easier, we’ll review the main factors to consider before buying:

  • Ease of use. If you’ve never used a vape before, you may want to go with something intuitive like a pod system or a disposable vape.
  • Portability. Are you using your vape on the go? If so, you should focus on slim, pocket-sized devices.
  • Durability/longevity. Larger vapes tend to have better battery life and hold more fluid, and they’ll often have a longer working life.
  • Power. Those eager to blow out giant clouds may need a vape with a stronger coil, such as a box mod or a higher-end pod kit.
  • Price. Disposable or pod vapes are often easier to fit into your budget, though hardcore vapers can save money in the long run with a refillable option.
  • Discretion. Larger and more complex vapes are more challenging to use without others noticing, especially if they produce thick vapor.
  • Health concerns. While vaping is likely healthier than smoking cigarettes, it can still come with health and addiction risks. And even if you opt for a nicotine-free vape, you should still pay attention to what’s in the e-liquid.

Frequently Asked Questions

man wearing black cap with eyes closed under cloudy sky

Are certain types of vapes safer than others?

Some vapes may be safer than others, though this may depend in large part on how you use them. For instance, vapes with low-resistance coils may make inhaling more vapor directly into your lungs easier, potentially causing more irritation.

Complicated vape mods could be more dangerous for inexperienced users, especially if they don’t contain regulator chips to protect against overheating or short circuits. Unregulated vape mods can sometimes explode if misused.

On the other hand, a disposable vape from a shady company may be more likely to burn, leak, or spatter than a high-end box mod from a reputable manufacturer.

You also need to consider what’s in the juice you’re using. E-liquids containing ingredients like diacetyl, Vitamin E, or acetyl propionyl can be toxic. Many people consider refillable vapes or pods safer because they allow you more control over what you’re vaping.

However, prefilled vapes from trustworthy manufacturers are also likely safe. Avoid any manufacturer that doesn’t share what’s in its vape liquid.

What are the potential side effects of vapes?

While vapes are more gentle than cigarettes, inhaling any kind of atomized material can irritate or dehydrate your mouth, throat, and lungs. This irritation can lead to side effects like coughing, dry mouth, or a burning or itching sensation, especially with chronic overuse.

There might also be longer-term health effects that aren’t yet fully understood, such as effects on blood pressure or lung function.

Other side effects may depend on the specific ingredients you’re vaping. For instance, nicotine vapes can lead to things like:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Disruptions to sleep
  • Changes in blood pressure and clotting
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion

Even with zero-nicotine vapes, you should check the ingredients carefully to ensure they don’t contain anything you’re allergic to.

Final Thoughts

single box of MELO Plus Melatonin Vape in Blue Cloud flavor

Vapes come in an incredible range of sizes, styles, and configurations, but deciding which is best for you can be much easier once you learn the basics. You may be better off starting with a relatively simple model while you get accustomed to vaping and learn more about your preferences.

Are you looking for a straightforward, low-risk option for beginners? MELO’s plant-based melatonin vapes provide a clean, additive-free vaping experience that will help you let go of stress and drift off into natural slumber. Check out our product page to learn more!

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