TLDR: With the negative talk about disposable vapes in the UK, it looks like it’s only a matter of time before these could be banned. So what do you vape then? In this guide we going to give you six solid recommendations for what to try instead. This is our guide to the best alternatives to disposable vapes.
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Intro to the disposable vape saga
Disposable vapes don’t need much introduction, you wouldn’t be on here if you didn’t know what they were. For those who randomly stumbled upon this alternatives to disposables guide by a freak act – they are the plastic gadgets you see littered along the pavement on a walk back from the shops.
Yes, unless you lived under a rock they have flooded the market and sadly our hedgerows in recent years. The origins of all this is probably partly down to the stupid 2ml tank rule we still have in the UK, and equal part to do with the lack of professional responsibility by chains of local retailers and the pocket money pricing an Elf Bar sets you back.
All of this means, if you’re under 18 it’s quite easy to get your hands on a disposable AND afford them too. And with the nicotine levels being a lot higher than traditional vapes ever were, it’s pretty easy to get hooked.
Add to this, the one time use coils that create the cloud, mean the manufacturers can afford to make these vapes more sweetened than usual, without angry customers complaining their coils have burned out.
Result: Cheap to buy, strong nicotine, very sweet in taste.
Those little lambs had no chance – so will they get banned?
Will disposable vapes get banned?
Whatever the truth, it’s clear we have Governments who are more interventionist in social affairs than ever before, and the new Government is unlikely to be less so. Companies have to have an ESG policy – which means producing fancy company memos patting yourself on the back as a faceless corporation that did some good one thurs morning, while stamping on the ordinary person for the rest of the week.
We are already seeing supermarkets pull disposable vapes out of their retail concessions, while continuing to sell coffin nails and perpetuating cancer.
So, expect to see controls on disposable vapes in a town near you and so with that, it’s probably time to think about the qestison – what next?
Is there anything better than an Elux Banana Ice – possibly not for flavour, but when it comes to battery life, cost to your pocket, range of choice – there is a ton of better options than disposable vapes, and in this guide, we are going to show you 6 of them.
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Why trust our recommendations?
We’ve been working in the vape industry for 10 years. I think as I write this, it’s 10 years and 1 month. That blows my mind. But in this time, we have gone to war with Blu, Juul and a host of other major brands who we think have offered poor choices for consumers. We are utterly independent, we have no special relationships with big brands, which could cause us to make biased selections.
Everything we recommend we do it free of pressure and are things we would use ourselves.
I’ve been vocal about disposables for a while, we were the first UK retailer who offered a plastics return scheme that incentivised customers to do the right thing when buying e-liquid. So it gives me huge pleasure to put this guide together.
In short, we’re legit.
How we pick the best alternatives to disposable vapes?
The easiest switch is a natural change – which means, we have found a bunch of great alternatives to disposable vapes that most closely match the experience you’ve already been used to. Except for one thing – well, maybe two.
- They will work out so much cheaper for you
- You can recharge it – imagine that eh?
But seriously, we tried to focus our picks on products that are:
- Good price point
- Easy to set up
- Able to work with nicotine salts – the liquid type in disposables
- Reliable vape brands for durable products
And that’s it – so let’s get to the winning alternatives to disposables.
Our Picks – Top Alternatives To Disposable Vapes
There are lots of brands vying for the title of best disposable vapes, but which is best? Here are a few things we think makes a good disposable vape kit:
1: Best Alternative To Disposable Vapes For Flavour
Probably the biggest request we get is – what’s the best for flavour. With rechargeable vapes, you have a huge choice, because you aren’t limited to the brand that makes the gadget. So what we are looking at here, is our favourite entry level vape that gives great bang for buck in flavour creation but without so many features you can’t even turn it on.
The XROS 3 Mini
The Xros 3 Mini is a pod device by Vaporesso. It is a smaller and more compact version of the Xros 3, designed for straightforward operation without adjustable airflow.
Who’d Like This?
This device is ideal for vapers who prefer a loose MTL (Mouth-to-Lung) vaping experience right out of the box. It’s also great for those who value portability and simplicity.
- 1000mAh battery with Type-C charging
- Compatible with all Xros series pods
- Draw-activated mechanism
- LED battery life indicator
- Excellent build quality and premium look
- Good battery life
- Wide range of compatible pods
- No adjustable airflow
- Comes with only one pod in the box
Price Range: Expect to spend £10-£15 a month for liquids for a medium to heavy user. Kit pricing around £15-25 depending if it comes with coils and liquids.
2: Closest Match Alternative To Disposable Vapes – Winner
So you’re trying to quit disposables, you’re likely going to do well in this endeavour if you match the experience as best you can. With the Oxva Xlim, you can do just that. Tighter draw, auto inhale and the only downside is working out how to say its name.
The OXVA Xlim
The Oxva Xlim is a pod vape device by OXVA. It’s designed as a slim, pocket-friendly device that offers both auto-draw and button fire mechanisms.
Who’d Like This?
This device is perfect for vapers who prioritize battery life and want a device that offers adjustable wattage and airflow. It’s also suitable for those who prefer a Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vaping experience.
- Built-in 900mAh battery
- Power range of 5W-25W
- 0.42-inch TFT display
- Type-C charging
- Side airflow control design
- Two different pods with built-in coils: 0.8Ω and 1.2Ω
- Excellent build quality
- Long-lasting 900mAh battery
- Adjustable airflow and wattage
- Great flavour production
- Auto-draw and button fire options
- Pods are disposable
- Top cap can be tricky to remove for refilling
Around £25 for the device and around £10 for a pack of 3 additional pods. (Prices as of October 2023 and do not consider special deals)
Writer’s Verdict: It’s been an easy to use vape and easy to get to grips with. Being one of a long line of upgrades there is some build experience behind it. I like it – you’ll like it; i’ve seen others give this scores of 9 out of 10 and it’s hard to question that really.
3: Most Stylish Alternative To Disposable Vapes
Admit it, we all want great flavours, and some want thick clouds – but no one wants to walk around with a cigalike. Why? They look terrible – zero cachet. So this little award goes to the best looking alternative to a disposable vape. Importantly, it’s also a pretty good all rounder too.
The Luxe Q2 Pod Kit
The Luxe Q2 Pod is a vape device by established brand, Vaporesso. It’s an upgrade from the older LUXE Q and LUXE QS models, designed to offer a premium vaping experience with adjustable airflow and rapid charging features. Basically, you don’t have long to go mad when the battery dies.
Who’d Like This?
This device is great for vapers who appreciate aesthetics and want a device that offers both Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) and Restricted Direct Lung (RDL) vaping styles. It’s also ideal for those who don’t want to wait long for their device to charge.
Jargon confusing you? Open this in a new window – What on earth is RDL and MTL?
- 1000mAh battery with 2A Rapid Charging
- Adjustable airflow
- COREX and AXON Chip Technology
- Pod Capacity: 3ml/2ml (TPD)
- Resistance: 0.6Ω/1.0Ω
- Type-C charging
- Quick 2A charging for less waiting time
- Versatile pod options to suit various preferences
- Stylish design with adjustable airflow
- Wide range of color choices
- Some users may find the device slightly bulky for portability
Price Range: Price wise as of going to writing is in the £20-£25 range when you consider some starter flavours to go with it too.
4: Best Alternative To Disposable Vapes For Cloud
Billed by Voopoo as an introduction to ‘Sub Ohm Vaping‘ – this is the type of vape you’re going to be interested in if you like a little more cloud at the end of your drags and want a bit more gadgetry. Voopoo make nice vapes and this little gizmo seems to have most of the key features you are going to want, squared away.
The Drag H40 is a pod kit by Voopoo, designed to offer a compact yet powerful vaping experience. It is the 18th and smallest in their series of pod kits and is particularly aimed at Direct To Lung (DTL) vapers.
Who’d Like This?
This device is designed for budding DTL vapers who want a compact device with a few tricks up its sleeve. It’s also suitable for those who appreciate a device that can run in dual modes: Smart and RBA.
- Integrated 1500mAh battery
- Up to 40W max output
- 0.54in OLED display
- Fully adjustable airflow
- Dual modes: Smart and RBA
- Pod capacity: 5ml (standard) / 2ml (TPD)
- Comes with two coils designed for DL style of vaping
- Excellent flavour and vapour production
- Comfortable and portable design
- Easy-to-navigate menu screen
- Responsive fire button
- Versatile with Smart and RBA modes
- Coils may leak
- Lack of airflow versatility
- Not the fastest Type-C USB charging
The H40 will set you back a bit more than the other entrants on this list, but that’s because it offers a bit more too. Expect to pay around £30-£40.
5: Best Alternative To Disposable Vapes For Price
“Cost of living mate!” – Yes, times are a bit rubbish and the money in our pocket isn’t going that far these days – so what better alternative to disposable vapes than this little number. The Aspire Gotek X – weird name, great price. See below.
The Gotek X is a pod vape device by Aspire. It’s designed as a user-friendly device that aims to be an alternative to disposable vaporizers.
Who’d Like This?
This device is great for new vapers who are looking for an easy-to-use, budget-friendly option. It’s also suitable for those who prefer a restricted Direct to Lung (DTL) vaping experience.
- Futuristic and elegant appearance
- Easy operation
- Designed as an alternative to disposable vaporizers
- User-friendly and easy to operate
- Good battery life to last the majority of the day
- Lack of advanced features
- Limited information on coil options and battery capacity
Unique for Aspire – in that they’ve gone for a budget friendly device for the market. They tend to mark up a little higher, but after years of losing pace behind other brands perhaps they’ve finally woken up. We’ve got these for sale for £10, or £17.99 with a months worth of liquid.
6: Best Alternative To Disposable Vapes – Wildcard*
Smok have been making all manner of ways to vape for a decade, and we had to drop one of their kits in this list as they are usually pretty sound. This kit is childproof – leakproof, is durable and uses a fast charge usb-c. I actually think I may love this.
The Smok Pro Pod GT Kit is a pod vape device by SMOK, a brand known for its innovative vaping products. The device comes with a 700mAh battery and a maximum output of 22W, catering to both newcomers and seasoned vapers.
Who’d Like This?
This device is versatile and caters to vapers of all levels. It’s particularly good for those who want a blend of power, versatility, and convenience in a sleek design.
- 700mAh battery with up to 22W output
- Automatic draw activation
- Compatibility with various Novo pods
- Adjustable airflow switch
- Mesh coils (0.6ohm/0.8ohm)
- Customizable light effects
- Leak-proof features, including childproof lock and double silicone rings
- Powerful 700mAh battery for extended vaping sessions
- Durable zinc alloy construction
- Automatic draw activation for simplified operation
- Versatile vaping experiences with various Novo pods
- Adjustable airflow and mesh coils for impressive flavor and vapor production
- Customizable light effects and intuitive hanging hole for personalization and portability
- No adjustable wattage feature
Price point on the Propod is in the £25 range with liquids.
Quick Comparison Chart
|Feature/Model||Xros 3 / 3 Mini||Oxva Xlim||Luxe Q2 Pod||Drag H40||Gotek X||Smok Pro Pod GT Kit|
|Price Range||£15-£20 (Ex Liquids)||£25-£35 (Ex Liquids)||£20-£25 (Ex Liquids)||£35-£40 (Ex Liquids)||£10-£15 (Ex Liquids)||£20-£25 (Ex Liquids)|
|Best Feature||Premium look and feel||Robust 900mAh battery||Adjustable airflow||Excellent flavour and vapour production||Budget-friendly option||Powerful 700mAh battery|
|2nd Best Feature||Good battery life||Adjustable airflow and wattage||2A Rapid Charging||Compact and comfortable design||User-friendly experience||Automatic draw activation|
|3rd Best Feature||Wide range of compatible pods||Auto-draw and button fire options||COREX and AXON Chip Technology||Dual modes (Smart and RBA)||Alternative to disposable vaporizers||Customizable light effects|
What about the liquids? Vapes that taste like Elf Bars
So you got some ideas for kits that work just as well – if not better, than disposables. But what do you put inside them? We are going to recommend 3 brands of ejuices that will make switching from an Elf Bar (Or Elux etc) an absolute breeze.
What type of e-liquid are they?
You will find that the closest match to the juice in a disposable is a nicotine salt, and is commonly referred to in an over-flavoured format as a ‘Bar Salt‘.
Riot Squad have been around for a good while now and we like them a lot as a brand as well as a set of humans. They’ve supported the company charity historically and are just a damn good laugh.
But removing the personal affiliations to one side, they make great liquids and have a strong support base amongst the average vaper. Made in the UK, operated from here, give your UK brands a hand and check out their line of alternatives to disposable juice.
Ratio: 40% VG 60% PG
Priced: From £2.90 each when you buy our 10 pack multi deal.
Some call them evil incarnate, others just like their flavours. The Elf Bar cabal themselves have their own juice line for when you’re ready to ditch the throwaways…..in a bin. If you want to stick with the brand you know, then you can always opt for their line of flavours in a 10ml format.
You can get them on our multi-buy deal and they have a stacked range of about 15-20 flavours. It keeps growing, so I refuse to be specific.
Ratio: 50/50 VG PG – Click to see more like that
Priced: From £2.90 each when you buy our 10 pack multi deal.
When is an Imp not an Imp? When he has his head up a fairy’s skirt – then he’s a Goblin. But in the meantime, the Imp we have here is a salts brand that offers a similar line of flavours to those tastes you get from a disposable. Made by Prohibition, an award winning UK flavour house who are the backbone of many major liquid lines you see in the shops today.
It may not say Prohibition on the label, but it’s their flavourists (yes it’s a word) working away in the background.
Ratio: 50% VG 50% PG
Priced: £3.99 each – or like the others pick these up from £2.90 each when you buy our 10 pack deal.
Are these cheaper than disposables?
Undoubtedly, in fact it’s been the one thing that has blown my mind seeing these old style technologies get an unwarranted rebirth.
A weeks worth of e-liquid on a starter style vape kit for the average user will vary between the following spending ranges. For this example, we have used Elf vs Vampire Vapes pricing.
Vampire Vapes = 50ml for £15 = 1ml for £0.30p
Elf Bar = 2ml at £4 = 1ml for £2.00
- Heavy user – 14ml+ per week = £28 per week for Elf or £4.20 for refillable options
- Medium user – 10ml+ per week = £20 per week for Elf or £3 for refillable options
- Light user – 6ml per week = £12 per week for Elf or £2 for refillable options
The difference over a year for heavy users is £1456 vs £218 – a saving of £1237 for using refillables!
You could buy a gold plated vape for that type of saving.
How do I get off disposables and onto these alternatives?
I could probably write an entire article just on how to switch from disposable vapes to alternatives, but for now the best advice I can give is:
- Learn about the pros and cons of rechargeable vapes – so you find out the benefits – and the less fun bits like changing coils (not hard really) or forgetting to charge it up.
- Get some impartial advice on the best alternative to disposables for your needs.
- Look at the financial savings over a year – Disposables aren’t cheap when you buy one a day.
- Don’t hate yourself if you use both for a while; aka dual use
The best way to end a habit is discipline and a passion for the endpoint. If you know why you’re doing something and what the reward is, it’s going to be a whole lot easier.
Just swapping for the sake of swapping, won’t do it.
Something that needs to be said is this: disposable vapes have a very high nicotine level for most. In fact many millions of people quit smoking with vapes that had only about 25% of the nicotine levels than an Elf, or Elux has. That’s some difference.
So, expect cravings, take your time and focus on why you’re doing it. Your pocket will thank you, and so will your blood pressure.
Source: Nicotine raises blood pressure
And that’s all he wrote…
Thanks for getting this far, I hope our guide on the best alternatives to disposable vapes gives you some easy inspiration in what to opt for in the event they get banned. And, even if they don’t, the saving financially and ecologically is more than enough reason to switch to the rechargeable style.
Now…try these vape pens on for size