Pod Kits vs Disposables: Which Should I Choose?
Disposable vapes and pod kits are two of the most beginner-friendly ways of vaping, but what are the differences between them? And which option is best for you?
In this guide, we’ll compare vape pod kits and disposables in 8 categories: convenience, price, construction quality, size, nicotine content, maintenance, variety, and environmental impact. Whether you’re picking up vaping as a new hobby or as an aid to help you quit smoking, this guide will help you figure out where to start your vaping journey.
Before we get into the pros and cons of each, let’s explain what exactly each type of vape is.
Disposable vapes, also known as disposables or disposable vape kits, are small single-use vapes that are pre-filled with e-liquid and have a pre-charged battery. They last a couple of hundred puffs – for example the Dr Vapes Geek Bars last 575 puffs – and then the battery and e-liquid will be finished. After this, vapers will throw the disposable away and start using a new one.
Pod kits, also known as pod systems, are a type of vape that feature a rechargeable battery, drip tip (mouthpiece) and detachable pods. The pods can easily be clicked into and out of place so they can be replaced or refilled with ease. This means that instead of throwing away the whole vape once the battery and e-liquid are used up, you can recharge the battery and refill or replace pods.
There are two types of vape pods – refillable and pre-filled pods. While refillable pods are purchased empty so you can add your own e-liquid and can be refilled multiple times, pre-filled pods are purchased with nicotine salt already added. Pre-filled pods are also sometimes referred to as closed pod systems because they cannot be opened to refill the pod with e-liquid once it has been used up.
While Legion of Vapers does stock some pre-filled vape pods such as the Elf Bar P1 Pre-filled Pods or the Uwell Yearn Flavour Pods, the majority of the pods in our range are refillable. Like disposable vapes, refillable pods often contain nicotine salt e-liquid.
Now, let’s consider the pros and cons of vaping with a disposable e-cig or a pod kit.
Disposable vapes are often considered the most convenient way to vape. With no charging or refilling necessary, disposables are ready to go right out of the box. Draw-activated disposables don’t even have a button to press – it couldn’t be simpler. This means that they’re perfect for people trying to quit smoking because they are just as easy to use as a cigarette. Smokers often start their quitting journey using disposable vaping devices.
However, one convenience-related drawback to disposables is that they can’t be recharged. So, if you run out of disposables, there’s no way to keep vaping unless you buy new ones. This is not ideal for former smokers who may need frequent nicotine hits to avoid those nasty cigarette cravings.
Pod kits require a little more effort because they need recharging and refilling. However, once you’ve got a pod system you can keep using it over and over instead of having to dispose of it when the battery and e-juice runs out. While some vapers may consider having to charge and refill their vape an inconvenience, others may find this more convenient than having to buy new vapes every time they run out. It’s up to you!
Disposables tend to last the average vaper 2-3 days, after which point you’ll need to buy new ones. They also vary in price: at Legion of Vapers, our cheapest disposable is the IVG Bar on sale at £3.69, whereas the Elf Bar Mate 500 is the most expensive at £7.89. The majority of disposables cost around £4.50 each, which will cost the average vaper £12.60 a week, £50.40 a month, or £604.80 a year. That’s a pretty huge number – fortunately for disposable vaping fans, Legion of Vapers offers many multi-buy deals to help you get your disposables for cheaper.
On the other hand, pod kits involve a higher upfront cost but can be cheaper in the long run. Our cheapest pod kit is the SMOK NexMesh Pod Kit at £11.99 while the Lost Vape Ursa Quest is our most expensive at £42.99 – the prices vary a lot. After the cost of the vape kit, you’ll need to buy new pods every month or so and enough e-liquid to refill the vape pods every few days. Some more advanced pod kits will also have replaceable coils, so this is another cost. However, with most pods, e-liquids, and replacement coils costing under £10, this is still a cheaper way to vape than buying disposable vape kits.
Because disposable electronic cigarettes are only designed to be used for a few days instead of for a long period of time, they are constructed out of poorer quality materials and are more likely to break or leak. On the other hand, pod systems are designed to last longer and therefore will be constructed out of more expensive but durable materials. While disposable e-cigs often feel light and plastic, vape pod kits feel and look higher quality with a more solid construction and attractive materials.
If you’re using vaping to quit smoking, you may not be fussed about the appearance of your e-cigarette, but if the look and feel of your vape matters a lot to you a pod kit might be the way to go.
If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly vape, disposable vapes come out on top. These are often not much bigger than a cigarette, making them ideal for people quitting smoking who need a small and discrete e-cigarette to carry around with them. They’re also handy for anyone wanting a small e-cigarette for a night out or as a backup to their main vaping device.
While pod kits tend to be bigger than disposable vapes, they can still be small and discreet. For example, check out the Uwell Caliburn A1 Vape Kit, or the Aspire PockeX, both e-cigarettes that pack an impressive punch for their small size.
Another aspect in which disposable e-cigarettes and pod systems differ is in nicotine levels. While disposable e-cigarettes often feature a standard 20mg nicotine strength, pod kits give you more freedom to choose the amount of nicotine you are vaping.
This is ideal for people quitting smoking who want to gradually decrease their nicotine consumption, or anyone who simply is conscious of their nicotine use while vaping. Casual vapers may find that a 20mg disposable electronic cigarette is too much nicotine for them, making them feel lightheaded or unwell. A pod system which can be filled with 10mg nic salts can help you better regulate your nicotine consumption.
In terms of maintenance, disposable vapes come out on top. Thrown away as soon as they stop working, disposable e-cigs require no maintenance whatsoever.
Pod vape kits require more maintenance such as refilling and replacing pods. However, pod vapes are still very low maintenance and are therefore still a great choice for new vapers. With pre-installed coils built into the pods, which effortlessly click in and out of the device using a magnetic connection, it couldn’t be easier to replace and refill your vape.
One of the biggest advantages of pod kit over disposable e-cigs is the greater freedom to try different e-liquids. While disposables limit you to the flavours available in their range, vaping with a pod system allows you to choose any of the thousands of nic salts on the market to try. Refilling your pods with unique flavours allows you to find your favourites – you’ll never get bored.
One aspect in which pod systems are a clear winner is their environmental impact. Single-use disposable vapes produce a lot of plastic pollution, whereas reusable e-cigarettes result in far less plastic being sent to landfill.
Fortunately, some disposable vape manufacturers are making an effort to become more sustainable. Riot Squad are leading the way with the Riot Squad Q Bar – a revolutionary disposable device that boasts the title of the first carbon neutral disposable vape. Not only is it made out of the environmentally friendly PLA plastic (a cornstarch-based material), Riot Squad have pledged to collect the used e-cigarettes and recycle them into clothing.
However, the majority of disposable vapes are still being sent to landfill, causing plastic and hazardous pollution. We hope to see more e-cigarette manufacturers following Riot Squad’s lead soon.
Pod kits still create waste, but they tend to be more environmentally friendly than disposables because they can be used over and over again instead of immediately sent to landfill.
Disposable vape pros
No maintenance necessary
Cheaper upfront cost
Great for smokers looking to quit cigarettes
Disposable vape cons
Expensive after a while
Less variety of e-liquid flavours
Bad for the environment
Less flexibility over nicotine
Pod kit pros
Can be used for years
Cost is lower in the long term
Better for the environment
Higher quality materials for better look and feel
Can be used with far wider variety of e-liquids
Can be charged and refilled easily
Pod kit cons
Require more maintenance
Need to buy e-liquid and pods for it
Larger than disposables
The choice of which type of e-cigarette to use is a personal one. The answer will be different for everyone – a former smoker looking for a quick fix to help them quit smoking will have different priorities to a hobbyist who is looking to get more into vaping.
We hope this guide to the pros and cons of disposable devices and pod kits has helped you decide which option is better for you.