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The Different Types of Vapes

Adult nicotine consumers today have many options compared to a few decades ago. Electronic cigarettes and vapes provide nicotine without tobacco, smoke or ash*. If you’re new to vaping, you might have questions about the available types. Keep reading to discover the differences between vapes before choosing the most suitable device for you.

Types of vapes to know about

Since first hitting the market in 2003, vapes have evolved with the development of new technologies. Today’s selection includes a few main types of vape devices:

  • Disposable vapes
  • Cartridge vapes
  • Tank vapes
  • E-cigarettes

What’s the difference between a vape and an e-cigarette?

There’s technically no difference between vapes and e-cigarettes, or ‘e-cigs’. Both are names given to electronic nicotine devices. However, e-cigarettes often look more like traditional cigarettes, which is where they get their name.

What are the different types of vapes?

Let’s look at the different types of vapes, including vape pens and disposable vapes, pod vapes, tank vapes and cig-a-likes.

Pod Vapes

A pod vape is a compact and lightweight vaping device. Its two main features are a cartridge that houses the e-liquid and a powerful rechargeable battery that heats the cartridge and produces vapour to inhale. Once your e-liquid cartridge is empty, remove it and replace it with a new one. 

Why choose pod vapes?

Pod vapes are straightforward to use and refill. There’s no option to change settings or tinker with the circuit, which might suit beginners and consumers who want a fuss-free vape.

Vape pens

Pen vapes are a type of pod vape. They work similarly, with a simple, pocket-friendly design consisting of a battery element and a replaceable e-liquid cartridge. 

Why choose vape pens?

Vape pens are straightforward to use and offer nicotine in various strengths and flavours. These devices are ‘closed-system’, which means there’s no option to modify the circuit or change settings. This can suit adult nicotine consumers who want a straightforward vape.

Disposable vapes

Non-rechargeable vaping devices are ready to use out of the box, with e-liquid stored inside the device’s unit. There aren’t any buttons – bring your mouth to the mouthpiece and inhale. Once it’s run out, you discard the entire unit appropriately.

Why choose disposable vapes?

Compact and lightweight, disposables require no hassle, refills or recharging.

Box mods

Box mods get their name from their boxy shape. They usually have a larger battery and more controls than alternatives.

Why choose box mods?

Box mod vapes let you tweak the power and temperature of your vaping experience.


Cig-a-like e-cigarettes get their name from their cigarette-like appearance, white and brown cylinders with no buttons or controls.

Why choose cig-a-likes?

They’re the smallest vapes available and can be disposable or rechargeable. They offer the closest physical feeling to smoking a cigarette.

Different vape parts and accessories

Different vape types have unique parts and accessories, including coils, e-liquid cartridges and refills, and chargers. Understanding these is the next step in choosing the most suitable device.

Vape coils

Vapes use heat to convert the e-liquid into an inhalable vapour. This heating element is called the ‘coil’ across all device types. Vape coils are made from thin metal wrapped around a cotton wick. When the coil heats up, e-liquid absorbed into the wick converts into vapour.

Tank vapes and box mods let users remove and replace the coil. Closed-system vape pens and pod vapes can’t be tinkered with, so you can decide whether you want the added responsibility and control when choosing your device.


All vapes use e-liquid to create vapour. But different device types take different kinds of refills

Pen and pod vapes are compatible with e-liquid pods, which can be clicked out and replaced when the liquid inside runs out. Tank vapes and box mods require refilling manually from small bottles of e-liquid. 

Disposable vapes come pre-filled with e-liquid and can’t be topped up. When these devices run out, dispose of them responsibly and purchase a new one to continue vaping.

Learn more in our ultimate guide to e-liquids.

Vape chargers

Different types of vapes are compatible with different charging accessories. Some vape kits come with micro-USB chargers, while disposable vapes can’t be recharged.

Which type of vape is best suited to you?

Wondering which vape device type is the most suitable for you? The answer depends on your budget, experience and expectations. There are a few things to consider when buying a new vape.


Start by asking yourself how much money you want to spend on your new vape. Pen and pod vapes can be the most budget-friendly, designed to last months of refills and recharging. Also, consider the price of new e-liquid pods when choosing this device type. Disposable vapes can be low-cost and come with e-liquid already loaded inside, but you’ll need to buy a new one every time it runs out.


What size vape would you like? Cig-a-likes are the smallest, closely resembling traditional cigarettes. Disposable vapes come in various shapes and sizes, and pen and pod vapes are often pocket-sized. Tank and box mod vapes can be the bulkiest as they have extra controls and buttons.


It’s a good idea to consider your current nicotine consumption when choosing a new vape. Only you know the e-liquid and vapour strength that’s right for you. Light smokers may prefer closed-system vape pens or pod vapes with lower-strength e-liquid pods (3mg to 12mg).

If you’re used to strong nicotine or want to control your vapour thickness, you might prefer a tank vape or box mod.

Learn more in our nicotine strength guide.


Flavour is your final consideration when choosing a new vape. If you’ve gone for a refillable device, select your preferred e-liquid strength before looking at flavours. Disposable vapes also come in different nicotine strengths, so choose what suits you before looking at flavours to pick one that suits your taste.

Vaping with Ten Motives

Explore our vape devices online and find the one that suits you. From disposable vapes, including Vuse Go devices and electronic cigarettes, to rechargeable vapes from Vuse and Ten Motives, we have options suited to all adult nicotine consumers.

* These products are not risk-free and contain nicotine, an addictive substance.

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