photo of man vaping

7 Different Types of Disposable Vapes

Remember when vapes first came onto the mainstream? Back then, almost all diffusers were designed to look like traditional cigarettes. Several different types of disposable vapes have burst onto the scene in the years since.

Vape bars, vape pens, sub-ohms, and cig-a-likes all provide unique vaping experiences. With so many different options to choose from, it's easy to get overwhelmed.

We'll get into the differences briefly, but first, a quick note. Disposable vapes are just that: disposable. These different kinds of disposable vapes are one-use devices meant to be used fully and discarded.

We mention this reality because it's easy to blur the line between disposable and non-disposable vapes. For example, many people hear the word rechargeable and think such vapes can be refilled and re-used forever, but that isn't the case.

All disposable vapes, regardless of the category they fall into, function similarly. They are usually made of plastic and have a small reservoir of vape juice inside. An atomizer heats the juice to create the vapor the user inhales.

The main draw of disposable vapes is their ease of use. There are no buttons, settings, or other confusing distractions to fiddle with. They only start to atomize once you place your lips on them and inhale, making them practically fool-proof.

In this article, we’ll explain the different types of disposable vapes and review some devices from the top manufacturers making diffusers in 2024. So, what kind of disposable vapes are there?

What Are the Different Types of Disposable Vapes?

Different types of disposable vapes

Non-Rechargeable Disposable Vapes:

These are single-use devices for those who want the ultimate convenience and portability. They cannot be recharged or refilled and must be discarded once the e-liquid (also known as vape juice) is depleted OR the battery dies.

They're relatively inexpensive and are easy to carry around, which is why they are popular among new vapers or those transitioning from traditional cigarettes. If you've never purchased a disposable vape before and aren't sure where to start, a non-rechargeable option may be right for you.

Rechargeable Disposable Vapes:

Unlike non-rechargeable options, these devices are designed so vapers can use them multiple times and recharge them whenever the battery runs low. For those who develop a consistent vaping habit, rechargeable disposable vapes are often the natural progression.

But again, even though you can recharge these vapes, they have a limited lifespan since the e-liquid is not refillable. So, if you're shopping for a rechargeable disposable vape, ensure it packs enough vape juice to go the distance.

Cigarette-style (Cig-a-Likes) Disposable Vapes:

A cigarette-style disposable vape, or Cig-a-like, is designed for those seeking a traditional smoking experience without the actual smoke. These devices are small, lightweight, and closely resemble the look and feel of traditional cigarettes.

Although they may not offer the wide variety and advanced features of modern vapes, Cig-a-likes still hold their place in the market today. For former smokers looking to transition to vaping, these might be the ideal solution.

Disposable Vape Bars:

A newer addition to the disposable vape market, these devices are easily recognizable by their bar-like shape. Many users feel the unique shape makes them more ergonomic and easily usable, perfect for those who want a more substantial piece in their hands.

Compared to cig-a-likes, you often get a longer-lasting vaping experience from these devices’ powerful batteries and greater e-liquid capacities. Pre-filled with various flavors and designed for ease of use, a disposable vape bar perfectly balances size and usability.

Pen-style Disposable Vapes:

Disposable vape pens are very similar to bars. The main difference is the shape and feel of the device. Pen-style disposable vapes offer a sleek and compact design, similar to a fountain pen's shape and feel. This comparison is doubly apt, as a fountain pen is also a liquid reservoir device built for one-handed use.

Because of this design, these devices are exceptionally portable and incredibly discreet, perfect for people looking to vape in a variety of different environments. A vape pen will be perfect if you're looking for something that provides performance and convenience but is less bulky than a vape bar.

Sub-ohm Disposable Vapes:

Ever notice how some vapes leave their user in a cloud of vapor? Sub-ohm vapes are known for creating a cloud-like vaping experience. These vapes use coils with lower resistance, typically below one ohm (hence the name), which allows them to operate at higher wattages.

The increase in power leads to substantially more vapor production. This overcharging often results in vape clouds that are thicker and more visually satisfying when compared to ordinary vaping devices, but the high temperature generated can sour an otherwise pleasing vape juice flavor if the selected formulation isn’t designed for sub-ohm use.

Pod-style Disposable Vapes:

People think of pod systems, they generally think of a vape device that is non-disposable. However, some brands have introduced disposable pods with upgraded battery capacities (measured in milliampere-hours [mAh]) and vape juice volumes (measured in milliliters [ml].)

These producers also offer a wide range of vape juice flavors and varying nicotine strengths. Often, these pod-style vapes use nic salt vape juice, which provides higher nicotine strengths without as much harshness for the throat.

Pod-style disposable vapes are usually more expensive but offer a more satisfying experience. Pod-style disposables are well-suited for vapers who enjoy the pod system experience but prefer the simplicity of a disposable.

What Are the Best Disposable Vape Brands?

Top Marks: Ziip Stick — Z Stick

boxes of Ziip Stick's Z Stick in different flavors

With its Z Stick diffuser on the market since 2015, Ziip Stick is one of the most popular vape brands in the United States. Headquartered in San Francisco and with offices in 12 countries around the globe, Ziip Stick is a leader in the vaping industry. Let’s look at what sets this brand apart:

Safety and Quality Commitment

In 2020, the FDA accepted Ziip Stick's Premarket Tobacco Application (PMTA). This submission makes the company the only vape manufacturer we could find that has received an official filing letter.

The stringent PMTA regulations require a requesting company to undertake rigorous product research to prove that the product has the highest-quality ingredients specifically selected to avoid posing any health risks for consumers.

Ziip Stick operates its own dedicated production facility to ensure the highest levels of quality control. Only the best practices and healthiest ingredients go into creating these vaping devices. As a result, Ziip Stick has established itself as a brand that is synonymous with credibility, honesty, and integrity.

Superior Nicotine Quality

All Z Stick cartridges come pre-filled with 1.4 mL of flavored e-juice that contains a variety of salt nicotine strengths for you to choose from.

Salt nicotine provides smoother than you’ll ever find in traditional tobacco products. It gives you the same buzz without the harshness (and carcinogen load) of conventional tobacco products.

Flavor Profiles

While some brands opt for quantity over flavor quality, Ziip Stick doesn’t. The company offers 13 delicious flavors that serve as the solid foundation for all its vaping products.

These flavors include Banana, Berry Mix, Blue Raspberry, Fresh Mint, Grape, Mango, Pineapple Banana, Strawberry Milk, Watermelon, Watermelon Lemonade, Traditional Tobacco, Menthol, and Clear.

You can learn more about Ziip Stick and its Z Stick line of diffusers here

MELO Melatonin and HELO Caffeine Vapes

box of MELO Air in Lavender Dream flavor

MELO is a rather unique offering among disposable vape brands. Instead of containing nicotine salt e-liquids like many competitors do, MELO's vapes are entirely nicotine-free. With a strong focus on wellness, the company instead opts for melatonin as the active ingredient in MELO vapes (and natural-source caffeine in sister vape pen line HELO.)

MELO might provide the ideal solution if you're looking for a bit of relaxation or need an energy boost. The company has some reasonably unique disposable vape flavors, including Cotton Candy, Orange Dreamsicle, Cosmic Berry, and Blue Cloud.

Of course, its unique focus isn't without its trade-offs. Again, these disposable vapes contain 0% nicotine, so they might not align with your expectations if you're looking for a conventional vaping experience.

Click here to learn more about MELO and HELO’s full product lineups

Elf Bar Vapes — BC5000/TE6000

Elf Bar disposable vape

Elf Bar disposables, now sold under the name EB Create (and, formerly, EB Design), are some of the market's most well-known and sought-after disposable vapes.

The company’s most popular disposable models are the BC5000 and the TE6000, known for their efficient designs and excellent battery lives. EB Create also offers “ultra” varieties of both models if you want even more e-liquid capacity.

But beyond that, Elf Bar is most famous for its intense flavor lineup. Standouts we love include Blue Razz Lemonade, Watermelon Ice, and Strawberry Ice Cream.

The company sells a variety of disposable vapes with varying battery ratings, vape juice reservoir capacities, and recharge capabilities. No matter what you're in the market for, you'll probably be able to find it in the EB Create lineup.

Just be prepared for the flavors you love best to be out of stock, as a large portion of this product stable sells out as soon as more diffusers are in stock. Securing a specific flavor or variety might be challenging, especially if you’re still determining which taste you like best.

Click here to visit the official Elf Bar website

Flum Vapes — Pebble

Flum Pebble sampler pack

Known for their large e-juice reservoirs and long-lasting batteries, Flum diffusers offer some of the most reliable vaping on the market. Bright and bold, these vapes are not afraid to stand out.

The rechargeable Pebble line boasts a 14 mL e-liquid container capable of sustaining you through 6000 puffs in every device. It boasts many unique flavors, from Cuban Cigar to Strawmelon Apple.

Just note that some users have remarked that the flavor profiles leave something to be desired. Our reviewers found the flavor profiles lacking, while reports posted online state that these vapes produced a burnt taste after a few days of use.

Click here to learn more about Flum Vapes

Puff Labs — Hotbox

Puff Labs Hotbox disposable vapes in Strawberry Watermelon Bubblegum flavor

If puff count is at the top of your priority list, Las Vegas-based Puff Labs is the way to go. Its Hotbox disposable vape line clocks in an impressive 7500 puffs and is backed by a 700 mAh rechargeable battery.

For those interested in fruity flavors, Puff Labs offers some of the most unique and creative blends out there. Fruity Pebbles with Deep Fried Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, anyone?

The company offers vapes in a variety of different nicotine strengths. While most of its disposable devices contain around 16 mg of synthetic salt nicotine e-liquid, some options ship with 24 or even 48 mg.

To see the full lineup, visit their website,

FAQs: Answers to Your Most Common Questions

How Do I Use My Disposable Vape?

Inhale. Seriously, that's it. Because these devices are draw-activated, all you need to do is inhale from the mouthpiece to start vaping.

These devices are designed for convenience and require no setup whatsoever. And best of all, once you've used one disposable vape, you know how to use them all. Vape bars, vape pens, or cig-a-likes — they all function similarly.

How Long Do Disposable Vapes Usually Last?

Two factors determine the lifespan of any disposable vape: the battery life and the amount of e-liquid inside. Most disposable vape brands include a puff count on their packaging, ranging from 300 to 7,000 puffs.

While rechargeable disposable vapes might last a bit longer — since you can recharge the batteries — there's no guarantee that the included e-liquid will last. Many disposable vapes tout considerably lengthy battery lives without including enough vape juice to fully utilize all the power their impressive piles can store.

Always read the fine print when you purchase one of these disposable devices to ensure you bring home a product that is right for your unique needs.

Are Disposable Vapes Safe?

Disposable vapes, like all smoking or vaping devices, should be used responsibly. They are generally considered safe for adult smokers who are using them as an alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Be mindful of the characteristics of the disposable vape you're using. Different types of disposable nicotine vapes differ in terms of total user safety.

Some vapes contain very high levels of nicotine, which is an addictive substance delivering toxic properties to the body. Furthermore, be sure to read the ingredients listed as being used to enhance your selected vape's flavor, as many ingredients can be unsafe to inhale — especially if you have an allergy.

Be sure to buy from a reputable disposable vape store and consult a medical professional before adding any new element (such as vaping) to your daily routine.

How Much Nicotine Do Most Disposable Vapes Carry?

Disposable vapes come in a variety of different nicotine strengths, often using nicotine salt (a.k.a. “nic salt”) as part of their vape juice formulations. Nicotine salts reduce the harshness of the vapor (as compared to vapors generated by juices containing other forms of the drug) and make inhaling it a smoother experience.

For this reason, people trying to quit cigarettes often find disposable vapes a pleasant alternative to traditional tobacco products.

In terms of specific nicotine content, disposable vapes range from 0% (nicotine-free) to 5% or 50 mg/mL. A disposable vape pen containing 1.5 mL of nicotine salt e-liquid at a 5% concentration delivers 75 mg of nicotine into your lungs (roughly what you'd find in a pack of cigarettes).

What Is the History of the Disposable Vape?

The modern disposable vape is merely an evolution of early electronic cigarettes. Initially, vape pens and refillable vape kits were more common, but the convenience and wide availability of disposable vapes have made them increasingly popular in recent years.

Today, there are countless vape flavors and nic salt vape juices to choose from, allowing users to customize their vaping experiences however they see fit.

What Are the Benefits of Using Disposable Vapes?

If you just want to vape and get on with your day, a disposable vaporizer is the way to go. While enthusiasts may prefer a refillable device that allows some customization of the vaping experience with refillable pods, there is something to be said about the simplicity of a disposable device.

A disposable vape is far more affordable than other options. Most users prefer never to worry about losing an expensive professional-grade vape, breaking it, or having it stolen.

Should I Try To Refill a Disposable Vape?

No. Disposable vapes are not designed to be refilled, and doing so can potentially be dangerous. Once the e-liquid is depleted or the battery dies, dispose of the device responsibly, as you would any other battery.

Picking a Disposable Vape That’s Right for You

two women sitting on a sofa while having fun laughing

Choosing the right disposable vape comes down to four main factors: health considerations, flavor preferences, nicotine strength, and battery life. Consider the puff count, the convenience of rechargeable batteries, and the portability of your vape device when making your decision. And if you want to make the first consideration a priority, seek out a device like the Z Stick — one manufactured by a responsible producer cosigned by the FDA.

Also, remember that variety is the spice of the vape industry. Unlike traditional tobacco, which provides limited flavor options, there are countless flavor combinations for you to vape, from traditional tastes like tobacco to unique combinations like sour raspberry and peach ice.

Vaping is a highly personalized experience that should cater to your individual tastes. Experiment with different flavors, nicotine strengths, and popular kinds of vape to find the perfect combination that best suits your needs.

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