How much do different vaping devices cost in 2023?
The Cost of Vaping in 2023
I gave up smoking and started vaping in 2015. Back then, there was far less variety and choice available. I like to keep a tight budget, and I had to do a lot of research (and make some costly mistakes) to get the best value for money.
It’s no secret that vaping can be a lot cheaper than smoking tobacco, but there are more elements and variables to consider. The vape pen itself, batteries, e-liquid, coils, etc, all sit at different price points.
So, how much do vapes cost? We’ve done the hard work for you, and written this article to answer exactly that. If you’re a budget-minded person and want to get the best vaping value for money, read on! By the end of this article, you’ll know whether or not vape pens are a good option for your budget.
How Much Do Vapes Cost?
So, how much does a vape cost?
If you’re looking for vape kits, you can choose from a wide range of designs. For someone who is just getting started, the sheer number of vape pens, disposable vapes, and vape mods can be overwhelming. And that’s not even mentioning the technical jargon. Do you go ohm or sub-ohm? Single battery or dual? Mechanical or regulated? Squonk or traditional?
To make things easier, we’ve compiled the most popular types of vape kits and their prices.
If convenience is your main concern, a pod vape might be a good choice.
Pod vapes are a recent development in vaping. They aim to make vaping as easy as possible. If refilling tanks and swapping out coils isn’t for you, pod vapes are a great choice.
Small, discreet, and easily concealable, pod vapes are straightforward devices. They consist of only two parts – the battery and the disposable pod. Instead of a traditional vape tank, you have a pod that can easily slot in and out of the device. Once you have used all the vape juice inside the pod, you simply dispose of it and clip a new one in.
The vaping experience is very similar to the feeling of smoking a cigarette, which makes pod vape kits popular among beginner vapers. Pod kits can be a great, inexpensive way of easing the transition from tobacco to vaping.
For an entry-level pod system, you’re looking at around $20. Some brands even go as low as $9.99, but you’ll struggle to find a decent device for this kind of price range. Well-known brands create reliable, satisfying pod kits that settle for around $50. The Geekvape Aegis B60 retails for $54, but it comes with all sorts of fancy features like an 0.96-inch curved display and Buck-Boost tech that intensifies flavor concentrates.
If you prefer refillable vape kits, you need to look for open-system pod kits. Open-system pods can be refilled with a vape juice of your choice, whereas closed-system vape kits can’t be refilled. This is an important consideration for people who want to keep their vaping costs down. Buying vape juice can be just as expensive as buying new pre-filled pods.
Disposable vapes go one step further than pod systems. These kinds of devices offer the ultimate hassle-free experience; start vaping straight away and dispose of the device when it has run out of liquid.
You can choose from a disposable vape pen or a pod-style disposable. In the first case, the vape tank is in-built into the device and comes pre-filled with liquid. If you choose the pod-style disposable, you should expect either an in-built pod or a separate closed-system pod that slots seamlessly into the device.
It is no secret that disposable vapes are perfect beginner vapes. They are slim, sleek, and almost featureless. In most cases, disposables don’t have any features. Beginners love them because they don’t have a steep learning curve. Lots of brands forgo buttons entirely and make their disposables draw-activated. Just take your device out of its packaging, puff on the mouthpiece, and enjoy a satisfying vape experience.
Advanced vapers who travel for work or pleasure also appreciate the simplicity of disposables. Don’t risk losing your pricey vape mod on an international trip; take a disposable instead.
Of course, using disposable vapes every day is not the most economical or environmentally-friendly option. However, you will be glad to know that the simplicity of disposable vape pens is reflected in the price point. Cali Air, Trip Pen, and SMOOD Tobacco disposables are just a few that are available for $10 or under. Disposables can go up to $40, and it’s important to remember that some brands have started to create kits that are a hybrid between disposables and traditional kits that can be refilled.
If you’re concerned about the environment, rest assured that most vape brands are aware of the sustainability implications around disposables. 90% of kits come with recycling instructions, so it is up to you whether or not you dispose of them in a responsible way.
Beginner vapers also love vape pens. True to the name, vape pens are sleek and concealable. This benefit comes with some drawbacks in terms of vapor production. Still, pen devices offer a fantastic, inexpensive way to finally kick the tobacco habit. What’s more, if you’re interested in vaping cannabis products such as CBD oil, a pen device may be essential. Most CBD cartridges require a 510-threaded vape battery, which you can always find inside these kinds of electronic cigarettes.
Vape pens are comprised of two parts: the device itself and the cartridge. They come with in-built tanks that you can refill with any vape juice. Of course, some VG:PG mixtures work better with specific types of vaping devices.
One of the often-forgotten costs associated with vaping is the coils. Traditional in-built tanks contain coils that will eventually burn out. Single replacement coils are usually around $6, but you can save money by buying multipacks.
Pen vapes cost as much or as little as you want. The beauty of vape pens is that they are available for as low as $15. If you’re searching for something that combines the simplicity of a vape pen with the style of a vape mod, you should be ready to pay around $60.
Unregulated (Mechanical) Tank Mods
Unregulated mods (also known as mechanical mods) aren’t for the faint-hearted. They offer extra “oomph” when it comes to vapor production and flavor intensity, but they require a working knowledge of electricity. This kind of electronic cigarette is only suitable for advanced vapers.
Unregulated mods are similar to vape pens in that they consist of two parts: a battery and a tank that holds the coil and juice. What sets them apart is that they tend to be much more powerful than either pen or disposable vapes. The only downside is that you can’t change the power level. Vapers who like to switch tanks and vape juice regularly might feel disappointed by the rigidity of mechanical mods.
Mechanical mods range from simple tubes to ornate, handcrafted devices, and the price scale reflects this diversity. Basic mechanical mods cost around $30, but high-quality vapes cost up to and over $350!
If you are active in the vaping sphere, the chances are that you’ve held a vape mod. Regulated mods are the most common vaping device today.
Whereas unregulated mods are just a tube that holds a battery and a switch, regulated vape mods contain circuitry that connects the battery and the tank. This addition allows you to customize the amount of power that goes to the coil.
Standard vape mods tend to retail for around $30, but they can go all the way up to $150.
As with pen vapes, mods contain coils that eventually burn out. Replacement coils cost around $6 or more.
How Much Does Vape Juice Cost?
To answer the question, ‘how much are vapes?’ we have to consider the cost of vape juices.
Vape juice (most commonly known as e-liquid) is an essential piece of the puzzle. Once your vape pen is loaded with juice, the other components work together to turn it into vapor. All liquids contain VG and PG (more on these substances in a moment), and most liquids contain nicotine and a flavor concentrate of your choice.
Prefilled Vapes Cost
For pre-filled disposable vapes, the process is straightforward. Simply buy replacement pods and slot them into your device. JUUL and Vype are two of the best-known brands for people who want disposable vape pens. A pack of two pre-filled JUUL pods will set you back $9.99, and a pack of two Vype pods retails for around $8.99. Both brands claim that one of their pods can last for up to 200 puffs.
Of course, most disposable vape pen devices can’t be refilled. These closed-pod systems retail for around $10, making them an affordable option for frugal vapers. If you add the cost of a standard e-liquid to the cost of a standalone vape, you might find that it is more economical to buy a disposable vape that can’t be refilled.
You have to weigh this against the environmental cost as well as the lack of customization options. Sustained use of disposable vapes can also hinder experimentation. If you want to explore the world of vaping, you should invest in a more expensive kit that comes with customization options.
Refillable Vapes Cost
Refillable vape kits are far more economical than pre-filled disposable vapes. This recent innovation allows vapers to fill their pod mods with any e-liquid. You can buy e-liquid in bulk to save money, or even make your own juice.
It’s important to remember that refillable disposable vape kits are not a good long-term option. Even the most popular refillable disposable is only good for three or four refills, which could last up to a week depending on your vaping style and consumption.
E-liquid Bottles Cost
If you are using a tank-style device, you will need to buy bottles of liquid. They come in a range of sizes, VG:PG compositions, flavors, and nicotine strengths.
To keep vape costs to a minimum, shop around! Your favorite vape brands might not be the most affordable option. Nasty Juice is an award-winning vape brand that offers delicious flavor concentrates like Grape Salts and Cushman, which retail for around $5 per 10ml bottle. Experiment with different brands, and you might find that your favorite liquid has been replicated at half the cost!
Shortfill E-liquid Cost
UK-based vapers have to contend with shortfill bottles, which are a result of government legislation that prohibits manufacturers from selling e-liquid that contains nicotine in containers that are larger than 10ml.
To get around this, manufacturers now offer much larger bottles of juice than the 10ml that used to be standard. 60ml shortfill bottles contain 50ml of liquid and 10ml of space for a nicotine shot of your choice.
Shortfill bottles tend to be highly economical. At the cheapest end of the spectrum, you can pick up a 50ml bottle of juice for $10-$15, with the nicotine shot being around another $3.00-$4.00.
Premium juices are available and contain higher-quality ingredients. They are manufactured to stricter specifications and can cost much more. Expect prices in the $35-$40 range for 50ml, not including nicotine.
DIY Vape Juice Cost
If you are fiscally minded and don’t mind a bit of DIY, there’s another option, and that’s to mix your own. This can significantly reduce your monthly vaping costs. The ingredients are all available online, and you can save a lot of money! More on this later.
How to Save Money on Vaping?
Vaping is more cost-effective than smoking traditional cigarettes.
That being said, there are many individual factors, and they quickly add up. The good news is that with a bit of creativity, you can save a significant amount on vaping costs.
Buy Second-Hand Devices
As far as upfront costs go, the device is usually the most significant purchase, followed by the tank.
When vape pens first hit the market, they exploded in popularity. This momentum encouraged manufacturers to develop newer, shinier, and more interesting vaping accessories and kits. This neverending growth has led to an abundance of second-hand devices.
The best places to find second-hand vape equipment are eBay and Facebook marketplace/groups. A quick search on either of these platforms yields hundreds of results. The sheer number of people selling old equipment means you are almost guaranteed to find something suitable. Expect savings of up to 60% for second-hand devices, depending on how old they are.
Make sure to clean your device before you use it. For hygiene reasons, you should also avoid second-hand drip tips. Drip tips connect directly to the atomizer in the device and also act as a mouthpiece. They generally cost somewhere between $5 and $10.
Try DIY Coils
The idea of building your own coil might seem daunting, but it is one of the easiest ways to reduce your expenses. Store-bought vape coils can retail for $20 for a pack of four, so it is worth making your own. For the same price, you can get enough kanthal wire and cotton to build your coils for an entire year.
There are some upfront costs associated with building your own coils. Asides from the wire and cotton, you will need a coil jig to shape your creations, as well as an ohm-meter to measure their resistance accurately.
Of course, there is also a cost associated with learning how to create the coils. Mistakes happen, and they can eat into your bottom line.
Mix Your Own Juice
Millions of vapers reduce their overall vaping cost by creating DIY e-juice. The two most common bases for e-liquid are propylene glycerol (PG) and vegetable glycerol (VG). PG tends to carry flavor better but can be harsher on the throat, whereas VG is the best for cloud enthusiasts. Most mixtures use a blend of PG and VG. The two most popular PG:VG ratios are 50:50 and 30:70, the first for standard vaping and the second for sub-ohm vaping.
Simply mix your PG/VG blend with your flavors and your preferred nicotine concentrate. Leave the mixture to steep, and your personal e-liquid will be ready in a matter of weeks!
As with DIY coils, DIY liquid comes with a learning curve. It might take a while to achieve a quality vaping experience, but eventually you will become an expert at creating affordable liquids from the comfort of your own home.
Avoid New Technology
Like any technological market, the vaping world evolves very fast. New technologies, refinements, and innovations are continually hitting the market, and they come with a premium price tag.
One benefit of the abundance of new devices is that you can pick up slightly older equipment at discount. eBay is a great place to find unopened bargains of earlier models, and many vape shops and websites have a clearance section. Unless you’re a dedicated trendsetter, there are very few drawbacks to buying a slightly older device.
What About Advanced Vapers?
Advanced and experienced vapers know the cost of vaping. They will have sunk thousands of dollars into their vape setups. Having been vaping since the earliest sub-ohm devices first hit the scene, I dread to think about how much I’ve spent.
Lots of vapers who start with a pen or pod device are entirely satisfied with the hit they get. But when vapers branch out and try sub-ohm tanks, vape mods, and more advanced vapes, they struggle to return to starter kits.
The main drawback to sub-ohm vaping is the price. Making big clouds requires a lot more e-liquid, and the cost of having to buy so much extra juice quickly adds up. To combat this cost, many cloud chasers opt to mix their own e-liquids.
Another cost that will add to your total vaping expenditure is coils. Manufacturing has come a long way, and you can expect your coil to last at least a week or two. Of course, this depends on the frequency of use and how high you run your coils.
Some manufacturers create advanced kits that allow you to create your own coils. These rebuildable atomizers are a bit more work, but are far cheaper and enable you to customize more features than store-bought coils.
Once you have been vaping for long enough, you will have a stock of a few reliable devices. No vape is perfect, and each has its own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes these only become apparent after using them for some time.
For example, I have a tank vape for every day use, an “out and about” device, a pen vape that I use for CBD products, and a beast of an RDA (rebuildable dripper atomizer) that gives me huge clouds when I’m relaxing at home.
One thing is clear: vaping is far healthier for your body and bank balance than traditional cigarettes.
The thought of entering a new market and learning all the jargon, technical information, and tips and tricks necessary to have a satisfying vape experience can be overwhelming, but it is worth it.
Expensive vapes, vape tanks, and vape mods are not the only option. There is a wealth of information online for cigarette users who want to make the switch without blowing their bank balance.
You can buy the simplest, most affordable vape essentials possible and build your base from there. People who want a convenient vaping device will pay more than people who are willing to experiment with a different vape juice range or vape pen. Most vapers, including myself, will eventually find a compromise.
As with everything in life, balance is the key.