Vapor products have been and continue to be one of the fastest growing markets in the world for the last few years. Specifically, hundreds of new e-liquid brands and products are introduced every single day. Thus, Vapestaff’s best e-liquids is designed and maintained to keep you up to date on brands and flavors that should be on your radar.
While it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the ridiculous amount of e-liquid choices, we’ve broken the best e-liquids down into 3 main categories.
Tobacco e-liquids are a great place to start for long-time smokers. Tobacco e-liquid flavors range from full-bodied bold tobacco to mild and sweet. The most typical additional flavors you’ll find with tobacco e-liquid flavors are vanilla and caramel.
Menthol e-liquids are a similarly good starting point for smokers familiar with that fresh taste. Menthol e-liquid is typically featured with spearmint and peppermint flavors.
Dessert e-liquids are a beacon of innovation, as essentially any flavor under the sun is able to be replicated. Dessert flavors range drastically, from simple fruit and candy all the way to a fruity pebble covered cannoli, there are no limits.
Best E-Liquid Overall for July 2020
All Day Vape
Greatest of All-Time
Table of Contents
- A Beginner’s Guide to E-Liquid
- Nicotine and E-Liquid
- Additional Ingredients Concerning E-Liquid
- The Cost of E-Liquid
- Typical Types of E-Liquid
- Salt E-Liquid (Aka Salt Nic)
- E-Liquid Flavor Categories
- Choosing an E-Liquid
- What’s The Most Popular E-Liquid?
- What If You Can’t Decide On an E-Liquid
- E-Liquid Brands
- What’s The Best E-Liquid Brand?
A Beginner’s Guide to E-Liquid
First and foremost, it’s incredibly important to point out that e-liquid is still a relatively new product. Thus, the long-term effects (whether bad or negligible) of ‘vaping e-liquid’ are unknown. Therefore, if you’re not already a tobacco cigarette smoker, we implore you to not take up vaping because you are interested in the experience and or flavors.
The evolution of e-liquid has been explosive over the past several years. As vapor devices became more aesthetically pleasing and were able to deliver an experience similar to cigarettes, e-liquid brands and flavors began popping up across the world.
Currently, the FDA has put several safety measures in action regarding e-liquid for the health and safety of American consumers.
Almost all e-liquid contains the following ingredients:
- Polypropylene glycol is a commonly used food additive. It’s also frequently used in cosmetic products and even medications. Often referred to simply as (PG) in e-liquid, it’s colorless, odorless and predominantly used because when heated, it produces vapor. Importantly, it also dilutes liquid nicotine extract. When vaped, polypropylene glycol is indirectly responsible for delivering what is known as the ‘throat-hit’.
- Vegetable glycerin (also known as glycerol or glycerine), is derived from vegetable oils or fats. It’s also a colorless, odorless substance and is frequently used in cosmetic products, however, it has a naturally sweet flavor. When vaped, vegetable glycerin is primarily responsible for the base flavor and producing vapor.
- Flavor concentrates are self explanatory, although it’s noteworthy that absolutely any flavor can be made with the proper combination. Concentrates are diluted to create the desired overall flavor of an e-liquid and makeup less than 10% of most finished products.
Nicotine and E-Liquid
Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant and is the primary reason that smokers get addicted to cigarettes in the first place. It’s a plant alkaloid, first extracted from tobacco by German physicians Wilhelm Heinrich Posselt and Karl Ludwig Reimann. Nicotine, not dissimilar to caffeine, is a psychoactive ingredient that increases blood pressure, heart rate and speeds up the messages traveling between the brain and body.
Importantly, testing and research continues on the long-term health effects of polypropylene glycol and vegetable glycerin being inhaled. Because nicotine is so addictive, and the exposure of (PG & VG) on lung tissue is potentially dangerous, we again urge vapor users to fight to zero and ultimately quit.
Understanding E-Liquid Nicotine Strengths
One of the first things for new vapor users to understand is nicotine percentages and or how much nicotine is in their product. The vast majority of e-liquid flavors are available in a range of nicotine options. From no nicotine at all, to high percentages of nicotine, consumers can expect to find e-liquids and vaping devices that contain e-liquid in various potencies.
In order to most closely resemble traditional tobacco cigarette use, new vapor users typically seek around 24mg/mL. If the amount of nicotine in e-liquid is too low when tobacco cigarette smokers are trying to make the transition to vapor products, they’ll find vapor unsatisfying and revert back to smoking.
Nicotine strengths vary by manufacturer but are defined as followed:
- Percentage (%) of nicotine by total e-liquid volume (NBV).
- Milligrams per milliliter (mg/mL) of nicotine in e-liquid.
Additionally, it’s important to point out that some e-liquid manufacturers utilize nicotine salts rather than traditionally diluted liquid nicotine. While we’ll dive deeper into nicotine salts further below, it’s worth noting that these types of e-liquids change the high end of the nicotine by volume spectrum. In terms of satisfaction, 24mg/mL (or 2.4%) of non-salt nicotine e-liquid is roughly equivalent to 5% (NBV) salt nicotine e-liquid.
The Road to Zero Nicotine
There is not a single serious vapor or tobacco cigarette user on the planet who believes vaping or smoking is good for them. Therefore, most of them share a deep goal to ultimately quit. Vapor makes the prospect of quitting at least feasible with the ability of consumers to gradually reduce their nicotine intake.
It’s called a stair step approach and involves weening the mind and body off from the perceived need of nicotine to function. By laying out a plan to reduce the amount of daily nicotine intake, users have the ability to methodically eliminate their addiction to nicotine. We soon plan to produce a highly marketable program to help users break their nicotine habits.
Additional Ingredients Concerning E-Liquid
The beauty of vaping and e-liquid is the simplification or extremely limited amount of ingredients compared to tobacco cigarettes. However, when a multi-billion dollar industry is against the ropes, you can bet that they’ll come out swinging.
In recent years, a new phenomenon known as nicotine salts has emerged. Certain manufacturers have discovered that by adding benzoic acid to liquid nicotine, they can increase the amount of nicotine in their products. It’s very simple, the more nicotine, the stronger the addiction capabilities. Specifically, benzoic acid dilutes nicotine, making inhaling large amounts much more tolerable. If you’re asking why not just increase the nicotine amount without adding benzoic acid, the answer is because too much nicotine leads to a bad flavor or taste and ultimate dissatisfied customers.
- Benzoic Acid is an antimicrobial preservative often used in foods and beverages. It’s commonly used in the production of nicotine salt style e-liquid.
- Diacetyl is an organic compound with a butter like flavor. It occurs naturally in alcoholic beverages and is added to certain foods to enhance flavor. While consuming diacetyl in beverages and foods is considered safe, inhaling it has raised health concerns. Most e-liquid manufacturers removed diacetyl from their products entirely after the potential of a disease known as ‘popcorn lung’ was widely reported to stem from the ingredient.
The Cost of E-Liquid
The cost of e-liquid is incredibly less expensive than tobacco cigarettes. Do to the fact that e-liquid consists of a very small amount of ingredients that are readily available, manufacturers can produce large batches inexpensively. Similarly, because e-liquid is relatively simple to produce, competition is high, encouraging low prices.
With that being said, any vapor device that is disposable or that features a disposable pod that happens to be non-refillable, charges a premium.
E-Liquid Comparative Cost Analysis
For example, JUUL Pods contain 0.7 mL of e-liquid. For a pack of 4 JUUL Pods, a consumer can expect to pay $15. That brutal math breaks down to $3.75 for 0.7 mL of e-liquid.
Alternatively, even what would be considered expensive e-liquid priced at $20 for 30 mL breaks down to just $0.67 cents per 1 mL.
For the sake of comparison, a pack of popular tobacco cigarettes cost $6. Bare in mind that for most vapor users, 1 mL or less is perfectly reasonable to be consumed on a daily basis.
In addition, most e-liquid brands offer bulk buying and or auto-order savings.
Typical Types of E-Liquid
Let’s not forget, the e-liquid space is rapidly growing. Therefore, innovations and variations will continue to emerge in the market.
With that being said, polypropylene glycol, vegetable glycerin and the ratio thereof will remain at the center of distinguishing types of e-liquid.
Here are the current main types of e-liquids.
As generic of a definition as it may be, regular e-liquid is 50 PG/50 VG. Regular e-liquid is the most compatible with vapor devices as most atomizers can handle the ratio.
High VG E-Liquid
High VG e-liquid simply refers to a higher percentage of vegetable glycerin than polypropylene glycol. Sometimes referred to as Max VG, these ratios are often 40 PG/60 VG or 30 PG/70 VG. Most vapor devices that have adjustable wattage and voltage settings can handle High VG e-liquids. However, to ensure maximum performance, it’s sometimes necessary to use the appropriate coil heads to meet the lower viscosity of High VG e-liquids.
It’s also worth pointing out that High VG e-liquid produces significantly more vapor.
Salt E-Liquid (Aka Salt Nic)
Salt nicotine e-liquids burst onto the scene a few years ago and now makeup a large percentage of the e-liquid market. As previously stated, the term salt nicotine e-liquids or ‘salt nics’ are a type of e-liquid that feature an altered version of nicotine rather than simply pure. Specifically, e-liquid manufacturers found that by adding certain acids (usually benzoic) to pure liquid nicotine, they could increase the amount of total nicotine while still producing satisfying and tolerable products.
- Salt nicotine (as marketed) is the product of adding acids to pure nicotine. This creates a more addictive product due to higher amounts (an estimated 2 to 10 times more) of tolerable nicotine. Tolerable simply refers to lessening the harshness of inhaling vaporized nicotine as the acid additive in-part, dilutes the pH level.
- Pure liquid nicotine is extracted from tobacco leaves and filtered to be colorless and odorless. The less light and air that extracted nicotine is exposed to, the higher the purity.
- Freebase or freebasing nicotine is a term that gets tossed around haphazardly concerning e-liquid. Some refer to ‘freebase nicotine’ as simply the liquid form of nicotine used as the ‘base’ of e-liquids containing nicotine, fair enough. However, the term freebase or freebasing nicotine is actually derived from the efforts of tobacco cigarette manufactures to turn nicotine into its de-protonated form. By chemically altering nicotine, they could create a more potent form of product without actually increase the total amount. Thus, the term ‘freebase’ nicotine is more closely associated to what are now known as ‘salt nicotines’.
E-Liquid Flavor Categories
Flavors are by far and away the primary driver of the vapor and ultimately e-liquid craze. With the general process of vaporizing rather than combusting a substance to inhale nicotine solved, the process of creating flavors took off like a rocket ship. With an absurd amount of e-liquid flavors on the market, we’ve done our best to simplify and categorize the madness.
The primary types of e-liquid flavors are as followed:
- Tobacco e-liquid flavors are the most highly sought after as tobacco cigarette smokers seek a similar taste in vapor form. While great experimentation has been done and continues to this day, the most common additional flavors added to tobacco e-liquid are vanilla and caramel. The best tobacco e-liquids have a strong throat hit but aren’t harsh on the throat or bland tasting and can be vaped all day (aren’t overly sweet).
- Menthol e-liquid flavors have been found to mix well with are larger variation of additional flavors than tobacco. While classic cold and refreshing menthol flavors certainly exist, additional flavors such as fruit and candy tend to pair nicely with menthol as well. The best menthol e-liquids deliver a satisfying throat hit and are refreshingly smooth but aren’t obnoxiously sweet.
- Dessert e-liquid flavors make up the vast majority of products in the market. Outside of the occasional federal regulatory check, it’s a no holds barred or wild west marketplace for e-liquid manufacturers to create any flavor under the sun. Distinguishing the best dessert e-liquids is perhaps the most subjective task that anyone in the vapor space can head. Dessert e-liquid flavors typically require a vaping device capable of handling high VG e-liquid. Our recommendation is to have fun experimenting and seek a dessert flavor that is tolerable as an all-day vape.
Matching E-Liquid Types with Devices
As a new vapor user, you might expect that vapor products are a one-size fits all situation. You’ll soon realize however, that with great choice comes the need for great adaptation and customization. It’s never fun to get a new e-liquid flavor only to not be able to vape it because you don’t have the right device. You could have the most delightful and delectable e-liquid flavor on the planet, but without the right device setup, it could taste terrible.
Below are the general guidelines for matching e-liquid types with devices:
- Regular e-liquid (meaning 50PG/50VG), is the most universal and can usually be vaped in any device, regardless of wattage, voltage, amps or oHms.
- High VG e-liquid (meaning 40PG/60VG or 30PG/70VG), almost always needs to be vaped with a device capable of adjusting wattage settings and in some cases with sub-ohm coils.
- Salt e-liquid is typically produced with a 50PG/50VG ratio and is thus able to be vaped in most stock devices. However, the wattage range required for salt nics tends to be more acute than regular e-liquid. Too low of wattage and the salt nics don’t deliver a satisfying throat hit and too high of wattage can easily create a burnt taste. Staying between 15 watts and 40 watts is usually the sweet spot for salt nicotine e-liquid.
Choosing an E-Liquid
Simplifying the process of choosing vapes and e-liquids is sort of our thing. When it comes to choosing an e-liquid, jumping for the shiniest product on the shelf is never a good idea. Some companies pay an exorbitant amount of money to get their e-liquid in front of you, however it’s important that you do a little research to ensure it’s a good match.
Below are the top consideration to take when choosing an e-liquid:
- Reputability. While the flavor name and maybe even brand name may be wonky, is the e-liquid being sold by a reputable company? Is the company information responsible for producing the e-liquid readily available? These are important questions not only from a quality perspective, but the potential long term viability of purchasing their product.
- Availability. In a very small amount of cases, a particular e-liquid flavor will ‘go viral’ and even the most reputable company won’t be able to keep up with demand. However, most reputable e-liquid companies are well stocked and can keep their distributors and retailers supplied. Also, e-liquid brands and ‘businesses’ come and go at an alarming rate, so purchasing from a reputable company will ensure long term availability of your next favorite e-liquid.
- PG/VG Ratios. At the very least, you need to ensure that the e-liquid you’re about to purchase is compatible with your device. Additionally, it’s always nice to find flavors that are available in both regular and high VG options.
- Nicotine Strengths. If you’re a long time smoker, you’ll likely want the highest or near the highest available nicotine strength. Finding an e-liquid flavor with multiple nicotine strengths is an added bonus as you can begin the process of weening yourself off from nicotine.
- Sizes. Choosing the smallest available e-liquid size (usually 10 mL to 15 mL) is a good rule of thumb when sampling a new flavor. The most common size of e-liquid is 30 mL, which will last most vapor users about 1 month. A tremendous amount of savings can often be had by purchasing larger quantities (60 mL and up), but sampling first is always recommended.
- Price. E-liquid pricing varies pretty widely. You can find phenomenal e-liquids from $10 per 30 mL all the way up to $30 per 30 mL. Additionally, many very reputable e-liquid brands phase out old flavors at tremendous discounts and clearance sales. Many online vape shops also offer an additional discount when signing up for an auto-delivery program.
Comparing E-Liquid Flavor Notes
You might think that it’s impossible to create an e-liquid that taste like strawberry shortcake ice cream and surprisingly, you would be wrong. It’s a good idea to go into choosing an e-liquid flavor with a healthy amount of skepticism but be prepared to be amazed. However, just because an e-liquid taste amazing doesn’t necessarily make it a great prospect to consider putting into the full-time rotation (or all day vape) which we discuss in detail further below.
Common e-liquid flavor description terminology:
- On inhale e-liquid flavor notes tend to be subtle. The more important aspect of the inhale is the satisfaction or lack thereof of what’s known as ‘throat hit’.
- On exhale is where the majority of e-liquid flavor notes can be experienced. Particularly with high VG e-liquids, as more vapor is created and ultimately awakening more taste buds.
- The aftertaste of e-liquid is self-explanatory, although it’s often used interchangeably to describe flavor notes on exhale.
E-Liquid Throat Hit
What has popularly been described as the throat hit, is one of the most important factors for new vapor users to consider. One of the reasons tobacco cigarettes are so addictive is the velocity of nicotine entering the bloodstream, specifically by hitting the back of the throat. In order to have a similar experience, not only is an e-liquid with a relatively high amount of nicotine required, but a type of e-liquid where the PG value is nearest 50.
New vapor users will be blown away by the amount of amazing e-liquid flavors available. They’ll also soon realize that most delectable dessert flavors don’t have a tremendous throat hit. This is because most of them are high VG, which lessons the PG side of the ratio and takes away from the throat hit.
Our recommendation is to find a solid 50PG/50VG e-liquid flavor that you can rely on day in and day out first. Then, have fun experimenting with all types of different flavors that aren’t necessarily going to become ‘all day vapes’.
All Day Vape
An all day vape is a commonly used expression among vapor users to describe e-liquid flavors that they don’t mind vaping all day long. They typically consist of flavors that aren’t overwhelming and that deliver impactful throat hits.
Occasional vapes, dessert vapes and or weekend vapes are all expressions used to describe e-liquid flavors that taste amazing but are either too sweet to vape all day or don’t deliver a strong enough throat hit to be satisfy nicotine cravings.
What’s The Most Popular E-Liquid?
Honestly, there are so many e-liquid brands and flavors on the market that it’s incredibly difficult to locate exact which is the most popular or best selling. Not to mention the fact that vapor companies (like most others), aren’t chomping at the bit to give sales data away. The name of the e-liquid game right now is experimentation and new products as companies continue to compete for marketshare.
Therefore, if one was able to hypothetically compile aggregate data on the most popular e-liquids, it would likely show a fairly even categorical equivalent of tobacco and menthol flavors to dessert.
Keeping that in mind and the fact that it’s a subjective question, the following e-liquid flavors have passed the test of time and are among the most sought after:
- Halo Tribeca
- MT Baker Vapor Hawk Sauce
- Vapori American Red Tobacco
- Cuttwood Unicorn Milk
- Vape Wild Murica
- Black Note Virginia Tobacco
- Five Pawns Castle Long
- Pacha Mama Fuji Apple Strawberry Nectarine
- Beard Vape Co No. 32
- Naked 100 American Patriots
- The Milkman Original
- Dinner Lady Lemon Tart
- Kilo Green Apple Sours
- ANML Looper
What If You Can’t Decide On an E-Liquid
We like to be detailed in our research and vaping advice. However, such things as paralysis of analysis exists, especially when presented with a number of different options. As much information and knowledge that we can share, it will never amount to more than personal trial and error. Therefore, we urge you to try a number of different flavors until you find your favorite flavors. Again, we just recommend that you strive to find a solid tobacco flavor first. That way, you’ll never be high and dry.
Advantages of Having Multiple E-Liquids
E-liquids have a 1 to 2 year shelf life, which lends well to vapor users who enjoy trying different e-liquid flavors. As long as your e-liquid isn’t exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat for extended periods of time, it’s perfectly fine to vape a full year into storing it.
- Never run out. If you’re a vapor user, you need to have a constant supply of battery life, e-liquid and coil head replacements (or pods).
- Experiment with new flavors. The ability to taste a plethora of different flavors is one of the best aspects of vaping, take advantage of the possibilities.
- Having seasonal, holiday and evening options. Vaping the same flavor every single day can get boring. By having a collection of your favorite flavors, you can change things up every now and then. Get into the holiday spirit, have a proper summer vape and or experiment with dessert flavors after dinner.
E-liquid brands are many to say the least. You’ll see new e-liquid brands come to life every single week. Some will flourish and some will fold just as quickly. As business owners and entrepreneurs continue strive to enter the vapor market, consumers will never have a shortage of options.
Also, it’s typical for existing trusted vapor companies to roll-out new brands themselves in an attempt to capture a wider customer base. Similarly, most successful e-liquid brands will have multiple lines or collections of product, often categorized into tobacco, menthol, fruit, candy and or dessert options.
E-Liquid Manufactures, Wholesalers & Retailers
With an ever increasing demand for e-liquid, the American market is currently in full swing. Due to the relative simplicity of producing quality e-liquid, sky-high competition among participants has been great for consumers.
Unlike pretty much all other retail products sold in the United States, e-liquid is actually being manufactured within. Granted, a large percentage of the e-liquid consumers purchase in the United States is indeed imported from China, but a number of highly successful vapor businesses are creating their own.
The following e-liquid brands are made in America.
- Vape Wild
- Beard Vape Co.
- MT Baker Vapor
- Naked 100
- Charlies Chalk Dust
- Cosmic Fog
- Five Pawns
- Ripe Vapes
- Double Barrel
- Glas Vapor
- Mad Hatter
- One Hit Wonder
- Ruthless Vapor
- Tobacco Monster
All of the aforementioned e-liquid brands wholesale their products online. The majority of e-liquid sold online stem from brands and flavors bought by retailers and distributors at wholesale prices from manufacturers. In-fact, most e-liquid businesses/brands don’t directly participate in online-retail sales. Most e-liquid wholesalers simply produce e-liquid (fully packaged) and sell it in bulk to retailers at a discount.
The majority of e-liquid that you’ll purchase will be from retailers. The e-liquid retail market is made up of brick and mortar locations as well as online sources. Almost all retail e-liquid sources sell a multitude of brands and flavors.
Factors to keep in mind when purchasing e-liquid from online vape shops:
- Shipping costs will vary by source. Many online vape shops feature free shipping on all order and others require a minimum purchase amount before offering any discounted shipping.
- Subscription discounts are increasingly offered to customers as online vape shops do their best to retain loyal customers.
- Bulk order discounts are typical among online vape shops. The more you buy, the larger the discount you’ll qualify for, especially when it comes to e-liquid.
- Sales and clearance sections of online vape shops are one of the best places to buy e-liquid at a discount. Because, new e-liquid brands and flavors hit the market so often, retailers greatly reduce the price of ‘older’ products to make way for the new.
What’s The Best E-Liquid Brand?
One of our most favorite e-liquid brands is Halo Cigs. Halo is an American success story, starting out small in the northeast and growing into an empire now headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. With that being said, there’s a number of very similar stories from companies across the United States. Frankly, all of the e-liquid brands we listed previously offer phenomenal products. If we had to pick a few of our favorites from that list they would include Vaporfi, Vape Wild, Five Pawns, Charlies Chalk Dust, Ripe Vapes and Beard Vape Co.
Running List of The Best E-Liquid Flavors
|Mt Baker Vapor Vanilla Tobacco E-Liquid||Overall Best Universally Loved Flavor|
|Black Note Virginia Tobacco E-Liquid||Tobacco|
|Vaporfi Menthol Freeze E-Liquid||Menthol|
|Five Pawns Castle Long Dessert E-Liquid||Dessert|
|Pacha Mama Huckleberry Dessert E-Liquid||Fruit|
|Halo Cigs Turkish Tobacco E-Liquid||All Day Vape|
|Mt Baker Vapor Hawk Sauce Menthol E-Liquid||Economy|
|Glas Vapor Blueberry Cake Dessert E-Liquid||Gourmet|
|Halo Cigs Tribeca E-Liquid||Greatest of All-Time|
|Halo Cigs Kringle’s Curse Menthol E-Liquid||Holiday Vape|
|Vaporfi Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Dessert E-Liquid||Summer Vape|