Rechargeable Vapes vs. Disposable: What Are the Differences?

Disposable vapes have been on the market for almost as long as vaping has existed. Throughout the first decade of the vaping industry, though, most vapers avoided disposable products because they were generally quite unsatisfying to use. Early disposable vapes were usually only available in tobacco and menthol flavors. They often didn’t last through a full day of use, and when they did work, they produced small and unsatisfying clouds. If you wanted to have a good experience, you needed to use a rechargeable vape kit.

Today’s disposable vapes, however, are completely different from the devices of the past. They last longer, and they’re much more satisfying than they used to be. They’re also filled with the same tasty e-liquids that were previously available only in bottled form. Disposable vapes have been completely transformed, and they’ve become some of the most popular vaping devices in the world in the process.

So, what should you choose if you’re faced with a decision between rechargeable and disposable vapes in 2023? As you’re about to learn, both types of vapes have their own pros and cons.  In this guide, we’ll help you make the choice that’s right for you.

Note: Although this article focuses on rechargeable vapes that you can use indefinitely, there are actually some disposable vapes with rechargeable batteries. The Innokin INNOBAR S3 is an example of a rechargeable disposable vape. Using a disposable vape with a rechargeable battery means that the device’s only limiting factor is how much e-liquid it contains. You can recharge the battery as many times as necessary until the device has no vape juice remaining.

Rechargeable Vapes Last Longer Than Disposable Vapes
One of the biggest reasons to buy a rechargeable vaping device is that the best rechargeable vapes can last a very long time. A good lithium-ion battery can typically last through hundreds of charge cycles before its capacity decreases noticeably, which means that a vape mod with a built-in battery may last up to a year or so before you need to replace it. A vape mod with a removable battery can last even longer since you can replace the battery when it no longer holds a charge. The fact that a rechargeable vape pen is something you only need to replace every year or two means that rechargeable vapes cost much less than disposable vapes in the long run.

A disposable vape, on the other hand, typically lasts only a few days until it’s time to discard it. We designed the Innokin INNOBAR Enviro to be easy to recycle, and there is no other disposable vape like it in the world. Most disposable vapes, however, end up in landfills and contribute to pollution. The fact that rechargeable vaping devices last longer makes them inherently more environmentally friendly.

Note, however, that there is a middle ground. The Innokin INNOBAR C1, for instance, is a rechargeable vape pen that stores its e-liquid in disposable pods. A pre-filled pod system gives you much of the convenience of a disposable vape without the environmental baggage because you can continue using the device as long as the battery holds a charge.

Disposable Vapes Give You the Most Cigarette-Like Experience
One of the biggest points in favor of disposable vapes is the fact that no other vaping device feels quite as much like a cigarette when you use it. As a smoker, you’re used to taking a cigarette out of a pack and lighting it whenever you feel a craving for nicotine. You don’t have to think about recharging a battery, refilling a tank or replacing an atomizer coil – cigarettes are ready to use whenever you want them. Disposable vapes work in much the same way; you can carry a device in your pocket all day, and it’s ready to use whenever you need it.

In fact, you could actually say that disposable vapes are even easier to use than cigarettes because there’s no need to hunt for a lighter when you want to use your device. A disposable vape also has the advantage of taking up much less space in your pocket than a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. If you simply can’t envision yourself switching to vaping successfully unless the experience is as convenient as smoking, you’re definitely going to want to use a disposable vape.

Rechargeable Vapes Give You More Customization Options
Some rechargeable vapes – like the Innokin INNOBAR C1 mentioned above – are designed for maximum simplicity and convenience. Others, though – like the Innokin Kroma 217 – are designed to give you the freedom to mold your vaping experience according to your wishes. When you have a vaping device that uses threaded attachments, you can use that device with any tank you like. Moreover, a good vape tank will always have several coil options that allow you to customize your experience even further. Between the options that you have for your tank, your coil, your airflow setting and your device’s wattage setting, the best rechargeable vapes let you create a vaping experience that’s truly your own. With disposable vapes, on the other hand, you can only affect your experience by buying a different device.

Disposable Vapes Are More Satisfying Than They Used to Be
In the past, one of the biggest drawbacks of disposable vapes was that they simply weren’t satisfying enough to help smokers switch fully to vaping. They produced very small vapor clouds, and they were typically filled with low-nicotine e-liquid. People bought rechargeable vapes because they needed the bigger cloud production, or the lower-nicotine e-liquid wouldn’t be satisfying enough.

In recent years, though, the development of nicotine salt e-liquid has made it possible to have a completely satisfying experience even with a device that produces smaller clouds. Nicotine salt is markedly smoother than freebase nicotine at high strengths, and that has made it possible for e-liquid makers to create higher-strength products that don’t cause throat irritation. Thanks to nicotine salt e-liquid, today’s disposable vapes deliver much more nicotine per puff than the devices of the past – so satisfaction is no longer an issue. On a per-puff basis, using a disposable vape feels very much like smoking.

Rechargeable Vapes Have the Widest Flavor Selection
If you’ve ever visited a well-stocked vape shop, you know that it’s not uncommon for a good vape shop to have literally hundreds of different e-liquid flavors on display at any given time – and that’s just the beginning. In addition to the mainstream e-liquid brands that every vape shop carries, there are also smaller brands that only sell within specific regions and craft e-liquid makers that you can only find online. There are more vape juice flavors in the world today than any one person could ever try – and all of that variety is available to you if you use a rechargeable vaping device because you can put any e-liquid you like into your tank or pod. That’s always been the biggest draw of rechargeable vaping devices – the fact that every e-liquid on the market is available to you.

If you simply won’t be satisfied unless you can taste as many different e-liquid flavors as you can possibly get your hands on, you will definitely be happiest with a rechargeable vape. It must be said, though, that today’s disposable vapes are no slouches in the flavor department. They’re no longer limited to just tobacco and menthol flavors like they were in the early days of vaping. Any good disposable vape will have at least 10 flavors available, and some models have many more than that. It also must be said that all of the most popular e-liquid flavor profiles are available in disposable devices. With that being said, disposable vapes will never compete with rechargeable devices in terms of flavor variety.

Disposable Vapes Are More Affordable Than Ever
Along with the poor flavor selection and low satisfaction, one of the biggest drawbacks of disposable vapes in the past was that they were simply too expensive. In the early days of the vaping industry, a disposable vape usually cost significantly more than a pack of cigarettes and might not even last through a full day of use. That’s not a very cost-effective way to switch from smoking to vaping, and the high prices of the early disposable vapes helped to ensure that most early vapers selected rechargeable devices instead.

The problem with the early disposable vapes was that they were almost always similar in size and shape to tobacco cigarettes. Without the visual cue, smokers wouldn’t know what they were. Today, though, almost all smokers are aware of vaping, and that means the devices don’t need to look like cigarettes anymore. Today’s disposable vapes are a little larger than the devices of the past, which means that they can have larger batteries and can hold more e-liquid. You can expect a modern disposable vape to last at least a few days before it runs out of e-liquid, but today’s devices cost about the same as they did in the past. Thanks to their increased longevity, disposable vapes now cost less than cigarettes in almost all regions. The low price makes them very compelling as alternatives to tobacco products.