This e-cigarette buying guide will help you quickly find the safest, most reliable and most satisfying beginner e-cigarette kits for the best prices in the UK. Here is my list of top-recommended tried-and-tested UK e-cigarette starter kits for 2020.
Best UK E-cigarettes (2020)
Best basic e cigarette starter kit
1. ePuffer XPod
For me, the XPOD from UK supplier ePuffer is the best basic e-cigarette for beginners to start off with.
I’m calling this a basic kit, because it doesn’t include any advanced features like temperature control, choice of coil resistance, etc.
But in my opinion, features like these aren’t really a priority for all brand-new e cigarette users anyway.
Despite its simplicity, what this e-cig starter kit does offer is day-long battery life, rich vapour and reliable relief from cigarette cravings. So yes, it is an uncomplicated e-cigarette device, but it nevertheless promises a very satisfying vaping experience. It’s also small, super-light and easy to conceal.
Most importantly for beginners though, the XPOD is really easy to use right out of the box. What’s more, if you choose pre-filled pods it also requires next to no setting up at all.
For these reasons, I think this is a great little elementary device for anyone wanting to see how they get along with using an e-cigarette without having to commit to a huge spend. And if you do choose to buy a more complex kit in future, you can still hold onto your XPOD as a backup vape.
To make it work, you simply take an pre-filled ePuffer e-liquid pod, slip it onto your power unit and suck. That’s it. The two parts snap softly together (as if by magic) with hidden magnet connectors. No screws, buttons or clips to worry about at all!
The XPOD’s pre-filled 1.5ml pods taste strong (I ordered the 20mg tobacco and menthol flavours) and vapour was nice and thick. Just what you need when you’re trying to get settled with your new e-cigarette.
If you prefer an even stronger vapour and tighter draw, just cover one of the air holes with your thumb or finger. It’s a bit like playing the recorder!
Perhaps the biggest advantage of this rudimentary e-cig is its 375mAh battery, which charges quickly and gives you a day or so of use. This factor alone makes the XPOD a much better choice than the oft-recommended “cigalike” e-cig, which has tiny batteries and loses power quickly.
The only downside with this device is refilling (blank pods), which is a bit tricky at first, though not impossible.
All in all though, considering what you’re getting, the unsophisticated XPOD is great value for money and the perfect electronic cigarette to start with.
This kit comes complete with e-cigarette, charging cable and three empty pods. However, you’ll need to order either e-liquid or pre-filled pods to be able to start using it.
Things I like about this e-cig kit
- Simple to use: minimal maintenance and not much to go wrong
- Flexible: option to use either refillable blank pods (cheaper) or pre-filled pods
- Portable: light (23g), concealable and easy to carry
- Attractive: clean and simple build and appearance
- Reliable: good battery life and unlikely to leak
- Convenient: charges quickly via USB port
- Money savings: £22.50 with 10% discount available with this kit
Save 10% with ECIGFIND coupon code
Best E-Cig for Flavour
2. Uwell Caliburn
If you’re looking for an e-cig kit that really gives you a supreme flavour experience, you’d do well to check out the Uwell Caliburn. Thanks to its generous airflow and temperature control, it’s now become one of the most popular e-cigarette choices for UK flavour fiends.
The Caliburn is a pod e-cig, though unlike most others, this one gives you a looser, warmer draw, meaning flavours really pop out. This is ideal if you prefer a little less draw resistance to give bigger puffs of rich-tasting vapour.
There’s also a choice of three custom power settings designed with your taste buds in mind. These work by warming the vapour in your e-cig to get it tasting just the way you want it.
I find the highest power setting brings out tangy, sharp tones, so great for fruit-flavoured e-liquids. Meanwhile, the lower two settings are better for deeper more complex notes, such as vanilla or tobacco. I personally prefer the middle setting as it gives me the best of both worlds!
This e-cigarette’s added functionality of flavour control is also a real bonus if you’re a fan of stronger, sweeter-tasting vapes. These kinds of liquid often clog up pod-type e-cigs, but seem to work fine in the Caliburn. That said, I’d recommend sticking to maximum 50-50 VG/PG for best results with this 1.4ohm coil.
The higher capacity 2ml juice cartridges that come with this e-cigarette kit give you more vaping between refills. This means more time to savour those flavours and less time worrying about refilling. One refill should be enough to get you through a day with moderate use, though it’s probably wise to carry a spare.
I think the most outstanding quality of this model is its responsiveness to suction, as this has a big impact on enjoyment of whatever flavours you’re vaping. Literally as soon as you begin to suck (even gently) you can feel vapour filling your mouth. In this way, you can savour cooler, more subtle tones before vapour gets too warm.
This e-cig kit comes with with vape power device, one empty 2ml refill pod, USB charging cable and instruction manual, but no e-liquid included.
Other top features of this e-cig
- Choice of draw activation (suction) or button activation to release vapour
- High capacity 520mAh battery for longer vaping
- Traffic light charge indicator to show remaining battery life
- Micro USB port for fast-charging
- Easy to assemble and simple button operation so appropriate for all experience levels
5% discount with ECIGFIND coupon code
Best Cheap Pod Vape E-Cig
3. Jac Vapour VIM AIO Vape Mod
Finding a low-cost e-cig that actually satisfies can be a bit of a challenge these days. In my opinion though, Jac Vapour’s VIM AIO Vape Mod Kit is both satisfying and very affordable.
As budget e-cigarettes go, this one is definitely one of the most reliable and satisfying in the UK. What’s also reassuring is that it’s manufactured and designed to the highest standards by a trusted British vape supplier.
At just over £20, this electronic cigarette isn’t the very cheapest device in the UK, but it is excellent value for money given the supreme quality and design you get back in return.
The VIM’s ultimate selling point is that it’s an e-cigarette which offers maximum first-time vaping satisfaction at an affordable price. The device has been around for a while now. However, thanks to ongoing modifications, it’s still popular in the UK as a more versatile alternative e-cig to Juul and other low-price pod vapes.
And if you’re thinking that a budget device must give a less satisfying vape than some of the more compact off-the-shelf models, you’d be wrong.
The VIM e-cig can handle pretty much any vape liquid you choose to put in it, and still give you the most enjoyable vaping experience. It will take high VG (up to 70%) and even thicker nic salt liquids, which vapourise smoothly and without dry hits.
The bigger battery is another strong reason why this British e-cigarette model is the best of the bunch when it comes to finding a great budget kit. With its 2600mAh built-in power source, you’ll get a day of vaping between charges, as long as you take it easy and don’t chain vape!
Some of the most popular pod e-cigs are extremely cheap to buy, but expensive to keep using because of pricey disposable refills. Not so with the VIM, which is much cheaper to run in the longer term. Why?
Well, first of all, its pre-filled tanks are bigger (2ml) and work out cheaper than many other better-known disposable vape pods. Secondly, with VIM, you have the option to choose empty tanks to refill with your own e-liquid instead of disposables. In this way, you get a longer-lasting vape than with a mini pod vape but for much lower daily costs.
The AIO kit comes with 1 reusable tank, but you can choose pre-filled disposables in the drop-down options on the Jac Vapour site, too. If you stick with the tanks, you’ll need to order refill liquid and a few spare coils (the S-Coil 1.50ohm is the best one for new users in my opinion).
Other top features of this e-cig
- High capacity 2600mAh battery for all-day vaping
- Simple design with no adjustable controls – just press button and vape!
- Light plastic design and soft, ergonomic feel
- Easy to detach and replace tank units from device body
- Fast charging with micro USB
- Button activated draw (not suction)
15% off with ECF coupon code with first Jac Vapour orders
Best E-Cig for Nicotine Salts
4. Innokin EQs Pod Kit
Not all devices can deal with nicotine salts (nic salt) e-liquid so well because it’s generally a bit thicker and can clog up your coil. However, Innokin’s latest model, the EQs Vape Pod Kit, promises a smooth vape and no harsh throat hit even with high-strength nic salt juices.
The EQs is an MTL e-cigarette that offers one of the strongest and most satisfying vapes anyway, but using it with nicotine salts gives you even smoother and better-tasting vapour than usual.
The EQs has three power settings, so that you can fine tune vapour warmth and nicotine strength to your own personal liking. I found this mini e-cigarette device gives best results with 12mg nicotine salts at 13.W, which is the middle setting. This gives you a fairly warm vapour, which is strong, smooth and very satisfying.
The key reason why the EQs is so well-suited to nicotine salts is its MTL Mesh Plex 3d coil. This is hidden inside the pod section and is the part that converts e-liquid into vapour that you inhale. The mesh coil works by spreading out any heat generated by the battery, and so eliminates hot spots and dry hits.
Mesh coils are ideal for any kind of e-liquid, and you won’t just find these types of coil in the EQs. In this e-cig however, the enhanced 0.48 ohm mesh coil maximises the effect of nicotine salts perfectly to give you a really rich-tasting vapour, and a smooth throat hit that hits the spot nicely.
This kit comes with one blank 2ml pod. E-liquid is also not included in this package.
Other recommended features of this e-cigarette
- High capacity 800mAh battery for one day+ vaping
- Tight draw and wider mouthpiece
- Easy to use single-button interface and refilling system
- Ideal for all experience levels
- Just over one hour to fully recharge
- Power device is also compatible with older EQ pods (though results with nic salts may differ)
5% off with ECIGFIND coupon code
Best Vape Pen to Help you Stop Smoking
5. Series-S22 Mesh Kit
For me, Jac Vapour’s Series-S22 Mesh Kit is the perfect choice of electronic cigarette for people trying to give up smoking in the UK in 2020. Chunkier than a vape pen, but more portable than a serious mod-tank combo, this e-cig gives you everything you could ever need in a stop-smoking vape kit. And it costs less than £40!
This is a foolproof, reliable, and durable model with basic adjustable controls, which gets your vape as close to the experience of smoking as possible. For me, the S22 starter kit ticks all these boxes and more.
Firstly, the S22’s reassuringly solid, no-nonsense build means you can depend on it to satisfy smoking cravings on the move. An ex-smoker myself, I used the original S22 model for a whole year, and it never let me down. It also survived numerous bumps, scrapes and drops on the floor without any lasting damage.
Reliable power and durability are key requirements for recent ex-smokers, and the Series S22 gives you a very adequate 2600mAh battery unit. This should give you around a day of vaping before you need another recharge. That said, with smaller mods, it’s always wise to carry a spare battery in case power drops when cravings strike.
Also really useful for smokers and recent ex-smokers are the easy-to-use adjustable airflow and temperature features in this kit. These let you adjust vapour strength, heat and suction (draw resistance) to make vaping feel more like smoking a cigarette.
Though the assembled S22 doesn’t look much like a real cigarette, it does have a long slender body which is easy to hold. In this way, you have a more “cigarette-like” feel than you might otherwise get with a bigger tank-mod combo.
Yet another bonus for those aiming to stop smoking with vaping is the mesh coil included in the Series-S22 kit. The 0.8 ohm S-coil produces a cooler and smoother vapour than the 1.2ohm coil that’s available as an add-on.
However, both coils are MTL (mouth-to-lung) types. Likewise, both produce a vapour that closely resembles tobacco smoke in terms of texture and strength. For this reason, either coil is ideally-suited to the needs of ex-smokers who want an e-cig to feel more like smoking to help them quit.
Using the airflow and temperature controls should help you get your vapour tasting more like a cigarette. If these adjustments still don’t give you the strength or smoothness you need, consider ordering the 1.2ohm Mesh S-coils, which burn hotter, and produce a stronger, sharper-tasting vapour.
This product comes with one free e-liquid thrown in. If you do go for the S22, I’d recommend you choose the strongest (12mg) nic salt UK Tobacco e-liquid to go with it. This will give you the best chance of seeing how effective this electronic cigarette can be at smashing your tobacco cravings.
Other top features of this kit
- Top-fill tank for easy refilling
- Nic salt compatible coil
- Micro USB for fast charging
- 5-Click safety lock
- Full warranty and returns guarantee
- Full customer support from trusted British supplier
- 15% first purchase discount on marked price (see below)
15% off for new Jac Vapour customers with ECF discount code
How to find the best e cig starter kit for you in 2020
To find an e cig vape starter kit that’s the ideal one for you in 2020, you’ll need to consider your own personal preferences, circumstances and needs.
For example, is your ultimate goal in buying an electronic cigarette to stop smoking, or just to cut down? If so, are you a light, occasional or heavy smoker? And what is it that you want to get from vaping? Is it the flavour, the sensation, the nicotine buzz or the social aspects that are important to you? Or is it all of the above?
Also, are you a complete newcomer to vaping, or have you used an e-cigarette at some point in the past? You may have bought something a while back and so already know roughly what you want.
Are you looking for a basic, easy-to-use vape pen to get you through the next couple of months? Or do you want a much more reliable vape starter kit that you can keep using in the longer term?
These are all essential things to consider before you buy a beginner e cig kit in 2020. Once you know what kind of start kit you’re after, you can start looking around.
But which features are best for new UK users looking to buy their first vape kit?
Optimum features to look for in your first e cig starter kit
Here are a few things to look out for and help you make the right decisions when making that first crucial vape starter kit purchase.
Easy set up and simple to use
First and foremost, as an inexperienced vaper, you’ll want to be able to start using your new vape device right away and with next-to no set up issues to worry about.
Check how many parts your device comes with go for something that is as simple as possible to put together. Basic pod vapes and vape pen starter kits are the recommended choice in this respect as minimal parts mean they’re really easy to assemble.
As well as setting your device up, you should also choose a device that’s really easy for you to use.
Handy features like airflow and adjustable power controls are worthwhile in any vape kit. But if it’s simplicity you’re after, you may choose to forgo these options in favour of a more foolproof vaping experience.
For beginner vapers, the wisest choice of vape device is an MTL, or “mouth-to-lung” device. MTL refers to the type of “coil” or vapour-making device inside your e-cigarette.
MTL coils give you more flavour, and a tighter, more cigarette-like draw. They are also are generally a lot easier for beginners to set up and start using.
Some models are branded as “generic”, meaning you can switch between MTL and DL (direct-to-lung) modes. But in the beginning, it’s best to choose a dedicated MTL vape kit.
MTL-type e-cigarette devices are usually the first choice for new users because they give you:
- a tighter draw (suction resistance)
- cooler vapour
- stronger flavours
- a more cigarette-like feel
- longer battery usage (more vaping time)
- easy set-up and maintenance
Disposable and pre-filled cartridge options
In my opinion, it’s best for beginners to go for disposable or pre-filled cartridges, pods and vape coils when choosing their first starter kit.
While disposables are a more costly choice in the longer term, what they do give new vapers is simplicity and ease of use.
Disposable cartridges are usually either blank (for you to refill yourself) or pre-filled (which you dispose of when flavour disappears).
The right shape, size and feel
For new e-cig users, that first vape device needs to feel right in terms of size, shape and texture, both in your mouth and in your hand. But these days, many e-cig devices are huge, bulky – and totally unsuitable for beginners.
In general, buying a smaller vape device is the wisest step for most new vapers. This is because smaller devices will usually:
- take you less time to charge
- be easier to carry around
- cost you less money
Choosing the right vape mouthpiece
New vape users often underestimate the importance of the mouthpiece (the bit you suck on) that come with their starter kit. But choosing the right size and shape mouthpiece can be make or break when it comes to feeling comfortable with vaping in the long term.
Many vape starter kits these days come with a choice of two or three mouthpieces, though they can also be bought separately.
If you’re new to vaping, it’s best to go for a thin, narrow mouthpiece if possible. This is because a thin tip will give you more concentrated flavours by focusing more vapour right onto your tongue. It will also generally feel smaller and more comfortable between your lips.
Power and charging features
For complete newcomers to vaping, a long-lasting battery and super-fast charging times are essential features to look for in that first vape starter kit.
However, if you want even more control over vapour quality, flavour and strength, adjustable power may also be an option you may want to consider.
Choosing a device with “built-in” power means you don’t need to access or remove the battery, and this is the simplest choice for beginners. With this power set-up, you just charge and recharge your vape device directly from a laptop or wall charger. In other words, you won’t need to remove batteries to charge them.
Enough power for a day’s vaping
Ideally, beginners will need around enough battery power for one full day’s vaping. Most modern pod vapes, vape pens and mod tank starter kit packages will give you at least this much vaping time between charges.
However, smaller “cigalike”-type vapes nearly always fall short in this respect, because of their tiny batteries. For this reason, cigalike vapes are best avoided.
Many experienced vapers would probably agree that adjustable power is a “must have” feature in even the most basic of vape kits.
Adjustable power gives you the option to make vapour stronger, warmer and tastier. And not having adjustable power functionality in your vape device means you will have less control over these factors.
That said, some new users prefer the simplicity of fixed power over the flexibility that variable power options offer.
Maximum power output
Check “maximum output” of any device you want to buy. For MTL vaping purposes, maximum output need only be around 40W. This is because MTL coils generate less heat and generally work best at very low voltages (10-15W).
Fast charging time
Finally, it’s best to check estimated charging time on whichever vape kit you have your heart set on. Acceptable charging times start from 30 minutes to one hour. After all, no beginner wants to wait much longer than that for their vape pen, pod or mod to recharge.
Kit contents checklist
As a brand-new vaper, it goes without saying that you’ll be looking for the best value for money in your first vape starter kit. And that means making sure you get as much stuff in your kit as possible. But what things should you expect to get in a good starter kit?
When choosing your first vape kit, use this checklist to make sure it contains these items as a bare minimum:
- power device (or “mod”)
- tank (if part of a mod-tank combo or vape pen)
- charging cable (ideally micro usb as well as wall charger)
- at least one spare vape coil or pod (some starter kits give you two or more)
- battery (unless device has built-in power)
- a choice of mouthpieces
- spare parts (glass tank parts if mod-tank-combo, rubber seals, screws etc)
- instruction manual
Which is the best vape liquid to use with a new e-cig starter kit?
Some starter kits come with e-liquid supplied, but most don’t, so you’ll usually need to order liquid separately. But which type of vape liquid is the best for new users to start off with?
Thinner vape liquids are the best choice for beginners
As a general rule of thumb, thinner e-liquids are your best bet when you’re a complete vape novice starting off with a new kit.
This is because less heavy types of liquid flow more smoothly in a wider range of devices. And on the whole, they’ll also give you way more flavour and strength than thicker liquids.
But how can you tell which vape liquids are thin and which aren’t?
When choosing vape liquid for your new kit, look for liquids with high PG and low VG content. I would recommend a ratio of between 70% and 85% PG for new vape users. This will give you a nice thin, smooth-flowing liquid that will be easy to vape and which won’t clog your coils.
Which kinds of e-cigarette kit are most suitable for beginners?
In the last ten years, vaping has changed massively, and so have device types for new users. There are now more different kinds of e-cigarette kits than you can throw a stick at. However, many of these vape kits are aimed more towards advanced users, while others are best for beginners.
So to clear up the confusion, here’s a quick run-down of UK-available device kit types which are most suitable for newcomers to vaping. Compare features of each vape kit type to see which is the best choice for you.
1. Vape pen kits
Vape pens are often the first choice for new vapers because they are usually the simplest type of vape device to set up and use. They are also often very affordable.
Old-style vape pens (which do actually often look like pens) generally have only two sections: a small refillable tank and a very simple power unit with a manual power button. Vape pen tanks usually contain a basic wicking system which draws e-liquid onto a disposable coil to produce vapour.
Traditional vape pen starter kits are still popular with new vapers. But more recent vape pen models include new features for added functionality while maintaining the small and simple appeal of the original design.
Benefits of vape pens for beginners
- cheap to buy and replace
- small and portable
- easy to use
- usually refillable
- cheap replacement parts
- fast recharging
Downsides of vape pens for beginners
- smaller batteries, so poor battery life
- small tank capacity (with older models especially)
- leakage issues on old-style models
- in some models whole tank unit needs replacing, and not just coil
- very limited functionality so less control over airflow, power, etc
2. Pod vape kits
Pod vapes are a relatively recent innovation in the history of vaping, and started as a way to make vaping simpler and more appealing to beginners. In the UK, pod vape kits have really taken off in recent years, and there are now many different types of pod kit for new vapers to choose from.
Like vape pens, pod vape e-cigarettes are designed primarily for simplicity and optimum ease of use. But pod-style vape kits take this simplicity to the next level in several distinct ways.
Firstly, pod vape devices are much more compact and user-friendly for new users than other e-cig types. This makes them more portable (and concealable). Unlike vape pens, pod vapes have juice pods (rather than tanks). These often connect to the power unit with a single click rather than a screw thread. When pods die, you replace the whole pod, not just the coil.
Pod vapes are the best option for nicotine relief
Secondly, pod vapes are designed for nicotine delivery rather than making pretty clouds. This makes them the most appropriate choice of vape device for new users and recent ex-smokers in search of that instant nicotine hit.
Pod vapes are built to run on nicotine salt vape juices, which can often clog up other less dedicated vape devices.
Benefits of pod vapes for beginners
- affordable initial kit purchase costs (£15 – £40)
- very reliable nicotine hit, especially with nic salt e-liquids
- a vaping experience which is very close to smoking
- some pod systems are refillable
- great to use as back-up devices
- vapour usually generated by suction instead of power button
- lightweight and portable
- very user-friendly and simple to use
- very low e-liquid usage
- streamlined appearance
Downsides of pod vapes for beginners
- whole pod (not just coil) will need changing when it wears out
- pods can be expensive to buy
- cheaper pod systems have very basic airflow and power controls (or none at all)
3. Mini mod-tank combo kits
Mini mod-tank combos are smaller, more beginner-friendly versions of bigger “box mod” vape models, which are for more advanced vapers.
This type of e-cig kit is the perfect choice for new users who want a bit more control over power, airflow, flavour and other features of their vape. Even the most basic mini mods usually consist of three parts: a juice tank, a replaceable coil and a power unit.
While mini mod-tank combos do offer more flexibility, they can also be more complicated for complete beginners to figure out. Above all, make sure that have a coil that is compatible with the mod you’re using, and that your not over-powering your device.
Benefits of mini mod combos for beginners
- much more flexibility and control over vapour quality than with pods or vape pens
- cost of replacement coils is cheaper than for pods
- bigger battery so more power storage and longer vaping between charges
- wider choice of vape coils
- more juice tank capacity than with many vape pens and pods
- ability to mix and match mods, tanks and coils (but check compatibility of parts)
Downsides of mini mod combos for beginners
- higher initial kit costs (£20-£50)
- you need at least a basic knowledge of coil types, resistance and wattage
- more parts so more to go wrong
How much should you ideally spend on your first vape kit?
You shouldn’t spend too much on your first vape kit purchase, even if you can afford it. After all, you don’t want to end up with a kit that’s too snazzy for beginners to understand how to use.
That said, buying too cheap could land you with a vape device that might not satisfy your cigarette cravings.
|Recommended e cigarette types for smokers||Typical UK price range (2020)|
|Beginner MTL Mod-Tank combos||£20 – £60+|
|Basic Pod Vape Systems||£15 – £30|
|Cigalikes and Vape Pens||£10 – £25|
Where is the best place to buy vape starter kits?
It’s always better to try things before you buy them, and this is no less true when it comes to buying your first vape starter kit. After all, a device that looks good on a website might not feel right once you get it out of its shiny box. And by then it could be too late to get a refund.
Your local high street vape store will give you the best chance to see what kind of starter kit is right for you. You’ll be able to ask questions, try things out and really see which benefits individual devices can offer you.
On the other hand, once you do have a good idea of what you’re looking for, there are now a lot of very professional vape suppliers on the internet to choose from in the UK. What’s more, many vape virtual stores now have chat windows on their websites, and will be happy to answer even the daftest of questions from total beginners.