A beginners guide to choosing the right e-liquid

There are so many different e-liquid options available on the market - it can get a little confusing! A few factors need to be considered - at Vape Simple, we want to make this process as simple (ha... get it?) as possible!

So, lets make the choosing process a little easier for you. We will go through each factor step-by-step and help you to determine which type of e-liquid will suit your needs. 

how to choose an e liquid

1. Nicotine

The first factor to consider is nicotine - most importantly, do you want your e-liquid to contain nicotine or not? 

If you are using vaping to quit smoking, then the answer should be yes. If you are only vaping for flavour or enjoyment, then you should not use a nicotine e-liquid as you don’t want to develop an unnecessary addiction. 

If you have chosen to use an e-liquid without nicotine, then skip to the step 2.

1(a) Nicotine Type

Firstly, you’ll probably want to decide which type of nicotine you want in your e-liquid. There are 2 types:

  • Freebase nicotine
  • Nicotine salts

Freebase nicotine is the most commonly used option. The majority of nicotine e-liquids will contain freebase nicotine - it works best in lower strengths (i.e. 3mg to 12mg), otherwise it can become too harsh and the flavour may become weaker. 

Nicotine salts, on the other hand, work very well in higher strengths (i.e. 10mg to 30mg). These e-liquids create a much smoother, softer throat hit and a strong flavour profile. 

Please note: you can buy nicotine shots in both of these nicotine types. Nicotine shots are made to be added to your e-liquid ‘shortfill’. A shortfill e-liquid is a bottle of flavoured e-juice (usually 25ml - 200ml) that contains no nicotine - there is space left empty in the bottle so that you can add your chosen nicotine shot. This is because it’s illegal to sell nicotine e-liquids larger than 10ml in the UK. 

1(b) Nicotine Strength

Now that you’ve chosen which type of nicotine you’d like, it’s time to choose the strength. The best way to get this right is through trial and error - try different strengths until you find one that satisfies you the most. 

Here is a rough guide to follow based on how many cigarettes you would normally smoke. This will give you some idea of where to start: 

Less than 5 cigarettes per day - 3mg 

5-10 cigarettes per day - 6mg

10-15 cigarettes per day - 9mg

15-20 cigarettes per day - 12mg

20-25 cigarettes per day - 18mg

25+ cigarettes per day - 24mg

If you are using nicotine shots rather than a pre-mixed nicotine e-liquid, this article on how many nicotine shots to add will explain how reach the desired strength. 

2. PG/VG

E-liquids have different PG/VG ratios and this affects the way that they work in different e-cigarette devices. PG stands for propylene glycol, and VG stands for vegetable glycerin. These are both vital ingredients - a higher PG will cause the e-liquid to have a stronger throat hit, but a higher VG will cause the flavour profile to be more prominent. 

The most common PG/VG ratios are 50/50, 70/30, and 8/20. E-liquids with the 50/50 ratio are best for smaller, less powerful devices. This is because they don’t require a lot of power to get a strong flavour. 

E-liquids with a 70/30 or 80/20 ratio work best with more powerful devices. These e-liquids create larger clouds but require more power from the e-cigarette to experience the full flavour. 

3. Flavour

Now you’ve gone through the previous steps, your e-liquid choices will have been refined down a bit. Next is the fun part - choosing the flavour! 

The best way to do this is by trying out lots of different brands and flavour types until you figure out what you like and what you don’t. Your taste in real-life foods/ drinks may not always reflect in your preferred e-liquid flavours, so it’s best to try out a variety. 

At Vape Simple, we have categorised all of our e-liquids by flavour category. For example, menthol, fruity, tobacco, sweet, or dessert. After a while, you will begin to recognise which flavour categories you like the best.