The cost of disposables vs vape kits

If you have been using disposable vapes for some time you may be starting to notice the dent in your wallet, so we’re taking a look at the cost of using disposable vapes compared to making the switch to a reusable vape kit.

Are disposables more expensive than a vape kit?
While individual disposable vapes are quite inexpensive, the cost can add up quickly if you are using them long-term. Standard 2ml disposables usually cost around £5 - £6 per device outside of any deals, while big puff disposables can range from £9 to £20 depending on the e-liquid content, brand, and whether they contain unique ingredients like CBD.

If you are just planning to use a disposable vape as a short-term solution to take with you in place of your usual vape kit, this is not a bad deal, but if you use them all the time it can quickly become an expensive way to vape. For example, the average smoker smokes 10 cigarettes per day, which would equate to using around four 2ml disposable vapes per week. This could wind up costing you £1,250 per year, as demonstrated in the table below:

This is a substantial saving when compared to the continued cost of smoking, which can cost upwards of £2,900 per year for a 10-a-day smoker, but is certainly not the most cost-effective vaping option available.

Reusable vape kits on the other hand require a larger initial investment but cost much less in the long run. Depending on the type of device you choose a starter vape kit can cost anything from £5 to £35, but can be repeatedly recharged and continuously used until the battery begins to degrade and needs to be replaced, which for some devices can be up to eighteen months with care and proper maintenance. Once you have purchased the vape kit the only continuing cost is vape juice and coils/pods.

A 10ml bottle of vape juice contains five times as much e-liquid as a 2ml disposable vape, but actually costs the same as one single disposable, if not less. Using the example of needing four disposable vapes per week, this could mean you would only need to purchase one 10ml bottle of e-liquid per week. Add in the cost of coils and switching from disposable vapes to a refillable vape kit could save you around £1,000 a year!

This handy table demonstrates the cost of disposable vapes compared to other vaping options:

While it is easy to see disposables as a cheaper option when you are buying one or two a couple of times a week, when you look at the cost of using them over a larger period of time it is easy to see how it can add up. Moving to a big puff bar which contains more e-liquid could certainly help you to cut the cost, but ultimately if you want to be spending less money on vaping it is best to choose a reusable vape with a rechargeable battery.

Alternatives to disposable vapes
When choosing a vape kit there are two main options to choose between; prefilled pod kits and refillable vape kits. Which one will best suit you will very much depend on your person preferences and the nicotine strength you use, so lets take a look at the two options.

Prefilled pod kits
These pod mods are probably the most comparable to disposable vapes, in that they tend to have a similar shape and size, and they do not need to be refilled. Instead, the pods for these devices are purchased prefilled with vape juice and can simply be slotted into place and used until they are empty, at which point they can be thrown away and replaced.

This is a bit more approachable for some vapers, as it means they do not have to learn how to refill their vape or change the coil, but it is important to bear in mind that most prefilled pods are only available in high nicotine strengths.

Some prefilled pod kit options are actually made by brands who also make disposable vapes, like the Elf Bar ELFA PRO. This means that the pods are filled with the same vape juice as the Elf Bar disposable vapes, so you can enjoy the same flavours and a similar vaping experience to what you are used to with disposables.

The pods are usually filled with 2ml of e-liquid each, and come in a pack of two. For example, the Tappo pods which are used with the Lost Mary Tappo pod kit cost £5.99 for a pack of two pods outside of any deal, helping you save money and plastic in comparison to continuing to use disposables. This table demonstrates an approximate cost breakdown for prefilled pod kits based on the needs of a vaper using four 2ml disposable vapes per week:

Refillable vape kits
Refillable pod vape kits and vape pens can, as the name suggests, be repeatedly refilled with your chosen compatible e-liquid. Depending on the device you choose it may have a tank or pod with a changeable coil which will need to be replaced periodically when it starts to burn out, or, like with the Vaporesso XROS Cube pod kit, a refillable pod with a fixed coil which allows you to just replace the pod when the coil starts to burn.

These refillable options are the most cost-effective way to vape because, as explained above, they will only require you to purchase vape juice and replacement pods or coils once you have the device all set up.

Some devices also offer additional features that let you adjust your vaping experience, like the Innokin Trine refillable pod vape which has variable wattage, adjustable airflow, and a replaceable battery. These kinds of vapes allow you to choose how much power you prefer to use and how tight or loose the draw feels, so you can tailor how the vape feels to best suit your own preferences.

To make refillable vape kits feel even closer to using a disposable vape, you can try pairing them with a bar salt vape juice like Double Brew or ELFLIQ. These vape juices are available in all of the best disposable vape flavours and offer the same nicotine salt formula for a similar vaping experience. Take a look at our post ‘Which e-liquids taste like disposable vapes?’ to find a vape juice to match all your favourites.

This table demonstrates an approximate cost breakdown for a refillable vape kit based on the needs of a vaper using four 2ml disposable vapes per week:

Disposable vapes vs big puff bars
If you are looking for a way to save some money, but are not quite ready to move from disposable vapes to a reusable vape kit, big puff disposables could be a good alternative.

While they are still disposable, these devices offer a higher puff count and longer life, helping you not only save some money, but also reduce the amount of disposable vapes you are throwing away. For example, one IVG 2400 4 in 1 costs £12.99 and contains as much e-liquid as four standard 2ml disposable vapes, which could cost over £20. This also means it will likely last you as long as four standard disposables, substantially cutting the amount of vape waste you are producing.

This table outlines an approximate cost breakdown for big puff bars based on an e-liquid capacity of 8ml per device and the needs of a vaper using four 2ml disposable vapes per week:

What are disposable vapes?
As the name suggests, disposable vape kits are a short-term vaping solution which come prefilled with vape juice and with a built-in battery. Once the e-liquid inside is used up the device will stop working and will need to be disposed of and replaced. While there are refillable and rechargeable disposable vapes, the majority are single-use.

This makes disposables a convenient option for times like nights out and short trips, when you need to pack light or want to take something that you are not so worried about losing or damaging. They can help manage your cravings and keep you secure on your stop smoking journey while your usual vape kit stays safe at home.

Disposable vapes are available both with or without nicotine, but those that do contain nicotine are usually only available in high strengths, which means they are not necessarily suitable for all vapers, especially those who only usually use quite a low nicotine strength vape juice. This is definitely something to consider if you are thinking about picking up a disposable vape ahead of an event or trip.

What are big puff bars?
Nicotine-containing disposable vapes are limited to a 2ml maximum e-liquid capacity, which will usually allow for approximately 600 puffs per device, however there are some disposables known as big puff bars which either do not contain nicotine or have a unique design that allows them to offer a higher puff count.

Nicotine-free disposables are not limited to a 2ml capacity, and so some big puff disposable vapes come prefilled with up to 10ml of nicotine-free vape juice, like the ELUX Legend 3500 range.

On the other hand, devices like the Elf Bar AF5000 or IVG 2400 utilise a unique design that allows for a higher e-liquid capacity while still containing nicotine. The AF5000 for example comes with 2ml of vape juice prefilled in the device, but also with a 10ml refill container which can be used once the initial e-liquid runs out, offering up to 5000 puffs overall. Whereas the IVG 2400 contains four individual 2ml pods within the device, allowing you to switch between the pods as they run out and offering up to 2400 puffs per device.

Get ahead of the proposed disposable vape ban
If saving money isn’t enough reason to consider moving to a reusable vape kit, there is also the possibility that disposable vapes will no longer be available as of April 2025. This is because the Government have proposed a ban on the sale and supply of disposable vapes as a way to tackle youth vaping and the increased amount of electrical waste that single-use vapes produce.