Premium is a word that gets thrown around a lot — especially when it comes to e-juice. What does the label mean, and why does it cost more? Not all premium e-juice is created equal or even truly deserving of the title.
Learn more about what goes into creating a premium e-juice. It goes way deeper than just the recipes — encompassing everything from the production down to the testing. See the full guide below to learn more.
If you’re looking for true premium e-juice, these are the seven highest quality premium e-juice brands based on comprehensive testing.
Taste is subjective, so defining one e-liquid as being the best over another is not an easy task. With a rigid set of criteria, this list defines what makes an e-liquid the best e-juice out there. Taking vaping to another level is sometimes just a matter of an upgrade in the quality of the vape juice. With too much choice and a multitude of new flavorings appearing almost daily, the waters are beginning to look muddy. This list will hopefully clear that up by highlighting some brands and products that rise above their peers. Quit Smoking Community is always on the lookout for the best in electronic cigarettes, accessories, and juices that we believe our loyal readers will enjoy. Though this list is far from exhaustive as there are so many great vape juices on the market, we believe that the juices on this list will hit the mark for many vapers.
Best Premium E-Juice Eliquid
Competition is fierce as vape manufacturers try to take a portion of the vape juice market. Which is a good thing for customers as it means that there is more thought put into the flavor and quality of juices. To create this list of the top vape juices, we tested premium juices from brands we believe in. We only picked juices that lived up to our own high standards that we know our readers are looking for. If life’s too short to vape bad juice, then these juices should find a place in every vapers juice tank!
Types of E-Juice Flavors
There are four general categories of vape juices:
Just about every e-liquid manufacturer has a tobacco flavored juice in their line-up of flavors. Since ex-smokers are looking to replicate the flavor and experience of smoking a cigarette, it makes sense that this would be a prominent flavor. Some e-juices use the essence of real tobacco as a flavoring, while others use a flavorist to blend natural and synthetic flavors to get the taste of tobacco. This flavor can be blended with others to make a unique concoction or on their own replicating a specific strain of tobacco.
Single Flavor Juices
These can range from fruit flavors to cookies to coffee. The one consistent is that there is a single flavor profile. These can be vaped on their own or mixed with other vape juice flavors to create a more customized flavor for the user.
Multiple Flavor E-juices
Where things can get very interesting is when there is a mix of different flavors that recreate some type of food or beverage or something completely out of the blue. Strawberry milkshake with vanilla. Cinnamon Buns. Cotton Candy. The sky’s the limit for the many variations that can be achieved by blending different types of flavors. No matter the type of flavor, or the quality of the ingredients, the flavors that people are looking for vary and one may not suit everybody.
Premium e-juice vs. regular e-juice
The term “premium” means a sum added to a normal price. So first and foremost, premium e-juice is going to be more expensive than regular e-juice. The question is, how does premium and regular vape juice differ besides price? Since the FDA banned sampling vape juice in vape shops, paying extra may feel like a gamble. While there are no hard and fast rules, the end-product of premium e-juice compared to regular e-juice should be expected to vary in these ways:
- Consistent taste per bottle
- Complex and accurate recipes
- Proprietary or rare flavorings
- Smaller batch size
- Unique tasting
- Traceability per bottle
- Harder for DIYers to clone
- Susceptible to inconsistency
- Generic recipes
- Off-the-shelf flavorings
- Made for mass consumption
- Tastes like other brands
- No traceability
- Easier to replicate
Why does premium e-juice cost so much?
Ask any DIYer and they will tell you that e-juice ingredients are cheap! All vape juice – regular or premium – contain the same basic ingredients like PG and VG, water soluble flavorings, and optional nicotine. It makes sense to wonder where that extra money is going. Assuming the e-juice truly is premium and not just labeled and priced as such, these are few possible reasons for the price increase.
Manufacturing: Premium e-juice is typically made in ISO certified labs and clean rooms. The accreditation from the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) “give[s] world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency.” The operating costs of these labs represent a huge investment for premium vape juice brands.
Testing: High-quality and expensive brands typically have batch-testing done by third party-labs for independent assessment. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), this testing ensures quality control and traceability that regular e-juice brands may not be able to afford.
Proprietary ingredients: The most premium e-juice brands often use flavorings that aren’t available or sold to consumers. These upper-echelon companies work directly with professional flavor chemists to create proprietary flavorings and extracts only for B2B sales. For a flooded market like the e-juice industry, a unique product warrants a higher price.back to menu ↑
Best way to vape premium vape juice
In 2018, most premium e-juice ranges from $0.70 to $1.00 per mL. Depending on how much vape juice is used daily, the costs can add up quickly. The easiest way to vape premium liquid without breaking the bank is to use mouth-to-lung starter vapes that provide maximal flavor with lower vapor output. The less vapor your device makes, the less e-juice your atomizer will consume. If you use a cloud-chucking sub-ohm tank, premium e-juice could be financially prohibitive.back to menu ↑
Should you fill your tank with premium?
When it comes down to it, your wallet and taste buds are your best advisors. If you can’t afford the premium cost, try and catch it on sale or shop around for bargain-priced e-juice with good reviews. Although premium e-juice should taste better and be of better quality, taste will always be subjective. If your favorite e-liquid is cheap and satisfying, you’re all set. If what you’ve been vaping isn’t cutting it, you should try some premium e-juice.back to menu ↑
Complete Guide to E-Juices
VAPE JUICE 101
If this is your first search for the best vape juice, we want to help you out. We have recommended the best e-liquids based on testing, reviews, and feedback. Now, let’s cover some of the details and nuances of e-liquids in general. We will start with a few of the common terms and definitions:
- Vape juice, e-liquid, and e-juice – all of these are the same thing. Just different names. It’s the liquid that is converted into vapor by an e-cig device.
- VG – vegetable glycerin, a food grade additive that is usually extracted from palm plants. VG is a thick liquid that makes a lot of vapor and a more mild vapor.
- PG – propylene glycol, an additive used in everyday products like toothpaste, medications, cosmetics, etc. PG has been used by people for about a century. Stronger vapor than VG although not as much vapor. Carries more flavor.
- VG / PG ratio – the overwhelming majority of the best vape juice blends contain a portion of VG and a portion of PG. The amount of each is indicated by the PG / VG ratio.
- PG e-liquid – an e-liquid that is more than 50% PG. This type of vaping juice is used in standard vaping devices with atomizers above 1.0 ohms of resistance. PG vape juices do not make as much vapor as a VG juice, but the vapor is stronger because of the higher nicotine content.
- VG e-liquid – an e-liquid that is between 60% VG and 85% VG. This type of juice is used for sub ohm or temperature control vaping with atomizers below 1.0 ohms of resistance. VG juices make a lot of vapor and have a lower nicotine content than PG vape juice blends.
- 50 / 50 vape juice – a blend that is half PG and half VG. Many consider this to be the best vape juice ratio for standard vaping with atomizers over 1.0 ohms.
- Max VG – a Max VG vape juice is a blend with at least 85% VG. Some Max VG blends may be 90% plus. The idea is maximum vapor! Designed for high performance vaping devices. There will still be some small amount of PG to carry the flavor.
- Nicotine – the amount of nicotine in vape juice is expressed one of two ways. You may see the nicotine content represented as a percentage by volume or in milligrams or mg. A 12 mg e-liquid is the same as a 1.2% e-liquid. A 6 mg blend is the same as 0.6% and so on.
All of this VG, PG stuff can be confusing at first. Don’t worry; you will get it all down pat in no time. With that out of the way, let’s get back to the fun part of how to find the best vape juice. The vapor and satisfaction are important, but the enjoyment is all about the flavor.
One of the first things to consider when buying e-liquid is the flavor. The best vape juices deliver the best flavor. Even if all the other variables – nicotine strength, PG, VG, and vapor production – are perfect, you won’t enjoy the vapor if you don’t like the flavor. Fortunately, e-liquids come in almost any flavor you could think of: fruity, food, cocktails, and of course, tobacco blends.
Some of the companies will even allow you to mix your own vape juice using their easy-to-use web applications (like Mig Vapor’s Mix Your Own Vape Juice Bar Mixing Tool)
WHAT IS IN E-JUICE?
What goes in is what comes out. The best e-liquids are made with high-quality ingredients for maximum flavor and quality vaping.
Here is what vape juice is made out of:
Vegetable Glycerin – Commonly called VG, vegetable glycerin is a non-toxic colorless liquid made from vegetables and sugar. It is a thick, viscous liquid. Besides e-juices, VG is found in a variety of food products and is safe to consume.
Propylene glycol – Commonly called PG, it is a type of alcohol that is found in many foods and medicines, mainly to keep them moist. Also safe to consume.
Flavorings – About 10% of the volume of an e-juice is made up of food grade additives that give e-liquids their flavor. Since VG and PG are odorless and flavorless, it is the flavoring agents that make the e-juice taste the way it does.
Nicotine – Not all e-liquids contain nicotine, but people that are trying to quit smoking like having nicotine in their e-juice to satisfy the craving. Generally, they try to wean off of it which is one reason there are 0 mg nicotine juices also available.
90% of the liquid is either PG or VG or a blend of the two. Then the rest is made up of the flavorings and nicotine if it is an ingredient.
This blending is where the quality comes into play as not all e-juices are made with the same level of care. There can be many synthetic ingredients and even preservatives that affect flavor. What flavor is best is completely subjective and some may prefer blending own e-juice, but what is a constant across all the best e-juices is the fact that the ingredients are blended with flavor in mind. Mass produced vape juices are generally not as good in the flavor department.
WHAT ABOUT NICOTINE IN AN E-JUICE?
Though nicotine does not have a flavor of its own, it does impact the flavor of an e-juice. A 0% nicotine, or nicotine free vape juice, will have the most accurate and bright flavor compared to higher nicotine strength juices. Adding nicotine can dull the flavors of the juice or dilute them to a degree. A good brand understands this and is able to balance the need for nicotine with accurate flavors.
An ex-smoker does need to take nicotine content into consideration and may be put off vaping if the taste is not what they imagine it should be.
It may take some trial and error to find the right strength and the best tasting juice, but the idea is to not give up. If a juice with high nicotine does not taste right, it just means it was not the right juice. Keep trying different juices to find the right balance of flavor and nicotine.
Steeping a vape juice is essential in allowing all the flavors to settle in and find a way to work together. Many of the newest generation e-juices are allowed to steep before being put on the market. These will be labeled as steeped and ready to vape right away.
Others may indicate on the label when they will be ready and mature enough to vape. While labeling a vape juice as fresh sounds like a good thing, it generally will mean that it is not ready to be vaped right away. It may need to breathe in an opened bottle somewhere dark and cool for up to a few weeks. There are other faster ways to steep the juice, like placing a closed bottle in a ziplock bag and dunking it in hot water for 15 minutes or so. Either approach will work.back to menu ↑
Best Vape Juice Costs
Some e-juices that are geared towards connoisseurs can also come with a hefty price tag. That does mean that all the best e-juices need to be expensive. Whatever the budget, there is always going to be a premium quality vape juice available that tastes great and vapes well. Cheap e-juices reveals the variety of affordable vape flavors.
Quality assurance and using the best ingredients does not always end up costing more money. Using high tech laboratories or employing flavorists does add to the expense of producing the juice which then gets passed on to the customer. Always try to find the best brands that work within a given budget and chances are that there will be a feeling that value was provided and it was worth the cost.back to menu ↑
How to Spot the Best E-Juice?
One thing to look for in an e-liquid to understand if it is made with care is to look for any indication that it was made in an ISO laboratory or a room that is accredited by the International Organization of Standards. Not all the best vape juices need to be made in a facility like this, but when they are, it is a good sign of the quality and the fact that the brand cares about standards.
Brands that use a flavorist, or flavor chemist, also have a higher chance of being a pretty good juice. By engineering certain natural flavors and then mixing them, a flavorist can replicate many different flavor profiles to make a juice taste like a cheesecake, as an example. In addition, there are some juice companies that have people on their staff with a culinary education or background. This ensures that the juice mixes actually taste good and have the right balance. The best vape juice should be consistent and balanced. Flavors should be accurate and taste as they are described. Examples of lesser quality juices are ones that leave an off taste or are artificial tasting.
Choosing Nicotine Strength of Your Vape Juice
Once you’ve picked out the flavor of your perfect vape juice, the next step is to determine your ideal nicotine strength. Nicotine is the substance found in tobacco that makes cigarettes addictive. E-liquids come in varying nicotine strengths. The average ranges vary between 0%, 0.6%, 1.2%, 1.8%, 2.4% and 3.6% nicotine by volume. In other words, if you choose 1.2% nicotine strength, 1.2% is actual nicotine, and the remaining 98.8% is water, PG or VG, and food-grade flavoring.
Some companies prefer to list nicotine strength in milligrams. Instead of listing the nicotine value at 1.2%, they will list it at 12 mg. These are the same levels, just labeled differently. The higher the nicotine value, the more nicotine you will receive in each puff.
To choose the right nicotine level, consider your current level of tobacco use. The average daily use of adult tobacco consumers varies. A typical tobacco consumer, for example, one who is at a pack per day, might find an 18 mg or 24 mg nicotine level satisfying. That could serve as a general baseline to compare in relative to your current level of tobacco consumption.
Below is a comprehensive list of vape juice nicotine levels:
0% – Nicotine free e-liquid for non-nicotine vaping is for vapers who enjoy the flavor and sensation but do not want the nicotine. This liquid is appropriate for vapers that have strategically and gradually reduced nicotine intake.
0.15% (1.5 mg) – The 0.15% nicotine level, or 1.5 mg, is a new option designed for serious cloud chasers. Some of the new vape tanks and powerful mods can be vaped at well over 200 watts. That equates to massive vapor production. Because so much vapor is being inhaled, less nicotine is needed for satisfaction. You will find this nicotine level in VG and Max VG vape juice.
0.3% (3 mg) – A 0.3% or 3 mg nicotine level is the most popular choice for vapers using sub ohm or temperature control mods with atomizers less than 0.5 ohms and vaping at about 75 to 150 watts. The 3 mg option is typical for VG and Max VG options.
0.6% (6 mg) – Vaping a 0.6% or 6 mg vape juice is about as high a nicotine content that you will need for any sub ohm or temp control vape setup. That is why most VG and Max VG e-liquids do not offer anything about 0.6% nicotine. Commonly used with mods vaped at 30 watts to 75 watts with atomizer resistances of 0.8 ohms to 0.5 ohms.
You will also find a 6% nicotine level offered in PG and 50/50 vape juice blends. The PG and 50/50 blends are designed for standard vaping with atomizers above 1.0 ohms of resistance. While 6% is a high nicotine content for a VG e-liquid, it is a mild nicotine level for a standard PG vape liquid.
All of the following nicotine levels apply to PG and 50/50 e-liquids:
1.2% (12 mg) – This liquid is commonly used by light to moderate tobacco consumers. This level is available in 50 / 50 and PG e-liquids. Cosmic Fog offers a 1.2% nicotine level in a 70 / 30 VG / PG blend.
1.8% (18 mg) – This is a medium-strength e-liquid that is used by typical adult tobacco users. Probably the most common e-liquid nicotine level for first time vapers. Available in 50 / 50 and PG blends.
2.4% (24 mg) – This is one of the stronger e-liquids available. It is recommended for heavy, daily nicotine users. Best to use in PG blends.
3.6% (36 mg) – This liquid nicotine level is for the heaviest tobacco users. Not meant for lighter users. The 36 mg e-liquids should only be vaped in PG e-liquids with standard mods or cig-a-likes. You don’t want to overdo it!
5% (50 mg) – A very strong nicotine content with an intense hit. This level of nicotine is found in the JUUL vapor device. Designed to be occasionally puffed and not for chain vaping.
It may take a little trial and error to find the nicotine strength that best suits your personal preference. It is also important to consider how you vape. If you like to vape continuously during the day, it’s best to choose a weaker nicotine level so as not to ingest too much and make yourself sick or make your nicotine addiction worse. If, however, you prefer to take only a couple of puffs a day, you can consider a stronger e-liquid that will quickly satisfy your nicotine craving.
Getting the right nicotine strength is an integral part of finding your best vape juice. Too little nicotine might make you vape more to compensate, while too much may give you headaches. A good rule is to start with medium strength, then adjust accordingly.back to menu ↑
PG and VG: Which is the Best?
The primary base solution in e-liquid is either Propylene Glycol (PG) or Vegetable Glycerin (VG). PG provides more flavor but produces less vapor. VG is more viscous and has a slightly sweet taste – thus muting the flavor somewhat – but producing massive clouds of vapor.
We have prepared a guide to PG vs. VG for those who want to dig deeper into the topic. Check out this page to learn more. A common VG to PG ratio is 70:30, and many users are satisfied with the flavor and the amount of vapor this mix produces. Some people may be allergic to PG. If you find yourself itching, getting hives, or having a hard time breathing after vaping on a PG e-juice, you might need to acquire a VG blend or at least, e-liquid with a mix ratio of 80% VG and 20% PG. Here’s the brief comparison of benefits of each type of e-liquids:
The sheer number of e-liquid mixing options can be overwhelming for any vaper, new or experienced. You may have to try a few different vape juice ratios and flavors to find your go-to vape.
The importance of testing cannot be stressed enough, as it gives the first-hand experience of what’s available. Try different blends and flavors to find your best e-juice. Not all e-liquids are made equal, with variations in flavor and nicotine strength occurring across different brands.
One e-liquid brand’s mango flavor may taste different when compared to another brand’s mango flavor. Nicotine strength can also vary between brands that advertise the same nicotine levels. You may find one brand’s 12mg strength to be perfect for you, while another with the same nicotine level might be too strong or too weak.
When purchasing from a brick and mortar store, most offer testers for customers to try. Online stores, however, are a different story. While you can’t test flavors from online stores, you can purchase special “tester packs.” These tester packs are usually a set of different flavors in smaller bottles, sold in 5, 10, or sometimes even 20 flavors per pack. You can choose varying levels of nicotine strengths as well when ordering to ensure you find the right combo for you.
It may take some time before you find the flavors, nicotine strength, and PG/VG ratio that works best for you. Don’t just settle for what’s immediately available. Part of the fun is trying new things. Don’t be afraid checking out other brands. The best vape juice you ever had might be the next one that you try! Just be sure to buy high-quality e-liquid from established and trusted manufacturers. The money you save on the cheap e-juice will end up costing you a lot more in the long run.
All it takes is a little experimentation. Once you find a rhythm, you’ll be an experienced e-liquid consumer.back to menu ↑
Vape Juice FAQ
Does Vape Juice Expire?
Vape Juice doesn’t expire, but the individual ingredients do start to decay, and their effects start to wane off. The major concern with vape juice is a breakdown of the flavor with passage of time, tasting stale or changing flavor. If stored under extreme conditions such as extreme heat or direct sunlight, the flavor starts to change sooner.
How Long Does Vape Juice Last?
Most vape juices have a shelf life of 2 years which is calculated based on the shelf life of the individual ingredients of the vape juice. Vegetable Glycerin (VG) has the highest shelf life of six years, but Propylene Glycol (PG) and Nicotine can maintain homeostasis for up to two years if stored in a cool and dry place.
Is Vape Juice Bad for You?
Three of the four key e-liquid ingredients are commonly used in the cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and food industry, and they have no established side-effects when used in a controlled manner. However, nicotine, the fourth element in vape juice, has a history of side effects. Even then, the side effects are less severe when vaping compared to when one smokes tobacco. Research suggests that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco. However, vape juice that contains diacetyl is harmful. diacetyl is found in some eliquid flavors and is believed to cause popcorn lung (bronchilitis).
How to Change Vape Juice
Dismantle the tank, remove the coil head and pour out any leftover ejuice. Wash the tank under running water until it is clean and allow it to dry. Then refill the tank with the desired ejuice.
Can You Bring Vape Juice on a Plane?
Yes, but TSA limits the amount to 100 ml or 3.4 fl.oz. The ejuice bottles should be packed along with other miniature liquid containers, i.e. in a clear, zip-top bag. Be sure to empty the tank before getting on the plane. Changes in air pressure may cause the tanks to leak.
Is Vape Juice Flammable?
Yes. Vape juices contain nicotine which evaporates at 20o C or 680 F.
Is E-juice Safe?
Ejuices contain nicotine, but vaping reduces the amount of nicotine consumed compared to burning tobacco. Vapers looking for safe eliquids should purchase those that do not contain nicotine. The best way to determine the amount of nicotine in your ejuice is to check its strength; often expressed in mg/ml. The concentration ranges from 0-36 mg/ml.
Legal Age to Buy Vape Juice
Various states impose different regulations regarding the appropriate age for buying vape juices. Alabama, New Jersey and Alaska, for example, do not allow possession, use or purchase of nicotine products (including vape juices) to persons under the age of 19. In Carlifornia and Hawaii, vapers should be 21 years of age. Most of the other states require users selling, distributing or vaping to attain 18 years.
Does Vape Juice Have Sugar?
Vape juice does not contain sugar. However, the propylene glycol (PG) and glycerol ingredients – both used to make the ejuice – convert to glucose in the body. In addition, nicotine, the primary ingredient used in most vape juices, causes hemoglobin AIC levels to rise by 34% which increases the risk of developing diabetes and other health complications.
What Chemicals Are in Vape Juice?
Vape juices contain a combination of four ingredients; propylene glycol or glycerine, water, flavoring, and nicotine. Each of these ingredients is used in small proportions to produce the e-liquid. Nicotine is known to be incredibly addictive while propylene glycol is an effective deterrent against influenza, pneumonia and other respiratory diseases when it is vaporized. Flavorings used to make the ejuice are the same used in foods and they are pretty harmless.
Does Vape Juice Contain Calories?
Eliquids contain propylene glycol (PG) and glycerine (VG) which have four calories per gram. This is a pretty small amount to cause weight gain or other complications caused by high-calorie intake. Vaping may, however, lead to weight gain as a result of improved appetite, water retention, and enhanced metabolism. It also aids in the repair of taste buds damaged by smoking which makes food taste better.
Can You Use Water as Vape Juice?
No. Water evaporates at a higher temperature than the other vape ingredients (propylene glycol and glycerine). As such, the coil may not get hot enough to vaporize the water and you will end up inhaling a tasteless cloud. However, if you are making DIY vape liquids, you may dilute the VG using distilled water because it’s thick and viscous.back to menu ↑
Best Vape Juices of 2019: Last Words
Since it is clear that the best flavors of e-juice are subjective, part of the fun of vaping is finding the right one. Even e-liquid flavors that are on this list might not be everybody’s cup of tea. Vaping many different flavors from different brands before settling on some favorites is part of the appeal rather than trying different cigarettes. As long as the company is doing the right thing by offering high standards and sourcing the best ingredients, then it goes without saying that the resulting flavors will speak for themselves!