Best E-Juice Flavors
By Lindsay Fox Posted May 3, 2016
Finding the best e-juice flavor is a never-ending quest, but one filled with delicious flavors, from mouth-watering fruits and devilishly sweet desserts though to cocktail and cereal-inspired flavors. More than any other area, though, taste in e-liquid is subjective, and saying that any specific blend is the best juice is a little like saying that something is the best meal. You might think you can’t taste anything better, but somebody else will recoil at the slightest taste.
To cut through this subjectivity and produce a comprehensive list of the best vape juice flavors on the market, we surveyed vapers to get their view on what the best e-liquid flavor is, and we’ve used the results to put together this list and a few others relating to specific types of flavor.
Additionally, this post will also include some tips on finding the best rated e-juice for your tastes and some recommendations from expert vapers, so you don’t have to rely on the votes from the community if you want to explore some more vape juices.
Top 10 Best E-Liquid Flavors
So which juices made the cut? What’s the most popular e-liquid flavor on the market? Our poll attracted almost 5,000 votes from ordinary vapers, and these were their top picks for the best vaping flavors you can find.
10 – M.B.Y.C. by Sicboy
Sicboy Industries is a Denver, Colorado e-liquid vendor that only got started last summer, when a couple of vapers – and long-time best friends – decided to turn their hands to e-liquid. Their aim was to put out a line of “all-day-vape” juices, using only the highest-quality ingredients. And the plan has worked very well indeed.
M.B.Y.C. is a praline, ice-cream and vanilla custard e-liquid, with the mixers shooting for something rich and decadent, and most vapers agree that they pulled it off admirably. In our poll, M.B.Y.C. racked up 54 votes by the close of voting, equating to around 1.8 percent of the total vote. It might not sound too impressive, but with so many juices on the market, taking almost 1/50th of the vote is pretty hard to achieve.
You can pick up bottles of M.B.Y.C. from Giant Vapes for $19.99 per 30 ml bottle, or 120 ml for $65, working out to a minimum of 54 cents per ml up to 67 cents when you buy 30 ml bottles. It has a 35/65 PG/VG ratio.
9 – Smurf Cake by Vape Wild
Vape Wild was a runaway success in our best ejuice vendors poll, and Smurf Cake has also earned them a spot on the best vape flavors list, taking 57 votes in total.
Vape Wild is based out of Dallas, Texas, and pride themselves both on the quality of their juice and for offering cheap e-liquid that doesn’t compromise on flavor. Smurf Cake is a blend of blueberries (wild blueberries, they point out) and cheesecake, offering a mixture of creaminess, fruit and pie crust – although most vapers pick up graham cracker – that many rank among their all-day-vapes.
The juice might not be to everyone’s tastes – some find the blueberry a little too light – but at $2.99 for 10 ml, $6.99 for a 30 ml and right up to $59.99 for 480 ml (from just 12 cents to 30 cents per ml) it’s one that doesn’t take much of an investment to test out.
They also offer a wide range of PG/VG ratios (from 20 to 80 percent VG) and eight nicotine levels (from 0 to 24 mg, including 1.5, 3 and 9 mg/ml along with the usual options), so you can tailor your experience to your preferences very well indeed.
Read our Vape Wild e-liquid review for more information.
8 – Deviant by Sicboy
Sicboy Industries’ second vape juice on the list is Deviant, which offers “a sweet, decadent, warm cherry strudel, covered in rich, melty vanilla ice cream.” The juice earned 61 votes in our best eliquid poll, and has also racked up a score of 4.5/5 from 120 reviews on Giant Vapes, with legions of vapers praising the rich cream and light, subtle cherry flavors of the juice.
This is another option often called an all-day-vape, with the balance between the creaminess and fruitiness helping the vape juice go down smoothly for vapers. As with Sicboy’s M.B.Y.C, this is available in 30 ml ($19.99) and 120 ml ($65), and 0, 3, 6 or 12 mg/ml of nicotine. Deviant has a PG/VG ratio of 35/65.
7 – Blue Voodoo by Mister-E-Liquid
With 66 votes putting it comfortably into the top 10 e-juice flavors (with around 2.2 percent of the vote), Blue Voodoo from Mister-E-Liquid is one of the top e-juice flavors on the market, based on our poll of vapers.
Mister-E-Liquid is a Michigan-based e-juice company that got its start online in 2010, originally having just one employee and making vape juice on an order-by-order basis. The company has since expanded, and now operates three brick and mortar stores across Michigan and is a certified member of the American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association.
Blue Voodoo is a sweet and tangy e-liquid that first premiered at Vape Bash 2013, quickly selling out and earning a following of vapers who praised it’s sweet, blueberry flavor and the mystery undertones that most can’t quite pin down. The liquid won a Spinfuel Choice Award in 2013, and has a 5-star rating from almost 420 reviews on Mister-E-Liquid’s site.
This is another of the best ejuice flavors on the market that’s pretty affordable, at $5.75 for a 10 ml bottle, $14.50 for 30 ml and $45 for 135 ml, ranging from 33 to 58 cents per ml. They offer eight nicotine levels – the same levels as Vape Wild – and although they recommend a 33 percent VG blend, also offer 0 percent, 50 percent and a max VG blend.
6 – Mother’s Milk by Suicide Bunny
Mother’s Milk is a legendary vape liquid from Suicide Bunny, and it just placed above Blue Voodoo in our best vape juice flavors poll with 67 votes (working out to about the same percentage of the vote).
Suicide Bunny is a Texas-based e-juice mixer, that got its start from the creator Pip’s desire to see e-liquid become as awesome as she knew it could be, as well as to make something to help her husband kick his three-packs-a-day smoking habit. Suicide Bunny uses only high-quality, American-made vape flavors in their juice, and values quality above all else.
Mother’s Milk is a rich, creamy and smooth custardy dessert flavor with sweet strawberry on the exhale (with some vapers also picking up touches of spice), and it’s been a runaway success with vapers. The flavor has earned a rating of 4.5/5 on Giant Vapes from over 1,200 reviews, and a 3.7 from 83 reviews on JuiceDB, showing that – while some think its legendary status has led to a little too much hype – it’s a widely-loved flavor that firmly deserves its spot on the top 10 list.
Mother’s Milk comes in 30 ml bottles for $22 or 120 ml bottles for $80, a per ml price of between 67 and 73 cents, putting it towards the upper end of the price range. It’s available in 0, 3, 6, 12 and 18 mg/ml of nicotine (and sometimes 1.5 mg/ml), and has a PG/VG ratio of 30/70.
5 – Shurb by Jimmy the Juice Man
With 75 votes in our best e-juice flavors poll – 2.5 percent of the total vote – Shurb by Jimmy the Juice Man comfortably places in our list of the top 10 e-liquid flavors.
Jimmy the Juice Man is based out of Chicago, and got his start because he loved “premium” juices but wasn’t so hot about the financial premium you pay for them. He started selling his mixes and quickly found himself overwhelmed by the demand from vapers, before partnering up with Giant Vapes to help ramp up his production.
Shurb is Jimmy’s most popular e-juice flavor, a blend of raspberry, lime and orange with heaps of sugary sweetness that aims to offer the flavor of rainbow sherbet in e-liquid form. Vapers praise its smooth, not-too-sweet flavor and the balance with the sour, citrusy notes, widely calling it an all-day-vape and the sort of juice they’d recommend to anybody and everybody who asks. It’s currently rated at 4.5/5 on Giant Vapes from 227 reviews.
Shurb is available in 0, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 mg/ml of nicotine, with the standard PG/VG ratio being 40/60, but the 3 mg nicotine option is max VG. It’s available in 30 and 120 ml bottles from Giant Vapes, priced at $18 and $65, for a cost per ml of 54 to 60 cents.
4 – Unicorn Milk by Cuttwood
Unicorn Milk by Cuttwood earned 114 votes in our best eliquid flavors poll, accounting for around 3.8 percent of the total vote, earning the fourth spot by a substantial margin.
Cuttwood is an LA-based mixer and the self-proclaimed “Sauce Boss,” with a commitment to putting out high-quality, hand-crafted juices.
Unicorn Milk is their most popular flavor, offering a blend of four different creams alongside a natural strawberry. Vapers praise the juice for the richness of the cream and the subtlety – but continuing presence – of the strawberry. It’s another offering frequently called an all-day-vape, but others argue that the hype surrounding it is a little excessive, saying that if you went in free from pre-conceptions you’d likely enjoy it more.
It’s available in 0, 3, 6, 12 and 18 mg/ml of nicotine (with 1.5 mg/ml also available at Giant Vapes), although there’s no clear answer on the PG/VG ratio. The juice is fairly expensive, though, coming in at $11.99 for a 15 ml bottle or $21.99 for a 30 ml bottle, or 73 to 80 cents per ml.
3 – Soul Custardy by Beantown Vapor
Boston-based Beantown Vapor took third place on our poll of the most popular e-juice flavors for Soul Custardy, which earned 128 votes for around 4.3 percent of the total vote.
The vendor got started in 2010, initially as an online retailer, but for the last couple of years they’ve been focusing on e-juice alone: putting out high-quality e-liquid at competitive prices. They mix everything in micro-batches, putting together just 3 liters at a time to make sure every bottle tastes just the way it’s meant to.
Soul Custardy is Beantown’s take on vanilla custard, opting for a smooth, creamy custard without any eggy undertones, and topped off with hints of bourbon, graham cracker, brown sugar and butterscotch. The combination has been very well-received, taking a 4.5 rating on Giant Vapes from 53 reviews, with vapers widely calling this the best custard e-liquid flavor they’ve ever tasted, as well as praising the choice of bourbon to add an interesting twist to the flavor.
The juice is available in 0, 3 or 6 mg/ml of nicotine direct from Beantown, and 12, 18 and 24 mg/ml are available through Giant Vapes. The PG/VG ratio is fixed at 33/67. The juice is priced at $17.99 for a 30 ml bottle, but you can also get a 120 ml bottle from Giant Vapes for $60, with the price per ml ranging from 50 to 60 cents.
2 – Oh-Face by Beantown Vapor
Beantown Vapor’s second entry on the list comes in the form of Oh-Face, which earned 165 votes or 5.5 percent of the total.
The juice is a combination of rich cream and ripe strawberries, but adds many other flavor notes to produce a complex-yet-enjoyable vape. The strawberry comes through more strongly than with Unicorn Milk but doesn’t reach overpowering levels, and the extra flavor notes give it a little extra something, provoking some disagreement about which strawberry-based dessert it tastes most like. It goes without saying that this is unanimously loved, with 409 reviews on Giant Vapes leading to a 4.5/5 rating.
The e-juice is available direct from Beantown Vapor in 30 or 120 ml bottles, with five nicotine levels ranging from 0 to 18 mg/ml, with Giant Vapes adding a 24 mg/ml option. The prices and PG/VG ratio are the same as for Soul Custardy.
1 – Boosted by Boosted E-Juice
Boosted E-Juice’s namesake juice won our poll by massive margin, with 591 votes putting Boosted as the most popular e-liquid flavor with almost 20 percent of the total vote. Astoundingly, it even beat out “Other,” which represents the thousands upon thousands of juices we didn’t include on our shortlist put together.
The Denver, Colorado-based vendor Boosted E-Juice got its start in late 2013 to early 2014, made by long-time vaper Cory Vigil, who drew on his knowledge of crafting delicious food to put together some mouth-watering vape juice flavors. After some initial testers received glowing praise from vapers, he soon found himself working non-stop to keep up with the rapidly growing demand.
Boosted is the fourth creamy strawberry e-liquid in this top 10 – which says a lot about the tastes of the vapers (at least the ones who voted on our poll) – aiming to bottle the authentic flavor of a strawberry milkshake (the kind you’d imagine getting from a 50s-style diner) in e-liquid form. Both elements of the flavor come through strongly, and the balance between the two is excellent (tipped ever so slightly in favor of the cream).
In reviews, many vapers call this and all-day-vape and it’s hard to even find anybody who didn’t love it. There are some, somewhere – which is why it stands at 4.5/5 on Giant Vapes with over 500 reviews – but the overwhelming consensus from vapers is that this is a must-vape e-liquid, and it deserves it’s spot as the best vaping flavor as ranked by our readers.
Boosted is available in five nicotine levels (0, 3, 6, 12 and 18 mg/ml) and comes in a PG/VG ratio of 40/60. You can pick up a 30 ml bottle for $19.99 and a 120 ml for $65, putting the price from 54 to 67 cents per ml: for the best vape flavor on the market, it’s well worth the price.
The Best E-Liquid Flavors Poll – How Reliable are the Results?
Our poll received tons of votes from ordinary vapers, and although there are some limitations to the approach, we think it offers an objective look at some of the best e-cig flavors on the market.
A valid point raised in the comments (to this and our other polls) is that there may have been an advantage for the juices shortlisted from the beginning, and another is that in many ways, the results will be influenced by the social media engagement from the individual vendors: if they shared the post widely, more of their fans will have voted and their juices would be expected to get more votes.
These points are fair, but it isn’t all that bad. Firstly, everyone got up to five votes, so even if being a fan of one vendor’s Facebook page is what brought a vaper to the poll, they still could include up to four other juices from any mixer they wanted. Additionally, a big factor in determining how many fans and social media followers a juice company has is the quality of what they put out, so even though some would be able to direct more fans to the poll, it’s because they had more fans in the first place.
Finally, we can appreciate that being shortlisted may confer an advantage to a juice, but it’s worth noting that “other” was the second most-popular answer, so it’s clear that most vapers had no issue writing any of their favorite juices into the “other” field and getting them votes. For this poll, the entries in the “other” field ordinarily had just one vote, a testament to the sheer number of juices on the market and the diversity in vapers’ tastes.
So we think it’s fair to say that while our poll wasn’t perfect, it does still have a lot going for it, and the results do a pretty good job of removing the element of individual preference and putting out a reasonably objective list of the top e-liquid flavors on the market. It doesn’t mean that juices that didn’t make the top 10 won’t be your favorite, or that the order is a definitive ranking of the best e-liquid flavors on the market, but we still think it offers an informative snapshot of vapers’ preferences in juice.
Additionally, our lists of the top vape juices in specific flavor categories will feature more of the juices you voted for, and the best e-juice flavors poll is still open if you want to see some more detailed results – and how it’s changed since the official closing of the poll at the end of September.
Top Vape Juice Flavors (As Recommended by ECR Staff)
The 10 juices above represent the best vape flavors as chosen by our readers, but it goes without saying that they only scratch the surface of what’s available to vapers. So to give you more options for great juices to try, we’ve put together a top 10 of our favorite juices here at EcigaretteReviewed:
10 – Snake Oil by Seduce Juice
Snake Oil is the most popular flavor from Seduce Juice, and it’s easy to see why it’s often considered the best juice from the mixer. The flavor is a creamy base topped off with pear and a hint of coconut, and the masterful balance of the flavors puts this in the running for us. The flavors really start to come together after a short steep, with the pear and coconut becoming more prominent in the mix and making the juice an all-day vape for many. Snake Oil costs $15.99 for a 30 ml bottle.
9 – Tribeca by Halo
Our soft-spot for tobacco juices has a part to play here, but Halo’s Tribeca is an absolutely legendary e-liquid. It’s the mixer’s take on the classic RY4 flavor, with the baseline tobacco flavor topped off with caramel and vanilla notes, taking the edge off the tobacco and producing something it’s very easy to keep coming back to. It might not be the most exciting flavor on our list – so many mixers have their own RY4s and this doesn’t really do anything wildly different – but it’s definitely one of those flavors we always make sure we have a bottle of. Tribeca costs $19.99 for a 30 ml bottle.
8 – Unicorn Milk by Cuttwood
This made the main list, and although we try to minimize overlap when we put together these recommendations (after all, we’re looking to give you more options), it’s one we felt was well-worth another mention as one of the most popular e-liquid flavors for us. The flavor is described in fairly pretentious terms – it’s not just strawberries and cream, there are four types of cream – and although we think it stretches what the juice has to offer a little far, the balance of strawberries and cream in Unicorn Milk is excellent, and it’s definite all-day-vape for us. The juice costs $11.99 for a 15 ml bottle.
7 – Andromeda by Space Jam E-Juice
Space Jam has a great range of juices overall, but Andromeda earns a spot on our recommendations for the top vape juice flavor thanks to its unique combination of a rich, creamy base with pomegranate and blueberry. The cream is rich and luscious, but the wonderful mix of sweetness and tartness from the fruits is what really pushes this flavor to the next level and makes it a stand-out flavor. You can pick up a 30 ml bottle of Andromeda for $21.95.
6 – Milk and Honey by Cosmic Fog
This is the most popular offering from Cosmic Fog by a long way, and the mix of marshmallow and honey-sweetened milk is a definite winning combination for us. The flavor might sound like too much sweetness, but it’s just right for our tastes – sweet enough to make every puff a delight but not so much that you can’t vape it for too long. The honey component to the sweetness helps it avoid a nasty, synthetic candy taste too: it comes off as an authentic, natural sweetness. A 30 ml bottle of Milk and Honey costs $21.95.
5 – Churrios by the Milkman E-Liquid
The Milkman’s churros and nutty, honey-infused milk blend – with a touch of cinnamon sugar for good measure – earns a spot as one of the best flavors for us here at ECR: it’s one of those flavors that sounds great on paper but manages to live up to the impression when it comes time to vape it. For anyone who loves bakery flavors and cinnamon, this is an absolute must-try, and it’s a definite all-day-vape for us. You can pick up a 30 ml bottle of Churrios for $18.
4 – Hawk Sauce by Mt. Baker Vapor
Hawk Sauce is a blend of sweet and sour berries and menthol, producing a flavor that might not be too everyone’s tastes but is definitely a unique e-juice. It’s one of our favorite menthol e-liquids of all time, but that’s largely due to the interesting combination of flavors, and really the menthol only has a fairly minor role to play, just adding a cooling touch to the complex mixture of the berries. It’s also one of the most affordable juices on our list, priced at just $7.49 for a 30 ml bottle.
3 – Monkey Business by VaporFi (Reserve Collection)
The Reserve Collection sees VaporFi transitioning from producing run-of-the-mill juices to being a more “premium” mixer, and Monkey Business ranks among the top flavors for us. The juice blends a creamy, custardy base with banana, producing a flavor that’s fairly simple but is executed beautifully, with the balance shifted a little more towards the cream but the banana still coming through with each puff. It’s a little too heavy to be an all-day-vape for us, but as an occasional treat it’s a great juice. A 30 ml bottle costs $9.99. Read our VaporFi e-liquid review for more information.
2 – Castle Long Reserve by Five Pawns
Castle Long Reserve is pretentious in the extreme, claiming toasted coconut, roasted almond, two different types of vanilla, brown sugar, Kentucky bourbon and “charred oak” as the components to the flavor and charging a hefty $37.50 for a 30 ml bottle. But we love it. Everything comes through perfectly, producing a symphony of flavor that – while the description does go too far – makes it a fantastic juice for a rare treat. It’s only available periodically, though, but you can pick up the standard version of Castle Long for $27.50 a bottle, which is still delicious. Read our Five Pawns review for more information.
1 – Prelude by Black Note
Our soft-spot for tobacco rears its head again with the choice of our best e-liquid flavor. Prelude by Black Note is a Virginia tobacco blend, with a soft, mellow taste (particularly in comparison to some of their other offerings) backed with touches of sweetness throughout, making it a perfect all-day-vape for tobacco lovers and a great juice even for vapers who normally don’t go for tobaccos. As a NET (naturally extracted tobacco) mixer, the flavor is unbeatably authentic, and if you’re a fan of tobaccos, this is about as close as you’re going to get to the genuine taste. It’s quite expensive, though, at $29 for a 30 ml bottle. Read our Black Note e-liquid review for more information.
Finding the Best Vape Juice, Staying Safe and Other Tips
The lists above give you a selection of specific juices to try out if you’re looking for your new favorite flavor, but there’s only so much you can get from a prescriptive set of recommendations. Although polling ordinary vapers makes the main list about as objective as it can be, there is an undeniable element of personal preference when it comes to choosing the right juice for you. So how do you go about finding your own favorite?
And when you’ve found a juice you love, how do you get the most out of it? How should you store your juices? Is steeping worthwhile? How do you stay safe when it comes to e-juice?
We’ve put together some additional advice and recommendations to answer these questions.
Guide to Choosing the Best E-Juice
Choosing the best e-juice isn’t quite as straightforward as choosing good devices and atomizers, because all you really have to go on is the flavor description, reviews from vapers and facts about the mix such as the PG/VG ratio, but there are a few things you can look out for to choose the right juices.
Vape Juice PG/VG Ratio
The PG/VG ratio isn’t going to make something go from being the best e-juice to sucking, but it’s an important part of your individual preference, so it’s better to find juices that match up to it if you’re looking for a favorite. Most vapers prefer something around a 50/50 mix, but if you’re a fan of high-VG juices, for example, this can help narrow your options down and help you settle on a juice to try out. Similarly, if a company offers an 80/20 PG/VG mix, if you find PG a little harsh or too thin in consistency, you’re unlikely to be particularly impressed with the experience of vaping it, even if the flavor is good.
Specialty Flavors and Types of Flavor
One simple thing you can look out for is the types of flavor on offer from a vendor and whether they specialize in any specific type of juice: for example, P.O.E.T. focuses on café, bakery and drink flavors, and Black Note is a tobacco specialist mixer. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be better at it than a vendor that makes all types of flavors, but it’s a strong suggestion that they’ll be a little ahead of the pack in their chosen niche.
Decoding E-Liquid Descriptions
The descriptions for different e-liquids range right from simple statements of the main components of the juice – often giving little more information than the flavor’s name – right through to the pretentious, Five Pawns-style flowery descriptions of how the juice uses “seven different varieties of vanilla” and things of that nature. The problem is that juices with simple descriptions can be absolutely amazing and ones with overly complex, flowery descriptions can be completely disappointing: so how can you use the descriptions to pick the best e-juice?
Although the juices might not quite live up to the descriptions, a more complex, flowery description is an indication that there are more notes in the flavor than you’d get with a simplistic juice.
For example, Mt. Baker Vapor’s Black Cherry e-liquid gives you just that: a black cherry e-liquid, whereas Wastegate from Boosted e-Juice is described as “a creamy, fresh, raspberry-infused cheesecake, that’s drizzled is raspberry puree and topped off with a scoop of sweet vanilla ice cream.”
The complex description won’t always be justified (apart from in rare cases of a truly awesome juice), but it does tell you that the flavor from Boosted has more different components than the one from Mt. Baker. This doesn’t always make a better juice, but if you’re looking for the best e-juice you can find, you’re much more likely to hit on one you love if you opt for multi-component juices, and ambitious descriptions are a big indicator of that.
Reviews and Recommendations for the Best E-Juices
However, there’s only so much you can do to find the best e-juice if you don’t taste it for yourself, so recommendations from other vapers – especially if you know you have similar tastes – are absolutely invaluable. You can spend hours searching for the best e-juice but never find something as good as if you’d just posted up on a forum for recommendations or used lists like the ones above.
If you have a vendor you know you like, you can also use the user reviews on their site for the same purpose: if a juice has a high rating and lots of reviews, you can be pretty confident that it’s something special. You can also use sites like JuiceDB to explore some new options and read what vapers think of the different options.
Go to Your Brick and Mortar Vape Store or Use a Subscription Service
Although vape stores only carry limited selections of juice (at least in comparison to online vape stores), the advantage is that most will let you sample the different flavors they have on offer. This makes taking a trip down to your local vape store more than worthwhile if you’re looking for the best e-juice for your tastes: it takes the guess-work out of the equation and lets you base your purchases on first-hand experience.
E-liquid subscription services like Craft Vapery, Zodist and Zamplebox are the next best thing. Even though you have to pay for the juices, you tell the company your flavor preferences and their experienced juice connoisseurs send out blends that they think will match your tastes. You might get a miss every so often, but you could easily hit on your new favorite e-liquid using one of these services.
Test Results – Does the Juice Contain Diacetyl?
One thing that’s worth considering for many vapers is what goes into the juice you’re inhaling. It might be argued that some of the best e-juice actually does contain ingredients like diacetyl and acetyl propionyl (which have been linked to lung disease) – with Five Pawns being a perfect example – but many vapers wish to avoid these chemicals for obvious reasons.
The best thing to come out of the recent diacetyl in e-liquid scandals is that more juice companies than ever are releasing test results on their juice so that we no longer have to take their word for it when they say their juices are diacetyl-free.
Cigarettes do contain a lot more diacetyl than e-liquids, so if you aren’t personally worried about the risk then that’s your decision. However, it’s been called “an avoidable risk,” and if you want to avoid it, then sticking to companies with test results up makes a lot of sense.
It is worth stressing, though, that if you class the best e-juice as the one that tastes the nicest, a little bit of acetyl propionyl or diacetyl will probably make you enjoy a juice a bit more. The only problem is your lungs won’t enjoy it as much.
How Much Should You Pay for E-Juice?
Prices vary wildly, from the very cheap – Mt. Baker Vapor, for example, where $6.49 can get you 30 ml – to the downright expensive – Five Pawns, for example, which is $27.50 per 30 ml – and anywhere between.
As always, it’s not my place to tell you how much you’d be happy paying for an e-liquid you enjoy. Many vapers have enjoyed Five Pawns despite the fact it’s almost 92 cents per ml, but it goes without saying that it isn’t necessary to spend that much. You might have noticed that Five Pawns didn’t even make the top 10 list, but the winning juice costs $19.99 for a 30 ml bottle (about 67 cents per ml). More expensive doesn’t always mean better.
The same basic rule applies to cheaper e-liquids, too: just because it costs less than other options doesn’t make it bad. Vape Wild charges just $7 for 30 ml, but they still have legions of vapers who love their juices. Vendors like this are the exception rather than the rule, but it shows that it’s not always right to discount a brand from your search for the best e-juice because of low prices.
Based on the prices for 30 ml bottles of the juices in our top 10, the average price is 60 cents per ml, working out to just under $18 for a 30 ml bottle of some of the best e-juice you can find. If a mixer charges more than that, there’s a chance you’ll be over-paying when you could find something equally enjoyable for less money.
The best (more general) advice – aside from checking out reviews of the juices to see what vapers are saying – is to shoot for something mid-range, at around $15 to $20 for 30 ml. There are still a lot of bad juices in this price range (and you shouldn’t stick to it rigidly), but for a general rule of thumb it should steer you in the right direction.
Putting it all Together – Choosing the Best E-Juice Flavor
It’s worth stressing again that choosing the best e-juice flavor is much more of a trial-and-error process than finding yourself a good mod or atomizer. If you can’t try the juice out before buying it, there’s a chance you won’t even like it, much less have found your new all-day-vape.
If you can try some juices out, then your chances of making a good purchase will increase dramatically, but the advice in this guide will also help to steer you in the right direction. Here are the key pieces of advice in bite-size form:
- Find a Suitable Vendor: If you can identify a vendor well-known for or specializing in your favorite general type of e-liquid (e.g. desserts or fruits), then you’ll give yourself the best chance of finding something you love.
- Learn Your PG/VG Preferences: Finding a PG/VG ratio in line with your preferences doesn’t impact the taste, but will improve your experience.
- Aim For Multi-Tonal Flavors: One-note e-liquids can be tasty, but they generally lack the depth and complexity of e-juice with several elements to the flavor.
- Taste the Juice if You Can: A taste-test of a juice you’re considering will tell you a lot more than reading juice descriptions or even looking at reviews ever can.
- Trust Companies with Lab Test Results: If you’re trying to avoid diacetyl and acetyl propionyl, companies with test results confirming their absence are by far preferable to those who just claim to not use it.
- Shoot for Mid-Range Prices: Price is a fairly reliable indicator of quality in e-liquid, but there are so many exceptions that there’s no reason to choose the highest-priced e-liquids. Many excellent juices are available for between $15 and $20 per 30 ml, and the average cost based on our top 10 was around $18 for a 30 ml bottle.
How to Store E-Juice
Once you’ve found a flavor you love, storage is vital to keeping the flavor in optimum condition. If you don’t store your juice properly, the flavorings can degrade or undergo changes, which can have a negative impact on the taste. This is closely related to the topic of steeping (which is covered below), but first it’s good to know how you should store your e-liquid if you want to preserve the original flavor as much as possible.
Heat, Light and Air – The Flavor-Killers
The core advice for storing e-liquid is that you want to keep them away from excessive sources of heat, light (especially direct sunlight) and air as much as possible. The reasons for this vary a little – heat is a more general issue that can lead to flavorings degrading, whereas light and air mainly affect the nicotine – but the core lesson is that a cool, dark place is best for your e-liquid.
This is all fine when you aren’t using the juice, but when you’re taking a bottle or two around with you for a day of vaping it’s not so easy to avoid heat and light, in particular. Thankfully, small amounts of exposure to heat and light won’t have too much of an impact, so you don’t have to worry too much about it in most cases. You don’t want to leave your all-day vape out on a table in direct sunlight day after day, though.
Glass Bottles vs. Plastic – Air Permeability and Headspace
The problems with exposing e-juice to air make the decision between glass and plastic a little complicated. On the face of it, glass is the better choice, especially for long-term storage. This is because, although it seems nothing will get through a plastic juice bottle, they are slightly permeable to air, which means little bits can get through and interact with your juice. This isn’t a huge deal, but since glass doesn’t have this problem, it does give it an advantage.
The only downside to glass is the issue of “headspace” – the air above the e-juice when it’s partially empty. With a plastic bottle, you can squeeze the bottle before putting it into storage to minimize the amount of air in contact with the juice, but obviously this isn’t possible with glass.
On balance, for long-term storage, glass is still probably the best choice, but a high-quality plastic bottle will also get the job done well. Ideally, if you’re storing your e-juice for a very long time, you should do so with the bottle full, or the excess air squeezed out of the top.
Safe E-Liquid Storage
Finally, as you will undoubtedly be aware, you need to keep your e-juice away from kids and pets. Nicotine is poisonous, and if a young child or a curious dog gets access to your juice, the result could be tragic. Child-proof caps help, but they are far from a foolproof solution – in fact, they’re really only “child-resistant,” which means that if a kid has enough time, he or she will be able to open a bottle.
This is why it’s vital to store your e-juice in a location not easily accessed to animals and kids. Considering the benefit of cool, dark places for e-juice storage, a high cupboard out of direct sunlight is ideal, but a locked box or a container on a high shelf are also suitable choices.
How Long Will My Vape Juice Last?
As things stand, the “best before” date you’ll find on bottles of e-juice is something of an educated guess. PG and VG both have a long shelf life – around 2 years each – but specific flavorings can pass their prime much quicker. Because there will be many different flavorings used in an e-cig juice, this makes it pretty hard to estimate how long a juice will last.
In general, the conclusion reached by most mixers is that your juices will be good for a year from the mixing date. However, if you store them well, it’s entirely possible that your juice will still be good to vape after 18 months or even longer.
Don’t worry too much about vaping “expired” e-juice, though: the flavor will suck, and the nicotine content might decrease a little, but overall there don’t seem to be any health risks.
Steeping Your E-Juice
“Steeping” e-juice is the e-juice equivalent of letting wine or whisky age and improve with time. In many ways, it’s a process of purposefully breaking the storage rules above to take advantage of what happens as e-juice gets older. Steeping can help round out some of the harsher elements in a flavor and bring others to the forefront, and most vapers stand by it as a method of improving an e-juice.
So how do you do it? The basic process can be broken down into two components, steeping and breathing. Steeping e-liquid is effectively just like ordinary storage, except you vigorously shake the juice at least daily. This allows the flavor components to fully mix together, so the flavor molecules bond to the PG and VG and are carried to your tastebuds more effectively when you vape. Aside from the shaking, the main difference between steeping and ordinary storage is that many vapers put the juice into warm (but not hot) water to speed the process along a little.
The other main component is allowing your e-cig juice to “breathe.” This is just leaving the cap off your bottle for a few hours (but no more than 12). As we pointed out above, this can degrade the nicotine content of your juice and the flavor, but the first things to disappear will be the more volatile elements, so any alcohol-like tones can be softened out by letting your juice breathe.
Combining these two processes is the main approach to steeping. You can alternate between steeping and breathing until you find the “peak” for a particular flavor. There is no definite timeline for steeping, because it’s all down to when it suits your tastes. Some juices may be perfect for you right out of the bottle, but others might take a month of steeping or more to really start to shine. Generally, at least two weeks of steeping is recommended, but periodically tasting the juice will give you an idea of when it’s at the right point for you.
E-Liquid Safety Tips
Finally, there are some important things to keep in mind when you’re refilling or otherwise handling juice. The core point is that nicotine can absorb through your skin, which is why nicotine patches work, and also why tobacco pickers used to get “green tobacco sickness.”
If you spill some e-cig juice, you should clean it up immediately with warm, soapy water. Not only should you clean any off your skin immediately, you should also remove and wash any clothing you’ve spilled juice on, and make absolutely sure that you’ve cleaned any surfaces where e-liquid has been spilled.
You can minimize spills by being careful when you’re refilling tanks and handling e-juice. Position the dripper spout of your juice bottle carefully, so the liquid only gets into the tank and doesn’t go down the central tube, which could lead to leaks and juice potentially getting on your skin.
There’s no reason to be especially worried about e-juice spills – nicotine can pass through your skin but it really isn’t that efficient a process – but it’s important to take them seriously and clean up right away.
E-juice is very much at the heart of vaping. It contains the nicotine we crave and the flavor that we love, but as well as finding the right flavors to help you remain smoke-free, learning how to look after your juice and keep your family safe is essential. In a nutshell, finding the right e-juice is a process of experimentation guided by recommendations and research, and staying safe is all about recognizing the potential danger and exercising your common sense. Both of those, though, are often easier said than done.
If you want to learn more about e-liquid safety, we have a whole section dedicated to the topic in our safety series, and if you want some more juice suggestions, check out some of our best of lists for best e-juice brands, best VG e-juice, or specific types of flavor (like tobaccos and vanilla custards).