The Pros & Cons of Using E liquid vs. Prefilled Cartridges

Once you purchase your electronic cigarette, you may be wondering if it’s better to refill your cartridges with e-liquid or to purchase the cartridges pre-filled. Electronic cigarette cartridges include a small plastic casing, and inside pre-filled cartridges is a substance known as e-liquid, or e-juice which “fuels” the electronic cigarette.

E-liquid provides the flavoring and the nicotine (if desired), for the electronic cigarette When heated by the atomizer, this e-liquid provides the vapor that mimics cigarette smoke. With empty cartridges, it is necessary to fill the cartridge with the e-liquid yourself. So is refilling electronic cigarette cartridges yourself better, or should you go with prefilled cartridges?

How Cartridges for Electronic Cigs Work

First, let us explain how the electronic cigarette works. With electronic cigarettes, the atomizer first vaporizes the e-liquid that is at the top of the cartridge, therefore, the more you “vape”, the top of the cartridge starts to dry up, and, therefore, the atomizer must work harder to vaporize the e-liquid in the bottom of the cartridge.

While sellers of most electronic cigarettes claim that a pre-filled cartridge is equivalent to anywhere 10 to 30 cigarettes, it’s been found that this estimate is a bit of an exaggeration, and to get the best vaping experience the cartridge should be full.

Pros & Cons of Pre-filled Cartridges


Pre-filled cartridges are very convenient, because you do not have to bother with filling the cartridges yourself. When a cartridge is empty, you simply throw it away and place a new cartridge on your electronic cigarette, which is quick and easy.


One downside of pre-filled cartridges is that many of these pre-filled cartridges are shipped from China, and even though they have a rubber stopper, there is little doubt that with pre-filled cartridges, some of the e-liquid leaks out into the mouthpiece, meaning that the cartridge may not be 100% full. Because the cartridges may not be 100% full, you obviously get less vapor.

Also, cartridges are more expensive than using e-eliquid. Cartridges last approximately the length of 10 to 30 cigarettes, and a small bottle of e-liquid will fill 5 cartridges.

Pros & Cons of Filling Cartridges with E-Liquid


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Filling your own cartridge allows you to keep the cartridge full, and you will get more vapor with a completely full cartridge.

Filling cartridges with e-liquid, rather than purchasing pre-filled cartridges, is certainly the more economical choice.

Of, of course, filling your cartridges with e-liquid, rather than purchasing and throwing away the pre-filled cartridges, is the “greener choice”. A 15 ml bottle of e-liquid will fill approximately 5 cartridges. Using the equivalent in pre-filled cartridges would take at least 45 cartridges.


The downside of purchasing e-liquid and filling cartridges yourself is that it does take a little time and effort, and, it still does not prevent you from getting e-liquid in your mouth, which can also happened with pre-filled cartridges.


It’s your choice as to whether you purchase pre-filled cartridges or use e-liquid and refill the cartridges yourself. Both have advantages and disadvantages. If you want to save money, and make the better environmental choice, the e-liquid is the obvious choice; however, if you are looking for convenience, pre-filled cartridges may be the better option.

Have you used both? What is your preference?

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