If you’re new to vaping, you might be confused by the number of brands available. In fact, almost every day I seem to get an email from a new vape brand I’ve never heard of before.
At the same time, there is a stable of reliable brands that have proved themselves over the years with consistent high-quality devices. That’s not to say every device they make is a winner – every brand has their big successes as well as some that don’t quite make the mark. (We’ve included some of those winners below!) There’s also some smaller brands who have focussed on creating some excellent products – I’ve included them under honourable mentions.
All the brands covered below are available in the UK too. Without further ado, here they are…
Top vape brands (available in the UK)
Innokin: Reliable, innovative
When I hear the name Innokin, the word reliability comes to mind. Over the years, Innokin has consistently produced high quality vapes – and some devices, such as the Coolfire IV, can last for years before needing replacing.
Innokin have also been great innovators, often introducing new technologies that have gone on to take the whole vaping scene forward. This has included market leading coils (such as the Plexus), simple innovations that make vaping more similar to smoking (filter tips), mechanisms to refresh and extend coil life, the first device to combine a fixed coil with serious cloud production (the Innokin Go Max) and much more.
Innokin are perhaps best known as a Mouth-to-Lung, starter device company, but they have also made some superb mods. In fact, the Innokin MVP 5 mod, despite being an older device, remains one of our favourite mods.
Finally, I think it’s worth noting that Innokin have put some serious investment into making vaping more eco-friendly. This includes introducing recyclable packaging, biodegradable filters and investing in recycling schemes in France and the UK.
Vaporesso: High quality vapes with a great finish
Vaporesso brings luxury to the vape market with well crafted devices with a fine finish. They certainly have some might behind them – the company is a subsidiary of Smoore, which is the largest vape manufacturer in the world.
I also like the fact that Vaporesso really listens to their users – they do extensive research, which includes having a team of employees spending weeks at a time in the UK, visiting shops and talking to vapers, and they are willing to change how their products work based on feedback.
Smok: Clouds & taste
In the early days, Smok were known for their huge mods, often characterised by a firing button that stretched the length of their devices, and very much appealed to cloud chasers and advanced vapers. In recent years, though, Smok have expanded their focus to include more beginner and intermediate friendly devices. Perhaps their most popular device was the easy-to-use Smok Nord (now replaced by the Smok Nord 2, the Nord Pro and the Nord 50W).
Smok are also the most prolific of all the vape brands, producing a huge quantity of vape devices every year (we currently list 53 Smok kits and pod kits!), although in recent months they do seem to have rationalised this approach.
Geekvape: Tough and durable
If you’re looking for a device that can withstand some serious punishment, look no further than Geekvape. The brand pioneered devices that are waterproof, dustproof and shockproof, with each iteration proving to be stronger – many featuring military grade materials and toughness. Some of their original innovations have been copied by competitors – but if I was looking for a device for outdoor use, Geekvape would be my first port of call.
But don’t think that Geekvape are only about toughness! Their devices are reliable, well made – and offer great functionality and taste – while their Aegis Max tank (part of the Aegis Max Zeus kit) is widely considered one of the best vape tanks for clouds and taste.
Aspire: Enduringly popular vape devices
While most vape devices are transitory, Aspire has produced some real winners over the years that remain popular to this day. Without a doubt, it’s best known device is the Aspire PockeX, which even after several years is probably still the best known vape device in the UK, thanks to its unique throat hit which can satisfy even the heaviest of smokers. There’s also the Aspire Nautilus tank, with its long metal drip tip that lends itself perfectly to a cool menthol vape, which still remains popular with longer-term vapers despite being nearly a decade old.
Aspire have also recently catered to the budget vaper with the Minican series (Minican, Minican Plus and Minican 2) which offer basic but high quality devices often for less than the price of a pack of cigarettes. This makes them a perfect introduction to vaping for the smoker who is willing to give vaping a try but is not yet willing to take the plunge on a high end device.
Voopoo: Superb finishes, sophisticated GENE chip
Along with Geekvape, Voopoo has made great strides in recent years, coming from a standing start to catch up with the bigger brands. Voopoo only got going in 2016, when it purchased high end US vape manufacturer WoodyVaps. A second pivotal move came in 2017, when it formed a partnership with GENE to produce exclusive chips for Voopoo – giving the devices superb control and ultra fast firing speeds.
Voopoo is perhaps best known for its Drag series, which at the time of writing is the most successful pod mod series in the UK. The devices combine power and functionality with a superb leather and metal finish. However, they’ve also started to make inroads into the pod market, with the most popular devices being the Voopoo Vinci and Vinci X2 pod systems, which combine ease of use with precise airflow control and superb flavour.
HorizonTech: Best tank for clouds
While many of the brands mentioned here focus on producing many different devices, there’s a lot to be said for focussing all your effort on a handful of products. Horizontech may be a smaller brand, but their Falcon II tank, while not one of the newest tanks on the market, remains one of the best vape tanks for clouds available today.
Uwell: Best pod systems for flavour
Like HorizonTech, Uwell doesn’t produce the same quantity and variety of vape devices as the other brands mentioned here. But it’s impossible to talk about the best vape brands without mentioning the manufacturer of the Caliburn series.
The original Uwell Caliburn won mass popularity because of the superb flavour it produced. Uwell didn’t rest on their laurels, and have worked to improve the original Uwell with improved filling, battery life and more with the Caliburn G2 and Caliburn A2.
HEXA: Closed pod specialists
It’s common to see JUUL top the list of top vape brands. But the JUUL in the UK is not the same as the JUUL in the USA. In the USA, JUUL pods contain a head-exploding 5% nicotine content, whereas the UK version, which is limited by UK regulations, is much weaker.
Perhaps that’s why we find HEXA performs better. It also has a larger e-liquid capacity in each pod, and comes with more battery life – meaning you can vape for longer between charging and pod changes. Even better, HEXA enters 2022 with two new devices – the HEXA Mini and the HEXA Pro (full review).
There remain dozens of brands in the vape market. It’s quite possible that we will see more great brands popping up, but for the most part, there’s likely to be rationalisation in the market. Each brand is only as good as its latest devices, so expect to see intense innovation and competition as each one tries to out-compete the next.
Looking to narrow down the choice of vape kit further? Check out our round-up of the best vape kits for 2022.