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!)
All the brands covered below are available in the UK too. Without further ado, here they are…
Top vape brands (available in 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.
While Vaporesso has produced many good devices, my favourites so far are the Vaporesso Target 100 (review), which produces possibly the best flavour from mods that I have experienced yet and the Luxe X.
The newest brand on this list, Elf Bar launched in 2018 and saw a meteoric rise to fame during the disposables boom of 2021. Producing the world’s most popular range of disposable vapes, they quickly became a household name - with ‘Elf Bars’ becoming shorthand for disposable devices.
One of the main reasons for Elf Bar’s popularity is their huge range of flavours - with over 50 different options available. They have also continued their domination of the disposables market with their popular Lost Mary sub-brand.
But Elf Bar isn’t just about disposables! They have carried their famous flavours over to their Elfa Pro device - a reusable, prefilled pod kit featuring some of their most popular flavours. For reusable device users who still want to experience that strong, disposable-style flavour, there’s the Elfliq nic salt range - which includes some of the best Elf Bar flavours in vape juice form.
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 Adept Zlide, can last for years before needing replacing.
Innokin has also been great innovator, 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 such as the Zlide and Coolfire Z50.
Finally, I think it’s worth noting that Innokin has 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.
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 as part of the Nord Series).
Smok are also the most prolific of all the vape brands, producing a huge quantity of vape devices every year, although in recent months they do seem to have rationalised this approach.
Also see: Best Smok Devices.
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. A recent and very impressive example is the T200 (Aegis Touch) mod kit. An intelligent device with a super-tough design (naturally!) as well as a highly responsive touchscreen display, it very quickly made its way into our Best Vape Kits list.
Geekvape is also responsible for some of our most popular vape tanks too. The recently released Z Sub-Ohm SE is a great example of a Geekvape tank - providing great flavour and dense, satisfying vapour clouds.
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, its 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 is also catering to the budget vaper as well as those who want to move on from disposables with the R1 device. A disposable device with a fixed coil, rechargeable battery and refillable pod, it is a lot more economical than regular disposables while still being easy to use. This makes it a perfect introduction to vaping for a disposable user or smokers who are willing to try reusable devices but are not ready 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 device being the Voopoo Vinci Q pod system, which combines ease of use with precise airflow control and superb flavour.
Uwell: Best pod systems for flavour
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 with improved filling, battery life and more with the Caliburn A3 and Caliburn X.
While Uwell is synonymous with pod and starter kits, you’ll also find some more advanced devices such as their high-spec Valyrian 3 mod kit.
Also see: Best Uwell Vape Kits.
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.