Updated: November 2023
For a while, images of ‘modders’ exhaling huge clouds of vapour came to represent the vaping scene - at least in the eyes of the media.
But the truth is, cloud vapers have always formed a minority. A far larger number of vapers do and did just want a device that is satisfying to vape, gave just the right amount of throat hit and tasted good - in other words, everything needed to replicate and replace smoking.
If that’s what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll be covering the best Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vape kits, including popular device types, and covering some of the most popular MTL vape juices available.
- Best MTL vape kits at a glance
- Best MTL vape kits in depth
- How we chose these kits
- What is Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) vaping?
- Why would you want to MTL vape?
- What makes a device MTL?
- What makes a vape juice MTL?
|Uwell Caliburn A3 & X||Flavour|
|Aspire Vilter||Replicating smoking|
|Oxva Xlim Pro||Great flavour/wide appeal|
|Aspire Pockex||Throat hit|
|Elf Bar Elfa Pro||Best closed pod/Best for price|
|Smok Nord Pro||Best open pod|
|Aspire Flexus Q||Fast charging|
|Eleaf iStick Power 2||Best battery life|
|Elf Bar 600||Best disposable MTL|
|Innokin Adept Zlide||Best MTL mod kit|
|Aspire R1||Refillable disposable|
|Innokin Endura T18II||Best MTL vape pen|
|Vaporesso Xros 3 & Xros 3 Mini||Best overall MTL device|
Uwell’s Caliburn Series has provided some of our most popular pod devices. A collection of easy-to-use kits, they provide some of the best flavour production we’ve seen from MTL pod devices.
The Caliburn A3 is a perfect starter kit for new vapers. Fixed-coil pods, auto power settings and inhale firing make it super beginner-friendly, while its 15-minute rapid charging design is one of the fastest we’ve seen.
If you prefer a little more power and control, there’s the Caliburn X. The most powerful of the series, this is the first Caliburn to feature adjustable wattage, as well as an adjustable airflow control you can use to fine-tune your inhale. The Caliburn X also features the largest battery capacity of the series - providing up to 24hrs use between charges.
Continuing the Caliburn Series’ reputation for great flavour, both devices utilise Uwell’s Pro-FOCS coil technology for enhanced taste.
If you want a vape device that replicates smoking, sometimes it’s not just about throat hit and nicotine. You may also want something that actually feels like a cigarette.
The Aspire Vilter solves this problem with the inclusion of paper filter tips that replicate the physical feel of a tobacco cigarette on your lips. Combined with its compact size and easy inhale firing design, this makes it a great choice for recently-switched smokers looking for a no-fuss alternative to regular cigarettes.
Also see: Best Vape Kits for Heavy Smokers.
Part of Oxva’s popular Xlim Series, the Xlim Pro has proved popular with both customers and our in-house team for its stylish design, great flavour and wide appeal for a compact fixed-coil pod kit.
Suitable for most experience levels, this easy-to-use device boasts single-button operation, easy inhale firing and uses convenient fixed-coil Xlim pods. While there are MTL, RDL and DL pod options, our in-house testing found this device makes a particularly good MTL option. Our team reported great flavour and an airy vape when using a 0.8ohm pod and nicotine salts, and found a single pod lasted an impressive 5 days! Read full review here.
The Xlim Pro’s adjustable airflow control is another handy feature for achieving your ideal inhale as you can simply move the sliding control to create a more airy or restricted vape style.
For many vapers, especially those just switching from smoking, throat hit is an important part of the experience.
The Aspire PockeX isn’t the newest device on this list, but for years it’s been a consistent best seller. Much of this is down to its unrivalled throat hit. Aspire has managed to create a perfectly balanced airflow to create a satisfying MTL vape with just the right kick at the back of the throat.
Aside from its throat hit, the PockeX is super easy to use with a single-button design, leakproof tank and long-lasting battery.
The Hexa Pro has held our ‘Best Closed Pod’ title for a long time. But a new device has finally taken its place. The Elf Bar Elfa Pro offers the great taste of Elf Bar disposables (more about them later!) in a reusable device - saving both money and environmental waste without compromising on flavour.
A super easy-to-use device, the Elfa Pro uses fixed-coil pods prefilled with popular Elf Bar blends. Inhale firing and auto power selection mean you don’t need to worry about setup - just attach your pod and start vaping! A great starter kit and next step from disposables, users just need to remember to recharge the battery and replace the pod when the e-liquid runs out.
The Elfa Pro is also a very budget-friendly option. While the compatible pods add extra expense in the long run, the initial kit costs less than a pack of cigarettes or a couple of disposables!
While closed pod devices are super convenient they can somewhat restrict your flavour choices. Open pod vape devices can be refilled and are a great option for those who like to mix it up and experiment with different flavours.
Part of the popular Smok Nord Series, the Nord Pro strikes a great balance between being easy to use but having enough versatility that you can tailor your vape as you wish. There’s the choice of both auto and inhale firing, no power settings to worry about and an adjustable airflow wheel that can switch your inhale between airy or restricted.
As the Nord 25W works with Nord coils, you’re not just restricted to MTL vaping as there are lower-resistance options that can support DL vaping too.
Waiting for your device to charge is a common bugbear amongst vapers. Luckily, manufacturers are countering this problem - as we’ve recently seen an influx of rapid-charging devices. The Aspire Flexus Q may just be the fastest yet, with a battery that can reach 80% charge in just 10 minutes.
While this is super impressive, there’s more to the Flexus Q than fast charging. Sleek, compact and easy to use, the Flexus Q requires no power settings - setting its own output based on the coil being used. There’s also a choice of both manual and inhale firing, making vaping super easy.
You’re also not limited to just MTL vaping. Working with Flexus coils, the device can support both MTL and DL styles, with an adjustable airflow slider allowing you to create a more airy or restricted inhale depending on which you prefer.
It's a big inconvenience when your device's battery dies or needs constant recharging. Although MTL vaping uses less power (and therefore less battery life) than DL vaping, it’s still a good idea to choose a device with a larger battery capacity.
Compatible with GTL coils and outputting up to 80W of power, the Eleaf Power 2 kit supports both MTL and DL vaping styles. But when used for MTL vaping (which only requires between 7 - 18W) the mod’s huge 5000mAh can easily provide at least several days of use without needing a recharge.
Other than great battery life, the iStick Power 2 kit has many other impressive features - including a luxurious leather finish and a handy Smart Mode that takes the fuss out of using it. In fact, we were so impressed with this kit we wrote a whole blog post on it!
Disposable vape devices are everywhere at the moment, becoming increasingly popular in recent years for their ease of use and convenience (although we’d always recommend a reusable device for environmental and cost-saving reasons). With so many disposables around, it’s difficult to choose a single range that stands out.
Elf Bar is currently the biggest name in disposable vaping, and the 600 range stands out with a large and varied selection of over 40 flavours. Available in 10mg, 20mg and nicotine-free options, there’s an Elf Bar 600 to suit all preferences. Ready to use out of the box, with no set up required, each Elf Bar 600 disposable lasts up to 600 puffs - providing a smooth, satisfying vape all day long.
While, historically, mod and tank kits were exclusively restricted to expert vapers blowing massive clouds, there are now plenty of great MTL mod kits that even the most inexperienced vaper can enjoy.
A long-time favourite with us at E-Cigarette Direct, the Innokin Adept Zlide has stood out thanks to its tough construction, long-lasting battery and intelligent wattage selection that takes the guesswork out of using it.
The included Zlide tank has a convenient sliding top fill and works with the higher-resistance Zenith coil range that is perfect for MTL vaping.
The Aspire R1 is a disposable with a difference! A fixed coil means that the device does need to be disposed of eventually, but a refillable pod and rechargeable battery also means it lasts much longer than regular disposable vapes.
A great midpoint between disposables and regular reusable devices, this is an easy-to-use device with no set up or power settings to worry about. The refillable pod means you can select any e-liquid flavour you like and lasts up to 8 refills before the device needs to be disposed of. You just need to dispose of the R1 when the coil runs out - you’ll notice this when the device stops producing vapour or you get a burnt taste when you inhale.
Tied for best MTL vape pen with the earlier-mentioned PockeX, the Innokin Endura T18II is another device with long-lasting popularity.
A slim and classic pen-style shape, the Endura T18II caters to vapers of all experience levels looking for an easy-to-use MTL vape pen.
In place of complicated power settings, the Endura T18II has simple ‘Cool, Mid & Warm’ settings that allow you to easily tailor the heat of your coil, while an adjustable airflow ring means you can adjust your inhale to airy or restricted as you prefer.
Also see the more compact Endura T18II Mini.
Our best overall MTL kit was previously the Vaporesso Xros 2, which featured everything you could want from an MTL vape device. Then, along came two new devices in the Xros Series, the Xros 3 and Xros 3 Mini… containing all these features and more.
Still super easy to use with fixed-coil pods and automatic power settings, these updated versions come with increased flavour, battery life and inhale options - easily knocking the Xros 2 off its top spot.
Both devices provide long-lasting power, with up to 2 days’ battery life between charges. Flavour-boosting, automatically set Pulse Mode combined with COREX coil technology gives enhanced and consistent taste, while the inclusion of a new RDL pod means users can switch up their vape style. There’s also the inclusion of adjustable airflow - allowing you to tailor your inhale further to create a tighter or more airy inhale.
We chose these devices based on a combination of factors including popularity and personal testing. Having tried many vape devices over the years, we wanted to break the devices down into what makes them particularly special, whether that’s their price, their ease of use or who they would suit.
Mouth-to-Lung vaping describes a way of inhaling when you vape.
In MTL vaping, you hold the vapour in your mouth, hold it momentarily and then inhale it down into your lungs.
This is in contrast to Direct-Lung (DL) vaping, where you take the vapour directly into the lungs.
See MTL vs DL Explained for more information.
MTL vaping provides a tighter, more restricted inhale and a stronger throat hit similar to that of a cigarette. This makes it popular with former smokers looking to replicate the sensation of smoking.
Mouth-to-Lung vaping also usually creates less vapour than DL vaping so is more suited to those who don’t want massive clouds and prefer to stealth vape.
MTL devices come in all forms, from pod kits and vape pens to mod and tank kits. To create a Mouth-to-Lung vaping style, you’d need a device that works with higher-resistance coils (usually around 0.6Ω or above).
As these higher-resistance coils don’t require as much power as lower-resistance coils, MTL devices are usually lower-powered than DL devices..
However, you will find some high-powered devices, such as the Smok Nord 50W, that work with both low and high-resistance coils and can support both MTL and DL vape styles.
Vape juice contains two main ingredients - propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG). The ratio of which will usually be displayed as VG:PG XX:XX. (For example, a vape juice that is 70% VG and 30% PG will be displayed as VG:PG 70:30).
Most MTL vapers will use a vape juice with a high PG to VG ratio (at least VG:PG 50:50) as this gives the satisfactory throat hit MTL vapers are looking for.
MTL vape juices also tend to have higher nicotine content than DL juices. Nicotine salts are also a great MTL option as they usually have a VG:PG 50:50 ratio and high nicotine content to provide a smooth vape.
Choosing the best MTL device for you differs depending on what you’re looking for. Whether it’s a great price, great look or long-lasting battery, there is something for everyone.
With new devices being regularly released, we’ll ensure to keep this list updated should a device really catch our attention, so keep checking back.