Mouth to Lung Vape & Direct Lung Vaping Guide
Millions of smokers have used e-cigarettes to ditch tobacco. And landmark studies have shown that vaping only carries a fraction of the risk of smoking cigarettes.
Sure, you can always ask for advice from your friend who has vaped for years. But an experienced vaper’s set-up probably isn’t suitable for someone who is just starting out.
One of the first distinctions a new vaper needs to know about is the difference between Mouth to Lung and Direct Lung vaping.
First and foremost, this is a difference in vaping styles. But it also affects what hardware and vape juice a vaper buys, because some products are optimized for Mouth to Lung vaping and some for Direct Lung vaping.
In this guide, we explain the difference between the two styles and talk about what kind of set-up you need for each.
If you can’t decide if you are a Mouth to Lung vaper or a Direct Lung vaper, we’ve also included some products that blur the lines between the classes.
There is no right or wrong here. Everything comes down to personal preference. Just be careful though, because if you get a device that doesn’t suit your habits, then you are more likely to relapse into smoking cigarettes.
Mouth to Lung Vape
Mouth to Lung vaping is like smoking cigarettes - just with vapor instead of tobacco smoke.
You draw a small amount of vapor into your mouth before inhaling it down into your lungs in a second movement.
Lots of vapers find Mouth to Lung vaping more satisfying and flavorful.
Mouth to Lung devices usually have a reduced airflow and the e-liquids have a higher concentration of nicotine, to create a better throat hit.
A throat hit is the harsh but satisfying at the back of your throat that’s caused by nicotine. Vapers like it because it is a good substitute for the sensation you get from cigarettes.
If you want to create lofty clouds of vapor then Mouth to Lung vaping is not for you. Mouth to Lung set-ups tend to be stealthier and leave less of a lingering smell around your home.
Mouth to Lung vaping also uses up less e-liquid, so it’s more economical. Many Mouth to Lung vapers have recently converted to nicotine salts, which is designed to be more satisfying. Read our pick for the best nic salt flavors.
Direct to Lung
In many ways, Direct Lung vaping is the opposite of Mouth to Lung.
Instead of small devices, you use big units. Instead of high nicotine e-liquid you use vape juice with lower concentrations of nicotine. And instead of holding the vapor in your mouth momentarily, you inhale it straight down into your lungs like you would with a helium balloon.
Direct Lung hits can be quite intense, especially for beginners, who are prone to coughing their lungs up.
Direct Lung is normally the reserve of more experienced vapers who want to create big clouds and gushing flavors, while still getting a nicotine hit.
If you are using nicotine e-liquid, there will still be a throat hit, but it probably won’t be as satisfying as the with a Mouth to Lung set-up.
Direct Lung set-ups are more powerful than Mouth to Lung devices, so they vaporize more e-liquid. This means that you will need to choose a lower strength e-liquid to get the same amount of nicotine.
Most Direct Lung vapers use e-liquids with a nicotine strength of between 0 and 6 mg/ml.
Best Mouth to Lung mods
Mouth to Lung devices tend to be smaller, with less power and higher resistance coils (usually 1.0 ohms or above).
Pod vapes are innovative new devices that can always be used as Mouth to Lung systems.
The most well known pod mod is probably the JUUL system, but there are some serious drawbacks with this device.
JUUL pods are expensive and can’t be refilled. The USB device is also low on power and has a smaller battery capacity than other mods.
Here are two Mouth to Lung pod mods that you should consider instead.
A super stylish pod mod from Suorin, the Drop is one of the most popular devices on our website. The raindrop design finishes with a tight mouthpiece that mimics the tobacco cigarette smoking experience.
It has a 300mAh internal battery lasts longer than the JUUL’s 200mAh cell and the 2ml pods are more than two times larger than JUUL’s 0.7ml pods.
Lean and slim, SMOK’s Fit pod system weighs just 20 grams, but it is more powerful than it looks.
The design is very similar to the JUUL, but like the Drop, the Fit has a bigger battery and larger replacement pods.
With a tight cigarette-like draw and a low price, this is the perfect kit for beginners who want to test the waters with vaping.
Best Direct Lung mods
Direct Lung mods are built for power. They tend to be bigger, with a higher output and a larger battery.
The tank and coil set-up is also important. Direct Lung set-ups usually have a sub-ohm tank and a wider airflow to help the vapor find its way to your lungs and to create bigger clouds. Read the vaping.com Sub-Ohm Vaping Guide.
There are lots of good Direct Lung mods out there, but here are a couple of our favorites.
Designed for serious vapers with a sense of style, the design centers around a 0.96 inch OLED screen, where you can control a wide range of customizable settings.
The mod’s innovative OMNI chip also delivers up to 220W of cloud power and supports some reassuring safety features.
The Vaporesso Revenger X kit includes an NRG tank with a wide-open airflow and two fantastic sub-ohm coils for airy Direct Lung vaping.
Blending portability with power, the SMOK Stick Prince is loved by beginners and vaping veterans.
Improving on previous Stick models, the Prince has a 3000mAh internal battery and an operating voltage of between 3.4 and 4.2 volts - enough for some serious cloud blowing.
Included in the SMOK Stick Prince kit, you get the TFV12 Prince Tank - one of SMOK’s best - along with 8ml of vape juice capacity and two 0.17 ohm quadruple core coils, it enables good high power, low resistance vaping.
Mods for Mouth to Lung and Direct Lung vaping
We’ll admit it, Mouth to Lung and Direct Lung can be confusing. You might not know what kind of vaper you are, and some vapers might blur the lines between the two camps.
Fortunately, if you are confused or you want a mod that can do both, there is a new generation of hybrid devices that can do Mouth to Lung or Direct Lung. Here’s our hot picks of the latest and greatest Mouth to Lung/Direct Lung hybrid mods.
Aspire’s Breeze 2 kit is an innovative kind of pod mod that allows you to replace the coils as well as the pods. We love the Breeze 2 kit, it made the vaping.com Best Pod Systems list.
The 1000mAh refillable mini mod is a hybrid Mouth to Lung and Direct Lung vape, so it’s ideal if you can’t make up your mind.
It comes with a 1.0 ohm and a 0.6 ohm U-tech coils. The 1.0 coil is optimized for nicotine salt e-liquids and is best for Mouth to Lung draws while the sub-ohm coil will allow you take some bigger Direct Lung hits.
Mi-Pod is one of our favorite products. It’s a small pod vape but it has the power and vape production to rival much larger box mods. It features in our best small vapes 2019 and our alternatives to JUUL list so you know we love it.
It’s small and light enough to hang on a lanyard but still packs an impressive 950mAh internal battery.
The true genius of the Mi-Pod is the airflow on the 2ml refillable pods, which allows you to use the mod for Mouth to Lung and Direct Lung vaping.