JUUL vs Vape Pens: What's the difference?

With vaping becoming more common every day, it is no wonder the options for products is expanding so rapidly. When at one time there were only a few products to choose from, the options now are seemingly endless. Whether you’re into large mods or stealthy pods, there is something for everyone.



One of the newer types of nicotine delivery systems is the JUUL, which is gaining a lot of attention in the world of vaping. While it looks very similar to an everyday vape pen, there are some key differences to consider before purchasing a new setup. The biggest changes in the JUUL system from a standard vape pen are the pods the JUUL uses, the liquid inside the pods, the overall size, and a closed vaping system.

The overall design of the JUUL is very simplistic, which can be attractive to those who are new to vaping.  It  is about the same length as a cigarette and is very light in weight, so it feels very similar to holding a cigarette. People looking to quit smoking will definitely find some great features in the JUUL. The nicotine concentration is high, making it easier to transition from cigarettes to vaping. The draw on the JUUL is very similar to that of a cigarette, and it feels more like a cigarette than most other products. In addition, the maintenance is very low.

The JUUL is comprised of only two parts; the device itself and the flavor pods. It is activated simply by drawing from the mouthpiece. The cartridges are prefilled with liquid that is made using high concentration nicotine salts and they have a nicotine strength of  just under 60 milligrams per milliliter. Because the nicotine content is so high in the JUUL pods, it takes significantly less liquid to equal the amount of nicotine you would get from regular E-liquids. The higher nicotine concentration can make one pod last up to three days with only 0.7milliliters of liquid. They currently offer eight different flavors of liquid, as well as a variety pack of their four most popular flavors.

The JUUL eliminates the confusion of multiple pieces, switches, and buttons. There are no intimidating parts to learn to deal with and there is a very small learning curve. Unfortunately, the simplicity of the JUUL setup also means there is less room for customization. Many seasoned vape users prefer to change their flavor, nicotine levels, and resistance as often as they’d like and the JUUL does not offer this flexibility. The JUUL prices run very similar to basic vape pen beginner packs. The biggest price difference is in the liquid used to refill a vape pen versus the pre-filled pods sold by JUUL. All things considered, it appears the JUUL prices would run a little higher when it comes to to keeping it filled, despite the startup costs being very similar to vape pens.

Vape Pens

Classic vape pens have three main components; a battery, a liquid reservoir, and a heating coil. E-liquid is placed inside the reservoir with the heating element, and they are activated when pressing a button and inhaling. Vape pens that are currently available range in color, style, size, length, and weight. There are countless brands of devices, as well as liquids made to be used with them. Most E-liquids used in vape pens contain a mixture of nicotine and propylene glycol. The amount of nicotine and the flavor used varies depending on the preference of the user. A lot of these pens fit easily in your pocket and feel similar to a cigarette in your mouth.  Traditional vape pens offer a complete customization opportunity, which is mostly desirable to long-time users.




  • Simple to learn and use
  • Similar to real cigarettes


  • Pod Prices
  • Only 2 levels of nicotine (3% & 5%)



  • Completely customizable
  • Affordable


  • Difficult troubleshooting
  • Overwhelming for new users


Closing Thoughts

Which type is the best for you? That depends on what you’re looking for in the overall experience. The JUUL works a lot like a Mac, and a vape pen is like a PC. The JUUL is less complicated, user friendly, and designed well to help people quit smoking. Vape pens work just as well, but offer a host of variable conditions that can be adjusted to fit the exact needs of its user. This also means they’re easier to have troubles with. While the JUUL is very similar to a standard vape pen, it should never been confused as one. Both styles offer the owner clean nicotine delivery, without the tar and the smell of cigarette smoke.

Update 08/2020

With the recent introduction of disposable vapes, and the ban on Juul pod flavors many are switching away from the once popular brand to more easy to use devices. Regardless the price per puff is still costly and while convenient, customers pay the price.