When you’re about to make a major life change – as switching to vaping certainly is for any smoker – it’s an excellent idea to do as much research as possible before jumping in. If you’re considering making the switch from smoking to vaping, then, you’ve almost certainly read about the different types of vapes and have learned that pod-based devices are extremely popular among vapers of all experience levels today. You’ve probably also learned that the pod systems available at traditional tobacco retailers like convenience stores – and the ones that you can buy in vape shops – can often be very different from one another.

The primary difference between the pod systems sold by convenience stores and those sold at vape shops has to do with the pods themselves. Tobacco retailers almost always sell pod systems with pre-filled disposable pods, and vape shops generally sell devices with empty pods that you fill yourself using bottled vape juice.

The comparison between pre-filled vs. refillable pod systems may seem fairly straightforward on the surface, but your decision can actually affect your vaping experience in more ways than you might think. So, what’s the best type of pod system for a beginning vaper? This article will help you decide.

A Refillable Pod System Gives You a Wider Flavor Selection

The difference between a pre-filled pod system and a refillable one is that a refillable pod system allows you to enjoy a much wider selection of different flavors. That’s been true as long as pre-filled vaping devices have existed. There are many hundreds of different e-liquid flavors in the world today, and it would be impossible for any manufacturer to release pre-filled pods with all of those different flavors. In fact, it’s rare for any company to offer more than around a dozen different pre-filled pod flavors – and that’s only in countries where vaping regulations aren’t as strict as they are in the United States.

In the US, a legal restriction put into place by the Trump administration at the beginning of 2020 makes all pre-filled vape pods and cartridges in flavors other than tobacco and menthol illegal. If you live in the US, then, choosing between a pre-filled or refillable pod system isn’t a matter of choosing between a handful of flavors or hundreds of flavors. For pre-filled pod systems, just two flavors are available. That should make your decision fairly obvious if you want to enjoy a wide variety of different flavors.

A Refillable Pod System Costs Less to Use

The second benefit of refillable pod systems is that they’re much more economical to use than pre-filled systems. If you’ve looked at the pre-filled pods in your local convenience stores, you know that they typically cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 each. That’s not cheap – in fact, it’s almost the same as the price of cigarettes in some areas. Now, consider the fact that a pack of four pods – which might include about 4 ml of e-liquid at the most – costs around the same as a 30 ml bottle of nicotine salt vape juice. Considering how much more e-liquid you get for the money when you buy your vape juice by the bottle, using a refillable pod system costs substantially less than using a device with pre-filled pods.

A Refillable Pod System Lets You Use a Wider Range of Nicotine Strengths

One of the things you’ll learn as you gain experience with vaping is that the nicotine strength you use in the beginning isn’t necessarily the strength that you’ll use forever. It’s normal for people to use higher nicotine strengths when they first start vaping because, the higher the nicotine strength of your e-liquid is, the more vaping will feel like smoking a cigarette. After you’ve switched fully to vaping and stopped smoking, though, it’s likely that you’ll want to start using a lower nicotine strength. As people gain experience with vaping, it’s common for them to vape more often and to use lower-strength e-liquids.

If you use a pod system with pre-filled pods, you’re going to find that you don’t have many options where nicotine strength is concerned. Most pre-filled vape pods are only available in two different nicotine strengths, and a few companies only sell pods in one strength. If you’re using a pre-filled pod system and decide that you want to reduce your nicotine intake, you may find that the only lower strength that’s available is lower than you’d like it to be or that lowering your nicotine strength will require you to buy an entirely new vaping device.

If you use a refillable pod system, you’re free to use whatever nicotine strength you like because your device will work with any vape juice on the market. Although it may be a while before you want to change nicotine strengths, you’ll be glad to know that you can do so whenever you like without buying a new vaping device.

A Pre-Filled Pod System Is Simpler and More Convenient

So far, we’ve only discussed the benefits of refillable pod systems – and although those benefits are significant, you shouldn’t jump straight to a refillable device without first understanding the one great benefit of pre-filled pod systems.

The one great benefit of pre-filled pod systems is that they are the simplest and most convenient vaping devices on the market aside from disposable vapes. There’s nothing to configure or tinker with when you use a pre-filled pod system. All that you need to do is charge the battery periodically – usually once or twice a day – and replace your pod when it’s empty. It’s easy to know when you need to replace a pod because your device will stop producing vapor when you puff. Alternatively, you can just look at the pod’s window to see how much e-liquid is left. It couldn’t be simpler.

While many people find that having the flexibility to choose any flavor is the most important part of having a good vaping experience, others prize convenience and ease of use above all else. If that sounds like you, you may find a pre-filled pod system to be the better choice for you despite the relative lack of flavor variety.

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