Premium is a word that gets thrown around a lot -- especially when it comes to e-juice. What does the label mean, and why does it cost more? Not all premium e-juice is created equal or even truly deserving of the title.
Learn more about what goes into creating a premium e-juice. It goes way deeper than just the recipes -- encompassing everything from the production down to the testing. See the full guide below to learn more.
If you're looking for true premium e-juice, these are the seven highest quality premium e-juice brands based on comprehensive testing.
Black Note provides premium e-juice for the true tobacco connoisseur. They're made with real tobacco using a natural extraction process. The flavors are robust and authentic, ranging from bold to sweet. They also have a variety of menthol flavors made with peppermint extract. Each flavor comes in a 50/50 VG/PG blend.
Naked provides more than just great-tasting e-juice. Flavors like Lava Flow, Hawaiian POG and Maui Sun offer a tropical escape. They also have an assortment of candy and tobacco flavors like Sour Sweet, Berry Belts and American Patriot. Extremely clean and won't destroy your coils. Available in a 70/30 VG/PG blend.
The Milkman’s tiny cartons can be seen on the shelves of nearly every vape shop. What began as a small line devoted to creamy milk flavors, has evolved into a well-rounded range of desserts, tobacco and candy flavor profiles. Some favorites include Milky O's, Lil' Dipper and Churrios. Each available in max VG only.
Glas has a reputation for their award-winning flavors. Some of their originals include Pound Cake and Glazed. They recently introduced a Basix line to offer a premium experience at a lower price. Butterscotch Reserve, The Dunk, and Fizzy Lemonade have something for everyone. Each one contains a 70/30 VG/PG ratio.
Five Pawns is synonymous with premium e-juice. Their award-winning e-juice is handcrafted in small batches in state-of-the-art ISO certified labs. Five Pawns e-liquids feature complex recipes from adult drinks to sweet and savory desserts all in 50/50 blends. This is not your average e-juice.
Cuttwood is another heavy-hitter within the industry. They create tons of delicious e-liquids with all day vape potential. Flavors like Unicorn Milk, Mr. Fritter, Bird Brains, and Sugar Drizzle have set the bar in terms of quality, that many other premium e-juice brands still strive to attain. Comes in 70% VG blends.
Charlie's Chalkdust takes a slightly different approach to e-liquid. They have a variety of lines with sophisticated flavors -- ranging from tobacco, tropical fruit to dessert. From the recipes to the ingredients, down to the artwork and packaging, it just screams premium. All of them contain a 70/30 VG to PG ratio.
The term "premium" means a sum added to a normal price. So first and foremost, premium e-juice is going to be more expensive than regular e-juice. The question is, how does premium and regular vape juice differ besides price? Since the FDA banned sampling vape juice in vape shops, paying extra may feel like a gamble. While there are no hard and fast rules, the end-product of premium e-juice compared to regular e-juice should be expected to vary in these ways:
Ask any DIYer and they will tell you that e-juice ingredients are cheap! All vape juice – regular or premium – contain the same basic ingredients like PG and VG, water soluble flavorings, and optional nicotine. It makes sense to wonder where that extra money is going. Assuming the e-juice truly is premium and not just labeled and priced as such, these are few possible reasons for the price increase.
Manufacturing: Premium e-juice is typically made in ISO certified labs and clean rooms. The accreditation from the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) “give[s] world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency.” The operating costs of these labs represent a huge investment for premium vape juice brands.
Testing: High-quality and expensive brands typically have batch-testing done by third party-labs for independent assessment. Using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), this testing ensures quality control and traceability that regular e-juice brands may not be able to afford.
Proprietary ingredients: The most premium e-juice brands often use flavorings that aren’t available or sold to consumers. These upper-echelon companies work directly with professional flavor chemists to create proprietary flavorings and extracts only for B2B sales. For a flooded market like the e-juice industry, a unique product warrants a higher price.
In 2018, most premium e-juice ranges from $0.70 to $1.00 per mL. Depending on how much vape juice is used daily, the costs can add up quickly. The easiest way to vape premium liquid without breaking the bank is to use mouth-to-lung vape tanks that provide maximal flavor with lower vapor output. The less vapor your device makes, the less e-juice your atomizer will consume. If you use a cloud-chucking sub-ohm tank, premium e-juice could be financially prohibitive.
When it comes down to it, your wallet and taste buds are your best advisors. If you can’t afford the premium cost, try and catch it on sale or shop around for bargain-priced e-juice with good reviews. Although premium e-juice should taste better and be of better quality, taste will always be subjective. If your favorite e-liquid is cheap and satisfying, you’re all set. If what you’ve been vaping isn't cutting it, you should try some premium e-juice.