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The Best Vape Hardware Brands

Vape hardware has come a very long way since the early days and new brands emerge all the time. Thinking back to 2012 the biggest players in the game were Kangertech and Smoant, names which are now almost unheard of. In today’s market we see very different brands which all compete for the spotlight – but because vaping is much bigger there’s plenty of room for each.

Modern vaping encompasses many different niches including Sub-Ohm, Cigalikes, Pod Kits and disposables vapes. Each vape brand takes a different approach to their design of hardware and some do things better than others. The purpose of this article is to take an in-depth look at the differences between the top 10.

Our Top 10 Vape Hardware Brands

Brand Position
Aspire 1
Voopoo 2
Innokin 3
Oxva 4
Vaporesso 5
Geekvape 6
Uwell 7
Yihi 8
Smok 9
Freemax 10
Aspire-vape-hardware Brand

1 – Aspire

One of the older vape manufacturers still holding a large share of the market. Aspire are perhaps the best known for their reliability but have also innovated relentlessly and continue to produce some of the best looking, most functional devices available. We’ve been big fans since the beginning and it’s an easy choice to put them at the top of our list.

Whilst Aspire haven’t played too much into the disposable game, their efforts in other niches have done exceptionally well. In 2024, Aspire have an impressive array of hardware encompassing pods kits, pen kits, Sub-Ohm & pod kits as well as advanced AIO devices like the super popular Raga AIO.

Pros

  • Reliable Hardware
  • Eye-catching designs
  • Focus on sustainability
  • Widely available coils and pods
  • Extended coil compatibility

Cons

  • On the more expensive end of vape hardware
  • Less robust than some other manufacturers

Why we chose Aspire for the top position

Aspire seem to have been unbothered by the disposable calamity and instead focused on what they know and what they’ve always done well at. This is deserving of respect and it seems to have paid off for the manufacturer. If you’re looking for reliable, innovative vape hardware that also looks the part, Aspire are your best choice.

Using some of their devices hints at their innate ability to know what feels good. This is priceless insight for Aspire and it garners immediate confidence and respect for their products. It’s rare to find vape hardware that ticks so many boxes but that’s exactly what Aspire do.

Many other hardware manufacturers have either shifted their focus onto the current hot topic: pod kits, whilst nearly abandoning their original customer base in pursuit of profits. It’s a difficult decision to argue with since all companies are out for the profit, but abandoning your once loyal customer base is questionable.

Conclusion

Aspire are our favourite vape hardware manufacturer for the reasons we list above. With business integrity, a tight focus on their strengths, great insight to what their customers like and a good eye for design – Aspire are deserving of the top spot and our range of vape hardware will expand with more of their tech-filled goodness.

Aspire’s Most Popular Device: Zelos 3

2 – Voopoo

Like Aspire, Voopoo have been around for some time and the success of their DRAG series of vapes continues, even after many years and through the wildfire that was Elf Bar. Unlike Aspire, Voopoo managed to secure a good portion of the pod market with their Argus Z and Argus G. They even delved into the disposable market with their Dragbar – which, coincidentally, is our absolute favourite of all disposable vapes on the market.

Prior to disposables and Pod Kits, Voopoo had the lions share of the market, at least in terms of advanced sub-ohm kits. Similarly to Aspire, Voopoo have a very keen eye for design and their original Drag X was one of the biggest and most successful vape hardware campaigns we’ve ever seen. We still sell the original Drag X to this day, nearly 5 years later!

Along with the release of their Drag X and other Drag series devices, Voopoo developed their PnP (Plug and Play) coil series which is widely compatible and features a huge range of resistances and coil structures to cover all vape styles from MTL, RDL and DTL. This was an innovation that saw a number of big vape brands rush to do the same thing.

Many of the newer devices by the vape brand still use PnP coils which makes sourcing them super easy.

Pros

  • Reliable Hardware
  • Eye-catching designs
  • Excellent coil compatibility & availability
  • Our favourite disposable vapes (Dragbar)
  • Cover all vape styles from beginner to advanced
  • Advanced tech and chipsets

Cons

  • Little focus on leak-resistance for advanced kits
  • Less robust than some other manufacturers

What we like about Voopoo

Voopoo cover a broad range of vape styles with their extensive hardware line-up and have seen great success in all of them from disposables to pod kits and advanced Sub-Ohm kits. They are perhaps the most versatile manufacturer in our list and because of this they enjoy a huge share in the hardware market.

Voopoo’s innovation in vaping is evident not only in their sci-fiesque designs but in their development of chip technology which has been market leading in the past. The release of their Drag X and Drag S kits saw an immediate shift towards more pocket friendly Sub-Ohm kits which was quickly adopted and even copied by other brands. Voopoo have been a clear trend setter over the years and continue to innovate to this day.

Voopoo have been relentless in their marketing pursuits and their brand image is focused around innovative technology and the futuristic aesthetic they adhere to. Their website is highly interactive and dominated by crisp & clean yet futuristic banners. It’s a fusion of Apple-like media and sci-fi elements. Visiting their website makes you want their products!

Conclusion

Voopoo have innovated since day one and implemented a unique style to their hardware which has made them one of the biggest vape brands going in to 2024. What’s more is that they’ve covered all bases effectively without letting standards slip in any area. Their quality control process is as sharp as ever and their devices are available worldwide.

Voopoo’s most popular device: Drag X

3 – Innokin

Innokin are a well-established manufacturer hailing from China – like all brands in this list. They have a long standing reputation (since 2011) for reliability and many of their devices have won awards with ecig click and more. Their primary focus on vaping is starter kits with emphasis on ease of use and ergonomics. Whilst their devices don’t stand out as much as others, there’s still a large market for simplicity in terms of aesthetics and function and Innokin have it nailed.

If you lean towards fancy looking devices then Innokin products probably won’t catch your eye, but for many people who feel overwhelmed by the often complicated side of vaping, they’re immediately attractive.

Innokin hold a large share in the MTL niche within the market thanks to their clever marketing and designs.

Pros

  • Focus on simplicity
  • Beginner-friendly devices
  • Large range of coils available
  • Range of devices from MTL to Sub-Ohm

Cons

  • Lack of innovation and advanced features
  • Very simple design aesthetics

What we like about Innokin

Whilst Innokin’s range of products isn’t as exhaustive as the brands above it, each product has been designed with reliability in mind, without compromise to their function. Because of this they have produced some of the very best kits out there and dominate the MTL niche with devices like the Endura Pen kit.

It’s almost refreshing to see a company put their focus on what really matters – function. After all, vaping is all about replacing cigarettes. The aesthetics of a vape device can be a unique selling point for many, but some manufacturers fall into the trap of placing form over function which inevitably leads to disappointment and loss of confidence. Where Voopoo & Aspire exceed in combining both great form and function – Innokin took a different angle and went with simplicity across the whole design.

Most devices by Innokin are simple and don’t appear to have changed much over the years. But there’s a good reason for that – why change what obviously works well?

Conclusion

Innokin’s emphasis on simplicity & reliability puts many of their devices at the top of the respective target market. They’re well-regarded by many vapers for this reason and have cornered a nice portion of the market for themselves.

With a lack of obvious personal style, Innokin fall short in terms of aesthetics but appear to be doing well regardless. If it’s simplicity and function you’re after, there are few who do it better.

Innokin’s Most popular device: Endura T18E

Oxva-Brand-Banner

4 – Oxva

Oxva are a relative newcomer to the industry but have made a big impression with their eye-catching designs and innovation. When it comes to pod kits, Oxva take the lead and their Xlim Pro is one of the best selling pod kits as of January 2024.

Oxva’s primary focus is on the MTL Pod Kit market – which they currently dominate. The incredible success of the original Xlim has seen multiple revisions including the Xlim Pro, Xlim SE and Xlim SQ Pro. All of which include surprisingly advanced tech for such compact devices and generous batteries for length sessions between charges.

The release of their Xlim SE 2 saw a nice touch and an a pod kit-first: the introduction of voice notification. The device will read out power settings and other information to you. This may seem like a bit of a pointless feature but some people have impaired vision, so we really like this feature.

Whilst almost all of their marketing efforts centre on their range of Pod devices, the vape brand has tried their hand at advanced Sub-Ohm kits with some success, demonstrating a good knowledge of other facets of the vaping industry.

Pros

  • Innovation in MTL Pod Kits
  • Great design appeal
  • Leak-resistant pods for the Xlim series
  • Advanced features in compact devices

Cons

  • Almost solely focused on Pod Kits
  • Small range of devices

What we like about Oxva

Oxva demonstrate an obvious eye for design and a great understanding of what makes a good pod kit. The Xlim Pro saw such a dramatic uptake that it’s become something of a standard by which other devices are compared to. Their attention to detail is exceptional and their pods kits surprise with large battery capacity, a range of features not normally found on such small kits and top-quality engineering.

Founded in 2019, Oxva have only 5 years of experience but have rapidly become one of the most recognised names in vaping. It’s clear they’re good at what they do and it’s even more impressive that they’ve grown so quickly in such a short space of time. We want to see Oxva put some focus on more advanced kits to see what they can do!

Conclusion

Producing some of the most highly-sought after Pod kits on the market, Oxva are responsible for setting a standard to which other manufacturers were forced to compete with.

Oxva are tightly focused on the Pod market and have excelled in producing some of the best products currently available.

Oxva’s most popular device: Xlim SQ Pro

Vaporesso-Brand-Banner

5 – Vaporesso

Vaporesso have a good history of producing vape kits in all niches from MTL to advanced Sub-Ohm devices. They’re also highly regarded by the vaping community and their innovation and attention to detail helps them to stand out. They also have a keen eye for design and aren’t afraid to put a personal spin on aesthetics.

Unlike some vape brands, Vaporesso haven’t switched their focus too much resulting in a lack of products for the Sub-Ohm market. Though they have certainly spent a good amount of time developing Pod kits and have arguably created some of the best, even competing with Oxva’s Xlim with the Xros series, their product base remains diverse and caters to all manner of requirements.

Whilst Vaporesso do incorporate an array of impressive tech features into their hardware, they don’t rely on this as heavily as other brands like Voopoo or Aspire and instead prefer to keep things simple. This is no bad thing as we discussed is the case with Innokin when done correctly. Vaporesso do an excellent job of this and there’s a good balance between tech and simplicity.

Pros

  • Broad range of vape kits
  • Award winning pod devices (Xros)
  • Great design aesthetic
  • Harmony between technology and simplicity

Cons

  • Quality control isn’t as tight as some other brands

What we like about Vaporesso

Vaporesso are a great looking brand who place emphasis on aesthetics and simplicity of function. Whilst they may not have the tightest quality control – that doesn’t mean they produce sub-par products, far from it in fact. For good reason they are one of the biggest brands in vaping and their products can be found almost anywhere.

With a broad range of Plug & Play style coils covering their base of products, it’s easy to find your ideal vaping solution and you have a great many vaping styles to choose from. Vaporesso’s development of the Luxe X and Luxe XR max proves they have a strong understanding of advanced vaping and Pod Kit MTL vaping. This device is an excellent cross-over platform capable of meeting demands for multiple styles.

The current market trend towards pocket-friendly performance devices give these two products an edge over the competition, boasting large battery capacity, very high output power and gorgeous designs with a range of pods and coils to choose from. The pods for the Luxe XR max are actually expandable; if you can get the rubber bung out of it then your tank capacity increases to 5ml!

Conclusion

Aesthetics, function and compatibility make Vaporesso a giant in the vape industry. The only real area they seem to fall short (and not massively) is their quality control. Otherwise they’re a top contender and could easily have been pushed up a place in this list depending on our own experiences.

Vaporesso’s most popular device: Xros 3 Mini

Geekvape-Brand-Banner

6 – Geek Vape

If there’s one thing Geek Vape do far better than anyone else – it’s ruggedness. That is to say; no one else in the entire industry makes vape hardware as reliable and robust as Geek Vape. The only real reason they’re not higher on this list is because they seem to have fallen short in recent years where brands like Voopoo have continued their success into emerging niches.

Geek Vape have produced some outstanding hardware including the Zeus series of Sub-Ohm tanks, which remain some of the best and most popular today. Their mods are easily the most reliable with some being water-proof, drop proof and just generally immune to all kinds of inadvertent damage.

We hold Geek Vape in very high regards and some of us are still using their tanks many years after buying them. Why? Because they work…without fail. some would say that Geek Vape over-engineer their hardware but in the case of reliability, we say there’s no such thing.

Pros

  • The most rugged and reliable devices
  • Great design aesthetics
  • Broad range of coils for all devices
  • Broad range of devices

Cons

  • Some devices can be on the chunky side

What we like about Geek Vape

There isn’t much not to like about Geek Vape! Innovation especially in terms of the advanced vaping market is almost unmatched, but they’ve also created some incredible pod kits for those looking to switch from disposables onto more sustainable devices. Though admittedly these aren’t nearly as popular as Voopoo or Oxva’s Pod Kits. We have a sneaking suspicion this is mostly due to marketing efforts being outstripped by the competition.

You can ask any vaper who’s been vaping for a good number of years which vape brand produces the most reliable & rugged devices and the answer will nearly always be Geek Vape. This is where Geek Vape excel and something they focus on. Along with the likes of Aspire, Geek Vape incorporate some highly advanced tech into their vape kits so they’ve garnered a brand image that reflects the idea of high-tech, highly reliable products.

Where we think they have fallen short is that the market changed quickly almost entirely towards convenience: think disposables. Since Geek Vape’s focus has always been on the opposite, their name was never at the front of anyone’s mind and so they remained in the Sub-Ohm niche which saw a big decline over the past few years.

Nevertheless, we hope they make a big come back because some of their kit is simply unrivalled.

Conclusion

Pods, Sub-Ohm kits and more – Geek Vape do it all. They excel in advanced sub-ohm kits with a big edge on ruggedness and reliability over pretty much all other brands. It’s unfortunate that their brand hasn’t seen such meteoric rise as others like Oxva, but this is due mostly to marketing and focus.

As we mentioned before, the only reason they’re not higher in this list is because of their reduced availability and presence in the market. If you’re considering getting yourself some Geek Vape tech – do it. There’s little competition.

Geek Vape’s most popular device: Aegis X

Uwell-Brand-Banner

7 – Uwell

Uwell have been around since 2015 so they’re no stranger to the industry – but their presence has dropped significantly as other brands took the lion’s share. Still, they remain a large player in the game and have a number of successful products under their belt including the Caliburn pod kits and some more advanced Sub-Ohm tanks like the Crown.

Their early success with these products propelled them into 2024 where they strive to win back some of their lost share, with exciting and interesting looking products like the Crown M Vape Kit. In fact, it was Uwell’s Caliburn pod platform which popularised pod kits for the market as they were one of the very first to produce such a device. In this regard it can be said that Uwell are a trend-setter.

With a range of advanced Sub-Ohm tanks which are well designed and robust, Uwell cater to all niches and likely have something for everyone – though their design aesthetic is a little simple and outdated.

Pros

  • Excellent Sub-ohm tanks
  • Popularised Pod Kits with the Caliburn range
  • Robust hardware designs

Cons

  • Outdated design aesthetic
  • Caliburn pods and coils are confusing

What we like about Uwell

Despite a slight fall from grace due to the rise of disposable vapes and other, more aggressive brands higher in this list, Uwell remain a trusted vape brand with a library of products encompassing all niches from Pod Kits to advanced devices and excellent Sub-Ohm kits.

We all like a nice looking vape kit but this is something we feel Uwell isn’t the best at. Their design aesthetic is very specific and whilst some love it, it doesn’t appeal to the masses in the way that Voopoo’s hardware does. Nevertheless, shelf appeal is more of a subjective quality unlike performance so it may be a little harsh to bump them down the rankings for it.

With such fierce competition from bigger, better established brands, Uwell do a great job of keeping up to date with the latest tech and have innovated in their own way, including the haptic feedback feature present on the Tenet Koko Pod device.

Conclusion

Uwell create some of the best Sub-Ohm tanks around and have continually updated them to ensure they’re competitive. Their efforts with the Caliburn series of pod kits helped to popularise the niche into the giant it is today.

Uwell are a strong contender in our list of top vape brands and are well known for a number of exceptional products. Their quality control is also excellent so you can be assured you’re going to receive excellent hardware.

Uwell’s most popular device: Caliburn G2

8 – Yihi

Yihi Who?! You might be wondering – who are Yihi and why have I never heard of them? Yihi are a much smaller vape hardware brand than all the others in this list and fall short of the mark in some areas, but we include them because of their recent success with the SX mini pod kit – which may just be the best pod kit on the market. That’s obviously a big claim to make when Oxva & Voopoo dominate this niche, but it’s reasonable given what they’ve managed to do with it.

For an underdog in the vape game to come out of seemingly nowhere with a device that contends with the very best, we’re impressed. We’re more impressed with the device itself and we hope it’s a new start for the brand. Yihi produce great vape hardware, but where they really are behind is in their brand appearance and the design aesthetics they’ve opted for. Many of their devices look like they’re 20 years old, with outdated user interfaces, exceptionally simple designs and clunky, chunky mods.

Despite this, Yihi create some truly excellent chipsets and many of them are used by other hardware manufacturers due to their reliability and performance.

Pros

  • Extensive chipset manufacturing
  • Incredible innovation in the SX Mini Pod Kit
  • Simple designs with functionality in mind

Cons

  • Outdated design aesthetic
  • Devices to tend to be bigger than competitions

What we like about Yihi

Yihi saw the fall of advanced vape kits and decided to go full steam ahead with their latest pod kit – the PURE Max SX Mini. If ever there was a pod kit with a surprising list of tech not normally found in such compact devices, it’s this one. Not only does it seem to do what it says it does, it looks great. And dare we say it, that seems to be a first for the vape brand.

We’re hoping the SX mini is the start of big things for Yihi and we hope to see this become a winning streak – the technology they’ve implemented in such a small kit is actually an industry first and it actually works! Often you’ll see vape brands making big claims about a new feature when it’s actually a different name for the same thing other brands have, or it falls short and makes little difference. Not in this case!

Conclusion

Definitely an underdog in the vape market but they’re coming out strong with their latest release, promising a new era for the brand in their pursuit of dominance. They’ve got a long way to go but we’re hoping to see some really exciting tech in both MTL Pod Kits and more advanced Sub-Ohm devices.

If you’re not too bothered by aesthetics and you value performance more, Yihi are a great brand to choose.

Yihi’s most popular device: PURE Max SX mini

9 – Smok

Smok are one of the oldest vape brands having been founded in 2010 so they now have a good 13 years experience – far more than many others in this list. During the early days of the industry Smok saw a huge hike in popularity as there was little in the way of competition. Their hardware took on a sci-fi appeal with flashy lights and bold colours, incorporating high tech features into large, heavy devices.

Since those days the industry has changed enormously and Smok no longer hold such a large portion of the market. In fact, they’ve garnered a bad name for themselves in terms of reliability and quality control. Just look at their Trustpilot page!! With 452 reviews and an average score of just 1.4 – they’ve clearly made a bad impression with a lack of energy put into quality control.

It’s not all bad though – all vape brands will get bad reviews from time to time and whilst they may be excessive for Smok – the manufacturer still makes great hardware. Especially when it comes to Sub-Ohm tanks and advanced kits.

Outside of the bad reviews Smok are very well known due to their long history in the vape game and their products are found in almost all shops up and down the country. We still think Smok hardware is great – just be careful to read the reviews first!

Pros

  • Excellent range of Advanced kits
  • Long history of manufacturing
  • Cover all vape styles
  • Huge range of coils

Cons

  • Quality control issues
  • Many devices tend to be chunky and impractical

What we like about Smok

As “advanced vapers” preferring Sub-Ohm kits, we’re naturally inclined towards brands like Smok who place emphasis on this market. They incorporate both good aesthetics and ergonomics with high-tech features into their devices, making them functional and good looking.

Some of the more advanced kits are on the larger side, making them somewhat impractical for most people but there’s certainly a lot to choose from. Smok may just have the biggest array of vape kits in this list so you’re spoilt for choice.

It’s no secret that the vape industry changes on a dime and Smok are of course aware of this – made evident by their rapidly updated list of products. With a huge number of Pod Kits available, Smok attempt to force their way into this niche by way of numbers and it seems to be working. Their original Nord pod device was definitely a winning formula and the platform has seen a few revisions since.

Conclusion

Whether you agree with the claim regarding quality control or not depends on your experience. There’s no doubt thousands of vapers out there who trust Smok completely given their own experiences. We’re not afraid to pick up a new piece of tech if it’s got Smok written on it. We like to be unbiased and don’t hold grudges – who knows, perhaps Smok will turn a new leaf and pick up the slack to become one of the biggest and best out there!

Smok’s most popular device: Smok Nord 4

10 – Freemax

Freemax are another vape brand who’ve been around for some time. Founded in 2013, they have a good history of products with some becoming instant favourites in the community. Like Smok, they’ve seen a bit of a lull in sales following the incredible popularity of more aggressive brands like Voopoo and Oxva, but they’re still at it today, producing top-quality vape kits and hardware.

So why number 10? Just because we’ve put them at number 10 doesn’t mean they’re not good, or not to be trusted. There’s plenty of brands we haven’t mentioned here. Freemax make some of the industry’s best coils available and many who use them are hesitant to switch to another brand, and for good reason; they’re nigh unmatched in quality.

Interestingly, Freemax make really good looking kits, and since their coils are market-leading, you may expect them to be a more dominant brand. It’s likely only a result of marketing efforts that they’re not bigger than they are, but they’ve recently launched a number of pod kits in an attempt to stay relevant to the market.

The Vape Brand makes a point of mentioning material quality employed in manufacturing, with emphasis on “military grade” & “Tea fiber cotton”. We’re not sure what this means but we get the idea – they use good materials. This is probably true since they have a good reputation for reliability.

Pros

  • Market leading coil quality
  • Excellent material quality selection
  • Emphasis on flavour
  • Excellent advanced kits

Cons

  • Somewhat disappointing pod kits

What we like about Freemax

Freemax employ a combination of futuristic aesthetics, excellent coil quality for optimal flavour and good materials to produce excellent vape hardware. With their long history of manufacturing, they’re clearly no stranger to what makes a good coil or a good vape kit.

We like the fact that they focus on a very important aspect of vaping: flavour. Freemax produce a strong array of products in order to cater to all aspects of vaping and they do it well. Anyone who uses their hardware will know it’s been designed well with a good balance.

Conclusion

There’s likely a vape kit to satisfy your needs within the Freemax arsenal, and if you’re looking for a good quality kit that produces some of the best flavour out there, Freemax are a great choice.

Freemax’s most popular device: Twister 2