Disposable vs. Rechargeable Vape Pen - What’s The Difference?

Disposable vs. Rechargeable Vape Pen - What’s The Difference?

When in the market for a new vape pen, it’s important to consider all your options. Weighing the difference between disposable vs. rechargeable vape pens is an essential step before purchasing a device. 

This article delves into the benefits and downfalls of disposable and rechargeable vape pens. Use this as a guide to determine which style is best for your lifestyle and smoking needs.

Disposable Vape Pens vs. Rechargeable Vape Pens







Prefilled and precharged vapes 

Designed to be thrown out when empty

- Cost less upfront

- Do not need to be charged

- Disposable vape pens are wasteful and not eco-friendly

- Weak "hits" or "draws" requiring more usage for the same effect

- More expensive in the long run

- The cartridge cannot be changed

Generally $20-$40 depending on brand


Batteries that connect to a cartridge or allow loading of materials. 

Designed to be recharged and used multiple times

- More powerful "hits" or "draws" for a better experience

- Interchangeable cartridges

- Better for the environment

- Most affordable in the long run

- Requires charging

- More cost upfront

Can range anywhere from $20-$200, depending on quality and brand

Disposable Vape Pens

Disposable vapes are self-contained vapes that include both a battery and a full tank of e-liquid or concentrate. These devices are meant to be thrown away when the tank is empty. 

These vapes come pre-filled, fully charged and ready to use. When you pull from your disposable vape, e-liquid is drawn toward the atomizer, which is heated by the battery. The concentrate is instantly heated and converted into an inhalable vapor. 

Rechargeable Vape Pens

Rechargeable vape pens are meant to be used again and again. There are two main types of rechargeable vape pens: those that connect to a cartridge and those that require dry herb or concentrate to be loaded onto the heating element. 

Essentially, these two types work in similar ways. The vape pen battery connects to an atomizer, which heats up the cannabis product. When the product interacts with the atomizer, it produces inhalable vapor. 

Pros and cons of disposable vape pens


  • Convenient:Disposable vape pens come pre-filled and pre-charged. All you have to do is choose a flavor or strain, pay for it, and take it out of the package. Otherwise, you’re good to start vaping immediately upon purchase. 
  • Low maintenance:These devices are extremely low maintenance. To use them, simply purchase a device, vape until it runs out of juice, and throw it out. No refilling cartridges or charging is required. 
  • Low cost per device: Not only are disposable vapes very convenient, but they are also fairly affordable. You can typically purchase most disposable cannabis vapes at your local dispensary for around $15-20. 
  • Compact and portable: These pens are often smaller and more lightweight than their rechargeable counterparts. This makes them fit easily in pockets or purses, ideal for on-the-go vaping.
  • Variety of flavors and options: Disposable vape pens often come in a wide range of flavors and different strengths, allowing you to experiment with different options without buying in bulk.


  • Less area for customization:When you purchase a disposable vape, you’re making a commitment to thatstrain, flavor, and potency. For however long your disposable vape pen lasts, you’re stuck with the variety you chose.
  • More money in the long run:Buying a new disposable vape pen every week can certainly add up. Most disposables range anywhere from $12 to $40, though most fall solidly in the $15-20 range. 
  • Lack of features: You probably won’t find advanced, convenient features like temperature control, adjustable airflow, or variable wattage on disposables, like they are in rechargeable models, are absent in disposables.
  • Potential for higher health risks: Be careful which brand or store you buy from. Some lower-quality disposable vape pens might use lower-quality materials or e-liquids, potentially increasing health risks compared to carefully manufactured rechargeable pens.

Pros and cons of rechargeable vape pens

Just as disposable vape pens have their pros and cons, so do rechargeable vape pens. While they can allow for a totally customizable smoking experience, they do require more maintenance for optimum use. 


  • Opportunity for variety:Rechargeable vape pens give you the freedom to customize your entire smoking experience: from the flavor of your oil to your heat setting. These devices allow you to fill your cartridges with whatever type and flavor of oil or distillate that you please. If you’re vaping nicotine, interchangeable cartridges allow you to experiment with a variety of nicotine percentages. If you’re vaping cannabis, interchangeable cartridges allow you the freedom to play around with different strains and strengths. 
  • More powerful battery:Rechargeable vape pens can be used again and again: their batteries are typically bigger, longer-lasting, and carry more power. Take Vessel’s rechargeable vape pen from their Vista series. This device lets you reap the benefits of a powerful battery. With four voltage settings, users can customize their smoking experience down to how hot their oil is heated--an experience not duplicated by disposable vapes. 
  • Lower long-term cost:Because you’re simply replacing the oil inside the cartridge, once you purchase a rechargeable vape pen, most of the cost is already taken care of. You don’t have to worry about replacing an entire device; rather, you simply have to replace the substance that you’re vaping.
  • Eco-friendliness: By reusing the same device, rechargeable vape pens are more environmentally friendly compared to disposable ones. They generate less electronic waste, as users aren’t constantly throwing away depleted pens.
  • Better performance and user experience: With advanced features like temperature control and variable voltage, rechargeable vape pens often deliver a superior and more convenient vaping experience that you can fine-tune to your exact liking.


  • Higher maintenance:With a more sustainable and powerful device, unfortunately, comes more work. Every rechargeable/refillable device requires some level of maintenance. Unlike their disposable counterparts, these deviceshave to be cleaned, charged and refilled. 
  • Higher cost upfront:Purchasing a more powerful, longer-lasting device is more cost- effective in the long run. Nevertheless, it can be painful to drop a decent chunk of change (think anywhere from $50 to $80) no matter what you’re spending it on. Rechargeable vapes cost more upfront than disposables. 
  • Bulkier size: Compared to compact disposables, rechargeable vape pens are often bulkier and less portable. Their larger size can be less convenient for on-the-go vaping or for users who prefer a more discreet device.
  • Learning curve: For new users, rechargeable vape pens can appear intimidating due to their complexity. Understanding how to refill, charge, and adjust settings requires a learning curve, which might be overwhelming for someone new to vaping.

Disposable vs. regular vape pens cost

At first glance, disposable vape pens might seem like the wallet-friendly choice. They're more affordable right out of the gate, which is great for vaping newbies or those who only vape occasionally. But here's the catch: disposables are not built to last. Once their battery gives up or the e-liquid runs dry, they're destined for the trash. This makes it more expensive in the long run since you need to keep purchasing new disposable pens, especially if you vape regularly.

On the other hand, regular vape pens have a higher initial investment. You're not just buying the pen — you also need to buy other peripherals like rechargeable batteries, a charger, and e-liquid. This upfront cost can be a bit intimidating, especially for those who are new to vaping or just want to try it out. But if you’re a frequent vaper, you’re going to save more in the long run. The ongoing costs are generally limited to replacing coils and purchasing e-liquids. Aside from more savings, rechargeable pens are also the more sustainable option since they’re built for longevity. 

When choosing between the two, it’s important to consider your use case and your vaping habits to see which one better suits your needs and preferences.

How long does a disposable vs regular vape pen last?

Disposable vape pens are designed for convenience and short-term use. Generally, they last anywhere from three days to a week, depending on the frequency of use, e-liquid capacity, and battery size. Expect to get around 500 to 600 puffs before the battery depletes or the e-liquid runs out and they need to be discarded.

In contrast, regular vape pens can last significantly longer, especially with proper maintenance. Since they’re rechargeable and refillable, these pens can last several months to several years. Factors that affect their longevity are the quality of battery life, coil condition, and how much you care. To maximize your pen’s lifespan and performance, regular cleaning and maintenance is a must.

    Who Should Use a Disposable Vape Pen?

    • People Who are Beginners: Because they require such little maintenance, disposable vape pens are perfect for beginners. They’re predosed, prefilled, and charged up, making it super easy to unwrap and start vaping. 
    • People Who Prioritize Convenience: These vapes don’t require you to fill them or charge them. They’re perfect for those who don’t want to go through the maintenance of refilling their vape juice and who don’t want the hassle of remembering to charge the device. 
    • People Who Like to Experiment: Almost every cannabis brand sells disposable vape pens. If you’re someone who likes to experiment with different flavors, isomers, or brands, a disposable vape pen might be your best bet. 

      Who Should Use a Rechargeable Vape Pen?

      • People Who Like Consistency: Rechargeable vape pens can be used again and again. As such, they’re great for those who love to know what to expect from a vaping experience. Investing in a reliable vape pen allows you to truly get comfortable with the device and make the most of its features. 
      • People Who Want More Customizable Hits: Rechargeable vape pens are more likely to come with customizable voltage and heating settings. These extras allow you some control over the flavor of your hits and the size of your clouds. 
      • People Who Want to Cut Down on Waste: Rechargeable vape pens are more environmentally sustainable, as they produce less waste when manufactured. As they can be recharged, users wouldn’t be throwing out a vape pen every time it’s empty. 

      Why Reusable Is Sustainable

      Reusable vape pens are more sustainable for the earth, for manufacturing, and for your finances. Almost every "con" on the list above that goes against using reusable vape pens can be refuted by the product offered by Vessel. In part that is due to advanced 510 thread vape pen or 510 thread battery technology.

      Here are examples of how the “cons” of reusable vape pens from above turn to “pros” when you buy a Vessel vape pen:

      • Requires charging.It’s true that reusable pens require more charging. However, the 240 mAh 510 thread battery in a Vessel 510 thread vape pen offers a longer lasting charge. If you vape an average amount, you may only need to charge every few days. Additionally, charging is quick and convenient with amagnetic USB charger.
      • More cost upfront.Typically, reusable 510 vape pens are more expensive. While that is true of Vessel products, compared to disposable pens, the bang for your buck just doesn’t compare. Vessel products are currently all around $99 – an incredible value for a pen that will last.
      • Batteries die and eventually need replacement. Not only does the life of Vessel 510 thread batteries last longer than traditional batteries, each individual charge lasts longer as well.
      • Pen will someday need to be replaced.While this is technically true of every pen,Vessel products come with a generous one-year warranty and are held to a high standard of quality. The savings from not re-buying disposable models adds up so quickly, you could buy Vessel vape pens three times over, or more. You won’t need to, though, because this product is built to last.

      The Truth About Disposable Vape Pens

      With regular use, a typical vape pen lasts about three days. A consistent vaper who uses exclusively disposable vape pens can rack up costs of over $2000 per year. Where do those empty disposables go? They end up in the trash, and ultimately, in a landfill. Most disposable vape pens are not recyclable, and even if they are, users are not likely to recycle them. With over 9 million known users around the globe – that’s a lot of disposables. More accurately, it’s a lot of waste.

      With different payment options to choose from when purchasing Vessel vape pens, we aim to make sustainability more affordable. We also want to make a high-end, high-performing product that is attainable for every vape pen consumer – no matter their budget or experience level. If you are not already using a reusable vape pen, what are you waiting for? The best is waiting for you.


      Are disposable vapes safer than rechargeable vapes?

      The safety of your vape pen depends more on the make-up of both the concentrate and the battery rather than disposable versus rechargeable. Always research your product before purchasing, and keep an eye out for harmful contaminants that might be involved in the production process. 

      Is a disposable vape pen rechargeable?

      While some disposable vape pens are rechargeable, they are meant to be thrown out when the tank is empty. They cannot be refilled and used again. 

      Are disposable vape pens better?

      Disposable vapes are perfect for those who don’t want the hassle of refilling and recharging. They come in a wide variety of brands and strains, so they are also ideal for those smokers who love trying new products. 

      How long do rechargeable vapes last?

      Rechargeable vapes can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the brand and how well you take care of the device. Avoid overcharging and store your vape in a safe location to get the most use out of your rechargeable vape. 

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