Atomizers vs. Cartomizers vs. Clearomizers – What’s the Difference

Vaping devices are often referred to differently, and it can be very difficult to differentiate them. Basically, they are the same thing, but if you are easily overwhelmed with the names, today we are going to talk about atomizers vs. cartomizers vs. clearomizers and the difference between them.

The reason why we will devote some time explaining this subject is due to the fact that people often get confused when purchasing e-cigarettes. All of these three perform the same task, which is atomizing e-vapor, and you should make a choice based on your preference. To ease this transition, we are going to break down each type of these e-cigarette and explain their features. There is a lot of ground to cover, so let us start without any delay.

How Do Atomizers, Cartomizers, and Clearomizers Work?

Atomizers, Cartomizers and Clearomizers comparison

All e-cigarettes are built with at least two posts inside – positive and negative. These posts are connected to a coil, which is wrapped around a wick, typically made of a heat-resistant material like silica.

Once you apply the e-juice, the wick absorbs and holds it, and the coil gets heated in order to create vapor. Unless the device is completely run out of juice, the wick will stay wet due to the process named “osmosis.”

The wick poses as a membrane and grants a steady flow of e-juice without overwhelming the coil. You will certainly notice that it is overwhelmed or flooded since the vapor will weaken, and you will start hearing grumble sound.

If you experience this, you should flush it out by blowing through the opposite end of the device or shaking it until it is dry.

What Are Atomizers, and How Do They Work?


Atomizers are one of the original vaping devices, and they typically have a small capacity. They are generally preferred by people who like dripping (applying e-liquid directly to an atomizer, one drop at a time).

These devices come in different designs, but most of them come with a heating coil on the bottom and with metal mesh or silica on top of the coil.

  • Excellent device for dripping, which means you can effortlessly switch between flavors
  • Straightforward design
  • Cost-efficient
  • Simple refilling
  • Highly customizable
  • You can use it with sub-ohm bottom coils
  • If you set up everything correctly, you will not burn through juice easily
  • If you often vape, you will need to refill frequently
  • Some models are rebuildable but require the necessary know-how
  • It is difficult to keep track of e-juice levels


What Are Cartomizers, and How Do They Work?


Cartomizers are similarly designed as atomizers. Moreover, they are the most popular and widely used vaping devices and are usually made of a glass or plastic clear tank, a coil, a chimney, and a mouthpiece.

The biggest difference between atomizers and cartomizers is that the latter type has polyfill wrapped around the heating coil. A polyfill soaks the juice and provides you with a longer vape time. Some designs are housed inside a bigger cylinder tank that provides an even higher capacity for juice.

  • High capacity for e-juice
  • Cost-efficient
  • Very easy to recharge and refill
  • Straightforward rebuilding process
  • Prefilled with vape juice
  • It can be bought in pretty much any shop
  • It offers a similar feeling as if you are smoking a cigarette
  • Some users claim that polyfill materials dull the juice flavor
  • It may retain flavor from previous juice if you are switching often


What Are Clearomizers, and How Do They Work?


Clearomizers are the most user-friendly vaping devices that are generally a suitable choice for beginners, as manufacturers highly recommend them for people that are just starting to vape. They are pretty easy to use and are one of the newest and most popular devices on the market.

They are usually cylindrical and boast a clear polycarbonate plastic or pyrex glass tank. It is a clear tank that allows you to always be aware of the e-juice levels and know when is the time to refill. The juice is delivered to the heating coil via a silica wick.

Some designs have a heating coil on the top, and they typically have longer wicks, while others have a heating coil placed on the bottom with shorter wicks, which is convenient for easier wick saturation.

  • Large capacity for e-juice (usually between 1.6 and 3 ml)
  • The tank is clear so that you can always see how much e-juice you have left
  • Some varieties come with replaceable coils and can be rebuilt
  • Longer lifespan
  • Excellent for beginners
  • Some users claim that clearomizers with a wick system offer excellent flavor delivery
  • Good for heavy users
  • It does not require frequent refills
  • They are usually more expensive than atomizers and cartomizers
  • They sometimes retain the flavor of previous juice you have used
  • They may leak, but it depends on the model and the brand


So, Which One Should I Pick?

Now that we have listed all three vaping devices and listed their benefits and drawbacks, you should be able to easily decide which one to go for, as this choice entirely depends on your personal preferences.

If you are only a beginner and have never used vaping devices before, we highly recommend you start with clearomizers, as they are very easy to set up and offer high capacity for e-juice.

In case you want to quit smoking, the best option for you might be cartomizers since they offer enough nicotine to keep you away from regular cigarettes. On top of that, they are pretty user-friendly and easy to use, even for new users.

Last but not least, there are atomizers. When it comes to performance, these are by far the best choice you can go for, but they might not be suitable for everyone since experienced vapers usually go for this model.

These models are especially good choices for users that like to customize their vaping devices and build their own coils.

Final Words

The bottom line is that the choice of the vaping device comes down to your personal preferences. Do you like it to resemble regular cigarettes, or do you want to experience new and different flavors? Do you like to make your own coils and switch them often?

These are all things you should ask yourself before making the final purchase. We hope you liked our article and that it will help you find the perfect vaping device. If you are still uncertain which one to go for, we recommend you revisit our article and check the pros and cons tables, as they will help you get a better picture of which product will work best for you.