What is vape cotton?Vape cotton is a small piece of organic, bleach-free, chlorine-free cotton wool, that sits inside of a vape coil, within a vape tank or pod kit.
Early forms of vape cotton were instead silica wicks, which are being phased out as they tend to absorb liquid slower and don't provide as good a flavour hit.
Silica wicks have a tendency also to create dry hits, which is where the wick is dry when vaped. Something you will notice when it happens, if you're not yet familiar with it.
Vape cotton alternativesAs mentioned, besides vape cotton, you will find some older kits that use silica, and more and more common, we are seeing mesh coils which use a wire net instead of cotton, to hold the liquid. Most tanks seem to be looking at this increasingly popular format from pod vapes to sub ohm kits, while we have also seen ceramic coils experimented with, from many brands due to their potential longer lasting effect.
If you want to read about these different types we have a great guide on life expectancy below.
What does vape cotton do?Inside every vape tank is a coil with a piece of cotton wrapped around it. This cotton serves the purpose of absorbing vape liquid and holding it in place while the coil heats up from the vape battery being fired.
As the temperature rises in the coil the e-liquid turns to vapour and the cotton absorbs new liquid as it dries - and so the process continues. This is in a nutshell what vaping is and what vape cotton does.
The performance of different types of cotton can vary and it is why you're probably looking for an answer to the question, what is the best cotton for vaping?
How does vape cotton differ from normal cotton wool?
So you might be wondering what's the difference between regular shop bought cotton wool and vaping cotton?
Here are some of the key requirements for cotton before it can be used for vaping:
1. Chlorine free
2. Bleach free
3. Free of particles
4. 100% cotton
While most cotton sold in vape stores is marked organic, this is generally related to the growing process only.
This means organic cotton wool could still be unsuitable for vaping if it contains chlorine or bleach or is perfumed etc.
When cotton is cultivated and manufactured for cosmetic stores or pharmacies a good deal of it comes perfumed, or chlorinated to kill off any pesticides from the growing process. These are obviously things that would make them unsuitable for vaper's needs.
In the case of perfume, this will affect taste and flavour, while both are things that probably aren't suitable for inhaling.
This means the vape cotton bought from a vape shop is perfectly suited to go into a rebuildable tank or hand made vape coil.
Can you vape normal cotton wool?
Cotton-wool or cotton pleats, are a pretty cheap product - even if it is the fancy vape stuff too. But we still get asked frequently, if you can vape cotton wool that you pick up from the pharmacy. While we are not experts on that particular topic, some vapers talk of boiling the cotton wool to remove any bleach and chlorine.
Does this work?
We are not chemical extractors so we would hate to give unsafe advice on that, however the vape cotton I am about to talk about (which I think is the best cotton for vaping right now) is pretty affordable, and for the sake of a fiver why take the gamble of vaping bleach or chlorine?
So, what is the best cotton for vaping?
If you ask most modders what is the best cotton for vaping, it is very likely it would be this.
Why is Cotton Bacon the best cotton for vaping?For 5 pounds you get paid pack of cotton that is likely to last you the best part of 3 to 6 months and it put together in a manner that is easy to 10 and use for most conventional vape coils.
Rather than being one big mass of cotton fluff, cotton bacon is presented in something that can only be described as a pack of bacon.
Rather than just guessing the exact thickness or size or length of cotton needed, the convenient strips are put together, in a way that suit most pre-made coils you will find in your local store.
In addition to these key attributes that we think make it the best cotton for vaping, here are some of the additional important characteristics:
- Bleach free
- Chlorine free
- 100% cotton
But we get it, here is a vaping supplies store telling you that one of its products is the greatest vape cotton...well, since cotton.
So here's leading vape YouTube reviewer Rip Tripper's answer to the question "What is the best cotton for vaping?"
"Best Cotton For Wicking IMO" Rip Trippers
Where can I buy cotton for vaping?We stock two types of cotton bacon in our off-line and online store; Wick n Wire and Firebolt.
They are priced between four and 5 pounds for a pack and are available to buy at this handy link below.
Firebolt vs Cotton BaconFirebolt comes with its cotton bacon pre-rolled, which makes it a shade easier to wick right away. There is also the price difference (£1) and 'Wick n Wire' carries a premium brand name. That's about it.
Otherwise they are both great items for your shopping basket, and even better for your rebuildable tank.