Understanding Airflow 

One of the main things that distinguishes vaping from smoking is the huge level of customisation available, with a variety of different devices, flavours, and even vaping styles for you to personalise. One of these adjustable features is the airflow. 

Most devices – like vape pens, pods, and advanced kits – allow you to adjust your airflow, and it’s one of the easiest and most accessible ways for you to tailor your vaping experience. 

So what is airflow, and how can it let you get the most out of your vaping experience?

What Does Airflow Do on a Vape? 

Airflow adjusters are usually found on the side of your device or at the “collar” of your tank. Typically a slider, you can adjust the airflow to closed, partially open, or fully open. 

Changing the airflow changes how much air can pass through your coil when you inhale on your device. This can change the temperature, the flavour intensity, and the size of your vapour clouds


When you open the airflow, more air is allowed to pass through the coil. This cools down your coils, resulting in cooler vapour. 

If the airflow is restricted, less air can get into the coil, so it isn’t cooled down. This means that the vapour produced is hotter, leading to a warmer hit. 

Flavour Intensity

The airflow controls how much air can get mixed up with your vapour. When you max out your airflow, lots of air gets absorbed into your hit, diluting the vapour cloud. This can lead to a less intense flavour as the e-juice is more dispersed. 

When you close or restrict your airflow, very little air is given the opportunity to blend with your vapour. This increases the flavour intensity. 

Cloud Size 

The amount of air you let into your vape directly relates to your cloud production. More air = bigger clouds!

When you adjust your airflow to be narrow or restricted, less air can get mixed up with your vapour. This results in smaller clouds. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though – sometimes smaller clouds are very handy when we’re trying to vape discreetly.

Header image with text reading "best airflow setting?" depicting different airflow sliders

What Is the Best Airflow Setting on a Vape? 

Airflow is totally subjective, so the answer to this question is completely up to you! Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to airflow adjustment, which is why it’s adjustable in the first place. 

To help give you an idea of what setting is best for you, let’s do a quick recap. 

Increased Airflow – More air means bigger cloud production, a smoother throat hit, less intense flavour, and a cooler inhale. 

Medium Airflow – Leaving your airflow half-open allows some air to get in, resulting in moderate cloud production, a satisfying throat hit, a decent amount of flavour, and an average temperature inhale. 

Decreased Airflow – Restricting the airflow results in smaller clouds, a harsher throat hit, more intense flavour, and a hotter inhale. 

Remember, these are only generalised overviews; your airflow might allow for more precise control, letting you find a sweet spot in between these general states that works for you! 

What Airflow Should I Use for My Vaping Style? 

If you’re thinking about the airflow on your device, chances are you’ve come across the idea of different vaping styles. Some vapers (such as ex-smokers) prefer a mouth-to-lung vaping style, while more experienced vapers may prefer a direct-to-lung vaping style! 

Naturally, different airflow settings are better suited to certain styles than they are to others. So which is right for you? 

Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) 

Mouth-to-lung vaping is the standard vaping style used by most beginners and ex-smokers. As the name suggests, this is where you draw and hold the vapour in your mouth before inhaling it into your lungs. 

For this style of vaping, a narrow or restricted airflow is generally the best. Reducing the airflow gives you a mouthful of vapour rather than an entire lung’s worth – plus, the warmer hit more closely replicates the sensation of cigarette smoke. That’s not to mention the richer flavour profile! 

When vaping mouth-to-lung, start with your airflow at its lowest setting, and then work your way up until you reach a level you’re happy with. 

Direct-to-Lung (DTL)

Direct-to-lung vaping is the style preferred by certain experienced vapers seeking a more intense experience. It involves drawing huge clouds of vapour directly into the lungs without holding any of it in your mouth. 

This style of vaping is best suited to an increased airflow. To vape direct-to-lung properly, you need bigger clouds of vapour, which means you’ll need to crank the airflow up to the max. The cooler temperature will help to make the bigger hit manageable, and the reduced flavour will be balanced out by the larger vapour intake. 

When vaping direct-to-lung, start with your airflow at its highest setting, and then work your way down until you find a sweet spot you’re happy with. 

header image with text reading "airflow and coils" depicting a vape coil

Does Your Airflow Affect Your Coil? 

Generally speaking, no. 

Opening up your airflow does generate more vapour, but this won’t affect the lifespan of your coil. Your coil will still be generating the same amount of heat for the same amount of time, so there won’t be any impact on the coil. 

Keeping your coil restricted may lead to its quicker degradation—as the coil will not be cooled off by air—but this is unlikely to significantly affect its lifespan. 

You can learn more about the lifespan of coils by checking out our vape coil and pod guide

Does Airflow Affect Your Nicotine Intake? 

Opening up your airflow allows you to produce more vapour, but it doesn’t affect the amount of e-liquid your device uses. 

Because you aren’t vapourising more or less e-liquid, your nicotine consumption will remain the same. In fact, you may end up getting less nicotine if you don’t properly draw the diluted vapour! 

That being said, direct-to-lung vaping with a big airflow generally involves taking a bigger hit, so you may consume more nicotine that way.

header image with text reading "how important is airflow" depicting vape being used

How Important Is Airflow? 

Airflow is important, but you don’t need to put too much thought into it. When you’re thinking about getting a vape set up that works for you, focus on the other aspects, like what kind of coil you want to use (sub-ohm or plus-ohm) and what e-liquid you need

Most modern vapes have adjustable airflow, so focus on finding something you’re happy with before focusing on airflow. Once you’ve found a device that accommodates your vaping style and needs, just play around with the airflow—keeping our tips in mind—until you find a level that works for you. 

To learn more about getting started with vapes, take a look at our handy beginner’s guide. If you think you’re ready to make a purchase, take a look at our starter kits

Original price was: £5.99.Current price is: £4.99.
Original price was: £5.99.Current price is: £4.99.
Original price was: £5.99.Current price is: £4.99.
Original price was: £5.99.Current price is: £4.99.
Original price was: £5.99.Current price is: £4.99.
Original price was: £5.99.Current price is: £4.99.