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With the rise and fall of JUUL as the most popular vape product in America, we look at the most popular alternative available here in the UK the Elf Bar.
Back in 2017, JUUL by Juul labs had a 72% market share in the USA, this was due to the overly strict vape rules having a negative effect on smaller businesses and some questionable marketing campaigns that have since landed JUUL in trouble.
Since the start of the year, the Elf Bar has proven itself to be one of the hottest products around. With a huge social media presence and a struggle for some retailers to get their hands on stock, the popularity of the Elf Bar and similar disposable vape products doesn't appear to be fading any time soon. You can check out our range of disposable vapes here.
With these products being a good choice for adult smokers to make the switch to vaping it's easy to see the popularity. That being said let's take a further look at some of the similarities and key differences between these two vape devices.
For this, we need to look at the initial cost and how much vape time you get for your money with each product.
The JUUL starter kit currently costs £14.99 in the UK and includes the Juul device, charger plus 4 pods in a variety of flavours. The combined capacity of these pods is 2.8ml of e-liquid or roughly 800 puffs.
After this initial purchase, it is only the disposable pods that are needed as the battery is rechargeable. A pack of 4 Juul pods in the UK currently costs £9.99. Again this is a combined capacity of 2.8ml or 800 puffs this time in a single flavour.
The Elf Bar 600 cost £4.95 for a single unit. The entire unit will need to be replaced each time as the battery is non-rechargeable. Containing 2ml of vape juice and claiming 600 puffs per unit the maths is entirely in favour of the elf bar 600 on this one.
For the price of the Juul vape kit, 2 elf bars would offer you more vape time for less cost.
With a pack of Juul pods costing the equivalent of 1.66 elf bars. Again, the Juul loses out to the elf bar disposable pod.
Limited to only 6 flavours the Juul struggles against the current 30+ (and growing) flavours of the elf bar. Both use nicotine salt e-liquid which gives a smooth hit but with excellent nicotine delivery similar to smoking cigarettes.
With Juul labs working under the premise that less is more, elf bar has followed the vape industry standard and is offering a wide variety of flavours and adapting to changes in the market quickly to bring out disposables in newer popular flavour combinations.
Both devices offer tobacco and menthol flavour which covers around 80% of users but having a huge choice definitely plays into the hands of elf bar reaching a wider audience. With even further choice available in the newer Lost Mary range.
On a design front, both devices win points for very different styles. The elf bar is a cylindrical, pen style design with coloured plastic to represent each flavour. Comfortable in the hand with no sharp corners, the device is simple but effective and true to it's purpose.
The Juul is strikingly different with all square edges. Even when charging the device is at a right angle to the charger. The only part, not 90 degrees is the e-liquid window which looks to incorporate some wild 45 degrees angles. Woah, calm down there JUUL.
Joking aside the Juul has a super sleek minimal design that lends itself more to discreet vapers rather than the bold in your face design of many disposable pod vapes.
For me, the JUUL takes it on this one. The simple design just works.
Not too much to say here other than that they are both draw to activate. This means that when the user inhales on the device the power is turned on by an airflow activated switch inside.
Both vapes give a consistent performance from start to finish although due to battery size the Juul will need charging before a pod is finished.
The Juul has a few added features such as a double-tap to see battery life, but nothing that you would think the Elf Bar was lacking.
It's a draw on this one as there's really not much to say. These are as simple as you can get in the vape industry, which is part of the reason these are both so popular.
With the US version of the Juul packing a mighty 54mg punch the TPD variant available here just doesn't compare. A measly 17mg doesn't offer the same satisfaction you see described in so many Juul reviews online. The Elf Bar UK version is 20mg which is the maximum allowed under the TPD, and is a standard strength offered in salt nic e-liquids. This makes it a good starting place to move onto a more permanent vape kit.
Both the Juul and the Elf Bar freature a fairly tight draw, to give ex-smokers the closest experience to smoking a cigarette so they are not tempted back.
If you are in the market for a cheap vape pod device, are new to vaping or simply want a backup device for your main kit, the Elf bar is an excellent device to have.
Once you have factored in the cost, the flavours and the fact you simply can't buy the version of the Juul people have been so positive about it really is an easy choice to make.
We wouldn't look at Elf Bars or any disposable as a long term vaping product. The environmental impact is one factor but there's also so much choice in vape kits with added features, designs and performance you'd be mad to stick to the basics for too long.