Getting started with electronic cigarettes may be a little confusing at first. Even though most e-cigarette starter kits come with atomizers, there is a time when we are ready to experiment with the exciting vaping gear ourselves. Until you come across 'clearomizer', 'atomizer' and 'cartomizer' ... All three of them perform the same basic task, which is to atomize e-liquid to create vapour. But if the basic premise is the same, why do you need to choose one in the first place?

It all boils down to preference; specifically, how you intend to use your e-cigarette.

So what’s the difference? Which one is better?


A cartomizer is a classic e-cigarette technology used with the cig-a-like ecigs (see our PCC kit here). Cartomizers use fillers or Poly-fil – a cotton-like fiber used to hold the e-juice.The polyfill operates like a sponge, soaking up your e-juice - this is why cartomizers rarely leak! 

At the bottom of the cartomizer, you’ll usually find an electrical coil. This coil heats up the surrounding polyfill, thereby vaporizing the juice.

Filling a carto is usually as simple as removing the cap and dripping in the e-liquid. Non-refillable cartomizers are intended to be disposable, but you can often refill them with a bit of work.


There many different kinds of atomizers, but in general they consist of a small heating coil and a wicking material that soaks up the e liquid and funnels it into a coil. The coil is generally a short piece of resistance wire that is coiled or wrapped around the small wick or wicking material. The atomizer is then connected to the negative and positive poles of the APV battery, which the coil uses to create the vapour once the e juice from the wicking material reaches it.

On top of the coil/wick is a mesh bridge, which helps regulate the amount of e liquid that reaches the wick, and subsequently the coil.


A clearomizer consists of a tank (usually made of plastic or glass), which can be filled with e-liquid. Several wicks run along the inside of the tank and draw liquid towards the coil.The coil on a clearomizer is often replaceable. This allows you to sort of rebuild it. When it burns out, or when your vapour and taste diminishes, you can simply unscrew the clearomizer and replace the coil unit.

Essentially, the main difference between a clearomizer and a cartomizer is that cartos have polyfill, while clearos have wicks.

A clearomizer can be a top coil or a bottom coil configuration. That simply refers to which end the coil sits in. Top coils tend to produce warmer vapour due to its proximity.