I recently updated this article to include some other materials I have used for wicking and to explain how to replace e-cig wicks.
It’s amazing how many different materials are now being used as wick for vaping. Since I've experimented with quite a few vaping wicks lately I wrote this article to give some advice on the best vape wick materials you can use and where you can buy them.
There are many kinds of wick material that have been used across the internet, but I’m going to go over the most common, the most popular and arguably the best wick for vaping.
Different vape wicks offer different attributes like wicking speed, flavor, and ease of use. Each product will also produce different kinds of vapor. Some can improve the flavor of your juice while others have a subtle “wick” taste.
Some wicking materials are easy to use while others can take extra prep time.
Steel mesh provides atomizers with crisper flavors but it can also have trouble wicking juice. After you read this article you'll know enough to choose the best wick material for yourself.
The Best Wicking Material for Vaping
Silica wicks are the most common and they're used in most “un-modified” electronic cigarettes. If you haven’t built your own coil you most likely still vape using silica wick in your atomizer.
Silica vaping wicks are also easy to use —you can either build a coil and thread the silica through it or you can wrap a coil around the silica. Pushing a pin threw the silica makes it easier to wrap with a coil.
When you first try wrapping wrap wire around silica wick you may find it a bit tricky but I still think it’s a great way to start. Another huge benefit of silica is that it can’t be over heated, so no need to worry about under dripping.
Check out this video below to learn how to wrap a silica wick:
Organic Cotton Balls
Many people use cotton wicks for e-cigs because it's such a great wicking material but you don't use just any type of it.
There's more than one kind of cotton?
Yes! Make sure you avoid using cotton balls that are bleached; these destroy the flavor of your juice. You want to buy organic untreated cotton balls for your wick.
With cotton you don’t wrap your wire around it, instead you wrap a coil with a coil jig. If you don’t have a coil jig you can always use a drill bit or something similar.
Cotton is a very popular for wicking because it absorbs e-liquid very quickly and can hold a huge amount at the same time. However it does have a “cotton” taste when vaping that some people don’t like. You can also get “dry hits” that taste horrible if the material isn’t fully saturated in e-liquid. I also find that to get good flavor I have to replace the cotton wick every couple of days.
Use the button below and you'll get our best price on Lightning Vapes' Pima and Platinum Blend Native Cotton Wicks.
Lightning Vapes' cotton is the best cotton wick for vaping and proudly made in the USA.
Or, if you live near a Target store, they also sell organic cotton balls for less than $10.
Cellucotton Rayon Fibers
This is my new favorite wicking material for vaping. Make sure to get the 100% Rayon Cellucotton, they also offer cotton Cellucotton but in your e-cigarette you want the wick from the Rayon kind.
It has all the best properties of cotton wick without the “cotton flavor”. It wicks fast, holds a ton of e-liquid, and has almost no flavor. It’s also very cheap, you can get 10 feet for about $2 bucks at Sally’s Beauty Supply.
You can also buy it on ebay for about $4 for 15 feet with free shipping.
Japanese Organic Cotton pads (Koh Gen Do)
This is another form of cotton that you can use for e-cig wicks. The most popular brand is Koh Gen Do but there are some copycat brands. They're made from cotton that has not been chemically treated, bleached, or pigmented.
The pads measure about 2.5’’ by 3’’ and can either be cut into small chunks or pulled apart and rolled up. Koh Gen Do is usually sold in packs of 60 pads but since it’s become popular wick in the e-cig community you can find vape shops selling it in smaller quantities.
Even though Ekowool is made of silica fibers it's very different from Chinese-made Silica wick. One of the huge benefits of Ekowool is that it's braided, leaving a hollow tube through the center.
You can buy braided silica wick but it's not the same thing. The hollow center of allows you to stick paper clip down the center to stabilize it while you wrap your coil (great for beginner). It also sucks up e-liquid better for faster wicking.
You can even purchase Ekowool that is made with cotton in the center, some people just thread cotton yarn through regular Ekowool for the same effect.
One downside to Ekowool is the price, it's more expensive than the other wicking materials because it's an imported brand. I started re-building Protank coils with Ekowool and I loved it. I was lucky that my local shop sold 5 feet for 5 bucks, usually it sell's for 2 - 3 bucks a foot.
Ekowool provides for better wicking, flavor, and ease of use when compared to silica vape wick.
Stainless Steel Mesh
This atomizer vape wick lasts a longggggg time. It requires you to oxidize it with a torch (heat it up!) but it really brings out crisp flavors. This wick does very well with thicker tobacco/ heavy cream juice, but it’s really good for fruit flavored e-juices (in my opinion).
The stainless steel mesh wick also won't combust if too dry, however the taste of dry stainless steel mesh is terrible.
Stainless steel mesh comes in different thread counts (generally 300,400,500) and the higher PG ratio juice (70PG/30VG) works best with higher thread counts. Higher VG ratios work best with lower thread counts.
People often also wrap stainless steel mesh wicks around cotton, or thread ekowool around it. Mixing the wicks in this way allows it to quickly wick juice for high amperage vaping. Stainless steel mesh also needs to be wrapped onto, but has lasted longer than some coil builds in my experience.
How many of these wicks have you tried? Have you experimented with any other materials you think deserve a place on this list? Let us know in the comments below!