So we’ve mentioned JUUL several times on this site, and it’s honestly a great device. The caveat is that buying pods straight for the manufacturer is going to eat into your wallet.
Sure, it may still be cheaper than buying a pack of cigarettes a day, but there is another way to get your nicotine fix without breaking the bank.
We’ll be taking a look at my personal list of Best JUUL Compatible Pods that are just as good, if not better, than the original product.
So What is JUUL?
Breaking it down, a JUUL device is a pod vape that uses replaceable cartridges to replenish your e-juice. Not only do these small pods come with juice pre-filled, they also contain the wick and coil necessary for the vaping experience.
About the thickness and size of a pack of stick gum, this product is marketed to former smokers who wish to quit. It’s an easy to use and less expensive alternative to smoking while being exceptionally low key.
It really doesn’t get more convenient than this. Just make sure the battery is charged, pop in your favourite flavour, and you get roughly a pack worth of nicotine per pod.
It sounds great right?
Why Bother Getting Pods from Other Manufacturers?
Well, there’s almost always a ‘but’. Regardless of the type of vape you use, there’s always going to be some downsides. With JUUL, one of the primary downsides is that purchasing pods can get fairly expensive.
Additionally, while it is possible to refill JUUL pods, they aren’t designed to be.
So given the expenses, it’s easy to extrapolate a number of reasons why less costly alternatives to ‘legit’ pods are desirable.
The Advantages of Alternative JUUL Pods
Primarily, most pods from other manufacturers are going to be cheaper. Whether this is because the e-juice they use is sourced from less expensive companies, prices are undercut for competitive reasons, or cartridges may even be refillable. This last option will especially end up saving you some cash, mostly because it’s usually less bank breaking to buy bottles instead.
Another reason that alternative pods are great is due to the lack of flavors. JUUL only sells eight flavours on the market. If you’re looking for a greater variety of flavours, you’re going to have to invest in compatible cartridges. You might even find the taste to be better in some of these alternatives.
A major problem that turns off many vapers, especially those who tend to chain vape, is that JUUL pods don’t contain all that much e-juice. At 0.8ml, this is barely going to be enough to last most vapers for a day. While the obvious answer is to carry more pods, personally I think it’s easier to just go bigger to begin with.
A pack of four JUUL pods is going to run you around a pack and a half of cigarettes depending on where you’re from. While you’re essentially getting four packs for a much cheaper price, it’s still going to add up over time.
So for those of you looking to vape for a long while, this guide is going to help you do so without adding to the bills.
The Disadvantages of Alternative JUUL Pods
That isn’t to say that there aren’t any issues concerning alternative cartridges. Given the size of wicks within the pods, you won’t be able to chain vape without getting a dry hit. To avoid this, you’ll have to wait a few seconds for the wick to resoak after each draw.
E-juice leakage is also something you’ll have to worry about. While it isn’t a major issue for all pods, there’s always be one or two that seemingly can’t hold the liquid in the container.
Compatibility is also a factor. While these items may be marketed as JUUL pod alternatives, you’re not going to have as easy a time in replacing cartridges. There are always going to be the occasional error in the manufacturing process that don’t fit a JUUL device’s tolerances.
Lastly, there is also the warranty to consider. You’ll be voiding it by using alternative pods. There is also the issue of safety being an issue. Keep in mind that while compatible pods are made to be used by JUUL devices, the reverse can’t be said.
Just something to keep in mind if you do end up going this route.
Fake Pods and How to Spot Them
There has been some controversy on the topic of ‘knock off’ JUUL pods. Differently from those that are marketed as alternatives, these types of pods attempt to fool buyers into purchasing cartridges that they believe are the real deal.
You can find a more in-depth guide here, but there are few quick tips I can give you.
- Real JUUL packaging has the actual logo on the top flap, while fakes often use dots instead.
- Fake pods use harsher e-juice, there’s often a visual difference in the liquid.
- Check the cotton. Fake pods use a messier method of arranging their cotton.
- Look for spills inside the packaging, most knock off pods are crap at actually holding e-liquid.
- Real pods also come in packaging with the label “The Alternative for Adult Smokers”.
What to Look for in Compatible Pods
This section mostly has to do with personal preference, but there are a few general draws.
- What is the flavour selection like?
- Do the pods hold more e-liquid?
- What nicotine strengths do they offer?
- How cheap is it?
- Are the cartridges refillable?
The List of Best JUUL Compatible Pods
Well, let’s see what’s on the menu today. We’ll be going through a short review on my favourite JUUL pod alternatives, and coming up with a winner at the end.
Of course these are just my personal preferences, but if you see something you like, try it out!
JUUL Compatible Pod Compared
|Remarks||NICOTINE STRENGTHS||POD SIZE||VG/PG RATIO|
|JUUL Pods||Original Pods||5% (50mg), 3% (30mg)||0.7mL Capacity||60% VG/30% PG|
|Ziip Pods||Our top pick||6% (60mg), 5% (50mg), 4% (40mg), 3% (30mg), 1.8% (18mg), 0% (0mg)||1mL Capacity||50% VG/50% PG|
|EonSmoke Pods||Leading brand, big range||6% (60mg)||1mL Capacity||40% VG/60% PG|
|4x Pods||5 pods for the price of 4!||5% (50mg)||1mL Capacity||50% VG/50% PG|
|Loon Pods||Taste + throat hit||6% (60mg)||1mL Capacity||50% VG/50% PG|
|Mngo Pods||Best mango alternatives||5% (50mg)||1mL Capacity||50% VG/50% PG|
|Sea100 Pods||Good all-rounder||6.8% (68mg)||1mL Capacity||50% VG/50% PG|
|Sonic Pods||Packs a punch||5% (50mg)||1mL Capacity||50% VG/50% PG|
|Sixt Pods||Big flavours||5% (50mg)||1mL Capacity||50% VG/50% PG|
Best JUUL Compatible Pods 2019
- Holds more juice than JUUL pods
- Comes in multiple nicotine strengths
- Little to no leakage
- More ergonomic
- Smooth throat hits
- Cheaper than JUUL cartridges
- Somewhat lacking in variety
- Causes dry hits if drawn too quickly
At around $12 per pack of four, these nic salt pods also contain a larger amount of e-juice compared to the standard JUUL cartridge. Being able to carry 1.0ml of e-juice adds the safety of an additional few dozen draws compared to the official product. Another bonus this line of products offers is that it comes in several salt strengths with varying nicotine levels.
To start with, having the choice between 1.8, 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0% in salt strength is pretty great. Given how every vaper’s nicotine needs vary, Ziip Pods give numerous options in not just maintaining your habit, but also quitting entirely. If quitting nicotine dependence entirely is your goal, this is an awesome tool for slowly killing your cravings instead of going full on cold turkey.
There are a few downsides to this line, however. While generally the taste is decent, there’s only six flavours to choose from at the moment. Added onto this is that I tended to have more dry hits on this product than I would with a JUUL pod which is fairly rare.
Well, there is a bright side to babying your vaping device. Ignoring the inconvenience of it, having to take shorter pulls and being conscious of your vaping speed, will end up slowing your rate of e-juice usage. It’s an arguable plus if you’re trying to quit.
- Holds 1ml of nic salt
- Good nicotine strength
- Many flavours to choose from
- Less expensive than JUUL pods
- Older products had reliability issues
- Seems to run through e-juice quickly
These pre-filled pods come with 60mg worth of nicotine as the standard. And additionally to boasting a larger e-liquid capacity at 1ml, EonSmoke also offers 14 different flavours for your tasting pleasure. While it doesn’t offer the same variety of nicotine strengths as other brands, 6% means you’ll get that extra kick compared to JUUL’s marketed 5% strength (technically 5.7%).
Firstly, I’m impressed with the large lineup of different flavors. You’re not going to have a difficult time in finding consistent flavours to enjoy. Also being a few bucks cheaper than JUUL pods, you’ll be saving a bit of cash in the long run. Savings won’t be major at first, but if you’re sticking to pod vaping, it’s still going to end up being a significant difference in money saved.
There have been some concerns with leakage in this product line, but that issue has been addressed via redesign changes in the past year. So far I haven’t noticed any leaking problems, and I have yet to encounter any major issues concerning dry hits.
You’ll still get those once in a while if you’re not careful, but most horror stories of consistent burnt taste and leakage can be ignored. For the newer pods anyway.
The Loon Pods
- Wide variety and good taste
- Comes in a pack of 5
- 1ml of juice per cartridge
- 5% worth of nicotine
- Good throat hit
- May initially taste burnt
- Older models have reliability issues
Priced similarly to JUUL pods, these cartridges come packing with several large advantages. With a large selection of flavours to choose from, Loon Pods also holds a respectable 50mg of nicotine per 1ml cartridge. Additionally, these products are sold in packs of five when compared to the standard four.
Getting what feels like a ‘get one free’ deal, really helps to sell me on this product. While I’m well aware that money wise this isn’t all that big a difference from buying a cheaper pack of four pods, it really does feel like you’re getting more bang for your buck.
Besides holding more fluid than standard JUUL pods, you basically end up getting around two pods for free in a sense. Not only that, but I can’t find any complaints regarding leakage issues.
I’ve had some problems with my initial pulls being burnt tasting, however. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a common issue, and the crispy tasting pod I had worked well after being left to age for a few days.
The taste of the various products have also been satisfactory. I’ve had good results with Blueberry, Lemon Ice, and Mocha. While some other brands may have that chemical taste to them, I haven’t run into any notable taste issues so far with this line of cartridges.
- Comes in a 5 pack
- Good nicotine level
- One nicotine strength
- Juice goes fast
- Occasional burnt taste
Aptly named, Mngo Pods offers a small range of different e-juice flavours, most of which are a blend of mango mixed with another fruit. Besides being able to hold 1ml of nic salt with 60mg per cartridge, you’ll be getting five pods per pack with this line of products.
You’ll still be paying less for five of these pods compared to a JUUL’s four.
While the selection of flavours is somewhat disappointing, I can’t say that any of them are terrible per say. With a smaller subsection of sweeter flavors, mostly blended with mango, you’re not going to have trouble with this brand if you enjoy the taste. What’s really magical here though, is how you can purchase a five pack of pods at a lower price than JUUL cartridges and many other brands.
Well, that seems iffy right?
I can’t complain about the flavors or price, but the juice seems to run out fairly quickly. Another issue I’ve had with this brand were greater than normal burning issues, the occasional leak, and spitting e-juice.
This isn’t a brand I’d go for in regards to quality, but quantity has a quality of its own and all that jazz.
- Great quality pods
- Good flavour
- Cheaper than JUUL cartridges
- Prices can vary widely
- Can leak if shaken roughly
Coming in packs of four, a respectable 5.0% nicotine strength, and holding 1ml of e-juice per cartridge, this line of products is a solid choice as a JUUL pod alternative. Being marketed at a lower price point, these quality pods provide all the functionality of the real deal while being less expensive.
Truth be told, there was nothing that really caught my eye about this product. At first anyway.
After having tried several flavours, I can say that I’m pleasantly surprised. I got a good buzz from these pods, the flavours are on point, and it was honestly difficult for me to tell that I wasn’t vaping from a standard JUUL cartridge.
About the only issue I’ve had was some minor leaking. I didn’t have any problems with burnt tastes, or with spitting that is common with many off brand pods.
Overall, these are good quality products that I don’t have issues with endorsing. It seems like I’m not the only one to do so however, as demand looks to be rising across the board. While it’s entirely likely that this brand will remain less expensive than JUUL pods, don’t be surprised if you see prices varying widely online.
- Refillable pods are available
- High nicotine content
- Great throat hit
- Expensive as far as alternatives go
- Lower variety of flavours
With a rather on the spot name, these products also happen to be sold in packs of four.
Who knew right?
Besides the number of pods, each cartridge also holds the by now standard of 1ml worth of nic salt. What sets this line of products apart from its competitors is the relatively high levels of nicotine they contain. With e-salts being more effective at transmitting nicotine into your system, a 6.5 or 6.8% worth of salt nic is going to bring a seriously notable buzz. If you’re looking for a more powerful fix, this is a solid option to stave off the cravings for a while.
Additionally, this company also markets refillable pods. Instead of just tossing away used cartridges, you have to option of buying empty pods and filling them yourself. This allows you to save money by buying a larger quantity of nic salt, and reusing your pods until the wick is burnt out.
As for negatives, this product is going to cost around as much as a standard JUUL pack. The variety of flavours is nothing to write home about either, but they don’t taste terrible. One more gripe I have is specifically for the refillable pods.
These only hold .7ml worth of salt nic, which is somewhat disappointing when their other products are marketed at 1ml per cartridge.
OVNS - W01 Refillable Pods
- Inexpensive and durable
- Rarely leaks
- You get to pick your own juice
- Doesn’t come pre-filled
- Only holds .7ml of fluid
Now for something a little different compared to the other products in this lineup. While most other options on this list come with their pods pre-filled, these refillable pods come empty. At around US $7 dollars for a pack of three, these cartridges give you the option of filling them with your nic salt of choice.
While they’re only able to hold .7ml worth of juice, you’re probably not going to have issues with running out if you carry the entire pack around with you. The pods themselves are solidly constructed, and use a side fill system to fuel up the container. I’ve had little issues with these pods in regards to leaking or burning, but that was with thicker nic salts.
I’ve run into some burning problems when using thinner blends, but it isn’t a major downside. As long as you use thicker fluids, you can carefully chain vape with minimal time between draws. It’s also a little disappointing that these pods are only sized for .7ml worth of juice, but with the pods being so inexpensive, you can easily purchase two packs for the price of a JUUL pack of four.
The Winner of the Roundup
I’ll have to go with Ziip Pods for the winner of this lineup. My primary reasons for this is because of JUUL’s original marketing strategy.
The purpose behind the development of the JUUL device and system was to help smokers find an alternative to kick their habit. Ziip Pods not only offers a decent selection flavours and good salt nic capacity, but their large range of nicotine strengths is the deal breaker for me.
If I’m trying to cut down on nicotine intake, or even cease entirely, it’s way easier to slowly cut down on the amount of nicotine I’m consuming. Going cold turkey sucks. There’s no way around it, but you can make the process of dealing with withdrawal gradually easier.
And if I can do all this with spending less money? I’d say it’s a pretty good deal.